Breaking the taboo, Indian op-eds suggest Kashmir plebiscite

August 17, 2008

Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar/Fayaz KabliThe last time I visited Kashmir, in November, I was struck by an apparent contradiction: it was more peaceful than it had been in years, at least in the capital Srinagar, and yet the overwhelming mood was one of gloom.  With the peace process between India and Pakistan going nowhere, there was a sense    that thousands of people had died for nothing in the violence that had convulsed the region since a separatist revolt erupted in 1989. Although the soldiers had disappeared from the streets of Srinagar, and tourists were flocking back, it retained the some of the same tinderbox atmosphere that I had known at the height of the violence. One spark, people told me, could ignite it again.

When that spark came, in the form of a land dispute between Hindus and Muslims that triggered some of the biggest protests since 1989 (you can see my last posting on this here), the surprise was perhaps not so much that it happened but that so few analysts in Delhi (or Islamabad for that matter) saw it coming.

Fisherman casting a net on the Dal lake in Srinagar/Fayaz KabliThe sheer size and unexpectedness of the protests have prompted some Indian analysts to ask a question that has been anathema  in Delhi for decades: Is it time to consider giving Kashmir independence, or at least to let Kashmiris vote on their future?

“If the experience of the last two decades has taught us anything, it is that the situation never really returns to normal. Even when we see the outward symptoms of peace, we miss the alienation and resentment within.  No matter what we do, things never get better, for very long,” writes Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times.

“I reckon we should hold a referendum in the Valley. Let the Kashmiris determine their own destiny. If they want to stay in India, they are welcome. But if they don’t, then we have no moral right to force them to remain. If they vote for integration with Pakistan, all this will mean is that Azad Kashmir will gain a little more territory. If they opt for independence, they will last for about 15 minutes without the billions that India has showered on them. But it will be their decision,” he writes.

“Whatever happens, how can India lose? If you believe in democracy, then giving Kashmiris the right to self-determination is the correct thing to do. And even if you don’t, surely we will be better off being rid of this constant, painful strain on our resources, our lives, and our honour as a nation? This is India’s century. We have the world to conquer -the other- and the means to do it. Kashmir is a 20th century problem. We cannot let it drag us down and bleed us as we assume our rightful place in the world. It’s time to think the unthinkable.”

The Times of India runs an editorial along similar lines. ”I was once hopeful of Kashmir’s integration, but after six decades of effort, Kashmiri alienation looks greater than ever. India seeks to integrate with Kashmir, not rule it colonially. Yet, the parallels between British rule in India and Indian rule in Kashmir have become too close for my comfort,” writes columnist Swaminathan Aiyar.

Indian bunker near the Line of Control“We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite six decades ago. Let us hold one now, and give them three choices: independence, union with Pakistan, and union with India. Almost certainly the Valley will opt for independence. Jammu will opt to stay with India, and probably Ladakh too. Let Kashmiris decide the outcome, not the politicians and armies of India and Pakistan,” he concludes.

For two such reputable columnists to make a suggestion like this in national newspapers is extraordinary. India has long maintained that Kashmir is an integral part of the country. It has argued that giving up Kashmir would encourage secessionist movements elsewhere in the country and undermine its commitment to secularism by acknowledging that Kashmir, as a Muslim-majority region, could have special treatment. And it has traditionally blamed Pakistan for stirring up trouble in the region, convinced that if only Islamabad could be persuaded to end what it called “cross-border terrorism”, the benefits of Indian democracy and financial support would eventually win the people of Kashmir over.

Of course, a couple of op-eds calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir does not mean it is going to happen. The issue is phenomenally complicated, not least because the much-vaunted U.N. resolutions passed in 1948 calling for a referendum were meant to apply to the whole of the former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir, now divided between India, Pakistan and China. The people were to be given the choice between acceding to India or Pakistan, but not of independence; while the resolution also required that Pakistan withdraw its troops first from its side of the region, followed by the bulk of the Indian forces, before a plebiscite were held.

And any vote, even within the Indian part of the former kingdom, could stir up bitter divisions between and within the three regions that make up the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir – Hindu-dominated Jammu, Muslim-dominated Kashmir and Buddhist- dominated Ladakh — that would dwarf the recent protests. Pakistan would also be faced with tough choices over how to handle the people on its side of the former kingdom, including Azad Kashmir and the strategic Northern Areas.

However, they do suggest a new thinking in India, which, determined to win its place as a global player on the political and economic stage, no longer wants to be dragged down by the Kashmir conflict. The question is whether this new thinking — coming at a time when Pakistan is struggling to reinvent itself as a civilian democracy —  could contribute to a genuine effort towards a durable peace. Or will it simply make an intractable problem even more complicated?

    

110 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

So much of this could have been avoided had Pakistan not sent the barbaric Pashtun tribals in 1948. Kashmir would have been independent like Nepal or Bhutan.

The only solution now is to convert the LOC into an International Border.

Posted by Raja | Report as abusive

Mr. Raja,

Pashtuns are not “barbaric” tribes. They are not more barbaric than you and whatever tribe you belong to. Blame it on the Pashtuns as if it was their fault that Kashmir isn’t an independent country. It is the impotence of India that many conflicts are raging in the region. If India could play the role of a wise “big mama”, there wouldn’t be so many conflicts in and around India.

The Punjabis have always used the simpleminded but brave Pashtun tribes to do their fighting for them. Just because you have lost all wars against the Pashtuns, it doesn’t qualify you to call them “barbaric”.

Posted by kabura | Report as abusive

India/Pakistan agreed to hold a free election under the supervision of UN way back in 1949, and people of Kashmir are still waiting. The only solution is to hold a free election in Kashmir under international supervision to let Kashmiri people to decide what they wants, a union with Pakistan or India or an independent state. An independent state will also resolve the big throne between India and Pakistan and will provide access to citizens of both countries to enjoy the beauty of Kashmir. It will enhance the trade between these three countries and free the Pakistani and Indian governments to reduce their defense budget and provide more social and health care for their citizens. A win win deal for all parties.

Posted by Denali | Report as abusive

I am surprised by the ease u guys want to give away kashmir to Pakistan.there is no doubt about it that india has always been a loser right from partition,If you look at all the wars you fought with pakistan until Kargil you have lost.Simply because you guys do not have the courage to face the reality.The reality is Your government cannot fight Pakistan who times and again threatens you and you just get scared.if you let go Kashmir,the day willnot be far when Panjab will ask for independance,followed by the rest of the country.
Where is that famous saying “From kashmir to Kanyakumari,India is one”.You have lost to the chinese,you are losing to Pakistan.Is it not time to decide to either go out to war and finish this 6 decade old issue once for all?Your politicians are just good to live in false hopes that pakistan will stop bothering you once you give them kashmir.My saying is and i say it loud and firm that the majority of indians would like to say to the kashmiris muslims :if you feel more secure with pakistan,please leave and go to Pakistan and thats it.
You have not mentioned the religious aspect of the issue.If Kashmir becomes annexed with Pakistan,where will the hindus go to offer prayers to their beloved Shivji? In Pakistan?Wake up and rise guys:IF you want PEACE,PREPARE FOR WAR.

Posted by prabhakur | Report as abusive

I disagree that the Kashmir Region will only last 15 minutes if they choose independence. Do you think the international community will not come to their aid? All of Kashmir has much to offer to the world.

Posted by Theresa | Report as abusive

[...] the taboo, Indian op-eds suggest Kashmir plebiscite Jump to Comments The captioned post on Reuters’ blog examines at how decades-old taboos are being broken by the mainstream Indian media: “If the [...]

people may disagree – but a debate on this “taboo” subject is long overdue and now is as good ( or as bad )a time as any. but, is it sheer co-incidence that on the same day another very respected commentator – Vir Sanghvi has written a column ( Think the Unthinkable ) voicing almost identical views in TOIs rival daily Hindustan Times ?

http://www.ghoses.blogspot.com

Kashmir- India – Pakistan – Amarnath shrine – UNO
Allotment of land to Amarnath shrine board is a non-issue. The site of Shiva Lingam was discovered by a Muslim Family (Malik’s), who took care of the place for more than a century. Episodes of 1931, 1947, 1965 and militancy from 1989 onwards did not disturb the smooth conduct of yatra as it was being managed locally with active support from local Muslims. Lately state Govt; had appointed D.C. Islamabad (Anantnag) J&K as the Nodal Yatra Officer and Yatries had no complaints under that arrangement. Vagary of weather in 1996 which resulted in loss of life was made an excuse for the creation of Shrine Board under chairmanship of Governor, the purpose whereof was un-explainable. Recently Land was allotted temporarily to the shrine board by the state Govt; in good faith but an inefficient and arrogant public servant, Mr. Arun Kumar, the then CEO of the shrine board unnecessarily made some foolish statements in a press conference which were far from facts that created the ugly situation we are facing today. Since Amarnath Shiv ligam is a pious place of Kashmiri Pandits the shrine Board should be reconstituted from the learned priests from this community residing in Kashmir or outside for performance of religious rites by indigenous pandits. No politician from Kashmir, Jammu, New Delhi or elsewhere should be associated with the board. If the State Govt; agree to provide the required logistic support to the yatries, it is not understood as to why anybody should still harp on allotment of land to the shrine board. Discrimination alleged by a section of Jammuvites has nothing to do with the allotment of land to the shrine board. Kashmiri Pandits migrated under a criminal conspiracy by Indian intelligence agencies under stewardship of a criminal Jagmohan, then Governor of J&K for the genocide of Muslims in Kashmir, who were up for attaining freedom. It needs to be understood that J&K State is a disputed territory and the case was taken by India to UNO. Three wars have been fought by the two nuclear countries India & Pakistan and UN passed three resolutions on resolution of Kashmir problem which were accepted by both India & Pakistan. United Nations Military Observers Group (UNMOGIP) is active in J&K for the last sixty years. Kashmiries ask both the countries to implement UN resolutions and full fill their promise of right of Self determination to them guaranteed by UNO as to whether they want to accede to India or Pakistan. Not only Indian people but the entire human civilization more importantly the intelligentsia of world’s political and economic powers needs to understand this factual position. As on date the position is that India & Pakistan both are the occupation forces in their respective administered areas. Statements made either by Indian or Pakistani Govt. Officials or politicians are meaningless unless concrete steps are taken for settlement of the main K issue. As regards raising of pro-pakistan, pro-India, pro-independence slogans or hoisting of the flags of their choice in any part of J&K State by any section of people, this cannot be treated as anti-national or secessionist. Economic blockade of the valley by Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti has been a foolish idea of saffron brigade which has only added fuel to the fire. We should have tolerance for others’ view point. Until and unless the main Kashmir issue is resolved amicably we shall have to face this type of music. We have to mind it that the Kashmir issue cannot be solved militarily but it has to be resolved amicably by India & Pakistan keeping in view the aspirations of all sections and regions of the J&K state. The use of excessive force by Army & CRPF in Kashmir with intention to kill innocent un-armed protestors and special treatment to rowdy fanatics in Jammu with tridents and petrol bombs in their hands enforcing blockade of national highway, causing loss to railways and properties of Muslims and State Govt; speaks volumes about the inner policy of the Govt; of India and no Indian should have grouse as to why every kashmiri male. Female and child is today on the roads demanding for Freedom and opening of Muzafferabad road. We have to understand that we have wasted more than six decades. We should now find a solution to this problem before it is too late. That way we will be doing a great service to the people of India, Pakistan and J&K as we will be saving billions of Rupees on defense which could be conveniently spent for removal of poverty and development of people in this entire region. International community & UNO need to not to be silent spectators and they need to play a positive role for immediate implementation of UN resolutions on Kashmir or finding any other Just and amicable solution to this problem. Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, UNO should open his eyes and ask for complete details about millions of people who have thronged themselves in front of the office of UNMOGIP in Srinagar Kashmir on 18th August 2008 to present Memoranda addressed to him asking for resolution of Kashmir Problem. Amnesty International, Asia Watch & all Human Rights Organizations are duty bound to check Human rights violations in Kashmir.

Posted by Moharkan | Report as abusive

kashmir should be made just like nepal and both countries can visit wih out passport

Posted by nanoo | Report as abusive

kasshmir should be made just like nepal ,either country
people should visit without passports.

Posted by nanoo | Report as abusive

Kashmiri leaders stamped by the Government of India have created a myth that Amarnath yatra is only 100 years old while sacred yatra has a history of thousands of years.

The half literate Kashmiri leaders say that the yatra is only 100 year old is not based on facts as Kashmir has its own history of over 5000 years. Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s statement on the issue who too echoed the same statement was also misleading the people on Amarnath yatra.

It is to inform that the “Maliks” are not “Gujjars” as propagated and the books referred have been translated in English by the Britishers during their rule in India.

The yatra finds its mention in Neelmat puraan and at the end of Afghan rule in 1819, Hardas Tickoo was the first Kashmiri Hindu who made the arrangements for yatra by donating Rs two lakh for the same. Later Mahant Atwar Giri Ji Mahraj came forward to take the holy mace to cave shrine. This tradition is today followed by Mahant Depinder Giri, he added.

The present controversy is nothing but a gameplan of separatists supported by mainstream politicians to limit the influx of yatra to few thousands and this is the reason that controversy plagued the yatra after coalition Government headed by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed came to power in 2002, who is a known fundamentalist and a rukn of Jamaat-e-Islami having close relationship with separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Kashmiris have become an intolerant society and exodus of 4 lakh Kashmiri Hindus and now non-Kashmiris is a clear example of their comunal and exclusivist thinking.

Posted by Ritu Singh | Report as abusive

Well, the resolution of the long pending Kashmir dispute is inevitable now. The desire of the people is quite loud and clear. Jammu & Kashmir is divided along communal lines and it is quite natural that Kashmir comprising predominantly of Muslims would like to merge in Pakistan. Independence would not mean much because it cannot be sustained in the long run.

