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

1/30/09

Thankyou Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

All leaders of muslim countries could take a few lessons on how to build up courage and stand up for what is just and right. The prime minister of Turkey Mr Tayyip Erdogan is a brave man for speaking up for the Palestinian people and storming out of the Davos' World Economic Forum, Gaza session. At the session, the Israeli president Shimon Peres was allowed 25 minutes to spew his justifications for slaughtering 1200 Palestinians; whereas, when it was Mr Erdogan's turn to speak, he was asked to stop after a mere 12 minutes because he spoke the truth, which the moderator did not like. The moderator is a pro-Israeli correspondent based in the US.

In his own words, Mr. Erdogan said to Peres, "When it comes to killing you know very well how to kill. I know very well how you killed children on the beaches." (Watch the video here)After the moderator cut off his mike and insisted that the Prime minister's time is up, Mr Erdogan did the right thing and stormed out of the session - stunning everyone present there.

This is remarkarble considering Turkey is one of the most moderate of the muslim nations. The condemnation of Israeli genocide against Palestinians runs deep there as well. I wish the pro-India parties take a clue from all this and start speaking against Israel whenever they pretend to represent Kashmiris anywhere.

For More info..
-Video of the event
-Hurriyet News Turkey

1/29/09

Petition to UK parliament

As we know, the recent statements by Mr Miliband has brought the Kashmir issue at the forefront of Indo-British relations. India tried to whine its way out of being held accountable for its misdeeds in Kashmir by yelling and shouting but Mr Miliband stood firm and restated his correct belief that the Kashmir issue needs to be resolved for political stability in South Asia. We should not lose this opportunity to keep the momentum going in bringing the Kashmir issue on the table of discussions of all major powers in the world. British citizens and residents sympathetic to the Kashmiri cause can help us immensely by signing the online government petition which is on the official website of the Prime Minister of UK. The purpose of the petition is that the Kashmir conflict will be debated in the UK parliament, something that the Indians will fight tooth and nail against, because their excesses and atrocities against us will come out in the open and the world will be made aware of these war crimes against us.   Please visit the site and sign the petition. (Click here to visit the petition)

1/27/09

Urdu is an alien language

Have you ever observed how the pronunciation of Kashmiri words is deliberately changed when they are mentioned in Urdu or even Hindi. The most common form is to end the Kashmiri words with an extended vowel. As if our Kashmiri language doesnt deserve the respect to leave the pronunciation intact. Take for instance the names of places when mentioning them to non-Kashmiri speakers. Every hot-blooded Kashmiri knows that it is Navvyut, and not the alien sounding 'Nowhatta' as the pronunication is changed in Urdu. Or even when the pronunciation of the names of things is changed such as 'Goor' becomes 'Gooroo' (milkman). These are the formally used names. What is even more foolish sounding is the variation perpetrated by non-speakers of the urdu language. They attempt to add an "oo" on every Kashmiri word to make it sound as though it were an urdu word; for instance, "csott" becomes "csottoo" (bread), csochworr (bagel) becomes csochworroo or even "thool" becomes "thooloo" (eggs). I have no clue how suffixing an "oo" at the end of a Kashmiri word will transform that word into an Urdu word or how it will make the slayer of the Kashmiri language sound more sophisticated.



1/25/09

Remember Remember The Fifth of November

Remember, Remember
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot

So the poem goes remembering a man named Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up the British Parliament on November 5th 1605. Here is a link to the poem from a movie that used this poem as their central theme (click here). The people loyal to the king hijacked this day and say that this day is celebrated to remember the foiling of the plot to bomb the parliament, when in reality people celebrate it for Guy Fawkes. In the movie, the masked man ends up blowing up the parliament, to protest what he sees as authoritarian rule and lack of freedom.

I am not going to end up sounding like an entertainment magazine, but the reason why this movie came to mind is that I was reading the news in the local GK that the people of Arigam, Bandipore were protesting against the Army orders that the local residents are prohibited from venturing out of their homes at night. 

