Monday, February 20, 2006

Kashmir Occupied Pakistan

Thanks to Abhishek for suggesting this title. We were discussing the google maps showing pak-occupied-kashmir as Pak occupied Kashmir. The slight variation on the Indian map aside, Abhishek’s contention was that how does it matter whether it is Pakistan occupied Kashmir or Kashmir occupied Pakistan? Interesting thought. But that comment made me think of something else. The root of all problems between India and Pakistan. The Kashmir tangle.

As a kid, I beleived that Jammu and Kashmir should stay with India because it is a matter of self respect for our country. To break up India is a matter of shame. The mere idea that Kashmiris should have self governance or a say in the future of their state was outrageous to me. As I grew up, I saw things in an entirely different light. I began to appreciate the complexity of the entire situation.
I will always regret never been visited Khusro’s jannat-e-zami despite living in Delhi for almost three years and travelling extensively. Incidentally my parents had a long dream of going to Kashmir, which they eventually did in 2004, not as pilgrims to Amarnath, but as mere tourists to Srinagar, GIlgit and Kargil.
The first and foremost question is why is our neighouring country Pakistan so obsessed with Kashmir. Why has Kashmir occupied the heart and heads of its rulers and people alike for last 60 years? Jinnah termed Kashmir as unfinished agenda of partition. Bhutto claimed, among euphoric cheers, that Pakistanis will eat grass to launch a 1000 year war with India. Why did the politicians get massive support among the masses for such declarations? The reason lies in the idea of Pakistan as propagated by Jinnah and the Muslim League. The idea of a separate nation for muslims is based on the ‘french revolution definition of nation state’, on the presumtion that two different culture cannot live together, they cannot be ruled together . Jinnah beleived that muslims will get a second citizen treatment in a nation dominated by hindus. He had deep mistrust against congress and its leadership. And did the muslim masses shared his concerns? Most certainly not, but conservatives point out the massive victory of muslim league in 1946 elections as a proof of large public support enjoyed by Jinnah. By all calculations, 1946 was an anomaly. (1946 elections are another warning to the liberal voices that they can never be complacent. They also have to bear higher responsibility and a high degree of accountability. A single victory for fundamentalists, however narrow, changes the equations for all times to come. History is the evidence that fundamentalists will never let go a single chance. Mass murderers are all alike, and are more dangerous when chosen democratically. Like Hitler, Bush, Ahmedinijad, Mugabe and latest Hamas in Palestine. All of them won because the alternative was too weak or too stupid or too corrupt. The price in all cases is paid by millions around the world)
For around a thousand years hindus and muslims shared a common history, a common destiny in India. Nobody could exactly understand how things went so sour in a matter of10 years, that when partition finally happenned, it came with the worst massacre in the history of the mankind.

What was Jinnah doing while his own people, people whom he promised and delivered a separate nation, were either killing others or getting killed. MA Jinnah was conveniently assuming the governorship of Pakistan, and planning a new capital for the holy-land, making happy speeches of making Pakistan a secular state. Contrast this with Gandhi, who having achieved what he was fighting for 40 long years refused to join in the celebrations and instead was at the eastern frontier to ensure that there are no massacres there. Of course we cannot compare Jinnah and Gandhi, a murderer and a saint. But some people, including our ex-home-minister tends to think otherwise. Whenever the words or action of a leader leads to large scale rioting, and he if not complicit but condones and justifies the action of his followers, he automatically gets the tag of mass-murderer attached to his profile. In that context, if Advani in 1992 and Jinnah in 1946 behaved exactly the same. And Modi in 2002 and Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 took it to an entirely different plane.

Hatred, mistrust and exclusivity lies in the core of the formation of Pakistan as a separate state. And Kashmir has always been an anti-thesis of that theory. Things have changed lately, when the foreign millitants essentially Pakistan trained, are trying there level best to permanently damage the secular character of Kashmir. Why else the pandits, sikhs and buddhists and not the Indian government were the first target of milintancy? Make Kashmir Pakistan, if not by redrawing borders then by character of its society. Still, Kashmiris have great faith in the essential Sufi character of its society and no amount of export of hatred from the neighbouring country can destroy it.

Indeed for Pakistan, Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of partition. Kashmir represents everything that Pakistan is not. It exposes the lies, the mistaken fears, the imaginary grievances, that Jinnah and his party instilled in the muslims during the events leading to partition and that led to killing of millions of innocent people. Pakistan will be occupied by Kashmir, as long as it does not acknowledge the mistakes of the history, as long as it does not accept that different people can live together. Islam is a great religion and has served has an excellent unifying factor among different cultures. Once our friends of Pakistan learn the true meaning of Islam, and learn about peaceful coexistence, their nation will be free.


