MUSLIM majority Kashmir’s demand for autonomy sends the perverse message that in secular India, Hindu-majority areas belong to everyone but Muslim-majority areas belong to Muslims only.
A few days after Pakistan-sponsored and Pakistan-funded stone-pelters began their violence in Kashmir, on August 10, 2010, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that the government would consider the demand for autonomy for Jammu & Kashmir if there was consensus among political parties on the issue.
Though its fuller integration with the rest of India, and not autonomy, is the solution for Kashmir; though autonomy for Kashmir would mean extending the frontiers of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Jammu & Kashmir, and open the floodgates for dismemberment of India; and though the said gift of autonomy defies the Indian Parliament’s unanimous Resolution passed on February 22, 1994 which declares Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India and demands vacation of Pak-occupied Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister has abjectly surrendered before pro-Pakistan elements in Kashmir and has proposed to gift what Pakistan could not grab through its various wars against India in 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and 1999.
It is shocking that Kashmir, the land of Maharishi Kashyap, Lalitaditya, Maharani Kota Rani and Kalhan; the cradle of Hindu civilisation and the land of ancient shrines of Amarnath, Shiva Temple (on Shankaracharya Hill), Kheer Bhawani and Sharada Peeth; and which used to be Hindu land with no Muslim presence till a few centuries ago, and which was ruled by Hindus and which defeated Muslim invaders heroically for many centuries has been made a Hindu-less region since Hindus have been driven out of Kashmir.
And now many Sikhs in Kashmir have received anonymous letters warning them to either embrace Islam or leave Kashmir.
One must remember that the violence in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored and Pakistan-funded; and is a part of Pakistan’s prolonged invasion of India through its terrorists and collaborators to grab Muslim majority Kashmir; and then to use it as a launch pad for eastward expansion of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Real power in Pakistan lies with its army which is anti-Hindu and anti-India; and which in collaboration with Bangladesh wants to destroy and dismember India by planting more Pakistans and Bangladeshs on Indian soil. In pursuit of this mission, Pakistan and Bangladesh have smuggled countless terrorists and crores of their nationals into India.
Pak-Bangla terrorism is the continuation of the same aggressive political ideology which brought countless invasions upon Bharat since Muhammad bin Qasim’s Arab army attacked Sindh in 711. And though Hindus fought bravely to defend themselves, they suffered the loss of millions of lives and plunder and destruction of thousands of temples during the repeated terrorist attacks over the centuries. Relentless Pak-Bangla terrorist attacks on India, including the last one in November, 2008 in Mumbai which claimed about 200 lives is a continuation of the same aggression.
And Islamic Republic of Bangladesh is extending its frontiers by infiltration of crores of Bangladeshi Muslims into neighbouring Indian states of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar.
Bharat Varsha comprising the present day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan and even Zabol in Iran was Hindu land with zero Muslim population till Muhammad bin Qasim’s Arab army attacked Sindh in 711. Despite fighting valiantly to defend themselves during repeated Muslim attacks for over a thousand years, Hindus lost areas now known as Afghanistan in 987, and Pakistan and Bangladesh to Muslims in 1947.
Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have been declared as Islamic Republics and have driven out most of Hindus and Sikhs from their land. However, in India, present percentage of Muslim population is much higher than that in 1947.
Continuing their attacks upon Hindu India, during 1980s and 1990s, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists killed thousands of Hindus in Kashmir and drove out several lakhs of terrorised Hindus to make Kashmir a Hindu-less region.
In a well-planned pogrom, pro-Pakistani outfits blared through loud speakers dire warnings throughout Kashmir to Hindus either to embrace Islam or to leave Kashmir. And they implemented their warnings by massacring thousands of Hindus in Kashmir. And since both the Central and State governments did nothing to stop the killings or bring the culprits to justice, several lakhs of terrorised Hindus, the original inhabitants of Kashmir who swear by India and its Constitution, were driven out of Kashmir.
Evicted from their homes, Kashmiri Hindus are living a wretched existence as refugees in their own country.
March of blunders
Much of the injury being suffered by India is self-inflicted since 1947, Indian government’s policy on Kashmir has been full of blunders. And many more blunders.
In 1947 with the creation of Pakistan, the rulers of princely states were given the choice to accede either to India or to Pakistan or to remain independent. After the creation of Pakistan, Kashmir was attacked by Pakistani forces, and Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of Jammu & Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1947 and Jammu & Kashmir acceded to India. Though Indian forces repulsed Pakistani attack on Kashmir, India made the blunder of approaching the United Nations in 1948, and when Indian forces were about to recapture the occupied Kashmir, India went for ceasefire leaving 40 per cent of the state’s territory with Pakistan. India is still paying for Jawahar Lal Nehru’s these blunders.
Though Indian Parliament’s unanimous Resolution passed on February 22, 1994 declares Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India and demands vacation of Pak-occupied Kashmir, India has not taken any action to get the Pakistani occupied Kashmir vacated.
Though Hindus have faced genocide and eviction from Kashmir, on April 7, 2005, UPA government launched the suicidal passport-less and visa-less Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus travel which is bringing more Pakistanis into India to wreak further havoc in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country.
And though Article 370 negates the very concept of one unified India, and though the Constitution framers had inserted Article 370 only as a “temporary provision regarding Jammu & Kashmir”, it survives even in 2010, 60 years after the Constitution came into effect in 1950, and has been made a permanent disability for India.
Article 370 has created vicious problems. Though Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India, it has its own Constitution and its own flag. Besides, no person from the rest of the country (including the President or Prime Minister of India) can purchase even one square inch of land there. Moreover, though any person from Jammu & Kashmir can reside and settle anywhere else in India, no person from rest of India can reside and settle in Jammu & Kashmir because of Article 370. Besides, many of the Central laws are not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
Since what India is facing is ‘war’ disguised as terrorism; India has to fight back and defeat the invaders. And pro-Pakistan and anti-national blackmailers in Kashmir must be confronted; and not appeased and pampered.
In order to save India, we have to save Kashmir. And we cannot save either without abrogating Article 370. Retaining Article 370 is suicidal and defies all logic.
Any demand of Kashmir autonomy is misconceived, and is tantamount to treason. And if this demand is entertained, it will open the floodgates for dismemberment of India. India must stop the self-destructive appeasement.
What Kashmir requires is not autonomy but deletion of Article 370; and complete and fuller integration of Kashmir with India in keeping with the unanimous February 22, 1994 Resolution of Indian Parliament which declares Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India and demands vacation of Pak-occupied Kashmir.
What Kashmir requires is the restoration of their homes, their lands and their temples to Kashmiri Hindus.
Abrogation of article 370 will lead to Jammu & Kashmir being treated like all other States of India; and will bring its complete and fuller integration with the rest of India which will enable every Indian to settle in Kashmir the way Kashmiri Muslims are settling in the rest of India.
What the entire nation including Kashmir requires is one constitution, one flag and one Bharat for which men like Shyama Prasad Mukherjee laid down their lives.
According to Barbara W. Tuchman, author of ‘The March of Folly’, the disasters of history are the result of the government’s folly and perverse persistence in pursuing the policies contrary to national interests.
Accordingly, to avoid further historical disasters, all nationalist individuals and organisations must become political, and force the ruling as also opposition political parties to take immediate steps to abrogate Article 370 for complete integration of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India.
(The writer is former Chief Commissioner of Income Tax and can be contacted at [email protected])