Why India gets away in Kashmir

Published: February 19, 2012
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The writer is a director with Hill Road Media and a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar 
aakar.patel@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a director with Hill Road Media and a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar [email protected]

Kashmiris resent, quite rightly, the intrusive presence of India’s jawans on their streets. But the jawans don’t want to be there. New Delhi doesn’t want the jawans there either. So why are they there? India says the army is in Kashmir because of terrorists, who can only be handled militarily. This is only partially true. The reason the army is deployed in Srinagar city is to block its citizens from coming out on the streets and demanding azadi, as they did in the early 90s.

If Kashmiris would elect their leaders and not demand azadi, the army would go away. This is what the Indian government wants, and is desperate to do, but too embarrassed to say. This is not debated in India’s media either because, since Pakistan is involved, we have fed ourselves myths about how the problem in Kashmir is the creation not of India but Pakistan.

The question that we should consider is: What does azadi mean? It means freedom, of course. But freedom from what?

Kashmir cannot relocate itself geographically. It will stay where it is even if Kashmiris get azadi. What will change are its laws. Azadi means freedom from the Indian constitution. But what is offensive about the Indian constitution? This is not debated by the champions of azadi because it is a tricky one. The Hurriyat Conference is vague about what comes after azadi is achieved, whether through plebiscite or jihad. This is because the Hurriyat doesn’t want to offend those who support the freedom movement out of universal liberal values. India’s occupation and human rights violations by its army are easier things to rally people against. We know what the Ali Shah Geelani’s Jamaat-e-Islami wants: It wants shariah in Kashmir. Mirwaiz Omar Farooq also is attracted to Pakistan because of its Islamic laws. But more broadly in the Hurriyat, this specially religious demand is cloaked under the universal call of azadi.

This is why there is little sympathy in the world for the movement in Kashmir. This is why India has been able to get away with its oppression and its occupation.

This is why there is no enthusiasm in the international community for enforcing a plebiscite in the valley. India’s position is quite indefensible, it is true, and it really has no case to make except for the accession document signed by a monarch. But the position of the others in this problem is even worse. And they have no solution that is workable.

The Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front’s Yasin Malik is called secular, but on a visit to Pakistan he rejected the idea of western secularism. So what version of government does he want for Kashmir if not western secularism and presumably not Indian either since he demands azadi? In Lahore, in September 2009, he said he wanted “secularism which is based on religious mysticism”. The problem is that mysticism is an individual matter. One cannot frame laws based on mysticism, because it gives no legal guidance. And the question that arises is: The mysticism of whose religion? That of Ladakh’s Buddhists? Jammu’s Hindus? Or Srinagar’s Muslims? Or, all of the above?

Malik hasn’t expanded on his theme, but we can speculate that it will be the sort of thing that Pakistan’s Objectives Resolutions promises. That is to say, “freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam”. The power to legislate in such a state will be “exercised within the limits prescribed by Allah”.

Such things have been tried and have failed. As South Asians, we must admit that our religions haven’t been able to produce an internal system that is workable. India hasn’t even attempted to do this. Its constitution prohibits the practice of doctrinal Hinduism (through Articles 14, 15, 16, 17). We must all lean on the west’s principles of government. There’s really no getting away from this, and it is difficult to think of how to improve upon the Indian constitution. It guarantees Muslims sharia in their personal law (polygamy, talaq, inheritance). But its criminal laws are secular: There is no zina, rijm or irtidad. And it does not promise abolition of riba.

It is not utopian, but it works. Kashmir’s leaders who demand azadi from India’s constitution should explain why they are rejecting it.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (120)

  • AK Murthy
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:35AM

    The author is partially correct but India cannot give Kashmir away to Pakistan or become another fundamentalist Islamic state. It will accept only within its constitution where all people will practice whatever religion they want. But India will never accept Islamic or Sharia law.

    The army and police are there because of continued pakistan supported terrorism and also terrorist camps in POK. They will withdraw If Pakistan stops terrorist activities and closes the camps. But It will not since It is a state which deploys terrorism as effective instruments of foreign policy and It has worked so far even though It itself is getting burnt now.

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  • Mustafa Moiz
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:41AM

    This is not the reason Kashmir gets little attention worldwide. The reason is that the Kashmiris, like the Chechens, have fought like men, not gone and cried to the media, unlike the Palestinians. The reason is that India rarely allows foreign media in Kashmir, unlike Israel. The reason is that the world doesn’t care about the lives of thousands of Kashmiris as long as they see economic benefit from India.

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  • Mustafa Moiz
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:42AM

    This is not the reason Kashmir gets little attention worldwide. The reason is that the Kashmiris, like the Chechens, have fought like men, not gone and cried to the media, unlike the Palestinians. The reason is that India rarely allows foreign media in Kashmir, unlike Israel. The reason is that the world doesn’t care about the lives of thousands of Kashmiris as long as they see economic benefit from India. In other words, the reasons are indefensible.

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  • Mustafa Moiz
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:45AM

    The azadi that you’re questioning has been answered very simply. The Kashmiri people want the right to determine their future. Whether they should be a part of India, Pakistan or separate from both.

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  • manish
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:48AM

    now this is a good question for the pakistanis already outraged by the balochistan issue.
    well you did try to remain objective and i must congratulate you that you have been sucessful.

    all this religion argument is a mere sham. they cry of ummah, but will maintain contemptuous silence over violence in syria, where their muslim assad is killing ordinary syrian day-in and day-out. they cry of kashmiri subjugation but will be mum over balochs.
    as the proverb goes, “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush”

    i implore my pakistani bros and sisters to keep intact whatever pakistan they are having.
    your army and sheer numbers may help you, but you *will bleed from thousand cuts*(does that sound familiar?) and you certainly are in no position to allow your haemophilic nation to even have a minor bruise.

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  • Shah
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:05AM

    The argument of the author makes lot of sense. Well written piece.

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  • Truthbetold
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:40AM

    The author is missing one very important point. That of demography. Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists form about 45% of the population. Of the 55% Muslims about 35% are Shia. This leaves Sunnis with about 35% of the whole population. Of this 35% Sunnis, only about 10% are the separatists; these separatists are hard-core Islamists who want to join Pakistan and impose strict Sharia. If a vast majority of the Kashmiris indeed want separate from India, it would have been quite impossible for India to hang on to Kashmir for over six decades.

    Also, it is important to note that Kashmir has been part of Hindu lands since ancient times. It is only in the last two centuries that people from Persia, Turkey and Central Asia settled there. The native Hindus only converted to islam in the last 100 or so years.

    The days of demanding separate nationhood solely based on religion are over. The global community will never support such narrow religious communalism.

    More importantly, with Pakistan fast sliding into a political, economic and social abyss, and with the increasing growth of terrorism and extremism, does it seem reasonable to believe that anyone but the hard-core Islamists would want to join today’s Pakistan?

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 2:06AM

    To sum-up the point:

    Kashmir’s problem is not based on region but religion.

