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18 August 2008

Whose Kashmir?

After putting its view on Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Parliament during the trust vote, Research visits the other darling of the media, the man whose speech on the same day at the same venue caught the fancy of the Fourth Estate — Omar Abdullah — in the form of a debate in the wake of the seemingly endless strife in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir

Celebrating tyrants
Saradindu Mukherji
The person who turned an overnight hero of the Indian media — as also the ‘liberal’, jihad-friendly ‘secular’ intelligentsia — following his speech in Parliament on 22 July, is incidentally the grandson of the man who is widely suspected to be responsible for the mysterious death of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in a jail in Jammu & Kashmir at the age of 53. One may read the letter written by Mukherjee’s mother to Jawaharlal Nehru to know more about the conspiracy. It was Mukherjee, the last of our Mohicans, who almost single-handedly saved Calcutta and then Western Bengal from being grabbed by Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

You may further note that, Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee, father of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, also a visionary Hindu Mahasahabha leader, was a close associate of Mukherjee in this Herculean rescue act. What a fall, my countrymen!

As for some of the points raised by Omar Abdullah, a darling of India’s spineless chattering classes who are simply allergic to facts and just need an occasion to flaunt their admiration for what any high-profile Muslim says, it must be observed that just because he says he is speaking as an Indian does not make him any less a champion of the ummah or the not-so-clever lobbyist of ferocious Arab imperialism.

Abdullah said he would not give ‘his’ land. But whose land was he referring to? All available archaeological, literary and oral traditions indicate that the Kashmir valley was a land of Hindus and, later, partly of Buddhists. After all, Kashmir was the cradle of Shaivism — the primordial deity of our civilisation. Islam came here through conquest and wanton plunder and established itself by unholy means — rape and abduction — and forced nikAh of Hindu women with the ‘holy’ warriors. Not to be forgotten are large scale desecration, destruction of the temples of polytheists and, of course, mass conversion as taught by their holiest of holy prophets.

Hence, logically, this land belongs to the kafirs and Muslims are enjoying it as a stolen property. But then those reared in the tradition of robbers and pillagers do not easily restore such a property willingly and so easily. There must be ways of getting it back.

The young Abdullah from his paternal side is a descendant of a Kashmiri Hindu family and not a Central Asian marauder. His mother is an English lady. How then does it become a land under the sole proprietorship of some representatives of Arabian imperialists? His facts are mischievously false and blatantly crude propaganda, yet no one rebutted what he said. Why?

To understand this non-response, even from those claiming to represent Hindu/national interests, explains why the so-called warriors of Allah are succeeding in Bangalore and Ahmedabad — the latest victory notched up by jihad.

History of the world shows that what Muslims claim to be their property — both the land and its people — once belonged to the pagans, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Jews and Christians. Present day Muslims are nothing but representatives of an unending expansionist Arab imperialism. With rare exceptions, they are carrying on with the diktats of the “religion of peace”.

Another point raised by Abdullah is: “We do not destroy mandirs and masjids”. The fact remains that Muslims are the most infamous destroyers of Hindu temples. Muslims have a history of building mosques over desecrated Hindu temples, Buddhist viharas, Zoroastrian fire temples and also many Jewish and Christian holy places. This ‘holy’ duty was, jihadis claim without much opposition from their fellow-religionists, enjoined upon them by their Prophet. Finally, everybody knows about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits.

Another crude joke couched in ‘secular’ terminology, which drew a loud applause from many in Parliament, was: “As long as a single Muslim survives in Kashmir, the Amarnath Yatra will go on.” What generosity! What large-heartedness! Next you will hear from another Islamic ‘secular’ hero that Hindus in India are permitted to live for a few more years! And, surely, it would be lapped up by our great ‘secularists’ as another message of the eternal message of peace which only Islam can give. The proprietors of what we rightly call ‘The Times of Pakistan’ will, in all likelihood, issue a special supplement to celebrate that statement.

The fact remains that obeisance has been paid at the Amarnath shrine for more than 5,000 yrs while Islam came 3600 after that practice started. “A single Muslim surviving in Kashmir” in the near future is a laugh riot. In about 700 years, their numbers have swollen to now constitute 99% of the population. And not even 5,000 Hindus are left to die or be converted.

It is Muslims who routinely throw grenades and bombs at Hindu pilgrims whereas Haj pilgrims from India are feted by ‘leaders’, including someone of the stature of a Hindu-nationalist: former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpyee. There are special Haj terminals and resting places constructed at Hindu tax-payers’ expense. In return, even National Security Adviser MK Narayanan admits that some of the Hajis take the opportunity to be trained in jihad in Arabia. The biggest irony is that, on return, they merrily kill the very kafirs back in India who had funded their trip to Mecca.

As historian Sita Ram Goel used to say so presciently, if Hindus do not change their mindset even after centuries of assault and unspeakable atrocities and humiliation, they would just vanish. We are losing our very right to live. Today in the Kashmir valley and tomorrow, God forbid, anywhere in India.

