From cradle of grave man has to face problem in life. Someone his own creation and some are attributed to the creator. Kashmir problem is the creation of man-the leaders- an outcome of their pride, prejudices, ego and false notions. The partition was forced by religious bigots, ignoring that religion unites and not divides. Thus, the genesis of the India's problem lies in the partition. Only chaos followed the partition of India, neither the Hindus nor the Muslims, have benefited from the Partition.
Partition gave us the Kashmir problem, which in turn has given rise to the tragic migration of entire Hindu population from the valley. Undoubtedly, Kashmir Problem is the lethal combination of Islamic fundamentalism and Pakistan's political adventurism. Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of partition, and outcome of two-nation theory. The moment myth of two nation theory explodes, the Indo-Pakistan differences will melt in thin air. The two countries will devote themselves to the task of storming the fortress of poverty, and economic backwardness. Ultimately the people may feel and realise that they no longer need two countries and unite. Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq, Special Advisor to the United Nations Development Programme Administration and a renowned Pakistani Economist while releasing the Human Development Report for 1992 said:
"If Pakistan and India freeze their military expenditure at its current level during the years 1990's they could reap peace dividend of 50 billion dollars during the current decade, enough to put all their children in schools, provide primary health care and clean drinking water to everyone and to banish man-nutrition by 2,000. Even solution to the basic problems of the people of Indian sub-continent lie in their unity, understanding, cooperation and mutual trust”.
The question of belonging to one family, for many people in India and Pakistan is not merely an abstract idea but an actual fact. The division of India on the basis of religion and separatist attitude was a curse and permitting it to continue on the same basis is a sin. We the people of India were and are one people. We were never two people. We were never two Indians.
From the Himalayas in the North to Hind Mahasagar in the South, Tripura in East and NWFP in the West is situated a culturally compact unit. The people lived here as one people, one nation. Imagine the kind of change that would come about if India and Pakistan pooled their material resources. A formidable force, not industrial infrastructure of India becomes part of Pakistan's strength and Pakistan's geo-strategic location as well as defence potential becomes an expansion of India's strength. A sub-continent sans conflict would become a power factor of great significance on the world scene.
M.G. Chitkara, Former, Vice Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal, Shimla, has also served as Advocate General, Himachal Pradesh. Writing has developed his most favourite expression. His published works include: Law and the Poor; Lok Adalat, Bureaucracy and Social Change; Indo-Pak Amity; Tibet: A Reality; Toxic Tibet Under Nuclear China; Corruption 'N' Cure; Human Rights-Commitment and Betrayal; Kashmir Imbroglio; Benazir-A Profile; Nuclear Pakistan; Human Rights in Pakistan; Mohahjir's Pakistan; Jiy-e-Sidh: G.M. Syed; Indian Republic: Issues and Perspectives; Hindutva; Bangladesh: Mujib to Hasina; Encyclopaedia of Environment, Ecology & Pollution (15 Vol.); Buddhism Reincarnation and Dalai Lamas of Tibet, Converts Do Not Make A Nation; Dr. Ambedkar: Towards Buddhism; World Government & Thakur Sen Negi; Mother Teresa and Consumerism, Crime & Corruption.
I am happy to know that Justice M.G. Chitkara (Retd.) Vice- Chairman, H.P. Administrative Tribunal, Shimla has written many books and his latest book is "Kashmir: A Tale of Partition". I consider the work useful in making the thinking Indians reflect over the fundamentals involved in the Kashmir problem which has been plaguing Indian and Pakistani politics and relations for so long. The advantage of Chitkara's study is that he goes into the very fundamentals of the Two-Nation theory and also the history of Kashmir with special reference to certain epic events. He analyses the implications of the Accession and the consequences to secular democracy if Kashmir is permitted to slip out of Secular India out of theological pressures. That would be a blow to the concept of secularism, which is basic feature of the Constitution, which has created the Republic of India. His plea, therefore, is not born of fundamentalist frenzy but basic policy.