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  • Ali from Karachi
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:08AM

    Kashmiris want to be recognized simply as Kashmiris and not Indian-Kashmiris…this is all.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 2:13AM

    No one definitely wants another Taliban in this world (except one, everyone knows who).

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  • Dude
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:18AM

    @Ali…an idea that failed for Pakistan.

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  • Umer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:21AM

    This is why there is little sympathy
    in the world for the movement in
    Kashmir. This is why India has been
    able to get away with its oppression
    and its occupation.

    Agree totally. Making everything a religious issue has destroyed the causes of both Palestinians and Kashmiris. No one in the world is interested in helping promote someone else’s religion.

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  • usmanx
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:21AM

    Imagine if US invaded India and imposed the most beautiful constitution on its inhabitants.. would you accept it?

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  • Umer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:24AM

    It is not utopian, but it works.
    Kashmir’s leaders who demand azadi
    from India’s constitution should
    explain why they are rejecting it.

    A very good question. I wish some Kashmiri tries to provide a rational answer to it.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 2:31AM

    @Ali from Karachi:
    Right… the same way as the Balochs want to be recognized simply as Balochs and not Pakistani-Balochs… this is all

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 2:49AM

    @Ali: Then why is Pakistan meddling into Kashmir? The recent developments in Balochistan will give Pak a taste of her own medicine(s) now.

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  • IndianDude
    Feb 19, 2012 - 3:33AM

    Pundits from the valley want nothing to do with hurry-yet and their islamic cohorts. The author is right in pointing out that it is just a movement to islamicize the valley under the cloak of azadi. Why does not the GOI give incentive to all the biharis and UP wallahs to move to kashmir, like the chinese are doing in Ughur or Tibet with Huns? Obviously, the pakistanis dont mind when the chinese abuse the muslim brothers, it must be that the pakistani dont object to mass movement of ethnic Hun chinese, grabbing land and property belonging to turkic ughurs. So pakistani wont object to all the biharis and UP wallahs moving to the valley after all, they are not hypocrites, right?

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  • Omair Shakil
    Feb 19, 2012 - 3:49AM

    Why would Kashmiri Muslims want to live in India as second class citizens when they can live as masters of their own fate either independently (which seems impossible geo-politically) or as part of Pakistan?

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  • sameer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:01AM

    That is very pathetic justification for oppression of Kashimiris. I am sure you do not want someone to interfere in your life, so you and Indian government should stop interfering with life of Kashimiris and let them decide what they want. Just because do not share your values does not mean that you should interfere with their life. You continually say we should lean on western principle of government. Can I ask you what is western principle of government? Is it French style secularism where women and men are denied religious freedom or British style secularism where only Anglican and Catholic can marry into monarchy. Please let me know.

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  • Observer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:25AM

    Interesting article. In an recent interview by an Indian media channel, Geelani was asked what his blue print was for a free Kashmir that he was proposing as an alternative to the status quo. It was sad and almost funny to see the veteran Geelani get all defensive and in response say – “India should get out of Kashmir and not worry about Kashmir’s future. We will figure something out”. Wonder if he is giving the same line to fellow Kashmiris who are asking this question. Recommend

  • Observer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:30AM

    The failure of the Pakistani model of a Islamic state has been one of the greatest let downs to the Kashmiri movement. Now the Kashmiris are wondering if their lot is better off in a secular and democratic India which offers a strong constitution and which is a rising star in the today’s world

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  • Babloo
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:36AM

    Hindu Jammu and Kashmiris , reject secession or Shariah rule or Pakistan type state.
    Buddhist Kashmiris, reject secession or Islamic rule.
    Large number of Muslim Kashmiris , like those of national Conference of Sheikh Abdullah or PDP , reject Pakistan or religious state.
    if plesbicite was held today on only Indian part of Kashmir, pro-India opinion would win.
    Seperatists want plesbicite to include residents of PoK, Gilgit and Baltistan , which obviously should have no say to what happens in Indian kashmir.
    Everyone has seen the virtual genocide of minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    Whats left in seperatism in kashmir, are hardcore islamists of the Taleban kind led by likes of Syed Ali Shah gilani and India has given full freedom to all Kashmiri leaders who reject Indian constitution full liberty and ability to freely express their opinion. From Syed Ali Shah to Mr Lone to Mr Malik , none of them have ‘disappered’ and travel freely and organize rallies for past 20-25 years. The world can see that, the difference between pluralistic Indian system and the taleban state Mr Gilani wants to create.
    Basically Kashmir seperatists are exposed as religious zealots with no legitimacy.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 4:51AM

    why does Pakistan get away in Balochistan?

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  • Aria
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:57AM

    Reality check of Kashmir…the day kashmir separatist will dissiciate themselves from Pakistan…the whole population of india will sympthaise with cause of Kashmir movement…and who knows…it may possible that Indian public may pressurise to provide option of independence to Kashmir people…But unfortunate part of kashmir is that Kashmir movement is sponsered and funded by Pakistan…That makes the world to think Kashmir movement in a different perception…

    One can accept it or not..but this is reality…and as long Indian public opinion is against any kind giving any flexibility to kashmir separatist movement, i am 100% sure…the poor kashmir will suffer for another generation….

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  • Jahangir
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:21AM

    You can not compare Pakistan and India. 97 percent of Pakistan’s population are Muslims. The only threat to Pakistan is when people get away from Islam and move towards ethnic nationalism like Bengalis did in 1971 and some Baloch are doing now. Muslim extremists never dream of breaking Pakistan. They want to make Pakistan bigger because they are true believers of Muslim unity and Muslim Ummah. So its not in Pakistan’s interests to be secular.

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  • John
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:23AM

    The article is written quite well and the author has clear understanding of the situation. One point I want to mention, I read papers from both India and Pakistan..but some it seems papers there did not mention incidents like poor health of Adiala prisoners or missing persons found dead on road..is there censorship in India ?

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  • Indian
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:48AM

    Author did not mention pakistan jihadi interference in kashmir in 1990s and after that AFSP act was imposed..

    AFSPA was not imposed in 1947…it came in 1992 why ?????? … Author has half knowledge about the situation and has merely a vague idea about kashmir.

    I have lived in kashmir for 3 years. author is right about human rights but that happened after 1992…

    Now solution is not possible bcoz of waahabi/salafi ideology has spread there and they are behaving like taliban without arms…

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 6:41AM

    make modi prime minister, end of islam and kashmir problem

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 7:12AM

    Superb article. Rare insight AND honesty. Governments, people, separatists, et al would do well to reflect on this.

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:23AM

    Aaker Patel is right. The State and religion should never be mixed. Europe progressed after separation of state and religion. It is the same in China, Japan, Korea, USA, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, etc. It is the same reason why all Muslim countries have not progressed at all. All Muslims are better off in secular India than Pakistan. India is not against Muslims, in fact, the freest Muslims thinkers and the most educated Muslims are from India. None of them are less Muslim. Therefore the choice before Baluchistan is stay in Pakistan or join India and be free. See, neither Ali Shah Geelani nor Mirwaiz Omar Farooq is killed in India for holding separatist views. In fact the face of Khalistan of 1980s and 90s, Dr. Jagjit Singh Chauhan came back to India and contested elections in Punjab in 2001. Nagaland is Christian majority state in India. Phizo fought for independence, but later returned back and became the chief minister. He too was not killed.

