This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.



Introduction of my book “Kashmir: The Undeniable Truth”

Unprecedented changes have occurred in the world during past three decades.
These are prominently visible in international relations, geo-political strategies
and social configuration.

A great leap forward in technological and scientific advancement has abridged
distances, shrunk time, opened marvellous opportunities of economic progress,
and immensely improved the quality of living. While developing countries had to
refashion their socio-economic structures to accommodate and even absorb
imperatives of rapid development, technologically advanced countries with strong
economies thrust much faster innovative options on them. As a result,
developing societies are feeling the pressure of transition to ultra-modernism. In
such a prospect irritants are likely to come into view. In particular, there is
growing demand for social justice and economic parity.

It is curious that economic progress and economic deprivation, though
contradictory in essence, have both contributed to the activation of dormant as
well as wakeful social aspirations among underprivileged segments of developing
societies. Recognition of identity is an urge and an aspiration.
The most eloquent expression of this phenomenon is to be understood in the
Islamic revolution of Iran under theocratic dispensation in 1979. Commentators
are still debating why of all the countries Iran should have chosen to go
theocratic when she had come so close to the fringe of modernism. We should
not forget that Iranian urge for recognition of her identity was articulated, albeit
unsuccessfully, way back in 1950s. Did not that failure suggest that Iranian civil
society recognized national identity not necessarily conditional to modernism? It
was clear that Iran would look for new and effective options to realize her urge for
identity? And the option was seized even if it came belatedly ---- after nearly four
Soviet Union incursion of Afghanistan was a foolhardy act of a totalitarian
regime undertaken at a very wrong time. As Iranian revolution progressed,
Islamic world looked at it with anxiety and with an air of expectancy. In their
thinking Islam was pitted against the greatest power on earth. Evidently, Soviet
recklessness in Afghanistan could not have produced consequences other than
what it did. It boosted Islamic orthodoxy and it facilitated casual camaraderie
between extremist religious forces and powerful western democracy. The Soviet
Union had to pay a heavy price; it broke. 

The urge for recognition of identity among the Muslims world over has become
almost contagious. Some commentators try to dig into the history of western
colonialism to look for the causes of Muslim resurgence. Today the US and her
allies witness with anxiety the harsh consequences of a movement in whose
resurgence they had a pivotal role. Those whom they once proudly called
mujahedeen have now come to be patented as terrorists and as Theo-fascists
People are divided, societies are divided and countries are divided on the basics
of this phenomenon and means of tackling it.

Muslims and Islam are at the centre of this phenomenon. But notwithstanding
Iran’s show of determination, the difference in the resurgence of Islam in Iran on
the one hand and in Afghanistan-Pakistan on the other is vital. In Iran, popular
Islam rose against American imperialism whereas in Afghanistan-Pakistan,
political Islamic revival drew succour from the same source. As we see, the
Muslim world stands divided between supporters and opponents of western
imperialism. To put it crudely, one may say that imperialism became an
instrument of causing polarization of Islamic communities.
This divide has run into Muslim polity in another form --- revivalists and
reformists. Curiously, the divide exists despite the proviso of ijtihad or re-
interpretation. However, the divide is not of recent history; it has been there since
the days of Caliphate. Exploiters count on this yawning chasm.
In no other religion do we find a fiercer controversy like true and fake Muslim.
Both aspects are variously interpreted. Essentially, the approach is of attaching
purely ecclesiastical connotation in one case and economic, social and cultural
parameters of assessment in the other.

How and why did this debate rise in Muslim scholastic circles? A very vital issue
of far - reaching consequences was raised by the great Muslim historian-scholar
Ibn Khaldun in late 13th century in Baghdad. Known as father of the science of
Philosophy of History, he said that Arabs had conquered and Islamized a vast
part of Asia where established societies with splendid civilizations existed prior to
the advent of Arabs and the faith brought by their Prophet. A day would come, he
asserted, when Muslims will have to consider how to adapt Islamic teachings,
traditions and ways of life to many healthy and pragmatic socio-cultural trends of
the conquered people. Ibn Khaldun was a profound scholar of social history and
a visionary, who shuddered at the thought of Muslims not willing to come out of
their cocoon, and bask in the of prospective synchronized civilizations that would
inevitably take shape.

