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Jammu And Kashmir - 2

Confusion in Congress: The party is divided between its virtually non-existent Kashmir unit (save for the ultra redundant Saifuddin Soz, who's parked permanently in Delhi) and its Jammu segment. The Jammu Congress has joined the Jammu agitators. The Congress's Central leadership is unable to reconcile to this, and is covered up in embarrassment. It has probably tried to stop Karan Singh from going ballistic against Vohra and the entire mess, but that's no help. The biggest gaffe is of one Congress spokesperson speaking of an economic blockade of Kashmir, while both the Union home minister, Shivraj Patil, and the junior minister in the prime minister's office, Prithviraj Chavan, have issued categorical denials. So why is the Congress party opposing its own government at the Centre? Is it a case of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds? Well, the truth is, the Congress is finished in the Valley after the police firings. And if it persists with its fraudulence, it will total up in Jammu.

Best for the Congress is to pull back from making damaging statements, and allow the Manmohan Singh government to handle the mess. As such, this government has advertised its incompetence in this crisis, without the party making it worse. Assorted Congress spokespersons should be told to shut up about J and K, and if Soz has a problem, he should be dispatched to Kashmir. It is about time this Kashmiri discard earned his ministership.

Manmohan Singh & the government: Having failed on the security front, there is no hope that the prime minister can deliver on the Amarnath land crisis or on the spurt of separatism in the Valley. The Times of India today quoted an MP saying of the all-party deliberations called by the PM, "The effort seems to be leading us towards paralysis through analysis." Action is now called for. Shooting protestors is not the answer. There must be a shake up in the administration starting from Vohra, and the message must go that the government means business. After all these years of peace – or relative peace – in J and K, this violence is unacceptable. Second, after the administrative shake up, the PM must take direct charge. That means the course of leaving decisions to all the parties to take has to be abandoned. By all means continue with all-party talks, but the government cannot abdicate its decision-making responsibilities.

In the worst way, the government showed it was not risk averse on the Indo-US nuclear deal. If it indeed be compared, J and K is more critical at this time than the nuclear deal, and the PM is missing on J and K. Rather than expect any solution from the government, the question to ask is, where is the PM on J and K?

Prevent M.K.Narayanan from ruining relations with Pakistan's elected government, implores N.V.Subramanian.

13 August 2008: As a former director of Intelligence Bureau, the National Security Advisor (NSA), M.K.Narayanan, should be wedded to silence and circumspection. But once again, he has spoken rashly and unadvisedly to the media, this time to Singapore's Straits Times, about Pakistan after Musharraf, and this will bring (avoidable) irritation in relations with India's troubled neighbour. With Jammu and Kashmir burning, Narayanan & Co would be well-advised to focus on internal national security threats than to comment so publicly – and patronizingly – about Pakistan. In the past, Pakistan has taken offense to Narayanan's ill-timed and ill-judged comments, and this occasion may be no different.

The NSA implied to Straits Times that if Musharraf was impeached, "it leaves a big vacuum and we are deeply concerned about this vacuum because it leaves the radical extremist outfits with freedom to do what they like, not merely on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, but clearly (on) our side of the border too." Two objections. Why should the NSA publicly articulate about a "big vacuum" in the event of Musharraf's impeachment? To be accurate, Narayanan did not make this direct connection. He said to the effect it was immaterial to India if Musharraf was or was not impeached. But then he spoke of the "political vacuum". This means he was joining in his mind, and implying for all of us to understand, that Musharraf's exit would trigger a "political vacuum". So it probably will. But what's Narayanan's business to megaphone this?

What Asif Zardari & Co in Pakistan will construe is that India is unhappy at Musharraf's going, and this will sow suspicions against India. The opposite seems actually to be India's case. India would no longer be unhappy at Musharraf's exit. That is the proper conclusion to draw from the Indian prime minister's interaction with his Pakistani counterpart at the SAARC summit. The PM was complaining against Pakistan military and intelligence-sponsored terrorism in India to Pakistan's elected prime minister. If Musharraf was the man India would rather deal with, India would have publicly communicated its terrorism concerns to him, which it did not. So why is the NSA tripping up his own government on two sensitive issues of relations with Pakistan and on terrorism? That's objection one.