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  • Fahran
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:41AM

    Well said Aakar. Nailed it.Enough of religious politics for Kashmir cause.

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  • Syed_Raza_Ali
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:57AM

    brialliant piece! thought provoking indeed

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  • Anjaan
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:17AM

    @ Ali from Karachi,

    Those Kashmiri Muslims who do not have any valid arguments against Indian constitution to justify their problems, but simply do not want to be seen as Indian citizens, the only option they have is to pack their bags and cross over to POK ….. !Recommend

  • Ak
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:10AM

    @author: “India’s position is quite indefensible, it is true, and it really has no case to make except for the accession document signed by a *monarch*”

    I do not agree with this. Every time there are elections, people come out in droves to vote despite calls of boycott and threats to life and limb from separatists and terrorists.

    I think the azadi sentiment is present in a small percentage of urban population that too confined to just the valley. Oh by the way if you are not aware then let me tell you that Kashmir has its own constitution and have a different penal code called RPC.

    My interaction with people of Kashmir seem to suggest that they see a future in India and would want more autonomy within India and return of peace in the valley (where the problem exist).

    I would have also liked you to have touched on the wider ramifications on accepting the azadi demand on the rest of the country. Since you did not cover this I don’t think your article is complete. Recommend

  • Asif Dar from Batmaloo, occupied Jammu & K
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:14AM

    We Kashmiris want independence from India. That is all we want. We do not recognise ourselves as Indian, nor is our culture, values and religion Indian. We do not belong to this artificial country India, We are Kashmiris and Kashmir is our home. And we will get an independent Kashmir inshallah!

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  • Someone
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:21AM

    The actual crux of the problem is that Indians have continued to keep their heads in the sand since 1947 and have brutually abused human rights in the state vide their illegal occupation of the state which was never supposed to be part of India in the first place. I have many Kashmiri friends here in Australia from Srinagar, Valley of Kashmir and Baramulla) and one is shaken by listening to their accounts of what happens in Kashmir.

    It is funny how Indians talk about Balochistan rather than Kashmir, a problem that is much larger than Balochistan, and historically a jungle area. Keeping the head in the sand, as Indians have always done, will bear its fruits in the nearby future. With the level of popularity that India enjoys among Kashmiris (this comes from personal interaction), its not a stretch to say that Kashmir breaking away from India and joining with Pakistan or either forming a seperate country is finally near!

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  • wonderer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:25AM

    There is one aspect of the Kashmir problem which the writer seems to have circumvented.

    The plebiscite in J&K, as per the UN resolution, could not be held because Pakistan refused to implement a very important provision. Pakistan had occupied a part of the state by aggression, and it was required to first vacate it. Pakistan never vacated it, and thus no plebiscite could be held. With the passage of time the UN resolution became irrelevant.

    This is an aspect most Pakistanis are unaware of.

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:41AM

    His article is correct! How can we demand Azadi for Kashmir when we ourselves don’t implement Shariah! The first thing we ought to do is establish the Khilafah &put a sharia council in place! Intact, we can even make a stricter & even tougher sharia laws than the saudi’s since we have lot of cleaning o do!

    As of now, kashmiri’s are not impressed with us & we can be a good source of inspiration! HuT is the right organization to show us the way & Inshallah we’ll be a truly Islamic country!

    Allah Hafiz!

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  • Thinktank
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Once Kashmir is ‘azad’, will it be economically self-sufficient? I seriously doubt it. There is hardly any scope for economy to survive just on tourism… People will suffer. Best thing for Kashmiris is to become a partner in the booming Indian economy and share the fruits together. Call for azadi is a sure shot path to destruction.
    Kashmiris should be grateful to Indians for keeping it under it’s umbrella…

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  • Ak
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:49AM

    Also Hurriyat is not representative of the Kashmiris. They are funded by agencies across the border. They at big hyporcrites as they send their own children abroad or other parts of India to pursue a better life while they continue to make life of average Kashmiris miserable by hartals and shutdowns.
    There is a reason why don’t fight elections as they know that if they do they will be found out. They might have influence in pockets of urban areas but that would not be enough to win in any election. They also have no influence outside Valley i.e Jammu and Ladakh.
    In fact one of Hurriyat’s leaders fought the last election and lost miserably. To get legitimacy they have to show that they represent wider Kashmiri views, for that they have to fight and win elections which is unlikely to happen against NC and PDP.

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  • KIshwar Kumar
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:59AM

    Same balochistan with balochis… Hay pakistan staty away from kashmir…

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  • Vineeth Kapoor
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:14AM

    Kashmirs problem is based on religion like it has always been since partition. If it was not based on religion then why else were the native Kashmiri Pandits kicked out because they were Hindus?

    If Kashmiri Muslims want freedom then they can go live in Pakistan because Kashmir valley belongs to the REAL Kashmirs AKA Kashmir Pandits.

    Pakistan you will loose like you have lost through out history. There is no empire through out history that you can call your own Pakistanis. You have been converted to Islam with sword on your back its the Hindus, Sikhs and Jains that have defended their country and their ancestors religion and culture but where is yours? you have lost your identity, you are slaves of your invading masters.

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  • Maria
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:32AM

    The truth is the majority of Kashmiris, particularly Muslims do not see themselves as Indian. It’s only a matter of time before the wishes of the majority will be heeded. You can’t keep people hostage forever in today’s world. Millions of Pakistani Kashmiris will not forget their roots in Kashmir.

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  • Vasanth Pai
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:40AM

    Buddhist Leh & Ladakh part of Kashmir should be merged with tibet which will ultimately be freed from Chinese yoke or at least will get suzerainty. The hindu majority Jammu region should be merged with Punjab and Himachal of India and the Muslim majority valley should be merged with Pak occupied Kashmir to form a sovereign state which would be a buffer between India and pakistan. Any takers for this formula in India or Pakistan.?? I bet not a single soul will agree to this eminently fair and equitable disposal of the vexed problem.

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  • Mr. Righty rightist
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:48AM

    Absolutely right.

    I have always said that Kashmir’s cause of independence is a bigoted one.

    Why? This article explains very clearly.

    That’s why this cause is doomed. Any cause which has no honesty is bound to fail miserably.

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  • Kahvah Gaffar
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Dude, it is not about freedom from Indian constitution, it is about freedom from Indian state, which is illegally occupying Kashmir and terrorising Kashmiris upto the hilt.
    This is very demeaning article. Citizens of any place in a democratic set up have right to choose their constitution and make their laws. British didn’t disqualify India for its freedom for such perceived fears.
    Rights, liberties and secularism is a constant fight in whole South Asia including India, which after 60 years of freedom is having lot of troubles achieving such goals. Same can be the case with Kashmir. But, “world’s largest democracy” can not deny basic rights of 13 million people on some preconceived fear that something may happen. How can india have such tall claims about the rights and liberties when it deny same to people.

