They call it Paradise, I call it Home ©

Is Hope Still Alive?

In History, Human Rights, Innocent Killings, Kashmir, People, Politics on 28 February, 2007 at 12:16 pm

The surfacing of the reality behind the recent fake encounter was not news for Kashmir. It’s been happening since 1989. The wounds of the Gaw Kadal massacre, the Sopore massacre and the Paribas Killings are still fresh in the minds of Kashmiris. Though Indians have shown sympathy towards the exodus of Kashmiris Pandits, which was a human tragedy, but they have always considered the wailings of the Kashmiris as propaganda. We are not talking about militants killed in an encounter. We are talking about innocents like Ghulam Hassan Padroo One Of The Four Boys Killed In Feb 2006 By The Army. Later Tagged As Mistaken Identity and the 19 year old boy who have been killed for the crime of being Kashmiris. In India it has become a crime to be a Kashmiri. God save a Kashmiri if he is unlucky to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A year back, on 24th February, four innocent children aged 8, 10, 18 and 18 were shot dead by the army in Kupwara. Somehow, as usual, the Indian media missed the news and as usual the army tagged the deaths as mistaken identity? How can a four year old be mistaken for a militant in broad day light? Quite recently a handicapped singer was shot on spot, without any provocation, by an army personnel, who later on claimed something to the effect that it was his (the singer’s) time to die! Just like Bush, God spoke with him too. This is the reality that Kashmiris have to live with and they do.

Sakooter writes about the epidemic of fake encounters that plagues Kashmir:

Over the past 18 years in Kashmir, thousands of people — civilians, who had no arms, vulnerable and weak — have disappeared. Many many amongst these have been killed in the so called “fake encounters” where in lieu of promotion, pride, power — men have killed men.

And the ones that are killed die.

Leaving dead and dying lives

What if the dead could rise up and open up the dark secrets that the murderers keep?

A sense of despair overwhelms one on seeing an entire nation turn blind to the sufferings of millions of people. However, somewhere in the dark, sometimes, one sees a tiny glimmer of hope. Hope indeed is never dead.

Pamela Philipose, of Indian Express, in her article J&K’s bodies of evidence has dared to pose a question to India

If Nithari, a village in Noida, has today become a byword for evil and institutional culpability, why should the anonymous villages of south Kashmir not hold a similar resonance?

She writes about the Gaw Kadal massacre and also nullifies Azad’s claim that Paddar’s killing was revealed because the government had already promised to punish all those found involved in innocent killings

The Azad government boasts that it took these vows extremely seriously and that is why incidents like the Paddar murder have come to light. In actual terms, if it weren’t for the persistence of Paddar’s family in trying to trace him, and the overconfidence of his killers who sought to pocket his mobile phone, this case too would have rested quietly in the grave.

On the Indian blogosphere also there are now quite some Indians who are daring to be different. Who are seeing beyond what the government would want them to see. Sujai has blogged extensively about Kashmir and has also come up with a solution to the Kashmir problem. Horizon Speaks and Manas are actively discussing Kashmir the way it should be: with an open mind.

Horizon Speaks writes about the recent fake encounter

The news of Fake Encounters really shaked my heart. From today onwards, I won’t be at the same mood seeing ‘routine’ killing of militants in Kashmir. As it was in the case of ‘Abu Hafiz’, the LeT Commander. Army sources told us that he was killed an ‘encounter’ with SOG (Special Operations Group) on 8th December. And the person who actually killed him, got an award of 120,000Rs (almost US$ 2700).

The conflict in Kashmir has been dragging on for 17 long years and very rarely have we seen an Indian feeling the pain of Kashmir as Pamela observes

Events in Jammu and Kashmir are perceived by the rest of the country as if through the wrong end of the telescope. The existing distance between the country and the state always ends up magnified, and crucial developments playing out in the region appear emptied out of their significance.

This has held true for Kashmir for too long. Maybe it will change. Maybe the change will remain limited to a small minority. Another Indian Blogger, Pr3rna , has also blogged about Paddar’s fake encounter. Even though Pr3rna has condemned the incident but Pr3rna expresses the same view, which most Indians, wrongly, hold.

The root cause of Kashmir issue was and we still believe, is- foreign militants or militants trained by Pakistan.

The present state of Kashmir is a consequence of its history. If the root cause of the Kashmir problem were the militants trained by Pakistan, the 0.7 Million strong army of India should have had no problem in containing and terminating the 2000 or so militants that presently operate in the valley; as Paul rightly comments in response to Pr3rna

I think the ‘root cause’ of Kashmir problems is not militants, that is an effect of the cause

Kashmiris Propaganda?

