Dust of the land embodying embers of Chinar, impossible not to retain the sacred flame.
The most powerful force in the world today is neither communism, nor capitalism, neither the H bomb nor the guided missiles. It is man´s eternal desire to be free and independent. President John F. Kennedy (1957)
Dalits and Kashmiri Muslims - Similarities
Dalits traditionally branded as impure and conveniently type-cast as chamars, latrine and sewer cleaners and not allowed to socialise or be a part of Hindu society. An accidental bodily contact with upper castes can seriously go wrong for Dalits. Mahatma Gandhi preferred to call them Harijan (the people of god). Dalits developed an allergy and hatred with this sinister conspiracy as sincerity of Gandhi became a question mark. The question raised was, an objection, the way Dalits were given a different name to identify them differently for all times to come. The question asked was; why couldn’t they simply be called and accepted as Hindus like other Hindus?
Not in the distant past, the news of dead dogs being thrown in the wells owned by generally suppressed Dalits in South Delhi was reported and for many quarters it was not a surprise. The memories are still fresh with India´s erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Babu Jagjivan Ram´s visit to Birla Mandir when the temple was thoroughly washed and cleaned; an insult in a brazen manner to the visiting dignitary. There are unending stories that are recorded to depict the atrocities committed on weak, poverty stricken Dalits from times immemorial and even continue today in twenty first century suffering humiliation at the hands of upper-caste privileged Brahmans.
Late Bhim Rao Ambedkar, reverently and popularly known as Baba Saheb, father of Indian constitution, was influenced by Buddhism and embraced the new faith after disillusionment with caste-system and other inequalities in Hinduism. Baba Saheb was grieved to see his people in deprivation living a life in humiliation below subsistence level and not even able to dream of getting basic education as learning was a reserved prerogative of the upper castes. Though now Dalits perform in an outstanding manner in all fields of education and are spread throughout the world.
Since October 26, 1947 Kashmiris have been pressing hard to impress upon India to heed their cries to restore them their legitimate rights. In this connection, Kashmiris initially started of their struggle peacefully represented by their leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who chose to be a friend of Pandit Nehru expecting him to be a trusted friend who promised him in private and in public on several occasions to respect the rights of Kashmiris and safeguard the right to be an independent nation like it existed before 1947. But that was not to be and people came on the roads to fight with bricks and stones resulting in the death of nearly fifteen hundred people on August 9, 1953. People were crushed with an iron hand and powers that be managed to impose governments of puppets from New Delhi giving them power through rigged elections.
The story continued till October 1989 when people resorted to violence picking up guns and getting training in handling arms from across cease-fire line that again resulted in the death of more than one hundred thousand men, women and children, rapes, disappearances, random killings in torture chambers. This all was done with the help and disinformation campaign led by elite class of Kashmiri Pandits who initially fed Nehru with wrong information and misled him in believing that 4% Kashmiri Pandits would not be safe if India did not occupy Kashmir.
In this fight India also lost an estimated twenty five thousand army men and officers. It is worth noting that the army men who died in the fight, a majority of them, unfortunately, were Dalits who were used to face the brunt of war as these people were thought to be dispensable.
Gandhi was a so called high caste. High castes represent a small minority in India, some 10% of the population, yet dominate Indian society in much the same way whites ruled South Africa during the official period of Apartheid. Dalits often use the phrase Apartheid in India when speaking about their problems.”
Kashmiri Muslims are considered impure and low-caste; referred to using a derogatory term as mussarman though Pandits living amongst them for centuries have not intriguingly learnt the name to be spelt and pronounced as Mussalman. If any Muslim inadvertently walks into their lodgings; the action is considered blasphemous and the whole lodging has to be cleaned and made pure by disinfectant water mixed with cow dung and urine.
Kashmiri Muslims believe that they lived in darkness and centuries back in 1372 A.D. Abdul Rehman known as Bulbul Shah and later Mir Syed Ali Hamadani, Sufi Saints of Iraq with their spiritual and intellectual powers converted the Kashmir king Rinchen followed by a huge majority of Pandits to Islam. These Sufi Saints were armed with a Staff and accompanied by few disciples. All Sufi Saints of Kashmir are held in very high esteem by Muslims and Pandits alike. Kashmiri Muslims are known for Kashmiriat that includes communal harmony. During and after transfer of power to India from British, the sub-continent was on fire and both Muslims and Hindus were engaged in a bloodbath. Kashmir was busy marching on the roads in Kashmir with simulation guns made of timber to chant slogans “hamla awar khabardar, hum Kashmiri hein tayaar” protecting their 4% minority Hindu community.
Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah an M.SC. Graduate from Aligarah revered and then popularly known as Sheri Kashmir gave a hope to his people by befriending Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who promised him and people of Kashmir a right to live a life free of subjugation and bondage. History had something else in store for Kashmir and Pandit Nehru taking a somersault betrayed his bosom friend to create a history of conflict.
Sheikh Abdullah mesmerised by Pandit Nehru kept people sedated and most importantly to save 4% Pandits from any invisible harm. In comparison, Jammu beyond Udhampur was committing crimes against humanity to indulge in a massacre that saw two hundred thousand Muslims butchered by Dogra Rajputs assisted by Maharaja Hari Singh’s army. Kashmir housing good human beings kept its tradition of good human values. It did not take long for Pandit Ji to give measure by measure to Sheikh putting him behind bars for years on several times till Sheikh died a political death.
Pandit Nehru, as is believed, was initially inclined to help Sheikh Abdullah fulfil his dream but the caucus of priviledged Kashmiri Pandits reminded Nehru of the duty towards his fellow Pandits to save them from annihilation at the hands of Kashmiri Muslims. Nehru listened and fell a prey to the intrigues of Pandits rather than respect heart to heart talk he had with his friend Sheikh Abdullah who had demonstrated to the world at large that he was a secular leader who guaranteed the safety and rights of all minorities which he had proved to the world by action and deeds.
One hundred percent white collar jobs of the Babu culture were and are monopolised by Pandits and one hundred percent municipality jobs like cleaning latrines, sewers, lanes and roads reserved for Kashmiri Muslims. Learning was the birth right of Pandits and Muslims, though in majority, were to serve Pandits and their families. Muslims at the moment are spread throughout the world doing wonderfully well in education, business and all fields of science and technology. The State of Kashmir had a few battalions of its army which after occupation were merged with Indian army. With the passage of time, in 1962 war with China; all these Kashmiri battalions were consumed on NEFA border fighting Chinese with not a word mentioned anywhere.
Gandhi obtained the cure for his anxiety, but the people of Kashmir have suffered anxiety ever since. Gandhi, the man of peace, brought misery to the men of Kashmir.
G. N. Fai of Kashmiri American Council who is being silenced in a bizzare manner is reportedly a conspiracy hatched by Indian RAW (Reasearch & Analysis Wing) seeking help from its new masters to put Kashmir again on back burner to gain time.
India, in the past, very cleverly, used erstwhile Soviet Union´s veto power to thwart all attempts by United Nations through its various Resolutions to allow people of Kashmir a plebiscite to choose their political future. This action has always been scuttled by India using brute military force to subjugate people against their will.
More than one hundred thousand men, women and children have been killed in a matter of 22 years (Indian official figure is seventy thousand Muslims dead). Scores of women raped; billions worth of property burnt and razed to break the will of Kashmiri people and the process is on unabated.
In the recent past, the reference to Kashmir by OIC as occupied territory caused a ripple effect in India and a statement or two on the highest level sufficed to calm the situation to follow the policy of appeasement coinciding the visit of Madam Clinton followed by a visit of Ms Khar, foreign Minister of Pakistan.
The Kazakhstan meet had its symbolisms allowing, at least, to create an awareness to tell half of the world about Indian democracy that is on display in Kashmir. Not that the other half does not know what is happening but this other half has its palm greased on all occasions and then why not, all are in business.
OIC (Orgarization of Islamic Conference) reference to Kashmir as an independent nation was well timed, as it knows the historical fact, that Kashmir has been an independent nation before Indian occupation having its constitution, two houses of parliament and its own army of the King Yousuf Shah Chak or the Dogra rulers down the line to Maharaja Hari Singh. In comparison, independent India had its constitution drafted much later in early fifties by Dalit leader Baba Sahib Ambedkar.
Freedom fighters of Kashmir are referred to by India as terrorists and separatists in the same manner as British called Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev as terrorists and separatists having the same label. Kashmir has had a long history of betrayals and the last one, in a crafty manner, was offered by Pandit Nehru in 1947 using the services rendered by Mountbattens, Dwarkanath Kachru, V P Menon, Mehr Chand Mahajan assisted, abetted and helped by a caucus of elite Kashmiri Pandit bureaucrats.