At 12:17 pm, Blogger Abhishek Goyal said...

I am deeply honored by the mention, I never imagined i could provoke new thoughts in your (overly?) learned mind - To be taken in very positive spirit.

Although i disagree with the assumption that a religious harmony can ever occur. Its not about hinds and muslims. Other religions have also fought for years with each other. Economy (Roti!) is the only thing that can stop to hatred. When you know if there is a war with pakistan, your business will suffer, you will probably not want that to happen, however religious you are. Other way is atheism. Idea of common religion is too far fetched dream and probably all this hatred is more because of this idea :).

I know you will disagree :D, but i chose to use the right of expression :D.

At 3:00 pm, Anonymous Nikunj Raghuvanshi said...

The idea of a religion leads to problems. The idea of a partition, doesn't matter if physical, as in a border between two countries ,or mental, as in the conception of different religions, leads to conflict. The reason is simple. Whatever, the side of a partition a person is on, his/her ego will take on that color and he/she will start thinking that his/her side of the partition has some inherent greatness without thinking about its pros and cons and similarities with the other side with a detached intellect. Such people are always in majority and each person has his/her prejudices set to varying degrees about different things. For example, a male chauvinist may be really not concerned about which country is great.

If the partition is a nation, it is patriotism. If the partition is religion, it is religious fanaticism. If the partition is color, it is apartheid. If the partition is money, it is greed. If the partition is sex, it is sexism.

All human conflict stems from this idiotic tendency of us humans to unquestioningly identify with these abstract concepts which have no real existence. Walk across the india pakistan border, do you think the wind changes suddenly? Go to the siachin glacier, there are men freezing there at -40 degrees centigrade, "protecting our borders". The freezing wind doesn't seem to care and seems to be puzzled, wondering "What the hell are humans doing here?"

One may easily say that all I said is too idealistic and not pragmatic. That would be true. But the conclusion is very pragmatic: as long as people go on making these partitions and hold on to them with unquestioning faith, there will be conflict. Between nations. Between religions. Between religious fanatics and atheists. Between the rich and the poor.

If tomorrow we decide that we will stop acting like imbeciles, there will be peace. Then and only then. There's NO other way for "peaceful co-existence". Don't ask me how to remove this stupidity, for I have no answer. I can't even remove it from myself, how can I possibly recommend anyone else what to do?

And abhishek, if you think economical factors can bring peace, I'm sorry to say this, but you're plain wrong. The battle will just shift to who can make more money. People will not die in massacres but die of starvation, but they will die just the same. And if you're talking about the current state of affairs, then you're completely off target: US is the biggest arms supplier in the world, supplying arms to poor nations in africa so that they can kill each other more efficiently, developing countries, so that they keep fighting (India-pakistan). Selling arms to other countries _IS_ US's biggest industry. Economics doesn't seem to bring peace in this case :). But again this point is debatable, but the general point I mentioned above is correct. As soon as you design an eco-system, then it doesn't matter what the resource in contention is, land or money, people will die. There can be no peace as long as there is contention. And therefore, there can be no peace until people stop being stupid.

At 7:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was very funny to read a Hindu lecturing Pakistanis to "learn the true meaning of Islam".

But the fun ends there.

Kahmir is a disputed terretory as described by the United Nations. Till this day there has not been a plebesite in Kahmir on its future status, something India has agreed to. The reason for thit is that India knows that if such a plebesite was to be held Kahmir would vote it self free from Indian occupation. Ergo, this will never happen.

As for us having Pakistan:

Even you know Pakistan was not the best solution for Muslims of India. Had the Hindu Congress Party accepted the Cabinet Misson Plan which addressed the question of minorities a United India would have been born. But Nehru and Congress Party were too arrogant. Sadly, in the end pakistan was the only solution for a great problem facing the Muslims of India. Alas, from having rouled the whole of India we were left with only a little Pakistan.

According to your own govenments report on the situation of Indian Muslims (2007) they are redused to the lowest of the society even below the Daltis (or untouchables) in social, economic, educational terms.

As for your comments on "Qaid-e-Azam" Muhammad Ali Jinnah there is nothing to be said as your intellect can not grasp the greatness of this man who is among the greatest personality of history.

In the words of Stanley Wolpert:

Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.

At 6:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I as hindu will die before I would give indian land to these terrorists called pakistan

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