The Kashmiris, regardless of religious division must exercise their judgement. Theocratic Pakistan, throughout its history, has not had effective political democracy in its intrinsic form and finer shape. India too has its shortcomings in the field of political and economic democracy but any objective observer will agree that the initial Accession of Kashmir cannot be undone by rousing communal frenzy. On the other hand, maturity and wisdom and a measure of statesmanship must be nurtured from among the Kashmiris so that the people themselves may realise how it is to good and democratic salvation of the masses to cast their lot with the secular socialist Republic of India. The Credentials of India in the matter of secularism and socialism must be clean and not dubious.
In any view, the solutions lies not in guns and rockets and secret insurrections but in clean politics and convincing secular socialist democracy which embraces the development destiny of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.
The origin of Kashmir problem has arisen on account of legendary divisive forces, which have been working in India ever since the British Rule. To start with the British Rule itself relied upon the policy of "divide and rule" which culminated into Two- Nation theory and finally resulted into vivisection of the country on August 14-15, 1947.
Kashmir problem is a sequel to the partition. The germs of partition continued to infest the country and gradually such germination multiplied, with the result that the country is not only divided into major religious sections, but also even religious denominations further divided into castes and clans.
After the State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Union of India, the Government of India did not cultivate the people of the State but cultivated the pseudo leadership of bourgeois. To start with Sheikh Abdullah was made the Prime Minister and later the office came to be known as the Chief Minister.
The Government in the Centre did not discharge its obligation towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir and left contended by placing certain Chief Ministers on the chair and left everything to whims and caprice of such Chief Ministers. The only role which the Central Government played was to provide paramilitary forces and pumping several thousand crores of rupees to the coffers of the State. The money, which was meant for the development of the State and people, did not reach the common people. The result was that such people became easy prey to the catching slogans of fundamentalists like "Jehad" and "Islam being in danger".
The problem of Kashmir, really speaking is extremely simple. The Maharaja of Kashmir signed a treaty of Accession with India. As a consequence Kashmir became a part of India. The aggression has to be vacated and the Pakistan occupied Kashmir has to be retrieved by India.
India is a peaceful and non-expansionist country. Nearly half a century has passed since India attained independence and Kashmir problem cropped up. Four wars have also been fought but the Pakistan occupied portion of Kashmir has not been restored to, or retrieved by India.
Justice M.G. Chitkara's book "Kashmir: A Tale of Partition " is an honest effort to put the problem of Kashmir in its proper perspective-historical, economic, culture, social, religious ethnic and strategic. He has also made an effort to relate the Kashmir question to the policies followed by the British, the Americans, the Chinese and some of the Islamic fundamentalist Countries. He has not hesitated to point out the mistakes made by India in dealing with Kashmir.
One may or may not agree with Shri Chitkara's analysis or conclusions. However, one cannot but admire his honest effort to put the Kashmir problem before the people of India and Pakistan and the rest of the world as seen by one who believes in the unity and brotherhood of humankind.
I hope that Justice Chitkara's provoking and stimulating book will be read widely, as it deserves to create greater and better awareness of the real issues involved in Kashmir.
Pakistan wants nothing but Kashmir, the whole Kashmir and nothing less than the total Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir has its obsession; for it in 1971, it chose to lose 55 per cent Pakistan- now Bangladesh, for India too, gifting vivisection. The recession of one part often leads to general fragmentation.
Pakistan harps on half a century-old U.N resolutions, which are more dead than dodo. Its two clauses have become absolutely unenforceable, namely (i) Pakistan must withdraw all its forces from all parts of Kashmir, including occupied Kashmir and (ii) all the residents of Kashmir (as in 1947) must be rehabilitated in their original homes. The world has changed beyond recognition.
Appeasement never brings peace; it increases the aggressor's appetite and makes him fight for more and more. The solution lies in India acquiring maximum strength- military, economic and diplomatic. Only a nation strong as a giant can maintain its unity or integrity against all attempts by detractors.