In all probability, Ibn Khaldun took the cue from Ismaeli thinkers and outstanding
philosophers of the 10-11th century A.D. who attached supreme importance to
logic as the instrument of arriving at the truth. Foremost among these great
Islamic intellectuals was Abu Ali ibn Sina (Avecinna), the philosopher-physician of
Turkistan, and the celebrated author of al-Shifa and al-Qanun. His al-Shifa is part
of the syllabus of medical studies at Sorbonne University of France today. Ibn
Sina argued that the proof of even the most sensitive subjects like the prophet-
hood, the divine message, the revealed book etc. could be brought forth through
inductive and deductive process. This revolutionary idea indirectly challenged the
entrenched attitude of blind faith. Ibn Sina initiated the great debate on the
subject of belief and reason, which has seized the mind of the Muslims ever

This takes us a couple of centuries back in Islamic history, and we mean the
days of the Abbasid Caliphate. (7/8th century A.D). In the days of Haroon ar-
Rashid, a bureau called baitu’l-hikmat (meaning the House of Knowledge) was
established in Baghdad. Actually it was a bureau where the works of great Greek
masters like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Galen, Hippocrates and others were
translated from Greek into Arabic. Great scholars not, only Muslims but of
different faiths too, particularly the Jewish and Zoroastrian, who were polyglots,
assembled at the bureau to make their contributions. Mansoor ar-Rashid ordered
that remuneration for each great work translated into Arabic would be gold equal
to its weight. This priceless fund of knowledge passed on to the Roman Empire,
and later on, got disseminated to various European societies. Renaissance of
mid - 16th century in Europe was a sequel to this transfer of scientific fund of
knowledge. On that base, ultimately came up the powerful and magnificent
structure called modern European or western civilization.

The crux of this unique service of the Muslims to human civilization was to
establish fecundity of the faculty of reason and rationality in comparison to blind
faith. Ibn Sina tells us that he had access to this great fund of knowledge at the
library in Khwarazm, and he rummaged box after box of manuscripts to drink
deep from the works of great masters.

In centuries that followed, Muslim scholars of eminence took up the challenging
task of interpreting the thoughts of great Greek masters now available to them in
their own language. At Alexandria (Iskandariyah) in Egypt, scholars engaged
themselves in mighty debates on basic issues touched upon by the masters. It
was here that differences of opinion on various issues surfaced among Islamic
scholars, theologians and liberals. It was not too surprising. Controversy on
crucial issues had raged for a long time till Ibn Sina pronounced the historic
judgment. He said that there was no controversy in the thoughts of Aristotle or
Plato; the problem was with the interpreters who interpreted according to their

Reverting to the theme of logic versus blind faith logjam that gripped Muslim
society in early Middle Ages (11 - 13 century A.D.), the rise of dominant satraps
in Khurasan (11-12th century A.D.) --- the semi - autonomous but crucially
important eastern province of the Caliphate --- and their support to and
dependence on feudal structure of society came as a shot in the arm of Islamic
orthodoxy. Thinkers following Greek school of thought, or the logicians
(istadlaliyun) became the target of the wrath of traditionalists, the upholders of
the ideology of blind faith (muttakallimun). Ghazali, the traditionalist, wrote
Tahafatu’l-Filasafa in which he strongly underrated those who called logic the
mother of all sciences. Thus from 12th century A.D. onwards, feudalism and
orthodoxy became complementary to each other establishing inseparability of
religion and politics for the inheritors of Caliphate. This marked the beginning of
the decline of the age of reason in Islamic societies; belief and tradition attained
over reached the institutions of Islamic state. Industrial Revolution in Europe towards the second half of the 17th century gradually reduced the power of the church. With that, rational argument that had been almost banished from the Islamic world, found a fertile ground in to flourish
in European societies with new and fascinating dimensions. Martin Luther’s
reformative agenda had opened great vistas that strengthened the position of the
age of reason. Alas, neither an industrial revolution of sorts nor a thinker of
Martin Luther’s vision was thrown up by the Muslim society for many centuries to
come. The fund of science and knowledge, which Muslims so painstakingly
brought into limelight, illuminated the houses of others while Muslims relapsed
into darkness. With each passing century, the gap between the two grew wider.
No wonder, therefore, that 21st century, a high watermark of socio-economic
development in Western societies, is seen as potent threat to cynical disregard of
creative faculty of the best of God’s creation (ashrafu’l-makhluqat). Man’s
absolute surrender to the Supreme came in clash with his innovative and creative
potential. Iqbal subtly alluded to this fundamental contradiction:

Main khatakta hun dil-e yazdan main kante ki tarah
Tu faqat allah hoo allah hoo allah hoo

It means that introspective minds within the Islamic fold did recognize the role of
human intellect and reason in the process of social evolution. But their
circumspection is a baffling question that dogging the Muslim community.
But the proposition has another vital dimension. Quite understandably, in a
society steeped in unending controversy over predestined and freewill (jabr wa
qadr), acceptance of western view that leaves the future of mankind to the
interplay of forces of intellect, is almost outlandish. In their view it is tantamount
to questioning the omnipotence of the Supreme: it undermines the entire
structure on which Islamic concept of relationship between Man and his Creator

For western existentialist reason remains a prescription for ascent to higher
levels of temporal life. For them, each passing century proved the veracity of
logic being the mother of all sciences. Great scientific discoveries that followed
Industrial Revolution of A.D. 1688 in England established the fact that science
and technology were the arbiters of the destiny of mankind. While veering to this
inference, western societies left the divine and divinity to benign negligence.
But to the Muslims, ultimate power rests with Allah and the ultimate arbiter of
destinies is Allah. Therefore in Islamic culture, the source of a victory and an
achievement is Allah. Absolute surrender to Allah is one of the basic tenets of
Islamic teaching. He is the arbiter (jabber and qahhar).
This then is one of the basic hindrances in Islam’s interaction with the western
world and its ideological tributaries.

But the struggle is not necessarily between the technology savvy west and
tradition dominated Islam. Apart from this dilemma, a major part of the struggle
lies within the broad Islamic fold itself. It is the revival of the long drawn struggle
between the istadlaliyun and muttakallimun of 12the century in its new avatar of
pure and fake Islam.

Ordinarily, no external player is either interested in or qualified to settle this
domestic dispute of the ummah. Awakening has to come from within. It is
important to realize that overt or covert role of an external entity is only for its self
aggrandizement. It is for the Muslim leadership of contemporary times to lead the
community out of the labyrinth of conflicting convictions and debilitating
contradictions. The question of settling score with the West will recede once
internal conflict is set at rest, and a cosmopolitan system of Islam at work with
other civilizations is produced. It should be possible to evolve a viable formula of
reconciling to the imperatives of contemporary scientific age without eroding
pristine principles of faith. It is also equally important to come out of the cocoon
of a fossilized mindset, and give new direction, vitality and animation to the
process of socialization.

More than twenty million Muslims of Asian and African continents have migrated
to the western countries including the US. Millions more are waiting in the wing.
These migrants have adjusted to the western way of life without losing their
identity. This means that for Muslims adjustability in non-Muslim environs is
neither elusive nor discordant. Therefore the question of discrimination, drilled
into the heads of youth in seminaries, has economic or political but not religious
trappings. Governments of western countries are prepared to remunerate Muslim
families handsomely if they volunteer to return to their countries of origin bag and
baggage. But why they do not want to leave is a very profound question, which
Muslim ecclesiastical authorities must answer.

