Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
All strenuous efforts by Indian government and its hardcore Hindutva based media to somehow secure peace in the troubled Kashmir region have not yielded any fruit, nor they made an impact on the world as India is increasingly failing to assure even a symbolically peaceful situation.
Today, Kashmir struggle is being led by the youth with a vision of sovereignty for their nation from the neighboring occupiers.
The world community is not impressed by the military terrorism in occupied Jammu Kashmir. The world now also knows that Pakistan fights not for Kashmiris but for their lands to be incorporated into its troubled territories. Had Pakistan (and China) sincerely sought freedom and sovereignty for Kashmir, probably Kashmir would have been a reality long ago. UNSC plays casually because of the game plan by Indo-Sino-Pakistani projects in Kashmir.
India is firm that unless Kashmiris, including the ruling Kashmiri parties like National Conference and PDP, etc., jointly demand sovereignty back from India, there is no need to take the struggle seriously and let the military boys deal with those who embarrass India at UN and other international summits.
India obviously expects total submission from Muslims either in India or in Kashmir which is claimed by both India and Pakistan as their integral part, and hence the LOC between them remains a terror spot for both militaries. Kashmiris are the target of their terror operations like crossfires, etc.
Thus far only the Hurriyat groups demand freedoms, but they also confused the world by their double speaks about the status of future Jammu Kashmir as they say Kashmir would be a part of Pakistan. But such statements are treated in India as non-serious utterances. Perhaps Hurriyat appeases Pakistan for its continuous support for Kashmiri cause and also the fear that Pakistan might not appreciate if they ask for sovereignty directly to be able to make a sovereign home for themselves. In fact, Pakistan fights for Kashmir lands and wants to make Kashmir a part of Pakistan after merging it first with Azad Kashmir.
Terror pellets from military
Only recently struggle for freedom has become mass based as the youth leads the struggle from the front, willing to sacrifice their valuable lives for the sake of Kashmir. Although the PDP led government has not passed any resolution in the state assembly endorsing the sovereignty struggle in Kashmir leading to unrest situation, their tacit support for freedom is a foregone conclusion but they are scared of fall out of that action if they pass a resolution as New Delhi would remove the government and put the state under governor rule. However, tacit support is not considered by India as a serious threat to their military rule in that border state.
The Supreme Court on October 04 expressed shock at an affidavit filed by Jammu and Kashmir’s top lawyers’ body listing the accession of Kashmir to India, “rigged” elections and the “catch-and-kill” policy of security personnel as “historical reasons” behind the street violence and protests in the Valley. The court was hearing the arguments by the J&K High Court Bar Association, which has filed a PIL petition for a ban on pellet guns.
The court pointed out that the petition filed by the association dealt with the extensive use of pellet guns by security forces for “crowd control.” However, the affidavit filed by the lawyers’ body accuses the accession of the state, rigging of polls in the state and the measures are taken to subdue protests as “historical reasons,” it said.
In fact, it was Chief Justice Dipak Misra’s bench that took strong exception to Jammu and Kashmir high court bar association’s affidavit questioning the state’s accession to India and said it’s a mistake that the Supreme Court had asked reasons for protests in Kashmir.
The lawyers of Jammu Kashmir have come out in support for the struggle for sovereignty and questioned the rationale of the accession of Kashmir to India without the consent of the people. They have also challenged the state high court’s order refusing to ban the use of pellet guns against the defenseless Kashmiris. Extensive use of pellets on agitators led to scores of youngsters losing eyesight permanently; the association has placed before the SC. Association president advocate Abdul Qayoom said the affidavit was filed “in response to the court’s keenness to know why the people were protesting.” “Therefore, we pointed out the historical facts,” the lawyer said.
The Supreme Court expressed shock at an affidavit filed by Jammu and Kashmir’s top lawyers’ body listing the accession of Kashmir to India, “rigged” elections and the “catch-and-kill” policy of security personnel as “historical reasons” behind the street violence and protests in the Valley. “If this court wanted to know the reasons for stone-pelting and protests, then it’s a mistake,” Justice Misra said when the association justified the contents of its affidavit. Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar were the other members. “We are slightly shocked at the affidavit. How is it relevant to your appeal here?” the court asked from the association, which has challenged the state high court’s order refusing to ban the use of pellet guns.