India, generally, quotes examples of Muslim countries devoid of democratic system of government to justify its actions as a viable democracy and we have seen this democracy working vis a vis Muslims of Meerut, Jabalpur, Aligarah, Thana Bhiwindi, Jaipur, Christian belt of North-East, Naxalites, Maoists, Assam, Modi´s Gujarat and above all razed Babri Masjid to satisfy sentimental Hindu mythological nostalgia.
Kashmiris visiting abroad have no alternative but to travel on Indian passports out of compulsion, in the same manner Gandhi travelled to South Africa as an employee of Abdullah Seth or Nehru and all other Indians who travelled on British Indian passports. Kashmiri Muslims travelling in and out of Kashmir have huge stories to tell about the hardship and treatment meted out to them at India High Commissions and Consulates, by its biased staff.
India´s military machine has led to arrogance for some to even brag about a dressing down formulae to intimidate and browbeat OIC members but the saner elements do realize that India needs oil and gas to carry on living in the world like any other nation to survive and cannot afford adventures or political jingoism.
An impression is created that a small minority of people in Kashmir ask for independence and majority like to stay with India and if this is the reality then India must not lose this opportunity and allow Kashmir to hold a plebiscite under international supervision so that Kashmir becomes Indian property lock, stock and barrel.
PAKISTAN: THE ENEMY WITHIN
Democracy, generally believed, is the right answer to achieve progress, deliver justice and allow basic fundamental & human rights but the concept needs to be understood and then implemented in its right perspective. People, in the Indian sub-continent, voted in through free and fair or rigged elections unfortunately misunderstand the purpose and misuse the position to become a law unto them.
Pakistan has gone through many political upheavals since its inception and the country´s history tells us that "democratically elected" governments have been disillusionment, betrayal resulting in loot, plunder, nepotism and widespread corruption. That does not mean the dictatorships for rest of the period depict a rosy picture but in comparison army rules, as widely agreed upon, gave Pakistan some stability.
The role played by India was instrumental in creating an independent nation of Bangladesh through pumped in resources, physical military intervention, and planned hijacking drama to stop air-traffic between East & West Pakistan with a resultant scenario of ninety thousand Pakistani POWs. All this could have been avoided to keep the country united if Z A Bhutto had shown far-sightedness, patriotism, and statesmanship by allowing Mujeeb-ur-Rahman’s overwhelming majority head the government of united Pakistan. Observers believe that Bhutto later paid the price for betraying his own country. Shah Nawaz Bhutto getting ´Z´ security while enjoying stay with his pal Sanjay Gandhi shared his bedroom for months at PM Indra Gandhi’s residence 1 Safdarjung road, New Delhi at a time when Pakistan had no diplomatic relations with India.
Aftermath of Indian army´s storming of Harminder Sahib in Golden Temple Complex resulted in tens of thousands of martyred Sikhs turning the uprising into an independence movement of Khalistan. Pakistan´s The News reported that Prime Minister Benazeer Bhutto prepared a list of Sikhs fighting Indian army and asked her minister Aitzaz Ahsan to forward it to Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was a matter of days that thousands of Sikhs were rounded up from their hideouts and slain in cold blood.
India´s erstwhile Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral is on record having said (December 1998 in a meeting at Dhaka) that "Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif handed me a secret report about covert activities of Kashmiri militants operating in Indian Occupied Kashmir”. The uprising in Kashmir cost more than one hundred thousand lives, thousands disappeared, unspecified number of rapes and billions worth property razed. Jung in its report on October 28, 1999 says " Gujral revealed stunning details about how close former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family were to him and how the depth of their friendship reflected on India-Pakistan bilateral ties while the two were in power.
The Lahore Declaration signed by Prime Ministers Nawaz Shari & Atal Bihari Vajpayee notably stresses on Simla Agreement in letter & spirit an accord that binds Pakistan to maintain a status quo on Kashmir. Further it mentions to intensify efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu & Kashmir. Since the times Kashmir was occupied India, for international consumption, talks about peace and settlement of Kashmir issue but whenever under international pressure India agrees to discuss, it asks Pakistan to handover the areas of Kashmir under Pakistan’s control creating a deadlock sending the parties back to square one. But the fact remains that Simla agreement or any other declaration between India & Pakistan have no bearing on Kashmir imbroglio as Kashmir is an internationally accepted political problem and needs a solution as per the wish of Kashmiris who own the land.
