Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

6/30/08

Of Ultimate Sacrifices and Ugly Statistics

I haven't once heard any member of the government sincerely feel moved by the tragic loss of five lives since the current protests about the land-grab by SASB started. It seems that Azad does not really care about the circumstances in which the youths were murdered, and doesnt even feel it is necessary to call for an inquiry into the circumstances in which these killings of protestors took place. He seems content that these youths would just be part of the "bloody" statistics of deaths in Kashmir.

It seems incomrehensible that these youth were alive and well one day and became part of the statistics the very next day. I am talking about the statistics according to which the Kashmir conflict has "approximately" claimed 200,000 deaths of Kashmiris. What makes me even more worried is that the government has not kept an accurate record of the deaths and therefore these numbers are just "approximate". It is understood that these numbers could be +/- 1000 lives, maybe even +/- 10,000 lives; there just is no way of confirming that to be certain because the government did not feel it necessary to be bothered about keeping accurate records of this trivial detail of the conflict. It is for the same reason that we are discovering unmarked graves in all parts of the valley. As if we are talking about sheep, plants or even potatoes and not about real people with loved ones crying over them and missing their loss every single moment!

It is as if calling for an impartial inquiry into the deaths of these protestors would open a can of worms that the government is unwilling to open at this time. We saw on TV how the police were themselves vandalising someone's new car! Is it really out of the question that these protestors were killed in cold-blood? How can we be certain that a CRPF personnell did not murder any of these protestors in rage and anger after they were hit by a stone. Is this scenario really implausible?

If the Azad government is really sincere and wants even a shred of legitimacy to his government or even if he has an iota of humanity, he would call for an impartial inquiry into all deaths of protestors.

An Alert Kashmir Citizenry

I have mentioned in many of my previous posts that it is in the best interests of Kashmir to be part of India as a completely autonomous state. Many Kashmiris including myself are aware of the economic impact of completely disassociating ourselves from India. It is for this same reason that Sheikh Abdullah wanted assurances from both India as well as Pakistan that they would not resort to an economic blockade out of spite should Kashmir seek to remain independent instead of opting to accede with either India or Pakistan. Needless to say, he never got such assurances and instead was jailed for eleven years for reminding Nehru about his promise to give the people of Kashmir the right to decide their own fate. As we have figured the hard way by now - Nehru was just kidding!

Having a pro-autonomy (viewed as pro-India stance in these neck of the woods) does not make me blind to the excesses that the paramilitary forces are committing in Kashmir. It also does not make me look the other way when I feel that the Hindutva parties have always sought to undermine the Kashmir identity and when it is no secret that their intentions are to ultimately completely merge Kashmir with India, thus reneging on their promise when Kashmir acceded to India. It is a also common knowledge that many in the Indian bureaucracy are sympathetic to the hindutva cause and will assist these parties to achieve their goals.

It is for this reason that we need an alert Kashmir citizenry that will brain-storm all possible avenues that these Hindutva parties could use against Kashmir. Changing the demography of Kashmir is just one of those instances.

6/28/08

People Power

It is awe-inspiring to see the courage and fearless response of Kashmiri people who have taken to the streets to protest the SASB land-grab. I grew up in the 90's and saw the relentless attrocities committed by the CRPF and other para-military forces first hand. I was the victim of a thrashing by an army personnel myself. Once, during a crackdown the army guy asked me a question and being a teenager, I probably was too scared to respond with a good answer. The army man probably did not like my answer and slapped me so hard that my ears started ringing. It was the pleading of the neighbours that probably spared me otherwise I probably would not be here today writing this blog.

On other occasions, I witnessed innocent bus drivers being dragged out of their vehicles and beaten mercilessly for keeping the windows of their buses ajar (in the middle of summer) because as per an un-written rule in Kashmir, no vehicles could keep their windows open. If you are wondering what sort of a rule this is, especially in the middle of summer, join the que of Kashmiris wanting to get answers to this and other numerous unwritten rules.

Growing up in this environment has subdued many Kashmiris and are therefore instinctively fearful of all the paramilitary personnel. However this seems to be not the case with the generation born during the 90'a and who are just growing into their teens. It seems they have become desentisized to the oppression and as a result have become fearless and coudlnt care less for the consequences.

1953: A Pivotal Year in Kashmir's History

Pakistani backed Kabalis attacked Kashmir on October 22, 1947. A few days later, on October 26, 1947, Hari Singh signed the intrument of accession with India. He had earlier made it known that he was still undecided about the options presented before him; the options were either acceeding to India or PAkistan or even remaining independent. Although he was heavily leaning toward remaining independent and maintaining his sovereignity, the invasion made him reluctantly accede to India.

After signing the instrument of accession, he released Sheikh Abdullah from prison and made him Prime Minister of a caretaker governemnt. A few more months later, on 20th June 1949, after facing pressure from Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah, he abdicated his throne, moved to Bombay, and made his 18 year old son, Karan Singh, the first (and last) Sadr-i-Riyasat of Kashmir. A few years later, on 1st May 1951, Karan Singh issued a proclamation calling for elections to the state Contituent Assembly. These elections were completed by August of the same year and National Conference swept them easily.

The first meeting of the 75 members of the first democratically elected Constituent Assembly of Kashmir was held on October 31st 1951. The opening speech was delivered by the President of National Conference and the newly elected Prime Minister of Kashmir, Mr Sheikh Abdullah. He jubiliantly remined people that, "Today, in 1951, embodying aspirations, men and women from the four corners of the state in this Constituent Assembly have become the repository of its sovereign authority. This Assembly, invested with the authority of a constituent body, will be the fountain-head of basic laws laying the foundation of a just social order and safeguarding the democratic rights of all citizens of the state."

Little did he know at the time that less than two years later, a 20 year old Karan Singh would send him to prison for demanding that the UN resolutions be implemented, and that the members of his own cabinet would betray him and his dream of a peaceful and self-reliant Kashmir would be shattered.

"A fraud was being committed on the interests of the country. The slogan of independence was dangerous. Under the control of an imperialist power an independent Kashmir would have been a serious danger for the people of India and Pakistan...." These words were spoken by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad in justifying the arrest of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on 8th August 1953. Sheikh Sahib was charged with treason and conspiracy agaisnt the state and the infamous "Kashmir Conspiracy Case" unfolded with the Lion of Kashmir spending the next eleven years behind bars. His closest comrades including Mirza Afzal Beg, and 22 other NC loyalists were sent to jail as well by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad.

I will try to analyse what led to Sheikh Sahib's arrest given that he was close to Nehru and had been elected with an overwhelming support of the public. Nehru's relations with Abdullah started to deteriorate when he wrote his infamous Note of August 25, 1952, calling Kashmiris "not what are called a virile people. They are soft and addicted to easy living". Also, it was common knowledge at the time that even though he had publicly acknowledged to grant Kashmiris the right to a self-determination, Pandit Nehru had decided privately decided in 1948 not to hold a plebiscite. He asked Sheikh Abdullah to get the Constituent Assembly to ratify the accession - a demand which Sheikh Abdullah needed time to analayse and get the people to back him.

Even though Sheikh Abdullah had publicly declared in 1948 and then in 1951 that accession to India was in the best interest of Kashmiris, he never claimed that the accession by Hari Singh was engraved in stone or that his approval of the accession meant that he would surrender the right of the people to decide their fate themselves or that the people would not have a say in this paramount decision.

Nehru and Karan Singh grew impatient with the Sheikh's insistence that the people of Kashmir be involved with the decision of accession and were quite alarmed on his argument that the elections to the constituent assembly was not a substitute to the promise that Nehru made of granting them a right to choose their national fate. This resulted in a conspiracy of a grand scale with members of Sheikh Abdullahs own party who had stayed with him through thick and thin being bribed to commit treachory against Sheikh Abdullah.
To be continued....

6/23/08

Goodbye, My Beloved Mother-Tongue

Two small stories in today's GK just underscores what I have been pondering about for a while, but thought it was just my opinionated view and not really an issue. However, these stories reinforce my belief that there are other patriotic Kashmiris who feel that our beloved Kashmiri mother-tongue is under threat of extinction.

I am further convinced that it is not just a coincidence that all our other cultural and ethnic differences with India, including our language, are subliminally being eroded by enemies of Kashmir for various nefarious reasons.

Read this document on Scribd: Kashmir language


The first article in the GK makes hollow of the argument against teaching the Kashmiri language at the elementary school level. The government's argument is that there just arent enough teachers to teach the Kashmiri language in primary schools. However, Mr. Mudassir Ali writes in the GK that there are about 7000 post-graduates who specialzed in the Kashmiri language from the university of Kashmir; ironically they are all unemployed. If this is not a concerted effort to undermine our rich language then what is it?

In the second article in today's GK Ms Neda Rafiq Sheikh correctly observes that, "... students aged 4-8 proudly know two words of Kashmiri, and if by some weird reason they were to learn more than two words, their mothers would not be able to face todays modern society.."

Is this not a conspiracy to rob us of our unique heritage by making us ashamed of speaking in Kashmiri? Why otherwise would there be regular instructions in our reputed schools such as Burn Hall, Presentation Convent and Tyndale Biscoe (and now even the epitome of cultural aggression, the Army School and the Delhi Public School) to forbid students from conversing in Kashmiri even during their lunch breaks. This mass cultural aggression is so conspicuos that finding young kids speaking among themselves in our mother-tongue is a rarity these days even in villages.

6/22/08

Black Ribbon Days

As far as I can tell, all Kashmiri political parties are against the SASB land-grab. I fell that all these parties who feel that the land transfer in favour of the SASB is yet another instance of injustice being imposed upon the Kashmiri people by robbing them of their lands should protest till the perpetrators reverse thier decision. However, in my opinion the hartals and close downs are of little or no use and is not a clear indicator of the population's anger and disagreement of government policies.

I suggest that instead there be "Black Ribbon Days", where people can either wear a black ribbon anywhere (on their wrists, bags, hats, belts etc) they can even have one on their vehicle antennas or even black flags on their homes to show their displeasure with the government.

Consider what a strong indicator this will be when almost everyone will participate in this peaceful way of protest.

6/17/08

Jagmohan: The War Criminal

I witnessed the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits during the 90's have a strong conviction that their exodus was machinated by the war-mongering Jagmohan and not, as alleged by some, that Kashmiri muslims are to be blamed. This account is absolutely untrue because I have lived through all this and know for sure that this is an absolute figment of imagination to blame muslims for this tragedy. It seems that even respectable Kashmiri muslims have succumbed to the propaganda and are beleiving the manufactured lie that muslims used their mosque loudspeakers to order the Pandits to leave.

It seems that the Kashmiri muslims are facing a double whammy for the darkest period in Kashmir during the 90's. Not only did they have to face the unspeakable tyranny of the genocidal maniac Jagmohan, now they are even being accused of a crime of which only Jagmohan is guilty of, and that is of making the Pandits leave Kashmir.

Jagmohan cunnivingly encouraged the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits and in addition is also responsible for thousands of deaths of muslims during and after the exodus; infact in my opinion Jagmohan should be tried in a war-crimes tribunal in Geneva just as Milosovic, Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and others were tried for similar crimes in Bosnia. If he were to be tried, then and only then can the truth about the massacre of peaceful demonstrators as well as the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits be known.

SASB Mission: Change the Demography of Kashmir

What would the purpose be for the SASB to aquire 1000 Kanals of prime land in one of the most picturisque valleys of muslim majority Kashmir? Anyone with a shred of intelligence can figure that their intentions are far from cordial. Why would the Yatris need permanent dwellings when the yatra itself lasts a month and is performed in one day is beyond my understanding.

The current PDP minister Mr. Qazi Muhammad Afzal who allocated the thousand kanals of forest land to the SASB should be investigated by the vigilance for corruption because such a huge land transfer can only take place beacause of a huge kickback or that he is simply a SASB stooge in disguise along with his accomplices such as Mufti and Mehbooba as well as Azad who presided the cabinet meeting where this land transfer was approved.

This land transfer is just one of the many avenues the enemies of Kashmir are utilizing to change the demography of Kashmir. Consider this: a thousand Kanals could house atleast a 100,000 non-Kashmiris permanently and Kashmiris cannot do a thing about it because it will be on SASB property and the SASB will simply claim that they are yatris and volunteers to maintian the Amarnath Shrine. However, in reality, given enough time, these non-Kashmiris will marry gullible Kashmiri girls and their progeny will not only be non-muslims but they will also have a legally obtained State Subject certificate and spread to the rest of muslim majority Kashmir and within a generation Kashmiris will soon be an insignificant minority. If this scenario seems implausible then consider what Israel has been doing in Palestine. It seems that the hard-line Indian bureaucrats have copied the Israeli tactis in Palesine word-for-word and their cooperation is not just limited to India being a dumping ground for Israeli manufactured cheap arms that are used to fight Kashmiri militants.

Ironic Punishment by Almighty

There is a common phrase being used in Kashmir these days that because of the "sin" of being silent and not opposing the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in the early 90's, Kashmiri muslims are being punished by the Almighty in an ironic way with the influx of millions of non-local labourers. The irony is that not all these non-Kashmiris are hard-working masons, carpenters, and labourers; a majority of them are beggers, thieves, drug dealers and human traffickers.

I have written about the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in a different post. This post, however, is going to be about the influx of non-Kashmiris and the subsequent degradation of Kashmiri society and associated increase in crime as a result of incompetency of the current government which has failed to devise a strategy to deal with this unprecedented invasion of criminal elements from other states. What alarms a majority of Kashmiris is that what we are witnessing is just a taste of things yet to come, which is going to be a million times more worse when the railway project is completed and there is a windfall of Biharis arriving in these trains.

Many also see this alarming trend as a conspiracy of nationalist Hindutva parties and their sypmatisers in the Indian bureaucracy who have made it their life-long goal to abrograte article 370, and subsequently change the demography of Kashmir.

I would like to make it clear that I am not opposed to hard-working skilled workers arriving from other states including Bihar to make an honest living in Kashmir for feeding themselves and their families. I am sure even these hard-working Biharis would be in favour of some sort of regulation that would keep the criminal elements in their home-states from following them into Kashmir. A good solution would be that these workers are made to register with the nearest police station and receive a non-tamperable identity card with their profession mentioned on it. Beggers, squatters, and unemployed Biharis should be promptly sent back and a method devised to deter their re-entry into Kashmir. This solution can only be implemented by a real government and not puppets like Azad and Mufti who only make loud noises with no substance and when it is questionable where their loyalties really lie.