The second objection is to Narayanan's implied conclusion, contained in that "political vacuum" sentence, that Musharraf has outstandingly contained terrorism within Pakistan and Pakistani terrorism in Afghanistan and in India, and that his impeachment will spurt all this. Is the NSA all there? Under whose overall charge is the ISI that bombed the Indian Kabul embassy and is behind the recent blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, not to speak of earlier terrorist attacks? Is it Narayanan's case that, as former army chief, and as the presidential commander in chief, with intimate relations with the armed forces, Musharraf was entirely unaware of the ISI hand in the Kabul blast? So hard and long was the bombing planned that the US gathered incriminating technical intelligence on it, but could not or did not ultimately prevent its execution. Rather than give hell to the Americans (our supposed nuclear allies) for not saving the Indian embassy, Narayanan is giving certificates of good conduct to Musharraf, who defended ISI's role after the Kabul blast. Seriously, is the NSA all there?

But Narayanan is not done about "political vacuum" speaking to the Singapore daily. He carries on in equally damaging vein, saying, "Like nature abhors a vacuum, we abhor the political vacuum that exists in Pakistan. It greatly worries us." To take Narayanan's analogy further, nature (or air) fills vacuum. Are we, therefore, to assume India will also "fill" Pakistan's "political vacuum", that it will someway intervene in Pakistan's internal affairs? This is how any intelligent Pakistani will interpret Narayanan's dangerous garrulity, and this will embarrass the weak Pakistani coalition government which wants friendly relations with India, and it will provide ammunition to those who need everything to either save Musharraf or their own political careers if he goes. On J and K, the war of words has already commenced with Pakistan, and motormouth Narayanan will incite further competition among Pakistani politicians of the Right, jihadis, and politicized ex-generals to bait India.

On two earlier occasions, the NSA has embarrassed the government, either by publicizing sensitive early intimations before they become intelligence, or by revealing the inner thinking of the executive branch. In February 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Narayanan said that "Isolated instances of terrorist outfits manipulating the stock markets to raise funds for their operations have been reported. Stock exchanges in Mumbai and Chennai have, on occasion, reported that fictitious or notional companies were engaging in stock-market operations. Some of these companies were later traced to terrorist outfits." The excellent stockmarkets' journalist, Sucheta Dalal, dented Narayanan's reputation by pointing out the non-existence of the so-called Chennai stock exchange and the historical presence of notional/ shell companies. What Narayanan probably pointed at, she said, was the controversial matter of promissory notes. But what advantage did Narayanan seek to gain by making whatever revelation he made at Munich, which frantically pushed the government into denial mode?

Then in December 2007, Narayanan made headlines by saying India distrusted Pakistan's then presumptive prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. To a news television channel, the NSA said, "Her track record is not necessarily something that would make us believe that she will follow to the letter and spirit of what she has said." Benazir said she would track down terrorists attacking India. Then Narayanan went on to praise Musharraf, in a fashion quite over the top. "I must say," he said, "there is a certain amount of grudging respect for the manner in which president Musharraf has managed to overcome his previous struggles." Musharraf remained for him a "credible interlocutor", with who India could do business. All this of course pained and provoked Benazir into anger just before she was assassinated, and the Manmohan Singh government had to scurry once again for embarrassed cover.

The point is not that Narayanan is necessarily wrong in his assessment, because while he was right on Benazir's terrible record against India and Afghanistan in the Nineties (going shrill on Kashmir, and creating the Taliban for the Americans), he was dead wrong on Musharraf, who was part of Pakistan's terrorist military-intelligence establishment, and indeed was the terrorist establishment till he was army chief. The point is, right or wrong, the NSA had no business speaking to the media on such sensitive issues. But given his proximity to 10, Janpath, nobody is willing or able to rein him in. As for his record as NSA, the growing terrorist attacks within the country and the explosive situation in J and K speak for themselves. But let it be stated for the record, and the Indian government's position presumably won't be any different. A democratic transformation is happening in Pakistan, and if a temporary "political vacuum" leads eventually to the dismantling of Pakistan's terrorist military-intelligence establishment, that burden of "political vacuum" should be borne, after all due security measures are taken on this side. For once, India was not an issue in Pakistan's February general elections that brought a (though weak) coalition government to power. Unless gravely provoked, let us try to keep it that way.

N.V.Subramanian is Editor, NewsInsight.net. Har-Anand has published his new second novel, Courtesan of Storms.
1953, a lesson in Krisis management
M J Akbar

On August 8, while the same politicians spluttered in Delhi and spleened in Srinagar, Farooq and Omar Abdullah chose to ignore the 55th anniversary of a seminal event in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. On the evening of August 8, 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, using the powers of the Sadar-i-Riyasat Dr Karan Singh, dismissed the government of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, authentic hero of the freedom of India and patriarch of a dynasty that has lasted three generations.