Ethical values have their own significance but they have been blown out of proportion in every age. Mostly men with small minds take refuge under such an umbrella. It is easy to follow the beaten path but the decision to carve out new ways needs a lot of grit. In this age of dishonest living and shallow thinking, character has become the first casualty. Those who matter most in the scheme of things project themselves on the social and political screens as having unsullied character. But generally they are found wanting in the uprightness of their conduct. In the true sense of the term, they are not men of character, professing otherwise with testimony of good character.
The question arises how a person can be testified as bearing a good moral character when he is a cheat. Cheating is a moral lapse as is lying and insincerity. Addiction of any type, particularly drug-addiction, also indicates the moral eclipse in a person. Those who brag in season and out of season pollute the moral ambience of the minds of others. Even such persons who lack the will to call a spade are immoral beings. To stand up for a good cause is nothing short of moral courage and this trait, at the same time, indicates the general tenor of one's character.
The moment one goes deep into the problems faced by the Country so more true about the State of Jammu and Kashmir which have not received serious attention so far one feels sore over the fact that even after more than 50 years of self rule people do not have such basic facilities as potable water, shelter, health care and power. We have not been able to make proper use of the resources like rivers, land and forest provided in abundance by the nature. The rich getting richer syndrome reflects on failure of the distributive aspect of economic planning. Most of our problems have persisted and even aggravated due to lack of political foresight and stability. It is time we all should sit to together and take a vow to solve the problems of our people one by one under a time bound plan. We deplore the tendency of the slogan happy politicians to coin catchy slogans and in turn mislead the poor, illiterate and ignorant masses.
Unemployment is the most serious problem, which the country is facing presently An expert committee on unemployment was constituted in 1970 but the problem continued to grow in alarming proportions as population has almost doubled during the intervening period. There is an urgent need for an all out effort to grapple with the problem of unemployment with an unambiguous message to the masses that the government means business even if it creates some inconvenience to the more vocal and articulate sections of the Society The schemes for employment generation should focus on providing potable water, shelter, health care and other basic amenities. There should be clear policy to discourage the re-employment of the retired employees. Those seeking re-employment should be stripped of the pension benefits.
The official policy on employment should not enable the vocal and powerful sections of the society to comer the available jobs with most of their family members grabbing the opportunity or the seemingly limited jobs in the organised sector. Among the working couples one of the spouses should be motivated to give up the job for those in greater need.
We all are aware that due to non-availability of adequate jobs the policy of job reservation for economically weaker sections has become meaningless. In a country with a population of about 100 crores, 7 to 8 crores jobs in the unorganised sector cannot provide succor to the tens of million of the unemployed youth. The energy, vigor and vitality of the unemployed youth are being misused by our enemies anti-social and anti-national elements. Long years of economic misery, unemployment and frustration have already thrown large chunks of the youth in the lap of disruptionist elements causing immense loss and humiliation to the nation. Our jobless youth comes handy for emotion - building in the name of reservation policy or creating tension in the universities and educational institutions. The swelling ranks of the unemployed youth are being weaned away by the insurgents, anti-social as well as anti-national elements in large numbers.
It is only once in a rare while, that the cycles of time present us with what historians call an open moment - when some combination of luck and circumstance allow us to choose a better future. The information age, with its advances in science and technology, new medical discoveries, mobile capital, expanded trade, and instantaneous communication offers great opportunities coupled with great risks.
There exists today, a rare chance to use the tools of the latest technology in the service of mankind's oldest values - helping build faith in democracy, improving competitiveness, expand prosperity, expose corruption, and strengthen the system of self-government which is history's greatest guardian of freedom, equality, opportunity and human dignity.
If a battle is not waged for the upkeep of these values, the information age will simply create more efficient channels for the spread of mischief, mayhem and corruption. Let there be no doubt: This is a fight for human values.
So far as the human values are concerned, in the old Testament, Moses teaches the people of Israel: "Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous".
