[Reader-list] Kashmir: The ‘azaadi’ road to slavery

Aditya Raj Kaul kauladityaraj at gmail.com
Wed Nov 10 19:19:11 IST 2010

Kashmir: The ‘azaadi’ road to slavery

*November 10, 2010 11:00 AM |
GV Ramakrishna*

*Link *- http://www.moneylife.in/article/11053.html

*The security of well over a billion Indians cannot be jeopardised by the
short-sighted suicidal attitude of a misguided few who espouse the Kashmiri
secessionist cause
The recent events regarding sedition, *azaadi* and similar slogans espoused
by Sajjad Gani Lone and his ilk in Kashmir fail to take some basic facts
into account.

Let people of India which includes J&K, roll back to 1947 when the marauders
aided by Pakistani paramilitary forces invaded J&K and came up to Baramulla.

How they razed the nunnery there and how they tortured and killed the nuns
is part of history. For Pakistan, this is an unfinished story. If Lone takes
into account what is happening in Pakistan today he will see that the Shia
sect and the Sufis of Pakistan have been systematically targeted and killed
by the Sunni-dominated majority in the army and the administration.

The Muslims of Kashmir are quite different from the Sunnis of Pakistan. They
are gentler, more cultured and similar to the Sufis. Is it difficult to
imagine the fate of the Kashmiri Muslims under the tutelage of the Sunnis of
Pakistan? It will be the irony of ironies if in the name of *azaadi*, they
walk into the Sunni trap from which they cannot escape and will have to be
reconciled to be treated as slaves and subordinate citizens for all time.

Do the Kashmiris really want this one-way road to slavery in Pakistan
instead of the special treatment they are now getting in India? This is what
the interloculators should put to the separatist groups in Kashmir.

Secondly, even if the Muslims want to form part of the Sunni hegemony, what
about the other religious groups in J&K and particularly the four lakh
Kashmiri Pandits who have as much right as the Muslims to reside in their
state? Surely they have a right to be part of Kashmir — in India.

Why should India not press for the return of these people to Kashmir?

Thirdly, the right of secession does not belong to any constituent group. At
the time of Independence, there were over 500 states which had acceded to
India under Instruments of Accession similar to that of Kashmir. There is no
reason why J&K should be treated differently from other states.

There are ten times more Muslims in India than in Kashmir and they are
well-integrated with the rest of the population, allowing for some misguided
persons toeing the Pakistani line.

Fourthly, the rest of India has to have a say in the matter. They have
sacrificed over 20,000 lives and spent over Rs20,000 crore over all these
years in defending J&K.

The price for all this should not be the real danger to India’s security
with the Pakistanis sitting over the enslaved population across the border.
And let us not forget the Chinese who are close allies of Pakistan. If they
are now in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (POK) in the thousands, they will swarm
into the valley under the guise of aiding them in various projects.

In fact, no one will dispute the fact that if India withdraws its army from
Kashmir within the next two weeks, 2,000 terrorists waiting across the
border, aided openly by the Pakistani army, will overrun Kashmir and enslave
the people of Kashmir.

Is this why the people of India sacrificed their young men and spent
thousands of crores over all these years to keep out the Pakistanis?

And what happens to Nagaland and Mizoram if they also want to follow
Kashmir? They will come under the tutelage of the Chinese in no time.

No part of India can secede without the rest of India acceding to the
proposal. Will the rest of India agree that Kashmiris alone should decide as
to where they should belong? Should not the safety and territorial security
of India be a major consideration even for the Kashmiris who talk of

It is time that these implications of the *azaadi* groups’ demand are
explained frankly and fully to everyone and in all of India. The security of
India of over a billion people cannot be jeopardised by the short-sighted
suicidal attitude of the Kashmiris.

Will the interlocutors explain all this to the Kashmiris? Will all the other
political parties explain all this to the people of India so that they can
deal with all those who espouse the secessionist cause at the hustings? The
political map of India can then change and our approach to J&K can be more
purposeful and helpful to the gentle — though misguided — people of the
beautiful valley.

*(The writer is former SEBI chairman, former chairman-Disinvestment
Commission and former member, Planning Commission of India)*

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