Ultimately, the ruling UPA in Delhi is to be blamed for loss of Kashmir since it failed to intervene timely in resolving the dispute in lines with its so called “secular stand”. Now it is fair that the people of Kashmir should have their say i.e., whether to stay in India or merge with Pakistan or form an independent country.

Strategically the loss of Kashmir does not augur well for India since India would loss the advantage of geography. In the future scenario India would be required to deploy increased military personnel in Jammu, which as of now seems to be staying back in India on account of religious attachments. Ultimately this would mean a vigorous arms race in South Asia having wider global implications.

Posted by Sreejit | Report as abusive

What about the .7 million Kashmiri Pandits , the original inhabitants of Kashmir. Don’t they have any claim on the land? They too have been asking for a separate land under the Union govt. of India. Shouldn’t the editors break the taboo and talk about them also.

Posted by Rajesh | Report as abusive

Kashmir is part of India and it will always remain so. Few chicken hearted coloumnist’s view does not change the resolve of people of India to alter the status of Kashmir.
India has sound logic to see kashmir as an integral part of the the country.
India is a secular state and it has never accepted two nation theory of Mr. Jinna, according to which hindus and muslims can not co-exists.

Today few kashmiri and their pakistani supporter are asking for the independence / merger of kashnir based on this two nation theory. The day India accept the independence or merger of Kashmir with pakistan, it will be esteblished that India has accepted the two nation theory, and then there will be no option but to transfer the 15 crore muslims living in India to pakistan.
By Not accepting two nation theory india has done favour to these 15 crore muslims. But if pakistan think that where ever muslims are in majority in India there two nation theory to be applied and wher ever they are in minority they should remain in India, it is not possible.

India will either be a secular nation, Which means kasmir will be part of India or it will be a Hindu state, which mean 15 crore muslims of India will have to leave India.

Let all those supporters of plebecite / independence / merger with pakistan of kashmir decide, what they want. Choice is theirs.

Posted by MANOJ | Report as abusive

please understand its election time in India(state and centre) and be prepared for a lot of excitement but ultimately in the long run the more things change the more they remain the same.nothing will happen.I am pretty sure when push comes to shove even pakistan will not part with its kashmir.

and please pakis human rights violations?you mean like the ones in balochistan,nwfp,hudood ordinance,etc etc,those who live in glass houses…

Posted by Shantanu Chatterjee | Report as abusive

It is simpler to give police water cannons and riot control gear than to hold a dumb plebiscite when all the conditions for plebiscite have been violated for more than six decades, massive migration, population displacement, infiltration etc. When these thugs hold demonstrations, it is simpler and peaceful to control them by using water cannons and riot gear. This is done all over the world. DO not use guns to control demonstrations. No killing or maiming of people. Use riot control gear. Use brains. No need to redraw boundaries.

Posted by u_s_a | Report as abusive

This is the right time that India rethink of its policy viz-a-viz Kashmiris. We KASHMIRIS have never opposed Yatra, infact it has been going on in this region for 200 years now. But the fact is that Kashmiris have never assiciated themselves with India.The mass uprising on the streets of KAshmir should serve as an eye opener for the GOI.

Posted by Tabzeer Yaseen | Report as abusive

Reason for Holding Kashmir is not Because we as Indians will Die if there were not Kashmir.Reason is Critical to very existance of Modern India.
Congress Always Maintained that Hindus and Muslims can live togather as one Country.Gandhiji was Instrumental in making Hindus of India agree to Keep 6% Mulsim Population in India.So the Question was All Muslim Majority States opted for Pakistan.India’s Right RSS,always maintained that there should be no division of INDIA.If there were to be a Division it has to be complete.All Hindus should be in India All Muslims should go to Pakistan.

Congress party argument with help from Gandhiji was ,”India is Secular Because Hindus and Muslims live happily in country”.But RSS maintained,the moment Muslims of India are majority they will break away.Kashmir was Show Piece for Secularists in India.It was kashmir which Secularist in India show as example to show India also has Muslim Majority state,but is part of India.(Kashmiri’s never Felt Indian though,and they made it clear).
Congress tried to use Kashmir to Convince Hindus with this Example.If Kashmir were to Become Indipendent,then Whole question of Hindu Muslim unit theory of Congress stand Hollow.So it proves RSS right that India during partition should ahve completed Hindu Muslim division.
If tomorrow Kerala were to Become Muslim Majority,they could also want indipendence.next Assam..

If Kashmir were to Go,so will unity of India based on flawed theory.India then will surely be divided based on Religion

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Kashmir is integral part of India. Anyone suggests otherwise is living in dreams. India is at peace with the status quo. Latest stir about land to amarnath board is a public stunt created to provoke people in kashmir at the election time and get votes. Pleople of Kashmir should realize that they are playing in hands of these politicians who has not been to the shrine in their lifetime. I am a hindu but urging my fellow hindus of Jammu that do not block the roads and movements of crops of poor farmers. Its their only way to make a living. If you really want to pray for Lord Shiva, you don’t need to go to Amarnath to pray. Shiva lives everywhere. You can pray from your own home. Why create noise and bloodshed. I am sure Lord Shiva is not going to please if you get that piece of land after this much blooodshed.

Posted by Mota bhai | Report as abusive

Remove article 370 and all will be well in the Kashmir valley.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Mr. Kabura…pashtuns are a barbaric tribe…and they re known as one in many parts of the world..just because you belong to some tribe doesn’t make it less barbaric..PERIOD..learn to accept facts that be a “whining” baby..one thing which you said correctly is the impotence of the sissy indian government..the govt. of india has nuclear power.. kashmir is an integral part of india and will always remain so. Those who don’t want to stay in the country can get out! the motherland is not a piece of cake to be divided over fighting children..ok??

Posted by Girish | Report as abusive

Kashmir will be part of India, if required, we will take back pakistan. Kashmir cannot be just given away because there are more muslims there. Who marginalised and drove away all the Kashmiri pandits? Where were the so called secularists when kashmiri pandits were barbarically killed and driven away. Even if we give away Kashmir, pakistan cannot afford to sit quite. What will happen to the huge investment they have made in building the terror networks, they have to be used somewhere. If we give up Kashmir, they would want more.

Posted by Dileep | Report as abusive

I think Vir Sanghvi is very biased in claiming that Kashmir will perish in 15 minutes as a sovereign nation. If Bangladesh could be given its freedom and it has survived as a sovereign nation, I don’t see why Kashmir cannot unless ofcourse India goes back on its word and attacks Kashmir to reannex it.

Posted by Sana Mushtaq | Report as abusive

I have yet to hear or see anybody leaving his home and hearth, affluence, livelihood
and big houses and orchards and choose a life of misery in dingy, disease infested refugee camps, small hutments ,jhuggi jhompadis ,just because some Governor called Jag-Mohan had hatched a conspiracy against Kashmir Muslims. It is hard to believe that even if some wise person would have told the people of Hiroshima to leave because the city would be nuked, they would have heeded and left or for that matter people living in cities located on earthquake faults know very well that one of these days there is going to be death and destruction but still live there. It is not in human nature, or for that matter basic animal instincts do not allow to leave the comfort zone unless brute force and or intimidation is used to make it happen.
Three hundred thousand people or may be more left the Kashmir valley for nowhere, not knowing where they will get shelter or food or clothing, a sizeable percentage of the people who fled were elderly and ailing who just wanted to spend the last days of life in the confines and comfort of their home with their families, to see the end and be cremated or buried in the land which used to be their ‘Home’.
However cleverly the argument of conspiracy theory and criminal designs of the governor are put, such an explanation simply does not hold any ground unless the large majority of the people who left were insane. devoid of any common sense and did not care about the deprivation of education, decent living, flourishing business and profession, large estates and things which had been accumulated through the hard work of their fathers and forefathers.
It is very pathetic that such hypothetical instances are being created for people who were uprooted from their land and home as if they were a pack of mice that would follow the fiddle of Pied piper Jagmohan and jump in the water to drown.

Posted by shef | Report as abusive

Myra,

Nobody would agree if you say lets give the right to choose to kashmiris over land. its not their land alone.It is integral part of India.But i do agree if you say the choice to where to live should be given to Kashmiris. Let them choose.. if they want to continue to live in with Hindus or move over to Pakistan or china. if they are ready to let these terrorists in..

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

so much said about Kashmir from both sides, I think basic question remains what do the Kashmiris want? They have basic human right to decide their future. Lets them give this basic right once and for all to sort this. People claiming if they want to join Pakistan they should move to Pakistan etc, should keep in mind Kashmiries are indigenous people and they have every right on their own homeland and its future!

Posted by Shakil | Report as abusive

One should be very realistic in accepting the disputed nature of the Kashmir.All those who have watched today’s peacefull protests in kashmir will realise the aspirations of the people of kashmir, where millions of people assembled in the heart of the city to register thir protest. The protesters included all the intelectual classes of the kashmir like doctors, lawyers etc.The kashmir was never under the british rule and has a seperate history so where guareenteed the right to self determination by the then prime minister of india by taking the issue to UN.Furthermore I ask the so called Indian to go back to the history of the world and say that no body could stop the massive public uprisings even if the oppressors were very powerfull than what india is even today, so don’t live in fools land and stop thinking that even an inch wll not be given to kashmiri’s.We have a right to self determinatin and we will get it. InshaAllah

Posted by kashmiri | Report as abusive

Kashmir’s should have right to determine what there future looks like. If they will be given the right then the opportunity to have “greater India” will become more feasible where people live being Pakistani, Afgani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Bhutani, and Sri Lankan but enjoy the benefit of greater India, just like “European Union”. Ethnically we belong to this region, values are almost same, culturally they are same then why not we should work together to be part of greater India or any other unity name, where all these individualities are preserved, and people prosper on the economic well being of the region. Moreover in divided Sub continent the fight of keeping Kashmir has nothing to do with “Two nation theory”, it is more to have control over natural resources specially “Water”. Primarily all nations in the region are agro-base economies; if one has control over water they have advantage. Nonetheless Shrines of Indian lords or of Muslim saints are respected by the regional people because it does give them opportunity to thrive from the visitors, so there is no question if Kashmir goes to India, Pakistan, or independent then what will happen to the Lord Shiva’s Shrine? I think we should respect the right of self determination of Kashmiri’s; this will pave the path for Greater India/SAARC. This translates into less spending on the arms and military and more on the infrastructure development. All this will ensure that people of the region are prosperous and our next generations are going to have good schools, better healthcare facilities and have brighter future. Long Live Pakistan and its Neighbors.

Posted by Naqeeb | Report as abusive

People may have different opinions but the fact remains that Kashmir is an inalienable part of India and if the people of Kashmir are willing to go to Pakistan, they are free to do so. Like how Pakistan has accepted Afghani’s after raping that country they would surely welcome Kashmiri’s. The Kashmiri’s should first visit some of these camps in Peshawar and other areas to see how the Afghani’s are being treated like animals and then assess what their future would be like in Afghanistan. The Kashmiri’s are being taken for a ride by a few separatist leaders who are behaving naive and unaware of realities. Kashmir has been woven into the Indian tradition for thousands of years will do so for the next thousands of years

Posted by Kashmirr | Report as abusive

A Plebiscite is a fair process. Fairness has to be ensured by the UN in conduting a Plebiscite.All Indians must await the outcome, and abide by it.

Posted by Sanjeev | Report as abusive

They do not want to be a part of India after sixty years of accession with India but they are looking forward to be a part of ‘Greater India’(whatever that means).Good luck to you, your first wish shall be granted but when ? After the maps are redrawn,
Demographic data is recompiled; population census and land measurements are done,
how and how many districts or provinces go which side, relocation of some and dislocation of others, either peacefully or violently, quite possible the whole process would take two to three decades because there are going to be endless disputes and both the parties are going to knock at the door of united nations and you know litigation is time consuming and by the time Kashmir gets “aazadi” your children’s children might say, ‘Grandpa’ for whom did you do this?

Posted by rathi | Report as abusive

We Indians consider Kashmir as integral part fo India.There is no question of it’s secession.No one should even dare to think so!
These op-eds (Singhvi, Aiyer etc) should be charged with treason and prosecuted.
Few people (communities) don’t want to co-exist with any other.You give up something, they will ask for more.It has no limit…

Posted by Bulle Shah | Report as abusive

Reading through the comments, I’d say there is not much to be gained in arguing about the history of Kashmir, nor indeed in blaming the Pashtuns, Indians or Pakistanis for the current impasse, as there will always be at least a thousand different opinions. One could just as easily blame the British for selling Kashmir to Gulab Singh in the first place, or the earlier oppressive rule of the Sikhs and the Afghans for that matter.

I’m happy to argue about the history of Kashmir with anyone as I have a particular interest in it, but for the purposes of this blog the question is really about the future rather than the past. (I know there is a school of thought that says that India and Pakistan will never make peace until they have agreed on their history, but that seems like a rather tall order!)

Is there a change in thinking in India about Kashmir (perhaps among the younger generation?). I see one person has posted a comment saying that “a debate on this “taboo” subject is long overdue and now is as good (or as bad ) a time as any.” And is it matched by a change in thinking — perhaps also among the younger generation — in Pakistan?

And if so, where lies the solution?

Having been in Ladakh, Kashmir, Jammu, and the Northern Areas of Pakistan, I’d caution that the issue looks different depending on where you are in the former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. So whatever happens is not going to be simple.

More questions, I know, but felt I should pitch in to the debate to ask people to look forward rather than back. And please try to keep the commments constructive — no abuse, no swearing and no denigrating an entire people based on their religion, race or ethnic or national identity.

