“Meri suno jo gosh-e-naseehat niyosh hai”
Kashmiris, lend me your ears
The situation today in Kashmir is that due to the continuous problems from the Indian Government for decades the Kashmiri people have become almost totally alienated from, and bitterly hostile to, India. Some have even picked up and are using arms against the Indian security forces, and casualties are being suffered regularly on both sides.
As a Kashmiri myself I am deeply sad at the sufferings of the Kashmiri people, and I have repeatedly condemned atrocities on them.
Nevertheless, I regard it necessary to tell them the truth: the slogan of azadi (independence) which they keep parroting, is wrong, and should be replaced by the slogan calling for reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a secular government, Kashmir being a part of reunified India. That is the only way out for the Kashmiri people from their present predicament.
Let me explain:
- No Indian Government can survive if it permits azadi to Kashmir. Public opinion in India has hardened on this issue. So however much the bloodshed, Kashmir will never be allowed to secede. Kashmiris must get this basic fact into their heads.
- Many Kashmiris refer to the UN resolutions which Nehru allegedly accepted. Three things must be said in this connection:
(A) The UN is dominated by the powerful countries, and weaker countries have usually to act according to their will. At the time India got Independence our political leaders, like Nehru, were inexperienced and idealistic, and our country was weak. So they had to accept the decision for plebiscite. But Nehru’s decision cannot bind India today.
(B) The UN had also resolved on partition of Palestine and creation of Israel as a Jewish state. Most Muslims condemn the UN for this. Then why do Kashmiri Muslims keep harping on the UN resolutions for plebiscite in Kashmir? You can’t blow hot and cold together.
(C) UN is not God, whose wish must be obeyed. It usually acts in the interest of the powerful nations, and against the interest of the weaker nations
- Kashmiris often say that Kashmir was always independent and never part of India. This is false. In fact Kashmir was independent only till 1587, when the last independent Kashmiri ruler Yusuf Shah Chak was deposed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar who incorporated Kashmir into the Mughal Empire of India. Later, Kashmir passed under Afghan, Sikh and Dogra rule.
Some Kashmiris say that Maharaja Hari Singh was an independent ruler, and this shows that Kashmir was independent before 1947. But the truth is that Hari Singh’s independence was only nominal, like that of other Maharajas and Nawabs in India. The real power was with the British govt. acting through the British Resident or Political Agent.
- The ideology of the Kashmiri separatists and militants is Islamic fundamentalism. So if Kashmir becomes independent under their leadership it will be thrown back into the Middle Ages, with the feudal, outdated, barbaric sharia law being imposed, women stoned to death for adultery, limbs chopped off for theft (as in Saudi Arabia) etc. Women will be compelled to wear feudal and stupid burqa. Kashmir will therefore not benefit but suffer by independence. Instead of moving forward it will move backwards.
- Many Kashmiris say that countries as small as Kashmir exist independently and are doing well.
The reply to this reasoning is this: one cannot say that just because countries as small as Kashmir are doing well so independent Kashmir will also do well. We have to consider Kashmir by its own features, not by comparing it with Belgium, Luxemburg, Monaco or with the Vatican.
Kashmir has a massive handicraft industry, and for this its biggest market is India. In almost all cities and towns in India there are shops of Kashmiris selling shawls, carpets and other handicrafts. When I went to Kovalam beach near Tiruvananthipuram in southern Kerala I found two shops run by Kashmiris there.
This huge market will be lost, and consequently many of the Kashmiri industries will be closed down and lacs of Kashmiris would be unemployed if Kashmir is separated from India, for then Kashmiris cannot come into India without a visa, and visas will be very difficult to obtain.
Some Kashmiris may say that after becoming independent we will have a market in China or Pakistan. This argument overlooks realities. Creating a new market requires years, if not decades. Most Kashmiris do not coolly think of this but keep parroting ‘azadi, azadi’.
- Many Kashmiris point at the ill treatment of Kashmiris in India, e.g. the attacks on Kashmiri students and traders after the Pulwama attack, and on this basis demand independence. It is true that the attacks on Kashmiris were shameful, and those responsible for them have disgraced the nation. But this cannot be the basis for demanding independence. At one time many atrocities were committed on Sikhs, but this does not justify grant of Khalistan as a separate nation for Sikhs.
- Kashmir will never survive as an independent country. If it leaves India it will inevitably come under the Pakistan or China jackboot.
- The present militancy in Kashmir is backed by some foreign powers. This is obvious from the fact that the Kashmiri militants use sophisticated weapons, which are certainly not made locally. Some foreign power is supplying them. So if Kashmir is separated from India it will certainly not get real independence but come under the heels of that foreign power.
So Kashmiris, for your salvation wake upto realities and the truth, and join the Indian Reunification Association (IRA), which aims at undoing that historical British swindle called Partition and reuniting India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with Kashmir as part of it, under a modern minded secular government (see the website indianreunificationassociation.weebly.com). Give up that stupid, unrealistic slogan ‘azadi’ which has only landed you in a ditch, and instead demand reunification of India under a secular government.
Once you do that on a large scale you will not only solve your problems, you will also be giving leadership to the whole nation, and the rest of India will become your followers.