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

8/11/08

Berlin Wall of the East

The unprecedented brutality unleashed by Indian paramiltary troops on unarmed Kashmiri protestors marching towards Muzaffarabad defies all logic. This is the barbaric face of the India's rule in Kashmir and makes me ashamed of calling myself a proponent of autonomy instead of Independence for Kashmir.

Five people have been confirmed killed uptil now and only time will tell how many more innocent lives will be lost in this phase of the protests. India is guilty as charged of oppression and naked aggression by shooting dead five peacefful protestors including a hurriyat leader, and nothing will justify this action.

There can be no 'if' 'and' or 'but' for the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians protesting against the blockade by fundamentalists in Jammu.

India should be ashamed of itself.

23 comments:

  1. I sincerely regret whatever happened in the valley yesterday, if i could, maybe i would want to erase the entire day from history.
    However, i maintain that the day started on the wrong foot, To begin with, Why march to Mujaffarabad? I heard all sorts of noises here in Delhi all day yesterday, let all these people goto PoK, and not allow them to come back(sounds like a great idea from a classical Indian point of view), however these are our people, and they should have been heard to....you may blame the biased media, however the processions were anything but peaceful (and it is also from the BBC/CNN/Al Jazeera networks, not just Indian news channels), at least so were the reports, and there were J&K police handling the front line of the processions(they are your brethren), they too are humans...being at the receiving end of pelted stones, a crows not heeding to announcements to retreat, its difficult to control....I however have a more basic questions, was a march to PoK the only way out, or was it a challenge to the Indian "hegemony", challenge to the powers in Delhi and Srinagar, the idea was absurd, and so was the repression. There are better ways of handling crowds, water cannons, tear gassing, and rubber bullets than bullets that kill. Still the people who planned the march knew what was coming, did they think Indian authorities would have allowed them to cross over....show of defiance begets show of brute force......worldwide accepted formula.....
    I have always maintained- an eye for eye is bad, first what happened in the valley in July was bad, what followed in Jammu was worse, and now what follows in the valley again is for the worst, do you think this helps anyone but a handful of politicos.....with elections around the corner, PDP/NC would sweep from polarisation of valley muslim votes, BJP would get the jammu hindu votes, and what you would have is a hung assembly, when PDP/NC would have no qualms about joining hands with "fundamentalist" BJP. they gain, ordinary people in valley and Jammu will keep getting shot, businesses suffer, shops burnt, qid quo pro.....stalemate!!!

    Koshur, think about what we want to be, change begins with us, and we need to collective responsibility for what we do, I as an indian regret the firings, but at the same time, what do i tell the others here who are not well versed with the history and geopolitics of J&K.....for them, march to PoK was a challenge, and so was crushed rightly.....give peace a chance, for the benefit of everyone, for the benefit of those kids who would grow to be the next gen of Kashmir and India, for the benefit of those who could not earn their daily bread due to the war, processions and firing...

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  2. and lest i forget, its a shame for all of us, shame for India(and that includes Kashmir)

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  3. Hi,
    I have read a few of your posts and I think you are someone who has shifted from being okay with Pre-53 status to someone who wants a Plebicite.
    Well, from the standpoint of an Indian from Delhi, I think the best solution would be to give UT Status to Ladhak, Full Statehood to Jammu and to LET THE VALLEY GO ITS OWN WAY....be it azadi/independence....I think we've had enough of each other. Time to split, neither cordially nor bitterly!

