Follow me on Twitter

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Denying Hindus space

Published on :-7 Jul 2008,

The Amarnath land row in Kashmir has proved that if Muslim politicians of the valley feel strongly about something they can make the government bend and accept their demands. So it is hypocrisy when they complain in some summits in London that Delhi doesn't heed them or they have less power to rule the valley 'appropriately' and hence need more autonomy. They fought on the streets and denied a piece of land to Hindu pilgrims to be used for facilitating a night's stay and food in that snowy area just for two months. The land was barren; not a single tree grows there and not one person was to be stationed there permanently. Yet the votaries of Kashmiriyat, who would announce day and night how keen they are to see Kashmiri Hindus return to their localities and how their religion stands for love, compassion and peace, stood firm, spreading lies to ensure that Hindus do not get an inch of space for a temporary shelter.

They said it is a place which will be used to reduce Muslims in the valley to a minority. The land is forest area, Hindus will destroy the environment, they said. It's a plot by Indians to assault Muslims of the valley. Hence, land will not be given at any cost, the politicians said.

They won. And they knew what they are saying to defend their indefensible position are all lies.

The first thing the new governor N N Vohra was made to do was to take back the proposal on behalf of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board for the acquisition of approximately 100 acres of land. He didn't begin his tenure trying to see Kashmiri refugee Hindus are returned with honour and safety to their homes. Nor could Vohra hold any meeting to ensure the valley is free from jihad and that developmental plans are executed to benefit all patriotic citizens. The first move that a Hindu majority country's constitutional appointee took was against the interests of Hindus.

I am sending this column from Kolkata where, being involved in a seminar on security, I saw a message from the then Governor General Sinha wishing that the seminar goes off well. It is the kind of message that holders of gubernatorial posts often send but there is a difference: while all constitutional authorities use just one symbol of the state insignia - that is, the replica of the Sarnath pillar with four faces of the lion - in Jammu and Kashmir, another state insignia is used parallel to the Indian one, representing Jammu-Kashmir.

The only state in India which has a separate flag and a special power bestowed on it by the constitution is Jammu and Kashmir. On an average it gets 10 times more grants compared to any other Indian state yet it complains a hundred times more about Delhi's discrimination and prejudice. The jawan who protects the people and the territory with his sweat and blood is not allowed to buy an inch of land in the state due to the constitutional provision of Article 370 which bars any Indian from settling down in Kashmir.

Dr Syamaprasad Mookerjee, who became the youngest vice-chancellor of Calcutta University at the age of 34 and later founded the Bharatiya Janasangh, fought against the special powers bestowed upon Jammu & Kashmir that separated it from the rest of the country and paid for his patriotism with his life. He began a movement in 1953 opposing the state's separate entity, was arrested at the state's border on May 11, 1953 and kept under house arrest in Srinagar. He was brought dead to Kolkata, his hometown, on June 24, 1953 (he breathed his last under mysterious circumstances in custody of the Jammu & Kashmir govt on June 23). Born on July 6, 1901, he was barely 52 when his death shook the nation. Prime Minister Nehru refused an inquiry and while Syama Prasad's mother Jogmaya Devi wrote a poignant letter which drew a rude reply. Kolkata was up in protest and even Somnath Chatterjee, the current Speaker of the Lok Sabha, wrote a letter of protest which was published in the Manchester Guardian. Syamaprasad's martyrdom made a difference in the sense that the provision of having two heads of the state was abolished and the sadar-e-riyasat (head of state) system was replaced with the usual governorship in vogue elsewhere.

'They have killed him'

Was Syamaprasad killed? Yes, said the Mother in Pondicherry. He was an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had great hopes from him to change the politics of India. In a book written by an ardent devotee of Sri Aurobindo, Manoj Dasgupta (Dr Syamaprasad Mookerjee "a pure and manly life", pp:52,53,) he has described a conversation which is quit revealing. He writes: 'I may add here a personal note in this context (death of Dr.Mookerjee while in detention in Kashmir). It was during the 'de facto' transfer of Pondicherry [1954] the Ashram was invited to participate in a cultural programme. One evening when the Mother came out of the interview room in the playground (of the Ashram), she began to talk to Debu and me about the preparations for the programme. In course of the conversation the question of the present political situation in India came up. I told Mother that in earlier times we had such great leaders, today we have none. She said that politics was always steeped in falsehood and that was one of the reasons why Sri Aurobindo left politics. Among the present leaders, she said that she had reposed great hope on Syamaprasad, but: "Ils l'ont tue ' They have killed him. (The entire conversation was in French). When I looked at her with surprise, she said, "My child, you don't know, that there are many ways of killing with slow poison."

Why was Syamaprasad denied a space and life in Kashmir for his just and patriotic demands? My friends tirelessly write about Kashmir's patriotic past and how during Pakistan's surprise attack in 1947, Kashmiri Muslims had raised the slogan - 'Hamlawar khabardar, hum Kashmiri hain taiyyar (Attackers beware, we Kashmiris are ready to face you)". If Kashmiri Muslims were so patriotic, why was Syama Prasad not given a place of honour in the valley for his efforts to bring Kashmir at par with other Indian states?

