Jammu and Kashmir: Historicity and Why it Will always be Part of India
How does an Indian have the guts to speak about a separate Kashmir? This happens only in India. “Kashmir would cease to be a part of India,” said former J&K chief minister and PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti, “if the conditions on which Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India are removed” as per a Hindustan Times report. How easily said! She said this in response to possible repealing of Article 35A by 2020 as stated by BJP chief Amit Shah. “The year 2020 will then also be Jammu and Kashmir’s deadline to the country,” said Mufti. Recently National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said about “restoring the terms of accession of Jammu and Kashmir, including the provisions for having a sadr-e-riyasat (president) and wazir-e-azam in the state” as per a Hindustan Times report.
Even Arundhati Roy had expressed her support for the independence of Kashmir in an August 2008 interview with The Times of India. Pakistan will always interfere with the Kashmir issue and the enemy country had taken into its confidence many of the local youth of the valley. In a recent launch of my book Saffron Swords, Maj Gen GD Bakshi suggested that the solution is not through ‘halal’ but ‘jhatka’, i.e. break Pakistan into three parts.
What is Article 35A of the Indian Constitution? It empowers the state legislature of J&K to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state and provide them special rights and privileges. Non-permanent residents cannot enjoy these rights and privileges. This was included on May 14, 1954 by the then President of India. This makes J&K different from the other states of India. When J&K is a part of India, why a separate law or Article for this region?
How has Jammu and Kashmir been acceded to India? Jawaharlal Nehru became the 1st Prime Minister of independent India with whole-hearted support and endorsement by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi! Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. The British never wanted India to be united. ‘Divide and rule’ was their policy; they advised Nehru that states and kingdoms not willing to accede to the Indian union should not be forced to do so. Sardar Patel did not pay heed to what the British said. Neither did he listen to Nehru’s orders nor sought his opinion in many a matter. While Nehru was more concerned about foreign visits, taking advice of the UN and British officers, and connecting only with the urban elite, Patel, using his exemplary skills, forced all the 550 small princes and zamindars to surrender and accede to Independent India. He even went to the extent of using military force. The united India we witness today from the east to west and north to south are all because of the efforts by Patel.
Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler J&K legally agreed to accede to the Indian Union on 27 Oct. 1947. Soon, problems cropped up. Jawaharlal Nehru kept Sardar Patel away from the Kashmir issue. He made N Gopalaswamy Iyengar a minister without portfolio, to handle Kashmir. Patel did not know about this. Iyengar reported to Nehru directly. Because Nehru wanted all of his ministers to report to him, listen to him, and say ‘yes’ to whatever he said. Jinnah from Pakistan constantly interfered on the Kashmir issue. Mountbatten advised Nehru to refer the Kashmir problem to the UN. Sardar Patel opposed the move of taking Kashmir to UN as it was purely an internal matter and no foreign body like the UN should interfere. Sardar Patel met Maharaja Hari Singh and even obtained his signature that the matter may not be referred to UN. The Maharaja’s only concern was Sheikh Abdullah, who wanted the king to quit the valley. Abdullah’s protest with a group of Kashmiri Muslims led to the former’s arrest and confinement in jail. Nehru wanted Sheikh Abdullah to be freed and to be installed as prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Ultimately, Nehru referred the Kashmir issue to the UN, following Mountbatten’s advice and ignoring Patel’s repeat counsel and requests. And since then the Kashmir issue has not yet been resolved.
The antiquity of Kashmir, the Paradise on earth, dates back to thousands of years. The region draws its name from Rishi Kashyap of Kashmir – one of the Saptarishis. He finds mention in the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, and other ancient scriptures. A number of Sanskrit treatises are attributed to the Rishi. Artefacts from the Neolitihic and Megalithic era have been discovered in this region. Trace of ancient brain surgery was noticed in a Neolithic skull from Burzahom in the Kashmir Valley; the skull had multiple trepanations. It dates back to 4300 years. Scientists also unearthed a supernova marked on stone from Burzahama in Kashmir. The marking, dating back to at least 5000 years, shows two bright objects in the sky and a hunting scene. Kalhana, 12th century Kashmiri historian, has given a detailed account of the history of Kashmir in his book Rajatarangini (River of Kings). Kings of Kashmir find mention in the Mahabharata, which dates back between 5000 to 7000 years.
