As per Frederick Douglass, ?The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.? India'sconsistent policy of appeasement and of surrendering before its tormentors has resulted in genocide and eviction of Hindus from Kashmir.
It is tragic that Kashmir, the land of Maharishi Kashyap, Lalitaditya, Kota Rani, Abhinavagupta and Kalhan; the cradle of Vedic heritage; and which was Hindu land with no Muslim presence, and which defeated Muslim invaders heroically for many centuries has been made a Hinduless region.
And to compound Hindu humiliation and disgrace, allotment of 40 hectares of forest land in May 2008 to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to provide temporary shelter for pilgrims visiting Amarnath shrine in Kashmir has been cancelled by the government on July 1, 2008 due to violent protests from Kashmiri Muslims who celebrated the cancellation as a ?great victory?.
Kashmiri Muslim leaders have opposed the allotment of land to Amarnath Shrine Board on the absurd ground that it is a conspiracy to reduce the Muslims to a minority in Kashmir. Stiff opposition to the said land allotment by Muslim majority Kashmir sends the perverse message that in secular India, Hindu majority areas belong to everyone but Muslim majority areas belong to Muslims only.
Amarnath cave, the abode of Lord Shiva, is one of the oldest and most important Hindu pilgrimage centres. It is situated at an altitude of about 4000 metres in Kashmir. It is mentioned in ancient texts; and dates back to thousands of years.
Sinister and self-defeating
Article 370 of Indian Constitution negates the very concept of one united India. This Article is responsible for genocide and eviction of Hindus from Kashmir, as also for Muslim separatism.
During 1980s and 1990s, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists killed thousands of Hindus in Kashmir, and drove out several lakhs of terrorised Hindus from Kashmir; and made Kashmir a Hinduless region. Successive governments have done nothing to rehabilitate Hindus in Kashmir; and to punish their tormentors.
Though the unanimous February 22, 1994 resolution of Indian Parliament declares Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India and demands vacation of Pak-occupied Kashmir, special status conferred on Muslim majority Jammu & Kashmir by Article 370 has created vicious problems.
Though Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India, even the President and Prime Minister of India cannot purchase even an inch of land in Jammu & Kashmir because of Article 370. Moreover, though any person from Jammu & Kashmir can settle anywhere in the rest of India, no person from rest of the country can settle in Jammu & Kashmir because of Article 370. Besides, many Central laws are not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir. This Article limits the President and Parliament'spowers over Jammu & Kashmir. And being an outsider, even the Governor has no right to vote in Jammu & Kashmir.
Though Article 370 was inserted as a ?temporary provision? in the Constitution in 1950, it survives even now.
And opposition to land allotment for Hindu pilgrims is the latest reward of this provision.
Most of the Kashmiri Muslims treat J&K as an Islamic State in a ?secular? India, and treat Hindu pilgrims to Amarnath as tresspassers. Kashmiri Muslims opposed this allotment of land since it was meant to provide shelters for Hindu pilgrims. The government capitulated before the violent protestors and revoked the allotment. This outrageous action shows pathetic plight of Hindus in their own country.
Though ?secularism? implies separation of religion and State, and though a ?secular? State cannot reward or punish the people on the basis of their religious affiliation, ?secularism? practised in India means anti-Hinduism.
With sub-zero temperatures, heavy rains and stormy weather during Amarnath pilgrimage, some basic facilities like shelters for the pilgrims on way to shrine are a must. The holy cave is accessible only during a short duration every year. Due to lack of basic amenities, hundreds of pilgrims died in a snow storm during this pilgrimage in 1996. Besides, many Amarnath pilgrims have been attacked and killed by terrorists in Kashmir.
Fallacious pretensions advanced by Kashmiri leaders that the said lease of land would change the demography and ?eco-cultural character? of the state are absurd. It is ludicrous to imagine that provision of temporary shelters to Amarnath pilgrims would reduce Muslims to a minority in Kashmir, or would destroy the environment. On the contrary, genocide and eviction of Hindus has made Kashmir a Hinduless region.
Opposition to allotment of land for Hindu pilgrims is described by Kashmiri leaders as ?Kashmiri nationalism? thereby implying that Kashmir is meant only for Muslims.
Most of Kashmiri leaders support pro-Pakistan demands like joint Indo-Pak control of Kashmir, demilitarisation of Jammu & Kashmir, legalising Pakistani currency and open borders.
Facilities for Haj pilgrims
Compare the Hindu pilgrims? pathetic plight with the amenities provided by Central and State Governments to Indian Haj pilgrims.
Indian government provides substantial subsidy to Muslims for Haj though even none of the 57 Muslim countries gives any such subsidy. Delhi airport has a separate Haj terminal. And there is a separate Haj cell in the Ministry of External Affairs. And many state governments have got Haj houses built on land provided by state governments. And Indian government ensures proper accommodation and safety of Indian Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Special teams of doctors, nurses and Haj officers are sent from India to Saudi Arabia to take proper care of Indian Haj pilgrims.
In contrast, Hindus have been denied even temporary shelters to save them from heavy rain and snow when they visit their holy places in their own country.
Shocking message from Kashmir deserves a deterrent and resolute response. Being a part of secular India, Kashmir cannot be just for Muslims.
The blunders of retaining Article 370 in the constitution, and not punishing the criminals who killed thousands of Hindus and drove out lakhs of Hindus from Kashmir, are responsible for the catastrophe called ?Kashmiri nationalism?.
Daily Pak-Bangla terrorist and demographic invasion of India shows India'spathetic plight. To save truncated India from demolition and dismemberment, Hindus have to discard their conceptual confusion and dream world; and become active and assertive.
Deplorable situation must be redeemed at the earliest. Lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus who have been driven out of Kashmir, must be rehabilitated in Kashmir; and their homes, lands, properties and places of worship be restored to them. Besides, since too much fraud has been perpetrated in the name of fake ?secularism?, Article 370 must be deleted to enable Indians from the rest of India to settle in Kashmir the way Kashmiri Muslims are permitted to settle in the rest of India. After these measures are taken, no one will have the audacity to attack Hindu pilgrims or sabotage Hindu pilgrimages in Kashmir.
Much of the injury Hindus are suffering is self-inflicted because of their capitulation before their tormentors. They must remember shloka number 2.3 of Bhagvad Gita and fight for justice through all peaceful, constitutional and lawful means, ?Klaibyam ma sama gamah Partha naitatava yupapadyate / Khshudram hrudaya dourbalyam tayaktvo uttishtha prantapa? (O Partha, do not yield to weakness. It is not worthy of you to yield to weakness. O scorchers of foes, shake off faint-heartedness, and get up).
(Author is former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and can be contacted at [email protected])