Reminds me of someone who was upset about the unwritten rule of the army that people cannot use torches at night and instead have to use lanterns. That was only eight months ago. I wonder what their opinion is about this rule now that they are is in a position do something about it! (click here to read the GK news story about this)

In a different part of Kashmir, in the village of Handwara, people wanted to commemorate their own remembrance of the 21 unarmed protesters who were killed exactly 19 years to the day on Jan 25th 1990. They might not have a catchy poem to remember their brothers and sisters who were brutally killed by the BSF, but all they want is to build a memorial on the spot where the BSF mowed down those 21 unarmed protestors. To add salt to injury, a CRPF bunker has been erected right at the very spot of the carnage. (read the story here)

1/24/09

Government huts are useless

A bizarre story that caught my eye today was the case of a minister slapping a fisheries department officer for not allowing him to use a government hut. This is one of those things that I fail to understand. Why does the government require so many luxurious huts, which are spread all over the state, and have overtaken the whole Zabarwan mountain including all of Chasmashahi. 

Imagine all the state resources used to maintain these huts. The government will be quick to justify these palatial huts by claiming that the officials utilize these when they visit different districts or officials visiting from other states in India use them. Why cannot the government officials who use these huts stay in hotels instead? The government can pay for those stays, and just might end up putting in a few more rupees into Kashmir's economy. 

They keep complaining about unemployment and a stagnant economy. If the government keeps offering free palatial housing for their good-for-nothing officials, why would the local residents even consider being entrepreneurial and opening up motels. Would it not be a prudent idea to lease these hundreds of thousands of huts to unemployed youth for a certain period, say ten years, and let the youth earn some money by renting them out. I am sure the officials and ministers would not like this idea!

1/22/09

Everybody and their hens

Looks like everybody and their hens are inundating the blogosphere and the local newspapers with their 'pearls of wisdom' about what Omar Abdullah should be doing. (I must digress and confess that the correct expression is "everybody and their dogs", but then not many people have dogs as pets in Kashmir therefore hens would be a better word choice for conveying my sarcasm). Getting back to my topic, it is close to 1AM and I had to write this post because it refuses to be confined in my stomach till morning. Therefore here I am typing away when the rest of Kashmir is probably sound asleep.

Now that every one is jumping on the bandwagon to suggest what is wrong with the current state of affairs in Kashmir, and what we can do to fix them, here is my crumpled-up, old-two-rupee-note worth of observation:

1. The traffic in Kashmir is horrendous. There should be one-way traffic for all small roads and lanes in downtown area. (just as an example, the road between Khayyam chowk and Khanyar should be one way going towards dargah; and on the way back it should be one way on the back road through Nowpoor going towards Lalchowk; or people can use the Babdemb road.) Similarly, turn all downtown roads one-way.

2. CRPF crooks should be barred from demanding ID cards. It is demeaning. Only Kashmir police can interact with Kashmiris, and ask for ID if needed.

3. Close down all brick-kilns. They are a major cause of lung-diseases for people living in surrounding area because of dust, and poisonous emissions fron their chimneys. They only provide income to owners, and slave labour brought from outside Kashmir. Impact on local employment will be minimal if at all. But banning the brick-kilns will help the environment and health conditions of those areas. Besides they sit on prime agriculture lands.

4. Introduce modern method of garbage pickup. I think it is time we live like a civilized society and the municipality picks up garbage which is tied in bags or in containers outside each house, instead of piling each mohalla's collective trash into a pile for the local stray dogs to feast on. No wonder Srinagar's stray dogs would be considered the most well fed and healthy stray dogs of the world. Which brings me to the 5th most important pressing issue..

5. Eradicate all stray dogs. They are a threat to the safety of humans. This should be a good enough reason to kill them. It's like someone's house is infested with cockroaches or rats and mice; would they not use all means possible to get rid of the pests? why are stray dogs different.

More later

1/18/09

Butcher of Kashmir, Jagmohan, spews drivel again!

It seems that when no one is paying any attention to the butcher of Kashmir, Jagmohan, he tries to draw attention to himself by jotting a few lines of nonsensical tripe and emailing it to one of the many online hindutva websites, who are more than happy to make it their headline matter.

In his latest rant, he goes on to berate the current Indian government for not doing enough to chase after the terrorists responsible for the Bombay attack, who he assumes are definitely hiding in Kashmir, because he emphasizes that the Indian government was snoozing when Kashmiri militants were blowing up innocent women and children in Kashmir. I am least surprised that a criminal mind such as Jagmohan resorts to lying to make his point. We are well aware that Kashmiri militants have never targeted innocent women and children; this distinction lies solely with the Indian army.

We are to infer from his diatribe that he is advocating a similar Indian response to Kashmiri militants as Israel's reaction when they razed Gaza to the ground to counter home-built Hamas rockets. He argues that the response of the present government has been too soft in dealing with "Kashmiri terrorism".

He further goes on babbling about nonsensical gibberish which doesnt deserve a response because it doesnt make any sense to begin with, and yet again resorts to lying by claiming that India has been trying to hide the problem of "Islamic terrorism" in Kashmir. Yes, certainly we are to believe that figment of Jagmohan's imagination! On the contrary, India has been trying to hide the true spirit of Kashmir's quest for freedom by falsely branding it as religious fundamentalism.

Amidst yet more gibberish I located a sentence that should alarm all Indians. He claims that the Indian democracy is diseased. By this, we can only deduce that he is advocating hindutva rule which would curtail all democratic rights for Indians. This comes as a no surprise to us Kashmiris. We have known Jagmohan prescribes to this kind of ideology right since our unfortunate fate of suffering through his stint as governor here in the 80's, and the Indian army has been practising his doctrine here ever since. We do feel sorry for the rest of the Indians when Jagmohan and his ilk do again seize power in india.

He becomes delusional by mentioning that the reason why he was sent as the governor for the second time is that he had "built good rapport with the people and bureaucracy"! Jagmohan should really lay off those drugs he has been snorting lately. Next we'll hear him claim that Kashmiris have built a shrine in his memory where they pay obeisance to him every day. His delusions do not end there. He further goes on to babble that the whole reason Kashmiris rose up against Indian repression is that the militants were distributing Islamic literature. He specifically mentions cassette recordings that were being distributed (in reality those cassettes were being sold in Lalchowk, but for Jagmohan, lying is a habit) and translates a "Kashmir's song of freedom". Who could have thought that if it wasnt for those darn cassette recordings, Kashmiris would have never realized we want freedom. Such is the twisted logic of Jagmohan.

So vile is the arrogance of The Butcher of Kashmir that he flatly claims that there was not a single Indian politician, bureaucrat or official dealing with Kashmir who had figured how to deal with the rising anger of Kashmir's population. He goes on to display his lunacy by claiming that, "To meet these grim conditions, a series of firm and innovative measures were taken by me. These included seizure of subversive material, removal of loud speakers from which violence was incited in the name of religion..." These indeed are very innovative measures that no one in India but the genius Jagmohan could think of! Who could have thought of these!

He never mentions his real acts for which he has earned the distinction of being remembered as 'The Butcher of Kashmir', and tries to attempt a quick escape by claiming that, "the constraint of space does not permit me to give here detail of these measures". No need to elaborate on what those measures were; the whole world has ample evidence and information on them. The only time I would suggest to Jagmohan that he not worry about the constraints of space is when he is being tried in an international court of justice for war crimes committed against Kashmiris. He will need a lot of space to defend himself then. The memories of Gawkadal will forever remain engraved in the minds of Kashmiris and we will always remember Jagmohan the way Jews remember Hitler or the Kurds remember Saddam.

For more info..