The lawyers submitted that the affidavit was filed in the apex court itself had asked them to give a background to the continued protests. “We don’t want any adjudication on this issue. If we had asked you to file an affidavit, then it is a mistake on our part. It is not relevant to this petition,” Chief Justice Misra responded.
Earlier, on April 28, a bench headed by then Chief Justice JS Khehar had asked the association to initiate a roadmap to end violence and bring normalcy in the state. The bar defended the stand taken after solicitor general Ranjit Kumar objected to the affidavit’s maintainability. “They have questioned the accession of the J&K to India. This affidavit has no connection with the issue raised in the appeal,” he said.
The court did not accept the association’s request to refer the matter back to the HC in the wake of a fresh standard operating procedure the Centre has laid down for the use of pellets. It has fixed January 18 for final hearing.
The Indian government, represented by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, urged the court to dismiss the association’s petition, arguing it was not maintainable. Kumar submitted that association crossed the boundaries of their petition with their affidavit which blames the accession of the State to India. “They say every poll since 1947 was rigged and that a catch-and-kill policy is adopted,” Kumar submitted. The court posted the case for hearing on January 18.
Having assailed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the “mess” in the economy, BJP veteran leader Yashwant Sinha attacked the government on the Kashmir imbroglio, insisting “India has lost people of the valley emotionally.”
Sense of dismay, despondency in Jammu Kashmir
Continued militarization of Kashmir is being criticized world over by India ignores all such concerns and focuses on fake encounters to kill and terrorize Kashmiris even India and Pakistan keep firing bullets across the LOC, keeping Kashmiris in a state of perpetual tension.
India and its core media lords play havoc with the psyche of the ordinary Indians and Kashmiris. Though badly shattered by the continued agitations of Kashmiris against militarization and for sovereignty, India pretends everything is well in Kashmir as long as an “elected” pro-India – now BJP led – the government is in place in Srinagar.
Criticism of Indian state terror techniques in Kashmir by Pakistan has its limitations because it also has a hidden agenda in Kashmir. The struggle of Kashmiris has not yet forced New Delhi to take the call and end the crisis in Kashmir by amicably agreeing for sovereignty for Jammu Kashmir to let Kashmiris live in peace and prosperity.
India cannot argue that there would be regional peace and stability even after the Jammu Kashmir become a sovereign nation once again after several decades of being part of India, Pakistan, and China. USA argues it won’t dismantle the notorious NATO because there could be more threats to them even after removing the NATO from the scene. That is a stupid argument.
That requires real statesmanship and honesty that is lacking in New Delhi which only is interested in offering prestigious national awards to cricketers and other entertainers in appreciation of their ability to fix matches for 100s and 50s and sue corporate media to promote their causes.
India doesn’t think defense forces deserve such top medals more than the mere entertainers who mint huge money and promote gambling in black money and money laundering through IPL etc. They exist to mint money and why should government waste the national awards on them when IPL lords like Vijay Mallya is still without Bharatratna as his birthright for promoting liquor business and cricket?
Maybe Indian regime is seriously thinking about offering his top national award to Mallya as well -who knows?
Interestingly, hardly any high profile Indian has ever supported the legitimate demands of Kashmiris who want to be independent. Former Finance cum Home Minister P. Chidambaram did make efforts to settle the issue in favor of Kashmir, but the Congress government was unwilling for any such significant concessions to Kashmiris. As the cause of the crisis in Kashmir, Congress Party is eager to retain the stolen property called Jammu Kashmir. As Chidambaram was pushing ahead with talks with Kashmiris, an impression was created that very soon there would be regional peace. But the Congress party and government undid everything.
Today, another high profile politician of India the former Union minister Yashwant Sinha of BJP criticized negative attitude of Indian government against Kashmiris making them anti-India and pro-Pakistan. The outspoken leader has also criticized the Modi government for the sliding Indian economy. PM Modi and finance minister Jaitley have been assuring the people that Indian economy is surging after the Modi government took charge. Sinha is being criticized by the BJP leaders for his criticism of BJP’s economic policy. His critique of BJP’s directionless economics has left PM Modi, and the BJP embarrassed.
Sinha debunked claims by several BJP leaders and ministers, including his son Jayant, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, that the government has made massive structural changes which will help the economy in the long run.
