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Kashmir Is Too Small For Azadi

[हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें]
Headline on CNN about Leh floods: Death toll from Kashmir flooding rises to 112
Correction: Leh is not in Kashmir. There was no flooding in Kashmir.
A Vaishno Devi Pilgrim: I just returned from Kashmir. Things are peaceful there.
Correction: Jammu is not in Kashmir. There is no jehad in Jammu.
A University of Texas Website Article: refers to the 1999 war in Kargil, Kashmir
Correction: Kargil is not in Kashmir. It is in Ladakh province.
One of the frequent gripes that Kashmiris have about people from mainland India is that they don’t understand Kashmir and Kashmiris. That is true to a large extent. One of the myths that needs to be broken is that “Kashmir is J&K”, because it is actually only a small part of it – 6.98% to be exact. Even the saying that “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is one” is not correctly worded because Kashmir is not the Northernmost part of India; Ladakh is. And if you believe in the official Indian map, then Gilgit and Aksai Chin are the Northernmost parts, none of these being part of Kashmir. Kashmir is well South of the Northern tip of India, so it is geographically a natural part of India. Even Azad Kashmir or PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is not Kashmir. In this blog post I will explain why this discussion is important, considering the existing imbroglio going on in the Kashmir valley.

It has served some of the players in the game well to confuse the issue of Kashmir’s location and boundaries as much as possible. Most people, when asked about where Kashmir is on a map, will point to the “head” shape on the top of an Indian map and say “here it is!” (see the black arrow in the map below). They could not be farther from the truth. Look at the following map and see for yourself where Kashmir actually is.

The above official Indian map shows the complete state of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India, and the rough boundaries of Kashmir are shown in red. In the following map from Wikipedia, the Kashmir valley is the area marked K in green background.

Now, what is the difference between Kashmir and the state of Jammu and Kashmir? Well, Kashmir is the dispute and J&K is not. Kashmir is the Muslim majority area and other parts of J&K are not. Kashmir is what is shouting “Go India Go” (This is not a cheer in Kashmir!) and other parts are happy being India. Kashmir is a small part of Jammu and Kashmir. Compare the following land areas:

Area of Kashmir:15,520.3 sq km (Wikipedia)
Area of J&K under Indian Control:~101,400 sq km (Forest Survey Website)
Total Area of Undivided J&K:222,236 sq km (Wikipedia)

Thus Kashmir is about 7% in area of undivided J&K, and about 15% of J&K under Indian control.
So, how do you define Kashmir? Well, the best way to define it is to ask Kashmiris themselves. In Kashmiri language, everything outside the valley is called “nebar”, i.e., outside or foreign. Kashmir is a geographically smaller portion of the larger state of Jammu and Kashmir, which comprises the provinces of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Kashmir is Kashmir province only, comprising of previously undivided districts of Anantnag, Baramulla and Srinagar (now divided into 10 smaller districts). Kashmir is where Kashmiris natively live and where Kashmiri language is natively spoken. It is also this region of Kashmir that has dominated the politics of the region for the last 63 years.
Now, why is this distinction between Kashmir and J&K always fudged and why is this distinction important? It is this small part of the state that is a pain in the neck for India, because it is this Muslim majority portion that is holding the whole state and region to ransom. It is this Muslim majority portion of 7% of the state that cannot see itself fitting in a non-Muslim India. Jammu in the South of the state has a Hindu majority population, ethnically similar to neighboring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh; Ladakh in the North of the state has predominantly Buddhist and Muslim population, ethnically similar to neighboring Tibet. Both are fine being India. It is just Kashmir that is inhabited by a large majority of Muslims (97%) that cannot see itself being India. The small population of non-Muslims has diminished with each migration and a history of conversions over decades and centuries. It is this geographically small portion that is the tinderbox of violence. It is this beautiful valley that was called Heaven on Earth and has now been turned into hell by the Islamic separatist violence. It is the majority of inhabitants of this small area (not of the state) who are clamoring for azadi (independence) for this small land of Kashmir. The diversity of the state fits perfectly well within diverse India, but this diversity does not belong to the green-flag waving, stone pelting separatists of Kashmir.
It has been a political compulsion for every party in the game to keep the disparate parts of this former princely state cobbled together. Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh have nothing at all in common. Each has its own dominant ethnicity, its own dominant religion, its own topography, its own climate, its own diverse culture, its own distinct major language. No other state in the region has such intra-state diversity. Even India’s linguistic reorganization of states in the 1950s did not result in a division of J&K because of its “special status”. India apparently wants to keep the state together because Jammu and Ladakh act as a bond between Kashmir and the rest of India. India perhaps thinks that separating Kashmir out will be the first step towards its complete secession from India. Pakistan, on the other hand also keeps J&K clubbed together so that it can lay claim to the whole state and perhaps negotiate away the non-Muslim areas if it comes to a negotiation. For the same reason, apparently, they named the area they occupied as AJK (Azad Jammu Kashmir) when it is neither Azad nor Jammu nor Kashmir. The languages spoken in PoK are Pahari, Mirpuri, Gojri, Hindko, Punjabi, Pashto (Source: Wikipedia) and none of these languages is even close to Kashmiri. The people living in PoK are ethnically different from Kashmiris. This also means that the LoC has created no divided families.
But what is the compulsion of Kashmiri separatists to keep talking about J&K, when they actually are only bothered about Kashmir? Kashmiri Muslims, in their arguments against Indian rule say that they are ethnically different, they have a different dominant religion, and so on. Most of them don’t see themselves as Indians. But then, it is exactly those things that set them apart from Ladakhis and Jammuites, who do see themselves as Indians. In fact, Kashmiri Muslims have been fighting against the rule of Dogra King from Jammu even before they started fighting against Indian rule. So, how do they resolve this paradox? How can they lay claim to other conquests or purchases of the Dogra king when they fought against being under the Dogra king himself. Ladakh, Baltistan, and Gilgit were not even part of the state when Dogras purchased it from the British. Apparenlty, Kashmiris have two main reasons for talking about J&K, rather than Kashmir — one, since Pakistan no longer remains a flauntable destination, and with Islamic extremism having lost its flavor the world over, they need to be seen as desirous of a “secular azadi”, rather than an “Islamic accession to Pakistan”; secondly, it gives them something to bargain for with India.
The fact that Kashmir is actually a very small part of Jammu and Kashmir has other ramifications too. Since Jammu and Ladakh are happy being part of India, it makes no sense to impose so called “azadi” on them. Now that leaves Kashmir with its 15000 sq km area as one of world’s smallest land locked countries – bigger than only Vatican City, Luxembourg and couple of other non-countries. How valid and how long-lived will this “independence” driven by Islamic fanaticism be? Obviously, since they will have just divorced India, they will be absorbed into Pakistan in no time. This is what some of the Kashmiri leaders want in the first place, but is that what most Kashmiris are bargaining for? Will they get a special status like Article 370 in Pakistan? Does such a small land area have enough resources to sustain itself as a country?
The fact that Kashmir is actually a small part of Jammu and Kashmir also negates the “democracy logic” for separation of Kashmir from India. Yes, majority is authority in a democracy, but the majority concentrated in a 7-15% area of a state taking or influencing a decision for the whole state is equally undemocratic for the rest of the state. Why would a Dogra person living in Kathua want to live under Nizam-e-Mustafa? Kashmir is flanked on three sides by areas which are definitely India, and on the fourth side by an area occupied by Pakistan. For a sovereign democratic country, how large does a locality have to be to give its residents a right of self-determination? For the sake of democracy, does it make sense to ask a Muslim majority mohalla in Hyderabad or Meerut whether they want to stay in India? In fact, if we give any credence to Kashmiri Hindus’ demand for their piece of the homeland (Panun Kashmir), which they want to be an integral part of India, Kashmiri separatists are left with even less of a “country”.
In retrospect, the only solution that would have made more sense would have been, in 1947, to carve out the valley and give it to Pakistan. That did not happen because of the incongruent composition of the state — a Hindu king ruling a state composed of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim regions. If that had happened, the region would have been much more peaceful. My community (the Kashmiri Hindus) would have been settled in other parts of India, just like other migrants from Pakistan were. Whether Kashmiri Muslims would still have been happy, it is hard to tell. But I am sure there would have been no “freedom movement”. Now, with hindsight being 20/20, Kashmiris should thank heavens for the incidents of 1947 and be happy they are not part of the failed state of Pakistan.
Azadi just doesn’t make any sense to me. If Kashmiri Muslims see themselves primarily as Muslims aligned with Pakistan, then accession to Pakistan makes sense. If they see themselves as secular, inclusive people, then what is wrong with being part of India? All others in the state, other than Muslims of the valley, see themselves as Indians.
As an Indian, I see it clearly that the trouble in the valley has reached cancerous proportions. Although it is hard to stop the rest of the country from bleeding in case of an extreme measure, it may make more sense to either cure it completely or cut it off. Either integrate the valley completely into India (no Article 370, no autonomy, no special status) or cut it off. Blast the Banihal Tunnel and let them go to…. heaven. Kashmiris should however stop the hypocrisy of secularism, azadi and caring about Jammu and Ladakh. Go be “independent” or join Pakistan and see if your future generations are thankful to you for that. Given the small size of Kashmir, and the size of area already with Pakistan and China, it won’t make much difference to India’s map. And then, who is to stop us from keeping showing it in India’s map? 🙂
It is painful to see the violence, the killings, the inconveniences in Kashmir. But why are people getting killed? Isn’t the presence of army in Kashmir the consequence, rather than the reason, of the separatist movement? If the religion inspired protests end in Kashmir, would anyone be hurt? Kashmiri separatists know the answer to this. They know they can stop getting their children killed any day, but then, how will they get Sharia and Nizam-e-Mustafa?
However, no-one in the Indian government has the willpower to facilitate either of the extreme solutions — full integration or full severance. So, it is in the interest of Kashmiri Muslims to go for status quo ante: give up fighting, stop the anti-India jihad and start going to schools, offices, cinemas, gyms, even bars. Go into pre-1989 mode, sans Hindus. Hindus have already been pushed out – they will never return. They have never returned in the past — just keep renewing your fake invitations. You can continue dominating the rest of the state. With Article 370 intact, you make sure you can settle down anywhere in India, but no outsider settles down in Kashmir. So, you can have the best of everything. Just drop the stones.

20-Sep-2010
An update: Read my next post on the subject: Is Kashmir Not Even That Big?. This is based on additional information from the BBC site.

123 replies on “Kashmir Is Too Small For Azadi”

I’ve been following this renewed Kashmir problem for the past few months and read a lot articles and editorials since then. However, this is undoubtedly the most brilliant piece on this issue that I’ve came across. For me, it is an eye opener and unbiased view of actual situation. I do agree with each and every point you’ve discussed here.

आँखें खोल देने वाला बहुत ही जानकारी पूर्ण लेख। सच तो यह है कि क्या अलगाववादी और क्या कश्मीर के राजनीतिक नेता सब भारत का शोषण कर रहे हैं। अलगाववादी देश में आग लगाकर और राजनीतिक पार्टियाँ देश के साथ रहने की भारी कीमत वसूल रहे हैं।
अगर भारत सरकार पुराने समय में सही कदम उठाती तो आज ये दिन न देखना पड़ता। नेहरु और इन्दिरा की गलतियों को आज पूरा हिन्दुस्तान भुगत रहा है।
और एक बात आप क्या समझते हैं कि कश्मीर पाकिस्तान को मिल जाय तो वह शान्त हो जायेगा। कश्मीर तो उसके जिहाद का एक हिस्सा मात्र है, वह मिल जाने पर उसका फ्रंट जम्मू और लद्दाख होगा, वहाँ भी वही सब होगा। सभी गैर-मुस्लिमों को मार भगा दो और बाद में मुस्लिम बहुलता के नाम पर अलग होने की माँग शुरु।

Dear Raman,
Your article throws up a very different perspective about the Kashmir problem. No one has touched this very important point. All politicians and policy makers have missed this point so far. Hope they read this.
Since Pakistan as well as Independence seeking parties hav always insisted on plebiscite in entire J&K and not in Kashmir alone, we should have long back accepted this. If we conduct it in entire J&K, an overwhelming majority will vote for India.
All the best. Keep writing.