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Hello Naqeeb,
The thing what u said is right. but it is not possible due to religious difference. i would love this to happen. but i can bet my life it can never happen and if it happens it goin to be catastrophe. people fighting with each other for the religion. i live in europe and i have pakistani friends. they r really good friends of mine. they say that they have so many problems about balochistan nwpf etc. they say that if kashmir is not an issue then pakistan would be divided into different countries. i would never want this to happen as pakistan was once a part of india and i respect the land, people and the culture. but i would request everyone to live in peace.

Posted by indian | Report as abusive

it seems reason and good sense is ultimately dawning on the indian intelligentsia. what the recent economic blockade of the only muslim majority area by the hindus in india has done is to make people like me also who were quite confortable with india to realise what dangerously communal direction india is heading to….

Posted by ahmad | Report as abusive

The first step in the right direction would be for the
Hindu religious chauvanist to stop inciting religious hatred. The next step in the right direction
would be for the valley to accept the return of the Kashmiri pandits.

The Switzerland solution is the best thing for Kashmir,
by this I mean Kashmir being able to trade with the rest of India and across the LOC also. Pakistan is Punjab dominated, many regions want to break away. Do Kashmiris from the valley really want join the Maelstrom that is Pakistan?

The young people in South Asia really want job opportunities. We should reject politics of religious sectarianism and ethnic hatred. A peaceful enviroment is needed for an expanding economy. There are many global problems to be solved like the energy crisis and global warming. People from India/Pakistan are smart and can contribute to solve many comtemporary issues.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

By Switzerland solution I mean making LOC the international boundary and allowing trade through the LOC.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

It is time to recognize that Kashmir is an occupied nation and will remain so until the Indian army decides to leave. The only way India can keep Kashmir is by “force”. Kashmiris have made it clear time and again that they are not Indians. India has to decide do they perpetuate this occupation or do they want to join the peace-loving democracies of the world. India certainly has the ability to kill lot of Kashmiris, but the question remains … is it worth it? How wise is it for India to keep 6 Million people of Kashmir occupied within its borders? It is time for India to let go of Kashmir. Kashmir has abundant natural resources to survive as an independent nation. It export huge amounts of power to India with little benefit for itself. Kashmir can trade with both India and Pakistan…. It is time, my friends!

Posted by Jimmy | Report as abusive

THE KASHMIR PROBLEM

Today, a large number of kashmiris are making the same demand as Mohd. Ali Jinnah at the time of partition.
There are two varieties of muslims in the world. One, are those liberal muslims that believe that they can live happily with non-muslims. Large majority of Indian muslims fall in this category as their fore-fathers consciously chose to stay back in India after partition, and live with hindus.

However, majority of Pakistani muslims are off-springs of those who believe that muslims and non-muslims cannot live together in the same country.

The basic idea of Jinnah was that a separate Muslim state will be better for them and there would be everlasting peace between the two friendly neighbours, India and Pakistan.
Jinnah has been PROVEN WRONG
After 60 years, we see that the religious intolerance of Pakistani muslims has made life miserable for them as well as the world, by making Pakistan the breeding ground for terrorists. And, partition has not helped in bettering the relations of India and Pakistan. These two nations are biggest enemies of each other.

Kashmiri Separatists want to repeat the same BLUNDER. A separate state based on religious divide.
All muslims need to debate what form of Islam they wish to practice?? That which is practiced by large majority of Indian muslims or the Pakistani kind that leads to enmity, hatred and destruction.

The basic premise of separatists that they cannot live with non-muslim hindus and must have a separate country is WRONG. This thinking is the same as that of Osama bin Laden that muslims cannot live with non-muslims in the same world. Hence, his call for Jihad to convert or kill all non-muslims in the world.

The land of Kashmir cannot be separated. Kashmir valley was full of water long ago as a lake. Thousands of years back, Rishi Kashyap drained the lake after which valley became habitable. Initially, only sages and hermits stayed there engaged in penance. Later, after advent of Islam, the ordinary people who had converted to Islam grew into majority, and sages later called Hindu pundits became minority. THESE WERE THEN DRIVEN OUT OF KASHMIR STARTING FROM 1980S (TODAY THE WORLD CALLS IT ETHNIC CLEANSING) WITH NO PROTESTS FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

MOST MUSLIM SEPARATISTS BELIEVE TIME STARTED AFTER BIRTH OF ISLAM. AND HENCE, THEY CAN CLAIM ANY THING AS THEIRS WHEREEVER THEY ARE BASED ON RELIGION.
MUSLIM INVADERS HAVE EITHER DRIVEN OUT, CONVERTED OR KILLED IDOL WORSHIPPERS FROM IRAN TO INDIA AND BEYOND.
The converted muslims in the Indian sub-continent must at least have some respect for their ancestors that were long back forced into Islam. At least, for their honour, they should not make life so miserable in their ancestors land who were common to all hindus and muslims alike in this part of the world.

these are my personal views.

PRADYUMNA PANDEY
from BHARAT (NAME OF MY COUNTRY by our forefathers that extended from present day Iran to large parts of Indonesia in the ancient past)
INDIA as named by British
Hindustan as named by muslim invaders.

Posted by pradyumna pandey | Report as abusive

it seems indian peole has rotten mindset as seems from their comments.they are not able to take realties of kashmit.every soul in kashmir wants freedom from indian occupation.the india is genocide nation.Kashmir is counting on UN. Please don’t let the people of Kashmir down…

Posted by freedom fighter | Report as abusive

[...] seems to be taking the issue with the seriousness it deserves. Here is an interesting article. Pakistan: Now or Never? Blog Archive Breaking the taboo, Indian op-eds suggest Kashmir plebiscite | … Originally Posted by Vir Sanghvi “If the experience of the last two decades has taught [...]

It is never too late to let the People decide what they want. Lets not loose our democrtic soul in the fear of loosing a part which wants to part. Now living is Florida, USA for fourty years, hailing from a Kashmiri Pundit family, I was born in Lahore from a migrant family from India. In all honesty my parents regreted the move till death. But truthfully just like the fanatic Muslims a lot is to be blamed on the fanatic Hindus as well. But over all the Indians are a lot tolerant folks than Pakistanis and that is becomeing more and more popular with time, thanks to rational thinking. Mix culturs like India thrive only on secular principls. The problem with Pakistan is, it is 96% Muslims who are misguided Muslims fundamentaly trusting the distorted translated versions of todays Muslim religion which is contrary to the original Islamic teaching of freedom of thought. Actually/Factually speaking the role of a religious Pundits/ Mullahs Pyramid was shattered by Original Islam and getting the enlightenment from the Quran was to be upto the individuals, but today that freedom of thought has long been forgotton. I hope the Kashmiri’s if given a chance to choose, choose for Independence as a whole country and choose to be a secular state. The alternative choice to join Pakistan will be just devastating for their economy and their rich culture and they will regret it. To be the foremost will be the slaughter of the still somewhat intact freedom of 1/2 of the Kashmiri Women. In my opinion, India with all its limitation of discrimations at all levels is marching forward where as the Muslim world in general and Pakistan in Particular is sliding fast in the Dark ages of Islam. I agree that India is bogged down with Kashmir. Good Luck.

Posted by Nader Junaid | Report as abusive

If you give away Kashmir because a small group of Muslims cannot live in a secular pluralistic society,

I as a Tamil, want my Tamil Nadu (Tamil county) too

Manny

Posted by Manny | Report as abusive

This is really an irony that most of us including the auther have failed to realise that the movement in Jammu region is not directed against a religion, a region or mererly for the sake of 100 acres of land , it is rather a movement of the masses against the politicians who have no dignity or moral values and and are misleading and propelling their own people to disaster. People of Kashmir have failed to look after what the Maharajas of Dogra empire had left for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. You all need to broaden your knowledge of history of Jammu and Kashmir!

Posted by bharat | Report as abusive

My impression of the article- An irresponsible and extremely flawed reasoning on several counts. If we hold a plebiscite, as the author of the article suggests we do, we could be walking down a path fraught with risks.

1. We will certainly lose the whole of the Valley, which might be acceptable to some, but will Jammu as a whole opt to stay with India?…I think we’ll lose substantial parts of that part as well and even if Jammu stays with us, will the muslim population of Jammu stay out of trouble..and for how long?
2. Our giving in at this stage will bolster the morale of Insurgent groups across the North East and that of the Naxalites and could potentially open up the country to a host of secessionist movements.It will certainly be a shot in the arm to radical Islamic outfits and will be a Godsend to the ISI in Pakistan which would like nothing better than to oversee the Balkanisation of India.

3.The Author himself proclaims that Kashmir will not last ’15 minutes’ without the financial support of India. Does he then wish to see an impoverished, radicalised territory next door to India which will be controlled by a host of mullahs and warlords all running terrorist training camps , where we will have no control whatsoever?..we heaved a sigh of relief when Musharraf narrowly prevented that from happening to Pakistan – so should we let that happen in Kashmir?

4. What of all the officers and Jawans who gave their lives in all these decades defending Kashmir – are their sacrifices to go in vain?

I say all this not with the sentimentality of someone who served in the armed forces but out of a belief that if we waver at this juncture and take hasty knee-jerk decisions, generations of Indians to come will pay for it in blood. This is the time to grit our teeth, take strong measures, let passions die down and take decisiona from a position of strength.

Posted by Kiran R | Report as abusive

it is a really interesting discussion.
i would like to first of all like to tell the details of the
problem of the land transfer which is as follows:

IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE FACTS AND THE REASONS OF OPPOSING LAND TRANSFER TO AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD BY THE COMMITEE SET UP BY DIVERSE GROUPS IN KASHMIR WHICH INCLUDES TRADE BODIES AND CIVIL SOCIETY HEADED BY EMMINENT LAWYER MR MAIN ABDUL QAYYUM.
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IS :
WHY AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD REQUIRES LAND?
AS PER STATE GOVT AS WELL AS THE SHRINE BOARD TO PROVIDE PROPER FACILITIES.
WHAT FACILTIES A PILGRIM WILL REQUIRE?
ACCOMODATION,FOOD ,TRANSPORT & OTHER FACILTIES LIKE DRINKING WATER AND LAVATORIES.

ACCOMODATION:

THE AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD SAYS THAT THE ACCOMODATION IS TO BE CREATED IN THE FORM OF TENTS AS WELL AS TEMPORARY HUTS.THE LAND IF IT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS AND AS PER THE GOVT COMMITEE TO DECIDE ABOUT THE DURATION AND NO OF PEOPLE TO VISIT THE AMARNATH HAS FIXED IT OF 1 MONTH AND NOT MORE THAN 5000 PER DAY THEN THE TOTAL SHOULD BE NOT MORE THAN 150000 IN NO.
THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN BOTH PAHALGAM AND SONMARG HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CATER TO THIS IN TOTALITY AND IF THERE ARE EXTRA SPACE NEEDED THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS CAPABLE OF PROVIDING TENTS WITH THIER EXPERTISE AND THERE IS NO NEED FOR LAND TO BE TRANSFERRED ON THIS ACCOUNT.
IT MAY NOT BE OUT OF PLACE TO MENTION THAT THE LAND IN BALTAL PRESENTLY BEING USED BY THE AMARATH SHRINE BOARD IS OWNED TO THE EXTENT OF 385 KANALS BY VILLAGERS OF NILIGRATH WHO HAVE EVEN THIER BURIAL GROUND THERE.
THE AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD HAS CREATED PERMANENT STRUCTURES AT BALTAL CAMP THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WHICH WE HAVE AND WERE DISTRUBUTED IN THE PRESS CONFERENCE.
IS THE LAND TO BE GIVEN TO AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD TO TAKE OVER THE BUSINESS OF ACCOMODIATION FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR OR FOR OTHER REASONS LIKE CREATING PERMANENT STRUCTURES FOR SOMETHING ELSE.

FOOD:
THE CONCEPTS OF FREE LANGARS IS IN SIKHISM AND THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE TRAINED TO MAKE VEGETARIAN FOOD AND WHAT IS THE IDEA OF BRINGING IN HUNDREDS OF FREE LANGARS TO BALTAL AS WELL AS PAHALGAM AND BECAUSE OF THIS ASK FOR LAND TO GIVE FACILITATION TO PILGRIMS WHILE THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS CAPABLE OF DOING IT.
TRANSPORT:
TRANSPORT IS BEING DONE BY PILGRIMS BY BUSES ,TAXIS,PONIES,LABOURERS,HELCOPTER SERVICE.
THE J&K GOVT HAS ALLOWED OUTSIDE VEHICLES INCLUDING BUSES AND TAXIS ALTHOUGH IN LADAKH THE BUSES AND TAXIS OF KASHMIR OR JAMMU FOR THAT MATTER ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PLY WITHIN LEH .
FOR THS FACILTATION NO LAND IS REQUIRED.
IN CASE OF PONIES THE AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD CHARGES MONEY FROM THE OWNERS AND FOR THIS ALSO THEY WOULD NOT REQUIRE LAND.
IN CASE OF HELICOPTER SERVICE THERE IS LAND REQUIRED BUT AS PER ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS IT IS DETERMINTAL FOR THE LINGAM ITSELF AND THE OPERATION OF THIS FACILITY SHOUD BE WITH THE GOVT AS THE AIR SPACE IS OWNED BY THE GOVT AND NOT THE AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD.
OTHER FACILTIES LIKE LAVATORIES:
THIS IS ONE FACILTY WHICH WILL REQUIRE LAND BUT NOT IN CONTINUITY AND EVEN IF 100 SUCH FACILITIES ON EACH SIDE ARE CREATED IT WILL NOT REQUIRE 50 KANALS AND THAT ALSO NOT IN CONTINUITY.
THIS COULD BE DONE BY NGO AND THEY HAVE TO BE TEMPORARY IN NATURE AND NON POLLUTING.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT ISSUE IS DURATION.