Pr3rna thinks that Manas has fallen into the Kashmiris Propaganda trap.

You have also fallen to the Kashmir propaganda.

1942 Soviet propaganda poster by Viktor Koretsky [public domain picture]

For quite some time now, the term Kashmiris Propaganda has become popular. This blog has been branded a propaganda machine for highlighting the innocent deaths. Maybe Kashmiris should suffer the death of their people in silence, maybe that’s what a lot of people want. But it is not going to happen. This blog (and blogroll) is an attempt to tell the truth, to whoever is listening.

According to wikipedia the techniques of propaganda transmission include

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters.

Let us ask some questions and attempt to answer them.

How much time does an Indian spend on reading newspapers published from Kashmir in a day?

Not a second. Majority won’t know of the existence of newspapers published from Kashmir, let alone read them. If they did, they would know a lot more about the army in Kashmir than what the Jai Jawaan program tells them. They would know a lot more than just knowing that Shah Rush Khan was performing in Kargil. They would know about the bullets that destroy innocent homes.

How much time does an Indian spend on listening to the news blasting from Kashmiri/separatist owned radio stations or watching the propaganda ads, movies and documentaries playing 24X7 on Kashmiris separatist owned television channels?

Not a second, since the Kashmiris/separatists own/control no such media.

W hen was the last time an Indian student read about the history of Kashmir doctored by the Islamists Militancy Inc. of Kashmir?

Never. None exist.

H ow many leaflets and posters does an Indian come across that spoke of the atrocities of the army in Kashmir?

Never.

All an Indian reads, watches, discusses is what that the Government presents to him. The Indian newspapers, the Indian media, the Indian Bollywood, the Indian channels and the Indian books! We can also safely make the observation that an Indian never comes across Kashmiris propaganda through the aforementioned sources. What could then be the source of this Propaganda? It could either be the sixth sense that the Kashmiris have or the Kashmiris could be capable of producing invisible waves which infect the minds of Indians with Kashmiri propaganda. Take your pick!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. You have posed three questions. Do you think they used to listen to them if it were another state like TamilNadu/Bengal/Maharashtra? How many Indians know about farmers committing suicide in Vidarva? How many Indians know about the poors in Bihar? How many Indians shed tears for the friends in North-East? Kashmir is not alone. Atrocities by the state is common all throughout India.

    I am not interested to read separatists since they have no alternative proposal to separation. And I know how a separation looks like … my family has migrated to India only 40 years back, traumatised by another partion – partition of Pakistan in 1971.

    Another separation would lead to another bloodbath. That’s why I don’t want to see separatists. Of course, I oppose all kinds of atrocities against Kashmiris.

  2. Horizonspeaks:

    You can not equate the corruption in India and the Kashmir problem. By doing this you are seeing the Kashmiri perspective in a very wrong way. The issue of Kashmir has never been about development, though it did play a part as well. See Kashmir issue as a human issue.

    As far as propaganda is concerned, as I said there exists no propaganda from Kashmiris or Separatists! What’s there to listen/read to? The only propaganda that exists is the Indian and Pakistani one. Both of them have means to influence public opinion. We have no ways. We protest and then too we get a volley of bullets.

    How many Indians know about farmers committing suicide in Vidarva? How many Indians know about the poors in Bihar? How many Indians shed tears for the friends in North-East? Kashmir is not alone. Atrocities by the state is common all throughout India.

    You know who to blame and who to question.

  3. I see all those problem in a single bracket since all of them are problem between the rulers and the ruled.

    You know who to blame and who to question. – Who? May I know? Will that change the future course for those people?

  4. Horizonspeaks:

    I see all those problem in a single bracket since all of them are problem between the rulers and the ruled.

    The rulers: India. The ruled: Kashmiris.

    You know who to blame and who to question. – Who? May I know? Will that change the future course for those people?

    You talked about the wide spread atrocities all over India, the so-called cross-border terrorism is not the reason for all ills in India. It is not the reason for the present state of Kashmir either, it is just a shroud used by India to hood wink the international community. To show the world that Kashmiris are not fighting the state, its the terrorists from other side of the L.O.C. but they are failing in it. Once Indians accept that Kashmiris have been wronged with, once they stop seeing the Kashmir problem as an extension of the Axis of Evil (an idea for which they are able to garner enough support given the present state of fear of Islamic Militants all over the world) and once they see the truth about the 0.7 Million troops in India, it can effect a great change. A change in the public perception helps the leaders, to some extent, to be able to come up with better solutions and it may, though is impossible, help wedge the gap between India and Kashmir.