We also need to understand that the common man hardly has a say. Common man, when given a choice has definitely opted for status quo, if you take into consideration the results of last elections. The common man neither wants Pakistan nor Nizame-mustafa. The whole issue is actually the powerlessness of the common man in his individual capacity. The trouble makers are mostly Government employees who get a day off due to strikes or unemployed youth who get some money and fun out of it. They are incited by politicians who get power and money both because of these issues. Who would have allowed someone like Mehbooba Mufti to rub shoulders with the likes of LK Advani or Manmohan Singh otherwise. You should have seen her poise during one of the recent all party meetings on Kashmir.

This is a most sensible and realistic, even brave analysis of the situation. But as you say no politician wants to face the truth. They are mortally scared of being dubbed anti-secular.
This so-called secularism has been so much abused, distorted and defaced that it has lost all credibilty.
The only solution, as you say, is for the separatists to realise the futility of their jihadist tactics. But do they have that capability?

This article is totally rubbish. It is far far away from truth. It is an indian biased article like everything. It is not an eye opener but deceiver. india is deceiving its own people.

Truth about Kashmir is that indian forces are killing innocent Kashmiri people. And these Kashmiris now wanna get rid of indian brutal rule.
from June 11 2010 to now indian forces killed 102 innocent Kashmiris, most of them teenagers, and many of them between 9-14 of age.
Wake up indians wake up.

Good article.
Excuse my ignorance but I’d be grateful for an answer to 3 questions- how would a small Kashmir for the separatists impact on
1) Indus Water treaty? Would this small Kashmir have its knife to the jugular of water safety? (I don’t know)
2) Do we need Kashmir to get to Ladakh? (is there an alternative way to get to them?
3)Would there be an exchange of populations in this eventuality and could Ladakh survive this economically?
Many thanks

Thanks everyone for your comments.
@Owais
Please read the second last paragraph of my article for your answer. I would have welcomed it if you had given a counter argument instead of calling it all rubbish.
@Vivek
I do not have a good answer to your questions. I hope another reader can answer those. In any case, I am not advocating Kashmir’s secession. I am just saying it is a body part gone bad, which should be cured or amputated. Either of those things will happen, I am doubtful. It is more likely to remain a pestering wound for the near future. To Q.3, I am not sure what exchange of populations you mean. Most non-Muslims have been kicked out of Kashmir already. Others will leave, hopefully in a peaceful manner. I don’t think there will be a transfer of Muslims into Kashmir. Even some of Kashmiri Muslims settled in India may not return, given the future of an “independent” Kashmir.

This article is an eye-opener. So many things that I knew nothing about. I always thought that India has about 2/3rd of J&K (area- wise) and Pakistan 1/3rd but Wikipedia data sees to say Pakistan has larger area under their control than India. What is the break-up population-wise? I think India and Hindus and Buddhists in J&K will be better of without Muslims in the valley and their jihad. What is Nizam-e-Mustafa? Secularism of Kashmiri Muslims is abundantly clear from their treatment of fellow Hindus in the valley!

@Vivek, answer to your second question is yes. There is route through Manali Himachal pradesh.It passes through remote areas so it is not the preffered route.
I don’t think ladakh is in any way dependent on Kashmir. They maybe dependent on the state government but not on valley itself. The support could easily be replaced by central government.
I would also like to emphasize that ladakh may be a Buddhist majoirity region but there is significant population of Muslims there (approx 30%
) and they are proud to be indians.
@owais
Empty vessels make more nosie. Learn about history of kashmir before you comment. It army brutalizes civilians your mujahadeen are not saints killing women and children in Kashmir

Very well researched Raman. Its a pity how the western media treats the matter.
I had once once read Madhu Kiswar’s article and had this feeling that somehow the Abdullahs are hand in gloves in causing this sudden stir. It is surprising to see how media now highlights the point that the long proposed India’s theory of Pakistan’s hand has all been false and the struggle is NOW totally indigenous. I think its either a quite meticulous plan again by Pakistan and probably hand in gloves with supporters here to propagate this new opinion, or the struggle was indeed a genuine freedom fight.
Nevertheless, what ISI couldn’t achieve through years of gun power and belligerence is now being achieved without much effort, thanks to the blind eye turned by Indian politicians on this matter and thinking a militarization of the region would solve the issue.
Kashmiris thinking of great miracles on gaining azadi and joining Pakistan don’t have to go far to know how Pakistan behaved with the Muslim brethren who migrated to Pakistan from India during 1947 partition. The Mujahirs have always been discriminated against and their leaders have to live in exile. A MQM senior leader was recently gunned down in London.
But I am still happy that the issue was rekindled. I think its time the dispute had its full and final settlement, but whichever it goes I am afraid India will have to lose.

Kaul Saab,
Its indeed the best article on J&K Problem & kudos to your writing, very well written & yeah either amputate it or get proper medication is the only ILAAJ of this kashmir problem.
god bless…

Amazing and marvelous work.. Perfectly explained, but would Indian Govt or so called largest democracy have guts to speak out loud to all. And will ever biased media show this to all Indians.. No
But hats off to your explanation.. Kaul Saeb badeh behtereen explanation chi

Great article, Hopefully people who have become the thekadars will re-think. It was interesting to watch the big fight on NDTV today in which Vikram Chandra mentioned that it may make sense for people not to be misled on Azadi again. It would be a great idea for the nationalist forces to use the information in the article to counter the propoganda.
Also they keep talking about raishumari- raishumari had option for Pak or India 0 do these people think that Pakistan will agree to go back to pre-47 demography in erstwhile J&K and then have a raishumari in which majority of people will NOT want to be part of Pakistan. An independent Kashmir is death knell for the thought of India as a country and whatever is left of Pakistan- it will lead to increased demand of azadi in Gilgit/Balistan, Baluchistan.
Hopefully better sense will prevail. It is time for India to start spending money in saving the farmers who are comiiting suicide and the other poor Hindus and Muslims of our great land India. Not sure why the Govt doesnt decide to go for pay for work and if the Govt employees want to go on hartal let them not be paid.

excellent piece of study and opinion. Needs serious attention by politicians and patriots alike. we always new these facts but somehow new delhi based politicians have always ignored them. Anyway i would like to add few more things
i) Media and government always address terrorists as kashmiri separatists/militants. correction: they are kashmiri muslim terrorists/separatists
ii) kashmir or kashmiri should not be made synonymous with muslims of the valley. Kashmiri hindus ney Battas have a much older connection with kashmir

The author wants to mislead the people by saying that this is Kashmir and this is not. The author belongs to that community which from ages want to divide the state on the basis of religion, but we Kashmiries believe that state of J&k is one. Mr author please please and please stop dividing the state on the basis of religion. I know you people are enjoying privilege of government by having ten ration cards at home getting free ration (sugar, rice and wheat) and monthly stipend. You people cannot understand agony of Kashmiries. We are being killed brutally by occupied Indian forces. If you think that it only handful of people who wants freedom then why did not your Indian government is ready for referendum

One thin must be realised even after decades of violence nd bloodshed its thhe kashmiri pandits who have emerged as the gainers,,,,,,frm gettting amenities nd bounties by the government of india,,,,,,
the ongoing reaction of urs seems to be reflective of islamophobia,,,,
might i not remind of Mr.Jagmohans the den governors plot of massacaring muslims of J&k overnite..in return u were promised but it couldnt happen…as the rebellion recurred nd did not die down…so its absolutely unprofessional nd facist on ur part to call d genuine sentiments of a kashmiri muslim even if he isnt engaging in stoone peltin a terrorist….the movement in kashmir is a leaderless movement its not about the hurriyat,jeelani..mirwaiz its a “”people”” movement….
so dont sabotage the isssue….

Great Article,
Owais is parotting what he has been taught right right from the day he was born
So called Owais’s have Zero tolerance towards comments and is understood

Boss, this is the most frank and on your face article I have read in all my life on Kashmir. Being a Kashmiri Hindu, migrated to Jammu in 1989 and I know how non-J&K Indians get mightly confused over J&K. I have faced questions like is Jammu a city in Kashmir, am I a Brahmin from Jammu, Kashmiri means being a muslim, how come I am a Hindu and that too Brahmin!
All these from Indians. No doubt that Indians have failed miserably in securing Kashmir. Even a Pandit, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru failed to grasp the politics of Kashmir because though he was a Kashmiri Pandit his forefathers had left Kashmir long before.
They way you have explained things here are just perfect. Good work Brother…

This article touches my heart as it echos my thoughts on Kashmir. Raman this is the best article I have seen on kashmir. I hope this article gets a wider audience.

good one…Indian govt. should not cede to their demands to partially withdraw the AFSPA…it doesn’t make sense that our soldiers r expected to first get a search warrant from the magistrate before counter insurgency or at a time when they r caught in ambush …
@owais…….They r not killing for wrong reasons……In democracy peaceful protest is allowed….stone pelting and hoisting Pakistan’s flag on Indian soil can’t be defined as a way of doing that…Ask the separatist leaders of Kashmir who r working as an undercover agent of Pakistan…Why they r spoiling the life of the thousands of children of the valley while their own children r pursuing higher education in different parts of the world and living a safe and secure life???

Indeed very well thought out and researched piece of writing.
Unintended consequences of the cessation would create future water resources problems and constant future encroachment into other parts of J&K state and eventually India. Pakistan is going to be fighting us eternally no matter what and now add to that China also.
It is better we fight them in Kashmir and hold the line no matter what it costs. As for as Kashmiri muslims they are a very small pawn in this power play directed by ISI.

Bestest of the article i have read regarding kashmir.. It needs to be out to each and every corner of Kashmir so that people of kashmir know about these facts. I am sure many of them will drop down the stones. And they need to do this asap.. it is already late and affecting people all over J&K. Very good work brother.. i am spreading your voice to as many people as I can.

What about the Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Punch, Rajouri and Udhampur districts that comprise 90% of the Jammu region where the sentiment of the Azadi as strong as that in the valley. We can say that only two smaller (in area) districts of the Jammu region comprising of Jammu and Kathua districts may not like to get independence from India. What about the Kargil in the Ladakh region? How do you say that they are for India? It is completely biased and lopsided story to hoodwink those who are ignorant of the facts. I feel that there is a need for a democratic approach to determine the wish of the majority of the people in the region. UN monitored plebsite is probably the best way to determine the choice of the people. Why has India any problems in deciding this issue in a democratic way?

Let me add that a solution based on communal lines, as advocated by the author, is neither feasible nor acceptable to the people and the international community. Either a negotiated settlement or the plebsite is the only wayout.

you can write hundred of such articles, but truth is there is not solution to Kashmir issue now ,not a peceful one in sight [we have been trying since 47 to find a peaceful solution !!]. Pakistan will continue sending terrorists to kashmir nd india will keep fighting with them .
both countries are nuclear powers , so there wount be any peaceful solution . only solution could have been in a war . Lousy indian politicians leaved the golden option to get whole of kashmir twice in two wars , 1965 war and 1971 war .
and we still have same mentality [read gandhi thinking] Politicians around .
if they give indian army control of situation for 1 month, it will be solved

It definitely is the best article on Kashmir. I WISH IT IS WIDELY PUBLISHED. I didn’t know that Kashmir is just a small part of the area dominated by Muslims. To me, J&K – KASHMIR with 7% land area surrounded by the rest of India is somewhat India should handle differently.
A great article. Circulate it.