The writer is a reader in the University of Delhi

The scare is hoax
N Jamal Ansari
Mukherji’s response to Omar Abdullah’s speech evokes pity. For, it has been expressed without the writer doing his homework. Instead of analysing the speech objectively, he preferred to ride on emotions.

The writer has raised three basic issues. First, Abdullah has not been sincere enough. Second, the Kashmir valley belongs to the so-called kafirs which Muslims are enjoying as a “stolen” property and, third, Hindus should change their mindset and oppose all Muslims.

Those who have been involved in the process of national integration know that the direction of the aforementioned thought process is dangerous enough to precipitate communal tension, if not a riot.

People, particularly those in public life, should not be judged in isolation. As far as Abdullah is concerned, he belongs to a family which has contributed a lot to the socio-political unity of the Kashmir valley with the Indian union. Nobody can deny the fact that it was Sheikh Abdullah who snatched away the valley from the jaws of Pakistan. Who can forget the role of Farooq Abdullah, father of Omar, in strengthening the NDA coalition. By no stretch of imagination can the Abdullah family be called communal. The Abdullahs are genuine Indian politicians like all their peers. Their merits and demerits should be noted in that way alone.

Let’s recall what Abdullah Jr said in Parliament during the recent confidence motion. His speech was among the shortest, at the same time the most important, nevertheless. He was delivering his speech when some BJP MPs were adamant to not let the House function, following the crudely exposed cash-for-votes scandal. Abdullah said:

Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir. I think that it is a matter of great misfortune for Parties like mine. … (Interruptions) I do not know whether the Rs. 1 crore that was shown here is genuine or not. But I think that it is extremely unfortunate that if nothing else, this Rs 1 crore is seeking to buy the silence of Parties like mine who are not being given an opportunity to speak in a correct manner in this House. … (Interruptions)
I have been a Member of this House for 10 years, and I have never disturbed this House in these 10 years. I have sat with them and I have sat on this side, and I have never disrupted a speaker and yet here they do not have the courtesy to listen to what I have to say. … (Interruptions)
I am a Muslim, and I am an Indian. I see no distinction between the two. … (Interruptions) I see no reason why I, as a Muslim, have to fear a deal between India and the United States of America (USA). … (Interruptions) This is a deal between two countries. It is a deal between, we hope, two countries that in the future will be two equals. … (Interruptions)
Sir, the enemies of Indian Muslims are not the Americans, and the enemies of the Indian Muslims are not ‘deals’ like this. The enemies of Indian Muslims are the same enemies that all the poor people of India face, namely, poverty and hunger, unemployment, lack of development and the absence of a voice. It is that we are against, namely, the effort being made to crush our voice. … (Interruptions)
I am not a Member of the UPA, and I do not aspire the Membership of the UPA. But I am extremely unhappy with the way in which my friends in the Left have taken on this self-imposed position of being the certifiers of who is secular and who is not. … (Interruptions)
Until a few years ago, I was a part of the NDA and I was a Minister with them. The same Left people considered me as a political untouchable, and they considered me an outcaste because I was a part of the NDA. Today, the same Left people are telling me that all secular Parties must unite with the BJP to bring down this Government. … (Interruptions)
I made a mistake of standing with them once. I did not resign on the question of Gujarat when my conscience told me to do so, and my conscience has still not forgiven me. I need not make the same mistake again. … (Interruptions)
आप लोग अमरनाथ की बात करते हो, आपने अमरनाथ का आरोप लगाया,…(व्यवधान) आप एक जगह दिखाइए, जहां पर किसी कश्मीरी ने यात्रा के खिलाफ बात की हो, जहां किसी कश्मीरी ने कहा हो कि हमें यात्री नहीं चाहिए, जहां यात्रियों के ऊपर हमला हुआ हो।…(व्यवधान) हमारी जमीन का मुद्दा था, हम अपनी जमीन के लिए लड़े और मरते दम तक अपनी जमीन के लिए लड़ेंगे, लेकिन हम आपकी तरह फिरकापरस्त नहीं हैं।…(व्यवधान) हम आपकी तरह कम्युनल नहीं हैं। हम मस्ज़िद नहीं गिराते और मंदिर भी नहीं गिराते। …(व्यवधान) वहां एक सौ साल से ज्यादा अमरनाथ की यात्रा चलती आ रही है और जब तक कश्मीर में मुसलमान हैं, श्रीनगर और अमरनाथ में आपकी यात्रा चलती रहेगी। …(व्यवधान)
अध्यक्ष महोदय, मैं यह बात दावे के साथ कहना चाहता हूं कि इन लोगों की तरह मेरी सियासत बदलती नहीं है, आज इस तरफ और कल उस तरफ। …(व्यवधान) हमने सेक्यूलर फोर्सेस के साथ हाथ मिलाया है और मिलाते रहेंगे। The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference will vote to support the Motion moved by the Prime Minister. Thank you. (unedited)

Thirty-eight-year old Omar Abdullah is a true representative of modern India. His influence in politics is spreading fast and he is also in the hit list of terrorists. He was attacked in 2007 and on another occasion when he was visiting a school. The terrorists could not kill him but they attacked the girl students of that school. One remembers Abdullah having famously said then, “I cannot believe that any religion, ideology or aim will justify the attack on innocent girl students of the school.” Abdullah wants the Pandits to return to the valley. Often he remarks, “We are trying to develop a situation in which Pandits could return to their homes.”