-Jagmohan's tripe
-Gawkadal massacre

1/17/09

Factually challenged Indian politicians

It seems that even after decades of bloodshed, the Indian government is unwilling to learn from their follies in Kashmir and acknowledge the facts on the ground by at the very least accepting their responsibilities. One could accurately describe them collectively as being in denial. The recent statement by the Indian foreign minister emphasizes the Indian government's state of denial perfectly. He was responding to British foreign secretary Mr. Miliband's statement that the unresolved Kashmir conflict is the real cause of instability in south Asia, and that India should sit down with Pakistan and hammer out a solution. As we know from Mr. Singh's asinine recital, India was obstinate as usual, and surprised no one by using the worn out argument that Kashmir is an 'atoot-ang' of India, and that the world community has no right to meddle in the so-called "internal issues" of India - even though the well meant advice by Mr. Miliband pertains to Kashmir, which the UN has passed numerous resolutions for! 

For more info..

1/15/09

Slum Dog Millionaire

Nothing bursts the bubble of imaginary Indian progress than the new movie that came out called "Slum Dog Millionaire". It hits the nail of the false Indian pride right on the head. We have all witnessed the false sense of superiority that uppity Indian youth belonging to the middle class have when they keep harping about how India is at par with other developed nations and that George Bush and other EU leaders do not even go to sleep unless they have phoned the PM of India and sought his advise. This movie exposes India for what it is - a poverty stricken, mean, and unfortunate place to be living on this planet. It rattled the false sense of superiority so much so that even their big movie star Amitab Bachan gave the movie a piece of his mind. He goes on to argue that even the most richest of worlds nations have pockets of poverty. But maybe someone should go and whisper into Mr Bachan's ear that before he goes ahead and embarasses himself before the world audience, and compares these pockets of poverty in devleoped nations with India's astronomical poverty stricken populace, he is comparing a basketful of apples with ten thousand truckloads of apples!. 80% of India's population lives in abject poverty.

For more info...

1. Guardian UK

1/12/09

Different decisions of an independent Kashmir

The recent Israeli aggression against Palestinians is a prime example of a rogue country such as Israel justifying its blatant terror tactics by blaming the victims themselves. They are able to accomplish this and get away with it simply because of their hold on the international media outlets in countries all over the world including India. If they do not outright own vast media empires, then at the very least they have their henchmen placed in strategic positions who are able to sway the media reporting in their favor. This is no secret or my bizarre conspiracy theory; this is a fact and a quick google of "Israel" and "zionist media monopoly" will gather a few reliable websites that accurately mention the shameless Israeli ownership of the world media outlets.

I have no interest in wasting my time talking about Israel or its media control had it not been something related to Kashmir. What got me started on this topic is the fact that how different the reaction of a truly representative government of Kashmir would have been, had we been an independent country. For starters let me place the most obvious hypothetical question; would we have diplomatic relations with Israel? let alone would the chief of Israel's army ever dream of stepping on Kashmir soil? the common basis for these is India's insensitivity to the wishes of Kashmiris. 

India would want Kashmiris to believe that they are as much part of the Indian union as any other state. That the wishes of Kashmiris are as much respected as any other Indian. The facts prove this to be just a white wash, and no where is their blatant colonial attitude more obvious than India's cozying up to Israel. Israel is an emotional issue not only for all the muslims of the world, but for all those people who value human dignity and freedom. Had Kashmir had any say in the Indian union, India would not transform into Israel's largest arms buyer - most of these arms end up in Kashmir to be used against Kashmiris.

If the current government has an iota of respect for the wishes of the Kashmiri people, or even the tiniest sense of solidarity with the Palestinians, it would pass a resolution in the Kashmir Assembly barring all Israeli nationals (tourist or otherwise) from entering Kashmir and prohibiting any Israeli made products to end up in Kashmir. This is what an independent Kashmir would have done. This reflects the wishes of the people of Kashmir. And although this will not in any way alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians, who have as of now lost more than 950 innocent people since the beginning of the terror campaign by Israel, this motion by the Kashmiris will be a symbolic show of support for our brothers and sisters in Palestine. Although there is a next to nil chance of it happening, given the pro-Israeli stance of the Indian government and by extension of the current Kashmir government, and given the fact that there has not been a single utterance of condemnation for the Israeli actions either by the Indian government or the current Kashmir government here.