Thanks again for everyone’s comments.
@Patterson
I really hope that in spite of your non-Kashmiri name you have a first hand knowledge of the region. Do you really believe that the recent incursion of terrorists in Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Punch, Rajouri and Udhampur can be termed as “sentiment for azadi”? If that is what you have been told, I would suggest you to get another opinion. Even Kargil, which is inhabited by Shia Muslims does not have any azadi movement. Give me a non-jehadi link to suggest otherwise. Do you think all Muslim majority regions in India want out? I read somewhere on the internet that “Kargil which is 80% muslims (mostly shia) actually helped Indian Army fight off Pakistani invaders in 1999.” However, I don’t mind being convinced otherwise. Protests against (rumored) Koran burning is one thing, and protesting against Indian rule is another.

It is very informative and inspiring article well written with full details and facts intact. The situation as on today is pathetic as framed and drafted by the community itself. Azadi has been always there, the state has been enjoying all the peripherals and baskets of gifts financially and otherwise too from India and others too,they claimed azadi after the Hindus were thrown off the state, this is cancerous infection which is taking its toll on the ignorant masses. Kashmir valley has lost its essence and beauty which was pre89 era, my blood boils, my eyes get moist, whenI see the youth is being used for stone pelting and ladies with their kids in their arms are protesting but for what. Azadi will never be ther on papers Azadi has to be in their minds. We have seen kashmir as peaceful and beautiful.
There was an article this last sunday that kashmir has lost one generation to militancy and another generation is losing out to drugs.

@Koul
I have been covering the region since 1990 and let me tell you that the anti-india sentiment is wide-spread among the Muslim communty (shia, sunni & others) in all the three regions. This sentiment is directly related to the Human Rights violations. In Kargil, it being almost nil, the seniment is not so apparent. But the sympathy for the Azadi is very wide spread among the Shia Muslims who however detest the Pakistani role. In Doda, Rajouri and Punch, it is expressed brazenly. In Kashmir valley, it is expressed very vociferously and violently. Every unrelated issu in the valley, including demands for utilities, ultimately culminates into india bashing. Everybody in Delhi is well aware of these ground realties and have been trying to tilt this balance with very little success. In fact, the events of the last three summers have surprised all of us. I must say it here that India has always mishandled Kashmir and is responsible for gross human rights violations in the region. I feel that this 7% figure is quite misleading and shall not help an indepedent and objective analyis of the Kasmir problem.

@Faisal
@Farhan
Thanks for your comments. Sorry for missing them before.
Another myth that needs to be broken is that Jagmohan was responsible for Kashmiri Hindus’ migration. Did Jagmohan sent letters to every Hindu home to leave, or did loudspeakers in the mosques ask them to leave? Did Jagmohan put notices in newspapers? Was Bitta Karate Jagmohan’s man? Were the notices pasted on Hindu homes sent by Jagmohan? Were Jagmohan’s men according a hero’s welcome to kidnappers, murderers, and airplane hijackers on the streets of Kashmir? The conditions created by Islamic terrorists were such that it had become impossible for us to even live the subdued life that we were used to there. Our own Muslim friends and well-wishers came to us and told us they could no longer guarantee our safety. That is when we left. This is a big myth spread by you people that Jagmohan asked Hindus to leave and wanted to kill Muslims. None of that is true.
There is no denying the fact that while some KPs are still suffering in camps, most of us did well and progressed, partly because of our own education and resilience, and partly because of selective help we got from certain quarters in the country. None of that compensated what we lost in the valley. However, when anyone leaves home to go to the wider world, whether one leaves a village to move to the city, leaves Kashmir to move to Delhi, or leaves Delhi to move to London or New York, there is always personal advancement but loss of roots and loss of community. This is good if the departure is voluntary and there is a chance of return, but very bad when it is forced with no chance of return as it happened in our case.
The conclusion is that Kashmiri Muslims are suffering in Kashmir, Kashmiri Hindus have their own suffering due to loss of their homeland, and both are a result of Kashmiri Muslims’ decision to fight a fight which is not justified from our point of view.
I am not saying it is a handful of people who want freedom. It is definitely a majority of people, but that majority of people is concentrated in a small part of the state and they should not talk about the whole state. Personally, I will be fine if they give you a chance to take Kashmir and do whatever you want with it. But letting the population in Kashmir decide the future of Jammu or Ladakh will be unjust, don’t you think? Moreover, if you take the whole state, you will be left with some of the same troubles that you have now. In Kashmiri there is a saying “tsalaha chaani daadi tse heath sete” (I am running away from the troublesome person, but taking him along). If you are ready for a secular J&K, then what is wrong with secular India? If you give up fighting you can have freedom and peace within India. Peace or eternal strife, the choice is yours.

Patterson; “Let me add that a solution based on communal lines, as advocated by the author, is neither feasible nor acceptable to the people and the international community. Either a negotiated settlement or the plebsite is the only wayout.

Let us see Gilani, Ayesha Andabi and various Pakistani-backed outfits that have ethnically cleansed Hindus leading to exodus of all non-Muslims from the valley, destroyed and burnt their homes, with sole aim of establishing Sharia law are secular!

@Patterson
I do not know from where you have got your information but as person who has lived in Srinagar, Ramban, Poonch and Jammu I can say that these regions definitely “DO NOT” have any pro-Azadi movements like in Kashmir. The majority of terrorists caught or killed in Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Poonch and Rajouri are foreigners and if you read newspapers from J&K they have news about confrontation between locals and terrorists on regular basis. You will not find “any” Baderwahi, Poonchi or any person from Ramban living and making a living in Kashmir, but in Jammu you will find scores and scores of them living among the local population without any clashes till date.
About Udhampur, well lay your hands on any news item during Amarnath Land row and you will find that people of Udhampur were even more zealous in demonstrating against the revocation of land to Amarnath trust than the people of Jammu.
I do not remember any clash between Army and Civilians or Civilians and Govt on the issue of azadi in these regions. Even during the highly charged environment during Amarnath Land, the people in this region did not protest against the allocation of land to Amarnath trust.
It’s nice for people to know about us, but do not add to the already increasing confusion!

@Patterson
Your spelling my name as @Koul says a lot about your identity. Only a Kashmiri can use Kaul and Koul interchangeably. But it is good because you have a better understanding of the region than I thought, even if you choose to misrepresent it on purpose. Baaki Vivek ne aap ki baat ka jawaab de diya hai.

an old kashmiri folk song …
………….. Nyyay trevev MMaay Theviv Panven …
this needs to be aired again and again in Kashmir …

My frustration is that these demographic facts are well known amongst the Kashmiri’s and yet Indian and International media does not undertsand it. Kashmiri separatist and mainstream leaders have a vested interest in misrepresenting KAshmir as being same as J&K. I hope this blog gains full circulation.

@Ashutosh: Giving Kasmir the so called Freedom or to Pakistan will result in India loosing Ladakh as well, reason being, the way to Ladakh through Manali, It remains closed for a good part of a year.

@Patterson, if paople of Jammu & Ladakh province of J&K also want azadi ,how come they r not fighting for it,How come so called brutal indian army is not committing human rights violations there, how come teenagers r not getting killed there?

Mr kaul if I agree with one of your view point,that majority of people who want freedom is concentrated in a small part of the state and they are small in number cannot make difference then why is not your Indian government is ready for referendum?because they know that majority of people of J&K are in favor of freedom.

@Vivek Bhat,
Udhampur is not only Udhampur town, it also includes large geographic areas in Gool, Arnas, Gulabgar, Reesi and many other upper reaches where people are fighting against Indian forces. These areas are unsafe and completely out of bounds for ordinary people like us because of the ragging turmoil.
@KAUL
Sorry to mis-spell your name. I have a friend here KOUL as well who stays in Kashmir for almost six months and has been one of my important sources of the pre-1947 Kashmir history. Another Koul, a linguistic teacher has given me lessons on Kashmiri in a far-off place in the east . Personally, I feel that the exodus of Kashmir Hindus (whatever the reasons and motivation)has been the biggest blow to the secular fabric of Kashmir. I will appreciate, if, you will honestly tell me that, other than the emotional bondage with Kashmir, what are the stakes of the Kashmir Hindus,if, Kashmir get Independence or something like that. Sooner or later, it is moving towards a solution that may not be acceptable to most of the Kashmir Hindus and militant extremists. But that is how solutions are arrived at in a democratic set-up (Majority opinion)

Dear Mr. Kaul… Thanks for this Article..I loved the way you have segregated the various points related to kashmir which at the surface level look totally interwined to general indian population and world community..Kudos..it might be a serendipity but probably the time you were writing this one..i was reading an TOI published full page interview of Mr.Masarat Alam Bhat -a styled muslim league leader and had very simillar notions coming to my mind as have been depicted by this article…
I however..wish to ask…would we all just keep thinking & writing about Kashmir..Don’t you think we now necessarily have to bring in these points of view at much larger public platforms that just on blog site (in your case) and social networking site facebbook(in my case)…i would welcome your comments on this issue?

Do you know who are the real stakeholders of Jammu and kashmir and where does kashmiri Pandits stand:Read our latest post on our website .Its just 2.2% of the total population of Jammu and Kashmir.You have no authority to speak for remaining 97.8% .

@Faisal
I did not say the people who want to separate from India are small in number. I said they are a majority but concentrated in a small area and should only talk about that area, instead of imposing their will on people of other regions. As far as referendum is concerned, first of all that is for the government to answer. I am just giving my opinion as an Indian citizen. But, as a citizen I can say couple of things: According to terms of the referendum, forces were to come out of Pak Occupied areas. Are you asking for that? Also lot of other irreversible changes have happened in the region since 1947. Just saying referendum is not enough. Kashmiris can decide for Kashmir, not for Jammu. Should they? That is the point of my article. If ever a referendum is held, should it be separately held for different regions? In fact other regions are not even asking for a referendum. What about the Dards in areas like Gurez and some other border areas, where I understand there is no azadi sentiment? Should they decide for themselves or just be voted for by the Kashmiri separatists? The point of my article is that if you believe in Kashmiri exclusivity and Kashmiriyat as your being separate, then why are you including other areas in your demand? I personally would like to see the valley go, so I am kind of with you. The only thing is I cannot see why you guys cannot think of living with us. If you leave religion aside, we can all be prosperous together.

@thekashmiris and @Patterson
I have written this article not as a Kashmiri Pandit but as an Indian citizen. It is just that compared to other Indians, being from Kashmir gives me more insight into the nature of the issue . However, I speak for 99% of Indians who subscribe to the nation’s integrity. Although some Kashmiri Pandits are fighting for a place in Kashmir and many of them will disagree with me, I personally do not see a chance for us to return to Kashmir. So, whatever stake we had in Kashmir, we have lost it, or rather have been robbed of it. But you don’t want to take Jammu away from us too, do you? 🙂
Although our migration from Kashmir was forced, most such migrations are one way streets. Even before the mass-migration in 89-90, we did not have opportunities in Kashmir proportional to our abilities. Though there was a facade of communal harmony there was a certain kind of apartheid that prevailed — in jobs, in educational institutions, and in society in general. Even now the KMs don’t desist from using derogatory terms like dali-battas and dali-gadwas for us on Twitter, etc. These and other name-calling we used to face in daily life. So, we were leaving in bits and pieces anyway. When we are speaking against Kashmir’s secession, we speak as Indians, not Kashmiris. I have even given up that much to say that India should let Kashmir go, if it can’t cure the malaise. Just don’t force your religious bigotry on non-Kashmir regions. It is like a parent painfully letting a cantankerous child go, but asking him not to talk about taking the other kids along.