Two non-Semitic regions that came under Islamic sway with Arab invasion,
namely Iran and Central Asia, converted fully to the faith of the invaders. But the
case of the Indian sub-continent is somewhat different. India of those days was
identifiable not necessarily with Hindu religion but surely with sub-continental
civilization. The vast land mass of India accommodated many nations and their
indigenous cultures but at the same time it supported an over-arching civilization.
Muslim conquerors coming from abroad primarily focused on raising an empire
and ruling over the subjugated nations. Conversion of local people to the new
faith was a by-product of this goal. The concept of providing civilizational base to
the empire was conspicuously absent in their philosophy of statehood. It has
already been said that the concept of victorious Muslims kingdoms and
principalities adapting to indigenous traditions of a conquered region with deep
rooted symbols of civilization was raised as early as the 12th century by Ibn
Khaldun. Except for Jalalu’d-Din Akbar, no Muslim authority in the sub-continent
tried to translate Ibn Khaldun’s remarkable vision into practice. But Akbar too
failed in his half-hearted attempt because his radical socio-cultural reform was a
super structure without a base. Carving a Muslim State in India in 1947 was a
practical expression of the ideology of separatism, something unusual to the
history of state building in Islam. It was the outcome of the chronic ideological
conflict dogging the ummah for many centuries: its managers rejoiced at the
triumph of orthodoxy.

The work in hand is a collection of my essays on contemporary situation in
Jammu and Kashmir State, which is contiguous to the newly formed Islamic
State of Pakistan. We have a majority of Muslims in the State and their
predominance to the tune of 98 % in the region of Kashmir Valley. Islam came to
Kashmir around 1339 A.D. not through invaders but through missionaries from
Iran and Central Asia. They were proselytes, volunteering for a mission of
proselytization in Kashmir.

For nearly two thousand years of her pre-Islamic history, Kashmir was ruled by
autocratic and mostly imbecile Hindu kings. Kashmir polity under the Hindu rule,
and particularly towards its fag end, was groaning under oppressive Brahminic
nobility that drew strength and influence from feudal chiefs, daring warriors and
villainous ministers. For long Kashmir peasantry was the first to bear the brunt of
state oppression. The advent of Islam that promised new ideas of social behaviour
and new norms of intra-community relationship was, historically and
psychologically, bound to have a strong impact on the masses of Kashmiri

But some fundamental questions remained. Did the replacement of an
authoritarian culture by the culture of fraternized relationship (ukhawwat) mean
much in terms of material reconstruction of Kashmirian society? Did Islamic
mission in Kashmir end with the conversion of the non-Muslims to the faith and
their temples to mosques? Was Kashmiri Islam to remain perpetually entangled
in small and mundane theological controversies and not think of a wholesome
policy that would infuse new blood into the social, economic and political veins of
the nation?

An entirely new phenomenon of Kashmir history, after the advent of the Muslims,
was that ultimate ruling authority passed into the hands of non-indigenous actors.
When in commanding position, their treatment of the locals, subordinates and
camp followers, repudiated the much touted theory of fraternized relationship.
Conspiracies and Machiavellian statecraft galore at the royal court worked
canker in Kashmirian society. In a sense the rot that ate into its vitals during the
last two centuries of Hindu rule, continued in its full fury even though royalty had
changed hands and civilization transition had happened. Something was wrong
with Kashmirian psyche.

Physical geography of Kashmir hindered, rather virtually blocked, its brisk
interaction with the mainstream Muslim world at this point of time. The rise of
ferocious Mongols, warlike Central Asian satraps and adventurous warriors and
their bloody exploits disrupted traditional network of trade and trade routes in the
Asian region. It choked Kashmir’s trade arteries to the ancient Silk Rout.
Kashmir’s economy crumbled.

