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The Bleeding Wound, Kashmir, Is Seeping Again

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The last guard of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, once described Afghanistan as “a bleeding wound.” Even after Russians left Afghanistan, it is still bleeding but now due to nine years of cruel war by the world’s number one rogue state, the US and its coalition forces. Historically there are three major red spots on the world map that can unequivocally be termed as “bleeding wounds.” The firstmost and never-ending tragic saga is Palestine. While Afghanistan occupies the second place, Kashmir, once an independent royal kingdom, takes the third place. They are placed so because of how the people living there are oppressed and struggling to carry out even their daily chorus.

Like Palestine, Kashmir is geographically situated at a strategic point in terms of geo-political importance. While leaving India in 1947, the British colonial rulers divided the Indian sub-continent into two countries on religious lines. One was Muslim-dominated Pakistan and the other was Hindu-dominated India. It was part of the famous British tactic of controlling colonies, “divide and rule.” In between lay Muslim-dominated Kashmir, ruled at the time by a Hindu king (Raja Hari Singh). To the north of Kashmir there was Communist China and USSR. To the far east there was US ally Japan to be protected from communist danger. Such a strategic location prompted British colonial rulers and their future boss, the US, not to grant independent status to Kashmir. Instead they left the choice to the feudal king Hari Singh.

Meanwhile Pakistan’s mercenaries entered Kashmir from the northwest. Kashmir requested help from India to save its independent status. The Indian Prime Minister made an agreement with Kashmir that three ministries would be controlled by India, Kashmir would retain its independence status with other ministries, and a plebiscite would be held in Kashmir after Pakistan’s mercenaries were defeated to allow the  Kashmiri people to choose for themselves whether to align with India or Kashmir or to remain independent. Indian forces entered Kashmir. The UN was called in and after a lot of deliberations and discussions with the mediation of the UN, a line called the Line of Control (LoC) was drawn, dividing Kashmiris and their land between India and Pakistan. While a quarter of Kashmir land went to Pakistan as “Pak-occupied Kashmir” or “Azadi Kashmir,” three quarters went to India. The plebiscite was then opposed by Pakistan but welcomed by India.

From then on Kashmir remained a problem for India, but the aspirations of Kashmiris to remain independent were conveniently forgotten by Indian rulers. When the leader of the Kashmiris, Sheik Abdullah, asked the Indian Prime Minister about plebiscite and self-rule, he was brutally jailed. The Kashmiris’ beloved leader Sheik Abdullah remained in Indian jails for 17 years for asking to implement the agreement reached between India and Kashmir.

The Indian people were and are being misinformed about Kashmir. They were never informed that Kashmiris belong to a separate race called “Kashmiri.” Kashmir is a nation. It has every right to exist as a country as per its centuries of history. This was not told to the Indian people. They were taught that Kashmir is one of the states of India. The unknown fact to Indian people is that Kashmir had a president as head of the state and a prime minister as head of the government, like India and Pakistan have, for five plus years. As per the expansionist designs of the Indian rulers all facts were buried in the pages of history.

Sheik Abdullah died in jail, but the national aspirations of the Kashmir people did not. They continued to fight. They are now branded as separatists. Whenever Kashmir people tried to cross the LoC, they were branded infiltrators or militants or now terrorists to be killed by either the Indian or Pakistan armies. Kashmir militancy reached its peak from 1989 onwards. India says now that the Kashmiri people want Pakistan. Traditional hatred towards Pakistan that is fed by the interests of Indian rulers, made Indians hate Kashmiris for being separatists. But what Kashmir people really want is independence from India and Pakistan. This fact was demonstrated several times during agitations and demonstrations of Kashmiris. It is not reported in the media. So what the government sells is believed by the Indian masses.

Now Kashmir people are not fighting with guns so as to be oppressed by the Indian army easily. They are fighting with empty hands. They are fighting with stones. They are fighting with processions, hartals, strikes, and with every means available to them, but not with guns. If there is any Indian government presence in Kashmir, it is the Indian police, CRPF, and the Indian army. During the uprising of Kashmir between 1990 and 2009, thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri youth were eliminated. The reason offered was they were militants, separatists, and now terrorists. Due to the killing of Kashmiri people by the army in the last decade of the last millennium, the demographic picture of Kashmir has changed radically. Finding a bridegroom for a Kashmiri girl has become difficult. The army has killed several youngsters under the guise of militancy. They were just disappeared.