Some thousand years later, Confucius found in China a corrupt government, and began to set the high moral standards he believed would make for a more harmonious society. Some thousand years after that, the Koran said: "0 my people! Give full measure and full weight in justice ... And do no evil on the earth, causing corruption". Corruption is an old affliction. In the megamedia and information age, the speed of information, the movement of capital, the increase of trade has all magnified the potential impact of corruption. Economically, corruption represents an arbitrary, exorbitant tax. It can lead to wasteful government spending, bigger deficits, greater income inequality, and crisis of confidence that can spark capital flight, crash the economy, destabilise governments and put people half way across the world out of work.
Corruption thrives in emerging and transitional economies where legal systems are incomplete or evolving. The very complexity, over-regulation and lack of predictability serve as fertile incubators for corruption to grow. Paradoxically, as economies liberalize and open their door to foreign investment and trade, the very processes of change - privatization, procurement, the sale and licensing of economic rights, and the like - become areas for corruption to flourish. Moreover, the legacy of corruption, combined with low government wages and oversized bureaucracies, also creates significant incentives for corruption to prosper.
The economic dimension of corruption was demonstrated over the last year and-a-half, as the world experienced a financial crisis. In some countries, corruption increased the vulnerability to crises, while in others, corruption was a significant impediment to implementing the necessary response and a major obstacle to restoring the confidence that is to critical to a country’s recovery and stability.
Kashmir has dominated the subcontinental agenda ever since the partition of India in 1947 and remains the most divisive issue. One that is so capable of whipping passion that both India and Pakistan are prepared to string out their armies and economics rather than give ground, as demonstrated in Kargil last year. With nuclearisation of both countries, Kashmir has also soared to the top of the international agenda. The Kashmir agenda is likely to continue in 21st century if the partition of India in 1947 is allowed to continue.
The partition was generally speaking opposed by the Hindus but supported by most of the Muslims. The bitter truth even may be that most of those Muslims who belonged to India's hinterland were believers in Two-Nation theory and were in favour of partition. The affluent among the Muslims have migrated to Pakistan. Those who stayed back mostly, the poor, accepted the partition as a fate accompli. Thus, with the passage of time, our glorious secular traditions have helped the Indian Muslims to remain glued to India.
The genesis of the problem of India and Pakistan lies in the partition of the country and its politico-economic system. Lincoln's observation is relevant: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The people living in India have a common heritage and a common culture, irrespective of their religious persuasions. Over the ages, various sects have interacted intimately with one another, borrowing and exchanging many fundamental ideas. Unity in variety remained the unifying watch-work. Kings and kingdoms came and went, vicissitudes of political destiny, the people, through common symbols and myths, common spiritual values and common social institutions, remained firmly integrated. Since, the common essence permeated and unified the people, our national unity remained intact despite existence of numerous small and big native States is now being gradually dispelled and it is now recognized that India is one nation.
Kashmir problem is an offspring of partition. Pakistan waged three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and was defeated all the time. But it is the wonder of Congress Government at the Centre that having won three wars, having taken one lakh Pakistan Army men as prisoners of war and having fed them for one year, one- third territory of Jammu and Kashmir remains still under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. It is a constant national security problem causing intermittent skirmishes on the border resulting huge expenditure and loss of lives on both sides. Pakistan has been waging a proxy war for pretty long through militant insurgency.
The only dispute is over the Pakistan occupied part of Kashmir, which ought to return to India. Pakistan must be forced to vacate its forcible occupation from the so-called Azad Kashmir, which is actually controlled and administered by Pakistan as a part of its territory. Indian Government has all along been harping that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of sovereign India and as such is not negotiable. But the need is to summon the necessary will power to actualise the assertion. Halt a century is too long a period to resolve the problem and brooks no more dithering. Alas! present generation leadership has been lacking in statesmanship and manliness.
Hindus Migration From Valley
Partition gave the Kashmir problem, which in turn, has given rise to the tragic migration of entire Hindu population from the valley. It is significant that there has been no migration from the other two regions of J&K, namely Ladakh and Jammu which are Buddhist and Hindu majority areas. Hindu migrants are living in very miserable conditions mainly in Jammu town and some fled to other places like Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, etc.