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  4. I heartily condolences to those persons who have lost their lives in the recent agitations all over the Kashmir. I am from West Bengal and this type of act should be actively restricted. I and all my fellow friends from W.B. love the land of GOD, the people of Kashmir and their tradition. But one thing is clear, that is, any country cann't allow a march to a neighbour country, which is also a foe to us. They should select a more peaceful way of protest. Also there is no economic blocade in our mind. First the kasmiri people should learn to think as an INDIAN. I am Bengali as well as INDIAN. They should learn this. Every year the government spends crores of rupees to give subsidy in J&K and we r paying those as tax. Violence should be avoided in any form. We consider Kasmiries as our fellow brother but not U. Violence is in W.B. also. Recently we have saw Nandigram. But we r not telling to part away from India. We should solve the problem on our own and in an open heart. Past is past. We cann't get anything from it. Only politician reap the benefit of detrust between the religion, communities. In Kashmir he is the best politician who cries against India. Thats why u r denouncing Omar Abdulla. You should think why there is so much of muslim fundamentalism all over the world. Its the world of internet and now the world becomes to an global village. And u r still in 1947. please please please come in open air and think in an open mind. The power is yours and the solution is in your hand...

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  5. I am very sorry that this happened. The number of the dead protesters has already reached 12.

    The blame rests squarely on the Indian army. But the organizers of the protest should be questioned about what their motives were.. What is the point of trying to reach Muzaffarabad when the Indian government agreed to reimburse the costs of all the perished fruit. The motive is clearly not economic.

    It is unfortunate that the situation deteriorated to this level due to radical elements in Jammu and their counterparts in the Kashmir valley. This makes me wonder : Is the Amarnath piligrimage even worth the effort ? If it demands the lives of 15 human beings, then it is clearly not worth it.

    My heartfelt condolences to you, I hope the criminals who were responsible for the deaths will be brought to justice.

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  6. The brutal killings of 18 innocent people in kashmir by indian forces clearly shows india's policy of oppression and occupation for kashmir.But they should realise that we will fight for our kashmir till the last drop of blood.
    we love kashmir,and long live kashmiris.

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  7. @Suchi

    You ask why march to Muzaffarabad? because that is also a part of Kashmir; hence the title of my post "Berlin Wall of the East" Just as communist east germany did not want the two parts of germany to have contact with each other same is the case with India imposing its will on whether the two parts of Kashmir can have contact with each other. Berlin wall came down one fine morning as so shall the arrogance of India.

    30 innocent protestors have died as of now and the blame lies with India alone.

    To your comment about peaceful protests, yes these were peaceful protests. Marching peacefully is not a crime. Pelting stones being met with bullets is.

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  8. Thankyou Ray for your comments and for once I agree with you that the Indian government should seriosly think whether all this bloodshed is worth all their effort.

    If the Indian government has even a shred of cridibility left, it should conduct an impartial investigation into the firing on protestors.

    To answer your question, the march to muzaffarabad was to emphasize the emotional bond between the two parts of Kashmir.

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  9. @ mike desai

    Sir I actually completely endorse your solution, and have been pondering over it for a while. Many consider that as the only workable solution, but only if both India and Pakistan do not impose economic blockades on Kashmir after.

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  10. @Koshur

    I am not trying to defend what happened over the last 2 days in the valley, killing even one unarmed man is illegal, and deserves enquiry, rightly pointed out by you...
    Still, something people from the valley love to tell, the reason why kashmiris revolted at the first place, was that all elections have been rigged, if you could today rise against the oppression of the security forces unanimously, why not defy the rigging on the day of the election, elect the people who "really" stand by your demands and have the political dialogue.....
    As far as Mujaffarabad being a part of PoK, sounds like RSS lingo...United India vs United Kashmir, would pak relinquish PoK, and what about FANA(Northern Areas, baltistan gilgit?), how about the mirpuris who are more in number in london and UK than mirpur itself?
    yet again, my apologies for whatever happened in Kashmir, over the last 2 days.....take care

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  11. Thankyou Suchi for the thoughtful comments. It is nothing short of hell in Kashmir and I imagine it is turning into a nightmare in the rest of India as well with BJP calling for a chaka Jam.

    I wonder what is in store for us in the coming days?

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  12. Hi Koshur

    I understand the emotional bond of Kashmiris to Muzaffarabad. But there are certain dos and donts in international policy. Organizing a march such as this over a hotly contested line of control - is clearly putting the lives of people at risk.