After the last census conducted by the Indian government in 2001, the demographic statistics of all the states of India were published but Kashmir’s statistics were withheld. If they were made public the government could not have offered a satisfactory reason for the wide gap between number of males and females. The female population was found to be irrationally greater than the male population. Even now the Kashmir census for 2001 is not available publicly on any platform, such was the effect of the brutal oppression carried out by the Indian government in Kashmir.

In last two to three months, more than 60 people were killed in Kashmir by security forces. Even boys and girls under the age of 15 are not spared. The home minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, declares that he suspects militants with guns hiding behind agitating people. But he could not show a single shot fired from people. There are only people. There are boys, girls, mothers, housewives, shop owners, businessmen, and even Kashmiri police (some are dismissed for participating in demonstrations) who took to the streets shouting, “Go India, go back!” Curfew, neverending curfew, has become the order of the day. Some security forces’ men in (fewer than 10) got killed by stone pelting, but not with guns.

Some say if Kashmir is given freedom it will become a hub of terrorists. My question is does terrorism develop by itself from the air or the universe? It has been the result of oppressive regimes. It has been the result of forgotten national aspirations of certain historical races descended from history. It has been the result of greed of a few international business cartels, syndicates, TNCs, and MNCs. It has been the result of the marginalization of people belonging to certain religions, regions, colors, races — you name it.

Historically there has been only one person who resolved the national question. He was Vladimir Lenin, who enshrined in the constitution that nationalities are free to get their own country if they do not like to be with the USSR. The Baltic republics first separated but rejoined the USSR within three years. One can only solve the nationality question by respecting the aspirations of the people but not by using force.

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About Sekhar

  • Ruvy

    Bless you, Sekhar!! Even if I do not necessarily like your perspective on Israel, at least this is not yet another tiring screed on Glenn Beck, “little boy” Al Sharpton, and all the idiots in between in that land that never stops staring at its own bellybutton – America.

    A friend of mine commented that a few thousand Pashtun were able to conquer most of Kashmir in 1947-48, but were called back to the Line of Control by the Pakistani regime. Either Pakistan was being squeezed hard or the folks in Central Asia had more faith in the “international agreements” in those days.

    In any event, your article, even with its minor errors about the Baltic States, was very educational…. The Baltic States left Russia in 1918 along with Poland and Finland and were conquered in 1939, and added to the USSR.

    Thank you!!

  • Freedom for Kashmir

    Freedom for Kashmir.

    India is killing innocent children in Kashmir. The Indian Army rapes women in Kashmir on a daily basis.

    Kashmir wants complete independence.

    Azadi.

  • Sekhar

    Hi Ruvy
    Thank you for your valuable feedback. Calling back mercenaries, as far as I know didn’t happen. Indian troops and mercenaries have met at LoC and they were asked to maintain status quo by the UN until the dispute was resolved. It never happened maybe due to dynamics of ‘cold war’.

    Yes, Baltic republics left Russia along with Poland and Finland. (I think Finland, though associated with Baltic until then, was stripped off of the name Baltic from then on.) Baltic countries were occupied by some or other country like Germany, Sweden for several decades. After the Socialist Revolution, all the republics that formed USSR, were granted right to secede by the constitution itself. They were never pressured to remain with USSR until the death of Stalin. (What I wrote about rejoining was wrong as you said. USSR suffered to settle due to continuous attacks from Capitalist countries for 3 years. This 3 is attached to Baltics by me mistakenly. Maybe it’s my memory’s parallax error).

    Having already suffered with German occupation before WW-I, Baltic countries joined USSR to get protection from Hitler. After the death of Stalin restoration of Capitalist society was initiated by Krischev. Capitalist restoration was carried out without removing red flag. Red flag was removed in 1991. USSR has stopped being socialist after Stalin. Right to secede for nationalities was also abolished. From then on Russia forced several nations to be with it. Russian domination, resources’ exploitation and centralisation of power all these issues forced invariably the nations to struggle to separate from Russia.

    My point here is, granting right to secede means Russia has no intention of exploiting others’ resources and nationalities existed under USSR because of belief, mutual dependence, mutual respect, respect of identities of individual nationalities etc. When socialist building is stopped and capitalist building is revised automatically capitalist exploitation and accumulation is also revised. Capitalist accumulation means exploiting resources even if it doesn’t belong to it. It even uses force to occupy the resources. That’s what WW-I and WW-II were all about. They were fought for the ‘redistribution of resources and markets’ between leading capitalist nations that have military might.

    So when there is danger losing identity, resources, self-respect, integrity of a nation there is a fighting to separate to secure what it is losing. But when there is a guarantee that a nation’s identity and culture are preserved; resources are used for it’s own development; if it’s resource is allotted to some other nation it will be paid back with another resource which it lacks, then the necessity of secession doesn’t arise. Peaceful co-existence of different nationalities happens when a nation’s right to decide for itself is preserved. Then only co-existence of different nations is possible in a federal arrangement without squabbles and struggles.

