“What’s the Fuss over Kashmir?” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

Introduction

Last week while I was asleep under the knife, the Indian government revoked special statuskashmir for Indian-controlled Kashmir. Now that I am awake, I am trying to put the pieces together and understand what really happened that is so upsetting to the big powers and the Western world alike.

The Western world and China don’t want to accept that India is a truly secular country. They have been painting India as a Hindu oligarchy to demean her and put her at par with Pakistan forgetting that, unlike India, Pakistan was formed on the basis of hatred towards other religions prevailing in India. India is the home of around 200 million Muslims. The Indian Muslims are the most civilized and tolerant compared to the Muslims elsewhere in the world. So let us accept the fact that India’s action in Kashmir has nothing to do with religion as falsely painted by India haters.

Though Kashmir has a majority Muslim population, it cannot be dubbed as a Muslim state in a secular India. It’s just like asking the United States to declare Parts of Michigan a protected area because of the majority Muslim population there or ask China to declare Xinjiang, Gansu, and Ningxia as Muslim states with special privileges to their citizens. In the same context Great Britain should let North Ireland (a truly occupied area) break away from the empire.

History

India is an ancient country not artificially carved like many other nations around the globe.   Before the partition of India in 1947, India had two different kinds of territories, one was directly ruled by Britain and others were princely states administered by local kings and princes who were under the British subjugation. But for millennia they were all a part of Greater India (Akhand Bharat). During India’s independence, those princely states were given a choice to join the Indian Territory or remain as separate countries (British divide and rule tactics). King Karan Singh of Kashmir chose to merge with India. Pakistan, being an Islamic country wanted Kashmir to be a part of their country. As a result they attacked Kashmir and grabbed Gilgit-Baltistan part of Kashmir under their authority.

Another important point to understand here is that Kashmir was already there as a part of contiguous India. India didn’t occupy by marching on to some other continent as the French have done to Guadeloupe, Martinique or Britain has done to Falkland, Gibraltar and many others. Remember, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Did India Kill Kashmiris?

India didn’t kill Kashmiris On the contrary, extreme Kashmiri Muslims and terrorists from Pakistan killed Kashmiris. They also routed out the entire Hindu population living in Kashmir by killing, raping and snatching their properties. You never hear any mention of this fact in the West because of their hatred towards non-Abrahamic religion.  On the contrary they side and sympathize with the Muslim terrorists in Kashmir who have been on rampage for the last 70 years.

India’s action last week:

 For the last 70 years India provided special treatment to the Kashmiris through Article 370 and 35A. The former meant having two different constitutions one for Kashmir another for most of India. Article 370 was a filter between the two constitutions. 35 A meant that no Indian could settle or buy land in Kashmir but the Kashmiris could buy land anywhere in India. No non-Kashmiri could be admitted in their schools while they could avail of any facility anywhere in India. Unlike colonial powers, India didn’t take anything from Kashmir; it rather poured billions in Kashmir free of cost.

Now, tell the ignorant media and diplomats to allow any state, say, New Jersey, to oust the rest of the Americans from their state and snatch their properties or deny admissions to the outsiders in their schools while allowing the folks from New Jersey to own property and go to any school anywhere  in the US. Sounds fair?

Fade up with this nonsense, the Modi government finally decided to end the special privilege for the Kashmiris. The changes the Indian government announced last week would overturn Article 370, as well as another provision that prevent nonresidents from buying property in then  Jammu and Kashmir. The government also said it would reconstitute the state administratively and reorganize it into two federal territories. One of these — still called Jammu and Kashmir — would have a state legislature, while the other, a remote mountainous area called Ladakh, would be a union territory like Washington DC.

Conclusion

You may here about UN mediating in Kashmir or having a plebiscite to let Kashmiris decide their future. Yes, some blunders were made by the old leaders of India who were weak and obsequious to stronger countries. India is strong now and it considers its action in Kashmir as its internal matter and denies the UN or the US to intervene in its internal matters.  The USA, China and Russia have done the same in the past to protect their own interest. Those days are gone when India succumbed to the pressure from others. This is a new India and it will protect its sovereignty at all costs. As for Kashmir, its future is bright. They will have new industries and opportunities so that they will also become like the rest of India very soon.

 

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