DURATION:
WE OPPOSE THE DURATION BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE AREA OF AMARNATH CAVE IS A PART OF THE HIMALAYAN RANGE ON WHICH DEPENDS OUR FORESTS,WATER,TOURISM,WILDLIFE .AROMATIC PLANTS AND HERBS.
IT IS HIGHLY FRAGILE AREA AND WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND WHY IN THIS CASE OUR ENVIRONMENTALISRTS ALL OVER INDIA ARE QUIET WHILE AS THERE WAS NO OBJECTION IN THE CASE OF GANGOTRI IN UTTARKHAND WHERE THE NO OF PILGRIMS HAVE BEEN RESTRICTED.

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES:
WHEN THE AMARNATH YATRA IS ON IT IS NO GO AREA FOR TOURISTS AND EVEN LOCALS THEREBY PRACTICALLY TAKING OVER OF PAHALGAM AND SONMARG .IF THIS YATRA IS EXTENDED FOR ONE YEAR THEN THESE TWO PRIMARY TOURIST RESORTS ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO OUR TOURISM SECTOR.
THE FEARS:
1)TAKING OVER OF SONMARG AND PAHALGAM
2)IN ONE OF THE PRESS REPORTS THE CEO DR ARUN KUMAR IS ON RECORD TO MENTION THAT THE AMARNATH SHRINE BOARD CAN GENERATE ELECTRICITY ALSO TO FACILITATE THE PILGRIMS.IMAGINE BY TRANSFER OF LAND THE CONSTRUCTION OF DAMS AND CONTROLLING OUR LIDDER AND SINDH RIVERS .
3)WHEN WHOLE OF SONMARG AND PAHALGAM ARE TAKEN OVER THERE IS POSSIBILTY OF CHANGING THE DEMOGRAPHY OF OUR STATE PARTICLURALY KASHMIR

now the people of kashmir want thier right of self determination and they will not be kept by india just because of other muslims are in india who remained of thier free will in india after partition or just because india cannot hold together just because indians have a false notion of secularism just because they have kashmir.
we kashmiris have suffered with low investements because of pending settlement ,our tourism has suffered now our horticulture and kashmir can survive by just tapping its water resources for power which is like oil.
let it be like switzerland wth both countries having access and kashmir can be a free zone with an international financial centre and be zone of peace for the whole region with everybody able to come.

Posted by mubeen kashmiri | Report as abusive

Freedom of speech is what the biggest ailment we are suffereing from.

Really the op-eds or the knowledgeable indian coloumnists, driving luxury cars and and dinning in five stars ,have shown that for the sake of writing something, in weeklys or dailys they can write anything about any subject affectting the millions and billions of peoples of india, and kashmir.

I am surprised at the ease with which they are proposing independence or sesession or referendum.

” Kashmir has the majority of muslims, it should be with Pakistan” is a stupid assumption.
The referendum in Kashmir after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, by terrorists, can not be fair and is a stupidity.

It will be same if Indian hindu extremist release a fatva against the Muslims in valley and ask them to flee or die.
And then we talk about the referendum.

Kashmir is a integral part of india , if we accept the pakistani demand, tomorrow , punjab, North east, south, and andhra and every state will do so.

We have to stop being soft hearted on every issue,at least related to border disputes. which threatens the very existence of our being.

Posted by amar | Report as abusive

As a Pakistani,I want to say that noone in my country is interested in Kashmir,or interested in fighting for Kashmir.It is a mere ideology,a concept that exists in our mind & I am sick of the army & politicians on both sides of the border making a big deal of it.Let it be independat,& let the subcontinent move forward & bury old woulds.

PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

Posted by Qasim Awan | Report as abusive

I beleive only a very small minority in the Kashmir valley want to merge with Pakistan. Given the opportunity Pakistan would give the Kashmir a lot of FDI, FDI from ISI for creating terrorist training camps.

It is better to allow the Kashmiri pandits to come back and stay within India and trade with neighboring regions. I think only a minority in Kashmir valley are against the return of pandits but terrorists from the other side of the LOC have implemented religious cleansing.

I am fed up with BJP rhetoric on minority appeasment, what happened in Gujarat certainly was not appeasment but to Modis credit nothing like that has been repeated since.
Lets face it is a hard to be a minority anywhere in the world. Though in India people try to be secular.
I agree with the sentiments of Qasim lets bury old wounds and develop the region.

Its not my intention to denigrate pakistan with my terrorist training camp remark, sadly the comment is an accurate one.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

I am 30 years – So called the newer generation who according to you is open to taboo question of plebiscite in Kashmir. This is not the case. The media is biased.

Kashmir will not be handed to Pakistan on a platter. Let them fight for it.

Posted by Achimus | Report as abusive

Why does India give subsidies to Muslims to go to Makkah? It is ONLY required that a Muslim go to Makkah if he can afford it on his own, according the Koran. Whay does the Government give Muslims shelters that they can use all year and when the government tries to do the same for Hindua the Muslims go WILD???

Kashmir should not be allowed to leave the Indian Union without all Indians having a say. It is NOT up to just the Muslim Kashmiris as there are hindus and Budists living in Kashmir too.

Maybe India should look at getting many more Hindus to relocate to Kashmir in order to change the demographics.

Posted by wade sabean | Report as abusive

Despite polls that CNN-IBN along with Express carried out just recently revealing over 87 percent of Kashmiris opt for Independent State and ‘worldopinionpoll.org’ too finding almost the same statistics, the oppressor continues to misinform its people.

These polls clear all the confusions among Indian audience that Kashmir wishes to remain single and not with either of the two countries, claiming half of it each.

Back to early 1990s, Kashmiri struggle was purely indigenous and it should have had seen the support of Kashmiri Pandits, but they backtracked and left the valleyties forever. No doubt 209 Pandits were killed (express reported it), but what about 90,000 Muslim Kashmiris. Moreover, what about 506 Muslim civilians who were killed after being hit my troopers’ vehicles only?

Pandit organisation ‘Roots in Kashmir’ might claim to have been thrown out of valley and subjected to genocide, what about those Muslim Kashmiris who remained here and bore the maximum brunt of the slaughter. If 209 is genocide, then 506 and 90,000 are huge figures. “Roots in Kashmir’ should also talk about that. Remember here in Kashmir, Muslim Kashmiri participate in the pandit Kashmiri marriages and make sure to provide every facility to them.

We have here the two letters by Kashmiri pandits, who have exploded the myth propagated by the pandits in Jammu regarding their situation and Amarnath land row. And one has even said that eratwhile SASB headed by SK Sinha was an ‘eco-terrorist organisation’.

They are airing their views that ‘Panun Kashmir has been hijacked and hell bent on dividing the region on communal lines’. And they does say that a particular party collected millions of dollars in our name all over world and distributed plastic buckets to our people living in camps only for media coverage.

In Kashmir, despite protests and bandhs, not a single yatri was harmed. Over six lakh visited this year only breaking the record of 3.2 lakh the previous year. Right wing Hindus always ask about Kashmir’s hajj quota. It is just 6600 this year and hangs around the same figure each year. However, yatris come in swarms as if on picnic. For last 160 years, no restriction has been imposed on their flow. The Malik family who discovered the cave and Kashmiri pandits who would look after the cave and yatris were banished from handling the yatra affairs.

However, right wing Hindus worry all Indians that annual yatra is in trouble, but all pilgrims should understand that Kashmiri land belongs to Kashmiris and the yatra is going on for the past 160 years. Even Hindus in Jammu blocked the highway, Kashmiris shouldered 0.6 million yatris on their backs to the cave.

Most of the yatris come from central India, Maharashtra and Delhi, so what was aching to Jammunities. It needs to be seen from all perspectives. Land transfer should have been there problem too but why Jammu being pushed on front line by the rightwing Hindus. Is not it the vote bank politics to earn votes and kill Muslims from as many as bullets the so-called security forces present here have. And to make us economically backward by blocking the only route to ‘ integral part’ which has already seen 500 crore loss in business.

It needs a better understand on what happens when a son in the family wishes to part from his father or mother. Well he is given his share of the property and he leaves. Likewise, democracy is like a family. If Kashmir wants freedom, then what is wrong in that?

It is all about what one likes and what one does not. Right wing Hindus cannot force Kashmir to accept things neither can they push Kashmir for what it does not want under the guise of social equality and democracy.

But here people have already surrendered the word ‘Democracy’. Have you.

http://www.umarblogs.blogspot.com

Thats just rediculous to listen to people when they say its better that we leave the most beautiful integral part of india on to their own, for the heck of getting rid of the problems that are presently happening in kashmir.Do we really understand what are we doing by thinking on the terms of giving kashmir independence????well if this happens then after some decades we’ll see every single land being independent with no sense of social responsibility,with no one to lay down the rules and even to follow them at the same times.India is a country know for its unity in diversity…and if every single diverse state starts thinking on the verge of being independent then what will happen to our great land INDIA.

Its very easy for the people to sit in the warm visinity of the 4 walls and think of getting kashmir independence.But for those who are sitting on the LOC of India striving hard for years to keep this beautiful part of the country intact to india ask them?, they perhaps will be in the right position to tell why kashmir should not be independent and why it should not be handed over to pakistan.

I just pray to god that,Let not the efforts of these people go waste,who choose to live away from their families & serve their nation on the LOC.

And for those who think of creating an independent kashmir or letting kashmir in pakistans hand,PLease think again…..coz we indians will never let this happen!!!!!!!!!!Jai Hind!

Posted by Shiikha | Report as abusive

No India No Pakistan only United Kashmir is our aim

Kashmir wants freedom gives them freedom, what is the benefit of being a big united Nation without unity
Just for sake of saying a big diversified country, who is going to benefit from this kind of arrangement?
Let us be Declare ourselves us United States Of India or Like United Kingdom. That will be better for Economy and welfare of the People.

Posted by vendan | Report as abusive

I think what India fears the most in giving Kashmiris a plebiscite is that even if they choose to remain a free nation or become a part of Pakistan,the issue of Pakistan still continuing to pester us remains. What guarantee is there that Pakistan’s state sponsored terrorism will end.For all you know…Himachal and Punjab will become sensitive areas. In an ideal situation I would love to see Kashmir to be independent and I am sure India would love to help an independent Kashmir grow but like Bangladesh,which is slowly becoming another hub for anti india terrorist trainings,India cannot afford to see Kashmir go that way as well. Pakistan is currently unstable and never has as such managed to become a true democracy…and that can be scary

this one is for sofi,

well thats a very gud statement when it comes to united kashmir,infact nobody is stopping you from doing that?along with being united with its ownself it should not forget that it has to remain united with its own origin as well!!!!

this is one for vedan:-
how could you say that (Just for sake of saying a big diversified country, who is going to benefit from this kind of arrangement?)well the one who is going to get benefitted is you yourself.
Just by naming youself as united states of india or united kingdom does not make our economy and welfare any better.its like if you wanna be rich and properous you just name your self as Mr.tata or Mr.birlas,Mr.Bill gates or may be even ambanis.and check out for your self.Does naming yourself like this changes you present individuality and economic status.obiviously not!!!!!!

I am married to an army officer who is presently serving in Kashmir.He is been striving hard along with his men everyday to solve the social crisis in Kashmir.So i dont want at any cost that the efforts what my husband and his men have put should go in vain.

For you probably its just an article written on kashmir crisis to which you are writting down a blog casually,but for me this is a matter of my husbands contribution,pride,commitment towards his country and most important of all that invaluable time away from his beloved family.So plz think 1000 times before you think of a independent kashmir or gifting kashmir just fo no sake to our not so worthy neighbours.

Posted by Shikha | Report as abusive

In the sound and fury of this tumultous episode in Jammu and Kashmir conflict vis a vis Amarnath Land transfer and other corresponding chapters which got unvieled in the course of an emotive period of last month or so, i wonder are we missing out on something basic. Something which may be in our sub conscious but we never brought that to the fore in a way so that it could be fearlessly talked about in the context of the recent land issue itself. This is the rudimentary question which unless solved will pop its head again and again in whatever form and will hit us haunt us where it hurts most. This time it has pierced us right through the middle chalking out two antagonistic entities : Jammu AND Kashmir. Who could have imagined it was coming? And who could imagine what is coming?

Two months back when fans in valley cheered their throats out for their favourite football players during Santosh Trophy in Srinagar, many among them could not have imagined that they are unknowingly rehearsing their shouting skills later to be used for a more emotional cause. One never knows which direction the sun is going to rise the next morning.

So what have we achieved thus far? We have all seen a collosal amount of bloodshed. Even if we go by official figures, whose factuality is in question, 60, 000 Kashmiris dead is a big number. Where the hell, if hell is more terrible then this, are we heading?

Round Tables, Cross Border commineques, Trans Loc Buses, CBM’s, decrease in voilence in the valley, incresae number of tourists, development and tulip gardens, no doubt we have seen and heard this all. But ironically when all this is seen through the prism of the recent events, it seems a no no. A sham. A BandAid put many times over a rotten festering cancer. It is not gonna heal. All exercises of the past to achieve the most cherised a desire called peace has been flushed down the drain. Infact situation is more bleaker then ever. So what is the upshot? Why are we befooling ourselves?

India achieved its Independence from Britian. It costed many lives. She had to fight a pitched battle on all fronts to attain her freedom.She did.The stink of colonial opression and the fragrance of yet to be achieved freedom drove every child of her land to march for a greater cause.I salute their struggle.But one wonders in shock, how could she oppress anyone else? How could a nation freshly adorned with freedom quell another nations freedom? Something is wrong! 1947 is not a distant period in the history of world to be utterly forgotten by them. What collective slumber is this that they don’t dream about their colonial masters dragging them to daggers…stirring them out of sleep. Or is this collective amnesia of Indian masses borne of sheer naivity. Can’t be! Or may be because they are hugely pre occupied with their lives in the new India which,once born out of the blood of their great martyrs,is coming of age in this huge rush of Globalization. Could be!