Sinha claimed on Sep 05 2017 Mudra scheme set up to provide funding to non-corporate, non-farm sector income generating activities of micro and small enterprises, was another name for the Pradhan Mantri Swarozgar Yojana launched by the Vajpayee government. He said the average loan in these accounts was a meager Rs 11,000. “And you tell me, what kind of business can be set up with 25,000 rupees, Rs 50,000. The party president said that all these 80 million people today are self-employed which means we have created 80 million job opportunities. This is untenable,” he said.
India is just for name sake talks about reforms in Kashmir. Sinha termed as “exaggerated claims” the success of the various reforms and schemes undertaken by the government like the Mudra Bank. “I am looking at the alienation of the masses of people in Jammu and Kashmir. That is something which bothers me the most… We have lost the people emotionally… You just have to visit the valley to realize that they have lost faith in us,” Sinha said.
Kashmir valley is now a military apparatus for New Delhi. Sinha leads a civil society organization — Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) — which has visited the troubled Valley several times and interacted with various stakeholders to explore the possibility of finding a lasting solution to the seven-decades-old problem. The group comprises eminent people from different walks of life like Justice (retd) AP Shah, former Mumbai police commissioner JF Ribeira, Wajahat Habibullah, former RAW chief A S Dulat, Aruna Roy and Ramchandra Guha.
Sinha claimed he has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue 10 months ago and was “hurt” as it did not materialize. The BJP government just follows the Congress path. “I am hurt. I am hurt. That you ask for time, ten months have gone by…Let me tell you, ever since I have been in public life, no prime minister of India, starting with Rajiv Gandhi, has ever said no to a meeting I have sought… no prime minister has said to Yashwant Sinha, ‘I don’t have time for you.’ “And this is my prime minister who has treated me like this. So if somebody rings me and says, please come talk to me—sorry, the time has passed… I have been treated shabbily,” he said.
Sinha also took on Finance Minister Jaitley for suggesting that his shifting from the finance to external affairs ministry when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister was a “demotion.” “How can (Jaitley) say that shifting from the ministry of finance to external affairs was a demotion for me? … If Jaitley with the same stroke wants to say that Sushma Swaraj, the external affairs minister of today, is handling an insignificant portfolio, nobody is going to believe it.”PM Modi has taken away the portfolio of Defense from Jaitley and made Nirmala Sitaraman the new Defence minister.
After a three-day visit to the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir, a group of eminent citizens, led by ex-minister Yashwant Sinha has concluded that the sense of “dismay and despondency” had grown among the people and the situation was “much worse” than their previous visits.
In a release, the Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) has said that during its visit to the state on 17-19 August, they met with some representatives of prominent political parties, office-bearers of the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association, civil society members from Srinagar, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama, and Kupwara in North Kashmir. They also met with college students who also spearhead the agitation. “The most disquieting conclusion of the interactions this time around was that as compared to the previous visits, the sense of dismay and despondency in the people had grown,” the group said.
They said the proximate reasons for this not only seemed to be the “lack” of dialogue with the Kashmiris but also because tourism had plummeted, hotel business was in dire straits, there was a flight of capital and an overall economic downturn leading to higher unemployment and economic distress.
The CCG had visited the Valley several times during the unrest last year. “The situation this time around was much worse than the previous two years,” the release said quoting the third report of the Concerned Citizens Group (CCG).
The group said the distance between rest of India and the Kashmiri youths seems to have “increased.” This was evident in the fact that even the people who used to talk reasonably earlier were using “the language of the militants and separatists this time.”
Sinha, a BJP veteran leader, was the Minister of Finance and External Affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. PM Modi ignored him.
Sinha’s humanistic remarks on the plight of Kashmiris are timely, and the Modi government should be smart enough to take the call , talk to the Kashmiri freedom groups- British government did speak to MK Gandhi among other topfreedom leaders, to find a lasting solution.
India should adopt the British path of letting the Kashmiris get back their sovereignty. Once India makes up it mind, Pakistan would have no other option than accepting the reality of sovereign Kashmir. A new era of peace and stability would dawn in the region.
Earlier the better for both India and Kashmir as well as the South Asia region!
Occupation and perpetual crimes as part of colonialism are not right in any decent modern nation today.
Will PM Modi and BJP rise above petty politicking for Hindu vote banks and take the firm decision of sovereignty for Kashmir region?