    This is not to take away the blame from the Indian CRPF. But, the Kashmiri leaders should think doubly serious about sacrificing the lives of their fellowmen. Already, several lives have been lost and the number of able young men in the valley has fallen very low. If this deteriorates, Kashmir will have to allow immigrants to support the economy. Kashmir will be overrun by Biharis or Punjabis. You will agree this is just a very dumb strategy.. Kashmiri leaders should think carefully and look into the future.

    What I want to convince you is that there are a lot of people in India who care to listen to Kashmiri viewpoints. There is a lot of chest-thumping and noise from the BJP extremist crowd. But there are several people (like me, mike desai etc..) who care the most about Kashmiri interests. Trust that people like me are the majority in India. This is what Indian government stands for - not for the thugs in Jammu. So please be careful when you use your words.

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  13. I have only one question.Why always does a separatist emotion arise? Does anyone know what are the economic ramifications of a new country? Do you want another "Pakistan"?

    They say "JKLF" -
    a handful of people who have political ambitions based on the foundation of "innocent deaths".Culturally , Jammu,Ladakh and Kashmir are so diverse and how can a handful of people decide that they want a separate country or join Pakistan without realising this diverse culture?

    India is a secular country and the whole world knows this.No one needs to cite and example to prove this.I too condemn what has happened, but walking towards Pakistan is no solution.Why didn't the they walk towards China (Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract).Isn't that Kashmir as well?Just because the Trans-Karakoram Tract was gifted by Pakistan to China, hence all is fine.Right?

    It is just a matter of confidence building.Kashmiri Muslims need to go that extra mile to gain confidence of all Indians.Kashmiri Muslims first need to get rid of their petty politicians.Then get back all the Kashmiri Pandits.Finally the most important of all- get rid of Article 370.Then all will realise how soon this whole region will look intergrated and one. Again this article is being debated upon by vested interests.Kashmiris are simple people and get influenced by crooks.Someone amongst you has to stand up and realise this.

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  14. Ray, that is the whole reason for the conflict.

    Although I have my own views on this; however, it would be most accurate for me to mention that most Kashmiris have never accepted the accession of Kashmir to India, and therefore do not consider the LOC drawn arbitrarily on Kashmiri territory as an international border between India and Pakistan. They do not consider Muzaffarabad as part of Pakistan either. In Kashmiri thinking Muzaffarabad is still Kashmiri territory. My analogy of East and West Germany is not far-fetched.

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  15. Hi Koshur
    I am not asking for your sentiments. I know them very well. I am aware that most Kashmiris view this arbitrary LOC as a wall between brothers. I completely support you in this manner of thinking.

    What I find foolish is the strategy that is adopted by Kashmiri leadership in achieving the ends. It is utterly stupid and even irresponsible to sacrifice lives of young Kashmiri men in make-believe marches like this. This is not going to solve the problem. Let's be practical. What has been achieved by the sacrifices of 1000s of people already ? Nothing.

    A smart politician is one who knows his adversary. As an Indian, I might loath to let go off Kashmir. But I support the wishes of Kashmiri people more than anything else. Most Indians think like me. This is an obvious fact.

    So instead of making the relations worse, it pays to solve the problems in a civilized manner. This is what is lacking in the JKLF leadership. This is where they fall short of being great leaders.

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  16. The fact that the fruit growers were angry about not being

    able to enter other Indian cities to sell their product shows

    that the people of Kashmir are still economically dependent on

    the rest of India.

    So those who think that Kashmir should be

    an independent state can go elsewhere, and not create

    problems for the Indians who live in Kashmir.

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  17. Ray I appreciate yor logical thinking and just wish Indias politicians had more advisors like yourself or, although a remote chance, that they thought like you.

