Table of Contents
   Index
   About the Author
   Preface
   Foreword
 KASHMIR: PAST
   Kashmiri Hindus: Origin ...
   Sultan Zain-ul-abidin
   The Sayyids as Oppressors
   Chak Fanatics
   The Mughals
   The Afghans
   Sikh Rule
   Dogra Rule
 KASHMIR: PRESENT
   Post-1947 Scenario
   Jammu and Ladakh ...
   Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad
   Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq
   Sayyed Mir Qasim
   Sheikh Abdullah Sows Seeds ...
   Farooq Abdullah ...
   Ghulam Mohammad Shah ...
   Rajiv-Farooq Accord
   Proxy War Declared
   Muslim Fundamentalism
   Terrible Plight of Minorities 
   13th November, 1991
   Epilogue
   Appendix
   Download Book 

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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CHAPTER NINE

Post 1947 Scenario

Kashmir as an integral part of India was making 'tryst with destiny', but the post-1947 scenario of developments within the State hijacked the Kashmirian Hindus from sharing the tryst. The National Conference leaders of top-notch stature rooted in their age-old hatred and antipathy unto the Kashmirian Hindus concertedly devised and pursued a policy of fire and brimstone only to blast their citadel into an unrecognisable pile of ruins. A loud campaign emanating from the corridors of power that the Kashmirian Hindus had greener pastures available outside the purlieux of Kashmir proved ominous for their future prospects of peace, stability and security, thus turning turtle their apple-cart of hopes, visions and aspirations. The Kashmirian Hindus were virtually put on the hit list of the government; each dart issuing from its armoury, targeting, injuring and maiming them. Justice for them had the back-seat. They were not even heard though that was their basic right. Open hostility unto them unleashed by men in corridors of power was sufficient enough to convince them that they had no future in their land of genesis, which they revered and loved as a splendorous manifestation of Shiva only.

Sheikh Abdullah's utterances apropos the Kashmirian Hindus that they in his Islamic ghetto as envisioned by the top Sayyids would be reduced to hewers of wood and drawers of water served as guidelines for weakening them politically by trampling upon their right of electing and getting elected and crippling them economically by an open policy of discrimination in matters of employment, admissions to various study programmes and general planning policy for their over-all upliftment, thus hounding them out for extinction, thrown away from their roots. Mirza Afzal Beg as the campaign-manager of this treacherous game set the tone and tenor for the storm that had to gather for the Kashmirian Hindus obliging them to go in trickles across the Bannihal tunnel in search of a mere pittance. As per a report in the Hindustan Times, 8000 Kashmirian Hindus had migrated from their ancestral land to various parts of the country by the end of 1955.1

Debt Conciliation Boards

The Government of Sheikh Abdullah committed to relieve the peasantry of the crushing burden of debts declared moratorium on debts incurred by peasants and constituted Debt Conciliation Boards for the purpose. It was a radical measure beyond any shadow of doubt, hailed by all sections of the Kashmirian populace. The old accumulated debts, scaled down from 11.1 million to 2.4 million rupees, provided sufficient relief to the Muslim peasantry.2 Though the Kashmirian Muslims were hit the most, yet it was loudly trumpeted that the Kashmirian Hindus were the oppressors of the peasants, who had incurred debts from them only at exorbitant rates. The Muslim wad-dars (Bakals), despite religious injunctions, pursued the profession uf lending money to their co-religionists at unimaginable rates of interest and were the real oppressors. The Hindu intellectuals of sound and healthy approach to the problem of giving relief to the Muslim peasantry from bone-breaking burdens of accumulated debts were the main architects of the entire scheme with all its modalities. Late Damodar Bhat, a wellknown lawyer practising at Badagam and Srinagar bars, played a key-role in devising and effectively implementing the measure designed for the economic revival of the peasantry with its far-reaching impact on the establishment of a just and rational society at large. Pandit Rishi Dev was a key member on the Central Debt Conciliation Board.

But, the Boards set up to dispose of cases under provisions of law led to the creation of lots of misgivings in the miniscule minority of Hindus, who got the feel that the manner the Boards dispensed justice smacked of utmost prejudice and communalism. Most of the Boards proved hostile and partial. In cases where debtors confessed of having incurred debts and were supported by genuine documents, the Boards decreed for the re-payment of debts in appallingly low instalments dismaying the bankers for having lost even their principal sums. The communal tilt manifested by the Debt Conciliation Boards worked havoc with the minority psyche. Despite it, the Kashmirian Hindus accepted it and the Muslims exhibited their utmost animosity and opposition to the measure, which had hit some politically powerful families connected with the Sheikh and the National Conference.

Land Reforms

The fact remains that the National Conference leadership could not back-track from its commitment to relieving the peasantry from the moribund system of feudalism. Land reforms were a must and a significant component of a wider socio-economic programme of reconstruction and regeneration. In the blue-print of 'New Kashmir', the land reforms were envisaged as a key to freeing the peasantry from the thraldom of feudalism acting as an obstacle in their onward march to freedom from exploitation and abject poverty. Designed to create a support-base in the Muslim peasantry of Kashmir, the National Conference leadership slyly presented the Hindus as the only section possessing enormous landed property, which was many leagues away from truth. In the province of Kashmir, if there were some Hindu landlords, there were equally Muslim landlords who were more ruthless in their treatment of the Muslim tenants, ever tightening their noose on them only to reduce them to abysmal depths of want and deprivation. The Muslim cruelty heaped on the Muslim tenants was never highlighted by the National Conference leaders, who stoutly opposed the Kisan Sabha organised by Late Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz under the leadership of Abdul Salam Yatu.3 Reasons for this might have been political, but the fact remains that the Radical Humanists working under the overall guidance and leadership of Shree Bazaz were the first to focus on the problems confronting the Muslim peasantry of Kashmir. The Muslim leadership of the National Conference aroused hatred against the Kashmirian Hindus, who, as per them, were the oppressors of the Muslims. It never focussed on the extraordinary precedent set by Pandit Jia Lal Tamiri,4 a top freedom fighter known for his proverbial honesty and Pandit Durga Prashad Dhar,5 a central minister, who had given their ancestral lands to their tenants much before land reforms were enacted and implemented in the State. Have the Muslims of Kashmir to offer such a unique example standing comparison to the one set by two bright sons of the Kashmirian Hindu community?

The National Conference leaders only to capitalise on the hatred and ill-will that the Muslims of Kashmir harboured against the Kashmirian Hindus made frequent references to Bala Kak Dhar and Shyam Sunder Lal Dhar as oppressors of the Muslims, but they never referred to Ahmad Mir and Musmat Ashraf Begum, 6 two big land-owners of Kashmir, in the same contemptuous and derisive terms highlighting their oppression and cruelty unto the Muslim tenants. It will be pertinent to put that the National Conference as a political organisaton, despite its radical programme, was essentially rooted in medieval thought structure lending sanctity to all hues of Muslims, no matter what their position and status in economic relations were. 'Hail a person, if he is a Muslim and hate a person, if he is a Hindu' has been the watch-word of the National Conference politics.

The Government, true to its commitment, appointed a Land Reforms Committee in April, 1948 with the patent mandate of drafting a plan for the abolition of big landed estates and transfer of land to the tiller. The ruling clique representing different political and economic interests got entangled in the ceiling tussle with Mirza Afzal Beg and Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq opting for a lower ceiling and non-payment of compensation for the lands wrested from the land-lords. But, before the Land Reforms Committee, working under various pulls and pressures, would formulate a plan for land reforms and the same would be enacted as law, Sheikh Abdullah from the forum of National Conference divulged the entire scheme resulting in the defeat of the spirit motivating the said reforms.7

The Muslim landlords having come to learn that they had to surrender their landed estates exceeding 182 Kanals fixed as the standard ceiling entered into quick negotiations with their Muslim tenants for sharing the surplus land. In the process, religious ties and sentiments were exploited and the revenue hierarchy abetted the subversion of the entire scheme of land reforms conceived as a radical measure to boost up the lot of the Muslim peasantry in Kashmir. Critics of Sheikh Abdullah attribute it to his deliberate attempt to save the Muslim landlords from the thrust of the reforms. The end-product was that the Hindus of Kashmir especially those holding not much too big tracts of land were deprived of their large chunks of land without compensation. Because of religious differences, the Hindu landlords were at a definite disadvantage.

Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, 1952, did not prove of great benefit to the peasants, who were really landless.8 Instead it led to the creation of a new class of Muslim landlords, who as tenants had their own tracts of land, and were allotted large tracts from the surplus land acquired by government from the landlords by virtue of the Act.9 The Act was not scientifically conceived and drafted, as all available models worked out in America and the Soviet Union based on huge proprietory farms and co-operative and collective farms with no private ownership were neither cognised nor thoroughly studied. Even the Brazilian models and the Chinese experiment stressing the stakes of the farmers m the farm-land on a permanent basis were also simply ignored. The National Conference leadership got the reforms implemented through the bureaucratic machine ignoring the suggestion by the radicals that they be implemented by the peasant committees.l0

"What appeared highly irrational was that the ceiling was fixed in relation to an individual, as a unit of cultivation and not a family. This meant allowing to a family as many times the amount of ceiling land as the number of sons in a family and their father. They could possess as many times the portions of exempted land also. It could mean that a family could own a big landed estate,"11 records D. N. Dhar. The fact remains that the loop was not there by mistake but it was not plugged with the deliberate intention of providing an opportunity and escape route to the Muslims to distribute the surplus land among the sons and relations of the family only to save them from the scissors of the Act.

The Big Landed Estates Abolition Act did not touch Bedzars, Safedzars, Kahikrisham and orchards and could be possessed beyond any limit. This sly measure of keeping such lands beyond the purview of the Act was resorted to only to safeguard the Muslim interests and was a pointer to the growing political and economic power of the orchardist lobby within the government. Records D. N. Dhar, "What made things worse was that a tiller, after the land reform, had assumed two capacities, one as an owner and the other as a tenant. As owner he could possess the land within the ceiling limit and as tenant, he could hold as much as he wished because no ceiling was fixed for the tiller as tenant.''12

Despite many perceptible flaws and sectarian tilt, the Big Estates Abolition Act did not by and large erode the rural base of the Kashmirian Hindus, who grumbled, yet took it in a stride and their intellectuals characterising it as a necessary measure to rejuvenate the entire economic structure leading to the prosperity of the rural masses. The said Act evoked the worst-ever reaction from the Muslim landlords of Kashmir in definite laison with the landlords hailing from the region of Jammu. The rich peasants aligning with the National Conference sharply reacted against the measure and there was a revolt against the leadership only to be quelled by showering of many more concessions on them.

The Agrarian Reforms Act of 1972 and the Agrarian Reforms Art of 1976 drafted and enacted during the regimes headed by G. M. Sadiq and Mir Qasim (Congress) and Sheikh Abdullah (National Conference) offer the following features:

(a) All the apple-Sheikhs and saffron-sharks are beyond the purview of the Acts.

(b) The compensation as per the schedule II, Part A of the Act, 1972 varies from Rs. 7.50 to Rs. 500/- per kanal. It is not at the market rates of land ranging from 10,000 to 5 lac per kanal.

(c) Compensatiun paid for acquiring a portion of land in the public interest is not to benefit the owner, but the tenant, who is a Muslim.

(d) The Hindu widows, orphans, blind and disabled depending solely on land are left in wilderness, unprotected and uncared tor, languishing in utter poverty.

(e) The Hindus under the provisions of the Acts could resume land for tilling, but were never alloweded to resume land by issuance of decrees upon decrees, blocking all possibilities for such resumption. As 90% applicants for resumption are Hindus, the government has simply ignored them.

(f) The revenue records of the Kashmirian Hindus have been grossly tampered with and erased with the result their cases eat dust and have never been settled.

(g) The levy collected from the 'prospective tenants' for the  'prospective owners' by way of compensation stands mis-appropriated by the revenue officials, mostly Muslims.

(h) The interests of MLAs, MPs, IAS officers, secretaries (under, deputy and additional) to government departments, judges, Tehsildars and other political and economic heavy-weights, all Muslims, owning huge tracts of land stand well protected by manipulating and tampering the records.

(i) As per the stipulations of the Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, the land-owners deprived of their landed property had to be provided employment at least to one member of their families, but in case of the Kashmirian Hindus, it was simply ignored.

There are instances galore pinpointing the unscientific character and sheer worthlessness of the entire exercise of land reforms.
(a) A Hindu land-owner is a petty pensioner, whose land goes to a Muslim millionaire.

(b) Land belonging to a Hindu widow with no other means of sustenance is transferred to an apple-Sheikh.

(c) A Hindu land-owner is a petty school teacher whose land is grabbed only to be transferred to a Muslim gazetted officer holding enormous assets.

(d) The lands belonging to the (Hindu) deaf and dumb, mentally retarded and disabled with nothing to fall back upon are snatched and transferred to apple-Sheikhs and businessmen rolling in wealth and riches unlimited.

(e) The tenants benefitted under the Acts have emerged as the Kulaks at the site of land l3 never tilling their huge tracts of land, but hiring the Bihari labourers on payment of Rs. 30/- per day and two square meals a day.

(f) The Muslims emboldened by the government patronage chopped off the orchards of the Hindus and the Sikhs only to show the lands under their tenancy and the revenue hierarchy legalising the whole brutality by registering mutations in the names of the plunderers.

(g) As the orchards have been placed beyond the purview of the ceiling limits, the cultivators taking law into their own hands and the Muslim authorities conniving at transforming thc agricultural lands into orchards. This practice has been resorted to on a large scale, initially started by the politically influential and affluent sections of the Muslim peasantry.

(h) Even a petty- land-holder among the Hindus was not spared from the thrust of the land reforms.

Be it said that the land reforms enacted with vengefulness motivated by the utmost prejudice against the Kashmirian Hindus sticking to their faith completely eroded their rural base, reducing them to the status of aliens in their own environs and pushing them out of the rural scenario, which they were accused of polluting by chanting a mantra, tolling a bell, blowing a conch and tending a temple or a shrine. At village level the reforms generated a fury of hatred and a storm of religious strife resulting in the harassment and intimidation of the Hindus ever in tight-straits. 'Occupy the lands of the Kashmirian Hindus' was the clarioncall of the top leaders of National Conference to the peasants, who took law into their own hands, beat, abused and heaped all manner of humiliation on them and the government machinery especially law-enforcing and revenue agencies aiding the whole process of loot, plunder and forcible occupation. Depriving them of sustenance by snatching away small holdings of land, the Kashmirian Hindus had two options, either to march out or get converted to Islam only to win sympathies for a relief from the Islamised bureaucracy. The Kashmirian Hindus being a fragile minority with no weapons to wield could not retaliate in the same manner as men of other communities wielding weapons retaliated by shooting dead the tenants trying to forcibly occupy their ancestral lands. It is worth to be recorded that the Hindu landlords though very few in number, were highly compassionate and considerate to their Muslim tenants and no assiduous probing of records can establish a single case where a Kashmirian Hindu landlord might have tortured or slaughtered his tenants while feudal history elsewhere is bristling with such horrendous examples.

The land reforms proved practically a war waged on the Kashmirian Hindus and the war was not finished in one swoop. In fact, it was planned phase-wise. The big landed estates were abolished in 1952 and whatsoever small holdings were left in the possession of the Hindus were grabbed in 1972 and 1976. With the sole design of exerting sustained pressure on them, adding to their insecurity and instability and fear psychosis and finally leading to their exodus or liquidation, thus finishing the incomplete pogram of extirpating and decimating infidelity (kufur) from the land of Kashmir.

'Could it be asked why the applications from the Kashmirian Hindus for resumption of land provided under the Acts have been put under the carpet? Is it because the applicants are mostly Hindus'? Why have decrees upon decrees been issued, one contradicting the other, for throttling the processes of resumption?

Is it because the Hindus as a matter of state policy are not to be allowed to resume land? Why have not the orchards and saffron fields stretching over miles been put to the sharp scissors of land reforms acts? Is it because they are owned by apple-Sheikhs and saffron-sharks?

The Central Government under the hegemony of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru went on watching passively how death and destruction was being wrought on the Kashmirian Hindus. It could have intervened if not by stopping the entire drama of destruction, but by the issuance of specific guidelines founded on sound expertise to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Even the Planning Commission could have been commissioned for drafting a fool-proof reforms programme in an impartial manner. The state government acted hastily only to transfer land from one set of people to the other ensuring the economic precedence of the Muslims over other ethnic groups which led to ominous developments destabilising the entire state.

Bereft of small holdings of land with no hopeful prospects of rehabilitation, the Kashmirian Hindus as hapless victims to a tyrannical order devising each measure for their utter ruination were driven to the wall and in their sheer frustration and despair repaired to various parts of the country in quest of a meagre living. That they were migrating for greener pastures is a sheer myth manufactured by politicians like Saif-ud-din Soz, come from nowhere, only to smoke screen the unjust and inequitous treatment meted out to them by the Muslim rulers masquerading as nationalists and Congressites. Without undertaking an indepth and detailed analysis of their problems with clinical precision, the Central Government in its sheer callousness issued directions to various central departments not to recruit the migrating Kashmirian Hindus.14

Despite it, the trickle of exodus went on unabated attracting the attention of men in corridors of power in the central capital. It is generally believed that the Central Government took strong exception to the harassment and intimidation of the Kashmirian Hindus. Minding signals from the Centre, Sheikh Abdullah chose to attend a function at Sheetalnath, Srinagar organised to celebrate Lord Krishna's birth anniversary. Only as an eyewash, he had an interaction with the leadership of the Hindu community, who articulated their views on the entire gamut of issues that had cropped up for the community in the wake of post-1947 political and economic developments. The Sheikh promised redressal of their problems and grievances, but the government of the day communally tilted continued with its policy of hammer and tongs against the Hindus designed to eliminate them from all walks of life.

The Hindus forming 2 percent minority in Kashmir were totally ignored by the state government out to appease the Muslims and also by the Central Government out to ingratiate itself with the Muslims. The minority of Kashmir has never been a mute minority. It has effectively highlighted its vital problems with the Central and state governments apropos economic distress, blatant discrimination on communal grounds and encroachment on religious places finally leading to their forcible occupation. The state government of any complexion openly espoused the Muslim cause, protecting Muslim interests by legislation and manipulation, not caring two hoots for the secular ideals, democratic values and constitutional tenets safe-guarding rights of all, no matter what faith and religion they harboured. The apathy and neglect exhibited by the central leaders unto the Hindu minority of Kashmir have been both amazing and mind-boggling. Aware of the captive state of the Hindu minority, they never thought of their survival against the massive onslaught of the Muslim majority communalism, which is highly aggressive and frenzied. Any attempt in the direction of eliminating the Kashmirian Hindus was a pointer to the establishment of an Islamic state in Kashmir replete with the potential of blasting the entire Indian edifice put on the pedestal of secularism, tolerance and co-existence.

In the domain of politics many miles on the high-way of accession to India were traversed. Documents were signed and history was made. But, in the wake of it, the political mind of Sheikh Abdullah suffered a quick reversal and the issues, which were practically shelved, got opened up giving currency to 'plebiscite' and 'independent Kashmir' with their mesmeric impact on the mass mind. The new options being pleaded and propagated by the Sheikh had less of political cogency and more of personal ego impelling him to invite a head-on clash with the central power. His visions of maintaining Kashmir as his personal fiefdom got revived and his yellings against the very leaders, who had firmly propped him up in his struggle against an autocratic ruler, proved disastrous. There were many vigorous minds, who sensed his illusions of keeping Kashmir away from the mainstream and by spilling blood and suffering martyrdom, they blasted the separatist barrier of 'Permit System', thus bringing the State of Jammu and Kashmir closer to India to share the currents and cross-currents of mainstream life. The Sheikh had no firm convictions and was given to double talk and duplicity. He objectively carried the Kashmirian Muslims to India, but fortified them against the currents and cross-currents of Indian life with all what it means.

In the back-drop of ominous political developments, the role of the Kashmirian Hindus became suspect. With their profound commitment to the forces of unity and integrity of India, they could not support a wayward thesis of independence or plebiscite, actually serving as a facade for pro-Pak forces to close up their ranks for achieving the objective of annexing Kashmir to Pakistan, which had not abandoned its policy of interference and subversion in Kashmir. Threats subduing the Hindus were openly doled out. Even surveillance was mounted on them. A close watch was mounted on the Hindu officers in the Department of Police. The activities of the Hindu leaders already a part of the governmental machine were monitored. Scandals of theft and corruption were hurled at them only to tarnish their image and lower their stock in the public eye.l5 The Kashmirian Hindus irrespective of their station and status in life were openly branded as the spies of India. As per the fiat of a top Muslim theologian responsible for the genocide of the Kashmirian Hindus, no Hindu could operate as a spy in the Muslim land, which Kashmir was by and by emerging as ethnic cleansing and econonomic and political strangulation of the minorities had been consistently and unflinchingly resorted to. The process of suspecting the bonafides of the Hindus finally touched its culmination when Sheikh Abdullah dubbed them as 'fifth column' with their gaze set at the Central Capital l6 and not joining the mainstream politics of Kashmir, which had discernible currents of separatism, secessionism and communal hatred.

It is pertinent to put that the accusations levelled against the Kashmirian Hindus and also against the tall sons of the country form a part of the Sheikh's auto-biography, Aatish-e-Chinar, alleged to have heen written by a ghost writer. The said-book earning recognition from the Sahitya Academy virtually put the seal of approval on all the irrelevant and spurious observations littered over the book.

The Sheikh's remarks never posed him in brighter colours, but exposed his secular credentials, which were always infirm. The ranks of communalists openly maligning the Kashmirian Hindus as the spies of lndia had already set a trend and the Sheikh did not deem it fit to counter it even half-heartedly. Instead, without offering resistance, he set his boat in the same direction. As things were shaping, the Hindus were deemed to have outlived their utility unto the Muslim cause. The end-product of the Sheikh's utterances in the book was that a wave of unprecedented hatred against the Kashmirian Hindus got generated, their bonafides became suspect, their relations with the Muslim neighbours suffered a sudden break and cumulatively the Muslim rationalily developed a vertical crack.

The Sheikh had thrown ample indications that he was a part of the whole campaign for Islamisation of Kashmir. After 1975 takeover he is said to have gone to the extent of addressing the Muslim officers in the secretariat exhorting them to weed out all traces of the Hindus in the power structure, though the Islamised bureaucracy had already completed the task. In tune with the Iocal Muslim officialdom, the Sheikh pursued the policy of side-lining and detracting the outsiders belonging to the IPS and IAS cadres, taking and treating them as unwanted elements being thrust on Kashmir by a colonial power.

The Muslim communalists operating under the cover of the Sheikh's calumny and slander against the Kashmirian Hindus found a fertile ground for the Muslim mobilisation for subversion, secessionism and Hindu-baiting. Since the dawn of independence, systematic efforts were made to liquidate the patriotic and peace-loving community of the Hindus. It was done under the garb of secular facade and national reconstruction. The Hindus everywhere whether in street, educational institutions or government offices were subjected to all manner of harassment and intimidation. Not only that they were reviled and a barrage of provocative invective let loose on them but what the campaign managers under the state patronage meant to achieve was polarisation of the two communities on religious grounds with all communication channels cut off or dried up.

The Kashmirian Hindus known for their patience and tough fibre pocketed all the insults hurled on them and patiently bore the humiliation they were subjected to. Normally such situations have led to an out-break of communal violence in various parts of the country. The majoritarian communalism generated and perpetuated by the powers that be in connivance with the vicious communal forces operating at every level in Kashmir was directed to single-point objective of silencing, sidelining and finally liquidating the Kashmirian minority of the Hindus, who are soft, sophisticated and highly educated. From Sheikh Abdullah, Mirza Afzal Beg, G. M. Sadiq and Mir Qasim all down the line, everyone in the governmental apparatus and political frame worked with single-minded concentration to weed out the Kashmirian Hindus, who were projected as the spies of India operating on the soil of Kashmir. What had angered Sheikh Abdullah most was that the Kashmirian Hindus did not stand by him when he was deposed in 1953 for having fallen into the dragnet of a conspiracy of outside origin. Instead the Hindus had the cheek to oppose his somersaults in politics and also keep away from the politics of Plebiscite Front operating with his blessings.

Following the foot-prints of that great tormentor of the Kashmirian Hindus, Sikandar, the iconoclast, Sheikh did not fight shy of repeating his decree, 'get converted or flee or get perished'. In fact, the blue-print for Islamisation of Kashmir was laid down by him only and all others succeeding him as the helmsmen of Kashmir pursued the same policy of tightening the noose on the Hindus till they got strangulated and snuffed out. All government fiats, legislations and directives were the missives hurled on them only to put them in strait jackets. All norms were violated, new norms smacked of blatant communalism and, in fact, governments of any political persuasion resorted to the norm of violating all norms only to favour and foster the Muslim interests.

Quantity, mediocrity and academic poverty gained precedence over quality, brilliance and academic richness. Only to benefit the Kashmirian Muslims all constitutional guarantees were thrown to the winds and ruthlessly subverted. The Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhists of Laddakh were totally ignored in matters of recruitment, educational programmes and allotment of financial resources for developmental activities. In contravention of the constitutional tenets, the Muslims of the Valley were as a matter of state policy declared as backward and the Kashmirian Hindus as a creamy layer. Highly astounding was the categorisation of the posh Muslim localities inhabited by the corrupt engineers, fraudulent businessmen, drug peddlars and highly affluent people as the backward pockets and stinking slum areas inhabited by the Kashmirian Hindus as the posh and affluent localities. Fraudulent manipulation, irrational measures, communally motivated directives and partisan considerations were resorted to as devices to boost up the Muslim interests at the cost of other population segments estabishing their hegemony over the politico-economic fabric of the state. Communal representation on the basis of population was the standard policy devised to regulate recruitment in services, admissions in colleges and other training institutions.

The economic devastation of the Kashmirian Hindus coupled with an onslaught on their right to live resulted in consigning them to the backwaters of the Kashmirian scenario. But, the Kashmirian Hindus never reconciled to the status of third degree citizens assigned to them by the Muslim rulers. They took their battle against the rulers to the constitutional and legal fora set up for the purpose under law. What has come their way is the feeling that the institutions established in the country have lost their strength and vitality and have failed the people of the country. The entire pyramid of courts dispensing justice has grown obese and inflexible with no muscles to meet the relevant requirements of a nation developing new dynamics. The judicial processes involving cases of economic deprivation, restoration of justiciable rights and ercroachments on the religious properties of the Kashmirian Hindus have been dilatory and time-consuming. In most of the cases the executive has shown scant respect for the court judgments and strained every nerve to subvert them reducing them almost to nullity.

Notes and References

 1. P. N. Bazaz, Struggle for Freedom in Kashmir.  2. Ibid.  3. Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz, Inside Kashmir.  4. Ahmad Mir owned 4202 Kanals of land and Musmat Ashraf Begum owned 3,915 Kanals. D. N. Dhar, Socio-Economic History of Kashmir Peasantry.  5. P. N. K. Bamzai, History of Kashmir.  6. Ibid.  7. Ibid.  8. Ibid.  9. Interview with P. N. Jalali, veteran freedom fighter.  10. D. N. Dhar, Socio-Economic History of Kashmir Peasantry  11. Ibid.  12. King C. Bharti. "Land Reforms - A Hoax". Daily Excelsior, Jammu  13. D. N. Dhar, Socio-Economic History of Kashmir Peasantry.  14. The said-order though inoperative, has not been formally withdrawn even now.  15. Pt. Shyam Lal Saraf, a veteran freedom fighter, was indirectly accused of having stolen a clock from his office chambers.  16. Sheikh Abdullah, Aatish-e-Chinar. Be it said that the Muslim leaders of National Conference are said to have looted all the guest-houses of the Maharaja Hari Singh and denuded them of precious carpets and even nuts and bolts of Persian make. A particular Chief Minister never cooked food at his residence and all items of food would be supplied to him by the Department of Tawazaa (hospitality).
 

Kashmir: Past and Present

 

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