Like Amarnath yatris have been denied space by the present Kashmiri Muslim politicians, patriots like Syamaprasad were denied a space by the secular media and politicians of the same ilk.

In fact the socio-political space for assertive nationalists is sought to be reduced in every sphere of life. It's difficult to publish your views in the so called 'free, objective and independent' media and even if some space is given, the seculars frown upon it as if an anti-national act has been committed. The entire coverage of the Amarnath land row proves it. The slant is too visible against one set of people and favouring the prophets of denial. Why is this so?

Watch the well-orchestrated denial of space to India since the Shaikhs and Muftis have ruled Kashmir. The region got its name from Rishi Kashyap. This legend is sought to be denied or underplayed so much that it's almost invisible now in any contemporary note on Kashmir's history. Kashmir's legacy of a citizen King, Lalitaditya, is denied and dustbinned and the language of the land, the base of any variety of Kashmiriyat, i.e. Kashmiri is denied a rightful place of honour in state affairs. Yes, the state language of Kashmir is not Kashmiri, but Urdu! Because the Shaikhs in their progressivism, reinforced by their leftist supporters, thought that Urdu belongs to Muslims and Jammu and Kashmir, being a Muslim-dominated area, must have Urdu as its state language. And yet they talk of some Kashmiriyat.

They saw their Hindu neighbours being killed, raped and maimed and yet, not a single Muslim Kashmiri took out the kind of protest demonstrations which were done to protest the sanction of a piece of land for the Amarnath pilgrimage.

And yet they say Kashmiriyat means love, peace and harmony.

When Hindu temples were razed and deities desecrated, when orchards of Hindus were destroyed and posters pasted on their homes asking them to leave the valley sans their women, who were the Kashmiri Muslims who wrote even letters to editors denouncing such heinous acts?

When massacres like Wandhama occurred and infants were shot dead by terrorists wielding AK-47s, the case was officially closed even before an inquiry could have been set up. Which Kashmiri Muslim leader stood firm and said 'this is not done, we will ensure that till the culprits (who were all too well known) are brought to book, the case will remain open?'

Now, having forced the newly-appointed governor to take back the Amarnath Shrine Board's application for land, they say they will provide all help to pilgrims. They forgot that hundreds of Hindu pilgrims have died in snowstorms in previous years, mainly due to tortuous weather and inadequate facilities. When Hindus wanted a small shelter on a barren waste land just for the two months of the yatra season, they were denied.

Can we have a better version of Kashmiriyat please?

But when the matter of Haj comes up, they are provided every facility at government expense - yes, the Delhi government's expense. Haj houses, increased quotas every year, ambulances, hospitals, doctors and free delegates for Mecca at government expense. Extra-large Haj terminals and extra-constitutional reservations in jobs and educational facilities.

But space for Hindus is unacceptable.

It's not a question of Kashmir politics, but shows a mindset that grows on hate and intolerance. It's not an issue of denying Hindus a space in the valley or in the so called mainline media, but an attitude that denies India in pursuit of state facilities. It's a cowardly attitude indeed. Otherwise why would the papers published in the valley or in the secular realm of Delhi use the inexplicable term "militants" for terrorists. Can anyone explain why terrorists are not called such, but are glorified as "militants"? Do we need to send them copies of Oxford dictionaries to understand the difference between a terror-striker and a fighter for a cause called militant?

I have enough material to prove step by step, line by line how the people of Kashmir and the rest of India were fooled by Srinagar politicians on the Amaranth land row. But what will it prove in face of a decidedly hateful attitude against a particular community? The same Rainas, Bhatts, Kauls, the same blood and ancestors, same language and cultural lineage, same skin and race, and yet, just a little change in the way of worship makes one to hold rifles and the other to pray for mercy.

Remember, the Kauravas too had denied space to their brothers. They told Krishna the Pandavas will not even get space equivalent to the tip of a needle. But the Pandavas ultimately made a mark because they were right.


Blogger said...

It's all true what you have written. But we Indians will never be united -not for the sake Hinduism-but for the sake ONE INDIA-ONE RULE. It's because of many reasons. One of them is this Nehru family and for the sake of so called secularism- the left parties. India has been getting ruined for too much narrow and abominable politics. I personally think that only God's intervention can save India. But externally we must change our system of governance-from the Parliamentary system to the Presidential one. Sri Aurobindo once remarked on our Parliamentary symtem as the basterd child of Westminister Abbey.
It is for the wrong policy of Nehru and his descendants that the strife between the Hindus and Muslims are alarmingly growing-where in most cases -the Hindus are the sufferers.

Suchin Keralapur said...

Awesome writing. I loved the last three paragraphs. Well said Tarun.