Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kashmir: Story of failed support among Indian Muslims

Zaigham Murtaza

For last sixty years, living with an apprehension to prove their political trustworthiness Indian Muslims have mostly neglected the Kashmir movement and have hardly taken any stance. Even, those who never miss any opportunity to raise their voice against discrimination and killing of the minorities in the ever-prevailing riots from time to time keep mum on the killing of civilians in Kashmir. To the dismay of Kashmiris, Muslims from rest of India and their Human Right activists failed to notice the recently found, unmarked mass graves in Kashmir.

“We are sorry but have no complaints from our brethren in India”, says Yasin Malik, a known face of resistance in Kashmir who has now adopted a Gandhian way of non-violent politics. “They keep silent for their very own people, although they find time and voices for far away Palestine, Iraq and even Libya, he complains.

Actually, the Kashmir has become a point to prove one’s patriotism in India. To side with the Kashmiris is not less than siding with the Pakistan, who is being accused for all the problems including the militancy in the region. The nationalists raise occasionally the slogans to save Kashmir in the programs that may have not a single point of relevance with the state.

“Kashmir itself is a complex problems for Indian Muslims”, says Dr. Mohibbul Haq, professor of Human Rights at Aligarh Muslim University. “So complex that causes more problems to our own peaceful life”, he says while adding that the intensity of the nationalist sentiments can be understood when saving the Kashmir and anti-Pakistan rhetoric becomes an election agenda for some groups in the states like Gujrat, Uttar Pradesh and even the south most Karnataka.

Interestingly, in Kashmir the security forces have encountered with militants with foreign nationalities, including the Afghans, Uzbeks, Arabs and Pakistanis but the intelligence reports and the data from military establishments never found any such involvements from the Indian Muslims during last 65 years of struggle in Kashmir.

Now, when the state Human Rights Commission in Kashmir is claiming that they have found 2730 bodies in the unmarked graves in Kashmir, the issue has found no buyers among the Indian Muslims. Earlier it was assumed that these bodies may have been of the unidentified militants killed in military operations, but the assumptions have been proved false as more than 500 bodies have been identified as locals and more revelations are expected after the DNA and similar test reports comes in. This also has been ignored by the Indian media which was busy in covering the anti-graft movement of Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare. Prophesising peace and Gandhian philosophy all around the world, even no Gandhian found the time to condemn the killing en masse and the people responsible.

SA Aiyer a leading columnist raises the concern over the response of the Indian people over such findings. “Even Pakistan is responsible for these killings, why aren’t people come out”, he asks, while adding that after all people killed are humans first.

Interestingly, killing of around 2000 people in the Gujrat’s infamous mayhem of 2002 is still a big issue for the near about 140 million Muslims residing in various states in India. The secular politics in the nation is more about the talks of anti-riots and victims of more than 200 riots the minorities have faced during last 65 years of Independence. But for Kashmir, there is not even a single voice of dissent. For the article we tried to contact many clerics, politicians and the social activists but no one dared to challenge the notion of patriotism bound with the sentiments for the state of Kashmir in India.

On the term of anonymity, one cleric only says that he has sympathy towards the Kashmiris but cannot make a comment as he don’t wants to be a part of any political controversy.

“You know our situation”, he says while adding that he will only attract opposing nationalists, intelligence agencies and lot more controversies at his doorstep if he talks about killings in Kashmir.

Although, the Indian Muslims fail to take any clear stand they have a general notion that both the states of India and Pakistan have ruined the fortunes of the people who once boasted to be the residents of paradise on the earth.

“The issue of Kashmir is the case of false ego and hypocrisy”, says Syed Hasan Kazim, scholar at Nelson Mandela Institute of war and conflict studies at Jamia Millia Islamia Universsity in Delhi. “If Junagarh was integrated to the nation on the grounds of Muslim ruler against the will of majority subjects, then Pakistan has a valid case on Kashmir”, he says, discussing the fact that during the integration process of the Union of India the states of Junagarh, Hyderabad and Bhopal were annexed to the Union of India on the grounds that there the population was Hindu in majority with a Muslim ruler and their decision either to go with Pakistan or remain Independent as per the Mountbatten Plan was against the will of the subjects. If such was the issue than why not the majority Muslim population under the Hindu Dogra ruler in Kashmir was allowed to decide their own fate.

For last sixty five years the issue has been at the core of the controversy in Indian subcontinent leaving the two nations, India and Pakistan having fought the 4 wars and busy in anti-insurgency operation. But, it seems that the Indian Muslims have submitted there will to the majority voices, who want a tight hold on Kashmir at any cost, even if there are more 70,000 bodies are found, the official number of people get killed during last 6 decades of violence in the state.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please make the effort to spend a few years in Kashmir before you issue your expert comments.
I spent 4 years in various places in Doda and Kashmir during the height of the violence. The local people didn't want terrorism or Azadi, just peace.
They didn't grudge the Army so much as they grudge the paramilitary forces that are stationed there now.