रमन भाई मैंने आजतक कश्मीर समस्या पर इतना अच्छा /सटीक लेख कभी नहीं पढ़ा। अनुरोध है कि इसे हिंदी में भी अनुवाद करके पोस्ट करो। लेख वाकई बेहतरीन है। इसे अधिकाधिक लोगों द्वारा पढ़ा जाना चाहिये।

Dear Kaul!
Kudos to you!!
Thanks for posting this piece of article and forcing me to think and re-invent myself!!!
There are several posts on several websites related to Kashmir issues from various angles well researched and well addressed but at the outset I sincerely admit that this too is a great piece of writing provoking the thought process. It has touched the nerve and triggered the desired chain reaction!!!!
But at the same time I have few observations to make:
1) When I read it first time, I knew that you had limited your research to geographical orientation of Kashmir. But you could not prevent yourself from falling into the trap of socio-political-economic-religious dimensions ruling the whole issue. You have managed to just brush through these issues even though against your wishes. The reason being that this trap has such a gravitational pull like a black hole in space that sucks everything into it and leaves no trace of the identity that got sucked into it. Only outcome being black hole growing stronger and much stronger leading to a big bang ultimately.
2) Then I read it several times all the while when the comments from different angles kept on pouring in and added many dimensions to the article including those ones that were taking shape within me. And I am sure many more dimensions will be added to this article.
3) Some of the other dimensions that have not been discussed so far in this article and I would like to draw the attention of all the contributing participants are listed hereunder:
a) Genesis of the word Kashmir itself.
b) Birth, history and progress of Islam in the whole world. This is essential because of two reasons. One reason is to understand Islam, particularly its violent nature. The other reason is highlighted in subsequent points (c), (d) & (e). Though the present article posted by Mr. Kaul did not have the scope for it but I am sure the subsequent posts on this article cannot prevent themselves from discussing this issue. And I would advise all to search the statements
“GENESIS & PROPAGATION OF HINDUISM”
“GENESIS & PROPAGATION OF ISLAM”
“VIOLENT NATURE OF HINDUISM”
“VIOLENT NATURE OF ISLAM”
“WAS PROPHET MOHAMMED A PEDOPHILE?”
on any search engines and I am sure all readers will be surprised by the analysis offered by various sites for these statements. And if participant is keener for academic purposes please do search for following statements too:
“GENESIS & PROPAGATION OF CHRISTIANITY”
“VIOLENT NATURE OF CHRISTIANITY”
“LIFE & TIMES OF JESUS CHRIST”
“ISLAM VERSUS CHRISTIANITY”
“ISLAM VERSUS HINDUSIM”
“CHRISTIANITY VERSUS HINDUISM”
This is important because the three religions are the topmost religions all over world and comparisons are obvious.
c) Progress of Islam in Southeast Asia in general (particularly undivided India – Vrihat Bharat that included Kandahar, Pakistan, India as of now, Nepal, Bangla Desh, Rangoon, etc.) and Kashmir in particular.
d) The growth of Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and other religions – born out of Hinduism as a sub-sect and their growth as self-righteous wonderful religions themselves.
e) The key principle of AHIMSA underlying Hinduism and the religions grown out of it vis-à-vis the violent undertones of Islam.
f) The exodus (I term it a holocaust or genocide) of Kashmiri Pandits (KP’s) from Kashmir Valley. Well this issue has been touched in the subsequent discussions and contributions but I feel on periphery. No KP has dared to lay bare his / her bleeding wound.
g) The lack of leadership in KP’s. The pathetic disharmony amongst KP’s and the resulting self abnegation or self denial mode of KP’s of not willing to go back to Kashmir Valley and recover all that that belongs to them righteously.
h) The kind of facilities provided to Kashmiri populace (read it Muslim population for there are no Hindus available in valley now). How can you justify rice a kilogram per two rupees in Kashmir vis-à-vis a kilogram per ten rupees in rest of the country that is India? This was around two decades back. The things may be little different today but ratio probably will still be the same or may be has widened further. Our Kashmiri Muslim brothers may please enlighten us on this issue. As on today, the cheapest rice available in rest of India (other than Kashmir) is costing Rupees Thirty per kilogram distributed through PDS (Public Distribution System) exclusively meant for the sector that is below poverty line. And all participants please note that example of rice is just a symbolic representation of facilities enjoyed by Kashmiri populace. I will be happy if I find a surprise here that counters my observation.
i) The current rate of unemployment amidst youth in Kashmir! Is it not prevalent on the same (or may be even bigger) scale in rest of the country? Is it attributed to non-development alone? Are not there other factors that contribute to this issue? And topmost contributing factor being the population explosion against the limited resources and opportunities. Whereas Hindus and other religions have been quick enough to recognize this fact and have taken corrective & preventive measures, what corrective & preventive measures have been taken by Islam to arrest this explosion within its frame of social / society engineering?
j) The recent outburst by stone-pelters on the streets of Kashmir, they claim was in crucible for many years. Yes, I am in full agreement with it albeit for different reasons. It was in crucible for years together. It was being cooked to precipitation for week-long protest by Mr. Masarat Alam Bhat in jail. The fuel was ignited in March this year and dish was cooked to its taste by fomenting it as per the plans of Mr. Masarat Alam Bhat culminating it into recent killer weeklong protest. Everything of these weeklong protests went precisely according to plans and wishes of Mr. Masarat alam Bhat even though some lives were lost. (Please read The Times of India dated 17.09.2010) And my dear Mr Muslim Friends and ilk please wake up to reality that you and your causes are being hijacked and mis-utilized by rabid personalities like Mr. Masarat Alam Bhat, Ms Asiya Andrabi (her own kids are studying abroad and getting the best possible education for them), Ms Mehbooba Mufti Syed (whose sister, Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed was supposedly kidnapped by terrorists while she was enjoying all her comforts back home at official residence of one muslim fellow in Sopore and had taken whole country for ransom and in return for release of some dreaded terrorists Sheikh Abdul Hameed and Nabi Butt from Indian Jails. And please recall Mr. Yaseen Malik was one of the key players in this episode. Read electronic edition of much respected Pakistani newspaper Dawn dated 19.03.2003) and the rabid clan of all such people.
k) Human rights violations in Kashmir. Well any such violations are to be condemned and discouraged out rightly. There is no replacement for loss of life in any form and more so importantly for human life. (This is what lies at the core of Hinduism that gave birth to philosophy of AHIMSA). But what does a soldier do when he is performing his duties against all odds? Does he not need to protect himself against these hostile odds? And beware my friends the odds in Kashmir throw many surprises for these soldiers. The philosophy of AHIMSA does not teach a soldier to be a coward. On the contrary it needs a great deal of courage to practice it which only an immortal soul like Mahatma could practice. It is beyond the capacity of us mortals. So if the chief of defense services creates a net of safety around his soldier to safeguard him and his rights where does he go wrong? I remember one particular incident that my grandmother related to me once. Sometime (around forty years back), when things were very peaceful in Kashmir Valley, an army truck was being driven through the streets, a chicken flew out of nowhere and got entangled into the wheels of the truck. The whole community descended on the army truck abusing the hapless soldiers and India and shouting pro-Pakistani slogans. Wow! Great!! Was that chicken a citizen of Pakistan? Did these soldiers deliberately invite the poor chicken to fly into the truck? Is it not rabidity at its peak? Did these poor soldiers have no rights? Were they not to be protected against such rabid mindset? Is it not violence? Is it not representation of violent Islam at its best? So what human rights are we talking of? Are we not playing sham with this phrase? Is it that human rights exist only for one side that shouts its throat soar for an injury grave or trivial, real or imaginary and it does not exist for the other side? Kashmiri Muslim must learn the ways of AHIMSA first. Islam must adopt and practice AHIMSA first.
l) Rampant corruption in state administration in Kashmir. Who is governing state? Hindu? Kashmiri Pandit? Is National Conferrence a Hindu Party? Is PDP a Hindu Party? Or any other party in Kashmir province being governed by Hindu? So who is to blame? Hindu? India? Wake up my dear friends hold yourselves against mirror and question yourself. Test your own integrity against your much beaten word Kashmiriyat. You are fooling yourself. You are living in a world of self deception.
m) My dear Muslim friends from Kashmir. What is your identity? Travel back in time for couple of generations. You will know your forefathers were Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to accept Islam by the barbarian act of Aurangzeb and his cronies. Do you not still carry the family names as Bhat, Pandit, Mattoo, Chaudhary, etc., etc. albeit with changes in spellings but maintaining the phonetic essence? And Pakistan disowned you for there was no place for Mujahirs in its state. So to prove to Pakistan and to rest of the Islamic world that you are more Muslim than any other Muslim in Pakistan or rest of the world you resorted to methods of blackmailing Indian state
Thus said so far I would like to add few more points before I close. The details for points from 3(a) to 3(e) can be browsed through any search engines on internet and I advise all readers to enlighten themselves before adding any remark here so that I gain from your point of view and become richer by reading and understanding you. The points from 3(h) to 3(m) are self-explanatory and I would again love to get richer by the views and counter-views from you all.
I now take up discussion on points 3(f) & 3(g). Well Mr. Kaul you are a liar when you say that you do not want to go back to Kashmir because you have nothing at stake there. Well you do not want to go there because your professional and family commitments keep you away from Kashmir is something different than you being thrown out of Kashmir with given no choice of return. Is it not genocide / holocaust? Will you be able to find a suitable match for your offspring with in your community while you are away from Kashmir? Won’t your offspring surprise you by finding a match outside your community? Had you not been thrown out of Kashmir would your offspring not have looked for the match in your own community? Is it not genocide / holocaust?
Then where are leaders amongst Kashmiri Pandits? All are Daali Battaas. We can not unite because we have no ground. We can not have leaders because we are Daali Battas. So we are bound to suffer. So why we crib? So live the life of self denial or self abnegation by repeatedly consoling ourselves with the words that, “I DO NOT WANT TO RETURN TO KASHMIR BECAUSE ALL IS LOST FOR ME AND I HAVE NOTHING AT STAKE THERE”.
Lastly, I would advise my fellow participants to understand the pains of partition through the writings of writers of those times, Saadat Hassan Manto in particular whose grandfather was a Kashmiri Pandit. Before partition Manto was haunted by Britishers. After partition Manto migrated to Pakistan and was again haunted by Pakistani Sate for his writings. And he was termed as Badnaam Manto. Read his masterpiece Toba Tek Singh, where in he states something like, “EK GADHI KE PET SE DO GADHOON NE JANAM LIYA, EK KA NAAM HINDUSTAN RAKHA AUR DOOSRE KA PAKISTAN.” Ain’t it apt? Are you listening my Muslim friends?

@KAUL,
So for the reasons you have given, the best way to determine the choice of the people from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, should be through an independent mechanism, it could be plebscite or any other free and credible mechanism. I hope that is what should satisfy all the parties. It looks to me too simplistic and unconvincing that people of Jammu and Ladakh want to stay with India when the otherside is saying that they want independence. Let there be a democratic way to determine that choice.

@Patterson
I would say yes, as long as Jammu does not decide for Kashmir and Kashmir does not decide for Ladakh, and so on. These are pretty diverse regions and the differences in their perspectives should look neither simplistic nor unconvincing. But getting a referendum is not as easy as saying it here. Read my response to Faisal. A lot will need to happen before such a referendum is even thinkable. I am sure there are stonepelters with longer experience in regions that are higher on the world’s agenda. So, “azadi” is not as close as some of us would like to believe. Until then, we are wasting our childrens’ lives.
BTW, do you specialize in the region of Indian Kashmir or do you have similar views about self determination of Balochistan in Pakistan or East Turkistan in China? Would you recommend a referendum there too? Or, since those countries don’t count as democracies, different rules should apply to them?

