Kashmir: Surging fundamentalism trembles
The religious fundamentalism dangerously poised is considered alarming as Kashmir already on the receiving end sees intolerant behaviour guided by fanaticism worrisome and disturbing. Bhim Singh, a known politician from Kashmir’s small border province Jammu reveals that four hundred Kashmiri youths are languishing in Indian jails. Singh further says "Don’t expect any justice from outside state authorities". However, the number of Kashmiri youth in Indian jails is claimed to run in thousands and the number excludes many thousands disappeared from time to time without any clue or trace.
In the light of mounting international pressure to end occupation; a desperate attempt is in the offing to divide Kashmir on regional lines giving it a communal colour to create confusion and political chaos. The genuine effort made by peace-loving people of India and Pakistan to settle Kashmir issue is undermined by promoting religious extremism to complicate the issue further. The recent riots in Kashmir´s Kishtwar town on Muslim Eid day were orchestrated by notorious Bajrang Dal, a Hindu fascist outfit under instructions from its parent radical organisation Sang Parivar. Indian official sources confirmed that intelligence agencies were probing into incited violence by these right-wing communal militant groups.
Kashmir, confronting largest belligerent military concentration on the face of earth, is restricted to one exit point for people to keep in touch with the outside world and the luxury availed through air and land route is provided by India maintaining control on the only option made available. The issuance of passports or travel documents is always subject to whims and wishes of people to indulge in bureaucratic red-tape to complicate life of the helpless. The puppet government installed is at the mercy of Indian military junta and is allowed to work strictly under the shadow of military dictation.
Previously self-sufficient, self-reliant and independent Kashmir is now totally dependent on Indian mercy and authoritative commands implemented through military might backed by draconian laws. Mairaj-ul Asrar, a B-Tech student denied his passport by Indian authorities lost his cherished dream of working for an American multinational company on the grounds that his father supported a political organisation fighting for independence of Kashmir. A 15 year old girl Sufaira Jan faced a similar nightmarish experience and was refused passport on the pretext that her uncle was a militant fighting Indian army.
A spate of deaths in mysterious circumstances of Kashmiri youth all over India is something that the international community must ponder and take cognizance. Few glaring cases mentioned hereunder can throw some light on the situation Kashmiris under compulsion have to live with as well.
- March 03, 2013: Mudassir Ahmed Malla, a PHD research scholar at the English and Foreign Language University, Hyderabad India was found hanging in his hostel room. Mudassir had led a protest march against hanging of Afzal Guru, a freedom fighter, by India who was later buried on the jail premises. Mudassir was punished and killed for being a patriot and a nationalist Kashmiri intellectual.
- April 02, 2013: Kabeer Bhat Kashmiri, a 22 year old student was found dead in his flat in Kondhwa Pune, India. Kabeer was pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration at a local management college.
- June 06, 2013: Parvez Ahmed Radoo, a post graduate in Zoology arrested seven years back at IGI airport, declared a "dreaded terrorist" was released by the Indian army being innocent and unblemished. Radoo frustratingly stated that his career has been ruined.
- June 11, 2013: Gulshan Ahmed Dar of Chak Saria, Pattan Kashmir, a student at Aligarh Muslim University was found dead. The post-mortem conducted by Uttar Pradesh police gave the cause of death as ´acute illness´. People and the parents of the deceased suspected a foul play and are still awaiting facts to surface.
- July 03, 2013: Harassment of Kashmiris considered a big concern, Simaan Hameed of Nishat, Kashmir was attacked by masked thugs at Amritsar railway station, hit him with an iron rod, a sharp knife wound into his arm leaving him in a pool of blood.
- July 20, 2013: The body initially hit in the head and strangulated of 12 year old boy Muhammad Asif of Kheora-Rajouri, Kashmir was found dispensed with apparent wounds of torture and the body dumped in the local stadium.
- July 15, 2013: Another Kashmiri student, 21 year old Abid Ahmed Ganai of Ganderbal Kashmir was found dead in the Indian city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. This was the second death of a Kashmiri student in India in less than a week as another Kashmiri Parvaiz Ahmed Teli was found dead in Indian city of Mumbai on July 06, 2013. Abid Ganai had gone to attend a seminar where he met his fateful tragic end.
- September 04, 2013: Manan Qadir Wani, a 24 year student found dead in his hostel room in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India alleged by his family that he was murdered.
- September 09, 2013: Hindustan Times reports that three Kashmiri youths shot dead by army in Kashmir’s Shopian town had no links with any group and were killed in cold blood. The youths were identified as Tawseef Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Yousuf Sofi, both residents of Shopian, and Tariq Ahmad Mir, a resident of neighbouring Kulgam town Kashmir.
- September 20, 2013: A Kashmiri student, Zahid Yousuf Dar studying Bachelors degree in Business Management in Bangalore India was thrashed and tortured just because he hails from Kashmir. Receiving a knock at 3.30 in the morning and upon answering the call was pounced on and beaten mercilessly without any rhyme or reason. His room was searched and the attackers decamped with money, laptop, I-phone and other valuables.
- December 16, 2003: The fateful evening at around 9.30 pm, 30-year-old Sheikh Farhat who had finished his 11th standard examination and MBA aspirant is confined in cell number 13 of the Alipore Jail in Kolkatta, West Bengal for the last ten years. Farhat was picked up from his home and after dressing down in Srinagar torture chamber was shifted thousands of miles away from his home to Kolkatta. Farhat´s family is running from post to pillar to seek their son´s release so far costing them everything that they owned. Kashmir´s local police show that there´s nothing adverse against Farhat in any police station in Kashmir.
The incidents cited above are only tip of the ice-berg. People of Kashmir are worried about their children´s welfare who in order to seek education without an alternative have to approach Indian universities for admission. A large business community of Kashmir have also shifted to Indian cities lock, stock and barrel to save their life and business out of compulsion and facing the onslaught of scores of Hindu religious militant organisation makes them live a life between devil and the deep sea.
Vancouverdesi.com reports (October 13, 2013) that in a landmark judgement Kashmir High said that use of terms like "Hindu nationalist", "Muslim nationalist", "Sikh nationalist", or "Christian nationalist" were abhorrent to the Indian constitution. First Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru had envisioned that India is fast becoming a fanatical body politic with illiberal attitudes and saw his future secular Indian character coming to a permanent halt.
American historian Stanley Wolpert, in his book Partition of India writes "when Jawarharlal Nehru was informed of what his high commissioner in Karachi had proposed, he expressed amazement. India´s first high commissioner Sri Prakash told Lord Mountbatten that for the sake of peace all around, the best thing India could do was to hand over Kashmir to Pakistan." In a sharp letter to Sri Prakash, Nehru wrote ...."If we did anything of the kind our government would not last many days and there would be no peace....it would lead to war with Pakistan because of public opinion here and of war-like elements coming in control of our policy