The trigger was an intelligence report, sent by the IB officer in charge of Kashmir, B N Mullik, that Abdullah had left for Gulmarg that morning to make secret contact with a representative from Pakistan. The authenticity of this claim remains in doubt, even if time has made its veracity irrelevant. But for Nehru it was part of a pattern that he could not ignore. Abdullah's unhappiness with Delhi, and Delhi's disenchantment with Abdullah had become a public fact. Abdullah was certain that India was not secular enough; Delhi was equally sure that Abdullah was not Indian enough.

The suspicion had become septic during an agitation in Jammu that summer, spearheaded by the Jana Sangh (predecessor of the BJP). The Jana Sangh was formed in 1951 by Shyama Prasad Mookerjea, a Bengali stalwart of the freedom movement and member of the first Nehru Cabinet after 1947. One of the four points on the Jana Sangh's first manifesto, released on October 21, 1951, was full integration of J&K into India. At its second annual session, in December 1952, Mookerjea announced a popular agitation for the abolition of Article 370, which gave the state specific rights.

By this time Abdullah had begun to openly flirt with ambivalence. While he had little sympathy for Pakistan, he began to crouch and leap towards the idea of independence, an option promoted by America without the camouflage of subtlety. In his biography of Nehru, S Gopal, referring to Volume 5 of The Papers of Adlai Stevenson (edited by W Johnson) notes that "some Indian leaders believed that it was Mrs Loy Henderson, wife of the United States Ambassador, and some CIA agents who encouraged Abdullah to think in these terms".

In the summer of 1950, Abdullah was confident enough to drop broad hints to Sir Owen Dixon, the United Nations representative and publicly rebuke Delhi for giving advice outside defence, external affairs and communications. When Nehru protested, Abdullah sent a letter, dated July 10, 1950, that was a rap on the knuckles rather than a gentle hint: "I have several times stated that we acceded to India because we saw there two bright stars of hope and aspiration, namely Gandhiji and yourself, and despite our having so many affinities with Pakistan we did not join it, because we thought our programme will not fit with their policy. If, however, we are driven to the conclusion that we cannot build our state on our own lines, suited to our genius, what answer can I give to my people and how am I to face them?"

Nehru's debilitating patience was tested further when Abdullah, in a speech at Ranbirsinghpura on April 10, 1952, dismissed full integration into India as "unrealistic, childish and savouring of lunacy". He personalized Kashmir's accession, saying that if anything happened to Nehru, Kashmiris would have to "provide for all eventualities". Although Abdullah tried to make amends in Delhi and at the Madras Congress session by dismissing the idea of independence as foolish, the nuances of doublespeak (a practice that still flourishes among Kashmiri politicians, and which we have been witness to in the last few weeks with increasing intemperance) increased apprehension. Nehru wrote to Maulana Azad on March 1, 1953, "My fear is that Sheikh Sahib, in his present frame of mind, is likely to do something or take some step, which might make things worse..."

America seemed comfortable with what would be worse for India. Between May 1 and 3, Abdullah met Adlai Stevenson (Democratic candidate against Eisenhower and later to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations), their dialogue ending with a seven-hour conversation at which no one else was present. Rumours of American support for independent Kashmir became rampant, and have still not quite died. (Conferences are still frequently held in Washington offering "solutions" that are akin to independence; one such coincided with the present crisis.) On July 13, 1953, Abdullah went a stage further, saying in public, "Kashmir should have the sympathy of both India and Pakistan...It is not necessary for our State to become an appendage of either India or Pakistan."

In that fateful summer of 1953, Jammu became the epicentre of a full-blown agitation in collaboration with the Akali Dal, led by Master Tara Singh. Nehru had added some fuel to this fire by conceding a psychologically provocative demand in what has come to be known as the Delhi Agreement, signed in 1952, by which J&K was granted its own flag. The agitation had a powerful slogan: Ek Desh mein do Vidhaan, Ek Desh mein do Nishaan, Ek Desh mein do Pradhaan, nahin challengey nahin challengey. On May 8, 1953, Mookerjea tried to cross the Madhopur bridge on the Jammu border in order to lead the agitation in Jammu. Abdullah ordered his arrest. On June 23, 1953, he died while still under detention in Abdullah's jail.

