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Latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir

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Latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir cause great concern to
all responsible citizens of this country. We are disturbed by the following
questions that keep emerging.

1. What will happen next?
2. Will Kashmir break-away from India and unilaterally declare
independence, joining POK?
3. Will it be aided and abetted by Pakistan and China, who have strategic
interests in that region and some scores to settle with India?
4. What India will or must do in this situation? Will it kowtow before
Hurriat Conference, PDP and the like and end up granting more
concessions, further weakening our grip and rights over that region?
5. Or will that region see more bloodshed and loss of precious lives, on an
unprecedented scale, in the near future?
6. Or have we been pushed to the state of passive and incapable
onlookers, leaving everything to the destiny?

I elicit the responses of the members of this forum, so as to do some
awakening and brainstorming on this sensitive issue.
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Amarnath row: 2 lakh people court arrest
Tuesday August 19 2008 22:03 IST

JAMMU: Nearly two lakh people, including thousands of Hindu women, thronged various police stations here and courted arrests demanding restoration of land to the Amarnath shrine board even as curfew was relaxed for varying periods in Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Kishtwar districts.

Official sources said the protesters held demonstrations within and outside police stations and posts, raising slogans like bum bum bolay and ek do teen char, bolay teri jai jai kar from 11 am to 3 pm.

Leaders of the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS), spearheading the agitation, claimed over 3.5 lakh people courted arrests in 10 districts of Jammu province.

Of these, 30 per cent were women, they said. The protesters also disrupted an official cultural function organised by the administration at Abhinav Theater here this evening.

Rapid Action Force jawans dispersed crowds by resorting to baton charge and teargas shelling. The function was later called off.

The protesters also burnt copies of a local daily at several places in the city allegedly for giving more coverage to happenings in Kashmir in comparison to Jammu region.

Curfew was relaxed in Jammu city for 15 hours from 5 am, while it was eased for nine hours in Samba. In Udhampur, authorities relaxed curfew for 17 hours from 5 am while in Kishtwar, it was eased for three hours from 7 am.

Meanwhile, SASS convenor Leela Karan Sharma has said the ball is in the Centre's court to put an end to the controversy.

“If the Centre is not interested, we too do not have a time frame and the agitation will continue,” he said.
how abt asking them if they wanna come back home to join india?

Sure, if they also bring back the land ceded to them! Otherwise it will be like the Bangladeshi immigrants swarming all over India and taking over the country starting from Assam.
J & K: Revisiting Partition - Prakash Nanda

In recent weeks, many “liberals” have argued in leading Indian publications such as The Times of India and The Hindustan Times that if Kashmiris (Muslims naturally) do not want to remain with India, they should be allowed “azadi,” i.e., to secede from the Union of India and join the previous breakaway rogue-nation called Pakistan.

The prescriptions of these “liberals” are as astonishing as they are one-sided, for they would never extend to suggesting that Pakistan hold a referendum in Sindh, Baluchistan, or Pushtunistan – areas dying to break free of the shackles of Islamabad. Nor would such solicitude extend to the tribes of the Chittagong Hills Tracts in Bangladesh .

One can legitimately take issue with some aspects of this startling recommendation. While endorsing the Kashmiri separatists’ demand for “azadi”, the liberals have not explained how the separatists should receive this independence. In other words, on what grounds are the separatists demanding independence, and do these celluloid intellectuals – who owe their name and fame to a closed television talk circuit - believe the grounds are just?

Separatists in Kashmir have made it amply clear from every pulpit and at every rally that because the Valley has been carefully cultivated into a Muslim-majority area, Muslims there cannot co-exist with non-Muslims, i.e., Hindus who are otherwise the majority community in India . Thus, though virtually only Muslims live in Kashmir , and it is led by Kashmiri Muslims, the state’s Muslim leaders feel that they want to return to the pre-1947 era when the Great Calcutta Killing coerced Partition. Muslims cannot live in “non-Muslim” India ; hence the presence of so many Pakistani flags in separatists' rallies and Geelani’s exhortation for accession to Pakistan .

So, sixty years after Partition, when independent India is just trying to shake off the shackles of a crippling Nehruvian secularism that has led to this situation in the Valley, we are face-to-face once again with the old shibboleths of the past. The two-nation theory is being revived and revisited upon us, this time in Kashmir . It is only a matter of time before it extends to other states like Assam and West Bengal, where neighbouring Bangladesh has kindly ‘loaned’ nearly 1.5 crore citizens to help push Hindus away from regions being overtaken by arriving Muslim hordes.

To probe the “azadi” advocacy still further, how should India allow independence to Kashmir Muslims; what would be the modus operandi of this exercise; would it be conditional or unconditional?

This is pertinent because when India was divided in 1947, the population figures were roughly 330, 27 and 30 million in India, West Pakistan, and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) respectively. In terms of area, India , Pakistan , and Bangladesh constituted roughly 1.3, 0.3 and 0.06 million square miles respectively. Thus, population percentages were 85%, 15% and land percentages 75% and 25% for India and united West & East Pakistan respectively.

