IT WAS NEVER ABOUT LAND STUPID!!!!!!
Sunanda Zadoo Vashisht
have been watching the state of Jammu and Kashmir go up in flames for the last two months with utmost disgust and sorrow. While I am extremely proud of our brave troops who are laying down their lives for maintaining the integrity of our nation, I am extremely disgusted with the Kashmiri mainstream leadership who since the times of Sheikh Abdullah have maintained the stance of saying one thing in New Delhi and something else when they reach the valley. While we know where the separatists like Hurriyat are coming from and what their real intentions are, it is the Kashmiri leadership that has been the real traitors in this whole fiasco. To put things in their true perspective it was PDP, which approved the land transfer (irrespective of what Mehbooba Mufti says) and smelling that this could be turned in her favor instigated the people first about environmental concerns and then about demographic change.
National conference, of course, could not let PDP get away with the issue, and fearing that the issue could cost them the forthcoming elections, they jumped into the fray. I am pretty confident that at that point both parties misunderstood or underestimated the fragile peace in the valley and did not think that the genie of land transfer, which they had let out of the bottle would become so big that it would engulf not only them but the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir. This tells me how disconnected these parties were from the ground realities of the valley. They didn’t realize that it would give a new lease of life to the separatist movement and also ignite the Hindu sentiment in Jammu and all over the country. After all, given our ‘SECULAR ‘ image they did not think even in their wildest of dreams that an average Hindu would come out on the streets and defy curfews and fight for the Hindu honor.
So anyone who says that Hindu agitation has ruined peace in Kashmir and has done more damage by fuelling the fires of communalism should understand that it wasn’t Hindus but the Muslim mainstream leadership of Kashmir and the Kashmiri Muslims who acted as catalysts in this situation. The issue, which was primarily a simple administrative decision about giving facilities to Yatris was taken completely out of proportion. The temporary shelters that would have provided succor to yatris in adverse conditions were made into an issue about demographic change in the valley. The Kashmiri Muslims showed their true character and real intentions by showing that any Indian especially if he/she is a Hindu is not entitled to an inch of land in Kashmir, even if it is temporary.
When the Jammu population took to the streets to protest this outrageous act of Kashmiri Muslims, the Kashmiri Muslims and their separatist leaders started the protests in the Valley calling it an economic blockade and started claiming their victimization at the hands of India. It was a well known fact that firstly there was no economic blockade because army trucks were freely moving goods in and out of Kashmir and the widely acclaimed fruit growers losses were nothing more than hot air because there were no fruits to be sold in this season. The truth behind all this was that this was just an excuse to restart their separatist agenda. The true victims, if any, in this whole episode were the people of Jammu who were actually undergoing an economic blockade because of the repeated curfews being imposed by an inept state and centre run by Congress government, which has been punishing nationalists and appeasing separatist in the state since independence.
I have lived in Kashmir during the most impressionable years of my life. I have known from a first hand experience that no Kashmiri Muslim and I reiterate this with full force, that no Kashmiri Muslim has ever felt kinship towards India. Their loyalties were always towards Islam. I remember that even as a child I used to watch Kashmiri Muslims celebrating Id with Pakistan than with the rest of India. They openly celebrated victory of Pakistan during Indo –Pak cricket matches. When Zia –ul-Haq died in an air crash, I remember that curfew was imposed in the valley even before Pakistan had declared curfew in any of its cities. There are many more examples that I can quote and I know everyone who has lived in Kashmir will vouch for this.
Article 370 of Indian constitution has proved to be a monumental folly. By giving more autonomy to the valley, as asked by Kashmiri Muslim leadership at the time, Nehru further alienated the already alienated Muslims of the valley. Article 370 has kept Kashmir insulated and allowed the separatist movement to grow stronger. They won their first major victory by driving out every Hindu followed by Sikhs and other minorities. Having made Valley completely Muslim in character they want to go a step further and establish Nizam-e-Mustafa in the valley and break away from India. The unfortunate truth is that they will not stop only by azaadi in the valley; they want azaadi in all Muslim areas of Jammu too and if emboldened a little bit will soon start asking for azaadi in other Muslim areas of India too. Having lived in Kashmir I know that it is not about self-determination but about Religion only.
India is a proud sovereign nation and no sovereign nation can ever allow discussion on dilution of its territorial integrity. Thousands of brave troops have laid down their lives for this land and continue to do so. We are still bleeding from the biggest holocaust of our times, namely Partition on the basis of Religion. We cannot afford another partition. India is a successful democracy where equal rights are given to all minorities including Muslims. There are ample examples of Muslim integration in the mainstream. I cannot think of any such examples in Pakistan or Bangladesh.
All the Muslims who feel stifled in secular India are welcome to go to Pakistan or Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic country of their choice. So if Kashmiri Muslims do not want to integrate, they are welcome to take a one-way flight to any Islamic country of their choice and we will be better off without them.
*Sunanda Zadoo Vashisht was born in Kashmir, when Kashmir was known for its unparalleled natural beauty and not as a cauldron of fear and terror. She did most of her schooling in Delhi and dabbled with several professions before moving to U.S.A.
She likes to introduce herself as an explorer because she wants to spend all her time in this world exploring unknown. Writing for her is a cathartic experience. She can't remember when she began writing first but she does know that writing has always helped her to be at peace with herself and with the world around her. Presently lives with her family in Sugarland, TX USA.
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Beautiful writeup. I'm a great admirer of ur writings. Your analysis of the present situation is commendable. I agree with u that “The Kashmiri Muslims showed their true character and real intentions by showing that any Indian especially if he/she is a Hindu is not entitled to an inch of land in Kashmir, even if it is temporary.” “So if Kashmiri Muslims do not want to integrate,.....flight to any Islamic country of their choice and we will be better off without them.”
Added By Chandra Ganju
Sunanda a very bold article.The demonstrations in Jammu & all over the world is an emotional vent out of sentimental exploitation that hindus have been undergoing since centuries.Offcourse got aggravated due to our government's minority appeasing tactics , like subsidies and provisions provided during Haj events.Our non voilent nature has been sabotaged many times , ironically in OUR OWN COUNTRY and these events are clear indication that we (hindus)won't be quiet anymore.Good beginning.
Added By Raj Kaw
Hurriyat leaders public proclamation to cross the LOC for business purpose truely shows their true intention and color.It will be worthwhile if they do a little investigation and see how indian muslims in POK are treated by Pakistan.Wish sense prevails them soon...
Added By Raj Kaw
Many prominent Hurriyat leaders in self defense and in an attempt to bemuse the spectators and hide their animosity towards us have said , Hindus are guests of the valley.We are not guests , IT IS OUR HOME!!
Added By Raj Kaw
Very well written. Kashmir Muslim has finally exposed openly his real intention. It is for the Indian administration to choose what they have to do. It is enough clear that the Kashmir policy adopted all these years is a utter failure so change is a must.
Added By JL Bhat
We need more such details couched in fire about conditions in Kashmir to ignite our feelings about our motherland Satisar.
Added By pushkar ganjoo
Direct Speak and makes no excuses. Bad behavior cannot be rewarded continually. We have to carry Muslims and all other communities of India alongside but these negative and violent elements have to be dealt with firmly.
Added By Arun Koul
We muslims have always enjoyed more than equal rights in India. None of us would like to live in Pakistan or Bangladesh and arabic countries are out of question unless we are mega rich. We muslims have been used by our own politicians who are selfish, shortsighted and has no love either for India or for the peoples of India.
Added By Ali Khan