Kashmiri Pandits have been living in Kashmir since 5000 plus years. Sharada (of Sharada Peeth, now located in Pakistan), the goddess of learning, is their Kuldevi. Sharada Peeth, hosted one of India’s most ancient universities where students from across the world came and studied. The temple, renovated over time, is believed to be over 5000 years old. It is one of the 18 Maha Shaktipeeths. Texts written by Panini and other ancient Indian Grammarians were stored in the library of this temple university. It was at Sharada Peeth that Adi Sankaracharya received the right to sit on the the throne of wisdom (Sarvajna peetha). The saint has devoted the first verse of ‘Prapanchsar‘ to Goddess Sharada of Sharada Peeth. This site was destroyed by Sikandar Butshikan. Do you know Kashmiri Pandit women were held in high regard since time immemorial? But the scenario changed altogether ever since the partition of Hindustan and Pakistan. Had Nehru dealt with the issue with an iron hand, Kashmir problems would have never cropped up.
Islamic attacks in Kashmir started in the 8th century. Lalitaditya Muktapida was the ruler of Kashmir when Junaid, the Arab governor of Sindh, attacked Kashmir following the orders of Caliph Hisham in the 8th century. The Kashmir king defeated Junaid and thus the Arab attempt of plundering Kashmir failed. Lalitaditya Muktapida also subjugated the Turks by attacking their territories. Raja Samgramaraja of Kashmir in the 11th century repulsed several attacks of Mahmud of Ghazni. Plunderer Mahmud could never defeat the Kashmiri king! Besides, Raja Samgramaraja also helped Trilochanpala, the Hindu Sahi ruler of Kabul, with an army against Mahmud of Ghazni. The combined army defeated Sultan Mahmud.
Till 1320 CE, Kashmir remained unaffected from Islamic invasions. Islamic settlements started in the region after the kingdom was conquered by Zulju, a Mongol chieftain. He entered Kashmir via the Jehlum Valley route. This marked the end of the Lohara dynasty after the then Lohara king of Kashmir Suhadeva fled to Kistwar after failing to offer a stiff resistance. Amid the chaos after Zulju left, Rinchana, a Buddhist and son of a Ladakhi chief, got Ramchandra, the Prime Minister turned Raja murdered and ascended the throne. He married Ramchandra’s daughter Kota Rani to gain sympathy of the Kashmiris. Later Rinchana converted to Islam under the influence of Bulbul Shah (also called Sayyid Sharfudin), a Sufi preacher and attained a new name – Sultan Sardarudin Shah. He in turn converted Ramchandra’s son, the commander of the Kashmiri army and many other ministers of the court and subjects to Islam. And thus started a Muslim rule in Kashmir under the first Muslim ruler Sultan Sardarudin Shah, a convert. Today Islam is the major religion practiced in Kashmir with 97.16% of the region’s population being Muslims as per the latest Census. Who isn’t familiar about the Kashmiri Pundits Exodus in 1990, wherein the Hindu Kashmiri Brahmins were forced to leave the Valley. They are still living as refugees in their own motherland. Justice has not been delivered yet.
Who isn’t familiar with the Kashmiri Pandit Exodus? They are refugees in their own homeland today. There can be no sadder plight than this! Not a word is spoken in favor of the Kashmiri Pandits by the so called media or secular folks! It is but an irony that even international human rights organizations are not standing up for Kashmiri Pandits rendered homeless in their own motherland? Yes, they all have been indeed raising their voices for the settlement of illegal Rohingya Muslims in India with even PIL filed being in the Supreme Court so that they are not displaced from India!
According to an Indian Express report, “The killings of Kashmiri Pandits include the massacres at Sangrampora, Wandhama and Nadimarg — seven were killed during the night of March 21-22, 1997 at Sangrampora village in Budgam, 23 were killed in Wandhama on January 25, 1998 and 24 died in Nadimarg on March 24, 2003…perpetrators of the Wandhama massacre are still untraced. But the police has identified Pakistani militants Abu Haris and Abu Khalid as those who carried out the Sangrampora killings. Both militants were killed in an encounter at Hewader on March 24, 1997. The police has challaned the Nadimarg massacre case, identifying Zai Mustafa alias Abdullah of Rawalakot, Pakistan as the perpetrator.”
