An Open Letter to the hardcore secessionists

 

Solution to Kashmir:
An Open Letter to the hardcore secessionists in Kashmir
 

- Bilhan Kaul
As the sun beats down hard on the plains of India, I intend to give you in Kashmir a little bit of heat too. And to that end, honest questions will be asked of you.

As you know militancy has been raging in Kashmir for the past eighteen years and your contention is that India has illegally occupied Kashmir. This is disputed by me. To break the logjam, we have to discuss and arrive at some consensus so that the status-quo which you desperately hate is broken. Let us work towards you getting your way because that is how Kashmiri Pandits will also get their way. Since Kashmiri Pandits are out of Kashmir, they will not get Panun Kashmir if you do not get anything. By anything I mean a break from Indian hold over Kashmir. Reverse, if Kashmir Pandits don’t get Panun Kashmir you will not get Islamic republic. I have come straight to the point, to give you a glimpse of what is coming next. I am desperate you get something which is a break from the past so that Kashmiri Pandits get Panun Kashmir. You should accordingly support Panun Kashmir for Kashmiri Pandits.

Now, the bigger question is whether you and I are honest. The contents of this piece will decide that however.

Only historically bonafide citizens of Kashmir are party to the dispute. As only you and us are bonafide citizens of Kashmir, we have a condition to be fulfilled so that we can proceed on the issue of settlement. The condition is that we get out those Sayyids, Nakshbandis, Geelanis and other foreign stuff who have come to Kashmir later in Kashmiri history. Of course you may say Sikhs have also settled in Kashmir from outside. Therefore get the Sikhs out too. But may be I am moving too fast. Therefore, let us settle down a bit and talk something else.

If Indian forces kill somebody it is an atrocity and I wholeheartedly agree. But if they reach out to you, then you cry they are trying to integrate Kashmiri Muslims much against your wishes. But why don’t you use the same yardsticks against those Sayyids and other foreign settlers who used and misused god as an instrument for the subjugation of Kashmiris. Sayyids and other Central Asian stuff reached out to you and they were great in your opinion. But if the Indian Govt. reaches out to you, it is cultural invasion.

Back to the issue of settlement of Kashmir dispute. Before proceeding further to finalize the settlement, let us discuss the dates. We Kashmiri Pandits believe that date of dispute is 1st June 1340. But you believe that date of dispute is in 1947. This conflict arises from the way in which we differently see the Kashmir conflict. If for you the problem began in 1947, we legitimately say that it began in 1340. Excuse me now, whose land is Kashmir anyway? We have to get to the root of the problem and not just cut a branch. Your culture was shattered six hundred and fifty years ago but you insist it was shattered recently by India.

Let us digress a bit again. I have sympathy with the common man in Kashmir who has been ground to the dust due to this as well as the earlier conflicts in Kashmiri history. His earlier generations had converted to escape tyranny but there are no benefits now. You have to accept the fact that the religion of your ancestors was Hinduism. History has shaped the present turmoil and if there had been no invasions and conversions, there would be no present problem.

In the past you have shown flexibility by accepting foreign faiths. Your ancestors’ entry to Islam heralded for you a new world view and new customs and habits but your earlier customs could not have been forgotten. Kashmir is a place where history will not be forgotten. Like a fridge, which preserves vegetables Kashmir preserves past memories. That is why the conversion issue should remain fresh in Kashmir, even if it is not to be so in the plains of India. Because it seems that heat burns everything in plains of India. What do you make of that? I am afraid that I have not elaborated the point with clarity. To depict what thought is in one’s head as an expression in ink is difficult. Many worlds and words are lost in transcription.

Let us come to the point of settlement again. Let us think like the Pan-Islamic Jihadists as they understand simple logic better than others; at a simple, primitive level. If status quo remains and there is no solution according to your wishes we also will not get Panun Kashmir and pending a solution will remain away from our homeland. So we need an immediate solution more than you, but let us fix the cut-off date for bonafide citizenship as 1st June 1340. Solution, solution, and now we can have it.
Now create a flood with your opinions.

*Bilhan Kaul is a freelance writer and hasbeen a regular contributer in various magazines and newspapers.

The writer has written extensively on forced conversion and believes it to be the root cause of the conflict in Kashmir. A Central Government Employee presently lives in Janipur, Jammu (India).

Images and graphics by Deepak Ganju
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