So who is the opressor? Who do i intend to stir to action with this piece of write up? Majority of my friends are from Delhi. In tangible terms they don’t have any holding on my life.Nor do i have on theirs.They even empathise when we discuss kashmir. They don’t see themselves as my opressors. Nor do i see them as my opressors.

Their are hundreds and thousands of such Indians who we share our lives with , in work, in sport, in mundane conversations.In such dealings which happen every day, no one is opressor and no one is an opressed. It is just two human beings. But who then is the opressor? No doubt, their is someone. Why then is Kashmnir still burning? And the policies and laws that catalyses this chaos is but enacted by someone. But who is that someone? Which minority is this among the Indian masses who even common Indians can’t trace and who don’t want to see us happy?

It is a moral question which a common Indian has to answer for himself and herself.

A common India has to shun the myopic glasses on his eyes through which he sees his country.No doubt India is expanding economically like the stretch of a baloon ready to rise high up in the sky, but if the odd blotches on its surface are not doctored, it will burst mid air. It is not the Kashmir Issue alone, but infallible disparity between its rich and poor where rich are getting richer and poor poorer, issues of north-east, growing naxalism and maoism, forgotten muslims of India who are left behind in its development race, and many more blotches which poke on her face mockingly.

We don’t know which direction the sun is going to rise next morning. And in our curious wait for tommorow’s dawn wherein we hope to put all our issues to rest and build peace, i wonder, what if we are engulfed by the darkness of this night never to come out of. For in utter darkness they won’t even be able to put shallow bandaids on this cancer.
suhail akram….

Well…. I read the entire blog from top to bottom and understood well the situation. Here are few comments on it which I believe its quite relevant.

1. There are lots of Hindu Kashmiri pandits resides there and it will be a major threat for them after devision. They may loose their existence.
2. Every where in India we have Muslims and till date we didnt have major communal issues. So I believe being a part of India, Kashmir still can lead life happily.
3. My fear is, if Kashmir gets separated then may be some other countries will try to take over the place and will make situation bitter than now. If there is an attack today from any other country into Kashmir, we have the entire India to fight for it. But if Kashmir gets separated then they will be loosing their power.
4. As per the economy standard (as on Today) Kashmir depends upon India and vice versa. I am sure it will be a major economical fall down for Kashmir it separation happens.

Everyone is FREE to think…. and can decide to DO WHAT HE/SHE wants……

As an INDIAN I would say I can not compromise the Security of Kashmiris (what so ever the religion is) by isolating Kashmir from India. If Kashmiris feel that it will be a FREEDOM for them by separation, I believe that would be a major mistake and can make things worst.

Moreover, We the INDIANS gained our FREEDOM 61 yrs back and hence everyone is FREE today….just wondering how else ppl want to be free….

This is all about my view… and again I repeat anybody is FREE to think….

Posted by Siddharth | Report as abusive

All the people have become experts on J&K suddenly, but does anyone have the guts to say that Jammu has been wronged all these 61 years in the name of alienation? Does anyone have the courage to call everything that is happening in Kashmie anti national? They are openly proclaiming to be Pakistanis, on national news channels they shout about thier identity crisis but does any of the news service or Govt of India have the guts to call them wrong without blaming the Jammuites, or arrest them for doing so? You all have hurt the nationalists sentiments of us the Jammuites without asking us why we had suddenly refused to take anymore of supression in the name of keeping kashmir with India. If after 61 years our generation x doesnt want an unsafe future with Kashmir do they have to be ignored? What slogan should they shout to be heard in the elite press and the parliament if not Bharat amata Ki Jai. We have fought Indias battle too long and were still divorced by them.

Posted by Neeru | Report as abusive

There are some situations where a fire can not shut a fire and we need water for it. The situation in Kashmir is something like that. By arresting people will not resolve the issue moreover will create a major problem for the nation. Instead I would say Govt. should address to the ppl of Kashmir by physical presence or via media and to listen to them, justify and do the needful……

I am not disagreed with the way ppl may think resolving the issue, may be that can be an extreme step by the Govt. to settle everything under control but I believe the way i think can resolve Kashmir issues easely ….

Posted by Siddharth | Report as abusive

We need consider the situation in the former Yugoslavia.
The serbs, croations, and muslims there are slavs.
Politicians on all sides started stoking communal passions
for their own political reason. The results are well known. India must keeps in teretorial integrity and
stand by secular ideals.

Some misguided person from VHP and other organisatons
are making out that muslims are a pampered minority. Quite frankly I find the suggestion to be the
biggest joke I have heard and an insult to ones
intelligence. The Haj subsidy does not turn muslims
into a papered minority. There are quotas based on castes, religion etc, its not ideal but its part of
the social compromise that strengthens the social fabric.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

Are Kashmiri Muslims ready to split Kashmir with Kashmiri Pandits?

Posted by Rajesh | Report as abusive

Ms.MacDonald says – “no abuse, no swearing and no denigrating an entire people based on their religion, race or ethnic or national identity.”

Unless of course you are white skinned, and from a G8 Nation, then you may very well sit in judgement over the brown and black skinned people.

Posted by Nusrat | Report as abusive

Rajesh: If the ground reality allows Kashmiri Pandits to come back then it means the social fabric and economy is healthy. Usually people dont want to change a good situation and autonomy within the Indian Union would suit most people I expect.

I dont think Punjab army dominated Pakistan is really attractive to the Kashmir valley. Most people know they will then get FDI from ISI for activities that have nothing to with anything benign-like collecting for the red cross.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

Why is everyone thinking of giving Kashmir. If the Muslims want to be with Pakistan, the govt of India should arrange mass visas for them so that they can go to Pakistan. With the millions of dollars that Pakistan spends on Kashmir, these can be used to resettle the Kashmiris in Paksitan. After all, we have already given them a piece of our body in the form of Pakistan.

Enough is enough ! Let the govt of India stop pumping money into the valley. Let the Kashmiris find what it means to be independent by creating their own economy and not one being sustained by the millions of Indians like us.

Right now, the monies being pumped by the govt is being enjoyed by a chosen few and so resentment rises in the rest. Let everyone work for themselves.

If Berlin wall can be removed, if Russia can be fregmented as per natives of their states, then Kashmir or Jammu and Kashmir can also be let apart from India and Pakistan, instead of wasting money and lives of bothe countries. Let Kashmir be a country like Switzerland where all visitors from all nations including India and Pakistan may come and enjoy.

Posted by joginder nath | Report as abusive

Today india is paying a heavy price of Gandhi’s stubborn-ness, Mr. Mohd. Ali Ginha was smarter and long sighted then Gandhi he knew and took most of the muslim away from Hindus.. Today we all should Give Kashmir back to muslim and 20 Million muslim as a gift to Mr.Mohd. Ali Zinha’s dream of one muslim Country, and let Hindu live in India(Hindustan)and at the sametime let Arun Duati Roy be happy who is not Hindu but acting as a well wisher of Hindu…..

I am a Kashmiri Muslim female who would like nothing more than an Independent Kashmir. But a truly Independent, Secular, Plural, Democratic Kashmir.
A Kashmir free of India, free of Pakistan, and above all free of Fundamentalist Islam.
A Kashmir where minority rights including Women’s rights are sacrosanct.
Otherwise it’s just creating another Afghanistan.

Posted by Nusrat | Report as abusive

Dear Nusrat,

I as an Afghan fully support your aspiration for a free, independent, sovereign, pluralistic and democratic Kashmir. As I believe in and value my personal and national freedom, I wish the same for everyone around the globe.

Ask the inhabitants of Kashmir the following questions and give them three options:

a) do you wish to be part of Pakistan?
b) do you wish to be part of India?
c) do you want an independent Kashmir?

Ask the inhabitants of Pashtunistan and Baluchistan the following questions and give them three options:

a) do you wish to be part of Pakistan?
b) do you wish to be part of Afghanistan?
c) do you want to be independent?

Whatever the results, all parties must respect the outcome and permanent national boundaries should be (re)drawn, and internationally recognized. This is a “win win” alternative and prevents further hostilities and wars in South Asia, where instability has become chronic due to these conflict factors that haven’t been addressed since the end of the WWII and the Cold War. U.N. and the international community can contribute a lot in this regard.

If my modest formula for peace and stability in South Asia is implemented, there will be peace and stability in that region. The other alternative will be continued intolerance, racism, religious extremism and terrorism that will be making the headlines from South Asia, which will become more bloody. Poverty, illiteracy, unemployment will be chasing South Asia for years to come.

I want to ask Pakistanis and Indians: Exactly how long are you planning to be hostile to each other? Whenever find the answer to this question, peace and tranquility will prevail in South Asia.

For a free and independent Kashmir!!!

Posted by kabura | Report as abusive

I honestly beleive that a truly democratic and secular Kashmir is only possible if its Anchored within the Indian Union. I think Nepal and Sri Lanka should also
join the Indian Union but with a high degree of autonomy.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

it is unfortunate that no comments on my posting of the reasons of opposing land transfer by all the readers .

Posted by mubeen kashmiri | Report as abusive

Plebicite is a promise that we gave not to UN or Pakistan but to ourselves and the people of Kashmir and is never too late to keep that promose.

Posted by Sharad Shah | Report as abusive

Nusarat,

U are already enjoying all ur wishes as a part of India. Do u really think Pakistan will let u live at least one day according to ur wish?

Posted by naveen | Report as abusive

i dnt understand why india isinvesting so much on kashmir when they dont want to be with india.leave kashmir for its fate i am sure it will trun out to be an other talebanised afghan ,then people will realise their mistake and let their generations suffer.
vandemataram

Posted by a khan | Report as abusive

So, let us imagine a hypothetical scenario where a plebiscite is held in Jammu and Kashmir and likely results are:

a) majority of people in Kashmir valley vote for independence.

b) majority of people in Jammu and Ladakh vote for status-quo.

And India, being a democratic nation, decides Kashmir valley be made independent. Now this is a highly undesirable scenario for 2 reasons:

1) A porous border with Pakistani-Kashmir means Kashmir valley will become a hotbed for Jihadis. What guarantee is there that this newly independent Kashmir will not allow its soil to be used for violent Islamic fundamentalism in the future? Forget India, no country including Pakistan, will entertain the idea of an independent Kashmir.

2) This newly-independent country will be landlocked and will be dependent upon India and Pakistan anyways for economic purposes. With such great reliance on its neighbors, it is hard to imagine Kashmir ever exercising full sovereignty.

On the contrary, an independent Kashmir is highly desirable for India because:

1) Saves billions of dollars of Indian taxpayers’ money spent on security and economic rebuilding of Kashmir.

2) The human aspect will always be there. Thousands of Indians have lost their lives because of this conflict.

3) Kashmir is a net importer. It exports electricity to India but that is minimal compared to India’s net power generation.

To end, Kashmir will always need India but India does not necessarily need Kashmir. Indian politicians have made Kashmir a major issue for their own political gains, but on the whole, Kashmir is more of a headache for India. But yes, Kashmir should decide its own fate. Unfortunately, it is not in a position, geographically and politically, to exercise its own will. Anyways, it is better if Kashmir is associated with the world’s second-fastest growing large economy rather than a failed state.

Posted by Deepak | Report as abusive

can we discuss a technical aspect of plebiscite,if it is to be held in kashmir ?

in what situation(election result)will kashmir be allowed to become independent ?
a) what if 5,000,001 people favour independence ,
5,000,000 favour india (lead of only 1 vote!)
b) what should be the minimum margin to be acceptable ?

I say kashmir should be granted independence, only if all the non muslims in kashmir favours independence or accesion with pakistan ! (the possibility of which is practically ZERO!)

Posted by sanjiv | Report as abusive

“Will India blow its top?” When I wrote that piece on Kashmir in 1994, it was more to probe if India had the patience to tire the opposition. The political map of India still refuses to accept and reflect reality on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir.

http://www.horizonmapping.net/projects/f armers_voice/fv_gallery/atlas_maps/natl_ bnds.jpg

I was surprised that Vir Sanghvi managed to push that column in the Hindustan Times.

Does this new thinking mean India is ready to let go rather than lose its head??

Posted by Madhu | Report as abusive

Pakistan itself is disintegrating and contrary to popular myths consists of a number of minorities. Will they get the rigth to self-determination too? No part of Kashmir was accedded to Pakistan by the Kashmiri government in 1948 ands therefore its occupation of Kashmir is illegal. All over theworld new trading blocs are emerging and it is really foolish to think that an independent Kashmir could survive. It is landlocked and will not survive without the support of some local hegemon. Its best option is to seek a degree of autonomy within federal India.

Posted by Prem | Report as abusive

JAMMU & KASHMEER STATE SHOULD ASK INDIA & PAKIKSATAN TO HOLD PLEBESCITE FOR THEM TO STAY WITH ALL PARTS J&K STATE OR LEAVE IT FOR GOOD. OTHER THING IS THAT THE CITY OF SHRINAGAR MADE THE CAPITAL OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY(ie MADE UP OF J&K,INDIA & PAKIKSATAN WHERE BOTH INDIA & PAKIKSATAN ARE CONTROLLED FROM …..READERS OVER PLEASE THINK THIS BEST OPTION OF ALL FOR GOOD OF J&K STATE. J&K SHOULD BE FORCED TO CREATE THIS BEST OF ALL RESOLUTION THROUGH UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL(as well J&K must adapt a name change to “JIVENKUMPDEHS”

Posted by BrainBoxes | Report as abusive

I am aghast by the thinking that Kashmiris have a right to vote on their self-determination. No other state has the right to do that.If they get the right to do that either they will join Pakistan or vote for an independent state. The are already protected by an illegal clause in the Indian constitution to keep the state a Muslim Majority.
The what will happen to original inhabitants the Kashmiri Pandits, the same as what happend to my ancestors from Sialkot, convert, get killed or leave for India. It is time to wake up and smell the coffee. If anyone does not like living in a secular India, they are more than welcome to leave for greener pastures.

