Raina: Kashmir Now Or Never

By Badri Raina , ZNet,  August 13, 2010

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“Kashmir may be conquered by the force of spiritual merit but not by the force of soldiers.”

(Kalhana Pandit)

I

So total has been the loss of hegemony of  Kashmir’s  elected  representatives, in government and in the legislature, over the last two months, and so  desperately brutal the recourse to coercive subjugation  of fearless young anger on the streets of the valley, that if ever there was a time to say  resistance to authority (sic) deserves to be rewarded with what it seeks, it has been now.  If the prospect, that is, of the secession of the valley—since other parts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir desire, contrarily, not secession but more complete integration with the Union of India– were not fraught with  incalculable negative consequences not just for India and Pakistan, but for the inhabitants of the valley itself.

To that I shall return.

Just the other day, the Home Minister of India made two significant averments in parliament.  One that the Union recognizes that the Accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir was a “unique one”; and, two, that, apart of all other things, the Republic and its successive governments had failed to keep promises made to the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

Continues >>

2 Responses to “Raina: Kashmir Now Or Never”

  1. sudhan Says:

    In this well-documented paper Badri Raina has presented the main course of events with regard to the Accession of the princely State of Jammu & Kashmir to India at the end of the British Raj and the partition of India in 1947. His political and historical understanding of the Kashmir problem makes him one of the clearest voices of secularism and democracy in the Indian subcontinent. Being a Kashmiri himself, he has witnessed and followed up what Kashmir has gone through since 1947. His passionate defence of democratic and humanist values within the Union of India has made him one of the formidable opponents of the communalist forces in India which at present are broadly branded under the rubric of the Hindutva.

    The killing of more than 51 Kashmiri youth over the last two-month period and the killing of more than 80,000 Kashmiris since 1989 by the Delhi rulers has been to suppress the population of the Kashmir Valley by force of arms. But this brutal suppression has failed to stifle the demand for Azadi (freedom) and people are dying to gain freedom.

    I agree with Raina that the present situation in the Kashmir Valley is fraught with great dangers for the whole region. What is needed is a change in direction of the Indian policy in Kashmir. The old official mantra that Kashmir is an internal matter and full stop never had any validity. It has been a ruse to perpetuate Indian rule over Kashmir against the will of the majority of its people. No doubt a handful of Muslim elite, especially the descendants of Sheikh Abdullah, have been the beneficiaries of the Indian patronage and they will continue to be treated thus for their allegiance to the mantra of Kashmir being an integral part of India! Well, the answer to such people is that the vast majority of the people of Kashmir reject their policies and the Indian rule. That should not be difficult for anyone to see or understand.

    To assert that Pakistan is not a party to the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir State, as Sheikh Abdullah is reported to have said, does not help much. The State of Jammu and Kashmir is divided; one part is under Pakistan and the other under India. Many divided families live on both sides of the Line of Control. Again, there is little comfort to hear that ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’ is an illegal entity while the Indian held Kashmir is free! Such a view is illusory. The people of Pakistani held Kashmir (Azad Kashmir) do not regard themselves occupied by Pakistan. But the people of Indian Kashmir reject Indian rule and they want Freedom from Indian rule.

    However, it does not mean that I support or have ever supported the two-nation theory that became the basis for the partition of India. I still look at the whole of the subcontinent as a physical and cultural unity. Unfortunately, the two-nation theory won the day in the last century and the unfinished task of partition is still on our backs. In the end, I consider Raina’s sagacious views a serious effort to grapple with the tragic situation in the Kashmir Valley.

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  2. Raina: Kashmir Now Or Never « Suzie-Q's Truth and Justice Blog Says:

    […] 15, 2010 by sudhan By Badri Raina, ZNet, August 13, […]

    Like

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