India under Siege – from within
by Nancy Kaul on 13 Nov 2009 16 Comments

Islamic terrorism and terrorists, separatists and secessionists, and soft-peddling politicians, are outdoing each other to prove they share the same mindset and agenda in Jammu & Kashmir. They have another equally committed partner in the quest for disengaging J&K from India, the ultimate political objective for which Islam has been waging Jihad in the State.


This partner is neither willing to accept facts nor recognize the ground reality, but is making all-out efforts to trample the Indian constitution under their feet. This ‘partner’ is a class of intellectuals, politicians, journalists and ‘secular’ liberals who are aiding and abetting the separatists and secessionists to move inch by inch towards Balkanizing the Indian nation.


Muslims of Kashmir Valley have long been portraying themselves as the sole inhabitants not only of the Valley, but the entire Jammu and Kashmir. It is almost as if the Hindus of the Kashmir Valley who were forcibly driven out of their homes had never existed, and as if the Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh also do not exist. Such is the stranglehold of Muslims in the State that they have succeeded in propagating the myth that the only people who live in the State of J&K are Muslims. This is the success of Islamic terrorism and its methods.


Secessionist Seminar at Teen Murti Bhavan


This was only the premise the whole day Saturday, 7 November 2009, in a seminar devoted to J&K. The whole issue was only about the Valley and only about Muslims. Every speaker made his case as if there is no Jammu and Ladakh and there are no Hindus and Buddhists. The whole seminar was Valley-centric. 


What about the Kashmiri Pandits? The people who know more than anybody else about the impact and consequences of the terror unleashed on them in the Kashmir Valley. And what about the people of Ladakh and Jammu?


Does the Indian Constitution guarantee freedom of life and speech only to terrorists, separatists and politicians who take the Oath of Office in its name and then proceed to do everything to erode the very sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country of which the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part?


In the name of democracy and dialogue, only this viewpoint is propagated in seminar circuits. This seminar was no different. Panun Kashmir suspects that these debates have a design and a pattern. Certainly this was discernible in this seminar organized by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies at Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi: “Multi Party Dialogue on the Political Future of Jammu and Kashmir.”


Initially organiser Madhu Kishwar gave the impression that all regions of Jammu & Kashmir had been invited to participate in the seminar and that all participants (speakers) would get an opportunity to present their viewpoints. The organisers made out that the views expressed at the seminar would not be confined to those of the separatists or Valley politicians.


But the seminar proved to be a platform for a vicious campaign to de-link Jammu & Kashmir from India. This was the only theme; it was neither a seminar nor a dialogue and certainly it was not represented by all regions or religions.


In the chair was Ram Jethamalani, a senior advocate who often himself led the attack against the Indian nation. Jethamalani was bravado personified when he made common cause with the terrorist Yasin Malik, and actually looked pleased with himself as speaker after speaker hit out at the edifice of constitutional polity and the territorial integrity of India.


Mohammed Shafi Uri of the National Conference took the first dig while suggesting that the Pandora’s Box of autonomy was the only solution. He said that in 1953 the Kashmiris were betrayed by the Indian Union.


The stage thus set to their advantage, separatist Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat wanted the army and all security forces withdrawn from the Valley. He wanted ‘self governance’ in Kashmir, and made the preposterous suggestion that Jammu & Kashmir should be a buffer zone between India and Pakistan instead of a State within the Indian Union. He announced that he would like to sit with National Conference and PDP to chalk out a new strategy to achieve this. [Interestingly, only two days previously, Dr Farooq Abdullah had said in Srinagar that the Muslims of the State were proud to be Muslims and proud to be the majority populace].


The speeches continued. PDP’s Muzaffar Beg wanted Article 1 of the Indian Constitution amended; he ranted about how self-rule was the only solution.


All speakers spoke in tandem and in a well orchestrated manner. The only casualty that day was the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India.


Mehbooba Mufti and her loud and aggressive ways need no introduction. Last year the nation saw her hysterical anti-Amarnath campaign and political rhetoric. She said she wanted to see Kashmir closer to Muzaffarabad; it should not wilt in the presence of India but bloom in proximity to Islamabad!


Spitting and spewing venom, Mehbooba said the final solution will have the rubber stamp of Syed Ali Shah Gilani (rabid separatist and vehement campaigner for J&K as a Pakistani entity on the basis of religion).


Neither the Chair nor Madhu Kishwar reacted to the day-long anti-India and separatist tirade. Indeed, they encouraged and prodded the speakers in their anti-India tirade. Jethamalani comically announced: “I am 90% Pakistani and only10% Indian.”


The ‘dialogue’ was only a series of unchallenged and uncontested monologues of speakers wanting secession from India.


Nationalist views censored


Yet when it was the turn for a contrary view, Madhu Kishwar and Ram Jethamalani did not allow the paper to be read till the end. Fist-thumping Jethamalani said he would not allow anything to be said except what was being said. He rose threateningly. Madhu Kishwar declared that unless the speaker made changes to her paper, the Kashmiri Hindu point of view would not be allowed to be aired: “No, No, I will not allow you to speak. You cannot speak this,” they both declared in unison.


What does a person or speaker at any conference, intellectual debate, or multi-party dialogue expect? To be able to place his or her opinion and point of view. Nothing more and nothing less. Why did she not stop the Kashmiri Muslims who spoke hour after hour hitting out at the sovereignty of the country?


I state unambiguously that all the proposals discussed and endorsed by these people will never be agreed to by the Kashmiri Pandits or Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh.


Why were they all so agitated when the issue of Hindus and Buddhists, Jammu and Ladakh being equal stakeholders in the State was raised?


The truth is and remains that whether it is the self rule proposal or the autonomy report or the greater autonomy report or the separatist proposal, all are aimed at severing the State from the Indian Union.


Why do all debates, conferences, seminars and discussions on J&K feature only the secessionists and separatists and their partners in the Indian polity? Why are the other stakeholders marginalised and even ignored? I can only assume that this is an evil design to balkanize India and talibanise Kashmir. The Hindus and Buddhists of J&K have to be kept invisible and voiceless for this diabolic agenda to succeed. Madhu Kishwar's seminar was no different and served only the anti-India agenda.


Ms. Nancy Kaul’s impugned Paper


I would like to submit for your consideration that the positions taken up by the speakers in respect of autonomy, self-rule and self-determination are aimed to de-link the State of Jammu & Kashmir from India. There is nothing new that the speakers have said beyond that, which Pakistan and the separatist forces in Jammu & Kashmir have been saying for the last six decades. It is a well orchestrated campaign. 


I am a Kashmiri Pandit, belonging to the community of the Kashmiri Hindus, who have been subjected to genocide, and who have been driven out of their homes and hearths. I am aware, more than anybody else in this country and outside this country, of the long and relentless campaign of jihad and terrorism that has been going on in the State for it’s disengagement from India. 


The exclusion of the state from the constitutional organization of India, underlined by the autonomy proposal; the transfer of power to separatist forces inside the state and operating in Pakistan, underlined by the self rule proposals; and independence of the State proposed by exponents of independence of Jammu & Kashmir, are aimed to cut the State from the Indian Union.  


All these formulas draw deeply from the Kashmir Study Group Report, from which former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf also drew his plan. The broad structure of the proposals he made are:

-         Demarcation of the Muslim majority regions of the state including those situated to the west of river Chenab from the Hindu majority areas situated mainly to the east of river Chenab

-         Dissolution of the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir

-         Demilitarization of the State

-         Self-rule

-         Joint management of the State by India and Pakistan


Demilitarization of the State, which forms the most prominent part of the Musharraf Plan, is aimed at the withdrawal of Indian security forces from Muslim majority zones and their replacement by the militarized separatist forces which have been fighting against India for the last two decades.


The proposals of autonomy, greater autonomy and self rule are no different. Both want to divide Jammu & Kashmir in a manner that enables Kashmir and Islamabad to establish control not only over the geopolitical strategic Himalayan region, which is highly rich in green-gold, but also over river Chenab, which has the potential of producing more than 15,000 Mega Watt of electricity every year. 


A few words on the self-rule doctrine and what it envisages would be in order.  


What does the self-rule formula envisage or suggest?  


It suggests abandonment of the universally accepted “notions of sovereignty and national borders”; a “pan-Kashmir” approach; “autonomy from the nation state of India”; “regionalization of power across J&K”; “sharing of sovereignty”; “economic integration that transcends borders”; a drastic change in the Indian Constitution that converts Greater Jammu & Kashmir into “a regional free trade area”; “dual currency system”; roll back of “Article 356” (under which New Delhi has the power to intervene if there is breakdown of constitutional machinery) and Article 249 (under which Parliament exercises legislative jurisdiction over the State); withdrawal of the “All India Service Act, 1951” and all other Central Acts from the State and also jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India and Election Commission of India; change in the nomenclatures from Chief Minister to Wazir-e-Azam and from Governor to Sadar-e-Riayast”; “establishment of “regional council of Greater Jammu & Kashmir” comprising representatives from India, Pakistan and both parts of the State; and division of Jammu & Kashmir province into “sub-regions” and establishment of “sub-regional councils”.


The self-rule formula further suggests:

“Self-rule is aimed at providing the central element for a comprehensive architecture to be devised for the final and strategic settlement of the Kashmir issue. Self-rule will not be a mid-point into a journey or a tactical or evasive prescription. Instead, self-rule must also form the basis of relationship between the people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Pakistan.”

It is hardly necessary to reflect on the implications of the self-rule formula as everything is self-explanatory. Suffice it to say that the self-rule formula, if accepted and implemented, would automatically mean a step short of independence from India and once it happens, it will not be difficult for the separatists to achieve their 62-year-old agenda.   


I am surprised that the speakers have presumed that Jammu & Kashmir State is populated by only Muslims. The truth is that the State also has a 40% non-Muslim population of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. I want to make it clear, that none of these people – Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists – approve of any proposals which underline secessionism of the State from India.  

I wonder how the people who have spoken here have tried to create an impression that the lone stakeholder in Jammu & Kashmir is the Muslim population of the Valley. I would like to understand why all debates just end up with the secessionists or separatists or their politician supporters, who out do each other in their rhetoric of azaadi


Is Jammu & Kashmir State only the Valley and its Muslims? What about Kashmiri Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ladhakis and Dogras? Does our constitution grant us the freedom to take proprietorship of the land and declare it free or part of another country at our whim or violence?  


The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir in section 3 says that the State is the integral part of India and section 147 prohibits any amendment. All politicians of Jammu and Kashmir who say that their State is different, need to understand this first. 


Pandit Nehru in the Lok Sabha (in response to a pointed question by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in February 1964) said:– “Article 370 will get eroded in due course and vanish ultimately....”.

M.K. Chagla in the Rajya Sabha said:- “The Prime Minister the other day spoke of the gradual erosion of Article 370. I hope that this erosion is accelerated and I also hope that very soon that article will disappear from the constitution. After all it is transitional and temporary. I think transitional period has been long enough!”


The Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists are important stakeholders in the State. They have rejected autonomy, self rule as well as independence of the State. They have fought against the forces which have been trying to disengage Jammu & Kashmir State from India. Independence from India does not have the support of nearly 2 million Muslims living in Jammu Province and several others like the Gujjars, Paharis, Bakarwals etc. 


I wish to make a reference to the transfer of power from the British to India and Pakistan in 1947, that the Partition was not and did not apply to princely States, nor was the right of self determination recognized as the basis of accession of the States.  


The right of self determination was strongly opposed by both the British and the Muslim League. I also want to state for the information of all participants here that the British categorically denied the right of any State to assume Independence, the then Indian National Congress also categorically refused to recognize the Independence of these States 


Therefore, is it a joint move of Pakistan and the separatist forces in the Jammu & Kashmir to initiate the process of Balkanization of India now? 


I would like to submit for your consideration that Autonomy of the State and Self Rule will lead to further communalization of civil society in the State and the displacement of 4 million Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists living in Jammu and Ladakh now. 

I and my community are already in exile in our country and suffering in all dimensions, including political, cultural, and economical. I and my community want to live in dignity and honour in the moorings of Burzohama civilization of which we are the inheritors, and want to live in the State with the free flow of Indian Constitution as envisaged by Panun Kashmir.


We have a right to this as we are equal and legitimate stakeholders in the valley of Kashmir and in turn Jammu & Kashmir and victims of terrorism first and foremost. No solution to Kashmir or for that matter to the State of Jammu & Kashmir will be allowed or arrived at unless our return to the Valley is achieved on our terms. The only solution possible is the reorganization of Jammu & Kashmir State. 


Terrorism and secessionism being practiced in the Valley has led to ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindu and their habitat. What is being asked for now is the exclusion of Jammu & Kashmir from the secular political fabric of the Indian State and further Islamisation which is unacceptable to Kashmiri Pandits in any form. 


The author is convener, Daughters of Vitasta; she can be reached at


Also read:

(Radha Rajan's monograph on Jammu and Kashmir written in 2002)


(Public meeting on J&K by Vigil Public Opinion Forum)


(A day-long seminar on J&K by Vigil Public Opinion Forum)

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