It is the foremost duty of the Indian Government, Jammu and Kashmir Government and the people, as to manage the return of the migrants to their homes. They are to be rehabilitated properly by compensating them for the deprivation of their manpower and property. They are to make a fresh start in their life and living in safety and peace with dignity and honour. The task is of national responsibility and honour. It has to be accomplished immediately taking emergency measures. There appears to be lack of due concern and sense of urgency to attend this human issue, though Human Rights are being talked over by everyone, everywhere.
One of the greatest tragedies of our time undoubtedly was the partition of the country, almost half a century ago. Apart from formation of Pakistan in blood, killing on the large scale, close to a million both Hindus and Muslims and a biggest mass migration in the living memory-some ten million people. For those who witnessed the dance of the devils of lust, greed and barbarism, life was never the same again. They had lived through hell and experienced hunger, death, destruction, loss of dignity, and the loss of faith. For them, the partition of 1947 marked the collapse of a moral universe-a dissolution of civilisation.
The situation had started worsening as the deadline of Independence, August 15, 1947 approached. Disturbances were the order of the day. Calm and peaceful togetherness of different communities sharing their common thoughts was abruptly disturbed. Their coming, keeping and working together became less frequent and a strong feeling of strange apprehensions gripped them. Rafiq Zakaria, a well known Islamic scholar and a Former Minister, in an article, "Civil War would have been preferable: The Price of Partition", writes:
"Jinnah, browbeat Nehru and Patel and the two gave in, thinking that the divided parts would thereafter live in peace and harmony. It is the biggest blunder that they committed: They were frightened because at the call for direct action given by Jinnah in 1946, Calcutta saw the death in the streets of 5000 Hindus and Muslims-more of Muslims than of Hindus. Besides, the two leaders were tried of the hostile and obstructive behaviour of their league colleagues within the Executive Council, which Viceroy Wavell had formed as an interim measure.
For such small irritants the land, which has been one unit for more than a thousand years with two communities living and working together and contributing richly to its unique culture was divided; it was a most tragic blow, struck at its very heart. It happened because, a tired and an ageing leadership, hungry for power, surrendered to the subtle intrigues of Mountbatten. Jinnah died within a year of execution of the latter's plan; Nehru and Patel regretted within months that had they known what was to happen subsequently they would never have been a party to it." According to a well-known scholar Mushirul Hasan, "the bitter and violent contest over power sharing culminating in the partition," gives out the real mind of the leaders responsible for the vivisection of India. The damage, which was irreparable.
The year 1857 was a landmark in both British and Indian history. The British owned East India Company, founded in 1600, had initially arrived in India for trade. The English who came to trade stayed on to conquer and they could not have done it had they not been led by indomitable men, all of whom had one thing in common: the goal of propagating British rule in India. They did what they thought was their duty and did it admirably well. And during their role of almost 250 years the Britishers has ousted European rivals and gradually increased its power. As British involvement in Indian affairs Lord Dalhousie had territory ignoring the Hindu custom of adoption of heirs. Such like interference in social, religious, political and national affairs by foreign rulers had offended Indians and deprived them of their self respect, dignity and kingdoms. The British who came to India were conservatives representing the most reactionary social class in England, and were not political or social revolutionaries.
George W. Forest writes: "Among the many lessons the Indian Mutiny conveys to the historian, none is of the greater importance than a warning that it is possible to have a Revolution in which the Brahmins and Shudras, Hindus and Mohammedans could unite against us." Therefore, "Divide-And-Rule" tactics became the thumb rule of British politics in every field of Indian national life. And consequently the direction was given to the concept of education. The pattern of education was directed to serve the British cause. The purpose and object of education, according to Lord Macaulay, was to produce educated young men in English who would serve as clerks. This was deliberately done to make Indians lose their identity.
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