Posted by Punjabi | Report as abusive

Guys,

I read all about what all of you have said. The simple answer is – let people live peacefully – for that, whatever the sacrifice is – be it from India or Pakistan, let it be sacrificed.

Does anyone of you know there were how many arrests happened in Jammu.

3,00, 000 arrests ( Men ) in Jammu by Hindus on 18th Aug. / 3,50,000 arrests ( Women ) on 19th Aug. by Hindus and 2,80,000 children arrest ( from 5 month old to 15 years )

Indian govt. as always – the same charm of power and Pakistan – as always less money in hand, but wanna achieve the whole world by cutting knees of others.

All I am saying is – If any one of us has got power, let us tell these coutries that “Please donot make people commit suicide due to your ill interests”.

People need justice – let it come…

-Amit

Posted by Amit | Report as abusive

The alienation of the Kashmiri people is a reality that we have to face. We do see demonstrations everywhere in India. People might chant slogans against a state government or the union government, a particular government policy or a political party, a person or a community.. pretty much about everything. But do these people ever chant slogans against the country? Do they ever burn our national flag? NEVER. Whatever grievances they might hold, they have no reason to do so, because they consider themselves INDIAN despite all the regional and linguistic differences. But such incidents happen in the Kashmir valley almost on a daily basis. Why? The answer is simple. Kashmiris do not consider themselves to be INDIAN. Period. They consider Indians as outsiders and our troops as occupiers. Then what business do we have their land? For whom are our troops dying for? Whom are they trying to protect? If Kashmiris do not want to be with us, why are we wasting so much of our scarce resources (human and material) in their name? Aren’t we doing the same thing to Kashmiris that the British did to us?

Rather than repeatedly chanting that “Kashmir is an integral part of India” time and again like religious fundamentalists (it is beginning to sound more and more hollow, as if trying to say that “Earth is still the center of the Universe”), lets be brave and face the facts. The European colonists never wanted to grant independence to their colonies. But they HAD to open their eyes to the reality that they cannot rule a people for eternity without their good will. People must have the right to decide their future, and they should be given the opportunity to do so. That is the essential principle of freedom and democracy, the ideals that we swear by. How can we deny this to a people and still say that we are democratic? We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite 60 years ago. Forget about the so called pre-conditions (like PoK needs to be included etc etc..), which we still claim is necessary for this. Lets do it in the regions in our control. Divide J&K into three – Hindu dominated regions of Jammu, Muslim dominated regions of Kashmir valley and Buddhist dominated regions of Ladakh. (Even Pakistan wouldn’t want Jammu and Ladakh. They know really well what they’ll have to deal with if they do so..) Lets call in the UN and other neutral international observers to conduct the plebiscite so that nobody can dispute its result (or point their fingers at us after this), and pull back our troops from these regions so that neutral UN peace keepers can maintain law and order.

In all probabilties, Jammu and Ladakh would vote to remain with India and become Union Territories. (The people in these regions have made this demand many times already). Kashmir would either vote for independence or join Pakistan. The international community (including Pakistan) and Kashmiris themselves will have to accept this result. Indian troops can reoccupy Jammu and Ladakh and induct them into the Union once again. Kashmiris can do whatever they like after this point. Its not our concern anymore. Even if there will ever be allegations of foul play from across the border on this issue again, the international community will have no choice but to stand by us.

If we do not do this anytime soon, we would lose all moral credibility as a democracy. For instance, what right do we have to raise voice against Chinese occupation of Tibet if we are doing more or less the same thing in Kashmir?

Detractors to this approach might argue that conducting a plebiscite in Kashmir would result in the disintegration of the country. This is downright ridiculous. Is a remote state in the North the only glue that keeps this country together? Have we no sense of nationhood? Don’t we have anything in common that binds us together? Will the people of Punjab or Kerala or Bengal stop considering themselves INDIAN if Kashmir leaves the union? If the bond between us are so weak as these people say, this nation has no right to exist after all.

Of course, the only other option will be to shut our eyes to the reality and hang on to this status quo. We may continue to send our soldiers to their death, trying to “protect” a people who are “not so enthusiastic” to be called as INDIAN.

So many mistakes (that were easily avoidable) were committed during the Nehruvian era. We are still paying the price for that. The reason that no Indian government or party is willing to consider a plebiscite is because they fear that it will invite the wrath of the public and adversely affect their future electoral prospects. But if the public opinion in India can be turned in favour of a plebiscite, they will be forced to do it.

Our country is not losing its “head” through this plebiscite. We are merely getting rid of a “tumour in its head” that has been ailing it for so long. If we are destined to part with Kashmir, lets do so in a civilized manner rather than make an unceremonious exit in the near future.

Losing Kashmir will only mean losing what is at best only a liability on the nation. Instead what we would gain in the process will not just be the more fruitful use of our human and material resources, but the good will and respect of the world community as well.

Posted by Vineeth | Report as abusive

The best solution is the ones who want to merge with pakistan should be settled along the loc , the pandits along the border with jammu, the azadi ones in between, Most importantlty a massive wall should separate india from the azadi kashmir, as do not want bangladesh style infiltration which is bound to happen. And also all the machinery from the 15 India Govt (PSU) created and owned factories like the watch maker HMT , should be returned to India. The whole process should be done in a steady manner. This is the best solution . As vir sanghvi has said “we had enough”. India has been suckered paying 9765Rs per head to Kashmir whereas Bihar gets 835.

Regarding my earlier post above, I think the legality of Kashmir’s accession to India is also, at the best, dubious. The agreement at the time of partition was that the fate of the princely states will be decided by their rulers. Additionally, the princely states would not be given a choice to join a country with which they did not have a contiguous border with. The rulers of Junagadh and Hyderabad were Muslim, but their subjects were overwhelmingly Hindu. Since they did not share a contiguous border with Pakistan, the rulers preferred independence. But India annexed the two regions as the people in these states revolted against their rulers. Nobody (not even Pakistan) questions that now, because that was the logical thing to do. The fate of a people must be decided by them, not their rulers. The Dogra king of Kashmir, Hari Singh, was in favour of independence, but was forced to sign the instrument of accession as the Indian government refused to defend him against the tribal invasion from Pakistan unless Kashmir joins India. India promised the King and Sheikh Abdullah (the leader of the main political party in Kashmir, the National Conference) that Kashmir would be given a special status in the Indian union with a large degree of autonomy (Article 370 of the Indian Constitution). Without a plebiscite being conducted, we cannot argue that this was in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people. In any case, the Indian government never implemented Article 370 in its true spirit and started to rig the election results in the state so that only parties loyal to India would come to power there. This gave rise to a widespread feeling among Kashmiris that the Indian government was betraying them. It was such an incident of rigging that sparked the revolt in the late 1980s in the valley that runs unabated even now. (Even though there were definitely Pakistani insurgents involved in this, we cannot deny the fact that the original outbreak was largely spontaneous and of local origin). Also, when the Kashmir issue was brought to the UN in 1948, India promised that it would hold a plebiscite in Kashmir once the region annexed by Pakistan is given back. Although we can make a lame excuse that the plebiscite cannot be done until these preconditions are met, we still cannot ignore the fact the we are staking claim to a region without the approval of the vast majority of its inhabitants.

Also, I do not think that granting greater autonomy to Kashmir through Article 370 is a solution to this issue either. Why do we need a state which has its own (possibly draconian) laws and where Indian laws has no relevance? Do we need a state where we cannot visit freely or buy land and enjoy the rights guaranteed by the Indian constitution? No. It wouldn’t be a good idea at all to have two classes of states in India. In the future, other states would demand similar powers, which would be a really BAD development.

In short, a plebiscite is the only way out. What I have written here would definitely appear unpatriotic to many. But, we cannot ignore a truth just because it is appears inconvenient to us.

Posted by Vineeth | Report as abusive

If we are ready to hold plebiscite in Kashmir then what is wrong in holding plebiscite to “solve” other conflicts in various parts India ? What about the plebiscite in north-eastern states, which also face the problem of insurgency fueled by separatists or self proclaimed pro-independence organizations. I don’t understand how in
21st century someone can justify the creation of new country solely on religious lines which would be the case with Kashmir if it becomes “independent”. Such a scenario would only lead to increase in communal divide between Hindus and Muslims in rest of the country. Also the comparison of “Kashmir under Indian rule” with “India under British” rule is utter preposterous. The meaning of “independence” which I understand is that in a free, democratic and secular country with a sound judiciary,the fundamental rights of citizens are protected by state. The most important of fundamental rights which sometimes get threatened from various quarters is “freedom of speech and expression”. And here the judiciary can play its role by protecting the rights of citizens. In India, Kashmiris or for that matter Punjabis, Marathis or Indians are living in free, democratic and secular country and hence are independent at least to my knowledge.

Posted by sandeep | Report as abusive

Reading the media I find some of the BJP remarks to be imflamatory and irresponsible. A lot of their leaders seeming to be acting out of rage. Anyone from India got any insight into this?

The Indian army has a tough job as it is, hunting terrorist that infiltrate from Pakistan, they are acting tough.

Congress it seems are more responsible, they look for
a political situation.

I beleive India should persue also an economic solution.
A high speed rail link to srinagar from Delhi will make trade easier and enable the LOC to be a major trading post with Pakistan and China. This will boost the local and national economy.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

I meant congress look for a political solution.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

With regard to Sandeep’s post, I do understand his arguments and there is some logic in that. I’m no supporter of the two nation theory. Despite all the religious and linguistic differences, the people of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a shared history. And it is this shared political and cultural history that truly defines our nationhood. Jinnah’s argument that Muslims would be persecuted in an undivided India was, in my opinion, entirely unfounded. When you consider the total number of Hindus and Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, you can see that there are around 900 million Hindus in India, around 150 million Muslims in India, 150 million Muslims in Pakistan and another 150 million Muslims in Bangladesh. So, totally, there would be a total of 450 million Muslims versus 900 million Hindus. 450 million Muslims is not what I would call a persecuted minority. It is simply too huge. Even though the total population at the time of independence was much lesser, I believe there was more or less a similar proportion of people in these communities. The partition was more of a product of the tug-of-war between the Congress and the Muslim League for share in power.

Moreover, according to historical records, what Jinnah wanted was not an Islamic state (as it is now) for Muslims in India, but more of a secular state with Muslim majority (like what India is now, that is, a secular state with Hindu majority). His speech in the Pakistani Constituent Assembly bears testimony to this fact.

Excerpts from his speech:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

“Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

The complete text of the speech can be found here : “http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legis lation/constituent_address_11aug1947.htm l”

A glance through many articles published in the “Dawn” newspaper (incidentally founded by Jinnah himself) shows that there are many in Pakistan who still debate whether Jinnah really wanted Pakistan to become an Islamic state, as it is now. I read the internet edition of “Dawn” (http://dawn.com/) often to understand the Pakistani perspective of these issues. I have seen that the press in Pakistan is surprisingly free (as free as the Indian press, at least), and it is mostly critical of the authorities and the legacy of many of Pakistan’s leaders (especially Zia-ul-Haq). But I admit that there are still many conservative elements in Pakistan who see everything Indian as undesirable. This has been the result of six decades of enmity and misinformation perpetrated by the authorities. The reports of incidents like the Ayodhya issue and the Gujarat riots of 2002 haven’t helped either. In fact, most Pakistanis now feel that Jinnah’s decision was correct, and that had they chosen to stay in India, they would have suffered a similar fate like the Muslims in Gujarat. Well, it is not entirely correct to point fingers at just the Pakistanis for this perception. We have more or less the same kind of Sangh Parivar extremists on our side of the border as well who have done more harm than good to the image of Hinduism.

But I do have a feeling that if there were no Kashmir issue, there wouldn’t have been so much of enmity between India and Pakistan, and that in due course relations would have normalized to such an extent that free trade and travel would have been possible between the two countries. Direct people-to-people contacts are a wonderful remedy in resolving such differences. The image that we have of Pakistanis in general is that of gun-trotting religious fundamentalists and the general Pakistani perception of Indians is one of Trishul wielding oppressors. Both perceptions are as ridiculous as the earlier Western perception of India as the land of snake-charmers.

But there is no point in crying over spilled milk. The partition is a reality and there is no chance of that being reversed any time soon. We need to respect the decision a people took over a land that they inhabited. All we can hope for is an eventual normalization of relations between the two countries. The partition was a great tragedy that could have been avoided if the leaders on both sides had shown a little more maturity, statesmanship and spirit of mutual accommodation. I would love to live in an India that would stretch from Bengal to Balochistan, because that is the real extent of India. Both Indians and Pakistanis lost more than people’s lives through partition. Many of India’s cultural and historical heritage now lie in Pakistan. The sites of the Indus Valley civilization, remains of the ancient university of Takshashila (Taxila) are now in Pakistan. Likewise, the Pakistanis have lost bulk of their Mughal heritage like the Taj Mahal to India. England and France were bitter rivals through most of their history, not the least because of the religious differences (Protestant vs Catholic). Are they at each other’s throat because of that now? Europeans have matured a lot since then. They have recognized that national boundaries are artificial ones created by mistrust. And they took a bold decision to form a Union despite all their linguistic differences and tumultuous history. I hope that Indians and Pakistanis too will one day recognize this and show a little more maturity in their relationships.

But the core issue in Kashmir is this: Do we have the moral right to deny the aspirations of a people if they do not wish to remain with us? Remember, we did not seek their permission when Kashmir was incorporated to India. Sandeep has asked another relevant question here. Does this mean that the same right must be given to the north-eastern states or other states who seek it? As far as the north-eastern states are concerned, these areas were never historically part of India. Assam might have been to an extent, but still was the easternmost outpost in a political sense. There were a few cultural influences. But that is all. It was the British who added these areas to British India and Independent India merely inherited them. They too have reasons to feel that they are not part of the Indian mainstream. They are of Mongoloid descent and speak Mongoloid languages, not Aryan or Dravidian. They feel that they are being routinely insulted and ridiculed by people from the Indian mainland (being called “Chinkies” by many of us) if they come to other parts of India for their livelihood.