For this and other reasons indicated above, Muslim polity under the Sultans
soon degenerated into a specter of misrule and mismanagement. The rise of
powerful kingdoms and principalities beyond the southern borders of Kashmir
posed serious threat to national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kashmir
kingdom, now steeped in a milieu of social disorder and economic depression.
To make this situation more precarious, sectarianism raised its head in Kashmir
Muslim society. In 15th century, Iran, after having left behind its long era of
fragmented sovereignty, was inching towards the consolidation of State and
centralization of power. A viable social support - structure was desirable and
welcome. This marked the beginning of stirring up Shia' sensitivities in Iranian
social milieu, which ultimately led to the establishment of official Iranian Shia
state und the powerful Safavis in the second half of the 17th century A>D..

Reverberations of rumblings in Iranian society could not be missed in sections of
Kashmirian Muslim society that had, by now, got acclimatized to the cult of early
missionaries from Iran. Division of society on sectarian basis prompted some
fixated elements to seek support from external actors who dominated political
scenario at that time. This was the beginning of the most painful phenomenon of
Kashmir history --- people and leaders looking beyond physical borders of their
native land to get their political differences arbitrate by a third party. Little did
they know that in their neighbourhood lay strong imperial powers coveting more
lands and more resources? Did Kashmir’s voluntarily opt for their enslavement?
Did they abysmally lose faith in the independence of a nation? Were they
condemned to eternal degradation and isolation? This is the core issue that has
unfortunately overflowed to our times.

After passing through millennia of darkness, oppression and destitution, after
braving tyranny and coercion by repressive Rajas and despotic Sultans, after
passing through the rapacity and avarice of feudal lords, petty chieftains, and
highland robbers from the times of her known history to the beginning of the 19th
century, Kashmir was drawn into the vortex of regional political game plan of two
European imperial powers --- Great Britain and Tsarist Russia--- vying for
supremacy in Asia. In a bid to check the march of Tsarist legions south of the
Hindukush --- the Central Asian watershed between the territories of Tsarist
Russia and British India --- the British policy planners decided conversion of the
north-western region adjoining Punjab into a separate entity because at that point
of time, the non-descript region already happened to be an appendage of the
Sikh Kingdom of Lahore. It was placed under a powerful Jammu chieftain, who
acquired possession of the valley through a sale deed, and of northern areas of
Gilgit, Baltistan, Ladakh and Zanskar through force of arms. Thus came into
existence in A.D. 1847 the modern State of Jammu and Kashmir. The issue of
the sale of Kashmir has been frequently used to deride the Dogra autocratic
rulers. But Kashmir is not an isolated case in world history. The Presidents of the
US purchased many states of America, like Texas and California, which now form
part of the US mainland. Not too far back, Russia sold Alaska to the US. This is
not to exonerate the imperialistic mentality of parties involved in the transaction,
but the real problem lies not in the sale of Kashmir but somewhere elsewhere.
It has to be recalled that inviting external actors to rule over Kashmir just out of
some vendetta or emotion or for gaining sectarian supremacy was worse than
the sale of the land.

With the emergence of bi-polar power structure on international plane, and
division of India into two states --- one of the two along communal lines --- after
World War II, the two major world powers conducted their regional strategies
mostly through their proxies. Creation of Pakistan was the triumph of orthodoxy,
which the age of science and technology had put under strain. Kashmir
significantly figured in the game plan of those whose hand kept moving behind
the curtain.

Propaganda blitzkrieg emerged a powerful weapon of cold war era. Victory of the
Allies was labelled as victory of democracy and freedom of expression. For self-
styled custodians of democracy, it became the rock- hard stick to beat its

In the communist state of Soviet Union, Great Britain envisioned a much more
formidable enemy than in Tsarist Russia. After World War II, economically
debilitated Great Britain focused more on post war reconstruction at home. In a
vacuum of sorts created by her inability to play the traditional colonial role
actively in Asia, the United States of America stepped in. The British had smelt oil
in the Gulf in 1905 and then taking into account its importance as a powerful
weapon of political arbitration, the world was to witness in years to come the
hegemony of American democracy.