@Kaul
Thanks for the reply. As most of the Kashmiris do not think themselves as India so any idea or reason put forth my any India is treated as an foreign intervention.Also as you mentioned in your reply that Kashmiri Pandits were never treated fairly by kashmiri Muslims in Kashmir, I agree and disagree both at the same time – this will be a topic in itself.By advocating that Kashmiri pandits have a good future if they opt to live if they are like now,i am 100% with you on that.Now the question arises you are so much distancing yourself and your community from Kashmir that you have literally lost a stake and say in the Kashmir so advocating your thoughts as a Kashmiri pandit or an Indian is just waste.
Also as you mentioned KP’s are referred by dali-battas and derogatory remarks by KM’s on twitter, Accepted but only after they are referred as terrorists. think which hurts more…calling dali-batta or terrorist…GOD Bless You

Let us take back our land from Pak..not the kashmir there but the whole of PAK as it belongs to India.I knwo that the end of all these misadventures of PAK will lead to Pak realising their mistake one day by losing their territory to India.

@thekashmiris
I am speaking for my country India, which is a party to the dispute. If you think that is foreign intervention that is your perspective. Besides, anyone can have their say on the subject, be it Patterson, Vivek, Faisal, Barkha Dutt, Omar Abdullah, Geelani, or anyone else. Everyone has different views. Call it foreign intervention when you don’t like the views.

Kaulji,
Please make sure Jammu and Ladakh are never mentioned as part of Kashmir in any debates. Whenever you people debate on media, please ask them to emphasise (politely like Indians or rudely like Geelani) that Jammu and Ladakh are separate entities and have nothing to do with Kashmir. Please try to get this blog published in mainstream media especially vernacular. The English media is all drama no substance.
You have done a great service to the nation by educating Indians about reality of J&K&L.

Great article . We should carve out a new state Jammu and Ladakh and carve out Kashmir as a Union Territory , retaining strategic positions so as to take posession of the land within short notice if required .
Amend Article 370 to ensure none from UT of Kashmir is allowed to relocate into Jammu / Ladakh or any other state in India , unless they pass a Legislation to allow fellow Indians to relocate into Kashmir , hopefully they wont.
Provide only their due share of revenue and dont give them any special status . let them realize their real strength .

@KOUL,
But India has agreed to a referedum in Kashmir under the UN resolution. That is not the case for Xingiang or Bolochistan. India is discussing Kashmir with Pakistan, US and EU regularly, only because Kashmir is an internationally accepted disputed territory (though India shies away from accepting the same publicly when the Hardliner Geelani asks for the same). Every year foreign delegations, Ambassodors and other agencies are visiting Kashmir for filing status reports and their visit is faciliated by the Indian State. Why? because it is a disputed territory. I agree with you that Kashmir is a complex issue and the Azadi is not round the corner but let me tell you that India can not afford the status quo as well. The maximalist positions may not bear the fruit but a solution that is senitive to the interests of all the stakeholder is being seriously discussed in Delhi, Islamabad and Srinagar. The concept and definition of Self determination, azadi and independence is being redefined in the context of finding solution to this vexed problem.

>But India has agreed to a referedum in Kashmir under the UN >resolution.
yes, but on the condition that pakistan should have moved out of kashmir (after it forcibly invaded). if pakistan vacates pok, then we can hold a plebicide.

Dear Mr Kaul
this article is the most equitable piece I have seen on the kashmir issue. it hasnt surprised me one bit that it has come from an indian and a hindu. though it did surprise me it has come from a KASHMIRI PANDIT after all the devastation you have faced for decades on end in the Valley (of death). you can rest assured no islamofascist worth his salt would ever agree to whatever is written here. if they do its nothing more than ‘taqqiya’.
there are many points on which i have similar posts elsewhere in social networkinig sites. the point these people dont really understand is article 370 has given them something no indian state can dream of getting. its pampering a child with all the wealth of the parents and leaving the rest to fend for themselves. what they dont really get it in their blind faith of their death cult is that pakistan will gobble them up in no time the moment india lets them go free. why is it so hard for them to fathom the state of PoK (the people they call their brothers) those very brothers of theirs have absolutely no rights of their own. they cant get govt jobs outside their state they are discriminated against in education and in the military. all this agitation is handiwork of people like geelani and mirwaiz who have been propped by our beloligerent neighbor – napakistan. these stone peltors are nothing but tools in the hands of vested interests. i can bet geelani will be thrown in jail or will be assasinated and other azadi leaders will meet the same fate once pakistan takes control of JK which is inevitable as i said should india decides to let it go.

@Potterson 😉
I assumed you were in it for the human angle, not the legal one, which is why I asked about your views on the strife in other regions, where there is a separatist movement going on, though it may be more suppressed and more censored than in Indian Kashmir. I can provide links if you don’t want to Google it yourself. Moreover, the purpose of my article was to basically advocate that it may make sense to let Kashmir Valley go if the blackmail of Islamist violence cannot be stopped by the Indian government. I also wanted to highlight the actual size of the “problem”. Regarding UN resolutions, as an apparent Westerner are you also recommending withdrawal of Pakistanis from Western J&K? Please also see the link I have given in my next post about Human Rights violations in that part of the state.

Excellent article Kaul. As a patriotic Indian I do believe that Kashmir should be allowed the referendum that we had promised to them and if they decide to leave us, so be it. Do not have an answer really though for the plight of KPs….
Peace to you all.
Karthik

@KAUL, Not only Pak controlled Western J&K but the Aksai Chen shall be a part of the final deal. As per the agreement between Pakistan and Chin, the soverienty of Aksai chen is subject to the final outcome of the dispute. Mr. Kaul,do we think the region-wise referendum shall make any difference to the soultion? As per the demographic statistics, all the three regions of Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu are muslim majority areas and with visible polarization of the people on religious lines, I doubt the outcome may be different. However,if the parties to the dispute agree to the region-wise referendum, I believe that it will be more fair and just and the solution could be more sustainable.

@Patterson
I am not sure where your loyalties lie and why, but according to data I have access to, Muslims are 97.16% in Kashmir Division (the smallest in area, largest in population), 30.69% in Jammu Division and 47.4% in Ladakh Division. Then, I don’t think it can be disputed that while no non-Muslims will vote for Pakistan or Separation, a good number of moderate and sane Muslims will vote for staying with India, particularly in Jammu and Ladakh Divisions. So, yes, I think it may make sense to hold a referendum and close this issue once and for all, but in no case should Kashmiris decide for the whole state.

Totally Godawesome article.Aise to kabhi socha hi nahi tha… itna sa majra hai to bhaiya.. lo aur khush raho. Are you telling us that we have been bleeding our security forces to death for 50 years for 15000 sq. km? Awesome!! I think that the 47% from Ladakh who want to be with Pakistan should migrate to Kashmir and live happily ever after in Pakistan.

Kaul , Can you help us understand the Geography a little better .
What are the strategic impacts by letting Kashmir valley go conditinally – say by getting our pound of flesh by merging it with “Azad” Kashmir – do we loose control over the rivers ?
How about Amarnath ? Is it part of the valley too ? We should not end up applying for visa to visit Amarnath as we have to for Kailash .

@sundar
Well, it is not just Amarnath, but many important Hindu religious places are in Kashmir, some thousands of years old. See http://ikashmir.net/temples/index.html and http://ikashmir.net/temples/shankracharya.html. Still, Islamists deny any link of Kashmir with India. We can only hope that Kashmiris see the futility and meanness of their struggle. Panun-Kashmir (http://panunkashmir.org/) has been asking for a Homeland for Kashmir’s Hindus, which may become relevant in case of a secession.

Kaul sahab,
I read your blog with great interest. Hving lived in Jammu for many years in my school days I have special memories of the area.
I am now sending you my ideas for a solution on Jammu, Ladkah and Kashmir. I hope you will read them with interest.
—————————————————-
Trifurcating JAMMU, LADAKH and KASHMIR-
a solution to India’s problems
Jammu and Kashmir, the northest part of united India, is our pride and yet today is crying needing our helping hand and a healing touch.
So many formulae have been tried in the J&K and yet nothing seems to work as finally the separatists and the Pakistanis start creating problems and violence. Let us now, as Indians, seriously take up the proposal for tri-furcating J&K. This makes sense seeing the history and the violence which has almost killed 50,000 people.
This will strengthen the secularism of India. If we can have separate states of Ladakh and Jammu, and Kashmir is reduced to 2500 sq km, things will be easily managable.
The Kashmir problem which looks sizeable on the world map would immediately be reduced to the size it actually is. To a narrow strip of land, 30 km by 70 km in size.
We could then use our resources to win over the hearts and minds of the people in this strip of land. As well as create a good infrastructure for tourism and industry.
Let us at this point also remember that today, as Ladkah has been hit by a cloudburst and the population out there suffers and Sikhs In the Kashmir Valley are being asked by separatists to convert to Islam and join the violent movement, it is the separatists in the valley who are hogging the headlines and consuming all of the state’s budget….
The need for this tri-furcation has never been as urgent as now….
The salient features.
a) Kashmir should be divided in such a manner that the river flow to the rest of India is unhampered. And our military and civil administration can have a better control over the borders and insurgents.
b)Terrorist violence basically happens in 2500 sq km. Once J&K is trifurcated, it would be easy for the army and the civil administration to control 2500sq km
c)A plebiscite will never happen as we are too strong to let the world force us. However in case of a hypothetical situation that it does, then India has the right of taking the vote of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir.
d) Pakistan has already integrated Baltistan as a seperate state, so we have to see what others are doing. In fact they have changed the demographic pattern of Muzzafarabad and occupied Kashmir so that Punjabis are in a majority.
e) Once kashmir is reduced to 2500 sq km, it will make the separatists realise that their dream of a small landlocked independent country is futile.
f) We can revoke section 370 for Jammu and Ladakh immediately after trifurcation so that patriotic Indians from all over the country can buy land and settle there.
g) Ladakh has Lakes, mountains, and calmness as well as Buddhist tourist spots. A huge potential exists. While Jammu attracts lakhs for the Vaishno Devi Yatra.Once they shine, Kashmiris will be inspired to give up the gun and join the mainstream
h) People of Jammu and Ladakh have time and again asked for separate states or UT status. Let us make them as states. Srinagar can be the capital of all three distinct identities of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, and would be a Union territory.
i) There is a huge section of people in Kashmir, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who always favoured India over Pakistan or freedom. They would always remain with us. Infact they would work with double zeal to get their brothers who have been misled, back into the mainstream.
j) We should remember that tri-furcation is not secession or ceding ground to Pakistan. Infact, by dividing states in the North East of India we have considerably managed to reduce the regional tensions. Further on, division of PEPSU led to three happy states of Punjab, Haryana and HImachal. And more recently, the creation of Chattishgarh, Jharkhand and Uttrakhand has led to a fast paced development of these areas….
At the end of the day all people from the J&K region would be proud to be Indian. Currently we are holding the people of Jammu and of Leh-Ladakh hostage to the political machinations of a few outsiders.
Why should we not, as Indians, push our government to start working on this tri-furcation?

What should be the fate of Kashmir, that time will decide on its own. This has been the most effective weapon over the centuries ! Over the decades, did anyone notice how Jammuites are suffering ??? How people are feeling unsafe ?
If you kashmir muslims want to create another PAK with in J&K, please GA ! You will achieve nothing . Muslims have been fighting in this globe since ages ! We havent seen any country or muslim community which is living peacefully . I dont understand what kashmir muslims ( pakis/separists) are going to achieve with independent kashmir ??????? Thsi is just your illusion !! I would request my fellow from Kashmir – lets live with peace and lets progress togather because togather we can do more .. “Koi Mahzab nahi sikhata aapas mein beir rakhna ” . We are brothers of the same soil .