Please visit these sites for more on Indo-Israel relationship..
3. Commentary by Indian Hawks in US about Indo-Israel relationship (Harvard University)

1/10/09

Self Censor

I was reading a few of my recent posts, and felt quite ashamed that I had resorted to the use of crude language when referring to Omar Abdullah. I have accordingly self censored those adjectives in those few sentences; however the main ideas in those posts remain unaltered. Thankyou Tanvir Sadiq for pointing those out. I would also like to offer my sincere, unreserved and heartfelt apology to Omar if those crude remarks might have hurt him or his family; having an opposing political view does not give me the right to drag his personal life into the debate.

The reason for this self sensor is that those remarks do not represent who I am or my convictions. I do not have to resort to mudslinging to convey my message across.
Now that I have self-censored those few sentences, I believe Tanvir Sadiq must be gloating over his belief that I have recently resorted to writing "rot" - as he expressed it. Or that 'Kashmir Crisis' must be having his eureka moment having thus proven that I am a chameleon because I self-censored the offending sentences.

I believe that it is neither. Learning is a life-long process, and if I learnt something today and have the courage to credit the people responsible for that change; I think that is something positive. There is nothing wrong in acknowledging my errors - that is the whole point of an evolving thought process. It does not make me a chameleon, but rather, it makes me a human who is willing to listen, learn and act accordingly.

Here is the link to the rebuttal of the discussion that led to my self-censoring (please click here)

1/8/09

Barkha Dutt performs magic

Of all the Op-Ed articles about Omar Abdullah in the Indian media in which featherbrained journalists seem to be suffering from some sort of mindless infatuation with Omar Abdullah, Barkha Dutt's opinion piece in the fundamentalist Indian newspaper, The Hindustan Times, cracked me up the most.

In order to save you folks from the agony of reading through her trite write-up, which is bereft of any logic, and laden with half baked assumptions, I will try to sum up the opinion piece in one sentence. She feels that Kashmiri people have all along been cherishing the thought of participating in these elections (which, she adds for emphasis, were the most important in 50 years!); that separatism is a thing of the past; and Omar Abdullah is a reincarnated hindu god in her eyes, who has been prophesized about in ancient Indian manuscripts. (click here to read her column, if you must, but dont blame me for not warning you!)

To appease her new god in Omar Abdullah, she even goes as far as to conjure up imaginary bloggers out of thin air to make her point! She claims that young separatist bloggers were all praise for Omar Abdullah, and even have promised to give up separatism and replace their blog background images with current pictures of a shirtless Omar flexing his muscles (similar to the pictures of Salmaan Khan found pasted on the walls of tea-stalls and dhabas); all this because Omar Abdullah will be the "best administrator ever"(emphasis on "ever" just like young people speak) (read the discussion of real-world separatist bloggers here)

When my fellow blogger from the Kashmir Forum queried about this magical act of her's in materialiazing "young separatist bloggers" out of thin air, Ms Barkha Dutt replied to him by email and claimed that her new god, His Holiness Omar Abdullah,  had given her authority to re-invent the definition of the word "blogger". Apparently, in her dictionary, a person could be considered a blogger even if they simply post a comment on someone's facebook page! How silly of us and the rest of the world to think that to be considered a blogger, one would have to have a real-world blog address.

1/7/09

Omar Abdullah's regime commences with same old tyranny

My next few posts are going to contain a number of old sayings that might sound like cliché but there is no better way of expressing those sentiments. For now, most of you must have heard the old saying, "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks". This saying fits perfectly in describing Omar Abdullah's reign, which we will be forced to bear through for better or worse, for the next six years.