The decision to remove Sheikh Abdullah from office had been made at least a week before August 8, on July 31, at a closed-door meeting between Nehru, Mullik and D W Mehra, deputy director of IB, amidst reports that Abdullah was preparing to dismiss what was considered the "pro-India" section of his Cabinet, including his deputy Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. Mullik describes Nehru as "being nearly overwhelmed by emotion...we realized that he was on the point of uprooting a plant which he had nursed with great care".

There were few contemporaries for whom Nehru had greater affection or admiration. If Sardar Patel brought the rest of the princely states (barring Hyderabad) into the Union of India, then it was the political-personal friendship of Nehru and Abdullah that brought Kashmir to India. Kashmir was not simply the geographical frontier of secular India, it was also its ideological frontier —in Abdullah's words, the "stabilizing force for India".

Nehru began the process of assimilation with geography. There were two pre-Partition routes linking Srinagar to its south, one via Murree, Rawalpindi and Lahore, and the second through Sialkot. Neither would be available to India after Partition. There was a miserable third option, a dirt track via Gurdaspur vulnerable to weather.

Gurdaspur was a Muslim-majority district and the whole of it could have easily gone to Pakistan. Before Sir Cyril Radcliffe arrived in India to map partition, Nehru lobbied hard with Mountbatten to keep this dirt tract within India. When the Radcliffe Award was announced on August 16, Gurdaspur had been split along the line of the Ravi, and Nehru had achieved his purpose. Pakistan has consistently claimed that this was done because of the "personal" influence that Nehru had on the Mountbattens. The road link proved vital when war broke out over Kashmir within six weeks of Partition. It is ironic that the first country to blockade supplies to Srinagar was Pakistan, in early October 1947, as a prelude to hostilities. The official excuse was communal disturbances.

Keeping Kashmir in India proved more difficult than its accession: against the war-energy of Pakistan, international pressure and domestic turmoil. Nehru had made one mistake, when taking, under Mountbatten's advice, the Kashmir issue to the United Nations. He was not going to make another. Friendship with Abdullah became irrelevant. There could be no compromise with the security of India. Sixty people died in the disturbances that followed Abdullah's dismissal, but a potential threat to Indian unity had been averted.

Five and a half decades later, a successor government of the Congress seems impotent as allies like Mehbooba Mufti brazenly threaten to open links with Pakistan, friends proclaim nationalism in Delhi and duplicity in the valley, and pro-Pakistan leaders like Geelani are "liberated" by crowds with utter contempt for authority.

^ M J Akbar continues to redeem himself.
Retaining J&K is essential to the overall security of Indian federal composition. Not because of emotional attachment, but because Kashmir acts as the buffer zone for jihadi variety to be fertilized in the valley - rather than tackle their ‘lal-qila’ challenge in indian mainland.

Let us not forget that Indian civilization has lost more than 45% of its landmass in last 1000 yrs to creeping islamisation. And Kashmir is just the latest extension of that process. Anybody who presumes that parting with Kashmir is the end of our woes, lives in a mediocre wonderland stemming from his own idioticity.

Kashmir’s disintegration from India will setup a political model; and an example for future Muslim majoritarian political movements that may arise once an area has achieved Muslim majority in a specific Indian province.

Areas that are projected to achieve Muslim Majority within the rest of India would, then in retrospective, definitely perceive the separation of Kashmir (on Basis of Islamic Majority) as a political example worth emulating.

Such a political trajectory based on fissiparous tendency fits well with the Anglo-saxon imperial vision for India; wherein increasing smaller Islamic states would either federate or collaborate with the largest Islamic state(Pakistan) to achieve their strategic ambitions of managing the landmass through their proxy while eliminating a rising civilizational alternative to western standards of living. (further reference: The ‘Dinia’ of Rehmat Coudhary. And the desire of Churchill to balkanize India)

In a history of nation, demographic changes keep happening with rise and decent of a certain faith system. But does not give any justification for a certain landmass to divorce itself from the core civilization. And our claim on Kashmir is exactly on that basis.

With a Hindu history of 5000 yrs, a mere contemporary islamisation 300 yrs ago is not a basis enough for severing the umbilical cord. Infact, a call for Islamic state of Kashmir should be met with a political objective of re-Indianising (hinduising) the state. We should ask for re-colonization of the valley by pandits. Along with that an effort should be made to settle the population from the plains into the valley. I think UP+Bihar can amply spare 3 crore people for settlement. This populace should be generously sprinkled with Sikh & Maratha immigrants (around a 1.5 mn is enough). This would windup the call for nizam-e-mustafa for good millennia, establish a significant buffer and create an example out of jihad adventures.