Now – and this is critical – the united Pakistan of 1947 was clearly intended to be for “all” Muslims of the subcontinent, just as Israel was created for all Jews of the world. Thus, if all Muslims of pre-August 1947 India had migrated to Pakistan , they could not have been refused by the new Pakistani rulers. As an aside, scholars may like to examine if the low status of Mohajirs (refugees) in Pakistan has a relationship with the relatively low exodus of Muslims from areas that would remain in India . For the Mohajirs had no local roots, came from a different ethnic, linguistic and social milieu, and could not integrate with the entrenched regional cultures of the provinces that comprised Pakistan on both flanks of Mother India.

Partitions in other parts of the world were always accompanied by a carefully supervised exchange of populations. This was the case with Greece-Turkey, Germany-Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria-Turkey, Poland-Germany, Bosnia-Serbia and Croatia-Serbia, where full-scale exchange of populations were organised, sometimes by the United Nations itself.

In the case of India , however, the British appear to have deliberately botched things up, and the kind of supervised population exchange that could have averted chaos and bloodshed simply never happened. Between the sheer incompetence of Louis Mountbatten and the pomposity of Jawaharlal Nehru, the partitioned-on-religious lines India was actually left holding more Muslims than either Pakistan or Bangladesh ! To digress once again, this strengthens suspicions that the British manipulated the Partition to secure military bases and strategic centres of power for the West, to counter the rising power of the Soviet Union .

Thus, it turned out that India of 1947 was forced to accommodate over 85% of the population (Hindus + Muslims who stayed put) in 75% of her original bhoomi. Pakistan got a much better land deal. This was a double injustice to the dismembered motherland..

It will be said that the father of Pakistan , Mohammad Ali Jinnah, talked of a Pakistan where every religious community could reside, and that he did not insist on Hindus and Sikhs quitting Pakistan despite the horrendous ethnic cleansing in some states at the time. But that seems to have been a diplomatic nicety, as Jinnah was the architect of the Lahore Resolution of 1940, and the Great Calcutta Killing of 1946, which made Partition inevitable.

Moreover, the situation today is radically different. In 1947, Hindus constituted over 20% of the population in West Pakistan and 36% in East Pakistan ( Bangladesh ). Today, ethnic cleansing and forced conversions have reduced them to less than 1% in Pakistan and about 8% in Bangladesh . In sharp contrast, in India the Muslim population has risen from about 10% in 1947 to nearly 14% today. So Pakistan and Bangladesh have a disproportionate share of the original land vis-à-vis India

In such a scenario, any talk of “azadi” for Kashmir reopens the prickly issues of the 1947 Partition. Glibly suggesting that disgruntled Muslims of Kashmir may be allowed to secede from India, taking the State with them, means opening the door to a piece-by-piece dismemberment of India. With time, Muslims in each district and state with press for freedom, and intellectually-and-morally-challenged analysts will recommend the same, till all is gone up to Kanyakumari.

Actually, Muslims of any state who feel they can no longer live in India must invoke the 1947 treaty to walk into Pakistan forever. It is the country that was created for them. India on her part should demand that Pakistan and Bangladesh adjust the excessive land handed over to them at Partition, and also that Bangladesh compensate India for the unending influx of Muslims who are totally unhappy in that Islamic paradise. Will India ’s brain-dead elites dare suggest that as all Bengali Muslims seem keen to return to Mother India, we should have a referendum to annex that country and make it again a province of India ?

o chance – their Western ‘friends’ won’t allow such thought, let alone talk. And the ultimate accountability of all anti-Indians in India is to London or Washington .

The author is a senior journalist
India can’t afford to fall victim to psywar


19 Sep 2008 01:11:00 AM IST

SOME stray voices in the media have been questioning, with surprising nonchalance and lack of depth, the wisdom and expediency of retaining Kashmir as a part of India. This matters not because such voices reflect any growing view in our country but because they play into the hands of enemies of the nation. Their suggestions embolden subversive forces both within and outside the country, and encourage our adversaries to entertain the hope that with a little more effort, Kashmir will secede from India.

National will is a critical component of state power. In the absence of military might, psychological warfare is the weapon of choice of a devious adversary to attempt to break national will, and to also confuse and demoralise the Indian state. No nation aspiring to become a major player in global power dynamics can afford to fall victim to such psywar.

India cannot and must not give any signal that could be misinterpreted to mean that its national resolve to preserve its unity and integrity is crumbling.

The legal validity of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India is unquestionable and was in accordance with the popular will. There is no basis on which any change in the political status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir could be considered. The UN itself has accepted that in the vastly changed circumstances the UN Resolutions of 1948 and 1949 are no longer relevant. In any case, there is no provision for holding a referendum only in one part of the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir or for holding separate referenda in the three geographically distinct sections of the state.