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  • from India
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:12AM

    I really want that the Muslims in India should be tried for their crimes as per Sharia law and not IPC, then they will realize the beauty of Indian constitution.

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  • Feroz
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:14AM

    The author has knocked the wind from the sails because he knows well that the Indian Constitution is hard to beat. It is impossible to come up with a any Constitution that is more egalitarian and non discriminatory.
    The concept of conceding land to a people for conversion into a State on the basis of Religion is now not only discredited but fraught with violent consequences. South Asia has suffered tremendous violence because of the leaders lust for Power. The World has no appetite for it either.

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  • Amir
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:30AM

    @Ali from Karachi

    If that is the reason then Kashmiris will never get support on international forums.

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  • IndiKid
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:47AM

    The problem with Muslims is they cant get over religion. They are obsessed with Islam, they want Islam in everything – personal law, criminal law, education and now even finance!!! (Islamic banking). If Muslims could get over their obsession with religion things would get really better for them and the whole world.

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  • BlackJack
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:58AM

    The Hurriyat needs to realize that they are holding back generations of Kashmiri children from experiencing the growth opportunities that their compatriots in the rest of India enjoy today. The Government needs to get out of the stalemate through innovative solutions like getting rid of Article 370, gradually removing the army from the larger cities (share a time table for this that is driven by peace on the ground), serious dialogue with Pakistan on the limits that each are willing to go, and showing a difference in treatment between Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh which have unfortunately been lumped together (Ladakh has long asked to be considered a UT, this is a logical way forward).

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  • wonderer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Let us all please be logical and think about this issue with an unbiased mind. Let all those who desire J&K to join Pakistan and become a part of it answer a simple question.

    What will be the future of all the Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists who have lived in J&K for centuries?

    I request everyone to answer this question hand-on-heart. If there are no cogent answers to this question, it will be proof enough for Kashmir and Pakistan not to seek any change.

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  • A2Z
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:24PM

    an objective analysis.
    no matter what, if muslims don’t like to live in kashmir(i will not like to say indian or pakistani kashmir, because i believe it’s india’s territory) they are better off to leave for pakistan. and btw it was for this purpose that paksitan was created.

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  • Truthbetold
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:38PM

    The author is missing one very important point. That of demography. Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists form about 45% of the population. Of the 55% Muslims about 35% are Shia. This leaves Sunnis with about 35% of the whole population. Of this 35% Sunnis, only about 10% are the separatists; these separatists are hard-core Islamists who want to join Pakistan and impose strict Sharia. If a vast majority of the Kashmiris indeed want separate from India, it would have been quite impossible for India to hang on to Kashmir for over six decades.

    Also, it is important to note that Kashmir has been part of Hindu lands since ancient times. It is only in the last two centuries that people from Persia, Turkey and Central Asia settled there. The native Hindus only converted to islam in the last 100 or so years.

    The days of demanding separate nationhood solely based on religion are over. The global community will never support such narrow religious communalism.

    More importantly, with Pakistan fast sliding into a political, economic and social abyss, and with the increasing growth of terrorism and extremism, does it seem reasonable to believe that anyone but the hard-core Islamists would want to join today’s Pakistan?

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  • Indian
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:57PM

    Best conclusion about kashmir :-

    India is a democracy and there are many viewpoint on kashmir but most of the people in India(especially muslims) will not let kashmir go out of their hand. bcoz they will not be able to justify their secular credentials bcoz they had chosen to be part of secular India.

    Similar is the case in pakistan.

    As far as kashmiris are concerned, they have got some confusion in their ideology. Bcoz most of theri liberal leaders wants kashmiri pandit back to kashmir but most of the masses want :- “kashmir me rehna hai to allah hu akbar kehna hai”…

    In such situation, debate on news channel is worthless….. everyone is confused..

    Soluion is not possible in the context of “Ajadi” bcoz “azadi” would mean freedom from POK also and return of land from china which china and pakistani would never concede to..

    Therefore better to negotiate with their respective govts for human rights and basic necessities rather than independence..

    This is the only practical solution otherwise wait for 100-200 years when all these nation state loose their relevance and there would be no border to fight for..

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  • Mr. Righty rightist
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:08PM

    @BlackJack who writes “The Hurriyat needs to realize that they are holding back generations of Kashmiri children from experiencing the growth opportunities that their compatriots in the rest of India enjoy today.”

    Are you kidding me? Hurriyat knows it very well. That’s exactly what they want. Is it hard to understand?

    Why would the Taliban and the Mullahs and the DPC and various Lashkars of Pakistan want to keep the Pakistani people ignorant? That’s the only way to succeed in their nefarious plans.

    That’s exactly what Hurriyat wants. Keep the children away from education, to brainwash them and push them in the wrong direction.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:54PM

    @Babloo: ” … Whats left in seperatism in kashmir, are hardcore islamists of the Taleban kind led by likes of Syed Ali Shah gilani and India has given full freedom to all Kashmiri leaders who reject Indian constitution full liberty and ability to freely express their opinion. … “

    If a descendant of Central Asian migrants can claim ownership of Kashmir, why not millions of those who have their origins in Kashmir, but have migrated out of Kashmir a few hundred years back and live elsewhere in India ?

    This Gilani gentleman should be given a one way ticket to whichever Central-Asian-istan his ancestors came from.

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  • BlackJack
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:02PM

    @Vasanth Pai:
    You have got to be dreaming – Tibet freed from China? All the people in Ladakh want is not be lumped together with the Kashmiri separatists – not even one of them wants to be part of Chinese Tibet (if you visit Dharmasala once in a while, you will understand why). Yes, Jammu should be merged with Himachal/ Punjab and Ladakh should be made a Union Territory (we can hold separate ‘plebiscites’ for that if required:) ). For the valley, let us stick with the status quo (while maintaining peace and existing borders) until a better solution comes to the table.
    @Mr. Righty rightist:
    I do not wish to group the entire Hurriyat into one motley bunch – I believe that certain segments among them can be made to see reason and stand for elections if the threat of violence is removed.

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  • A2Z
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:17PM

    @Jahangir:
    you sound childish…really innocent and it appears that you came in this world only yesterday morning.

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  • Tony C.
    Feb 19, 2012 - 3:27PM

    I do not wish to unduly interfere with Indian / Pakistan domestic matters, but if all parties wished to resolve the matter, which they obviously do not, why not have a referendum and find out what the inhabitants of Kashmir really want ? That is do they wish to be Indian, Pakistan or independent ? Perhaps India / Pakistan know the answer and do not wish to make it official ?

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  • shehzad
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:08PM

    The bottom line is Kashmir is of Kashmiris & we will decide about its future,It is quiet wrong logic that Kashmir will emerge as another muslim fundamental state if given freedom.The Kashmir will definately get freedom from India tomorrow if not today.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:15PM

    “This is why there is little sympathy in the world for the movement in Kashmir”. Wrong. If Kashmiris had been Christians, the world would have helped them gain independence long ago (as in East Timor and South Sudan).