Dear Mr Kaul
Truly enjoyed reading your blog, though of course did not agree on everything. More importantly, I admire the TONE of your article and comments, and your civility, which a lot of Kashmiris lose when discussing this issue. Thank you for your courteousness and sense.
A few points I’d like to put in:
1. I am technically from Jammu, but support the ongoing ‘Azaadi=autonomy’ movement. And of course a substantial portion of Jammu supports it, once we move out of Jammu and beyond, say, Udhampur. Kishtwar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Poonch, Rajouri etc and many other districts here would align themselves with the Kashmir struggle.
2. We speak Pahari, and that is almost the same as Kashmiri, barring accent, so that’s another cultural tie for a lot of us ‘nebrum’ folks.
3. While I understand your perception of the struggle being an Islamic jehad, it is not. You imply that Kashmiri Muslims are against non-Muslims, period. Very unfair I feel. There are certainly some leaders who scream fanaticism (not anymore, but yes in ’89-’90 that was the scenario). There are even some hare-brained sections of society who think this way, but they are a tiny minority. The common man is not looking for a pure Islamic state, nor will that ever happen. Kashmiris themselves are not an ideal of Islamic living, we are too liberal and Sufi in our thinking. An Islamic state needs good Muslims to accept it, and honestly, the common Kashmiri is too lax to be called that. I can tell you personally that everyone I know (i.e. my region in Doda/Kishtwar/Bhaderwah) and relatives living in the Valley, would reject a so-called Islamic state because we all know how that goes in this day and age.
4. I do not understand why we need to be apologetic about our being Muslim. Yes we are Muslims, we are proud of it, it is a very deeply connected part of our daily lives. If I say MashaAllah and InshaAllah for every small thing, it is a part of our upbringing and the Islamic culture. The same goes for our ‘Naara-e-Takbir’ and other Islamic chants. This is not an outcry against non-Muslims, it is our taking strength from our religion in times of trouble. That it has come to be seen as rabid jingoist behaviour is tragic, but understandable in today’s context, esp. post 9/11 after which Islam has got an image beating like never before.
5. The idea of Panun Kashmir – is it exclusivist, in that Kashmiri Muslims would not be allowed in? Because that is not the idea of an Autonomous J&K. Where Muslims and non-Muslims alike would live together as they do today. (With the exception of KPs who left en masse [certainly in horrible circumstances] and never returned.)
6. Ladakh is facinating. The people of Ladakh – i.e. Leh and around – (and portions of Zanskar) are so uniquely different from anything Indian or Kashmiri, and are so aligned with the Tibetan culture that it is astounding they were ever brought into the Dogra realm. They demand a UT status, and are pretty happy with the way they are. No disputes there. Let’s hope they are always out of a conflict situation, though with Pakistan and China breathing down their necks, I fear for them.
It’s such a complex situation, where all voices have to be heard, and THIS is the point we are making. You have to let the people have their voice. If Kashmiris have been agitating for 60 years now, they ought to have some reason. Hear it out. At the same time, give Jammu and Ladakh their voice. Like you said, there are even Kashmiris who would opt for India. This is what we espouse as well. Let the majority decide. If the population skew is unfair to otehr regions, let it be decided based on demographics. Jammu for Jammu, Kashmir for Kashmir, and Ladakh from Ladakh. Then again, Jammu would need to be relooked at because there are diametrically opposite views within the Jammu region. It’s very very complex.:) But thank God we can talk about it sanely.
I’m just rambling here. I’ll stop now.
Once again, really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks.

Oh, one more point.
As to Pakistan, it’s a big ‘No thank you’ from Kashmir. Obviously this is a new development and was not the case 2 decades ago, but it’s a Whole New World since then. I think today’s educated, young Kashmiri knows better, and why not.

Kaul,
This is one of the best article I read about Kashmir, you have clearly point out problems and solution/ Even government can look into solution proposed by you.
1. I also personally think Kashmir should go, it’s like cancerous body part, no matter how beautiful part is. It is causing too much money for Indian tax payers. Since it’s land locked economy will depend on Pakistan and India especially tourism.
2. Separate Jammu and Ladak, integrate with main stream India. Move few industry over there and let local population enjoy job created by industry.

@Sabbah
Good to read your comment. So, you are the minority in Jammu Division, just like I am the minority in Kashmir Division. We envy these majority wallahs. 🙂
To your comment #3: I agree many Kashmiris may not want Kashmir to be a theocratic Islamic state, but we are fooling ourselves if we say the source for the separatist movement does not come from Islam. It does. The only justification that Kashmiris have for not wanting to stay with India is that they are in a Muslim majority area. J&K was one of many princely states which became either India or Pakistan, so where does Azadi come from? Agreed it is an unfinished business of partition, so let us treat it as that. All separatists are Muslims, though all Muslims may not be separatists. There are no non-Muslim separatists in J&K. Period. Also, the people who want to keep Kashmir Sufi or secular will not have much say. It is people like Geelani and his followers who will call the shots. See the video link posted by Alok.
#4: You don’t need to be apologetic about being Muslim, and nobody expects you to. But I think religion should be important at a personal level, or at the most at social level. It should not play any part in a nation, or constitution – which is the main difference between India and Pakistan. India has lots of issues too, but at least it is crawling in the right direction. Personally, I feel scriptures written by MEN before they even knew earth went around the sun, not to speak of knowing about germs, or atoms, or computers, should be of academic interest. If others want to let their whole lives be guided by that stuff, it should be a personal thing, not something on which nations are built. India will never be a Hindu Rashtra. The assertion that slogans like “azadi ka matlab kya, la-ilaha-illalah” should not bother non-Muslims does not cut ice with me.
#5: The idea of Panun Kashmir is that Hindus never wanted Kashmir to be separated from India, so give us our share which will continue to be India, no strings attached. So, it is not exclusivist at all.

@Sabbah
As you mentioned “‘Azaadi=Autonomy’ movement” in your point# 1 adds to the confusion. Are you with Azaadi or Autonomy or you feel both are same.
@Kaul
Query related to your reply#5 (to Sabbah) regarding Panun Kashmir.Even if we believe KPs are asking for their genuine share, shouldn’t they ask for 2.2% of total area of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir or 4% of valley (based on KPs %age population – 2001 Indian censous).
Can you check and confirm if the current imaginary Panun Kashmir Map reflects the same or not.

Thanks for such an articulated view. It is an eye opener for me. I believe this part of the article sums up everything: :”Kashmiri Muslims, in their arguments against Indian rule say that they are ethnically different, they have a different dominant religion, and so on. Most of them don’t see themselves as Indians. But then, it is exactly those things that set them apart from Ladakhis and Jammuites, who do see themselves as Indians.” Indian Govt is not going to gain anything by talking to separatist groups like Hurriyat Conference. And needless to say, terrorism needs to be dealt with iron hand and not in a soft way the successive governments have handled so far!

@thekashmiris
Regarding your query to Sabbah, I am sure there are many people who would be happy just getting more autonomy within India. Think about it, what magical heaven is separation of Kashmir going to bring? You already have self government, voted for by Kashmiris, always headed by Kashmiris. (Some vote rigging happens everywhere — that can be resolved within the system.) You are not living in a Hindu area as a minority. So, what is lacking? If Kashmiris stop fighting, everyone wins. Kashmiris have brought too much ruin upon themselves, and they are blaming India for that.
Regarding Panun Kashmir: I did not say they are asking for their “genuine” share. Many KPs feel that since they are the original inhabitants of the valley, they deserve more, but they need to wake up to the reality of their reduced numbers. I don’t see PK a reality in the shape shown. But since their movement is not taking any lives, I don’t worry that much about it. I see PK as a response to Kashmiri Muslims’ separatist tendencies.

Attention: thekashmiris
Mr. thekashmiris have you searched for “GENESIS OF WORD KASHMIR” on any search engine of internet (be it western search engine or search engine created by Islamic world)? Have you studied and grasped the contents offered by these search engines well? Do you know as a Kashmiri Muslim what your identity is? If you are not sure of your identity I request you to dig out the roots of your identity. And I am sure your search will end at the conclusion as highlighted in point no. 3(m) of my argument. So if you understand these two basic dimensions of your identity I am sure you will refrain from using the words of a person who is not well informed and term India as foreign. Your knowledge needs refinement because unrefined knowledge is more dangerous than the illiterate man on the streets of Kashmir for whom the survival in extreme conditions is more important. I request you to stay informed before being judgmental of any thing. I request you to search your roots first and do some soul searching. I request you to re-align your thinking. I request you to invent yourself. Your argument as put forward by you does not stand a ground. But if you admit that you are an estranged son of your father and want to have a separate space for yourself, it does carry a weight. However being a father, India will apply all possible means to correct the estranged ways of his son gone bad. And in this process of bringing back the child to correct course if there are some injuries it is only for the benefit of the son and not to harm him intentionally. And do you think father does not feel the pain when son behaves erratically? His heart bleeds no limits. But still being a responsible father he won’t open up his bleeding heart to estranged son until he falls in line.
Kashmir has been part of India since ages and will remain part of it.
You are pained to hear the word “TERRORIST” for you. I have full sympathies for you if you genuinely feel so. On behalf of all those addressing you so I am sorry for it only if you say that KASAB should meet his justified end. Why only KASAB? Why not all those responsible for spread of Islamic terror? Are you ready to do that? Are you ready to come into open and shout from the roof top “ISLAMIC TERROR! DOWN!! DOWN!!!”? Are you ready to demand the closure of all those machinations / factories that manufacture and export ISLAMIC TERROR? Are you ready to sing the song of AHIMSA? Are you willing to croon in streets, “MEIN AHIMSA KA PUJARI HOON”? How will this song be different from, “MAZHAB NAHI SIKHATA AAPAS MEIN BAIR RAKHANA”?
Kashmiri Pandits are Daali Battaas. This phrase had existed much before the phrase ISLAMIC TERROR came into existence. And you were never apologetic about it. Rather you took pride in using the same at the slightest opportunity to demean the basic human right of a Hindu child on the bakery shop who went there to purchase his cookies. Are you not ashamed of yourself for bullying and inflicting violence on an innocent child and impregnating his thought process with hate against you and forcing him to revolt against you? Who is responsible for his shift in attitude? The poor child who is yet to know the wicked ways of world or you as a wicked adult bent upon baring your satanic fangs on the hapless child? You decide.
Attention: Patterson
Despite the several requests by Mr. Kaul you have not identified your identity yet. As per your identity I take you as a westerner and a Christian (though your ways of representing your arguments make me believe me otherwise). Also I am not aware in what capacity are you suggesting such demarcations of boundaries on Kashmir? Is it that you were a journalist and traveling to Kashmir? Or you are representing some organization that is funded by perpetrators of the thought that boundaries must be drawn and sealed? That is it and that is the final solution defined like a sword edge. Anyone, from either side of the sword edge, stepping on this edge will have to face amputation of limbs. Right, Mr. Patterson? There is a saying very popular in India, “DO BILLIYOON KI LADAAYI MEIN BANDAR ROTI LEKAR BHAGA.” Which literally means, “two cats were engaged in a fight over a piece of bread and the waiting opportunist monkey dashed in and stole the piece of bread”. Mr. Peterson, you are one of those opportunistic monkeys waiting for your moment to strike for the kill. This has happened in past when you made India slave for more than three centuries, sucked and drained its all resources, enriched your coffers for several generations to come and left India (India here means undivided India) in shambles and with so many ailments. So will you please leave us alone and mind your own wicked ways in your own house? We have been left wounded and amputated many times but not any more. My sincere requests to you are please stay away. I am sure if your suggestions go to the other side of the fence they will agree with my assessment of your being and your ways of poking into matters where you are not wanted. Further, I am sure that they too will tell you that your idea of amputating them brings a bad taste in mouth. So my dear friend, Mr. Patterson, if you hold your dignity important then please quit. We have not sought your suggestions. We are very apprehensive and scared of your opportunistic nature like that of the monkey as I have said above.
Before you decide to quit from interfering in our matters, I ask you few simple questions? Have you ever faced exodus? Have you ever experienced the pains resulting out of exodus? If not please visit my community living in one room shanties in and around Jammu. And mind it please, these were the people who owned apple orchards or some similar kind of fortunes in different parts of the valley and were living life king-size there. And you term it an emotional bondage? I pray to Almighty that you and your clan never face similar situation as faced by Kashmiri Pandits (loss of roots, loss of identity, loss of fortunes, loss of everything).For Kashmiri Pandits it was not exodus, it was genocide for them. I pray Almighty again that your genes are not met with similar fate.
So if I respect you and your genes, I in return expect similar favour from you. And if you still decide to demean my genes, I will offer my prayers to Almighty with more vigor till you gain some better sense and are cured of your myopic vision. So if you suggest that India, Pakistan and China shall be amputated please restrain yourself. Since I respect your nationality, I expect same from you for India, Pakistan and China.