May – June 2014
Only a day earlier of Nawaz Sharif´s surprise visit to India on the oath ceremony of New Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi had lashed out on his Pakistani counterpart even teaching his country a lesson. A day later Pakistani PM’s visit was termed as "an historical event as both prime ministers sought reconciliation and plans to move forward in peace". Now warmly received sworn enemy turned everything hunky dory promising “good relations” promoting trade, cultural relations and a special preference to put Kashmir on the back burner. Since then PM Modi, many believe, has extended a helping hand to PM Sharif to ward off internal pressure as a result of perpetual head on collision with his own army and majority of electorate of Pakistan.
Politics is a very funny game and Dr Tahirul Qadri, an Islamic scholar, a new political entrant, observers believe, lacks experience to understand the nitty-gritty of political gamesmanship. The silent majority of Pakistan, believing religiously in Allama´s sincerity of purpose, extends unswerving support for a mission that under the prevailing circumstances is considered a dire need for putting Pakistan bank on the track. Allama proved to be a huge crowd puller and that too in Nawaz Sharif Muslim league’s political domain and all his statements quite clearly expose vulnerability that threatens Punjab Doyen’s unnerving political Sultanate.
In the TV talk shows and in the country´s controversial parliament a unified stand is taken by ruling and main opposition parties harping on election through ballot provided in the prevailing democratic system stressing on the only way to solve the political tangle. Allama reiterating his plea that he does not want to derail the democratic system or any attempt to subvert 1973 Constitution but wants to flush out the forces who for 65 years managed to exploit political power and usurp the rights of people of Pakistan. As it seems Allama has not, except people’s visible mass support, found any takers for his proposals in the spectrum of deep rooted political hierarchies of Pakistan.
Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan miraculously managed to convert his Pakistan Tahreek Insaf (PTI) Party into a formidable political force and challenged the ruling elite with allegations of mass rigging through corruption in the last elections. Khan alleges that his mandate to rule the country was stolen and after knocking all the doors to seek justice is now forced to come on the roads to protest. Though Dr. Tahirul Qardi and Imran Khan have the same agenda of demands but still insist on keeping their political identities apart. The two pronged attack of the political duo has brought the government machinery to a grinding halt and the dedication with commitment shown by the supporters running in tens of thousands has rung alarm bells in the corridors of power in the Pakistani capital.
The political pundits while showing apprehensions for adverse political developments in Pakistan are more worried for the tensions created on the ceasefire line in Kashmir at a time when internal political uncertainty has peaked and Pakistan army is faced with a responsibility unprecedented. The murky political situation, economy in shambles and emerged fifth column bent on destabilising Pakistan creates a difficult situation for army and keeps it guessing what to do next.
American philosopher Noam Chomsky describes Capitalism as having no heart, no soul and no conscience. All capitalists are fundamentally interested in one freedom and that is freedom to rob. Capitalism's most powerful weapon is Democracy as it allows it to acquire control of the intelligentsia and bureaucratic cadres of the society. Freedom of Expression is the most deceitful myth of Capitalism and so called media is controlled by capitalistic mindset exploiting and using the talent of celebrated stars of the freedom of expression.
CREDIBILITY OF "INCREDIBLE INDIA"
International Forum for Justice and Human Rights:
- 5084 people have been arrested
- 500 have been detained under (Public Safety Act)
- 30 schools have been set ablaze in last five months
- 250 to 275 militants operating in the Valley
Benazeer Bhutto for some unknown reasons helped India to crush Khalistan movement which unfortunately resulted in genocide committed by India in Indian Punjab. Ms Bhutto chose to hand over all the files of Sikh militants fighting for independent Khalistan.
During General Zia-ul-Haq´s rule when India and Pakistan had no diplomatic relations, Shahnawaz Bhutto was seen busy shopping in Delhi´s Connaught Place escorted by Indian intelligence agencies. Soon it came to light that Shahnawaz was a special guest at Indira Gandhi´s official residence 1 Safdarjung road New Delhi sharing the bed room of his close friend Sanjay Gandhi. Both these friends died a brutal death, the former was found dead in a hotel in Nice, France and the latter died in an air-crash.