The recent stand of Congress and its other Muslim political allies on Amarnath Shrine land transfer issue has further augmented the fact that Hindus of Jammu & Kashmir are regarded as second class citizens.
Muslim dominated political forces, both mainstream and separatists, in their crusade to make Jammu & Kashmir an Islamic state have joined hands to work against Hindus.
The perfect example of it is the hue and cry raised in Muslim dominated Kashmir region over the allotment of 40 hectares of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), which till now was managing the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu holy cave shrine in south Kashmir. The responsibility of managing the yatra has been taken over by the state government since June 29, 2008. Prior to SASB'sformation in 2000, it was the government that was wholly responsible for making arrangements for the pilgrimage.
The Jammu & Kashmir government by its order on May 26, 2008 had allotted the 40 hectares of forest land in north Kashmir Baltal base camp area of the Amarnath Yatra to the SASB headed by state Governor for facilities of the pilgrims. At least 400,000 to 500,000 Hindus take the annual pilgrimage to Amarnath Shrine braving hard weather conditions.
Since the Amarnath pilgrimage started this year on June 18, some anti-national and anti-Hindu bodies in Kashmir began to spread the propaganda that structures on forest land proposed by SASB were a ploy to settle Hindus in Kashmir. This was a golden opportunity for all Kashmiri Muslim politicians to bake their political aspirations since elections are due in state later this year. From former Chief Minister Mufti Mohd. Sayeed of People Democratic Party (PDP), which was an ally to Ghulam Nabi Azad to National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, all openly joined hands with Kashmiri separatist groups in opposing the land transfer.
The Kashmir Valley has been witnessing violent protests since past 10 days against the land transfer. There have been documented evidences that PDP fluttered Pakistan flags and raised pro-Pakistan slogans during their protest rallies.
It must be mentioned here that several Kashmiri separatists, mainstream politicians and common Kashmiri Muslims have procured houses in Jammu while it is hard for Hindus to do the same in Kashmir.
Already, under a well planned conspiracy, Hindus from Kashmir have been ousted since 1990 making almost a thorough Muslim habitat. In addition as a part of a systematic plan of cleansing the Valley of any trace of Hinduism from the region, over 600 Hindu temples and shrines have been desecrated and destroyed.
The name of Hindu town Anantnag, housing several ancient Hindu temples and shrines, has been changed into Islamabad. PDP that ruled for three years with Congress seized the opportunity apparently to consolidate its Muslim vote bank which it desperately needs since it only has stronghold in Muslim dominated Kashmir with no seat from Hindu dominated Jammu region.
It also chose to join hands with Pakistan sponsored separatist groups to present it before the people as part of ?Indian design to change the demography of Kashmir?; besides pleading that the influx of pilgrims is damaging the already fragile ecology of the Valley.
Mehbooba Mufti on June 29 announced pulling out of the Ghulam Nabi Azad headed government.
The former CEO of SASB Arun Kumar became target of Kashmiri politicians after he spelled the beans at a press conference on June 17 at Srinagar that some politicians were playing ?communal politics? against the SASB and also dared to raise the issue that when ?nobody interferes? in the matters of Muslim religious body, the Waqf Board, why people chose to interfere into SASB'severy matter.
The PDP deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beg bugged with the daring CEO comments threatened to launch a protest claiming that ?Kashmiris by making an accession to India have not mortgaged their pride?.
Farooq Abdullah too keeping an eye on vote bank has also declared publicly that if voted to power, the party would withdraw the land transfer order that has created a dangerous situation. However, he had supported the land transfer to SASB when he was in Jammu.
Since Congress, PDP ruling state; there have been efforts to discourage Hindus from taking the pilgrimage. In 2004, the SASB, headed by the then Governor, Lt. Gen. S.K. Sinha (retd), planned an extension of the pilgrimage to 90 days, which was opposed by the then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. A compromise was however reached to extend to 45 days to take in the auspicious full moon in August.
Meanwhile, BJP along with other nationalist organisations has come openly against government seeking the transfer of land to SASB. Protests and shut down continue in all parts of Jammu region against latest decision of new Governor N.N Vohra to forgo claim on land.
Shri Ashok Khajuria, BJP state president said, ?It was no surprise as how Congress government led by Azad succumbed to pressure by its ally, PDP and other Muslim forces backed down the land deal. Congress has the history of betraying the Hindus. We would continue to strive hard to fight against such forces with anti-Hindu mind.? The state VHP president Ramakant Dubey also said, ?The whole fiasco was an insult to Hindus. The Muslim politicians have shown that they care for the Islamic jehadists, the so-called separatists in Kashmir, at the cost of Hindu dignity.?