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  • Shehzad
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:24PM

    I recommend your solution!If India & Pakistan realy want to get out of kashmir,this is most pragmatic solution with little changes & the second best option is independent KashmirRecommend

  • BlackJack
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:37PM

    @Shakir Lakhani:
    If Kashmiris had been Christians, they wouldn’t be asking for a separate country. Christians only need a separate country to escape from muslim bigotry and intolerance (as in East Timor and South Sudan).

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  • let there be peace
    Feb 19, 2012 - 4:50PM

    @usmanx:
    Imagine if US invaded India and imposed the most beautiful constitution on its inhabitants..

    The only fault fault in your analogy is that you are presuming India is the invader in this example. Fact is Kashmir is India since beginning of history. The Kashmiri (!) separatists are the ones who think they are pure descendants of Persians, Arabs and Central Asians (i.e. non-natives, i.e. outsiders, i.e. invaders and occupiers)

    Now read your analogy again and think.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 4:56PM

    kashmiries have only one option. either join with India or Pakistan? It is the USA which is fomenting socalled Azadi movement not only in Kashmir but also in Balochistan, covertly in Indian Bengal and Tamilnadu and through Naxalism

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  • Ayesha
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:15PM

    This piece can’t even be called biased. It is totally off the point & outright rubbish, trying to make the kashmir issue into some simplistic matter that came up a while ago. You want a definition of azadi which the kashmiris want, why not go to kashmir & ask for them directly, instead of making assumptions. Kashmiris have been aspiring for azadi since the past 400 years so the issue of Indian constitution is not even relevant. The laws that this constitution has applied in kashmir are a disgrace to common sense let alone democracy which India claims to be a champion of. The forces don’t want to be there? the govt does not want the forces there? What the kashmirs ace on a daily bases beg to differ & saying the govt is embarrassed to admit all this etc etc, well the price kashmiris are paying for this embarrassement is a bit too much. Before commenting on a issue understand its full dynamics instead of making opinions that are an insult to peoples’ struggle.

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  • let there be peace
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:23PM

    @IndianDude:
    Why does not the GOI give incentive to all the biharis and UP wallahs to move to kashmir, like the chinese are doing in Ughur or Tibet with Huns?

    Wrong wrong analogy sir. And very dangerous.
    Uighurs and Tibetans are ethnically, culturally, linguistically and historically different from the Han Chinese who are a distinct ethnic and cultural group.
    On the contrary biharis and UP wallahs and bengalis and kashmiris and central indians and south indians and marathis and gujarathis and punjabis and sindhis and assammese etc regardless of their religion are all a heterogeneous but distinct cultural, geographical and historical entity called Indians. Any Indian going to Kashmir should not be compared to practice of ethnic cleansing by China.
    And there is no hypocricy in my statement. Article 370 is against India’s culture. In India many different populations, ethnic groups, tribes etc always have been freely migrating from one part to another over thousands of years.

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  • Yousaf Hyat
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:23PM

    Kashmir wants “Azadi” from the Indian Army stationed in their State.Why not just accept Indian constitution because it works so wonderfully in the rest of India ? You ask..Because That Constitution is not of their-Kashmiri- own making ..would India absorb Swedens Constitution because it works so well there ?
    The Hindus of Hindustan broke their word that Muslim Majority areas will become Pakistan and gobbled up Kashmir .With or without the International communitys help Kashmir will become a part of Pakistan .why ? because it is the only way forward for kashmiris ..

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  • let there be peace
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:33PM

    Let me make it clear that I don’t want to promote exclusionist ideologies here. (caste system is one example of exclusionist evil ideologies). Central Asia has been geographically close (or shall we say continuous?) with India untill Pakistan suddenly appeared on map. And since thousands of years many wandering tribes from neighbouring regions including Central Asia have been coming and settling in mainland India. I think anyone who lives in India and calls himself Indian belongs to entire India.

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  • Umer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:46PM

    @Shakir Lakhani:

    Wrong. If Kashmiris had been
    Christians, the world would have
    helped them gain independence long ago
    (as in East Timor and South Sudan).

    Pakistan is not Christian state still it was given independence. East Timor and South Sudan were being persecuted by Muslim majorities in the name of religion. In Kashmir issue of religion is raised by Kashmiris thus scaring the whole world now that the world knows what a nightmare an independent but religiously fanatic Pakistan has become.

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  • Umer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 5:48PM

    @Ayesha:

    You want a definition of azadi which
    the kashmiris want, why not go to
    kashmir & ask for them directly,
    instead of making assumptions.

    Why not try the same with Baluchis if this is such a universal principle?

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  • Ak
    Feb 19, 2012 - 6:24PM

    @Ayesha:
    Kashmiris have been aspiring for azadi since the past 400 years so the issue of Indian constitution is not even relevant

    Really? since you seem to know so about the history then can you throw some more light on this?

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  • Ak
    Feb 19, 2012 - 6:52PM

    Kashmir problem was created by Pakistan itself, the day it decided to send armed tribesmen to ‘conquer’ Kashmir instead of waiting for the Maharaja to sign the instrument of accession. These tribesmen went about looting, pillaging and raping where ever they went. There was no Indian Army then and the only resitance was provided by Kashmiris themselves under the leadership of great Shiekh Abdullah. These armed marauders had runover most of the valley and all but almost reached Srinagar. It was then that Maharajah decided to seek help from the Indian Army and he signed the instrument of accession to enable this to happen.
    Subsequently Nehru (yes Nehru) took the matter to UN security council as an aggrieved party which called on a plebiscite but before that Pakistan was supposed to have vacated the entire territory which never happened. Then a few decades later Pakistan seceded territory to China making the UN resolutions defunct. 1971 Simla agreement made the issue a bilateral one.
    Looking forward, the only solution I see is to make borders irrelevant – just like Northern Ireland and Ireland with full autonomy to POK, Northern areas and Indian Kashmir and of course security forces removed from the civilian areas. No religious based partition of the country or state is possible now, period.

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  • Asif
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:41PM

    Why was there a Hindu Maharaja in charge of Kashmir prior to Independence from Britain? We are led to believe only 3-4 percent of Kashmir citizens are non-muslims. In that case how did a ‘docile’ Hindu rule over Muslims?

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  • Ak
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:46PM

    @Asif:
    Just as Muslims ruled India when they themselves were small in numbers.

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  • ashok sai
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:46PM

    I hope Pakistan venture into Kashmir more and more, it will pave the way to Kashmiris to realise the ground realities better, to summarise, Kashmiris precisely Kashmiri youth to decide between gun or currency !

