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India: Dalit Minister exlores Islam in Kashmir

Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde prayed at historic Kashmir Sufi Shrine of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Wali (Oct 14, 2012); Shinde said it was his keen desire to pay obeisance at the Hazratbal shrine and the shrine of Charar-e-Sharief as they (Sufi Saints) had always preached peace and love. The custodians of the shrine, as a mark of respect, performed traditional Dastar Bandi (tying of turban) of the visiting home minister. Shinde opined words are a reminder to the obstinate ones at the helm using brute force to rule Kashmir with the barrel of gun. Apart from various other nefarious designs, Sufi shrines are not spared from orchestrating sectarian divide to satiate political hunger by all means necessary. The burning of scores of these revered holy Shrines since the popular uprising in 1989 touched sensitivities and left innumerable scars on the minds of local population.

Since October 26, 1947 Minister Shinde, undoubtedly, is the right person to visit Kashmir who, as is believed, has no difficulty in understanding the pain and suffering of people of Kashmir. Shinde’s memories must still be fresh with India’s Deputy Prime Minister cum Defence Minister, Babu Jagjivan Ram’s visit to Delhi’s Birla Mandir (temple) who considered him to be a Hindu and wanted to humble himself before his favourite deity. After finishing his Pooja (prayer) the temple was thoroughly washed to cleanse the premises and surrounding areas of any "pollution".

The scientific renaissance of 21st century, when literate Brahman mindset talk of superseding China and USA by 2020; the invisible fundamentalist elite mobilize their cadres to throw dead dogs in the wells owned by Gandhi’s “Harijans” (people of God) a name which Dalits of India hate as a reference. All this happens, under the very nose of "secular democratic" leadership, in the heart of capital’s South-Delhi. An average conscious Dalit argues that if Gandhi had sincerity of purpose, he would simply refer to Dalits as Hindus and desist from identifying them as “Harijans”. To give these downtrodden exploited masses a unique name smacked of a conspiracy to stick a label for all times to come. Dalits generally believe that it is abhorrence and considered a blasphemy to touch an “untouchable” but perhaps very religious and justified to rape an "untouchable" girl. Devadasi culture a pointer in that direction is prevalent even in this modern century. The sinisterly typecast may attain heights in knowledge and contribute in maintaining peace but pure chosen class does have a problem in coming to terms with such a realistic situation and associating with them is passed on as sacrilege.

Christian Council of Bangalore reported that brutal massacre of seven Dalits burnt alive on 11 March 2000 is only a tip of the iceberg and the attacks on Dalits continue daily who are still not free from the clutches of the evil practice of caste discrimination even after 60 years of independence. As expected the then BJP and JD-S combine who were heading the Government did not utter a word because of their proximity to the upper castes and the rural rich.

Thomas C. Mountain, a philanthropist and staunch supporter of Dalit movement in India says "Gandhi (a find of Abdullah Seth) was a so called "high caste" short of being a Brahman. High castes represent a small minority in India, some 10-15% of the population, yet dominate Indian society in much the same way whites ruled South Africa during the official period of Apartheid. Dalits often use the phrase Apartheid in India when speaking about their problems. The Indian Constitution was authored by Gandhi's main critic and political opponent, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar, first Dalit in history to receive an education, with his degree in Law from Cambridge, chosen by the British to write the new constitution for India."

Kashmiri Muslims and Dalits have a lot in common sharing deceit, atrocities, humiliation and exploitation received at the hands of the elite class of “learned pure race” who religiously believe that all these majority communities are there to serve them.

Kashmir, in the likeness, has always been back-stabbed usurping their rights economic, political or cultural. A minuscule minority of 4% elite group always grabbed the lion’s share and all ruling despots up and down the line for centuries considered them indispensable for running the government, a prerogative for the privileged. Learning, landownership, bureaucracy being the birthright; all other menial and dirty jobs were/are reserved or handled by Muslims of the State. The total dependence on this section of society by governing rulers was detrimental to all other people especially Muslims. This small minority presently carrying a tradition extracts maximum benefits and perks from government of India and the religious fundamentalist parties exploiting them to the hilt. The role played by elite group in extending help to agencies for their outstanding feats performed in torture cells having the advantage of language, culture and mannerism is something Kashmir is still trying to comprehend.

While the Home Minister is given the role of creating conducive atmosphere so that the goodness in him might create a situation absorbing all the shocks received by the population since October 1947; his ministry in Delhi is busy convening a high-level meeting to look for feasibility of erecting permanent fence along the cease-fire line that can withstand heavy snowfall. (Reports Zeenews, Nov 11, 2012). The move, as reported, is to achieve zero-infiltration of “terrorists” from Pakistan.

India very well knows that such measures will not help as these kind of political gimmicks have been tried before without any tangible result, as 740 km long cease-fire line is not easy to fence. Moreover, Kashmir is a long standing internationally recognized dispute that needs a solution as per the wish of people of Kashmir and by throwing such feelers India is desperately trying to complicate the issue further. The attempt to divide the political leadership of Kashmir has miserably failed as leaders like Geelani, Malik, Shah or Al-Mousvi are aware of their duty imposed by souls buried in thousands in the graves around Kashmir