    This was made possible in the case of Baltic republics under the socialist rule of V I Lenin.

  • Sekhar

    Hi Ruvy
    One more point I missed to mention. You said Baltic republics were conquered in 1939. They were assumed conquered by Britain, the US and other capitalist states. Actually it is the question of perspective. When you see from the perspective of people of Baltic republics, they were happy that they were protected. But from the perspective of capitalist countries it cannot be so. Of course most of the facts are filtered through different colors of different interests and hence perspectives. Kashmir is one example.

    In 1947, ‘plebiscite promise’ was welcomed by India but rejected by Pakistan. Because, then Kashmiris were assumed pro-India by both sides. Now plebiscite demand is supported by Pakistan but opposed by India. Because, Kashmir people are assumed pro-Pakistan by both sides again. But the fact has been that Kashmir people never thought of to join both the countries. They always aspired for independence. They have been fighting to restore their independence from occupation of both countries. Their aspiration is never shared by either India or Pakistan.

    Pakistan allows PoK’s militants to arm as far as they fight with India. Pak’s interests do not allow Kashmir’s independence.

    I’ve wrote in the article 1/4th is with Pak and 3/4th is with India. It is wrong. 1/3rd is with Pak and some 40% to 45% is with India and the remaining part is controlled by China as a result of 1962 war. China claims that part as it’s own. Line of Actual Control (LAC) separates China part with India’s.

  • Ruvy

    Sekhar,

    Thank you for the precision of your observations.

    We have somewhat different views of Russians – and of Soviet “Socialism” But perhaps the fact that the folks who lived in my father’s village in Poland were speared by Cossacks like fish in a stream – and the fact that my father, z”l, remembers Bundists, the Jewish Bolsheviks, as nothing better than bandits, colors my point of view….

  • Sekhar

    Hi Ruvy
    What your fathers’ villagers experienced was a fact. (I believe it because you are telling). If it was done in the name of socialism, it should not be mistaken as socialism because it was done in the name of socialism.

    Everything carried out under the banner of ‘socialism’ is not and cannot be socialism. Socialism is a way of life in which one cannot exploit labour of another improperly by using either private force or govt force. China and USSR striven to reach that way of life to some extent. In the process mistakes occurred. They had to be rectified. But even before rectification the exploiting forces under the cover of ‘socialism’ made use of the mistakes occurred in the process of socialist building to counter the ‘socialism’ under the guise of socialism itself. In such confusion normal people cannot come to a conclusion who is practicing actual socialism. So mistakes are multiplied. Meanwhile, some of the people who are concerned to build the socialist society passed away. Their followers were jailed or killed again in the name of socialism. These things happened in both China and Russia. Now you can see how capitalism is flourishing in China. Still, Chinese govt claims it as socialism. People outside the realm of socialist philosophy are believing that still there is socialism (or communism; these words are used alternatively as if they mean the same which is not true) in China. The fact is capitalist revision had started long back in China under the leadership of Deng-Xiaoping. Similarly in Russia.

    Another thing is about a historical blunder that occurred in East European countries. The mistake was that the USSR exported socialism to those countries and expected the people of East-Europe to swallow the new system all of a sudden. Socialism cannot be imported or exported. It has to be built in a country from among the people of that country. The people had to believe that the existing system was rotten and was against to their interests and work themselves to abolish the old to replace with the new one in which they believe. This was not properly done in East Europe and the result was what we have seen with the collapse of the USSR. There were so many other factors also both -ve and +ve.

    This is just for a broad picture. I don’t know whether I could make it clear or not. What happened over decades may not be discussed and concluded to our full satisfaction. I may provide further, If I have it, after your comment.

    Thank you for useful feedback and discussion. I’m particularly interested now that you are from Poland. Because now I can get what the real people of East Europe thought of the developments that have occurred in their time.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Sekhar,

    I’m not from Poland at all. I was born in New York. My father was from Poland. And he left there in 1921, when Pilsudski took power there. But a friend of mine was born in Hungary and moved to Canada as a kid. Now he lives here in Israel. I think he remembers the revolution of 1956, and he certainly knows his Hungarian history. I’ll be seeing him Sunday and hopefully, if I’m armed with a list of questions, I can throw some of them at him. I have to tell you also, there are loads and loads of Russian Jews who live here now who left the Soviet Union in 1990. I tell you, Sekhar, Israel is a treasure trove of stories and history, in so many ways.

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