Against the rallying cries for freedom and justice, this book acts as a map, a guide for those analysing Kashmir, a fraught terrain of desire.
In recent times there have been writings on Jammu & Kashmir, dealing with both pros and cons of the so-called ‘freedom movement’ in the northern most and blatantly communal state in India. Specifically it is about the Valley only, where the Muslims are in a majority and where there has been a never-ending estrangement between Muslims and a Hindu minority.
That minority has been threatened by Muslim fundamentalists, with the full but unrecorded backing of the average but silent Muslims who are delighted that the state is being cleansed of Hindus – a fact that is often forgotten. The jihadists and ‘freedom fighters’ have only one thing in mind: they will not be ruled by a ‘Hindu’ government, they think India is.
They forget that there exist in India over 200 million Muslims and they vote for the government. They have not been terrified. Their homes have not been burnt. Their shops have not been looted and their women have not been raped as has happened to Kashmir Pandits in their own land.
These Muslims feel Kashmir is theirs. Islam came to India a thousand years and more after Hinduism became a way of living. Kashmir, in its origin, was a Hindu state. There is a saying: “Namostute Sharadadevi, Kashmira pura vasini”. Kashmir in that sense is a “conquered state” by Central Asian barbarians but for all that remains Indian; India always been known as a land stretching from the bridge to the Himalayas “asetu himachala paryanta, the ‘bridge’ being the setuve between south India and Sri Lanka.
Kashmir belongs strictly to India and not to Muslim “freedom fighters”. “Freedom fighting” is a colossal joke. The brain-washed Muslim youngsters are not fighting for “freedom”; they, are fighting because they have the feeling that Muslims cannot be ruled by non-Muslims. If that is the case, should India ask the 200 odd million Muslims, millions of them doing very well, to quit India and migrate to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim states? The Kashmiri jihadists have no answer.
Another argument is that having once been a free state Kashmir should, by logic, be free after 1947. If that is an argument, India will now be a nation having a hundred ‘free’ states from small Jamnagar to large Hyderabad. Kashmiris are not people dropped from heaven and they are as much Indian as anybody else is in the country. And if the ‘freedom fighters’ deny that and indulge in violence, rape, arson and loot and all the rest of it, they will get what they deserve.
This book is a collection of articles by 25 writers, mostly Muslim. It is intended to damn India and Hindus for their “murderous” behaviour in ‘strife-torn’ Kashmir. There would have been no “murderous behaviour” if there was no ‘stride’, if Pandits were not themselves murdered and there was a show of willingness to work and play with the rest of India.
This book is primarily intended to elicit ‘pity’ for young Kashmiris and for their “independence struggle” and what they have to go through at the hands of India’s Army and the local police. Case after relentless case is recorded of men beaten, women insulted, the rebels killed in open fire and the recurrence of inhuman behaviour. But one would like to ask: would anything of the kind have happened if there was no violence on the part of Kashmiris themselves? Do we have to remind them of what the Razakars did in Hyderabad before the state was taken over by Delhi?
Do we have to recount what happened to Hindus during the reign of Sultan Sikandar in Kashmir itself? Do we have to remind the ‘freedom fighters’ how Hindus have been treated even in recent times when they want to go on pilgrimage to the Amarnath caves? Or for a long time Hindus have been rubbished in Kashmir.
Let it be clearly stated: India is not ‘occupying’ Kashmir; Kashmir is, and has always been part of Indian culture and tradition; it is not ‘resistance’ that the Muslim young are offering in Kashmir, what is being offered is a false impression that Kashmir belongs to Muslims. That it doesn’t. Why should India accept an untruth when a lie is so blatantly offered? No one in India wants anybody killed in Kashmir; the rest of India wants peace and this is denied it.
The entire book is a one-sided effort to damn the Indian Army; the story, repeated again and again by different authors describing different situations but with the same underlying theme, surely makes pathetic reading.
The publishers have a disclaimer which says: “All the statements, views and opinions expressed in the articles…are those of the individual authors, contributors and/or the editor only. They do not represent the views and/or the opinion of the Publisher. The Publisher expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for such material. The publication of such material does not imply that the Publisher has verified the same and agrees with it.”
If that is so, why was the book published? If the Publisher felt he wanted to be impartial, the book should have carried a series of article from opponents of the ‘freedom struggle’ presently being carried out with the support and guidance of the ISI of Pakistan. Giving promotion to one-sided views is unfair. Opponents of ‘freedom struggle’ have as much right to state their views a proponent of it. The publisher has much to answer. Space should have been given to Delhi’s views to counter balance charges against it. This has not been done and it is a shame. It speaks poorly of the Publisher.
The editor Fahad Shah has done no favour to the ‘freedom struggle’ or to Kashmiris at large. What we see in Kashmir today is a struggle to wipe out Hindus and establish a reactionary administration. Delhi cannot allow that to happen. Never.