    Kashmiri separatists have been wanting their voices heard since hari singh arbitrarily acceeded kashmir in 1947. (stay with me, i am not about to give a lecture on history, but this is important). Soon after, the UN passed a resolution in 1948 binding India and Pak to hold a plebiscite, for giving the Kashmiris the right to choose their own fate. Sheikh Abdullah, the prime minister till 1953 is arrested by India and jailed for eleven years for what? for reminding India of the plebiscite!

    Sheikh abdullah holds the separatist fort strong until 1975, when he cracks under pressure, being that he was jailed by a democracy like India for 11 long years, and joins the pro-india camp when he signed the Indira accrod in 1975.(i am a big admirer of Shiekh abdullah and talk about him in a separate post on this blog).

    The separatist movement continues regardless, and even though not in the limelight, continues to build momenttum through peaceful means.

    Consider this happening right from 1947 till 1989, when the armed insurgency started. the whole scenario changed. I am not justfying the armed insurgency, but it brought the kashmir issue to the forefront, and India took notice.

    That seemed to not budge India, which hardened its stance, and people took to the streets and indulged in mass protests and demonstrations in the 1990's. India didnt think twice and scores of protestors were killed, raped, mutilated, and tortured. (some democracy!)

    Then, when that phase of the the quest for independence did not work, the separatists decided to give up arms and form the hurriyat conference, to highlight the kashmir issue on the international platform. This has had limited success but people have grown impatient.

    Which brings us to the current phase of the protests where people feel that the only option for their voices to be heard is through mass demonstrations.

    So as you can see, the freedom fighters in Kashmir have tried every known method in the book to have their voices heard and seek independence from India. So, hypothetically speaking, if the separatists leaders were to be reading your comment here, what would you suggest to them? what would you advise the people of Kashmir on the best course of action to have their voices heard, when they have tried every which way to protest Indias accesses in Kashmir right from 1947?

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  18. What a cruel joke that kashmiris cannot withstand of their own. A neutral Englishman known as Mr. W. Lawrence who in his treatise on Kashmir ( valley of Kashmir) mentions abundance of food and shelter in Kashmir more then 100 yrs ago. We were deliberately made a cunning, lethargic, hopeless and dependent people. But when you say something it needs introspection to what we did. We are to be blamed the mess we are in. I as a child still remember when Muslims of Kashmir used to fight among themselves and waste their energy in sher bakra feuds and we lost our political motive then. People used to discuss non-issues and these mistakes led to our subjugation .The Kashmir the land of agriculture has been changed slowly into unplanned concrete of housing and shopping complexes. All suburban lands of srinagar city, which were once vegetable gardens stand vanished with the onslaught of urbanization, same story is of all major towns. In 1960s I used to go villages along bar mullah road , and how green was my valley ! the landscape, the distant snow clad mountains and all scenic is now obscured by houses and shopping complexes. The greed of the man ( I include myself in them) pushed us to these times when a few days of road block leads us in lines for essentials .Time has come to wake up from slumber to change our thinking, to eliminate social ills. A self-sufficient nation cannot be slaved.

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  19. For more unheard truths log onto
    http://2virginz.blogspot.com/

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  20. dear blogger it was really heartening to see your mention in the greater kashmir newspaper...
    infact i happened to be the second blogger the newspaper had written about...unfortunately he had mistyped my blog address..
    gr8 going brother

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  21. Hi Koshur

    All our politicians are a bunch of
    scoundrels, apart from a few exceptions. I hope this will change in the future. Times are indeed changing very rapidly, today we have internet and our economy is growing quickly. People like you and me are able to communicate. I hope changes like this will be good for our politics.

    I grew up in Andhra Pradesh and I don't understand Hindi. My language is the second most spoken language in India , but nobody knows about it, even within India. I live abroad, people ask me which language I speak, and then they say they never even heard of Telugu. I am sure that you Kashmiris fare a lot better than me. Everyone knows about Kashmir.

    I think this individuality and preservation of culture is important. But what I find really silly is the way Kashmiris are killing themselves. If it goes on like this, there will be nobody in the future to keep the Kashmiri culture alive.