Like the other states included in the First Schedule of the Constitution of India, Jammu and Kashmir is clearly an integral part of India and will remain so. There is an unanimous resolution of the Indian Parliament of February 22, 1994 to the effect that “the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been, is and shall be an integral part of India and any attempts to separate it from the rest of the country will be resisted by all necessary means.” It further adds that, “Pakistan must vacate the areas of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which they have occupied through aggression.” Section 3 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir also plainly asserts that “the state of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.” Section 147 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution prohibits any amendment of Section 3 by the state legislature. Kashmir is an inalienable element of India’s civilisational identity and symbolises the fundamental principles on which the modern Indian state has been built. We take pride that India is a prospering economy, but the pursuit of wealth should not make us forget the values that keep our nation one.

India has successfully overcome all secessionist threats faced by it. No responsible government can ever compromise India’s territorial integrity by even contemplating the secession of Kashmir.

This is not a trifling issue. If the Indian state is seen as weak enough to let Kashmir go, other states and disaffected groups within India will only get emboldened, leading to the unraveling of India.

Secondly, as borders in the plains of northern India are not defensible, Kashmir is vital for India’s security. Finally, communal harmony could be seriously compromised. Detractors of secular, democratic India tend to forget that the overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims, who constitute over 15 per cent of the population, has absolutely no sympathy for the partisan few who still fan a tired idea called secession.

It is distressing, indeed alarming, that these seditious views, which question India’s unity and integrity, are being freely aired by a section of the intelligentsia.

It is regrettable that the print and electronic media are giving undue space and prominence to these views.

India is a free and democratic country with a vibrant media and we are proud of it. But freedom of expression does not mean unbridled licence to flout the law of the land by airing or fanning seditious views. Such views also do a disservice to the people of Kashmir.We call upon the intelligentsia that has the power to shape public opinion to use their power with wisdom and maturity.

Irresponsible slogans do immense damage in open and democratic polities and can mislead people to take partisan positions without understanding the grave implications. We also urge the media to exercise restraint and show responsibility in the larger national interest.

As proud and patriotic Indians who strongly believe that the unity and secular democratic fabric of our republic must be preserved at all costs, we call upon the Government of India to make it unequivocally clear at the highest level that under no circumstances will the government and people of India countenance any compromise with the integrity of the nation.

We also call upon the people of India and all political parties to raise their voices and come out unambiguously against secessionism in any form whatsoever.

Signatories to the open statement:

1. Subhash Chandra, chairman, Essel Group

2. Maj Gen Afsir Karim (retd)

3. Ajit Doval, KC, former Director, IB

4. MJ Akbar, Renowned journalist

5. Anil Baijal, former Union Home Secretary

6. Admiral Arun Prakash (retd) former Navy Chief

7. Air Marshal S.R. Deshpandey (retd)

8. Dhirendra Singh, former Union Home Secretary

9. G Parthasarthy, IFS (retd) former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan

10. Rajiv Sikri IFS (retd) former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs.

11. CD Sahay, former Secretary (RAW)

12. Lt. General R.K. Sawhney (retd), former Dy Chief of Army Staff

13. Satish Chandra IFS (retd) former Deputy to National Security Advisor and Secretary National Security Counsil

14. Lt General Shantanu Chaudhary (retd), former Vice Chief of Army Staff

15. Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi (retd) former Air Chief

16. Ved Marwah, former Director General National Security Guard and former Governor, Manipur and Jharkhand

17. Vijay Kapoor, former Lt. Governor, Delhi

18. Vikram Sood, former Secretary (RAW)

19. Sudhir Agarwal, Director Dainik Bhaskar Group

20. K Memani, Chairman-Emeritus, Ernst & Young.
Bandh to warn govt to implement agreement: SAYSS

Jammu, Sept 20 (PTI) Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS), which spearheaded the Amarnath land stir here, today said the two-day bandh in the city from tomorrow is to warn the government to implement the agreement reached between the Governor's panel and the Samiti last month.
"The bandh is a warning and not resumption of agitation. But the Samiti will be left to take to other course if government fails to implement the agreement at the earliest," SAYSS convenor Leela Karan Sharma told reporters here.

He alleged that the government has not issued a formal order for allotment of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) though the Governor's advisory council has approved it.

Sharma said the authority's action today to prevent the Samiti from holding a function at Abhinav Theatre here to pay tributes to those killed during the two months of the agitation exposed the high handedness of the administration.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman said the state administration had no role in cancellation of the programme.

According to the Additional Secretary of Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, the electric system at the theatre had developed a fault leading to the cancellation of bookings up to September 28.

Two agencies -- Sanskar Bharti and Radio Kashmir, Jammu were booked for today, he said, adding the programme by SAYSS was part of the programme to be conducted by Sanskar Bharti which got cancelled due to a technical glitch.

The academy had informed the organisers of the function about the problem the previous night itself, the spokesman said. PTI
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