Our refusal to visit that option of re-colonisation is, in itself is defeat at hand of islamists, and reduces our bargaining ability. If not the actual implementation, this strategy too should be on cards to limit the jihadi fervor.

And finally, Anybody who thinks this is a mere rant of a jingo disconnected from reality; should appreciate that : Texas, Tibet, Uighuristan, Central Asian Republics, Caucasus, Israel, and many more are examples of re-colonization that occurred in recent past.

However, considering the current state of our government for which the Indian people in general are responsible), therefore, given the current state of mind of the Indian people, to expect the Indian government to embark on re-colonization (I would prefer to use the term "reclaiming the right to settlement on our own territories") is a pipe dream. Therefore, if this has to be done, it has to be done by non-governmental organizations. Hindu non governmental organizations should embark on such a venture soliciting resources from Hindu businessmen ranging from Ambanis down to the neighborhood shopkeepers. Remember, it is not necessary to repeal 370...........all that is necessary is to encroach on public lands in Kashmir and settle people, establish a supply line for them through Jammu and provide private defence forces (along the lines of East India Company having its own army)....
If the hindus all over India cannot organize themselves into pushing this venture, then they deserve what they get and I personally am pessimistic and feel that they will continue to get what they have been getting all along........shafted....

Actually, this is a pipe dream too, but as desirable as it is, this is also the right time to acknowledge that the Indian experiment in secularism has failed. Secularism depends on each faith willing to make roughly equal accomodation of the other to succeed, and in India since independence, it has been the Hindus who have been accomodating and taking it up their backsides.......if India has to have a future, if our children have to have any future in India, it will have to be as a Hindu state........(by Hindu, I mean to encompass and non discriminate against any of the native born faiths, such as Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism etc, who have the same liberal and tolerance characteristics as Hinduism, and in some cases even more so)............how it will come about, I dont know...........maybe Mr. Modi would be a good person to consult on this.......

FromPioneer, 20 August, 2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Withdraw of Jammu officials from Valley says BJP

PTI | Jammu

Posted online: Aug 20, 2008

Claiming that officials from Jammu were facing intimidation in Kashmir, <b>the BJP on Wednesday demanded that they be temporarily withdrawn from the valley in the wake of the agitation over Amarnath land issue.</b>

"About 50 such personnel, who had come to BJP office here, had narrated their woes about how they faced threats in the valley in recent-past and were forced to quit different parts of the valley," State BJP president Ashok Khajuria said in Jammu.

Most of these officials belong to civil secretariat, while others are posted in different wings of the Government department in the valley, party's vice president Hari Om said.

These employees, they demanded, should be retained with the divisional commissioner's office in Jammu temporarily till situation normalises in valley and they themselves show their willingness to return to their postings in Kashmir.

Asking authorities in Kashmir Valley not to "deepen the communal divide", they said "they should learn from the people of Jammu who have proved their secular credentials by ensuring that no Kashmiri Muslim working in Jammu leaves for valley under duress or threat".

They also alleged that senior officers were trying to sabotage the ongoing agitation in Jammu for restoration of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

"We warn these officers, including the chief secretary, the director general of police and director agricultural, to desist from such pressure tactics or else they and their families will face social boycott from Jammuites," Khajuria said.

He said that the BJP supports the ongoing agitation led by Shri Aamarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti for restoration of land to SASB and recall of Governor NN Vohra.

"Ours is do or die agitation in Jammu," he said.


is that the righ tsolution? Shoudlnt the demand be to provide protection and not withdraw the officials? I think sometime the big picture is lost.
By wihtdrawing the Jammu origin officials from Kashmir Valley, the party is acknowledging the tacit separation movement.
The 'Vir' in Sanghvi's name brings disrepute to the word 'Vir'. Only he and his likes can Think the unthinkable

What is the slogan in kashmir valley mean - Jeeve Jeeve Pakistan
More traitors want to give independence to kashmir