    In my opinion, Kashmir doesn't belong to India. But Kashmiris do. India has no right to the land, the minerals or the mountains of Kashmir. What counts the most is a place in the heart of Kashmiris. If that is not to be found, there is no point.

    But violent separatism will not solve the problem. You should see the history of Yugoslavia. Bitter warfare has destroyed the country and killed several people there.. Crimes such as genocide are commited.. For what end ? Imagine these kind of horrors in India, partition happening all over again.. Muslims and Hindus masssacring each other. On top of that, India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons.

    I think Kashmiris look upon India as an occupying force. Like how Tibetans look upon China. Or like how Kurds look upon Turkey. Or much worse.. like how Palestenians look upon Israel. This is wrong because of two reasons (1) India is not a single culture which speaks a single language - like China or Turkey (2) Indians are prohibited to buy land in Kashmir, unlike Israelis who occupied Palestine and who are still building settlements in the west bank.

    The closest comparison to India is the European Union. It has a thousand languages and religions. Don't you see the link ?

    I think there is only one good hope for Kashmir. Kashmir's salvation lies in the salvation of every single region in India. There should be an entity such as the European Union in the subcontinent - including all the SAARC countries. Each individual state in this union should have a high degree of autonomy, but a common defence (like NATO), a common currency (like Euro) and a common parliament. We are slowly getting there.

    I think Kashmir will be the first bridge in such a union. This is the only solution that will be acceptable to all people.

    The first step is an opening up of borders and increased trade. Violence and terrorism will only delay the process.

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  22. For all Indian media bashers, Here is a point I would want to make..Greater Kashmir covered this blog, and quoted my comment, alas, only the first line while unceremoniously missing the rest of the comment.
    Not that it takes away the jist of it, I AM ashamed of what happened in Kashmir over the last few days, however all i want to highlight is how media reports and distorts the views. I still feel that the call to march to Mujaffarabad was cynical and suicidal, in fact a similar march in PoK(Ajad(?) Kashmir) to meet up at LoC met up with similar fate of lathi chagre, tear gassing and shooting on the other side of LoC, that never got mentioned in any of the blogs or kashmiri newspapaers, while it got published in the Pak mainstream newspaper like the Nation and The Dawn, I am still trying to figure out why?

    As an Indian, on this independence day, I do say, we are not perfect, may be we would never be, yet, all of us need to work to make this country a better country to live it, where Tagore's line reflect the feeling....."WHere the mind is without fear and the head is held high", and it is for all of us, you, me , all indians and kashmiris ....

    AMen!!

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  23. Dear Indians,
    If Kashmir is an integral part of India, how come only 45% of J&K State is under India. What has Govt of India done to rgain the other 55% of J&K? Nothing..Cause if they start doing anything, it will have to leave this 45% as well. It is like if you find two notes of Rs500
    on the road and you pick up one note.When you were about to pikc up the other note, someone already picked up. Now you are happy with the one note cause you got it illegaly.Similarly,India did not do anything to regain the other half. That is because it knows if it tries any action,either polotical or millatry,there will be question mark on its claim over Kashmir. How many people in India know that United Nations Military Observers have a big office in the heart of Srinagar.They are not in Mumbai,bangalore, Delhi, Bihar. You have educate your country men that Kashmir is a disputed territory. I am not opposing any Kashmiri or Dogra be hold the opinion that Kashmir SHOULD be a part of India. But let us excercise this right of choice. If India has taken right measure to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiris for the last 60 yrs, probably the chances are that India will get full control of 100% Kashmir as opposed to current 45%.(Keep in mind,arrest of Sheikh Abdullah in 1953,installation of puppet Govt in Kashmir, replacement of Prime Ministership to chief Ministership in 1964,Unilateral decission of dilution of Article 370,military rule, more than 100 thousands innocents deaths by Indian forces (My three cousins included),rapes,custodial deaths,economic degradation,infrastructure, NO POWER, Indus water treaty, only to name a few)....ajaztam@hotmail.com

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