My journey!

As I journey through time, here I present a small peak into what I think and experience!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Kashmir

I was seeing a Bollywood movie called "Yahaan" today. Its a movie set in the "heaven on earth" aka Kashmir and there is also a love story in the background to entertain the mass audience. Quite a realistic screenplay of the problems plaguing the valley. So I thought, well why not write something about the problem.

I am not sure if I can present a fair picture of the problem which I believe can only be done by an individual whose spent a considerable part of his life having faced the problems first-hand. Based on the bits and pieces of information collected so far from various sources, Kashmir problem is quite complex and I haven't been able to figure a logical solution for it.

It all originated in the year 1948 when Kashmir though had a muslim majority was a Hindu kingdom under Maharaja's rule. It had not yet joined the Indian Union. It was then that Pakistan had plans of taking in Kashmir in its fold and started a guerilla war. The Maharaja then approached India for its help and Jawaharlal Nehru acceded to the request with a rider that the kingdom should join the Indian Union. This I felt was not a fair act by India cause we made a person on whose head a sword was dangling act on our instructions. Fair negotiations can only be between two equal and willing parties.

The Maharaja negotiated with India and as such the Defence and Foreign affairs came under the control of India while the other affairs remained with the State itself. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution noted that our Constitution if not valid for Kashmir which would draft its own. Also, no person can buy property in Kashmir unless he is a local there. Last year a legislation was passed debarring property rights to any girl who married a non-local. Though this created a lot of hue and cry, nothing happened and the rule now very much exists.

And yes, Nehru's biggest mistake in his Independence Day speech from the red-bricked ramparts of Red Fort was his declaring that a referendum would be held in Kashmir (to answer the UN, this had to be told) after the cessation of all hostilities which till now has never taken place. Pakistan went to the UN time and again but to no avail and hence the "jehadis" are waging a freedom struggle. These jehadis are more concerned about Kashmir and not J&K as a whole. Jammu is predominantly Hindu and Kashmir has very few Hindus more so after the mass Hindu Pandits massacre over the years.

India says that they have almost given complete autonomy to Kashmir but Pakistan says it wont settle anything less than total autonomy. Neither India nor Pakistan wants to leave the land of such natural beauty. All the while, the kashmiris have been sandwiched between the claims of these two countries and have suffered a lot both under the Pakistan infiltrators and the Indian army. Hence they only want freedom and from both these countries.

What future holds none knows. So much for this life on earth!

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