Then what defines the mainstream or core India then? The core of India is what stretches from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the North to Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the South, Gujarat and Rajasthan in the West to Bihar and West Bengal in the East. People in these regions share strong cultural and historical links and have strong enough bonds to feel that they belong to one nation. I would have liked to include the regions of Pakistan too in this list, but our mistakes have resulted in history taking an unfortunate course. If you would ask for my opinion, I think North-Eastern regions (and Kashmir) should have been given a special status in the Union (like a Protectorate or Mandate) and a plebiscite conducted later on in these regions to decide their future. Instead, it was the act of forcefully assimilating these regions as states into the Union that has resulted in these tragedies.

But I do not think independence is something that is plausible for the northeastern states now. I think they know this all too well. If they do become independent, they wouldn’t be able to unite to form a single nation, considering the hostilities (tribal or otherwise) between these regions (like what exists between Manipur and Nagaland now). If they go separate ways, these small states would be unable to survive on their own, being sandwiched between India and Burma. From what I could understand about the reactions of these people to the concept of Indianness, I could see that they are far more enthusiastic than Kashmiris to remain with India if they are given the respect they deserve from the people of the mainland. I think an appropriate solution for these regions would be to create a separate council to administer these regions with greater autonomy and bring more industrial investments in these areas, so that they can live with self respect in this country rather than having to live like refugees here.

The overwhelming presence of our military in these areas and their behaviour to the locals is another problem. I still remember the photo that came in papers when Manipuri women protested in nude against the routine rape incidents perpetrated by our military. If these women are forced to bare themselves in front of the world to make their voices heard, we can imagine the scale of the problem created by our jawans. (Well, military in conflict zones are generally not known for their compassionate attitude considering the pressures they are in. So, this is not an isolated problem as well.) Or, consider the instance of the “Rage Boy” (Shakeel Bhat) in Kashmir who has been ridiculed over and over in Western and Indian press as a typical Islamic fundamentalist. I have seen many blogs and forums where unspeakable abuses have been showered on him by the Indian “patriots”. But, has anyone taken an effort to understand why he is at the forefront of the anti-India protests in Kashmir? During a raid on Shakeel’s home after the Kashmiri insurgency began, Indian police threw his sister Shareefa out of an upstairs window; she broke her spine and died from her injuries four years later. (Source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ article-492864/The-surprising-truth-Rage -Boy-Americas-hated-poster-boy-Islamic-r adicalism.html) If this is really true, the Indian government owes him a big apology. Maybe he is illiterate and brainwashed. Still, does that justify what our troops did to him and his family? If your sister, brother or parents had suffered a similar fate, wouldn’t you react? Or would you keep chanting “Kashmir is an integral part of India and the Indian military are my friends and protectors” and remain a “law abiding citizen”?

I have no reasons to disbelieve that there are many, many like him in Kashmir and North-East who had to endure these because of our troops “fighting and dying to protect our national integrity”. (Or is integrity at any human cost is justifiable in a democracy? ) Only that can explain the level of their disillusionment with India.

Regarding Sandeep’s observations on the meaning of independence, what I feel is this: the first and foremost right on a land rests with its people. I have seen comments like “if Kashmir goes, how will Hindus go to Amaranath?”. Kashmir exists not for the sake of some Hindu pilgrims who goes to a cave to pray, it exists for the sake of a people who had been inhabiting this land for many hundreds of years. This is a basic principle that humans need to abide by. If you say that India’s actions on Kashmir is correct, so was Britain’s actions on India. Period. Both cases illustrate a situation where a people was subjugated against their will by outsiders using military force. The British too were perpetrating the belief (like us) that what they were doing were for the good of the Indian people (“White man’s burden”). I do not see any basic differences between the two cases.

All these finally boil down to the attitude of people like us who are comfortably sitting in our homes and passing judgement like God on a people fighting for their right to live with dignity and freedom.

I know that I would be accused of treason and cowardice by many of you for expressing these ideas. I have outlined what I felt to be the morally correct stand that India needs to adopt on the Kashmir issue. And I know that I am powerless to effect such a sea-change in the entrenched attitude of the Indian masses. But this is what I request everyone to think about for a moment:

1) Is it morally correct for us to subjugate a people who desire independence, against their will using military force in the name of national integrity?

2) Is it morally correct for us to decide what is right and what is wrong for a people, in a step-motherly fashion, and force that decision down their throats against their will?

If the answer for the above two questions are “Yes”, well, go ahead with what we are doing to them now.

If the answer is “No”, stop this now, let them choose their destiny, and leave them in peace.

Posted by Vineeth | Report as abusive

Reuters is biased and it does not publish true statements. Dare to delete this. You just deleted a post that contains the truth. Are Muslims funding you too?

Posted by Kali | Report as abusive

Why go on debating. No countries other than Indian would tolerate what is happening in Kashmir. Look at how the Chinese protect their countries, look at how the Russians in Gerogia. I am sorry but the way India handles the Kashmir situation suggests they are one emasculated lot. No country in the world would tolerate 400,000 original inhabitants of Kashmir, the Pandits living there before there was a religion called Islam, become refugees in their own country. Until these 400,000 people regain their lands, there can be no justice.

Posted by Kali | Report as abusive

You are poor journalist just visulising kashmir issue sitting in office and writting anti India columns.

Did China has given freedom to tibet even they fought with people of 50 lakh majority coming out on the street. demonstrating like do and die situation in Lhasa. THOUSAND DIED FOR CAUSE OF FREEDOM FOR TIBET.
did they acheived freedom .

How kashmiris can get freedom by gathering two lakh people on the street. In Mumbai itself have 1.2 crore population and outer area one crore. for morcha they gather in 20 lakh. can you assume freedom in this moment.

How Bangaladesh has came even pakistan and Bengaladeshi were muslim this is case we distinguish situation provisional way that is language. NOW SIMILARLY PAKISTAN HAS TO SPLIT INTO FOUR COUNTRIES BALUCHISTAN,SINDH, PUNJAB{WEST}, NORTH FRONTIER STATES.I AM NOT TELLING THIS WORDS BUT IS OF MUSHRAF’.

you will wonder this word because this is suppose to happen very soon. religion of islam is not the cause, the pakistan are doing wrong and against interest of people. Most of kashmiris are poor in ruler area they from lower caste people. just srinagar bussness lobby is supporting this cause for there wasted interest.

IF CROW FLY BEHIND OTHER CROWS ALSO FOLLOW AND ATTEMPT TO PUT THEM INTO WELL.

What gelani and company tried is totally wrong and fooling this poor kashmir by bringing them in front.
your article is totally wrong on the subject issue . there is no constraint of the money for India in protecting territory of country.

may be prime minister has said to published this matter in newspapar.we are suspicious about him now.

Posted by parshuram masurkar | Report as abusive

Myself is resident of Jammu and its very sad that nobody is addressing the real problem.First of all the current issue of Amarnath land has nothing to do with problem of Kashmir. It is just a token of all the the anger and dis-satisfaction over the treatment of Jammu people by Indian Government. Actually Jammu people and their wishes, their needs and their problems were never taken seriously by the Indian Government. From the last 60 years these people are suffering secondary status in their own state and they are standing for their rights and dignity and values like real democracy and secularism. And moreover the wish of only a few Kashmiri muslims can not considered as the wish of whole J&K. J&K is not the personal property of Kashmiri Muslim, it is equally owned by Dogras, Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and muslims living in Jammu.We cannot surrender to the demands made my separatist forces if we want to sand united. Today they are demanding tomorrow some other state will also demand. Think this way also………

Posted by poonam mishra | Report as abusive

only reuters and few leftie news sites are making out that this news a big deal.

Posted by vivek | Report as abusive

Muslim protestors in Kashmir is nothing different from LTTE in srilanka or Al-quida in Afganistan at their early stages. We already have a example set by these countries on how to handle when rebellions unwind..Why should I not call Kasmir a integral part of Hindustan ??Do fighting muslims in Kashmir know what the name kashmir stands for ??

Nilamata Purana: Ka means “water” and Shimir means “to desiccate”. Hence, Kashmir stands for “a land desiccated from water”.

The Nilamata Purana gives the name Kashmira to the Valley considering it to be an embodiment of Uma.

In the Rajatarangini, a history of Kashmir written by Kalhana in the 12th century, it is stated that the valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake. This was drained by the great rishi or sage, Kashyapa, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula). When Kashmir had been drained, Kashyapa asked Brahmans to settle there.

The name of Kashyapa is by history and tradition connected with the draining of the lake, and the chief town or collection of dwellings in the valley was called Kashyapa-pura.

Its not the indepandence they want..please understand, these people can never live peacefully, they pick up other religion as their first choice to fight, if not available they fight among them selves like now in pakistan. below are facts on Amarnath :

The biggest lie being circulated – Amarnath was discovered by Malik’s – The Muslim Shepherd Family.

The shrine is cover 5,000 years old and forms an important part of ancient Hindu mythology

The reference to Amarnath can be seen in the Nilamata Purana (v.1324).

The pilgrimage to the holy cave has been described with full topographical details in the Bhringish Samhita and the Amarnatha Mahatmya, both ancient texts said to have been composed even earlier.

References to Amarnath, known have also been made in historical chronicles like the Rajatarangini.

Several Western travellers’ accounts also leave no doubt about the fact that the holy cave has been known to people for centuries.

“The lake of dazzling whiteness [resembling] a sea of milk (Sheshnag), which he created [for himself as residence] on a far off mountain, is to the present day seen by the people on the pilgrimage to Amareshwara.”(Rajatarangini, Book I v. 267.Translation: M. A. Stein).

Rajatarangini (Book II v. 138): Kalhana says that King Samdhimat Aryaraja (34 BCE-17CE) used to spend “the most delightful Kashmir summer” in worshiping a linga formed of snow “in the regions above the forests”.

Chronicle of Kashmir, a sequel to Kalhana’s Rajatarangini, Jonaraja relates that that Sultan Zainu’l-abidin (1420-1470) paid a visit to the sacred tirtha of Amarnath while constructing a canal on the left bank of the river Lidder (vv.1232-1234).

The great Sikh Guru Arjan Dev granted land in Amritsar for the ceremonial departure of Chari, the holy mace of Lord Shiva which marks the beginning of the Yatra to the Holy Cave

Speaking of advantages Muslims enjoy in India :
There are multiple Haj Terminus and 16 embarkation points in the country
The Haj subsidy in 2006 was Rs.348 crore
The muslim pilgrim to Jeddah pays Rs.12,000 for a return ticket. The actual cost of the ticket is Rs. 46,000. The difference is funded by the Union Government
The Indian government has a Haj Office in the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, runs a hospital in Mecca and dispensaries in Mecca and Madinah, and sends doctors, nurses and para-medical staff to run these medical establishments during the pilgrimage
In addition, the Government has sanctioned eight ambulances and medicines for pilgrims who fall ill.
Though Jammu & Kashmir is one of the less-populated States in the country, it sent the fifth biggest contingent of pilgrims for Haj in 2006.
The Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh has taken this policy of minorityism a step further and announced subsidy for Christians who wish to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.

The Double standards in Indian policy :

However in India, Hindu pilgrims to the Amarnath Shrine do not qualify for grant of a few acres of land along the yatra route for provision of basic amenities.

The population of the Hindus may be 100 crore. But in India, Hindu pilgrims are not entitled to even 100 acres

The Kashmiri politicians claim that by allocating land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, the State Government has harmed the cause of ‘Kashmiriyat’. What happened to the Kashmiriyat when hundreds of Hindus and Sikhs were killed in Valley and millions of Hindus and Sikhs were forced to leave the valley?

The whole world is aware of how Hindus were driven out of the Valley. Yet, we have this disgusting spectacle of politicians like Mr Omar Abdullah from the Valley stating publicly on television channels that they oppose the transfer of 100 acres to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board because they fear that through the transfer of these few acres of land “the demographic character of Kashmir is being altered”.

Lastly :

If we lose this battle, we will lose the country to Islamic forces
Support the movement. Forward this presentation to all your friends and people you know.
Water , electricity , media , SMS all blocked in Jammu from 34 days as of 3rd August.
Minority Hindu refugees and locals dragged from homes and beaten mercilessly by Muslim fundamentalist Police force of JK.
Kuldeep Dogra who sacrificed his life not by killing others but by consuming VISH in front of Police against Land transfer was followed by arrest of 1500 people, Injuring of 700,seriously injured 475, 5 killed in Police Firing.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

It’s quite apparent who the Kashmiris want to join.

When people in Srinigar celebrate August 14th with Pakistani flags and strike on August 15th with black flags it makes it quite easy.

Kashmir will become apart of Pakistan, it’s not a matter of if…it’s a matter of just when. And if this continues it won’t be too long away.