Noted social activist and Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh said in Srinagar that ‘independence is the best option for resolving Kashmir dispute’. (The Times of India: Aug 17 2008) the Booker prize winner for The God of Small Things and human rights activist with international fame and recognition Arun Dati Roy, who herself witnessed the ‘Monday March’ to UN office at Sonawar Srinagar, in which nearly a million people attended and demanded United Nation’s intervention in the resolution of Kashmir dispute, asked New Delhi to heed the demand of kashmiris which they have so openly pronounced. ‘People of Kashmir have made themselves abundantly clear that they want complete freedom’. Roy stated in Srinagar on Monday, 18 August. Eminent journalist Gautam Nawlekha, leading Supreme Court lawyer Meher Desai, an enlightened woman from Bengal who teaches in United States,
Agnivesh wants to give independence to kashmir


Independent Kashmir best option

Hakeem Irfan

Srinagar, Aug 06: *Noted social activist and Arya Samaj leader Swami
Agnivesh on Wednesday said only Syed Ali Geelani could handle the present
crisis in Jammu and Kashmir and added that independent Kashmir is the best
option for resolution of Kashmir dispute.
Actually, only Fai, FOSA, FOIL, IMC, Poddar gang related group is asking for Independent Kashmir, They are supported by Goldman FOundation, San Francisco. Recently, Pawan joined their bandwagon in Chicago.
What it shows MEA and Indian Embassy is sleeping? How they let Indian Minister to attend these type of gathering?
One idiot grandson of Gandhi was shown door last year.
Traitors have lot of support.
<!--QuoteBegin-G.Subramaniam+Aug 21 2008, 07:06 AM-->QUOTE(G.Subramaniam @ Aug 21 2008, 07:06 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->What is the slogan in kashmir valley mean - Jeeve Jeeve Pakistan

Jiyo, Jiva as in "to live". Long live Pakistan.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Aug 22 2008, 05:59 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Aug 22 2008, 05:59 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Actually, only Fai, FOSA, FOIL, IMC, Poddar gang related group is asking for Independent Kashmir, They are supported by Goldman FOundation, San Francisco.  Recently, Paswan joined their bandwagon in Chicago.
What it shows MEA and Indian Embassy is sleeping? How they let Indian Minister to attend these type of gathering?
One idiot grandson of Gandhi was shown door last year.
Traitors have lot of support.

Mudy, In one post you captured the whole gang of folks workingon the Cashmir project.

Can you put those names in bubbles and create a chart to show how they are tied up to the project?
Now Barkha Dutt also wants to give independence to Kashmir


he war cry for ‘azaadi’ in the volatile valley of Kashmir has suddenly found a chorus among some of Delhi’s sharpest thinkers. Ironically, and unnoticed in the current breathless discourse, the advocates of azaadi come from two entirely extreme positions. There is the ultra-liberal faction that has always seen India as the oppressor and the Kashmiri people as her throttled victims. While they propagate self-determination in the Valley, for many of these commentators, the citizenship of a Nation-State is at best an irrelevance and at worst a jingoistic anachronism. Arundhati Roy, for example, famously declared herself to be an “independent, mobile republic”, while protesting the nuclear tests.

The other (and opposite) lobby is batting for freedom precisely because it believes in an idea of an India that should no longer be held back by the violent and contentious history of Kashmir. These writers, (my friend and HT’s Vir Sanghvi prominent among them) make a cold cost-benefit analysis to argue that India has spent more political energy and taxpayers’ money in the Valley than in any other state, but with no results to show for it. India, they say, doesn’t need lecturing by two-bit countries on Kashmir; it’s time to leave the past behind and embrace the future.

As always, it’s a healthy democracy that can be at debate with itself. It’s also a sign of how much has changed. A few years ago, I remember doing a television report on how greater autonomy, across all its regions, may be the antidote to alienation in the state. The mere suggestion evoked general indignation. My report mentioned that the state has its own flag and constitution, to underline its unique place in the federal structure. This was not opinion; it was fact. Even so, whether from ignorance or denial, everything I said was received with outrage and resistance.

Today, as we witness both mainstream and fringe voices debating azaadi, even if for opposite reasons, perhaps we are looking at an India that is less scared of itself. Or perhaps a new generation of Indians that is not haunted by the scars of Partition and has a greater detachment on the issue.

But let me strike a note of serious hesitation. Many of us agree that the democratic process in the state has not worked as it should. It is clear that conventional approaches that have alternated between dangling carrots and brandishing sticks are ineffective, and in some cases, self-destructive. And yet, isn’t there something discomforting and horrible about middle-class ennui being the driving force for change? Should urban fatigue or textbook liberalism now set the agenda for what should happen next? More importantly, if the problem is rooted in alienation, is the solution to tell an entire people to effectively go wherever the hell they want to? In my view, bleeding heart solutions that dismiss the very notion of boundaries and maps don’t have much resonance either. Yes, successive governments have been in denial about the extent of alienation. And yes, you can’t want the land (and its three rivers that you tap for electricity) but be indifferent to its people. So, should the solution be to throw your hands up in the air and say we-just-don’t-give-a-damn?

It’s kind of boring to be a realist in these times when more provocative ideas on Kashmir have given birth to a thousand television shows. But it’s my sense that the changing rhetoric on the state will not bring it either peace or solace at this time. Jammu and Kashmir has been on the boil for two months and yet this is a government that has not even thought it necessary to call in the firefighters. It’s unlikely to engage in philosophical debates on whether India is strong enough to accommodate secession, when it hasn’t even begun talks with protestors on either side of the Pir Panjal.

So, I’m going to be old-fashioned and say, if we still care, let’s start with the basics. Our politicians need to stop treating Jammu and Kashmir like a security challenge. We need to acknowledge that a regional divide is in serious danger of growing into a religious one. Identity politics in the Valley are driven by a deep disconnect from India, and in the Jammu region, by anger at the kind of attention Kashmir gets, from both politicians and the media. The Prime Minister either needs to step in himself or appoint a peace envoy who will talk to both the Samiti in Jammu and the separatists in the Valley. Commerce may provide an unlikely clue to peace. Opening trade across the Line of Control was something New Delhi was in favour of. If Islamabad is the obstacle to cross-border business, the government needs to hard-sell that fact so that it can strengthen the moderate separatists against the rabble-rousers who are loyal to Pakistan. The time for diffident press releases from the Home Ministry is long over.

Our politicians also need to pay much closer attention to the sense of neglect perceived in Jammu. You can’t let its people feel that just because their sentiment is not separatist, it figures lower on the list of priorities. And if azaadi is now a palatable word in drawing-room debate, how about making a more realistic start with autonomy? Autonomy proposals for all three regions of the state have been gathering cobwebs for close to a decade. How about wiping the dust off those files and resurrecting their suggestions?

In the end, that old fox Pervez Musharraf may have had it right. Before you can seriously look at sub-nationalism, you have to first find a way of making borders irrelevant, or at the very least, porous. But the government has to first react like it understands the gravity of the problem. And we need to pull our political class out of its slumber instead of pushing them deeper into stupor by going on about how tired we are of a dispute called Kashmir.

Barkha Dutt is Group Editor, English News, NDTV
Harish Khare, political editor of Hindu opposes giving freedom to Kashmir
- big surprise


Time for democratic fundamentalism in J&K

Harish Khare

Under assault here is not just the territorial integrity of India but also the idea of India, from the separatists as well as from the Hindutva brigade.


Protests in Srinagar.Time for the Centre to reiterate a few fundamental axioms.

A tiny section of the effete elite in New Delhi suddenly seems to have lost its nerve. So mightily impressed are these Bloomsbury-fied “intellectuals” with the Hurriyat’s capacity to work up mobs and instigate violence in the Kashmir Valley that they have begun to wonder aloud whether the time had come for India to give in to the azadi-chanters. After 61 years of independence, there is no need for any confusion or doubt. All that is ne eded is to reiterate a few fundamental axioms.

The territorial integrity of India is non-negotiable in Kashmir, as in any other part of the Union. Bad politics, inept administration, and the occasional security heavy-handedness do not constitute sufficient ground for secession in Kashmir or in any other part of India. These infirmities, indeed, are not confined to the “periphery,” and can be easily discerned in large sections of the so-called “mainland.” But these lapses do not give anyone a licence to walk away from Mother India. This democracy provides sufficient institutional creativity to address grievances and alienation.

Let us also be clear about the nature of the “Kashmir problem.” A section, possibly about a quarter, of the Kashmiris was always in thrall of the Muslim League ideology and wanted merger with Pakistan. It is this section that has remained un-reconciled to the idea of secular India. It is this section of the Kashmiris that the Hurriyat factions represent; all the Hurriyat leaders also know that their constituency is a limited one and that they do not speak for the majority of the Kashmiris. Instead, the Hurriyat and other separatist leaders have cleverly used the mosques and the militants to crank up dissent and dissatisfaction.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Col, 3 jawans, 5 militants killed in J&K encounter</b>
Srinagar/ New Delhi: A colonel and three Army jawans were killed in a fierce encounter with suspected foreign militants which also left five ultras dead in Macchal sector of northern Kashmir on Friday. "Five militants were killed in a fierce gunbattle in Macchal sector of Kupwara district," an Army spokesman said here.
<!--QuoteBegin-G.Subramaniam+Aug 22 2008, 08:43 PM-->QUOTE(G.Subramaniam @ Aug 22 2008, 08:43 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Harish Khare, political editor of Hindu opposes giving freedom to Kashmir
- big surprise