Attention: Ms Rajni
I understand your pain when you say that the kids that should have been attending schools, should have been taught to sing and dance, should have been taught the beautiful ways of life are being used to pelt stones. It is a pity and shame on Geelani, Masarat Alam Bhatt, Asiya Andrabi, Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed, Yaseen Malik and their rabid clan. I have already said in my previous argument that all these people have ensured that the kids in their own family seek the best possible education abroad and mislead the people who can ill-afford the similar luxuries and rather block their opportunities by jeopardizing the state administration, making schools and colleges non-functional. This way they are achieving many advantages. First and foremost is the obvious challenges thrown to Indian State. But the more deep-rooted is the greed of theses rabid folks that ensures blocking the opportunities for the masses so that there is no competition for their own kids and they come back with foreign accent and rule the people who are deprived. It is like keep poor always poor or keep deprived always deprived so that I can rule them.
And when you said, “We have seen Kashmir as peaceful and beautiful. There was an article this last Sunday that Kashmir has lost one generation to militancy and another generation is losing out to drugs.” That is exactly the genesis of Kashmir problem. That is what West wants. By creating an independent region in Kashmir they want to create a conduit for drugs (read opium) for which lands and weather are very fertile in the region. Afghanistan is facing this problem and has collapsed for the same reasons. And combine it with Islamic fanaticism you have a deadly combination of a bomb which even more deadlier than any nuclear power created so far.

Attention: Mr. Roop Wokhlu & Mr Lalit Nagrath
I am in complete agreement with you that we should hold our ground in Kashmir and not cede our land even to the size of pin-tip to these ill-willing terrorists and their fathers. You know why India was appreciated for 1999 war in Kargil? It was because we fought back from our side taking all precautions not to cross over to the other side and emerged winners. I salute soldiers of my country. If my soldiers are so brave then I am not afraid in my country. I feel very safe here. I have such a peaceful night of sleep just because of them.

Attention: Mr. Ashish
First let us accept the fact that Pakistan is a reality and has evolved as a great nation in itself. Yes it has its problems. That does not give us any right to talk ill of it. Have you ever gone to any chat rooms and chatted with any Pakistani? If not so please do chat with them. Have a dialogue with them. You will be surprised that those dynamic young people are no different than you. They adore India so much. In fact they love to have a citizenship in India. The only restrictions are the division on political lines. I wish and pray that India and Pakistan prove wiser nations and merge together once again like Germany did. If Germany could do it, what holds us back? So that Manto will be singing a song of peace in his grave. And for the rabid ilk of Geelani and his cohorts on both the sides of the fence, they will face a severe ailment of indigestion leading to constipation. So let us respect Pakistan for what it is. Let us not behave as a big bullying brother.

Kind Attention: Mr. Sabbah Haji
Mr. Sabbah, before I start my discussion with you I would love to share an experience with you. I guess you will agree with me Switzerland is a very rich country. Rich means being economically strong. And for economically strong it is said religion hardly matters. I do not think you will dispute with me on this account. It is a peace loving nation and does not need any army to guard its borders. Rather it uses its soldiers for other reasons to serve the community. You will agree with me on this account too. I had a teacher in this country, a man younger to me by five years. He is my friend now. He was born to Christian parents. As he grew up and became independent earning member of his family, he started looking for match for himself. Around same time a Muslim girl from Morocco came visiting in his neighborhood. My fried sought her for his wife but the girl put forward a condition that he needs to accept Islam or forget about dreaming of seeking her as his wife. The struggle carried on for couple of years till my friend agreed to condition and finally accepted Islam. Now my friend is father of two beautiful daughters both carrying the Islamic heritage in them. After getting married he has visited many important Islamic shrines. Observes and follows all Islamic rituals with total dedication. I have high regard for my friend and his family. His wife is such a devoted lady I sometimes feel jealous of him. I put forward simple two questions to this friend:
1. If this girl was insisting on you for accepting Islam did you not ask her to accept Christianity? To this his reply was no and he was so desperate to seek her as his wife and if accepting Islam was the solution so be it. And further if she was forced to accept Christianity she would have been murdered back at home and he was very concerned about her safety. He did not want to lose her in any way and not by her death at all. And please remember Morocco is reasonably rich country as well.
2. Then I asked him, was it not possible that he married her and follow Christianity as she followed her Islamic tradition and let the children decide for themselves what they wanted. Yet again he said the safety concerns were a priority and he would have lost her in this situation too.
Now keeping all above in mind I come to you to discuss few things with you. As Mr. Kaul has already wondered at your being a minority in your own religion I too appreciate the same about you but with reservations. Mr. Sabbah we do not want you to be apologetic for being a right thinking Muslim, rather we would love to see you an upright man who can hold his head high in dignity and take pride in our friendship. We would love to see you offer us the competition that guides us onto righteous path enriching both you and me. Let us both gain from each other’s association. Let us show the world that they need to put off their colored glasses and not force the color of their choice on us. But before I extend my hand to you for shake I would ask few simple questions to you.
1. Will you offer a girl from your clan as bride to a boy from my clan?
2. If yes, will you refrain from imposing your force on the boy to accept Islam?
3. If the boy refuses to follow your wishes will he and his wife be safe? Won’t your clan thirst for their blood?
4. In such scenario of their safety being at stake will you come forward to protect them?
You may please recall here that there have been instances (forced or willing) that you have taken the Hindu girls as brides and forced them to accept Islam whereas reverses has never occurred. And sometimes it has happened that the poor girl has been cheated into being a second or third or fourth wife. I will be happily surprised if you show me even a single case all over the world that proves me wrong. So, as I put forward you the above questions you have every right to question me the same way. And my answer to these questions will be first offer girl from your clan as bride I will be the first person to appreciate and celebrate your move and would love to go to any extent to protect the couple from the onslaught from my clan (you will have to take care of your clan). As such my clan will open up the arms for your proposal so they would join me in celebrations. At the same time I assure you that we won’t force our wish on the girl to accept Hinduism. She will be free to follow Islam if she wants. And we will let her children choose for themselves. I further assure you that she would be one and only one wife wedded to the boy.
So when you do not want a purely Islamic state then why not encourage such marriages? After all Soofi saints Bulle Shah & Amir Khusrau sang paeans for both Lord Krishna and Allah. And when Allah and Lord Krishna are not different then how are we mortals different? And when we are not different why we create boundaries? And when we are descendants from same lineage then why should we draw lines between us?

My heart tells me that some actual physical divsion of Jammu, Ladkah and Kashmir has to happen now otherwise the separatists will not let progress happen.
The old policitians are all afraid of the potential popularity of Omar. They know that if he occupies the CM’s chair, it could well be curtains for them for the next 30 years. So these sly mena will continue agitating and be create violence.
However if the area is partitioned and the valley reduced to 3000 sq km, then it will take the wind out of their sails.
How many 3000 sq km, landlocked countries exist on this globe?

there is a good way to acid test the whole muslim theory.answer this by assuming for a moment that india is a muslim country.so assuming that india is a muslim nation, as KM’s do you still want autonomy, independence, and for what reasons ?

Attention Mr. Vikram
Great idea Mr. Vikram. I wonder why this thought never crossed my mind. A plausible argument. Thanks for bringing it into context. After all Muslims in Kerala (which is in no way connected to Pakistan geographically) have their convictions towards Pakistan. A slightest opportunity makes Madauni and his cohorts sing their reliance to Pakistan. So turn whole India into Pakistan. Great idea. So we won’t have Geelani or Madauni. But we will all have Zardari as the leader of country protecting Taliban forces in undivided idea and Geelani and Madauni will be catalyst forces for Taliban activities to carry us back to cave ages. Well cave ages will at least have an advantage that we would re-invent ourselves and create new religions. But some worm somewhere will again crop up that will be guided by Taliban philosophy. Good.
But are we discussing Islam bashing here? No. Aim of discussion is not that. Then why we divert? Remember my very first argument. I had said in the very first few lines that the discussion on Kashmir is like traveling past a black hole in space and getting sucked into it by virtue of the gravitational pull of the black hole. There is no trace left of the identity getting sucked into black hole. Only outcome being the black hole growing bigger and bigger ultimately leading to collapse of black hole and leading to big bang. And that is exactly happens when we discuss Kashmir, we need to discuss Islam. And Islam is like a black hole in space. I am sure when this black hole collapses there will be a whole new beautiful universe created. But till then everything will be sucked into. We can not prevent it. We have no means to prevent it. Only solution is black hole gaining strength and then collapse because of its own strength. Even Nostradamus too has prophesied the collapse of one great religion and there have been many strong hints towards this black hole. So unless the Islamic think tank invests some time to correct its ways and force the constituents of this black hole to correct their ways, it is doomed to prove the Nostradamus prophecy correct.
My dear Muslim friends. Think.

independent Kashmir Cannot survive more than one day, i’m talking about Kashmir only not Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmiri separatist leader GEELANI also accept that independent Kashmir cann’t survive they need someone to take care of Kashmir and they also accept that Jammu and Ladakh is happy with India they said ,
“it is the hard reality and we can’t deny this minority are happy with India”.
one thing i want to tell you if these separatist leader come in jammu and Ladakh and talk about Azadi than definitely they will be killed by that region peoples.
they always talking about from last 63year we are suffering, liars atleat try to speak the truth. you are always against India and not only India but DOGRA RULE TOO.

Never read such an Article on Kashmir anywhere else. I am an India, but still was not clear on may points, like boundaries, areas , POK etc.
A common man in India has always treated Kashmir as our integral part and all Kashmirs as our brother and sisters, but its the politics with in country and outside country which is ruining, futures of Kashmirs. Not sure when this all will settle with peace.
Thanks for such a great write.

Dear Sir,
I have also created a blog which is on similar line of thinking as in your article please visit at the address of which is http://ashokachkan.blogspot.com/. If any referendem has to take place then mathmatical model has to be created so the weightage to the area covered in that district is to be taken into account just because Kashmir valley being most fertile of all J & K and majority of people are concentrated in that area that does not give them right to decide about independance of whole state and Ladahk being a classical case where there is hardly any population but the Kashmir valley will fit into one corner. Also Pundits are equal stakeholders so no political solution should be consedered without consent of Kashmiri Pundits We have been bombarded by various TV Channels projecting the cause of Kashmir without even presenting what Kashmiri Pundits want and rightly so because we are microscopic political entity so we must come together on one platform to raise out voice that no solution is complete without our consent and our discent in any solution should be veto of that solution.This is for the sacrifices of
our forefather’s who suffered all the persecution to save their culture we are descendants of that race and it is our duty to save our culture in Kashmir.We must present a memorandum on behalf of all Kashmiri Pundits association of all over world to the interlocuter appointed by government of India saying any political solution should be within the constitution of India and not what those seperatist are propagating. I have created blog on Kashmir Issue address of which is let us come together on one issue and with one voice. hope you will take necessary action for the benefit of Kashmiri Culture and heritage which we are so proud of

Mr. Ashok Kaul
I did visit your website. Though the contents are different than here but sentiments are same. I respect your emotional bonding and deep rooted pain and hurt that reflects through your writings. The only way to reclaim our roots is to fight back with all the stubborn means that AHIMSA and unconditional love and passion possess. At the same time we should send a clear signal that AHIMSA does not teach us being cowards. We are the most courageous ones.
Lots of love
Regards to you Mr. Ashok Kaul.

