Prof Hari Om
Chairman of Gupkar Gang, NC President and former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, like Vice-Chairperson of Gupkaris, PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has once again urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a dialogue with Pakistan to restore peace in the Union Territory. The upshot of his whole argument is that accommodation of Pakistani view on J&K alone could help restore peace in Kashmir. He put forth the suggestion a day after terrorists attacked a police bus in Srinagar on December 13. The well-planned attack in which three J&K policemen were martyred and 11 others got injured.
The suggestion of the out-on-the-limb and frustrated Farooq Abdullah is as ridiculous and preposterous as it is outrageous, unsettling and utterly unacceptable. It’s true that Pakistan — epicenter of global terrorism – has been blooding and convulsing J&K’s socio-religious and political scene since its very inception in August 1947, waged wars at regular intervals after September 1947 and unleashed dangerous low-intensity proxy war in 1980s to accomplish what it calls the ‘unfinished agenda of partition’. However, it would be a devious and mischievous attempt to suggest that peace in Kashmir became a story of the past in 1947, when J&K was merged with India as per the Indian Independence Act of 1947, and that negotiated settlement with Pakistan over J&K alone would help restore peace and normality in this part of the country.
Farooq Abdullah, like others in Kashmir, is only seeking to mislead the national opinion and hoodwink the gullible by trying to convince the powers-that-be in New Delhi that Kashmir would continue to face terror attacks and bleed as long as the Pakistani questions on J&K remained unanswered. The truth is that peace in Kashmir became a story of the past in 1339, when the barbarous Shah Mir usurped Hindu throne through murder, rape, intrigue and deceit. Between 1339 to 1819, Shah Mir and others of his ilk, including Sultans, Mughals and Pathans, perpetrated barbarities on Hindus, the original inhabitants of Kashmir, on an unprecedented scale. Indeed, this was the darkest period in the history of Kashmir during which an overwhelming majority of Hindus were converted and many were lynched, maimed and murdered. This was also the period which witnessed exodus of Hindus from Kashmir at regular intervals. According to many authentic studies, Kashmir witnessed Hindu exodus at least six times between 1339 and 1819.
It was only during the Sikh rule (1819-1846) and Dogra rule (1846-1947) that the Islamists couldn’t further their exclusivist and sinister agenda in Kashmir. It’s a fact that Muslim religio-political leadership in Kashmir did create troubles in the Valley from time to time after Kashmir became part of mighty Dogra Kingdom in March 1846. It’s also true that the Kashmiri Muslim leadership did all to win the imperialist British Government to destablise the Dogra rule and give a particular orientation to everything in Kashmir. It’s also true that the radical Islamists in Kashmir challenged the authority of the state in 1931 and launched ‘Quit Kashmir Movement’ in 1946, but the visionary, effective and determined Dogra rulers, especially Maharaja Hari Singh, defeated all the nefarious designs of the Islamic zealots in Kashmir. So much so, Sheikh Abdullah would again and again tender apology to come out of the jail. Their single-point agenda between 1846 and 1946 was to end the Dogra rule in Kashmir and establish a separate Kashmir State.
Things worsened in Kashmir after the accession of J&K to India or after the end of 101-year-old Dogra rule on October 26, 1947. Courtesy: Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and Congress. The fact of the matter is that the successive governments at the Centre allowed Abdullahs and Muftis to exercise unbridled politico-administrative and extra-constitutional powers so that the Islamists in Kashmir could misrule like they did between 1339 and 1819 and also create Kashmir-like situation in Jammu province. So much so, these governments at the Centre allowed them to indulge in anti-national and pro-Pakistan and pro-terrorist activities with likes of Geelanis and Maliks playing their anti-India and anti-Hindu shots with utmost ease. No wonder then that they made Kashmir 100 per cent Hindu-free in 1990 and changed demography of Jammu on an unprecedented scale between October 1996 and February 2018 through dubious legislations, atrocious administrative orders and perverted and hostile elements in the Home, Revenue and Forest Departments. It was only in June 2018 that Narendra Modi Government read the writing on the wall and took a decisive action by bringing down dangerous Mehbooba Mufti Government. It didn’t stop just here. The Modi Government repealed 70-year-old seditious Article 370 and 63-year-old illegal and discriminatory Article 35A under which all the non-Kashmiris were considered a persona non-grata in J&K. It would be only prudent to suggest that the period between 1947 and 2018 in J&K was the second blackest period which witnessed terror attacks in Kashmir and parts of Jammu province at regular intervals causing immense losses; disturbing the socio-religious and political equilibrium in the state; destroying Jammu and Ladakh socially, culturally, economically and politically; and creating very serious inter-regional tensions.
What does all this suggest? It suggests that Farooq Abdullah’s whole approach is subjective and based on falsehood. The causes of terrorism in Kashmir are deeper and the most fundamental cause of terrorism in Kashmir since 1339 is the politics of exclusiveness based on religious fanaticism. It’s time to call the bluff of Farooq Abdullah and others of his ilk in Kashmir and call the problem by name.