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  • India Peaks
    Feb 19, 2012 - 7:54PM

    The “Kashmir Problem” itself is a misnomer. It is a problem of the Kashmiri Muslims . In future if the Muslims of India have a problem does it mean that India will again be partitioned? Similarly for Christians and other minorities of Pakistan. The solution is given in your holy text – “hijrat”- migration. Kashmiri Muslims with a problem must migrate similar to Muslims & Hindus during Partition. Problem solved :-)Recommend

  • Rishi
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:02PM

    The one strategic mistake that India has made is basically by giving these mullahs the freedom that they say they despise but still take the full benefit of. They want freedom from the very constitution that allows them free speech while their parties are terrorising the general population. I think that over all these years we’ve tried to play by our rules ( the civilized world’s rules) and it does not seem to work. Lets play by their rules now and see if that works.

    Want Kashmir ????? All you got to do is try to come and get it. Bring a whole bunch of your brothers along. Might as well teach all of them what it means to fight India at once.

    You think we are buying war toys worth hundreds of billions of dollars for fun? And does it seem like a nation that has budgeted a trillion dollars over just 5 years for improving its infrastructure without any projected increases in soverign debt cannot afford to fight? And you want to move away from that to your tourists’ paradise selling flowers for pennies? That is your culture?Recommend

  • wonderer
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:04PM

    @Asif:

    Kashmir was a Hindu majority state at one time in history. Then the Mughals started forcibly converting the Hindus to Islam. Aurangzeb was the most zealous in this venture. In fact, there is no Muslim in present day Kashmir whose ancestors were not Hindu.

    It may also interest you to know that Kashmiri Muslims are very different from all kinds of Muslims in Pakistan (about 72 kinds I am told). Besides the relations between Muslims and Hindus are very deep. This is called Kashmiriat.

    Another important fact you would love to know. All Kashmiri Pundits (Brahmins) are non-vegetarian liked the Muslims. But to their immense solidarity, Muslims do not eat beef, and Hindus do not touch pork. That is how India stays together despite having all religions and many casts in each. Is that not remarkable? Do tell me.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 8:05PM

    @Asif:
    Oh yes we Hindus are all docile. I am a Maharashtrian along with the Marathas I am docile, the gorkhas who are Hindus are docile, the punjabi Hindus are docile. We are frightened and penniless in this big bad world and you are the brave.

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  • Zalim singh
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:06PM

    @ author,

    because it belongs to India.

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  • harkol
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:14PM

    Asif Dhar & Co: You won’t get your freedom to purge the Hindu’s of Kashmir, who were the original settlers. In what you call “azad” Kashmir, what is the percentage of Hindus left?? What was their percentage at Independence?
    WHat was the percentage of Hindus in Pakistan at independence and now? What was it in bangladesh and now?

    A religious country is a recipe for elimination of Hindu Minorities? Such freedom can’t be given, even if 50-60% folks in a particular area want it. There has to be a larger case for it.

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  • harkol
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:18PM

    Ayesha: Kashmiris have indeed been waiting for ‘independence’ for over 400 years. Independence from Islamic Tyranny in Kashmir, that started with Sikhandar Butshikan. Original settlers of Kashmir were massacred by Tajiks and Turkestan’s rulers, much the same way as Native Americans, and now the very same Muslims are asking for ‘independence’ to kill the remaining pundits??

    That’s absurd and world sees through such tactics.

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  • Akhtar
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:19PM

    I think ET is more popular among indians than Pakis. I always thought ET is our paper. Probably, ET can advertise Indian Ad’s like Tata, Reliance & make more revenues. Most comments are from Indians on every news item!

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  • Ak
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:27PM

    @Akhtar: Lol, unfortunately for you there are more than a billion Indians so I am not surprised.

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  • Vijay K
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:02PM

    If it is about religion, then why are people of Baluchistan fighting for their freedom?

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  • From Kashmir
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Ok, how come West supports right to self determination of Tibet, whose struggle is more or less based on religious identity.

    About Indian constitution he says “It is not utopian, but it works. Kashmir’s leaders who demand azadi from India’s constitution should explain why they are rejecting it”

    O’Really !! does it work ??

    Kashmir’s leaders and Kashmiri people in general demand right to choose, their future, their way of life … but that is not simply clear Recommend

  • From Kashmir
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:52PM

    What is interesting is that even while there is a lot of scholarly questioning going on about ‘Secularism’, Mr. Patel argues without serious arguments that there is no way other than to adopt Western secular principles. I would recommend Bill Connolly’s incisive critique of ‘Secularism” to those who want to see an alternative way of conceptualizing society and politics–Connolly’s argument is particularly valuable as it discovers similar assumptions and expectations undergirding secular and religious ideologies–that of homogeniety and uniformity, instead of plurality and difference.

    I am also intrigued that Yasin Malik has said he wants “Secularism with religious mysticism” in an Independent Kashmir– I am not sure if he meant it in the way I read it, but if explored further perhaps this conception could be double-edged critique of both secularist fundamentalists as well as religious statists. Then Aakar Patel’s question about whose “mysticism” (I would use a different word, perhaps ‘spirituality”) would it be, might even become irrelevant what specific origin it has. Mr. Patels question about if the mysticism would be Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist is itself symptomatic of how secularists seek to define, classify and categories “religion”.

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  • From Kashmir
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:53PM

    And what is wrong with Indian constitution? It is that we didn’t have any say in framing it, and we think a constitution, however, beautifully written, becomes an instrument of oppression if forced down people’s throats…

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  • From Kashmir
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:54PM

    Aakaar is also, more or less, missing the point that the west looks upon India as a market where it can sell its armaments and technology. Western nations aren’t concerned or don’t talk about human rights violations committed by security forces in Kashmir specifically because it doesn’t want to see the lose the market! On the other side, if you see across the border, whenever there is a toughening of stances between Pakistan and US, be it Osama Bin Ladin or Nato attack on Pakistan army in Mahmond Agency, the two sides have generally tended to indulge in verbal skirmishes, which sometimes evoke harsh remarks by one side on another. So US senators bring resolutions supporting Baloch right to self determination into US Congress to express its anger at a country which doesn’t provide a lucrative market and resources that are sold for pittance in case of India. If secularism of freedom struggle was a factor for bringing conflicts into the focus of the west, why hasn’t the western media paid attention to the Maoist conflict in the heart of India? Also Western media doesn’t cover Kashmir with proper concern and continuance because it doesn’t want to face what The Economist has!

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  • usmanx
    Feb 20, 2012 - 12:26AM

    Nandkishore, Sachar Report… read it.

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  • From Kashmir
    Feb 20, 2012 - 12:59AM

    My God is this an Indian portal. I wonder why my first comment was modified to altogether change its meaning.
    I said …
    Kashmir’s leaders and Kashmiri people in general demand right to choose, their future, their way of life … but that is not simply clear to Aakar Patel’s of the world.

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  • sylmarkhan
    Feb 20, 2012 - 1:14AM

    @Observer:
    your fool arent you!

    militarization constitution, is like military government.

    people who have guns against kashmiri faces think india is the better choice.

    you fools lost all moral for kashmir, because defeat in kashmir, popular uprising for freedom.

    indian thinks with military they can occupy, with agreement they can get partion.

