Panun Kashmir - Logic and Relevance
By Dr. Ajay Chrungoo
Panun Kashmir was born as a comprehensive response to the
challenges faced by the nation in Kashmir. An in-depth understanding of the
reasons which lead to the forced displacement of Kashmiri Hindus formed the
substratum of its political perspective. This understanding did not trivilise
the religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus by considering it as a mere
aberration in the local political expression.
Panun Kashmir realised the linkage of the religious
cleansing in Jammu and Kashmir to the civilisational and political challenges to
the nation-building process in the state.
The organisation has been acutely conscious of the grave
implications of the process which sought to insulate the national discourse on
secularism and human rights from the happenings in Kashmir.
Panun Kashmir developed a firm opinion that the causes of
displacement of Kashmiri Hindus underlined issues which were of fundamental
importance to the nation. The efforts, particularly from within aimed at
ensuring that the internal displacement of Kashmiri Hindus becomes a non-event
constitutes one of the crucial elements of the subversive war to balkanise India
and cripple the Nation state.
While formulating its political approach Panun Kashmir
took into account following realities :
*Kashmir has contributed substantially to the fund of
Indian civilization in almost all fields. Kashmiri Hindus pioneered the movement
for Sanskritisation of Himalayas, which ultimately paved the way for the
evolution and consolidation of Northern Frontier of India. Kashmiri Hindus
therefore Constitute the Indian Civilisational Frontline in Kashmir.
Religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus is one more
concerted attempt to snap the civilisation link of Kashmir with India. Its wider
implication is to prepare the platform for dismantling the Northern Frontier of
India by destroying its cultural content.
*Kashmiri Hindus also constituted the Political Frontline
for the geopolitics which aims to undermine Indian position in Kashmir. This
social group acted as a symbol of Indian nationalism a vital component of the
pluralistic identity of Kashmir and the powerful impetus for democratization of
Kashmiri Hindus contested all the variants of Muslim
communalism and separatism in the Valley. Their destabilisation was always
visualised by the anti-Indian forces in Kashmir as a crucial step towards
breaking down of the indigenous political resistance to the separatist politics.
*Muslim separatism in Jammu and Kashmir has three genres
which include demand for accession to Pakistan, carving out an Independent State
of Jammu and Kashmir and seeking greater autonomy on the basis of Muslim
*The political demand of Panun Kashmir seeks to
decisively change the paradigm of politics paractised by Kashmiris. This
politics was primarily determined by the Muslim religious identity. It had same
ideological connotations as that of Muslim League before partition of India.
*The Panun Kashmir demand links the return of Kashmiri
Hindus to the free flow of Indian Constitution. By seeking such a dispensation
Panun Kashmir declares the compatibility of Kashmiri identity with the
constitutional process governing India. It also proclaims that the communal
separatism in Kashmir is an inherent consequence of the constitutional
fortification of Muslim identity rather than erosion of the constitutional
The demand brings to fore the historical and secular
imperatives confronting the Kashmir identity.
Panun Kashmir as Corrective
*Panun Kashmir seeks to act as a decisive corrective so
far as the National discourse on Human Rights and secularism is concerned.
*The discourse on Human Rights at the national level has
been primarily driven by a subversive drive to undermine and cripple the state
responses to the challenges confronting national integrity and sovereignty.
This discourse has selectively focussed on state action
in a situation where terrorism has established sway on the social milieu.
It has sought to insulate the individual and the organs
of the Kashmiri society from the responsibility of upholding human rights. By
implication it has provided space and immunity to the terrorist operatives.
*Panun Kashmir through its campaign has sought to focus
attention on the individual and group responsibility in upholding the Human
Panun Kashmir has stressed the role of state action
rather than inaction in fighting terrorism. It has tried to widen the moral
space for the actions of a democratically-elected government to curb terrorist
violence. Panun Kashmir has sought to delegitimise terrorism in all forms and
with all justifications.
*Through its campaigns of focussing national and
international attention on religious cleansing and terrorism Panun Kashmir has
stripped off the terrorist movement in Kashmir of its pretensions of being a
Secular discourse in the country particularly vis-a-vis
Kashmir has suffered from a serious drawback. It recognises any accession of
Jammu and Kashmir to India as the only yardstick which should determine
judgement on the secular behaviour of the polity in the state. The communal
content of the local politics has always been ignored or rationalised. This
attitude helped in strengthening the Muslim communal stridency in the state. It
has also accorded respectability to Muslim subnationalism in the state.
Over the years the Muslim subnationalism in Jammu and
Kashmir and the fissiparous tendencies in many parts of India have developed a
symbiotic relationship. Dilution of Indian sovereignty in Kashmir is being
visualised as a decisive in put to redefine principles of Indian federalism
along divisive subnational denominators for its eventual balkanisation.
*Panun Kashmir demand essentially brings to surface this
contradiction of the secular discourse. It exposes the linkages of Muslim
separatism in the state with the separatist tendencies elsewhere in the country.
It seeks to sensitise the nation to the dangers of flirting with religious
Last but not the least, Panun Kashmir deals a decisive
blow to the Dixon proposal or its variants. These seek the solution for the
crisis in Jammu and Kashmir by advocating division of the state along the flow
of Chenab river which roughly divides the state into Hindu and Muslim areas.
The demand for rehabilitating 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus
north and east of river Jhelum in Kashmir valley brings a new perspective into
play. It shifts the emphasis from communal division of state to the fractured
political cravings of the Kashmiri population. Panun Kashmir demand renders
separatist politics full of stakes for the future.