But the above figures aren’t true. The real figure is different – many times more than the officially reported ones, numbering several lakhs. According to official figures, over 62,000 Kashmiri migrant families have registered with the government. 40,000 of them are registered in Jammu, 20,000 in Delhi, and 2,000 in the rest of India. The death of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley during their Exodus in 1990 is uncountable. The perpetrators haven’t been punished yet.
Behind the unrest in the Kashmir valley are terrorists. Who has been dealing with terrorists all these years? The Indian Army! BSF jawans! CRPF! Border police! J&K police! But, while dealing with terrorists, they pay a heavy price. They sacrifice their lives. They get injured. There is nothing new about injury through stone pelting. And the same story continues unabated. Recently, Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed made a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy where 40 CRPF jawans were martyred. In retaliation, on 26th February, the 13th day of the attack, 12 Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter jets entered into the Pakistan territory and dropped 1,000-kg laser-guided bombs on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror launch pads. As per the latest sources quoted by ANI, a total of six bombs were dropped on Pakistan based terrorist camps. The key target was on the biggest JeM hideout in Balakot, Pakistan. All of the jets and the IAF pilots returned safe ‘without a scratch’.
Dailymail.co.uk carried a news item (India Today TV report) with the following headlines on stone pelters – ‘This is our bread and butter’: Undercover reporters film Kashmiri ‘stone-pelters’ admit to being paid Rs 7,000 a month for throwing stones and Molotovs at Indian forces. As per the report, “Zakir Ahmad Bhat, Farooq Ahmad Lone, Wasim Ahmed Khan, Mushtaq Veeri and Ibrahim Khan made startling confessions: from being on the payroll of their underground masters to carrying out deadly attacks on security forces, public servants and property in the troubled region.”
The report further quoted thus, ‘It’s Rs 5,000-Rs 7,000 (£80) a month and clothes. Sometimes shoes as well,’ said Bhat when asked whether he was paid to charge at security forces with stones.” The stone pelters did not reveal the names of their financiers. They said, as quoted in the report by dailymail.co.uk – ‘will die but won’t reveal their names. It’s the question of our bread and butter.’
According to Maj Gen GD Bakshi, in between the year 2000 to 2005, when he was posted in J&K, there were over 4000 armed terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Today, this number has been brought down to 250 by the Army. According to Gen Bakshi, there are around 40000 paid stone pelters in Kashmir.
Past stone pelting incidents have been witness to majority of the media sympathizing with the stone pelters! They even visited them in hospitals and created news, disseminating info about their cause on their behalf! And where the secularism mass, presstitudes, and anti-India hooligans try to bring the nation under their sway, turning the situation chaotic, it is time the nation awakes against such anti-India promoters and supporters.
According to a report, Pakistan has been provoking the youth and children in the valley to resort to stone pelting. Pakistan has even resorted to using social media platforms to provoke Kashmiri youth groups to pelt stones at security forces, notifying them beforehand whenever any encounter is to take place at a particular location between security forces and terrorists.
Are Mehbooba Mufti’s and Omar Abdullah’s statements about Kashmir, as aforementioned, justified? It is upon the readers to judge! Whatever the barkings time and again, Kashmir will always remain a part of India! To conclude in Maj Gen GD Bakshi’s words, the solution is not through ‘halal’ but ‘jhatka’, i.e. break Pakistan into three parts. India had always dealt with terrorism in the valley with an iron hand. When Pakistani intrusion, interference and Pakistani backed terrorism will stop and India takes decision with an iron hand repealing Article 35A and removing Article 370 altogether, the Kashmir issue will be completely solved.
Ref: Various sources, especially of historical and opinion articles published at myindiamyglory.com. Newspaper sources quoted have hyperlinks.
Featured image courtesy: Wikipedia and m.watsupptoday.com.
1. Culture and Political History of Kashmir, Volume 1, P.N.K. Bamzai
2. Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī: A Chronicle of the Kings of Kaśmīr, M. A. Stein
3. History of the Rise of the Mohammedan Power in India, Firishta; translated by John Briggs
4. India – Early History, Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting