Table of Contents
   Index
   Secessionist Movements
- Article 370
- Interim Government
- The Plebiscite Front
   Muslim Militancy
- The Gathering Storm
- War of Attrition
   Disinformation Compaign
- Political Alienation
- Muslim Precedence
- Economics of Militancy
   Genocide of Hindus
- The Minorities
- Quit Kashmir
- Darkness at Noon
- The Exodus
- Ethnic Cleansing
   Search for Refuge
- Leave Salary
- Scorched Earth
   Book in pdf format  

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Chapter 3
Disinformation Compaign

MUSLIM PRECEDENCE

After the accession of the State to the Indian Dominion in October 1947, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir State was reconstituted to give effect to the transfer of power to the people in accordance with the practice followed by the Government of India in the princely States. The transfer of power in the State was aimed to end the rigours of the princely rule and ensure the exercise of authority in accordance with the democratic process and the acceptance of administrative responsibility. However, the transfer of power in Jammu and Kashmir assumed a different direction. No sooner did the National Conference leaders constitute the first Interim Government, they abandoned their commitments to all secular norms and set out to reorganise the State on the basis of the communal precedence of the Muslim majority. The rapid transformation of the whole economic organisation of the State, which upturned the property relations, the Dogra rulers had established and which the Interim Government accomplished, ostensibly to eliminate exploitation and poverty, led directly to the emergence of a new Muslim middle class, which in the years to come, formed the mainstay of the Muslim separatist movements in the State. The first Interim Government secured the exclusion of the State from the constitutional nrganisation of India mainly to secure the social, political and economic of the Muslim majority in the State. In their parleys with the Indian leaders, the Conference leaders insisted upon the institution of a separate Constituent Assembly for the State which would formulate a separate constitutional framework and sets of political imperatives to safeguard the basic right of the people in the State independent of the fundamental rights the Constituent Assembly of India had evolved. More particularly, the Conference leaders vehemently opposed, the acceptance of all rights to equality and protection of minorities, which the Constitution of India envisaged on the ground that such rights conflicted with the economic reforms the Interim Government had undertaken. The Interim Govermnent secured the abdication of Maharaja Hari Singh and after that, did not take long to assume total control over the authority of the State. In less than a year, the Hindus were eliminated from the economic organisation of the State, its government and administration. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the Prime Minister in the Interim Government, who virtually became the ruler of the State, headed the Auqat- Islamia, the Muslim Endowment Trust, but demanded the dissolution of the Dharmarth, the Hindu Endowment Trust which the Dogra rulers had established. The Interim Govermnent forged a new Muslim ruling elite, which ruled the State in the decades which followed, relegating the Hindus to a condition of abject servitude. 

The Interim Government packed the Constitutent Assembly with Muslims, seventy three of its seventy five members were returned unopposed and without contest, the remaining two seats in the Assembly, were also bagged by the National Conference after their opponents were driven out of the contest. In the Assembly, around three fourth of the members were Muslims. The whole delimitation of the constituencies was based upon disproportionate distribution of population, ensuring the Muslim majority province of Kashmir a heavier weightage than the Hindu majority province of Jammu. When Sheikh Mohammad Abduallah denounced the Delhi Agreement in 1953, and demanded the separation of the State from the territorial jurisdiction of the Union of India, the handful of the Hindu members in the Assembly stood against him and supported the second Interim Government headed by Bakshi Gulam Mohamad. Few of the Muslim members of the Constituent Assembly offered their support to the second Interim Government, during those critical days after the dismissal of the Interim Government headed by Sheikh Mohamad Abdullah. Later the Muslim members were bought by Bakshi, for a fairly high price, which was paid only at the cost of the Hindus. 

Bakshi did not end the Muslim precedence in the government and the society of the State and inspite of the partial application of the fundamental rights, envisaged by the Constitution of India to Jammu and Kashmir, the process of the elimination of the Hindus from the political and economic organisation of the State continued unabated. Bakshi Ghulam Mohamad also continued to head the Muslim Endowment Trust, the Auqaf-Islamia. After the Constituent Assembly completed its labours and a seperate constitution was promulgated in the State in 1957, Bakshi packed the first Legislative Assembly, on the basis of the constituencies delimited for the elections to the Constitutent Assembly. The Muslims of Kashmir were ensured perpetual heavier weightage in the elections to the State Legislature than the people in Jammu and Ladakh. During the last four decades, legislative majorities were predominantly Muslim. The demand of the Hindus of Jammu for a review of the delimitation and the four decades long struggle of the three lakhs of Hindus and Sikh refugess for the citizenship of the State, was never met. 

The scourge of the Muslim precedence spread wider. Not only were legislative bodies and the political instruments dominantly Muslim, the entire administrative organisation was Muslimised rapidly within days after the Interim Government was saddled in office. The rapid process of summary removal of the Hindus from the State services was initated on the pretext of communal imbalances in the services, which the Conference leaders alleged, characterised the administrative organisation of the State. The allegations were baseless. Glaring imbalances characterised the administration of the State, but the imblances were not communal in character. The State was virtually governed by the British and their officers in the Indian Political Department, which were posted in the State to conduct its administration. The Dogra ruling elite was not Hindu, it was constituted of the small agrarian middle class, which was equally Muslim. The services of the State were dominated by the British and the men of the Indian Civil Service, besides the clansmen of the ruling dynasty and a section of the Dogra ruling elite, almost half of which was constituted by the Muslims. The ranks of the State army were divided in a ratio of 55 percent Hindus and 45 percent Muslims, mostly drawn from the non-Kashmiri speaking subjects of the Dogra rulers. The Hindus of Kashmir and Jammu, who had taken to English education far ahead of their Muslim compatriots, were employed in subordinate services, on petty posts, and they licked the mud for the Raj as well as the British empire. 

The Interim Government, removed the senior Hindu Officers of the State Government on charges of having supported the Dogra rule replacing them by the henchmen of the National Conference and political adventurists. A virtual embargo was imposed on the employment of the Hindus of Kashmir in the State services, apparantly to rectify the alleged communal inbalances but in reality to Muslimise the various instruments of authority as well as the lines of its control. 

The partial application of the Constitution of India in 1954 and the promulgation of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir in January 1957, upheld the precedence of the Muslim majority. The application of the fundamental rights envisaged by the Constitution of India to the State by virtue of the Presidential order of May 1954, was restricted by numerous exceptions and reservations. This armed the State Government with arbitrary powers to effect reservations for classified sections of permanent residents of the State, which the successive State Government used ruthlessly to promote Muslim interests. 

The following facts reveal the extent of domination and precedence the Muslims, particularly the Muslims of the Kashmir province, enjoyed in the Government and politics of the State: 

(a) The imbalances in the delimitation of constituencies in the two provinces of Jammu and Kashmir and the exclusion of two and half lakhs of Hindu refugees, living in the State from 1947, from permanent residents of the State, was mainly aimed to reduce the weight-age of the Hindus in the legislative processes of the State, ensuring a three-fourth majority for the Muslims in the State Legislative Assembly. The representation of the Hindus was maintained at an average 31 percent of the seats in the Legislative Assembly. The entire Sharnarthi population was deprived of any representation in the local legislative bodies. In the delimitation of the electoral constituencies, gerrymandering was meticulously used to neutralise the decisive Hindu and Sikh weight age in, at least, three constituencies viz; Habbakadal, Anantnag and Baramulla in the Kashmir province and three constituencies in the Districts of Doda and Udhampur. Consequently in Kashmir, the Hindus and the Sikhs did not have even a single non-Muslim majority constituency, where from a representative of their choice could be elected to the Legislative Assembly of the State. Generally, the Hindus and other non- Muslim representatives, elected to the State Legislative Assembly from Kashmir, were mercenaries and men of small virtue, who never enjoyed the confidence of their community. The records of the proceedings of the Legislative Assembly reveal how the Hindu representatives supported the legislation aimed to exclude Hindus and other minorities from the organisation of the state Government and its political function and impose limitation on their entry to the educational institutions of the State. It will not be out of place to mention here, that when controversy raged over the passage of the Resettlement Bill, which the National Conference Government, headed by Sheikh Mohamad Abdullah introduced in the Assembly, to open the floodgates for the re-entry into the State, of the Muslims from Pakistan and the occupied territories, the Hindu representatives did not voice their disapproval of the Bill, which they were repeatedly told would prove disasterous for the State. None of the Hindu legislators, except those from Jammu, who were elected by the opposition, raised the issue of the thousands of Hindu refugees uprooted from the territories of the Kashmir province occupied by Pakistan. 

(b) Right from 1947, the Muslims adorned the office of the highest political executive of the State. The four Prime Ministers of the State, who headed the political executive till 1965, were Muslims and the six Chief- Ministers of the Congress and the National Conference Govemments, who followed, were also Muslims. In the Councils of Ministers, during the last four and half decades, the Hindus, Buddhists and the other minorities held an average of 26 per cent of the ministerial offices, the rest being held by the Muslims. 

(c) In the various decision-making clusters of the various political party organisations including the National Conference and the Congress, which ruled the State during the last four decades, Hindus of Kashmir were always left unrepresented. 

(d) The maximal parliamentary patronage was appropriated by the Muslims of Kashmir and the Muslims in the Jammu province to the disadvantage of the Hindus; 

(e) In the decision-making units of the State administration, the representation of the Hindus of Kashmir was always negligible. The decisional units of the State Govemment were always dominated by the Muslims of Kashmir province, excluding the Hindus completely. Almost all the Heads of the Departments in the State administration, were Muslims. An unwritten instrument of instruction operated to eliminate the Hindus from the various decision-making bodies and governed the appointment of the heads of the administrative divisions and staff agencies. An average of less than 26 percent, including the lent officers of the Government of India, and the officers of the Indian Administrative Senices, were Hindus. An average of 68 percent higher posts in the State Government were always monopolised by the Muslims. The major public enterprises, state corporations, educational institutions of higher learning and colleges imparting technical education in the Kashmir province, were invariably headed by the Muslims. 

(f) In the administrative organisation of the State, the Hindus of Kashmir, with 88 percent literacy, shared an average of 4.8 percent of the State services, including the services in the public enterprises, corporations and govermnent undertakings. 

(g) In the services of the Central Govermnent, including the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, the services of corporate undertakings of the Central Government, the defence services, the Beacon organisation and the communication system of the Central Government, the Kashmiri Hindus shared only 12 percent of the available employments, whereas the Kashmiri Muslims shared 38 percent of the available employments. 

During the period 1980 to 1990, when the Muslim fundamentalist movements assumed ascendence and the secessionist forces tightened their hold on the administrative organisation of the State, the recruitment of Kashmiri Hindus to the State services and services in other corporate bodies, was reduced to an average of 1.7 percent. Several communal govemment orders were struck down by the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of the State. But ways and means were devised by the State Government to circumvent the judicial decisions to enforce the exclusion of the Kashmiri Hindus from employments which otherwise were their due. Thee mbargo on the recruitment of the Kashmiri Hindus was extended to their employment in the teaching staff of the higher secondary schools, colleges and post-graduate departments of the University of Kashmir as well as the Agricultural University, the Medical College, the Engineering College and the Institute of Medical Sciences inspite of the fact that the Hindus possessed not only adequate but higher qualifications and professional excellence. 

The elimination of the Hindus in Kashmir from all political processes and functions, was extended to the admission of the Hindus to educational insitutions in the State, and grant of scholarships and nomination for training and higher studies outside the State. It is a little known fact that during the last forty seven years the admissions of Kashmiri Hindus to various academic institutions, institutions of higher learning. Universities, technical colleges, including the Regional Engineering College, the Institute of Medical Sciences Government Medical College and the University of Kashmir, were restricted to an average 8 percent of the total adimissions made every year. Incidentally, the Kashmiri Hindus constituted more than 8 percent of the population of the Kashmir province. A bare 2 percent of Kashmiri Hindus were awarded nominations and State grants for higher studies and trainings outside the State. Communal Government orders were issued from time to time, implementing classification undertaken by the State Legislature to define, socially and educationally backward classes to ensure the Muslims a wider reservation for admissions to the educational institutions. Many of these communal Government orders were struck down by the High Court of the State and the Supreme Court of India. Undeterdby severe censure by the highest courts of the land, the State Government refused to change its policy and the scourage of reservations contined to ravage the Hindus. A computation of the data regarding admission of Hindus to the technical colleges, training courses and post-graduate classes in Kashmir, during the last forty seven years, shows that they were subject to gross discrimination inspite of the meritorious grades secured in their qualifying Board and University examinations. On an average basis only 7 per cent of the Hindus were admitted to the technical colleges, though 63 per cent of the Hindu applicants possessed a first class with 60 percent or more marks, whereas 76 percent of the Muslim candidates were admitted to the technical colleges, though only 31 per cent of Muslim applicants possessed first class with 60 per cent or more marks in their respective qualifying examinations. In the admissions to the technical training colleges, 12 percent of the Hindu candidates were admitted though 66 per cent of the Hindu applicants possessed a first class with 60 per cent or more marks in the qualifying examination, whereas 82 per cent of the Muslims were admitted to the techincal training colleges though only 28 per cent of the Muslim applicants possessed first class with 60 per cent or more marks. In the admissions to the post-graduate courses, only 14 percent of the Hindu candidates were admitted though 41 per cent of the applicants possessed first class with 60 per cent or more marks whereas 78 per cent of Muslim candidates were admitted to the post-graduate classes, though only 14 percent of the Muslim applicants possessed first class uith 60 per cent or more marks. 

Apart from the wide range of of the state patronage the Muslims enjoyed, and the extensive hold they exercised over the instruments of the authority of the State Government, their interest articulation was phenomenally high. With the financial support and patronage provided by the Muslim middle class and the State Government, besides the funds received from abroad, a wide-spread network of media-means was established over the years for the interest articulation of the Muslims in the State and their political expressions. The Muslims in Kashmir owned more than 72 daily newspapers, news journals, weekly news-magazines and other periodicals. In contrast the Hindu owned, 4 newspapers news- magazines, journals, one of which was in English and which were hardly published with the regularity and effect the newspapers owned by the Muslims were published. Evidently, the impoverished Hindu community could not sustain their publication. The State patronage was monopolished by the newspapers owned by the Muslims and the Hindus enjoyed no financial backing from any sources inside or outside the State. 

The vernacular newspapers, owned by the Muslims, were mainly committed to religious propagation, promotion of Muslim separatism and communalism, the justification of the autonomy of the State and the exclusion of the state from the Indian political organisation. Most of the vernacular newspapers continued a sustained attack on the secular social organisation of India, demanding freedom for the Muslims of the State to opt for "Nizam-e-Mustafa" or the Islamic political order and their liberation from the clutches of India. Many of the newspapers preached Muslim communalism openly, a policy which earned them greater approbation of the bosses of the pclitical parties, including the parties which were ostensibly committed to secularism, the Muslim middle class and the third generation English-educated youth, brought up under the influence of the secessionist movements. More popular of the dailies published invective against the Hindu minority, particularly, the Kashmiri Pandits, who had brought about the enslavement of the Muslims to India. A large- scale and sustained attack, was maintained, in many of the vernacular dailies and news-magazines against the culture, the history, the social mores and tradition of the Hindus of Kashmir. The ancient history of Kashmir was denigraded as a past, which the Muslims of Kashmir refused to own. 

No restraints were ever imposed on the publication of these newspapers, even sanctions of seculalism were not invoked against them. Many of them preached secession of the State from India openly and with candid frankness. But their freedom to preach treason was never questioned.       

White Paper on Kashmir

 

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