Posted by Ilyas Abbasi | Report as abusive

Stop calling everyone as kashmiris..Its only Hindu pundits who are kashmiris. All others who are anti-Indian are pakistanis.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

In response to ilyas abbasi, does the name Altaf hussain
ring a bell.He is a refugee in UK, came from not kashmir but PAKISTAN, yes PAKISTAN. He used to head MQM. He has said PARTITION IS THE GREATEST BLUNDER Of 20TH CENTURY.
Apparently it coincided with the release of the J.P.Duuta
film Refujee. Another notable Pakistani TARIQ ALI in his book Gandhis and Nehrus, has written that it was a common saying among the Pakistani army that they are going to Bangladesh to IMPROVE THE BREED OF THE NATION. That the breed didn’t improve is because of cases like the aunt of author Taslima Nasreen. She was raped, subsequently she hanged herself. One can understand her writings now. Though if she quotes Quoran where it says if your wife doesn’t agree to sex then you should beat her with sticks, she suddenly becomes a pariah. That it is written that if you kill a non muslim SEVENTY VIRGINS WILL BE WAITING IN HEAVEN.The problem is like anything in life luck. It is the bad luck of people of Kashmir that they are led by scums like gilani, abdullah and mufti, like we are led by even slimmier scums in west bengal in the form of Buddhadev Bhattacharya and Mamata banerjee(BOTH BRAHMINS ROOT OF ALL EVIL IN THE SUBCONTINENT, THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE PAKISTAN, AND KASHMIR PROBLEM, THINK ABOUT IT ,IF ALL WERE HINDUS AND NO CASTE DOMINATION AND HATRED THERE WOULD BE A DIFFERENT SOUTH ASIA)

Posted by Dr S.K.Ghosh | Report as abusive

Under hardline Islam (Iran and the Taleban) its rich men
that get their pick of young girls (I mean really young).
Some years ago in Iran they hanged a 16 year old girl for so-called immoral activity (she was raped), her rapist got a few lashes.

I think hardline Islam appeals to rich men they get the women of the poor men as their wives. The poor man then becomes a Mujahadeen and hopes to get his reward in heaven. Its all a manipulation for money and sex.
The Mujahadeen ends up becoming a murderer and rapist-
like the Pakistan army in Bangladesh.
Why doesn’t Pakistan invite Bangladesh to join Pakistan?
India cannot get in the way here,surely? Bangladesh is an
independant country.

Secular India however imperfect aims to be secular and modern. I think its unfair to say as Ghos does that Brahmins are the root of all evil. I blame Manu he claimed that caste was fixed at birth which contradicts the gita.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

I think we can only reform the feudal caste system by expanding the economy. In England there is/was the class system you can tell a persons class by their sirname.
With the expansion of the economy many poor people got educated and help important positions.
The sirname Smith means they work with metal, there are many people called smith that are educated and have high positions, there is no stigma to being called smith.
The class system has been reformed by an expanded economy.
The same will happen in India.
what will happen in Pakistan is anyone guess, maybe it will break up because of the cancer of jihad.

Posted by Narayan | Report as abusive

To
President and Primeminister

Dear Madam / Sir
In banglore Times of India have published a survey of Kashmir accessesion to India. It was published in front page of news paper, what is the eligibility of people who conduct these survey and the eligibility of people who participated in that. Since news paper play role in public openion building this irresponsible article should be treated seriously and people who wrote and published should be punished for the act. We all wonder how people who never participated in any fight and never worked for gaining a land piece will openly offer giving it what are the rights of people who say Kashmir should be allowed to go on its way. we should check the origin of those people who oppose Kashmir unification to India the orphans who begged shelter are turning in to our enemies. Do we have action plan to dispose these unwanted people they are never great scientists,philosophers,poets,industrial ists,or hard workers who support upper society. They are all simply waste lot who eat up food we grow from our strugling formers,why we cannot stop this day time robbery how long we should tolerate this. As our countries first citizen and leader to protect us and also guide us to protect our self of our heritage, language culture etc i request you to tell me what i and people like me have to do in addition to our daily work.

Yours sincerely
harikishor Reddy

Posted by harikishor | Report as abusive

This reporter is paid bY ISI, I am sure, and making fun of Indian democracy. Kashmir is Indian and will remain so. Dont be a rash journalist. Be aware of these hired people.

Posted by dev | Report as abusive

Dr S.K.Ghosh,
Quite an interesting comment.
Could you please provide reference for the points you have mentioned about Quran?

Because one of my muslim friend seems to disagree that both the points are not mentioned in Quran!

Thanks…

Posted by an indian | Report as abusive

Indian:
look up:
http://www.faithfreedom.org

Posted by info | Report as abusive

Regarding beating wife the reference is Verse 34 of An-Nisa, regarding 72 virgins read Imam at-Trimidhiin his sunan(vol 4)chapters on the features of heaven as described by the messenger of Allah, also Hadith 2687.
There is nothing to gloat for us hindus. The shiv lingam of which so much rabble rousing is going on in Jammu, is Shiva’s phallus , people will be outraged to know the base on which it stands is vagina, and if you look carefully, it needs no imagination. Again there is nothing to snigger about. This only shows the antiquity of the religion. Greeks and all religion of antiquity had phallic workship. Infact the relics are still present and it leaves nothing to imagination. If Muslims gave precedence to Allah and forgot about Islam it would be a much better world.Its incredible why people cant religion for what is worth. In those days there was no antibiotics no vaccine , no in vitro fertilisation , and no genetic engineering. Fear was the guiding factor in shaping these beleif. Essentially it was an awful period to be born. Yet people cling to all things said and done in that period as sacrosanct. The point is there is nothing called hindu appendicitis or muslim appendicitis. In fact you suffer from one you need an operation and that’s the end of it. People need GOD, for all sorts of reason , insecurity being the top reason. Now if have to go through somebody , they will exploit your weakness, as the religions do.Islam will not change until oil goes or an alternative is found, then the introspection and debate will start ,till then I am afraid lot of suicide bombings.

Posted by DR S.K.GHOSH | Report as abusive

I quote the world renoun Islamic Scolar Ali Sina, its relevant to the Kashmir situation:

“The formation of Hindu and Christian fundamentalist groups does not only not reduce the rise of Islamic
fundamentalism, but it actually throws gasoline on their fire. This will only hardens the Islamist fanatics and strengthens their resolve. It creates an atmosphere of competition among the fundamentalists of all the religions. In this mindless race the winner is the loser. This is the race of ignorance. The runners are heading towards the precipice and an Armageddon is awaiting them at the end of the lane. The best thing non-Muslims can do to stop the Islamic fundamentalism, is to stop fundamentalism in their own religions.”

Posted by sina-quote | Report as abusive

There are several columnists and academics in India who have been talking about holding a plebiscite for many years. This is nothing new, although Mayra MacDonald has only just discovered that a few editors in a democratic country like India can take a view which goes against the thinking in the government.

However, in suggesting that Kashmiris should be allowed to decide for themselves, these commentators as well as Mayra MacDonald are implicitly buying into the two-nation theory – that Hindus and Muslims should live separately. In the Europe religion plays no part in politics, in North America freedom of religion is protected by the constitution. But by the look of it Western commentators like Mayra MacDonald would like to see an Indian sub-continent divided on religious lines.

Posted by Boman | Report as abusive

From Vineeth: “…Then what defines the mainstream or core India then? The core of India is what stretches from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the North to Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the South, Gujarat and Rajasthan in the West to Bihar and West Bengal in the East. People in these regions share strong cultural and historical links and have strong enough bonds to feel that they belong to one nation. I would have liked to include the regions of Pakistan too in this list, but our mistakes have resulted in history taking an unfortunate course…”.

Vineeth: In your post you have given us enough of arguments against your self-styled “moral” conclusion. For instance, your basic premise about what defines Indian culture assumes that “cultural and historical links” are essential to the formation and existence of a modern nation state.

History has shown that they are not. “Culture” does not explain why the nations of Europe exist as separate nations, nor does it explain why these nations fought so many wars against each other. The basis for a modern nation state is the rights of the individual, and that encompasses the concept of welfare – a quantity absent from political debate in India, not to mention Pakistan.

But obviously, Europe has learned from its mistakes, and today a citizen of the European union can travel and work anywhere within the union – despite the differences in language and culture within Europe.

If you insist on believing that “culture” is basis of a modern democracy, you may amuse yourself by dividing and subdividing India along its myriad cultural and religious lines until you have no country to speak of.

Posted by Boman | Report as abusive

The Hindu Mindset:The core of hindu India is very narrow what we use as proverb in Pakistan the “hindu mindset”. India is Bharat and Bharat only. If there had been more wind getting into the heads of these narrow hindus, less caste fixated, less regimented society and also less lost in myths, they might have seen the benefits of diversity in India. Before the arrival of Muslims in India where was the concept of diversity? If someone may just throw light on the matter if there was really any multicultral society. The Britishers who were tilted towards the Hindus left festering wound of undecided status of princely states including Kashmir, implicitly leaving it on the mercy of Hindus majority knowing that India being the larger state will always be dominant in deciding the fate of people in Kashmir. Today even after 61 years the problem lingers on and again referring to my view of narrow grooves in the mind of hindus one sees the economic strangulation being perpetrated by the same hindus fanatics( now the progeny of the same narrow pundits of 1947) against small fruit traders and growers in Jammu. What is this, is it the character of the people who are claiming to be world power? And some here mentions the destiny of the country.Is pettiness is destiny? Again dont go by the extent of your size(area and population)as many medium sized powers same as Pakistan have equally done better than what India did in the last 61 years. And India has not done any better, frankly which it could have done had it maintained sane relations with Pakistan. By posing economic and security threats by the imprudent Hindu leaders since 1947 which they could have avoided by show of some civilty. Gandhi had to threat hunger strike to convince rabid hindu finance minister to release the share of Pakistan in the Indian treasury. And so many other such unkind incidents. I would advise Indian Hindus to just keep their feet on the ground, they may gaze in the sky yet always keep in your mind that in private conversationas in the west you are still the same “Indian Curry walas” despite fabricating some good software programs in the silicon vale. That nonesense you rabid hindus tout to finish Pakistan is streak of insanity.Do you have the sense what will happen if pakistan is finished? There will be civil war of the magnitude of world war III. So dont taunt Pakistanis unnecessarily otherwise since we know more truths about you than anyone else in the world, can start narrating your bogus mythologies, where you live with monkeys ets etc which until now we simply avoided to stay above the level of petty controversies on the net.So those of you who have to learn tolerance be reasonable, get some fresh air to your minds and learn to live under the principle of peaceful co-existence with Pakistan otherwise this Kashmiri and other wounds will perpetuate in histroy for your coming generations.

Posted by Yakub | Report as abusive

Iam absolutely certain that this geezer Yakub is a tiny minority of “rabid” muslim fanatic pakistani.
Perhaps Yakub would like to tell us about the great and good deed of Pakistan towards Balgladesh , the great sagacity shown by pakistan in ramming urdu as the official language, the plunder of all the forign exchange earned by bangladesh from jute. And what about Mohajeers , rather to0 dark to take their seat next to a punjabi.We allseen in TV how baluch insurgency is crushed.The only pakistani
nobel laureate Abdul Salam(incidentally taught in college by a hindu, salam came to calcutta to pay his respect)had said “as much I would like to be patriotic but it is ludicrous to suggest pakistani science is anywhere near India. Do I need to point out about Dr Salam’s brethren (Ahmedias), and the kind of religious freedom they have(their religion is outlawed).Allah Na karey, the taliban launches a Anthrax poisoning, then pakistan will have to come to thiese narrow hindus for the drug Ciprofloxacin, because only India makes the drug other than Bayer of germany, which pakistan which is a basket case will be unable to afford. The problem with pakistan is the collective schizophrenia , that the people suffer. They simply cannot get over the fact they were all converts from hindus. Benazir Bhutto in her book “Daughter of the East had written that six generation ago they were Kayasth. I do not know anything beyond my grandad. One can feel her sadness of losing her original religion.Sometime I fell Pakistan is not Islamic. The Hindu origin is so obvious. I once met a Pakistani doctor who said his first identity was that he was a Rajput, and would not marry outside his biradari(read Rajput). One just needs to look at the matrimonial column of Star Dust(UK), Jat muslim boy seeks Jat muslim girl.Yakub may be interested to know one of the richest IT company in the world Infosys, is owned by an Indian first muslim second, man called Mr Azimzi. Yakub would intersted to know kashmir gets 9564Rs per head whereas Bihar gets 825Rs. Perhaps another example of narrow hindu mind. Lastly I quote Feroze Khan (An Indian of iranian muslim origin)”I am proud to be a Indian where the president is a Muslim (Abdul Kalam) and the prime minister is A Sikh in a predominantly Hindu country, and look at Pakistan , MUSLIMS(SUNNI) KIILINGMUSLIMS(SHIA)

Posted by DR S.K.GHOSH | Report as abusive

ah!!!!!!read all the posts…especially of DR S.K.GHOSH(above)…im sorry to say…..the hatred of such people towards people of other country hampers decision making of a country……..its people like him that are the thorns…….
i being a kashmiri(24) know what the ground situation here is…….
it will be living in fools paradise if any one thinks that kashmir can be peacefull with india………
i doubt whether DR S.K.GHOSH and others like him have ever visited kashmir…..
do they think 90,000 people have given there lives without a reason…….no no never……
KASHMIR can never be a n indian entity…….the sooner india realises it the better it is for us for them….
hope GOD gives this taboo breaking indian journos more impetus and courage……

Posted by behroz amin | Report as abusive

Hello,
Vir Sanghvi and Swaminathan Aiyar (and also so called “intellectuals” like Arundhati Roy) are all basically suffering from an advancement in their senility. So no fault of theirs for their ludicrous comments. Let a few suicide bombings happen in their neighborhood and/or let some of their family members get DISmembered by it, they will then fall in line too.
To Ms. Myra MacDonald, an analogy: Several years ago as a young teenager, Osama Bin Laden had visited USA including places like Disneyland with his very large family. No doubt he did it in “peace” and even must have enjoyed it, yet all the while harboring sullen hatred towards “America” and all things “American” he saw there. Now we all know what he and his “disciples” did several years later ON the very same soil.
Basically, just because someone (like Kashmiris) are sullen and “hate” India etc. does that mean they should be allowed to go scot free and India effectively GIVING IN to terrorism, pure and simple???
Tomorrow, if Utah wants to secede on the grounds that they are Mormons, will Washington D.C. allow that?
Wake up guys! And stop giving these rascals all this publicity.
regards
Vijay.T, India.

Posted by Vijay Talwalkar | Report as abusive