In Azad Kahmir, which is so small that it doesn’t show itself on map clearly, nobody knows what Waazwaan is, and when I try to speak Kashmiri with them, for them it is a “Foreign Language”. They can neither understand, forget speaking Kashmiri. They had no problem with Majhi Punjabi which I also am fluent in. I wonder how this small piece of land could be physically or even ethnically be called Kashmir. Maybe, it got created for the sake of showing to the world that here we have some part which is Azaad or something. I think it should be better merged with Punjab or some nearby state in Pakistan.

Dear Mr. Koul:
I have read your article on Kashmir and am in complete agreement with you. I have also expressed somewhat similar thoughts in my blog which you may be interested in reading. Please visit http//chiriyakhana.blogspot.com. and I would appreciate your comments and further suggestions for reading.

It is not for any Geelani or Kaul to decide to give away Kashmir to Pakistan now or in 1947. Pakistan is in itself the bloody torn limb of Hindu India. And if Kaul doesnt realize even now that giving something to these jihadis and crusaders only whets theor appetite for more of the same then he will never realize it. And if Kashmiris gripe is that ‘mainland India’ (what a cute term for the parent)doesnt really know Kashmir and Kashmiris then two other things are equally true – for most North Indians south of the Vindhyas everything and everybody is a Madrasi; and secondly wasnt it the samw Kashmiris who bought the lemon which the sunni muslims sold them – the Kashmiriyat lemon and thus alienated themselves from the Hindus outside Kashmir? kashmiri Hindus themselves need to get some facts right not only about themselves but about the whole of Bharata sanatana bhumi.

I think unpatriotic people like Arundhati Roy and Syed Ali Shah Geelani should read this write-up. This should knock some sense into the so called literary head of Arundhati Roy.

Kashmir is named after an ancient Hindu sage — Rishi Kashyap. Pakistan continues to sponsor terrorism in Kashmir in the name Islamic jihad. Before harping on Arundhati Roy’s brainless fudge on Kashmir and hysterical diatribes against all things Indian and India, we need to ask WHY:
1) Those “peaceful protesters” have killed 60,000 people over the past 20 years during their “non-violent struggle” for Kashmir to join Pakistan?
2) They have ethnically cleansed over a million Kashmiri pundits and Sikhs from the Kashmir valley?
3) They have launched a campaign of terror and intimidation against all secular Kashmiris and imposed their own brand of virulent intolerant Wahabi Islam in the Kashmir Valley?
4) They have no popular support and have never won any election in Kashmir where the people have defied threats from the terrorists to vote overwhelmingly for state governments who want to remain a part of India?
5) Pakistan has been giving “moral assistance” to “peaceful protesters” in addition to infiltration of madrassa-trained “freedom fighters” across the LoC for the last six decades?
6) Roy needs protection from the “evil” Indian army while in Kashmir?

Consider this – say journalists in China were to call for an independent Tibet, they’d be quickly thrown into prison, and if lucky, avoid broken bones. Here you have a below average journalist, Arundhati Roy, who goes on to write that Kashmir was never an integral part of India! Really?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/26/arundhati-roy-ka
Was Pakistan not a part of India not too long ago? And why did the Hindu maharaja of Kashmir sign the letter of accession with India? Or maybe Kashmiri pundits never existed? Or perhaps, inside her twisted brain, among the dozens of Muslim-majority regions within India, none was actually a part of India ever? Or in her viewpoint, maybe India never existed, and therefore every state should call for independence? How does anyone know that Roy didn’t secretly get foreign cash to put on a show of whistleblower while openly engaging in seditious writings? What does she want? Dissolution of the union? Or starvation and death of millions on the Indian subcontinent in the future by carving out yet another state, just to please some intellectually deficient folks like her? Does free press means a journalist should write how he or she ‘feels’ depending on mood on a given day?
Liu Xiaobo is a true scholar and wrote to his government about reforms on free speech guaranteed by his country’s constitution. Roy’s behavior is the exact opposite — she is taking undue advantage of free speech and free press to trample on India’s constitution and sedition laws (section 124A).
With journalism in particular, there is a difference between scholar and squalor. To cite another example, Roy says Maoists are “Gandhians with Guns.” Anyone who knows even an ounce of Gandhi will tell you that the phrase is an oxymoron and an insult to a great man who courageously stood up for a non-violent freedom struggle.

Dear Mr Kaul
Last year, I wrote a letter to Mr Asif Durrani, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in London after I met him at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth.Here is the letter:
“Dear Mr Durrani ji
It was a pleasure meeting you in the Kashmir fringe meeting in Bournemouth on Sunday. I am sorry if my questions seemed to be a bit off-putting to you but I am a passionate believer in Indo-Pak friendship and feel that the ultimate solution of the Kashmir problem lies in India and Pakistan joining hands together in a long-lasting friendship as has been done with Germany Britain & France after centuries of conflict.
I would like to propose a concept to the leaders of both our great nations which will help in finding that illusive solution. The concept is not of United States of India with Pakistan as a state but a concept based on equality – somewhat like the association of three nations England, Scotland and Wales in the United Kingdom. I would like to call it United Countries of Indian Subcontinent (UCIS) which would include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. UCIS will have open borders inside with free trade within the boundaries which will be protected by a combined army from the five nations from outside. This will bring unprecedented prosperity to the region just as it was before the British came to our sub-continent. UCIS will be a nuclear power equal to USA, Russia or China with a guaranteed permanent seat on the UN security council. I believe that because biologically we are from the same “stock” this solution will work. Of course it will require political will on all sides.
I would appreciate your comments on this concept.”
I am still waiting for a reply. Any comments about this solution from you?
Dinesh

There are few following things to be done in the most simpler manner to solve this paradox:
1. Agree that there is a problem in the Valley and set priority to solve this.
2. Create a ‘Think Tank’ less the corrupt politicians and babus,to suggest ways and means to be adopted in a time frame say about three months to the maximum.
3. One of the suggestions have to be removal of Article 370. Afterall you can have different standards for different states within a country and yet remain one.
4. God helps those who help themselves. Therefore involve Pandits to fight this battle, sacrifice in the true spirit and regain back your area.
5. We talk about presence of Terrorist training Camps in POK. What are we doing ourselves about removal of these.Particularly when we show this area in illegal occupation of pakistan.
6. involve openly the various ehinic groups of POK to fight againsta Pakistan, similar to what Pakistan is doing for the kashmiris openly.
7. Never forget that pakistan understands only one language, so speak that only and never show any sign of weakness, their being a Nuclear state notwithstanding.
8. Have a clear long term policy about say 4-5 years, with moultiferous approaches to deal with this problem at evry opportune moment; like SAARC, Common Wealth,UNO or anyother forum.
9. Give clear signals to those who side with Pakistan, kashmiri separists and even opporunist Indians seeking cheap publicity at nation’s cost.

hey guyz comon u got to be kidding out here by writing this kinda stuff..everyone knoes wat kashmiris want..since this blog refers to a foolish kashmiri pandit so lemme make it clear ..kashmir can neva be safe with india neither with pakistan..its ur hatred for pakistan that makes u drag pakistan everytime u people talk abt kashmir..kashmiris have a diffrnt class altogethr and we will be a successful nation without india..guyz stop worrying abt pakistan or taliban invading kashmir..just improve ur living standards or else come to kashmir and hav a look..it will take indians anothr 50 years to match the living standards of kashmiris..so better is stop watching aajtak and india tv and stop fooling around ..better is wake up and behave like humans not like ignorant biharis …hehe…

@nadeem
Please confirm that when you talk about Kashmir, you are only talking about real Kashmir, not Jammu or Ladakh. Since you have a different “blood”, it does not match Dogra blood or Ladakhi blood either. That is exactly what I am saying in my blog post. If Kashmir cannot be fully integrated, it should be let go. I would actually like to see in my lifetime how the vale of Kashmir survives as a nation. Best of luck.

Bang on target Mr Kaul
Can all Indians take part in the voting to determine the fate of Kashmir? No…
Similarly why should Kashmiris decide the fate of Ladakhis and people from Jammu.
Also
Population of valley: 4 million (according to wikipedia)
KPs migrated: 4 lakhs
Legitimate share of KPs in valley= 10% of land
means 1500 sq Km out of 15000
So that leaves the effected KM dominated valley to 13500 sq KM
Let them decide their fate with that amount of land.
We will be happy for them.

We have seen that China and Pakistan occupied indian land ie., Aksai chin by china and kashmir by pakistan, then why don’t india occupy their land and as well as our land

@Kaul,
A nice article indeed.I just like to know a few more things – you said the word “Kashmir” is a region restricted to Kashmir valley alone (which doesnt include Azad KAshmir and Gilgit Baltistan)where the majority of population who are Kashmiri muslims is actually concentrated and how the people living in Jammu and Ladakh have a different say even though they are in minority.
So my question is how about regions like Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir,which are part of PoK?, what is the demography over there and what is their position on this issue?,would they stick with PoK or want independence or want to merge with India?….How about Akshai chin?, what is their say?

@Sharath
Thanks for your comment. I cannot say much about the people of Gilgit-Baltistan with any expertise. You can google the subject as well as I can. All I can safely say is that people of this region are exclusively Muslims, so they would not have any specific affiliation with India. It is only the Kashmir valley that is under dispute as far as local population is concerned. All other regions are, in my opinion, happy with the status quo.

@kaul
So, would that mean that the argument of having a plebiscite for entire J&K including PoK may not end up being favorable for people in Jammu and Ladakh region(who are most non muslims)?.The reason why I’m asking this is becausea lot of people have said that a plebiscite for only India’s J&K would be unfair on India,Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir also needs to be considered.On the other hand you have said that people who want Azadi from India are from Kashmir valley who even though are majority,constitute only 15% of territory India’s J&K.The remaining are Jammuites and Ladakhis who dont want Azadi.Now do you believe that inclusion of regions of PoK(who may not have any special affiliation with India) ,along with Kashmir valley would blunt your argument since its not 15% territory anymore,it works out to be a major chunk .If you include PoK for plebiscite,you have population of Gilgit-Baltistan,Azad J&K and Kashmir valley who may vote for Azadi or accession with Pakistan while you have Jammu and Ladakh who would vote for India.Population wise,as well as territory wise,they may be of majority,so if you keep a plebiscite for entire J&K,do we have the risk of losing out Jammu and Ladakh regions?

@Sharath
I believe there is no justification in lumping these disparate regions together. As I explained these are at least 3 states in one, which should have been separated out in 1947 and divided according to religious population. If J&K had been a normal state of the Indian Union, it should have been or would have been divided on linguistic basis in the 50s. Now, if there is a plebiscite, it should be only for Kashmir valley, or should be separately held for separate regions. Kashmiris cannot be allowed to decide the fate of people of other regions, just as Kashmiris are (rightly) not accepting Indians to decide for them. What I am saying is, let this 15% region go if they cannot live with us, but don’t let them decide for the whole region.

I also wonder why someone can’t make a movie on Kashmir where Kashmir does get independence but then show why its a bad idea and after having trouble, people realize that its better to be with India..lol

@Sharath
Kashmiri Muslims’ argument is they don’t want Indian rule, even if India is a great country. For example, would you want to be ruled by Britian or US, given that they are great countries. Any such movie would always be seen as propaganda, no matter how impartially it is made.

Hello Kaul,
Thanks for this eye-opener ! Thanks for pointing out how tiny Kashmir is — to think that such a speck in the map can terrorise a whole nation !!
I have now written off the people of Kashmir — they have inflicted too much pain on the nation — and it is not worthwhile to worry about them anymore !
Ram

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