COMMUNAL DIVIDE IN J&K ALWAYS PLAGUED PEOPLE
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Dr Karan Singh, a Congress member of the Rajya Sabha made a candid short speech in the House throwing light on the incompetence of State Administration in handling the volatile situation in Kishtwar before9th August and thereafter too. A former Yuraj of the Hindu Dogra ruling dynasty and a Sadre Riyasat of the J&K State during the Sheikh Abdullah government, Dr Karan Singh knows the people and political under currents like nobody else. He made a true analysis by saying that the undercurrent of communal divide was always present there and he had represented the parliamentary constituency of which Kishtwar was a part for fifteen years. He deserves to be congratulated for telling the truth.
Dr Karan Singh further said in Hindi “ Agar aap samajhte hain ki gaadi wahan chal rahi hai to main bata doon ki gaadi ekdam chal nahi rahi hai.” Apparently he was referring to incompetence of the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in general and criminal delay in handling the riots in Kishtwar effectively in particular. Dr Karan Singh’s national credentials have always stood the test of time. It was he who, as Sadre Riyasat of J&K had signed the warrant of arrest of Sheikh Abdullah in 1953 when the latter had strayed from the path of secular nationalism and had nurtured a dream of becoming the Sultan of Kashmir. Sheikh’s ideas and speeches were more communal than that of the Muslim League and he had become more anti-India than the politicians of Pakistan. He had even raised doubts about the legality of that state acceding to India.
Even Jawaharlal Nehru, a bosom friend of the rebellious Sheikh was alarmed and perforce gave a nod to his removal from the office of CM and arrest. It was Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, the new Chief Minister, who fully integrated that State with the Republic of India. Omar Abdullah is the grandson of the same Sheikh Abdullah. No wonder he raises the cry of J&K reverting to the pre 1953 constitutional status. Thus he indirectly stokes the fire of separatists in their slogan for AZADI that was raised every now and then in Kishtwar before the situation flared up.
Dr Farooq Abdullah, Sheikh’s son, never took any action against the unruly and riotous Kashmiris who burnt the Indian National Flag and raised pro-Pakistan slogans in his presence time and again. He never came down on the separatists and pro-Pakistan elements among Kashmiri Muslims with a heavy hand.
MAHARAJAH’S MUSLIM TROOPS REVOLTED
Going back to the partition days in 1947 when J&K was still an independent territoty under Maharajah Sir Hari Singh, father of Dr Karan Singh, when the Muslim troops of his State Forces in Gilgit and Chitral has revolted against His Highness on communal grounds and hoisted the Pakistan flag. Thus a large part of the State was handed over to Pakistan on a silver platter by the Maharajah’s Muslim troops. It was rank communalism.
In the same year when Jinnah launched the Pushtoon and other tribals, officered by Pakistan army officers, in an outrageous attack of the Maharajah’s J&K, the Muslim troops of Sir Hari Singh revolted against the Hindu ruler and joined hands with the raiding tribal Muslims. Wasn’t it a proof of communalism that the Namak Haram soldiers joined hands with the invading enemy?
ETHNIC CLEANSING OF KASHMIR VALLEY
In 1989-90 terrorism of Islamic Jihadis peaked. Many senior judges and bureaucrats belonging to the Kashmiri Pundit community were killed by Muslims. The hate-Hindu campaign of rabid communal forces was crysal clear when terrifying slogans were raised from mosques on microphones asking the Kashmiri Pundits to quit Kashmir. They were threatened with rape, loot and genocide. Almost all the self respecting Kashmiri Pundits left the Kashmir valley and moved to Jammu, Delhi and other safe places. None of the so-called secular Muslims of Kashmir came to their rescue. The vacant houses, temples and other places of Hindu worship were burnt down. Who will say that there is brotherhood between the Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir valley? This kind of brotherhood and secularism is just a myth to lull the Government of India into sleep and allow the inflow of Indian tax-payers money flow into the pockets of communal Kashmiris.
When the Hindu houses and shops burnt by Muslim mobs of hooligans, the district police, civil administration and even the State’s Home Minister, Sajjad Kitchloo were just mute spectators. They did not swing into action to douse the fire of communal frenzy. Why? When accusing fingers of partisan attitude and of inciting mobs to loot and plunder, commit arson and murder were raised, he had little option but to resign. It is reported that the Governor, Shri N.N. Vohra has accepted his resignation on the recommendation of the Chief Minister.
By the way no arrests of murderers and arsonists were made from 9th August to 12th August when Parliament discuss the Kishtwar mayhem and put the Central government on back foot. It was only then that the State Administration swung into action and made some arrests.
When Rome was burning Nero was fiddling. In J&K when Kishtwar was burning Omar Abdullah was tweeting. He derives comfort in waging a tweet war with the BJP leaders rather than take action on the Intelligence inputs about simmering situation in Kishtwar. Because of his inaction against the separatist elements, the latter have grown from bold to bolder and preach anti-India philosophy. On the pubic and private walls in downtown Kishtwar, posters of condemned traitors like Maqbool Bhatt and the hanged attacker of Sansad Bhawan were posted and the traitors were eulogized. When the nationalist Hindus protested, the large crowd of Muslims from Eidgah came down with a heavy hand on them. The teenage son of the President of Kishtwar Bahujan Samaj Party president was brutally killed. The goons pumped as many as seventeen bullets into his body. The police remained an inactive spectator. The district administration and the Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Kitchloo were gripped with inertia. Or were they a part of deeper and sinister conspiracy to cleanse Kishtwar of the Hindus?
An impartial inquiry by an unimpeachable individual or a body of civil society must probe the sisnister Kishtwar episode to find out the truth. The blame must be laid at the door of culprits whosoever they may be. Further those who have suffered the loss of loved ones and whose property has been burnt or destroyed must be compensated adequately.
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