The killing of an established terrorist like Burhan Wani, who had killed some innocent people and was expected to kill more, should not have unleashed a protest in Kashmir so large and threatening that it has entailed the death of over forty people and injuries to hundreds of people.
Every nation in the world has a security system which is in continuous-watch mode to detect threats to its security. An established criminal like Burhan would be on the hit-list of all the nations.
Then why are Kashmiri Muslims (KMs) treating the legal killing of Burhan as the death of a hero. It is because they have lost their sanity and self-respect. They are alive because of India’s aid to them, and yet they are aspiring to be an independent nation.
All civilized nations grant divorce to married couples who seek it, though some of the details of the terms of divorce are different in different nations. But there is no political divorce. That is, there is no political culture in the world at this time, where a state within a nation can seek a divorce from it. States or provinces are part of a nation over a long time, due to historical and other reasons. They cannot breakaway from the nation just because they are unhappy with the union. Scotland has been fighting to break away from Briton for a very long time, but the end is not anywhere near. If a state in U.S., let us say, Maryland, wants to become an independent nation, due to its perception of racial intolerance toward its African-Americans from the Whites, what are the chances of its getting their wish? Zero.
The causes of Kashmir Problem are the following:
- Maharaja Hari Sing’s deliberate action of not deciding which of the new dominions, India or Pakistan, he was joining. He harbored the ambition of making Kashmir an independent nation. When his indecision passed over the timeline of the formation of the two dominions, Pakistan sensed a good opportunity to attack Kashmir in order to grab it. When the invaders were close to Srinagar, Maharaja sent an SOS to Mountbatten to help him to stop the invasion. Help was given to him on the condition of his signing the Instrument of Accession. Which he did on October 26, 1947.
- Sheikh Abdhullah was an ardent supporter of Kashmir’s becoming an integral part of India, until 1947. Once he became Kashmir’s prime minister, he thinking started to change. In a few years he believed it would be best for Kashmir to become an independent nation. Even though he, along with Beg and others, created a constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which declared it to be an integral part of India. Furthermore, the constitution forbid am amendment of this clause. Abdullah was caught red-handed trying to create an independent nation of Kashmir, with the help of some foreign nations. All his successors as the prime ministers or chief ministers upheld the constitution.
- Pakistan has a demonic wish to acquire Kashmir, for reasons of its fragile nationhood. It offers its masses the prospect of acquiring Kashmir, thereby tranquilizing their perennial frustration and anarchy over their government’s awful and epic failures.
- KMs, because of their corrupt leadership, and India’s timidity have, after Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest, found it tantalizing, ego-lifting, and heroic to put one foot in Pakistan, and the other in India. Their leadership has indirectly permitted it for their ego and financial profit. There are many other people in Kashmir who would not like to settle the Kashmir Problem, because it would kill their cash-cow and ego-builder.
Seeing Pakistan’s horrible political life over decades, when governments changed like pins on a game-board; president after president would change the constitution, then were charged for one fraud or another, forcing them to flee their country; KMs respect for it changed. The only constant in Pakistan was the invisible power of its military.
A decade ago, Cambridge University, conducted a poll in Kashmir, finding that only 2% KMs wanted to merge with Pakistan, while most of them, about 50%, wanted to be independent. The situation has not changed much since.
But Kashmir cannot ever be independent as India can never let it happen for security reasons, as explained later in this article.
- KMs cannot see that it is impossible for them to gain independence. Their leadership keeps this illusion alive in them for their own benefit. KMs have lost their self-respect
and sanity. While their bellies are filled by India, they harbor dreams of separation from them. They are leading a delusional life. Kashmir Muslim youth does not have much of a life. Many of them are unemployed. All they harbor is a dream of one day having an Islamic Republic of Kashmir. That is the only anodyne in their lives.
KMs are in the process of attempting to change the history of their land. They want to blank out the ancient history of Kashmir because it was then totally comprising of KPs. Beyond the changing of names of villages, towns, and streets, they are trying to delete the influence of KPs in academic papers and seminars.
What we are witnessing is pathological situation in which a community has lost its self-respect, honor, honesty, and sanity.
A loss of Burhan is but an excuse for the expression of KMs’ withering sanity. Kashmir Problem is their epic self-inflicted wound.
Article 370 is not the devil behind Kashmiri Muslims’ political insurgency in Kashmir but it is a catalyst for that. If it were not there the place would have been quieter and more cooperative with the center. Engendering more private businesses in J&K and, therefore, more jobs for the unemployed youth. The supreme irony is that Kashmiri Muslims do not know the extent of harm they are doing to themselves. By living in a permanent state of anarchy, Kashmiri Muslims are destroying their economic growth and peace of mind.
Kashmiri Muslims by nature are slothful. Their only expression of energy is in talking, and there are no facts so sacred for them that they cannot twist them into figments of their imagination to protect their ego, past inhuman actions, and Islam. They hounded out innocent Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, who were miniscule and a harmless community living with them ever since the advent of Islam in Kashmir in 1339. The original inhabitants of Kashmir were Pandits, dating back to 5,200 years.
Article 370 stands like a sword of Damocles for the center, for its autonomy privileges to Kashmiri Muslims is potent with separatism, alliance with Pakistan, and turning Kashmir into a Middle East-like Islamic state, discouraging Hindus to travel there, let alone living there. This is all the more painful because India is the largest democratically secular nation in the world.
The supreme irony is that Kashmir cannot be independent as it does not have the economic and military resources for that. Within weeks after the hypothetical independence of Kashmir, Pakistan will capture it, and Kashmiri Muslims will be rendered second-class citizens. Even independence overseen by U.N. will not prevent Pakistan infiltrating to control reins in Kashmir. Sensible Muslims know that but they want to keep the anarchy alive in Kashmir as it helps them maintain their political power, financial resources, and ego.
India cannot let go of Kashmir because first of all it has done nothing illegal and immoral in holding on to it. It was not India that captured Kashmir but it was Kashmir that asked for its help when Pakistan attacked it in 1947. Ceding Kashmir to its arch enemy will invite huge security problem for India. It means Pakistan will be nearer to New Delhi by about 500 miles in north. Indian military will strongly advise against it and Indian Parliament will never approve it.
Although India can keep on effecting legal changes in J&K through the mechanism embedded in Article 370, as it has done since Jan. 26, 1950, when it was born, but that cannot give it a peace of mind, as the continuous political turbulence in Kashmir is politically unsettling to India. Kashmir is a bomb waiting to explode, with the connivance of India’s arch enemy, Pakistan. This foreign policy implication of Kashmir Problem is not something India can throw under its rug. Let us see if it is feasible to jettison Article 370.
But India has never asked for the abrogation of Article 370. But recently B.P.Yadav, a lawyer based in Andhra Pradesh, petitioned before the Supreme Court of India, that it be abolished and that all laws of India be applicable to J&K. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India, H.L. Dattu, on October 30, 2015, decided that “We can strike down a provision if it is unconstitutional but we cannot be asking Parliament a provision. It has to be done by them.” That meant that Article 370 has been in Indian Constitution for 66 years and, therefore, Supreme Court cannot remove it, so it is Indian Parliament which has to come up with a new law that abolishes it.
If Modi is strong on changing J&K political nightmare, he must pass a new bill in Parliament rescinding Article 370. Certainly, J&K will contest that in Supreme Court. We do not know what will be its verdict. It could well be that it will consider the new bill unconstitutional. So what, at least an effort was made to make sense of the center’s relationship with J&K.
Suffern, New York, July 24, 2016