Omar is a fine example of India’s composite culture. He is condemned and criticised by the Hindu right wing because he has refused to join hands with the BJP again. It is a sorry state of affairs. According to my opponent, Abdullah said that his community would not give away land to the Amarnath Shrine Board. First, he did not mean “Muslims” by the term “community”. As he was speaking as a Kashmiri, “community” must have meant the Kashmiri people — who developed a fine fabric of secularism that is known far and wide as “Kashmiriyat”. The Amarnath Yatra is taking place for centuries and Kashmiris, predominantly Muslims, have always facilitated the pilgrimage. It is the Muslims who provide the infrastructure needed for the yatra. In fact, their economic interest is closely interwoven with the yatra. The land in question is, overlooking another dispute, under the forest department and its allotment to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board will ultimately damage the environment and ecology of the region. We should understand the motive of those who are advocating otherwise.

What was the need to spark off this dispute? We should not forget that former governor SK Sinha had got the approval of the Government of Jammu & Kashmir at the fag end of his tenure. Why was Sinha hell bent on the allotment? Because, he was influenced by a certain ideology like another former governor, Jagmohan .Certainly, there is more than what meets the eye. Kashmiri Muslims are not convinced that there is no danger of permanent settlement, if any temporary settlement is allowed in the area. They fear it is Government of India's conscious effort and first ominous step towards changing the demography of the region. Hence, there should be no allotment at all. The pilgrimage should go on like it has been so far.

My opponent’s case is that the contentious piece of “land belongs to the kafirs and Muslims are enjoying it as a stolen property”. First, it should be clear that Hindus do not fall under the category of kafirs. A kafir is one who does not believe in the existence of God. The Kashmir valley never belonged to atheists.

Religion has unfortunately become a seed of discord between communities. Hinduism, for one, has been torn apart to establish Hindutva. Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris and that includes Hindus and Muslims alike. Nobody has “stolen” anything from anybody.

The call to Hindus to change their mindset and oppose all Muslims is sick. Can anyone oppose those Muslims who laid down their lives for the nation during and after our freedom struggle? Mercifully, the majority of Hindus are secular and they believe in peace. Such calls will, hence, fall in deaf ears. It is for common Hindus to reject the divisive Hindutva philosophy conceived by VD Savarkar.

There is an old conspiracy to divide Jammu & Kashmir into three parts: the Kashmir valley, the Jammu hilly region and the Ladakh plateau. It is clear who is benefiting from the anarchy. It is obviously the BJP. This party is playing very dirty and mean politics to achieve its goals. Saner elements of the Indian society should rise above religious and political affiliations and oppose the BJP; or else not only will Jammu & Kashmir but also the whole of India will disintegrate.

As far as Abdullah is concerned, he is a statesman in the making. One should appreciate his soberness and intellect. He had started his political journey in 1998 when he was elected to the Lok Sabha. He was again elected in 1999 when he became the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. He was elected a third time in 2004. In 2006, he was made the president of the National Conference for the second time. Nobody can doubt his secular credentials; leaders like him, irrespective of their religion, should be encouraged and not criticised.

Finally, after the shameful events of the Babri Masjid demolition at Ayodhya on 6 December 1992 and the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, we have forfeited our claims to be a civilised, law-abiding society. If we have to embark upon nation building, it is impossible without the participation of Muslims. We should develop a constructive approach and India must be governed by its Constitution in both letter and spirit. The pressing need of the hour is for measures which will restore communal amity and banish rancour and ill will.

The writer is a staff member of the Aligarh Muslim University


arvind said...

mr.mukharje has been very appropriate in his analysis and views. It is not him only but the rest of the generation also who are seeing through this secular farce of our politicians ,to keep their vote bank intact.Hindus are waking up and the day is not far when there will be "a right kind of revolution"

Rajarshi Nandy said...

My opponent’s case is that the contentious piece of “land belongs to the kafirs and Muslims are enjoying it as a stolen property”. First, it should be clear that Hindus do not fall under the category of kafirs. A kafir is one who does not believe in the existence of God. The Kashmir valley never belonged to atheists.Just curious, is this a practical demostration of Al-Taqqiya?

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Surajit Dasgupta treats no individual, organisation or institution as a holy cow.