Reverting to Kashmir situation, for the first time in her chequered history
spanning nearly two thousand years, a mass movement demanding
institutionalizing of Kashmiri identity surfaced in the first decade of the 20th
century. Indian leaders were influenced by the socialist movement in Russia and
parts of Europe. British intelligentsia, with which emerging Indian leaders were in
liaison, became the catalyst to the Indian National Congress great nationalist
struggle udder stalwarts like Gandhi. Congress movement was not only a
movement against colonial domination of India. It was also a movement against a
social - cultural order that stood in the way of nation building process. Thus
participation not separation was the hallmark of the movement. Congress
movement could be weakened by striking at the root of this hallmark; that was
the game plan of the colonial power when it was convinced that it had to quit the
sub-continent sooner or later.

The pioneers of Kashmir freedom movement were those Kashmiris who went to
Lahore and other cities of India for educational pursuits at the beginning of the
20th century. They came into contact with nationalists of all hues irrespective of
caste or creed. They compared the backwardness of their State with other parts
of India and came to the conclusion that unless people rose in unison to
reconstruct their destiny, things would not change. Therefore, in line with the
ideology of Indian National Congress, it was desirable to launch a movement for
doing away with the autocratic rule in Kashmir. Freedom was indivisible.
Contrary to this, the basis on which Pakistan came into being was the theory of
separatism and religious homogeneity, which as it should have been, proved the
biggest of myths.

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s decision to support State’s accession to India in
1947 was not only on the basis of ideological similarity between National
Conference and National Congress. There was one very important facet to this
solidarity. It was a stupendous effort of harmonizing dogmatism and liberal
scientific temper of 20th century through democratic process of nation building.
This was of greatest concern to the Muslims in the sub-continent who had opted
not to shift to the Islamic State newly carved out on the basis of religion.
Application of this analysis to Kashmir is of singular importance. The land to tiller
programme of Naya Kashmir meant a frontal attack on the feudal-orthodox
combine that had arisen around the 9th /10th century in the eastern parts of Islamic
Caliphate, and determinedly dogged the Muslim ummah through subsequent
centuries. It held the ummah a hostage to non-resilient ecclesiastical institutions.
In that sense, Sheikh Abdullah made a historic contribution to pull his people out
of a frozen and fossilized mindset. This was a unique attempt of hammering
reconciliation between blind faith and reason. He strongly thought that
Kashmirian society had the capacity to absorb the process of fusion of faith and
reason, which some people in our days were disposed to call, albeit inadvertently
as Kashmiriyat. And yet he did not dismiss the possibility of this fusion ultimately
culminating in independent identity of Kashmir’s for which they had begun their
long struggle in the first decade of the 20th century. That was the basis on which
he opted for accession to India.

It has to be said that before turning to Indian Union in October 1947, the Sheikh
tried to have an experiment with the founders of Pakistan if they were agreeable
to ensuring Kashmir’s the urge for recognition of their identity. Behind this
demand of the Sheikh, stood the sordid saga of two thousand years of our
slavery, coercion and subjugation. Pakistani authorities spurned his demand not
only because they never trusted Kashmir’s but also, and perhaps more probably,
because they had no grasp of the history of the peoples and the regions. This
also explains the spirit behind inclusion of Article 370 in the Indian Constitution.
What are the objectives of those who sponsored and abetted armed militancy in
Kashmir in 1990? They have goaded revivalists into intensifying traditional strife
against liberalism. In doing so, they count on emotionalism of the Kashmir’s. It
aims at disrupting all conditions and settings that would help Kashmir wriggle out
of a frozen mindset: it wants Kashmir’s to acquiesce to the domination of feudal-
orthodoxy combine as of yore. In an independent Kashmir, it sees the image of
its failure as a theocratic state...

The quest of Kashmir’s to revisit their identity will not fade away. We need to plan
the future course of our action if we want the movement to succeed. It should be
possible to resort to the powerful instrument of ethics of reason, as did Gandhi
and Nelson Mandela. But of course we need a couple of Gandhi’s and Mandela’s
to pull us out of the quagmire of the cult of violence thrust on us. An independent
Kashmir has to be a friend to all and foe to none. It has to be the home of all who
are the product of this soil.