Time for democratic fundamentalism in J&K


No matter what people say, Sanghvi wrote a masterpiece. He expressed the frustration of the secular hindu to the sheer blackmail of last 60 years. Barkhaji and now Khare are waking up to what Sanghvi was talking about. Sanghvi's words need to be repeated..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Given that Kashmir has the best deal of any Indian state, is there anything more we can do? Kashmiris talk about more autonomy.  But I don’t see a) what more we can give them and b) how much difference it will make.

If you step back and think about it, the real question is not “how do we solve this month’s crisis”?  It is: what does the Centre get in return for the special favours and the billions of dollars?

The short answer is: damn all.



BJP wants delimitation exercise taken up in J&K

Chennai (PTI): Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the delimitation exercise should be taken up in Jammu and the Kashmir Valley as the Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in both the regions were not in proportion to the existing population.

While Jammu with a population of 28 lakh had only two Lok Sabha seats and 37 assembly seats the valley with a population of 25 lakh has three Lok Sabha seats and 46 assembly seats. Calling for restoration of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB),he said "Congress-led UPA government had meekly surrendered before the separatist demands and has completely messed up and unnecessarily complicated the entire issue." "Besides,separatists demanding Azadi (liberation) must be dealt with a firm hand and India should send a strong message to Pakistan not to interfere in its internal affairs," he said

He accused the Peoples Democratic Party of siding with the separatists on the Amarnath Land dispute.He warned that if timely steps were not taken to solve the crisis in the northern state,"Congress would pay heavily in elections," and wondered why the party had not severed ties with PDP, which,he alleged,had sided with the separatists on the land issue. "It shows Congress is guided by votebank politics despite PDP taking anti-India stand.History will hold Congress responsible for bungling with Jammu and Kashmir," Naidu said.

On state politics, he termed as "natural" the Left parties "drifting away from DMK.Left had already left the Congress at the Centre.How can there be dosti (friendship) at the State after kushti (bout) at the Centre," he said in an apparent reference to Congress being an ally of the DMK in Tamil Nadu.

On actor Chiranjeevi's entry into politics and whether BJP would forge an alliance with the latter, he said "let us see what policies and principles his party adopts."

Vohra should voluntarily resign: Joshi

Dehra Dun (PTI): The BJP on Saturday sought voluntary resignation from J&K Governor N N Vohra saying that his approach to the Amarnath issue is not clear.

"We are not asking Vohra to resign. He should resign himself as his approach to the Amarnath Shrine Board land transfer issue is not clear," senior BJP leader Murali Manohar Joshi told reporters here.

The land to the Amarnath Shrine Board was transferred on the directives of J&K High Court and we are only asking the state Government to abide by the HC directives which will also resolve the issue," Joshi said reiterating that BJP will give full support to the cause.
One more article calling the bluff.. KMs have gone overboard this time and people are just disgusted.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Last week Kashmiris mindlessly marched again calling for azadi. It was as if the arithmetic of economics didn't apply to Kashmir. As if someone will always pick up their bills.

In October 2002, India Today computed that in 12 years between 1990 and 2002, Jammu and Kashmir got Rs 35,571 crore in grants assistance. I revisited the numbers. Grants from the Centre doubled to touch Rs 38,156 crore in five years between 2003 and 2008. The extent of pampering is revealing.

In 2007-08 the contributed a princely sum of Rs 533 crore as direct taxes to the Centre and received Rs 1,471 crore from the Central tax kitty and Rs 8,962 crore in grants. Its own revenue of Rs 2,299 crore will not cover the salary bill of Rs 4,389 crore.

Even without Jammu and Ladakh, azadi unsustainable. To sum up, of Rs 16,267 crore spent last year, two-thirds or 65 paise out of every rupee came from the Centre. <b>This year the state will spend Rs 17,354 crore of which Rs 11,510 crore or Rs 11,510 per person will come from the Centre.</b>

<b>Compare this with the Rs 700 per capita that Uttar Pradesh gets. </b>Worse, Uttar Pradesh will 70 per cent of the grant while Jammu & Kashmir only 10 per cent.


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