  5. The rulers: India. The ruled: Kashmiris.
    – I have another equation. I don’t confine myself to a Bengali/Kashmiri domain. The rulers : Indian Political class. The ruled : Indian common people. The equation is ever evolving. Before 1987, the ruled section would have mostly covered Punjab and Assam. Now, Punjab is out of that loop and Kashmir is in. It will go on … I am hopeful of getting all positives at the end.

    You last paragraph sounds good.

  6. Horizonspeaks, I agree with ~K~ that most Indians don’t understand Kashmir. And I agree with you that it is not a big deal, because in a country as large and diverse as India, you are not even expected to. After all, how much do I know about the problems of Kerala or Orissa? But this blogger and every other blogger on his blogroll will protest any attempts to equate Kashmir with Bengal or Bihar. That is because it is not about human rights, it is not about inefficiency. If it were, then Bihar would be the first state to demand separation. As a Kashmiri myself, let me tell you that Kashmir is not Punjab. Kashmir is a Muslim majority region, and the only such region of India. That makes it unfinished business of India’s partition and of two nation theory. How can a Muslim majority region agree to live within India? It is “unfair”. Do you think there would have been a separatist movement if the valley had gone to Pakistan in 1947 – without a plebiscite? I doubt it, and I agree they have a point. But this azaadi is all a sham, as big a hoax as “azaad” Kashmir. You can discipline the Indian army or the BSF or the JK Police, but that is only treating the symptoms. The root cause of all this is the separatist movement – which is anti-national in our eyes, and independence movement in theirs. I wish they stopped this chest beating, joined the mainstream, progressed like the rest of the country, and thanked their stars for the accident of 1947. Today they would have been part of the system that supplies terrorists to the whole world, forget India. But well, dreams can sometimes just be that – dreams. J&K is, as ~K~ said before, a multi-lingual, multi-religious state. What the blogger didn’t say was that everyone in the state, except most Kashmiri Muslims, would hate to be anything but part of India. This difference can not be helped – it is part of the history of Indian region. Some people can move on, some can’t.

  7. I agree to you that had Kashmir valley been given to Pakistan, there would not have any problems. Indians(subcontinent) were almost stable (Although Bangladesh got out of the loop in 1971 and Baluchistan is trying to, despite being Muslim majority) with two nation theory. But, we are at 2007 and not at 1947. We need to move on since partition did not add any value to the subcontinent. The era when we are trying to put our hands together to eradicate poverty from South Asia and to ensure better living for our people, why should we bother about one more partition. Partition creates more problems and solves less. The concept of country based on ethnicity is also obsolete. Europe, the forerunner in that business, is trying to unify the people on a common European track. I am optimistic about Indian subcontinent that it will ideologically reunite one day, whatever the history may be.

  8. Hi,

    It is a real treat to see such a blog which is totally dedicated for the the Kashmiris who are suffering at the hands of Indian armed forces, better to call them barbaric forces, I felt after reading that there is still hope left with the people like you in the middle advocating the cause of hapless Kashmiris this will yield the results.and one day good sense will prevail over the corrupt and whimsical politicians of India and they will rein in their unruly hounds [read Indian army]. How long they will kill innocent Kashmiris? How long ? One day there will be the end to this killing game. I am sure and Kashmir will be again peaceful.

  9. You Kashmiriiss are militants, you are counter-militants, you are the policemen, you are the voters, you are the processionists, you are the persons who drove away tribal infiltrators in 1947, you killed Jamatis when Bhutoo was hanged, you said Hindustan zinddabad at that time also, you killed Shias when Zia was killed, you were in lakhs when the funeral procession of Sheikh Abdullah was taken out on streets of Kashmir, you took to guns you converted streets of Srinagar as the war zone, you militarised with gun you pointed guns you invited guns, you were taken by two guns. You are responsible for all the mess in Kashmir, Pakistan will think we will take Kashmir by gun and you think Indians will not understand the tactics, you are mistaken for sure… All Kashmir can not go to Pakistan, it belongs to others as well.

  10. Excellent article brother and India has had the beautiful state on lockdown for a great many years and little is known of what is going on unless it is channelled out by Kashmiri’s themselves.

  11. Raman Kaul it was like a breath of fresh air to hear your views. What you say is right. I think Kashmiris are lucky to be with India, not Pakistan. They have a great future.

    I am against all human rights abuses, including those by terrorists. We should never forget that terrorists kill women and children too. Shame on any security forces and terrorists who do this.