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  • Indian Kashmiri
    Feb 20, 2012 - 4:18AM

    Right said author. In 1990s my aunt’s village was literally under seige by Pakistani terrorists who will force into houses and warn people to stay away from elections and help the so called freedom fighters with food and shelter. I still remember the dec 17 1994 episode when the Indian army were sweeping through her village to check for terrorists and because of few houses who had to forcefully provide shelters to terrorists they were killed along with terrorists in cross firing. Next day Gillani and comrades took the bodies of innocents and childrens killed to show the valley how cruel Indian army is. They did not bother to tell people about 17 terrorists whose dead bodies were left for hours before being picked away by army. I do not support violence and do not like indian army or support them. But seriously what o you expect out of what happened that day ? For Pakistani commentors who seriously do not know how cruel these terrorists are and are just drooling over the prospect of kashmir joining them have no idea how cruel these people are. If our freedom call is just then why ask indepence violently ? Why do we resort to violence and justify jihad way of doing things to push our agenda ? Why my muslim brother took Pakistan with viloence and now doing the same for Kashmir ? Why violence is the only instrument Pakistani muslim knows ? What is wrong with you guys ? Stop supporting our cause we will fight it ourselves and in ur ways. Your ways have done nothing but make my people suffer and not allow any progress in the valley. This is our problem and really do not want Pakistani’s help on this.

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  • Cynical
    Feb 20, 2012 - 5:25AM

    Agreed or not, an well articulated article.
    But somehow enjoying the slugfest in the comment section more than the article itself.

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  • Truthbetold
    Feb 20, 2012 - 9:35AM

    @Kahvah Gaffar:

    “How can india have such tall claims about the rights and liberties when it deny same to people.”

    First, no one’s rights and liberties are denied. Everyone has the same rights and liberties guaranteed in the constitution. Every Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and every other communities are guaranteed the same and equal rights and liberties.

    Since you raise a moral question, can you say the same about Pakistan? Do the religious minorities and nationalities such as the Baloch get equal and full liberties in Pakistan? Why not give the Baloch the same rights that Pakistan has bee preaching for the Kashmiris? If we go a little farther back, were the East Pakistanis given equal rights and liberties?

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  • Truthbetold
    Feb 20, 2012 - 9:51AM

    @From Kashmir:

    “Kashmir’s leaders and Kashmiri people in general demand right to choose, their future, their way of life … but that is not simply clear to Aakar Patel’s of the world.”

    You need to define more clearly who the “Kashmir’s leaders and Kashmiri people” who make thee demands. I have shown in my posts above that, based on demographic facts, these people demanding secession form a minority in Kashmir. Otherwise, logic suggests that, it would have been impossible to hold on to a region 65 years if a vast majority want to secede.

    None of the secessionist Hurriet Islamist leaders have ever been killed by Indian forces unlike in Balochistan. Actually, in the past, the ISI has eliminated moderate Hurriet leaders such as senior Mirwaiz, Abdul Ghani Lone, Ghani Butt etc. for refusing to tow the Pakistani line.

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  • Junaid
    Feb 20, 2012 - 10:20AM

    @chenna singh and all indians getting xcited about Balochistan

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separatistmovementsof_India

    you should better look humbly into these issues.

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  • vasan
    Feb 20, 2012 - 10:23AM

    Bifurcating Kashmir is like the bifurcation of Punjab and Bengal. It is all over, I mean, geographical bifurcation. The hindu majority Jammu and Ladakh are with India. The muslim majority Pakistan occupied Kashmir is with Pakistan. The migration of people only have to take place. The muslim brothers of Kashmir can accept Indian constitution and remain with India or migrate to Pakistan, What is the problem here ? . WHy Indians and Pakistanis are wasting their resources and time on this issue.

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  • amlendu
    Feb 20, 2012 - 10:40AM

    @usmanx:
    If US invades India and imposes its constitution that means that Indians get to vote for US president, congress and senate. I, being an Indian am ready for it. We would not have asked for independence from Britain if an Indian and a British were treated equally under constitution (Including one person one vote for British parliament and universal suffrage). You forget to notice that Kashmiris have more than equal rights in India, they elect their state legislature, government, MPs for Indian Parliament, they can buy property in any part of India and settle there but no other Indian can buy property in Kashmir or settle there.

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  • amlendu
    Feb 20, 2012 - 11:05AM

    @Shakir Lakhani:
    Nagas are Christians and have been fighting for independence from India for past 60 years (40 years more than Kashmiris) but no western power took their side. You have to have a legitimate cause and frankly Hurriyat does not have one (Difference of religion is no cause). If that is not the case show me one Hindu or Buddhist native of J&K who wants separation from India.

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  • Ravi
    Feb 20, 2012 - 11:24AM

    Here’s another opinion. I don’t think either Pakistani leaders or Kashmiri leaders or Indian leaders want the problem to be solved. Think about it. If it does get solved one way or another, the Pakistani army will lose the raison d’etre for it’s huge defense budgets. The Kashmiri “freedom fighters” for whom the fight itself is their bread and butter and pays very well will have to find new jobs. And, for Indian leaders, it also means they can no longer siphon away a big part of the defense and economic budgets, though not on the scale of their Pakistani counterparts. So, it will stay that way pretty much for the foreseeable future.

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  • cheema
    Feb 20, 2012 - 2:55PM

    @Junaid:
    Separatist movements of India
    kashmir- we are discussing.
    khalistan- Indian army is one of many good examples.
    north east -read this North East Calls Boycott of Rebublic days

    and all these are nothing compared to Baluchistan today.

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  • Anup
    Feb 20, 2012 - 3:35PM

    @amlendu:
    Valid point.
    I don’t consider Indian Constitution any lesser than US constitution.
    Dr. Ambedkar and his team gave India a very beautiful constitution which ensures fundamental rights viz. freedom of speech, protest, faith etc. Which puts nation above religion and faith.
    But some Indian governments made mockery of our Secular Constitution by framing religion based law like happened in famous Shah Bano case for religious vote bank.
    I wish there should have been an article in Indian constitution like 1st amendment to US constitution which says,

    ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

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  • let there be peace
    Feb 20, 2012 - 4:01PM

    @From Kashmir:
    What is interesting is that even while there is a lot of scholarly questioning going on about ‘Secularism….

    You are probably referring to the ‘Islamic Scholars’ or similar weirdos from other religions. Thanks to internet and youtube, we know it very well how intelligent, how unbiased and how humane most of these ‘Scholars’ are.

    Secularism is not Atheism. At least not in India. It means freedom to practice and to not practice (also freedom to preach, criticize, accept or leave) any religion.

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  • Nirmit
    Feb 20, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @usmanx:
    Keep this question for you guys as it will happen for soon but with pakistan!!

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  • Ak
    Feb 20, 2012 - 6:05PM

    @usmanx:
    Have you read Sachar report? You need to read it yourself before asking others.