Although there were several reports of attrocities on Kashmiris as usual yesterday, none was as heart-wrenching and heinous as the report of an innocent Kashmiri man named Abdual Reshi of Pahalgam, who was shot dead in cold blood outside Omar Abdullah's home last evening. The poor innocent man leaves behind a young family, including three little children. The innocent man's only crime was to be walking outside Emperor Omar Abdullah's Gupkar residence at 10Pm at night. How dare common Kashmiris even think about stepping on the sacred soil that sits outside Omar's house! Only the Abdullah family, their Indian cohorts, and a few cronies have the right to be walking on Gupkar road. (Please read the full story here ) It will not surprise me at all if the police and Omar Abdullah attempt to cover up this crime by planting weapons or incrminating evidence on this poor man. It's not at all far fetched, infact, I am certain that is exactly what Omar and his Indian masters will be claiming in the next few days. But our common sense has not taken a leave just yet to beleive that a young man of 47 years old, would even consider to single handedly breach the most fortified locality in all of Kashmir.

This poor man probably wanted to meet Omar Abdullah for a job or had some grievance and wanted to share it with Omar because he got suckered into beleiving that Omar truly meant when he claimed that he will be open to meeting with the public. He probably arrived late because the bus that brought him to Srinagar was late! there are so many possibilities. Maybe he wanted to ensure where Emperor Omar's house was so he could come back the next morning and be the first in line to be graced with his majesty Omar's presence. Too bad, that this person's one decision to think that Kashmiris and Indians are equal and can walk on Gupkar road without fear of reprisal from the trigger happy protectors of Emperor Omar, cost him his life. He should have known that in front of the barbaric Indian Army, all Kashmiris are presumed terrorists.

Another incident that should wake up all Kashmiris, who presumed wrongly that Omar is going to change things, is the lathi charge and beating up of Shias who were taking out the Muharram procession. Atleast 150 mourners were arrested and not less than 400 were severely injured. An 80 year old lady participating in this Moharram procession was also beaten up by the police. Omar duped all Kashmiris into beleiving that he will bring an end to the Indian oppressive policies in Kashmir. But how ironic that Kashmiris were taken for a ride. I will not be the one to gloat that the Hurriyat had warned the Kashmiri public that NC and Omar are mere puppets in the hands of the Indian opression machine. Why would their policies be any different than what we have already been experiencing for the past 20 years! (
please read the full story here)

If these incidents mark the first 48 hours of Omar taking over the reins of Indian rule in Kashmir, I cannot even fathom what tyranny Omar Abdullah has in store for us in the next six years!

1/5/09

News coverage about Jan 05

I feel it is quite interesting how the Indian media blacked-out news about the self-determination day protests even when the Turkish media reported about them!

Click on the following links to learn more..

1/1/09

Say 'no' to the fear-mongers

Isn't it time someone stood up to the fear-mongering pro-India parties? They would like us to be fearful of the 'might' of the Indian forces. These pro-India parties warn us that the sooner we toed the Indian diktat and behaved like subservient inhabitants of a captured colony, the sooner the number of Indian army personnel stationed in Kashmir will be brought down to ease our miseries caused by their unwelcome presence in our country. As if a reduction of a few thousand soldiers out of a million and a half Indian barbaric army would make much of a difference anyways.

They lecture us that the dream of self-determination is unachievable. Another example of fear-mongering; but look around the world. The world is full of examples of similar small countries who according to nay-sayers should never have attained their freedom or right of self-determination or referedum - whatever name you want to call this basic of democratic principles. East Timur, Kosovo, Quebec, Ireland, and yes, the ironic case of India's own independence from Britain.

What does it take to keep the flame of freedom burning in a Kashmiri's heart? A willingness to suffer the consequences rather than surrendering our basic right of freedom. A profound sense of obligation toward the 200, 000 brothers and sisters who sacrificed their lives for Kashmir. And when the challenge is hardest, when the Indian barbarians imprison the entire population of Kashmir for straight eight days, when they lock down the Jamia Masjid for four weeks , when they arrest, torture, and murder innocent freedom fighters just to break our will, and when the pro-India parties are shaking their heads and hoping we will finally cower and join them - to say, "No - India can go to hell".

Join your fellow countrymen and women in observing Self-determination Day on January 5th.