    Also, today giving Kashmir to Pakistan will not work. Reasons are many, not the least the one Mr. Kaul has given forward. Only Kashmiri Muslims will be welcome there.

    But Kashmir also belongs to its minorities.

    And alas, yes, I am an Indian who has fallen victim to the ‘propaganda’ that it is the militants from across the border who are flaming and funding the separatist movement, and I am a victim of ‘propaganda’ like the rest of the world is. The whole world believes this ‘propaganda’ now my friend. Five years ago no one believed us.

    No, the terrorists are not the “root” cause, no one in India believes that. But today yes, the terrorists have become a root cause because they are ready to kill anyone who wants to be with India. In fact even the guy who wanted Azad Kashmir has been threatened.

  12. After having read all the views and agreeing that Kashmiris are suffering (Muslims and Hindus ) I would like to ask one question-Are AK-47 being manufactured in Poonch or Baramulla? They are certainly coming from some outside source, any guesses. Who are being killed by the suicide bombers? Kashmiris is my guess. State sponsored terrorism was the policy followed by General Zia and nobody even in Pakistan denies it.There are camps for training terrorists in Pakistan and Yasin Malik, a militant turned nonviolent thanked Sheikh Rashid a minister in the present Govt publicly for the hospitality provided to him when he visited Pakistan as a militant.

    Pakistan is facing terrorism everyday and we are not very happy about it.They are our brothers and we want them to live in peace.Nobody can deny the problems Kashmiris are facing and the role our sick political class has played in the alienation of Kashmiris. That is the truth in most states and I am sure as the economy grows things will be better. A few years back we would have believed the propaganda both by PTV and Doordarshan ,now we have other channels to tell us the truth.

    If only Indian troops were guilty and the militants are not targeting Kashmiris then why was Mr Lone murdered when he talked against militants.The Mirwaiz is also under threat ever since he has started talking about peace. Any body and everybody talking about peace is under threat.I don’t know how can anybody support the tortured and tormented Kashmiris by blasting bombs outside schools and civilian establishments.

  13. A very good read…

    To Nita:

    I think one should (esp a HR person) understand terrorism with a different perspective. It is the most extreme form of asserting your rights. What the Kashmiris are doing is nothing but this? Asking for what is rightfully theirs!!

    In doing so, the state brands them as terrorists. ‘terrorism’ has always been a state construct and will always be.

    Somewhere we must also look at the army situation in Kashmir in terms of accountability.

  14. @aditya

    What the Kashmiris are doing is nothing but this? Asking for what is rightfully theirs!!

    Aditya, what is rightfully theirs? Kashmir is rightfully theirs, and they have it. Kashmiris have always elected and headed the state government, and dominated the non-Kashmiri regions like Ladakh and Jammu too. Peace is rightfully theirs and they can get it by stopping terrorism, or at least by denouncing and rejecting terrorism and separatism. Separation from India is NOT rightfully theirs, because it is based on religious intolerance, does not include non-Muslims, and it will spell havoc for the region, and will not benefit Kashmir either.

  15. @ Raman

    The point that I was trying to make is that every struggle starts as a non-violent one. when there are instances of dissent being crushed then the degree of violence increases. Terrorism is the limit in this sense.

    As regards Kashmir, from what I know, today the struggle is not merely for independence but that of fighting against the injustices that the Kashmiris face. More and more we see the eagerness of the Kashmiris to participate in Indian affairs and culture. On the other hand, the rest of the country seems to exclude them. India seems to treat it more of a gift than an integral part of the country(which it claims).

    However, what I am saying is just a perspective which is amenable to change. I just need something convincing enough to do so.

  16. I guess I can lay down several points to try and convince you Aditya. But as fundamentally I do not advocate violence or as terrorism a means of achieving ends I guess there is no point. Terrorists kill and hound innocent people. That alienates the public. If there are Kashmiris today who want peace, who don’t want militancy, it is because of the militants, not the security forces. What the security forces do will make Kashmiris pro-separation but what the militants do will make Kashmiris pro-India. In any case militants are not all Kashmiris. Its a well known fact.

  17. @Aditya

    More and more we see the eagerness of the Kashmiris to participate in Indian affairs and culture. On the other hand, the rest of the country seems to exclude them. India seems to treat it more of a gift than an integral part of the country(which it claims).

    I wish the first sentence was more true than it is. I don’t know what is the basis for your thinking as above. On the other hand, Indians seem to think it is Kashmiris who want to maintain exclusivity. An average Indian finds Article 370 unjust, while the average Kashmiri finds its dilution unjust. Please read my recent blog post, and the comments I received thereon, for my thoughts about this.