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  • Syed Aqib
    Feb 20, 2012 - 6:27PM

    Kashmiris have every right to demand azadi from indian occupation, irespective of whether they want independent kashmir or accession with pakistan. The constitution of Jammu & Kashmir is to be decided by its people. It hardly matters whether that wi acceptable to india or not. If the people want islam as their constitution no body has right to stop them from having it. All people of Jammu and Kashmir should be given right to decide their future, as has been promised by india in UN number of times. Those who beleive that only 10% of people want freedom from india, they should have totally no objection or reservations in giving people of J&K right to plebiscite, as it will not only prove them right but also the issue will be resolved for ever and J&K will become legally part of india. But the fact is that, India’s refusal to give right to plebiscite to the people of J&K, after promising it number of times in UN, Kashmir and pakistan, is enough to prove that majority, rather big majority, of people want end to illegal occupation of india.
    Internation community ia at liberty to fail in kashmir. By failing here, it will only pave way for better world order, i.e ISLAM, so that not only people of J&K but people all around the world can live a life of peace, dignity and happiness

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  • Babloo
    Feb 20, 2012 - 6:54PM

    India ‘gets away’ with Kashmir because India can legitimitely claim any land in S Asia as India’s. Period.

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  • wonderer
    Feb 20, 2012 - 8:20PM

    @Syed Aqib

    Here is some friendly advice, and it is FREE.

    If you do not know anything about a subject, either keep quiet, or find out before opening your mouth.

    Kashmir has no “Indian occupation”, it has only Pakistani occupation. (Read 1948 UN resolution and some historyi).

    Kashmir has its own constitution already.

    There is no problem about plebiscite. Pakistan should first get out of J&K as stipulated by 1948 UN resolution. Ask your government to do this, and quickly.

    Please tell all these things to as many of your friends as possible.

    Cheers!Recommend

  • Rakib
    Feb 20, 2012 - 11:25PM

    @Anup:

    Bill of Rights and First to Tenth Amendments of USA duly modified by Ambedkar became Fundamental Rights guaranteed through Articles 14 to 34 in Part III of Constitution of India. It is Article 370 of same Constitution that protects Kashmiri interests as you know, and that goes well beyond any Right bestowed in the First Amendment to Americans.

    Very same Ambedkar of a Secular Parliament was also involved in the initial stage with drafting Hindu Marriage Act (1955), Hindu Succession Act (1956), Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act (1956), and Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956). Does that tantamount to a gesture to Hindu vote-bank? Why single out only Shah Bano case? I am not in favour of the amendment related to the Bano matter but that is hardly the issue.

    Point is Indian secularism is shade different from American or French one since superimposing a secular polity on a deeply religious society is a huge challenge & it lies to ever lasting credit of Indian Founding Fathers that they even attempted it at all…Finally, India 1950 with its inherited burden of history was a hugely diverse country of eight religions, scores of languages & ethnicity as compared to rather few issues in USA of 1789, when First Amendment & Bill of Rights were drafted. However, curiously as late as in 1994, even 300 years after First Amendment, US Supreme Court had to prevent the State from promoting a particular religion!

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  • sylmarkhan
    Feb 21, 2012 - 12:30AM

    @Truthbetold:

    false hear reality

    the afghans kashmir wanted aid of pakistan. pakistan gave them aid. what have soviet indian communism or hinduism gave the afghan or kashmiris.
    what aspiration did soviet indian gave afghan kashmir to join them other than become their slave. the reason why soviet india lost is because communism hinduism is not supported but freedom movement.
    Freedom under soviet indian rule is ruthless they want to control these poor people.

    If pakistan is in trouble it can come out of it on its own. With great leaders,unified army, will of the people.
    Can india fight 20 years war still live in modern times without cause or trouble.

    Thanks for your help. the world is on the side of pakistan because we have sacrified alot.
    kashmiris think pakistan better choice than indian commmunism anyday.

    kashmiris know that india will always be hungry for kashmiri blood even though india has got everything on her wish list unlike us.
    you can escape from to anywhere, the reality we are not in turmoil where you can take advantage.
    those days are far over where you can impose your solution like before.
    if you really care about truth!
    then your indian mindset should have changed. looks like your fighting the losing battle.
    If we are any where you think in deep waters. your military should have completely finished your agenda.

    other than cry out loud. for the migration, turn staus quo you gained nothing
    except got bloodynoose in china pakistan animosity.

    jammu kashmir state is on the verge of collapse, because you cut off the main link.
    you can not win hindustan while fighting wrong battle with pakistan and kashmir, who gave u befiting reply.

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  • Xnain
    Feb 21, 2012 - 10:50AM

    @Chhena Singh:
    I wonder if Indians try to confuse Kashmir with Balochistan. Kashmir is a Internationally disputed territory. I mean Pakistan doesn’t have any issues with Asam and Nagalands alphas and other sepraratist movements in India. But the peaceful resolution of Kashmir which involves Kashmiris. But ofcourse, Indians won’t like to talk about it so does the so called “free and vocal” Indian media. At least the media in Pakistan is playing much positive role than their Indian counterpart who rather tries to keep the critical issues under the mat and ignore these. Like the mass graves issue, while the news got prominence in western media, Indian media ignored it altogather, they rather find Pakistan Bashing in their headlines than truth. Pityy for a nation who claims to be “champion” of democracy.

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  • Ali
    Feb 21, 2012 - 7:24PM

    @Truthbetold: have a plebiscite like Nehru promised and the UN voted for, end the debate.

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  • wonderer
    Feb 21, 2012 - 7:51PM

    @Ali

    No problems in going for the plebiscite. According to the UN resolution Pakistan has to get out of the part of J&K it occupied by force.

    You please make Pakistan vacate its aggression, and I promise to get the plebiscite conducted by the Indian government,

    Best of luck.

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  • Amit
    Feb 21, 2012 - 10:11PM

    @Ali from Karachi:
    Also,Kashmiris (of Pak Occupied Kashmir) want to be recognized simply as Kashmiris and not Pakistani*-Kashmiris*…this is all.

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  • Xnain
    Feb 23, 2012 - 11:14AM

    @Amit:
    There is no issue with that, let Kashmiris decide for themselves. Kashimris in Azad Kashmir live a much better life than their counterparts in Indian Occupied Kashmir

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  • Tony C.
    Feb 23, 2012 - 3:46PM

    @Mr. Righty rightist:

    I agree with Mr. Righty, but he only got it half right. Every country in the world, brain washes or conditions their children regardless of education. That way they meekly comply with Government wishes regardless of the dreadful things their leaders get up to. The reason people comply is because their mental conditioning has been so effective they really believe the Government is doing a good job.when it is just the reverse. I think also that some type of tribal emotions get in the way. You can tell by reading the 118 comments that have been written so far. I have not completed a comprehensive analysis, but a casual reading of the comments suggests that 50 % support India and 50% support Pakistan. I do not think the Kashmir problem is going to be solved any time soon.

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  • gowthamaprasad venkitapathi
    Apr 17, 2012 - 3:30PM

    @Zaid Hamid: Pakistan cannot even protect its citizens for the American anger, how are the supposed to protect the Kashmir. One more thing only Kashmir has majority of Muslims jammu and ladakh dont want any thing to do with Pakistan.

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