In the age of globalization, we shall need to interact with countries and nations to
build our own. We cannot afford to let our society get fractured at the instance of
this or that element. We must look beyond the lands and climes; we must be part
of the comity of nations and member of international community. We have many
friends and we must widen their circle.

I have briefly traced some facets of Islamic history. The purpose is to highlight the
power of reasoned action and the need for it in transforming society. Logic
controls emotion and we have always been the victims of emotions. The time has
come to cast a glance on our past, our drawbacks, and try to rectify them.
Islam has tremendous capacity of accommodation and adjustment. Its ethos has
also the quality of adaptability in. Political Islam has, over the centuries taken a
heavy toll of our progress. The instruments that assist political Islam have to be
blunted and replaced by reforms that harmonies tradition with modernity. The
example of India in this respect is appreciable because she is trying to harmonize
extremist’s elements of many faiths with national imperatives.

The crux of my essays collected in this volume is what is stated in the preceding
paragraphs. I am hopeful my voice will be heard by my compatriots. I know they
are fed up with directionless leadership. My fear is that in their unabated quest
for identity, personality and freedom, they may fall victim to villainous leaders
who have been holding us hostages to their self-interests. I know as a free and
independent nation, we shall have to interact with our neighbours for trade and
commerce, for economic and social development, for promotion of democratic
and secular norms, for scientific and technology advancement and much more.
We shall have to maintain thousands and one bonds with them, all in good faith.
We have to live with them as decent neighbours.

Our struggle for independent Jammu and Kashmir leads us to this line of thinking
when we talk of independent Kashmir.

Keeping in mind the principles of peaceful co-existence with our neighbours and
strengthening mutual good political and economic relations, we shall have to
show due regard to political and emotional concerns of all minority identities
living in Jammu and Kashmir. Religious principles and beliefs of all communities
shall have to be shown respect. Greater attention has to be given to less
developed regions and their deprivations have to be removed. This would also
dilute separatist tendencies within the State. The State is lagging behind in
power, industry, transport, education and environmental sectors. For last six
decades, the State has become a victim of political disorder, which has resulted
in widespread corruption and bribery. If one wants to live the life, one can do so
only by bribery. It is only by dint of bribery that one can breathe and it is only the
bribe which will take him to the graveyard or to the crematorium.

The unfortunate thing is that whenever people come on the streets to protest
against non-availability of electric power or firewood or against unemployment or
police excesses, they do not strictly restrict themselves to these problems. Some
elements within the protesting crowds stick out their necks and raise slogans
such as “What do we want“ Pakistan or what do we want “azaadi” thereby
inviting official machinery to perpetrate excesses and high-handedness. The real
problems for which people had come out on the streets to make protestation, get
submerged in these slogans.

This tendency has only helped government institutions to become indolent and
apathetic. Dereliction of duty has become rampant. We find that government
departments are engrossed in solving their individual problems instead of
addressing the problems of the people. If during the freedom struggle a
community is in a position of receiving benefits of education, employment,
industry, roads and infrastructure, the surprise is that the community has no
realisation of these attainments but ideologically and practically it remains
engrossed with azaadi alone. When it attains freedom, they only will it
addresses the task of reconstruction, is the thinking.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the organizations that are raising slogans of accession to
Pakistan or of freedom have demanded heavy sacrifices from the people. But
unfortunately they did not bring into existence such institutions as would take
care of the wards of those who made sacrifices. When people beheld depressing
condition of close dependents of freedom fighters they gradually began
distancing themselves from the movement. This is despite the fact that even now
the masses of people sustain emotions of seeking their rights and their identity.
In the meanwhile the government institutions began seeking revenge from all
those people and in all spheres who were linked to this movement in one way or
the other. Be it the issue of finding an employment or obtaining a passport or
going on Hajj pilgrimage, government’s treatment has been sordid.
The volume in your hand contains such of my articles as deal with themes like
these. These were published in the Weekly Chattan of Srinagar. These have now
ben rendered into English with the specific objective that English knowing
segment of society particularly our ruling groups, bureaucracy and the world
abroad understand our problems in right perspective. I have made a very sincere
attempt to base my comments and observations on ground realities, to identify
the problems of the people of State of Jammu and Kashmir. We need to make a
diagnosis of the disease and its treatment is a united initiative by all of us.
My writings never mean to denigrate any faction or political group or India or
Pakistan. I never intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments. I nurse deep and warm
sentiments towards the masses of people of Jammu and Kashmir and towards
my motherland (J&K) and this prompts me to identify our problems pragmatically.
If in doing so any group or any party feels it has been hurt, I would like to tell
them with all politeness that I am only trying to find a solution to our problem and
look at Kashmir issue through the pages of history when searching for a solution.
I am sincerely thankful to the editorial staff of the Weekly Chattan, and in
particular of its editor, Tahir Mohiud-Din that they always had an encouraging
word for me. I am thankful to all those who appreciated my writings which gave
me a big support. I am thankful to a dear friend who rendered Urdu texts to

I have been writing regularly for last two years. Occasionally, you will find some
topographical articles as well. It has to be understood that issues are not always
temporary; they remain attached to one or the other group of society. Jammu and
Kashmir seldom finds a solution to the problems that crop up from time to time,
these rather get exacerbate with the passing of each day. I am confident that our
readers will read it keeping in mind that the sentiment of seeking the truth has
been its catalyst.

My aim is to create consciousness among our nation: I like that the people of
Jammu and Kashmir should muster courage to hear the truth and speak the
truth. Our people young and old, men and women, boys and girls, all wherever
they are at work, in schools, in colleges, in the marketplaces, in buses and in
parks, in police stations and bus stops, anywhere, they should breathe and
speak with courage, freedom and truth .I want that the mouths of the people in
our State should open against fear and trepidation. Their hands should be put to
stopping oppression and terror. People should launch a strong and vibrant
movement against corruption, destructions of forest trees, nepotism, exploitation
and general loot. They should rise to stop destruction of water resources,
ignorance and hegemonic oppression. They should not only live with dignity and
honour within their country and outside it but should also make their land a true
paradise for future generations. Whatever decision the people of this land make,
they should make it with full consciousness and with great wisdom. A decision
made as a result of helplessness, blackmail, dominance,- greed or hero - worship
should never be thrust on oneself or on future generations.

The eternal truth for the realization of which the soul of the people of Jammu and
Kashmir has withered is that we cannot bear in any case our separation from our
Pandit brothers and sisters. They have to be brought back on the soil of the
motherland in any case. It is our moral and religious duty to bring them back. We
must bring our generation and our future generations to full growth of our
personality and identity.

I care for revitalization of our conscience, truth, honesty and mutual love and
respect. Above all, I want that people should develop love for their honest
conscience and their motherland. If this is achieved, then we shall be able to
liberate ourselves and our land from the clutches of fear, terror, bullets, bomb
blasts, prison houses, illegal possessors and the tyrants of the time.
At the end of this collection I have included one article und the title Indian
democracy, justice and we the Kashmiris. I have given some insight into my
personal life in this article. I just want to tell my readers what treatment was
meted out to me in the name of justice. I was tried twice for the same alleged
crime. I had to go through fire and brimstone. This is just to cite an example and
make the people partners in the prizes that have been handed over to me.
I am deeply indebted to Aditi Bhaduri, a versatile journalist of immense vision. .
She produced an insightful piece on MNWA Trust on the occasion of its
Convention which she personally attended in Srinagar. It was published in The
Hindu of 22 July 2007. I have great pleasure in including this article in the
present volume believing that our readers will understand that there is a lot to be
done on social front in Kashmir besides politics. Very few political parties are
addressing this need. I place this book in your hands in the hope that the words
of Faiz may resound loud:

Bol kih lab azad hain tere
Bol zaban ab tak teri hai
Bol kih sach zindeh hai ab atak
Bol jo kuchh kahna hai kah le