  18. Kashmiris often have one grudge against Indian Public.Many a times kashmiris have also often asked me” Why does the Indian Public/Media holds the Indian Army in high esteem and believe that it cannot do any wrong in Kashmir?

    Well there are a number of reasons.Let us see….

    Generally speaking,people all over the world like their army to keep out of civilian matters.If an army avoids taking over the govt..in other words, keeping out of the way of general public, the public caanot have much grudge against such an army.On the other hand if an army takes over the govt then all the failures of civil administration(be it water,transport,electricity,price rise) which is blamed on politicians in a normal scenario will be blamed on army.As such Army will erode the respect it commands.

    Now the question can be asked Then why only Indian army has a god like respect while other armies of democratic countries like USA has a lesser status in front of their public?

    Answer-In USA or other western countries,the difference in efficiency of civil administration from military administration is not very wide.On the contrary,the difference between efficiency of military administarion and civil administration is very wide in India.For example-A few years back a defence scandal involving very big politicians(BJP President Bangaaru Laxman,George Fernandes..Tehelka Scandal) and a few senior army officers had taken place.The civil case chargesheet on the politicians is yet to be filed while Army court martialed all the accused officers within 72 hours!!!!

    In addition India doesnot have a seperate force in times of flood,earth quake for relief operations.So each time Army is called in for quick response.And so far army has always been effective.Now people get naturally impressed by the efficiency,swiftness of an organisation.So Military establishment are seen in high repect in India due to its swiftness,effectiveness and for its ability to keep out of civil matters.

    But the biggest reason why Indian army is not seen as MUSLIM KILLER(which Kashmiris often accuse)is bcos of Indian army’s track record in controlling communal riots in rest of India.

    Just think about it…..

    What did Muslims and NGO’s and anti BJP parties of Gujrat appealed during Gujrat riots?What did Muslims appeal during Bombay riots?What do minorities ask when the state administration fails to control communal riots?

    Answer -Everytime a riot happens,Muslims plead for the army to be called in as soon as possible.And the army never disappoints!!!!It has a very good track record in controlling riots in rest of India.In fact all the muslims and other minorities always look upon the army as saviour in times of riots.As such Hindu/muslims and other minorities find it difficult to believe that Indian Army can do something wrong in Kashmir.Their view is-If Indian Army protects minorities in rest of India why would they delibrately kill them in Kashmir??

  19. Dear Friend,

    I am taking the liberty of putting a link of your blog on ours.We hope you will do the same.
    We are on http://kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com

    Regards

    Rashneek Kher

  20. It is right that fake encounters are happening but that too because most of the killers like Bitta Karate have been released by the courts due to the lack of witnesses.

    Since, the police, judiciary and executive is Kashmiri none has the gumption to try the criminals.

    A question which needs to be asked is why none of the kith and kin of Hurriyat leaders and other separatists leaders of Kashmir have not joined the militant ranks.

    Why?

    Because, they understand that militancy is a business from which they have to prosper, not burn their hands with.

  21. mineguruji

    It is right that fake encounters are happening but that too because most of the killers like Bitta Karate have been released by the courts due to the lack of witnesses.

    The people killed in Fake Encounters are innocent, unarmed civilians who include children, old-men and handicapped youth. Militants are killed in encounters. The term Fake Encounters is used only when innocents are murdered by an army under the pretext of an encounter.

    Since, the police, judiciary and executive is Kashmiri none has the gumption to try the criminals.

    A look at the judiciary and executive of Kashmir will reveal that Kashmir is being ruled much like the British ruled India, with officers imported from the plains of India.

    Because, they understand that militancy is a business from which they have to prosper, not burn their hands with.

    And who makes sure the corrupt Hurriyet leaders survive? Why is Yasin Malik allowed to travel by India while as Syed Ali Shah Geelani is not?

  22. Violations of human rights must be condemned in most unequivocalal terms esp. if they are being perpetrated by security forces themselves. I believe that people –any people — should have right to decide their loyalties by themselves. In this I sympathize with Kashmiri cause.

    What I do not sympatize with however, is the Islamic fanaticism that that is based on the hatred of “kafirs”. I support all “national” movements however what makes the Kashmiri cause suspect as a “national” cause is the fact that there is no country in the world which has a sizable muslim minority and is not in the throes of terrorism. I would support the kashmiri cause whole heartedly if it were based on the issue of human dignity and/ or economic issues. However, they seem to be only superficial issues. At the root of the Kashmir problem is the Islamic ideology of hate that does not allow peaceful coexistence with infidels.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: