The Candid Eye

November 21, 2010

Arundhati Roy & Pradip Krishen grab tribal land in MP

Filed under: Arundhati Roy,India — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Arundhati Roy pretends to be a campaigner for tribal rights. Yet she and her husband are in the thick of a controversy over grabbing tribal land in Pachmarhi. Vivek Trivedi reports

Arundhati Roy, the maverick novelist turned activist, who recently was under a raging controversy triggered by her ‘seditious remarks’ on Kashmir and pretends to be a campaigner for tribal rights is now along with her husband in the thick of a controversy over grabbing tribal land in Pachmarhi.

Roy, who during her teenage years had embarked on a homeless lifestyle, staying in a small hut with a tin roof within the walls of Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla and making a living selling empty bottles, shot to prominence after inking the novel God of Small Things in 1996, which got her the prestigious Booker’s Prize 1997. Ever since then, the writer has devoted herself solely to politics, publishing two more collections of essays as well as working for social causes.

Arundhati Roy

The novelist has hogged limelight in the last decade for her activities in socio-political plots like Sardar Sarovar Dam project, India’s nuclear weapons programme and corruption of power company Enron.

However, apart from these socio-political plots, the land plot purchased by Roy’s second husband in Pachmarhi, a picturesque tourist destination in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh has every now and then put the pro-environment outbursts of this writer cum activist’s into suspicion.

Roy’s personality has never been an unknown entity for the denizens of Madhya Pradesh ever since, she bagged the Booker’s Prize in the year 1997 and ensured active association with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), opposing the mega Sardar Sarovar Project in subsequent years.

The God of Small Things author, who has earned an image of a passionate activist, fighting tenaciously for bringing justice on social and environmental causes over the years, suddenly decided to fish in troubled waters by making some objectionable remarks on the Kashmir problem recently.

“Kashmir should get azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan,” said Arundhati Roy at a seminar last month, where the Maoists hosted Kashmir secessionist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, which witnessed large-scale protests by Kashmiri Pandits. However, the controversial remarks had failed to impress many across the country and generated flak from socio-political circles.

The crusader of environment conservation and tribals’ rights also has a link in Madhya Pradesh, which puts her image under a cloud. The land plot purchased by her second husband and filmmaker Pradip Krishen has mired this writer-activist into a long drawn environmental controversy.

Krishen had purchased a plot in Bariaam village situated around 7 km from Pachmarhi from a local resident Sharif Ahmed in 1992. The filmmaker had purchased two pieces of land, out of which he sold out one later on and used the second one for constructing a house. The construction work began in 1992 and concluded four years later in 1996.

The Bariaam village is located on the main highway to Pachmarhi falls within the Special Area Development Authority’s (SADA) jurisdiction. This is also a part of the Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuary and provisions of Wildlife Act 1972 prohibit holding any land title in the area.

The Union Forest and Environment Ministry also has declared it as part of an eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act. Krishen had purchased the land with few others in the year 1992. He completed construction of the house towards the end of 1993, in time for his wedding with Roy in January 1994. In between other buildings also came up in the area from 1993 to 1996. Writer Vikram Seth’s sister Anuradha, a forest officer Nishkant Jhadav and a doctor Jagdish Chandra Sharma also owned land in the notified area.

In between, the Pachmarhi Special Area Development Authority (SADA) had served a ‘stop building’ order on Krishen and Arundhati. The couple however hit back and alleged that they were being targeted for opposing a new development plan for the Pachmarhi area in which hotel-building would be allowed at the cost of despoiling the beauty and sylvan backdrop of the gorgeous tourist destination.

The SADA notice, served on March 12, mentioned that under Section 16 of the state Town and Country Planning Act, 1973, the land use of Pachmarhi and its neighbouring areas had been frozen. It accused Krishen of building his house at Bariaam without valid permission from the Town and Country Planning Organisation (TCPO) and directed him to stop all construction activity. The notice may well be the precursor to a demolition order.

The Forest Department did not lag behind on this issue and local forest officials insisted that Bariaam village had been part of the wildlife sanctuary since 1977. So the plot of land acquired by Krishen violates a provision of the Wildlife Protection Act, amended in 1991, under which no new rights of property can be created in a protected area. However the couple had maintained that Bariaam was a revenue village and it was not in the Army cantonment or within the boundaries of the sanctuary or the national park.

A new twist came in the row, as a local Naib Tehsildar from Pachmarhi cancelled the land title change, which had taken place in March 1992, in favour of Krishen. Roy’s husband and others soon approached the Jabalpur High Court against the move and challenged the decision of the Naib Tehsildar.

The High Court however directed the petitioner to instead appear before the revenue appellate authority, which was SDM in this case. Krishen however told that court that time limit of making an appeal in the case had passed and the court had granted the relaxation in the matter. The order was pronounced in February this year. In compliance with the High Court order, the petitioner has presented an application before the SDO (civil).

There is still some room for respite to Krishen and Arundhati, if the SDM’s verdict goes against them, Roy, Krishen and the others can file an appeal with Bhopal and Hoshangabad Commissioner Manoj Shrivastva.

The verdict

Roy and Krishen had got embroiled in the land controversy in 2003 when the local administration claimed their elevated bungalow overlooking twin hillocks and vast rolling greens, was in notified forestland.

Then SDM Niyaz Ahmad of Pipariya had acted upon a complaint filed by Vijay Singh, a tribal that Roy’s husband and three others, including Aradhana Seth, sister of writer Vikram Seth, had allegedly encroached on tribal land. Later, Roy’s husband and a few others had moved the Jabalpur High Court against the verdict of the local administration.

The High Court in its verdict, has rejected the appeal and has asked Arundhati’s husband to appear before a sub-divisional magistrate. The order has come four years after the Madhya Pradesh Government had served a notice on Krishen and others for encroaching on tribal land.

Pachmarhi in Biosphere Reserve Programme

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has included Pachmarhi in Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme in 2009. The Man And Biosphere (MAB) Programme develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment. It predicts the consequences of today’s actions on tomorrow’s world and thereby increases people’s ability to efficiently manage natural resources for the well being of both human populations and the environment.

Source : The Pioneer

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February 24, 2010

J&K: Boatman’s betrayal

Who can save the boat that the boatman is determined to sink? Hindus in Jammu fear the possibility of fresh holocausts as Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s red carpet to terrorists in PoK reinforces the politics of Muslim precedence in J&K, and strengthens Kashmiri Muslim resistance to full integration with India. The state last month broke a 19-year tradition and refused to unfurl the tricolour at Lal Chowk, a decision that demoralized armed and para-military forces in the state.

While successive Indian governments have failed to redress the citizenship and human rights of refugees, mostly Hindu scheduled castes, who migrated to J&K after Pakistan grabbed parts of the state in the 1947-48 war, and again after the wars of 1965 and 1971, the UPA has with alacrity welcomed PoK-based militants to the Valley. Nearly one lakh Hindus remain excluded from the socio-economic and political life of the state, denied voting rights, education for their children, bank loans, and the right to own property, since 1947.

More dangerously for the Republic, religious cleansing operations are covertly going on in the Muslim-majority areas of Jammu, though the state government is hiding the magnitude of this internal displacement. The matter was, however, raised in the PM’s Working Group on Centre State Relations for J&K, though it seems to have been ignored.

Bemused Pandits and a stunned nation are at a loss to understand what prompted the Centre to unilaterally announce an open door policy for the terrorists who unleashed genocide and drove nearly four lakh Hindus out of the valley since 1990. So far, only 7,000 families have been sheltered in government camps in Jammu; the rest are dispersed nation-wide and left to fend for themselves. They suffer unemployment, serious health and psychological traumas, a falling growth rate of the community; but they are nobody’s children.

Yet, on Feb. 11, 2010, home minister Chidambaram said the Centre was ready to “welcome” Kashmiris (read Muslims) who crossed the LoC for arms training for insurgency operations, if they relinquished militancy. He had previously surprised the nation by announcing resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, despite lack of tangible moves by Islamabad to control terrorism. Chidambaram defended the amnesty mooted by chief minister Omar Abdullah on grounds that it was recommended by the Justice Saghir Ahmed Working Group appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, though this has been challenged by BJP member Arun Jaitley.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has contested this bird-brained scheme as Pakistan could use it as a cover to push foreign militants into the country. Azad argues it will be difficult to establish if the youth being accepted are the same men who went to Pakistan for arms training, and if they have genuinely eschewed violence. When Islamabad is refusing to hand over the accused in the Mumbai 2008 terror attack, how can New Delhi adopt a surrender policy that facilitates further infiltration of militants into the country?

It is estimated that nearly 4,000 youths crossed the LoC during the 1990s; many returned quietly, but about 800 remain. In 2006, these youth met an Indian delegation to PoK that included Omar Abdullah (PUGWASH Conference) and pleaded for help to return, claiming they were “homesick.” That may be true, but when separatism continues to thrive in J&K as a whole, and militancy is on the upswing, there is no political logic for such generosity. There are also complications like men who married local girls and have children who are Pakistani nationals.

Many Hindus view the amnesty scheme as a new incarnation of the J&K Grant of Permit for Resettlement Act, 1982, which was ultimately stayed by the Supreme Court on a petition by Mr. Bhim Singh of the Panthers Party. Sheikh Abdullah had piloted this legislation after his victory in the July 1977 state elections; Dr Farooq Abdullah became chief minister in September 1982 after the Sheikh’s death.

Like his father, Farooq too tended to raise the bogey of autonomy from time to time, in order to retard the process of the state’s integration with the Union of India. The Resettlement Act aimed at the resettlement of Kashmiris (read Muslims) who had migrated to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir or Pakistan itself, and wished to reunite with their Indian kith and kin. It was disliked by the state’s Hindu community which saw it as a ploy to deprive Hindus of the migrant properties which had been allotted to them. These fears have now been revived.

Observers saw the Bill as a step in the direction of concretizing the plan for a Greater Kashmir by ensuring an effective Muslim majority for the districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Governor BK Nehru received a plethora of complaints against it, which prompted him to send a message to the legislature outlining its legal and constitutional infirmities. But an adamant Farooq Abdullah got the assembly to pass the Bill again on October 4, 1982, and the Governor was constrained to give his assent.

Thereafter, the President referred the Bill to the Supreme Court, as the power to grant citizenship vests with the Centre, and not the states. But the apex court returned the matter last year without remarks. However, acting on Bhim Singh’s writ petition challenging the Act’s validity, the court took note of rising cross-border terrorism in J&K, where by then 50,000 persons had fallen victim to militancy, and stayed implementation in February 2002; this is still valid. It was argued that the Act was prima facie “ultra vires of the constitution.”

The UPA owes the country an explanation why the wars and sacrifices of 1947, 1965, 1971, Kargil, and the continuing thousand cuts which culminated in the spectacular violence of Mumbai 2008, are being discounted in this cavalier fashion. What compulsion drove Kashmir’s dominant Muslim majority to hound their unarmed Hindu brethren with violence and threats of violence issued from loudspeakers attached to mosques, to molest Hindu women and threaten to retain them as captives while forcing their men out of the land? Kashmiri Muslim obduracy continues to pose a threat to national security, yet the Centre is willing to risk the entry of more spies, saboteurs and outright terrorists, to stoke emotions and push the state in the direction of independence/secession. We need to know who is setting this treacherous agenda.The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com

February 21, 2010

US and UK forced India to talk to Pakistan

Filed under: India,Jihad,Pakistan — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Talks with Pakistan are a futile exercise, former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra tells rediff.com’s Sheela Bhatt, and urges the government to call the dialogue off.

Underlining the need to talk to Pakistan, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said we can’t choose our neighbours. Why are you against the talks?

I don’t remember the exact context of Vajpayee’s speech but every prime minister of India wanted good relations with Pakistan. There is nothing new in these attempts. What we [the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government] did was different after learning the lessons from the Agra talks. We didn’t talk to Pakistan until it took some steps against terror.

In this context, what is more important is Vajpayee’s statement in April 2003 in Srinagar. He said, ‘Once again I extend my hand of friendship to Pakistan.’ That was the third and last time he did it and [former Pakistan] president [Pervez] Musharraf responded to that. Nothing happened until November 25, 2003. Then, the ceasefire on the Line of Control took place. Only after that, the back-channel discussion started with Pakistan.

Then we got the January 2004 declaration in Islamabad. That statement was very clear that the resumption of dialogue was dependent on cessation of terrorism. Unfortunately, the United Progressive Alliance government changed the meaning of the 2004 agreement when it came to power — the UPA says terrorism will not be allowed to impede the peace process. We said in January 2004 that terrorism and dialogue cannot go together. You have these statements of Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the meetings in New York and Havana. It was said that Pakistan was also the victim of terrorism and the ‘joint [anti-terror] mechanism’ was launched.

All that came to zilch. Terrorism continued. In 2006, serial blasts occurred in Mumbai and at the same time talks were going on with Musharraf with the help of back channel [diplomacy].

My point is that you have done it before. Despite terrorism, you held talks with Pakistan and did not succeed. Why are you doing same thing now? Why don’t you go back to the January 2004 statement? Terrorism and dialogue cannot go together. Tell Pakistan that you stop this and then we will resume the composite dialogue. Look, we have to talk — this is what this government is saying.

Much before what [United States Senator] John Kerry said on his tour to India this week, it was obvious to all of us that India was working under American and British pressure. They more or less forced India to talk to Pakistan. But, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are withdrawing from Afghanistan — as I see it, despite what Kerry is saying. Then, why do they need us to talk? Because Pakistan is very happy to help Taliban in Afghanistan so that the Americans and others can walk out. Some three months back General [Ahmed Shuja] Pasha, chief of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence, said he can arrange a meeting with [Taliban chief] Mullah Omar. I don’t understand why we need to talk to Pakistan then.

Indians are worried about terrorism. The government is looking for solutions. If we don’t talk to Pakistan, how do you go about it?

What is our past experience of talks to Pakistan? Indira Gandhi gave up 96,000 prisoners of war. [Zulfiqar Ali] Bhutto promised that he will accept the Line of Control as the border. He went back on his promise. He left India and immediately went on to give permission for building nuclear weapons. It’s not that India has not talked before, but we have been always betrayed by Pakistan. Being a neighbour you have to talk to them. But talk when you are stronger, not when we are weak.

Why do you say we are weak?

Of course we are weak! The US has given $10 billion and also, Pakistan is being given F-16 and other modern fighter planes. Pakistan, today, is becoming almost the same in conventional strength compared to India. While we have not been adding to our capacity, they are acquiring weapons at speed.

Even if Pakistan has betrayed India, as you say, the solution-oriented approach demands that we look for the way out to get them to do what we want.

But to do that you should be objective in assessing the situation. Just by having a wish for solution does not lead you to the correct assessment of the real situation. Let us be very clear — the Pakistan army does not want good relations with India.

First it was Kashmir but suddenly since the last few months, they are raising the issue of water. Now, they are telling the US and others that let India get out of Afghanistan. I don’t know which other issues they would raise tomorrow.

Of course, it’s not democracy that prevails in Pakistan. The Pakistan army considers itself as the guardian of Pakistan. Its very existence depends on enmity with India. My contention is that this is the objective situation. In this situation, what are you going to achieve unless you get them first to stop terrorist activity? When the announcement of talks with Pakistan was made early this month, it was said that we will talk about terrorism and other related issues — more or less composite dialogue.

One day before this announcement, the United Jihad Council met in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The UJC cannot meet without the permission of the Pakistan army and the ISI. And, I don’t imagine that the Pakistan army was not aware about what was happening on the diplomatic front between the two countries. Despite that, they allowed the UJC to meet and then next day they came out with the agenda for talks. And, still, we say that we want to talk about terrorism and other related issues. I want to understand what India is going to get from these talks.

Maybe peace?

That’s wishful thinking. It’s not an objective assessment.

India is facing terrorism.

So? It is the official agency in Pakistan that is supporting terrorism within India. There is terrorism in China. Is the Chinese government supporting it? No! In the US or the United Kingdom, terrorism is there but nowhere the official agency supports it — except in Pakistan. What I am trying to say is that I am not opposed to friendly and cooperative relations with Pakistan. But there are two conditions: One, India must be strong. Two, unless Pakistan stops supporting terrorism, there cannot be any talks.

But India is maintaining 8 to 9 per cent growth. India is united. It has a functioning democracy. India is strong enough to initiate dialogue.

If India is strong then it need not bother about Pakistan. The fact is India is not strong. The 9 percent growth is not going to ensure your national security. The first duty of the State is to protect the lives and properties of its citizens. What will this 9 percent growth do? Unless, you have 9 percent growth plus military strength, you are not going to be counted in the world.

Pakistan and China are hostile. Nepalese are dictated by Maoists. Despite Sheikh Hasina being in power, Bangladesh is getting closer to China. Despite what all you did for Sri Lanka, the Chinese presence in Sri Lanka is there for all to see. They are building a new port for them. India is a soft State. Nobody is bothered about us. Neighbuoring countries are taking advantage of you.

You helped defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, but when your ship went there to help with goods, it was not allowed to anchor for long. Nobody is bothered about India. They don’t consider 9 per cent growth important enough. Deng Xiaoping was talking about four modernisations. One of it was the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army. He knew just economic reforms won’t make China stronger. We [India] have neglected the armed forces since Independence.

India is a poor country.

We are not poor.

How can you spend more on defence when people don’t have enough food, education and health facilities?

Then what will you do? Our space can be occupied by somebody. Is it okay? Let us remain the target. What are the Pune and Taj [Mumbai] attacks? What balance can you talk of when the State fails to fulfill its first duty — to protect its citizens’ lives and property?

In the post-Cold War era, bilateral relations are handled differently. In the modern world people want to move forward for development. If you are given the talks to move forward with Pakistan so that India can move forward on many other fronts, how will you go about it?

I told you. Let us talk about the January 2004 agreement. Ask Pakistan: What have you done? And, you are frequently talking about the ‘modern world’. Let me say a few things. After the demise of the Soviet Union, was it necessary for NATO to expand eastwards? This is the modern world you are talking about. If the Warsaw pact had been resolved, where was the threat for these countries from Russia? This is also the modern world. China has settled its border issue with Russia but they still have maritime issues with Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Isn’t it advantage India if bilateral relations with Pakistan improve?

Only if it improves on the basis of your conditions. Mrs [Indira] Gandhi did move forward; what did we get?

There is an argument that what is happening in Pakistan, and even terrorism in India emanating from Pakistan, is not under the control of the Pakistani government.

What is happening in India is under the control of Pakistan. Jaish [e-Mohammad], HuJI [Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami] and LeT [Lashkar-e-Tayiba] are certainly [under Islamabad’s control]. I am not talking about the Taliban. I am talking of the United Jihad Council in PoK. That’s of course under the control of Pakistan.

It was so even in 2004 when you were in Islamabad.

We got what was agreed by Musharraf. The statement said that Pakistan will not allow Pakistani territory to be used by terrorists. Only then we agreed to start composite dialogue. I am saying talk to Pakistan only on terrorism. Pakistan is saying clearly that they are going to Delhi to start composite dialogue. Across the table you will say terror and they will say Kashmir. What will you do? Failure?

I read in the newspapers that the government is not united about holding talks. The government’s statement is now revised. Instead of talking about ‘terrorism and other related issues,’ the government now says it will talk only about terrorism. If it’s true, then exactly this will happen. India will be sitting here and Pakistani representatives over there. And both will be talking at cross purposes. It’s a sure remedy for failure.

Then, some people would say, talk Kashmir.

I have told you that Kashmir is not the only issue between us. Second, how do you solve the Kashmir issue? Pakistan is not going to accept the LoC as the border.

During your time in the Prime Minister’s Office, you were talking through back channel too.

We were not talking on Kashmir. I did not. My entire back channel thing, which lasted less than one year, resulted in the ceasefire on the LoC. Two, it resulted in the January 6, 2004 statement. We didn’t talk about Kashmir, we talked about terrorism.

Do you see the issue shaping up in our lifetime?

Only if India is militarily strong, the Kashmir issue may take final shape. Then, Pakistan will accept the situation on the ground.

During your time, India was on a stronger wicket. What happened then?

How? I am talking of military strength. We lost 500 jawans in Kargil. It was the hard task. Now, Pakistan is much more militarily stronger than ever.

Sorry to use a cliche, but you sound hawkish.

Listen, I started off by saying that every prime minister of India started with having good relations with Pakistan. But, objective conditions today and the Pakistan army’s policy do not allow success. So, don’t waste your time on this. I am very sorry to say that 1 billion people were humiliated in Mumbai on 26/11 by them. Now, we are humiliating ourselves without them having done anything on 26/11.

They keep on postponing the trial. They have released Hafiz Saeed. What are we talking about? They allowed the UJC to have the meeting in PoK. Isn’t it the humiliation of 1 billion people? I say call off the talks.

A frequent argument is that let Pakistan’s eastern border see less tension to concentrate on the western border.

The Americans and the British have forced India to do this. But, it is their agenda. We should look after our own agenda. We can’t follow their agenda.

One thinking is that if the US and NATO’s defense position against Taliban gets strengthened, it’s in India’s advantage as well.

That is a very big if. Second, my reading is the US and the UK just want an honorable way out and [want to] hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban.

On his India visit Kerry said

I don’t read John Kerry.

He told a daily, ‘Under no circumstances are we planning to have no presence or suddenly depart.’

He has said so many things in the past.

So, you believe that the US will leave from Afghanistan as Obama has promised.

The US and the UK are going to run away from Afghanistan.

If that happens, that is the reason to talk to Pakistan. Because after the US and NATO’s exit from Afghanistan, the entire region will become more insecure.

But what will you talk to Pakistan? Hand over Kashmir for [better security]? Do you mean that? That is what Pakistan wants. Pakistan wants Kashmir, wants to settle water issues on their terms. And Pakistan wants India to remain out of Afghanistan. Do you think by talking to they will permit you to be in Afghanistan?

My submission is that the issue of Afghanistan is complex and it’s inter-related with the region’s security. So, the withdrawals of the US will have bearing on India’s security.

It is not complex if one is very clear about the aims of the Pakistan army. You people do not think of what the objective situation in Pakistan is. The situation is that Pakistan army has full control over three issues: India, Afghanistan and the nuclear issue. The civilian government has no say in these matters. The Pakistan army can not exist without having control over it. You keep on saying talk to Pakistan; talk to them about what?

Do you think it’s prudent to talk to the Pakistan army if and when possible?

If and only if you are strong. As I said, if you are militarily strong Pakistan will accept the situation as it is.

You paint a grim scenario.

It is a grim scenario. I haven’t made it up.

But military build-up will require another 10 years.

Now we are getting into the other part of the subject. The procedures of our defence department are 19th century procedures. We have to reform it. We have to take the strategic decision about modern weapons. The Bofors thing is still hanging on our politicians’ shoulders. They are worried that we will be accused of corruption. You will be accused of corruption in any case! But, you [politicians] are neglecting national security. They have declared that we want 123 multi-combat aircraft. But the way they are proceeding, it will take them 15 years to acquire it. By that time, the aircraft will be obsolete. Let us forget about these 19th century procedures and come up with a modern system. The government needs to have national security culture. It doesn’t have. It likes only 9 percent growth!

Here, some people may say, ‘Mr Mishra is saying the same thing that India is arguing since the last 60 years.’ You are saying the Pakistan army has control. Pakistan doesn’t want peace. But if India wants to move forward, it will need peace with Pakistan.

The same people about whom you are talking, why do they forget that every Indian government since the last 60 years has tried to have peace with Pakistan and failed? Why have they failed?

They allege that talks have failed because India is just not flexible to settle the issue.

Okay. On Kashmir? Then give up Kashmir!

How about give and take instead?

What give and take? Please you tell me what you can ‘give’? These very people who are saying do business with Pakistan, will they accept the change in the Line of Control?

I don’t think they will.

Then? What are we talking about?

What is the solution?

I told you. Be strong first.

That’s the long way to go.

Revise your acquisition procedures. Take strategic decisions — which weapons you want, and get it.

Looking at it practically, India is not losing anything. Rather, India will earn credibility that it is seeking peace with Pakistan.

Are we not losing anything? Pakistan has done nothing about 26/11. Just a few weeks ago you were only saying that we will not talk with Pakistan unless they take action against 26/11 plotters. What are we talking about now? [Home Minister] P Chidambaram was saying just three weeks ago that we won’t talk unless action is taken. [Finance Minister] Pranab Mukherjee said it when he was minister of external affairs. Now, what has happened?

Let me ask you again. Is India not worried about US-NATO forces moving out? Yes or no?

Of course we should be worried. But India has no control over it. These two gentlemen, President Barack Obama and [British] Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the two main contributors to the defence forces in Afghanistan, have decided to withdraw and run. They are looking for some honourable excuse.

Last week, a New Delhi-based expert told rediff.com that ‘by agreeing to talk to Pakistan under US pressure India is contributing in the fight against Taliban.’

Whoever has said that, ask him if his family member was attacked in 26/11. Ask him that, please. It’s very good to say such things sitting far away from the reality. They advise India should do this and do that, but ask those people who bore the brunt of terrorist attacks.

Barbara Crossette says India is the biggest pain in Asia and she says India often gives global governance the biggest headache.

This shows the failure of the diplomatic efforts of this government. When the victim is asked to make concessions, isn’t it a failure? The victim is being told to take into account the concerns of the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack. Come on, please! These people don’t understand that the government’s diplomatic effort has failed miserably. It didn’t take strong action in the beginning [after the Mumbai attacks]. It has lost everything.

Source: Rediff

January 28, 2010

One Republic – Two flags!!

In our republic, which boasts of one nation, one people and one union, we have two flags. One for India and the other for Kashmir.
No one asks why? An wonderful article from Tarun Vijay on having TWO flags for ONE republic.

If the mere picture of a foreign national irks, embarrasses and makes the government apologetic, should a flag, put on a par, parallel to the flag of our republic for which we swear to live and die, make us happy and proud?

There is one tricolor, which is our soul. We sing for it, love it, feel thrilled when it’s fluttered on any part of this planet. That’s us and our invincible tricolour.

And here is another flag. We hardly know about it. A piece that has to be displayed on the bonnets of the Ambassador cars the governor, the chief minister, the Union home minister or even the Prime Minister uses to negotiate a Kashmir road. Suddenly there are two flags, two people, two lands. And still one republic? Ask Justice Sagheer Ahmad and hear the “give more autonomy to J&K” call. More, still more, autonomy for what? A seperate flag and wanting to be more seperate?

Whose flag is it, any way? They say it’s Kashmir’s flag. So why don’t our rulers hoist it too in the Republic Day parade in New Delhi? A bit red-faced, they say it’s just for Kashmir.

Indian Flag : Image Courtesy - TOI

Jammu & Kashmir Flag : Image Courtesy - TOI

So why not Bihar and Uttarakhand and Punjab  and, please, Tamilnadu too have their separate flags?They say Kashmir is special and other states are NOT.

Really?

Why not every state in India is special?

Why not every Indian citizen is equally special?

We, the Indians, the people of India.

Who gave the Constitution to themselves on January 26, 1950, hence the republic and the parade for it.

We can’t buy an inch of land in Kashmir because there is a provision in the Indian Constitution that bars it. That’s called Article 370.

It says we are not authorised to be citizens of Kashmir. But we are Indian citizens?

So what?

Article 370 says we are not naturally Kashmiri citizens, even if we are Indians.

If we are Indians, we can be Biharis, Tamilians or Arunachalis. But not Kashmiri.

There was a man whose name was Syama Prasad Mookerjee. He died protesting separate provisions for Kashmir. The news agency IANS reported recently: “Mukherjee was imprisoned for entering the state without a proper permit in violation of Article 370. His entry was in protest against the separate constitution, head of the state and flag of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mukherjee wanted that Jammu and Kashmir be declared an integral part of India and governed like any other state of the country.”

Mookerjee (that’s how he spelt his name) died mysteriously in a Srinagar jail.

Who cares for such a “mad” man, giving his life for national integration in its truest sense?

Live peacefully, in your Lutyens’ bungalow and offer government constructive cooperation.

That makes life easy, you know.

Let me reproduce some extracts from the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir? It has a separate identity from the Indian Constitution and no law that the Indian parliament passes is applied in J&K unless the J&K assembly  passes it too and it has the right to overrule the Indian parliament and change the contents of the laws passed by the parliament situated in New Delhi.

The J&K constitution says —

Preamble:

We, the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, having solemnly resolved, in pursuance of the accession of this State to India which took place on the twenty sixth day of October, 1947, to further define the existing relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof, and to secure ourselves-

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and opportunity; and to promote among us all;

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this seventeenth day of November, 1956, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.

Part II of “The State” of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir:

Relationship of the State with the Union of India – The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.

On April 7, 1958, the Plebiscite Front of Sheikh Abdullah adopted a resolution specifically citing Article 370, and stated that : “Jammu and Kashmir state has not yet acceded to any of the two dominions, India and Pakistan. Therefore, it will not be right to call Pakistani invasion on Jammu and Kashmir as an attack on India.” Using Article 370 Kashmiri Muslim leaders have opposed any family planning and welfare schemes formulated by the government of India, and the programme was implemented only in the Hindu majority Jammu. The former chief minister, G M Shah, had said that the aim of the government family planning programme was to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. The former external affairs minister M C Chagla had told the United Nations that the Article was a temporary measure. The two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and G M Sadiq too wanted this Article to be repealed.

Articles 3 and 5 of the State constitution of Jammu and Kashmir state that it will remain an “inseparable” part of India and Parliament should immediately repeal Article 370.

Friends on the internet suggest, “Those Kashmiri Muslims who have declared themselves to be Pakistanis should be asked to apply for Pakistani citizenship, and if their applications fail, they should be declared stateless persons and no longer citizens of India, and therefore no longer citizens of any part of the dominions of the Republic of India.”

Article 370 (though originally Article 306-A) drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyengar in close consultation with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah reads as follows:

“Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir:

1. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,
(a) the provisions of Article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir;

(b) the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to,
(i) those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws far that State; and

(ii) such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.

Explanation:
For the purposes of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948;

(c) the provisions of Article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to that State;

(d) such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify:

Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State:

Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of that Government.

2. If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in the second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

3. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify:
Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 370 the President, on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, declared that as from the 17th Day of November, 1952, the said Article 370 shall be operative with the modification that for the Explanation in Cl. (1) thereof, the following explanation is substituted namely.

Explanation – For the purpose of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognized by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office.”

That’s our republic. And the second flag. And the two peoples in one land. Viva the flag hoisters.

Where is the pain and where is the shoulder?

November 16, 2009

Pakistani Army ran Muslim extremist training camps, says anti-terrorist expert

The Pakistani Army ran training camps for a Muslim extremist group, at least until recently, with the acceptance of the US Central Intelligence Agency, according to France’s foremost anti-terrorist expert.Jean-Louis Bruguière, who retired in 2007 after 15 years as chief investigating judge for counter-terrorism, reached this conclusion after interrogating a French militant who had been trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba and arrested in Australia in 2003.

 

Pakistani Army

Pakistani Army

In a book in his counter-terrorism years, Mr Bruguière says that Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was set up to fight India over disputed Kashmir territory, had become part of the international Islamic network of al-Qaeda.

Willy Brigitte, the suspect, told Mr Bruguière, that the Pakistani military were running the Lashkar-e-Taiba training camp where he spent 2½ months in 2001-02. Along with two Britons and two Americans, Brigitte was driven in a 4×4 through army roadblocks to the high-altitude camp where more than 2,000 men were being trained by Pakistani regular army officers, he said.

“The links between the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Pakistani Army are more than close. Brigitte observed this twice,” Mr Bruguière said. “When the camp was resupplied, all the materiel was dropped off by Pakistani army helicopters. And there were regular inspections by the Pakistani Army and the CIA.”

 

ISI-Taliban Nexus

ISI-Taliban Nexus

The US agency carried out spot checks to ensure that Pakistan was sticking to an agreement not to train any foreigners at the militant organisation, the judge said. “After 9/11, the Americans put pressure on the Pakistani Government to put more effective controls on the activities of the Islamic organisations linked to al-Qaeda,” he said.

Mr Brigitte, originally from the French West Indies, and other foreign personnel were moved out to another camp when the CIA was due to visit, Mr Bruguière said.The judge said that it was possible that the Americans had been turning a blind eye to the organisation’s training of foreign operatives.

It was not clear whether the Pakistani armed forces and ISI intelligence service were “playing the same game” as the Pakistani Government over Islamic terrorism, said the judge, whose book is titled Some Things that I Wasn’t Able to Say.

Source: Times Online

November 14, 2009

Anti-India Seminar on J&K in New Delhi

This is a little lengthy post by a Nancy Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit.

India under siege – from within

Islamic terrorism and terrorists, separatists and secessionists, and soft-peddling politicians are outdoing each other to prove that they share the same mind set and agenda in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides these, there is another equally committed partner in the quest for disengaging the state of J&K from India; the ultimate political objective for which Islam has been waging Islamic terrorism or jihad in the state.

The truth is that this partner is neither willing to accept facts nor recognize the ground reality but is making an all-out effort to trample the Indian constitution under their feet. This ‘partner’ to whom I am referring to are intellectuals, politicians, journalists and the ‘secular’ liberals who are aiding and abetting the separatists and secessionists to move inch by inch towards Balkanizing the Indian nation.

The Muslims of Kashmir Valley have always been portraying themselves as being the sole inhabitants not only of the Valley but in the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is almost as if the Hindus of the Kashmir valley who were forcibly thrown out of their homes never existed and as if the Hindus of Jammu and the Buddhists of Laddakh also do not exist. Such is the stranglehold of the Muslims in the state that they have succeeded in propagating the myth that the only people who live in the state of J&K are Muslims. This is the success of Islamic terrorism and its methods.

Kashmir map

Kashmir map

This has been the premise the whole day today, in this seminar while referring to the state of J&K. It is as if the whole issue is only about the valley and only about Muslims. Every speaker has made out his case as if there is no Jammu and Laddakh and there are no Hindus and Buddhists. The whole seminar is valley-centric.

What about the Kashmiri Pandits? The people who know more than anybody else about the impact and consequences of the terror unleashed on them in the Kashmir Valley. And what about the people of Ladakh and Jammu?

Does the Indian constitution guarantee freedom of life and speech only to terrorists, separatists and politicians who take oath of office in its name and then proceed to do everything to erode the very sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country of which the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part?

In the name of democracy and dialogue, it is only this view point that is being placed forward and propagated in seminar circuits and this seminar too is no different. Panun Kashmir suspects that these debates have a design and a pattern to them and this is easily discerned from this seminar too. The seminar, organized by CSDS in NewDelhi was called, ” Multi Party Dialogue on the Political Future of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Initially the organizers ( Madhu Kishwar), gave the impression that all regions of Jammu and Kashmir had been invited to participate in the seminar and also that all the participants (read speakers) would get to place their view point. The organizers made out that the views expressed at the seminar would not be confined to the views of either the separatists or Valley politicians.

However, on the day of the seminar held at Nehru Memorial in Teen Murti, the venue was witness to a vicious campaign for de-linking Jammu and Kashmir from India. This was the only theme; it was neither a seminar nor a dialogue and certainly it was not represented by all regions or religions.

In the chair was Ram Jethmalani, the senior advocate who many a times himself led the attack against the Indian nation. Mr Jethmalani was bravado personified when he made common cause with the terrorist Yaseen Malik and actually looked pleased with himself as speaker after speaker hit out at the edifice of constitutional polity and the territorial integrity of India.

Mohammed Shafi Uri of the National Conference took the first dig while suggesting that the Pandora’s Box o of autonomy was the only solution and said that in 1953 the Kashmiris were betrayed by the Indian union.

The stage set to their advantage, separatist and hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat wanted the army and all security forces withdrawn from the valley. The man wanted ‘self governance’ in Kashmir, and also made the prepostrous suggestion that the state of Jammu and Kashmir should be a buffer zone between India and Pakistan instead of being a state within the Indian Union. He went on to announce that he would now like to sit with National Conference and PDP to chalk out a new strategy to achieve this.

Interestingly, only two days before this, Dr Farooq Adullah had said in Srinagar that the Muslims of the state were proud to be Muslims and proud to be the majority populace.Hour after hour the speeches continued even as PDP’s Muzzafar Beg wanted Article 1 of the Indian constitution amended apart from going on and on about how only self rule was the only solution.All the speakers spoke in tandem and in a well orchestrated manner. The only casulaty that day was the sovereignty and terroritial integrity of the country.

Kashmir - Nature's gift

Kashmir - Nature's gift

Mehbooba Mufti and her loud and aggressive ways need no new mention; last year the nation saw and heard her hysterical anti Amaranth campaign and political rhetoric. She too said she wanted to see Kashmir closer to Muzzafarabad and not wilt in the presence of India but bloom in proximity to Islamabad.After spiting and spewing venom, Mehbooba said that the final solution will have the rubber stamp of Syed Ali Shah Gilani(the rabid separatist and vehement campaigner for Jammu and Kashmir as a Pakistani entity on the basis of religion).

Neither the Chair nor Madhu Kishwar reacted to the day-long anti India and separatist tirade; on the contrary they encouraged and prodded the speakers in their anti-India tirade. Ram Jethmalani comically went so far as to say, ” I am 90% Pakistani and only10% Indian.”The ‘dialogue’ was only a series of unchallenged and uncontested monologue of speeches, each speaker only wanting the secession of Jammu and Kashmir from India.

Yet when it was the turn for a contrary view Madhu Kishwar and Ram Jethmalani did not allow the paper to be read till the end.Fist thumping Jethmalani said that he will not allow anything to be said except what was being said. He got up threateningly. Madhu Kishwar wanted the speaker to change her paper and declared that unless changes were made to the paper the Kashmiri Hindu point of view would not be allowed to be aired. ” No, No, I will not allow you to speak . You cannot speak this,” they both declared.

What does a person or a speaker to any conference, intellectual debate or for that matter a multi party dialogue expect? To be able to place his or her opinion and point of view. Nothing more and nothing less. Why did she not stop the Kashmiri Muslims who spoke hour after hour hitting out at the sovereignty of the country?

Kashmir in Winter

Kashmir in Winter

I will state unambiguously that all these reports or proposals that where being discussed and endorsed by these people was something that as a matter of fact, neither the Kashmiri Pandits nor the Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Laddakh want nor will ever agree to.Why were thay all agitated when the question of the issue of Hindus and Buddhists, Jammu and Laddakh being equal stake holders in the state was raised?

The truth is and remains that whether it is the self rule proposal or the autonomy report or the greater autonomy report or the separatist proposal, they are all aimed at severing the state from the Indian Union.

Why do all debates, conferences, seminars and discussions on J&K feature only the secessionists and separatists and their partners in secessionism in Indian polity? Why are the other stake holders marginaised and even ignored? I can only assume that this is an evil design to balkanize India and talibanize Kashmir and Hindus and Buddhists of J&K have to be kept invisible and voiceless for their diabolic agenda to succeed. Madhu Kishwar’s seminar was no different and served only the anti-India agenda.

Paper presented by Ms. Nancy Kaul at the seminar

I would like to submit for your consideration the prepositions which have been taken up by the speakers in respect of autonomy, self rule and self determination are aimed to de link the State of Jammu and Kashmir from India.There is nothing new that the speakers have said beyond that, which Pakistan and the separatist forces in Jammu and Kashmir State have been saying for the last six decades. It is a well orchestrated campaign.

I am a Kashmiri Pandit, belonging to the community of the Kashmiri Hindus, who have been subjected to genocide, and who have been driven out of their homes and hearths.I am aware, more than anybody else, in this country and outside this country, of the long and relentless campaign of jihad and terrorism that has been going on in the State for it’s disengagement from India.

The exclusion of the state from the constitutional organization of India, underlined by the autonomy proposal; the transfer of power to the separatist forces inside the state and operating in Pakistan, underlined by the self rule proposals; and independence of the State Proposed by the exponents of independence of Jammu and Kashmir, are aimed to cut the state from the Indian Union.

All these formulas draw deeply from the Kashmir Study group report and from which Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf also drew his plan. The broad structure of the proposals he made are:

Demarcation of the Muslim majority regions of the state including those situated to the west of river Chenab from the Hindu majority areas situated mainly to the east of river Chenab.

Dissolution of the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.

The demilitarization of the State.

Self-rule.

Joint management of the State by India and Pakistan.

The demilitarization of the State, which forms the most prominent part of the Musharraf Plan, is aimed at the withdrawal of the Indian security forces from the Muslim majority zones of the state, and their replacement by the militarized separatist forces which have been fighting against India for the last two decades.

Best of Kashmir

Best of Kashmir

At the same time the proposals of autonomy, greater autonomy and self rule are no different. Both want to divide Jammu and Kashmir, in a manner that enables Kashmir and Islamabad to establish control not only over the geopolitical strategic Himalayan region, which is highly rich in green-gold, but also over river Chenab, which has the potential of producing more than 15,000 Mega Watt of electricity every year.

A few words on the self-rule doctrine and what it envisages would be in order.

What does the self-rule formula envisage or suggest?

It suggests abandonment of the universally accepted “notions of sovereignty and national borders”; a “pan-Kashmir” approach; “autonomy from the nation state of India”; “regionalization of power across J&K”; “sharing of sovereignty”; “economic integration that transcends borders”; a drastic change in the Indian Constitution that converts Greater Jammu & Kashmir into “a regional free trade area”; “dual currency system”; roll back of “Article 356” (under which New Delhi has the power to intervene if there is breakdown of constitutional machinery.

Article 249 (under which the Parliament exercises legislative jurisdiction over the state); withdrawal of the “All India Service Act, 1951″ and all other Central Acts from the state and also jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India and election commission of india; change in the nomenclatures from Chief Minister to Wazir-e-Azam and from Governor to Sadar-e-Riayast”; “establishment of “regional council of Greater Jammu & Kashmir” comprising representatives from India, Pakistan and both parts of the state; and division of Jammu and Kashmir province into “sub-regions” and establishment of “sub-regional councils”.

The self-rule formula further suggests: I quote “Self-rule is aimed at providing the central element for a comprehensive architecture to be devised for the final and strategic settlement of the Kashmir issue. Self-rule will not be a mid-point into a journey or a tactical or evasive prescription. Instead, self-rule must also form the basis of relationship between the people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Pakistan” unquote.

It is hardly necessary to reflect on the implications of the self-rule formula as everything is self-explanatory.Suffice it to say that the self-rule formula, if accepted and implemented, would automatically mean a step short of independence from India and once it happens, it will not be difficult for the separatists to achieve their 62-year-old agenda.

I am surprised that the speakers have presumed that the Jammu and Kashmir State is only populated by the Muslims. The truth is that the Jammu and Kashmir State also has a 40% non Muslim population of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.I want to make it clear, that none of these people – Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists approve of any proposals which underline the secessionism of the state from India.

A demolished house of a Kashmiri pandit in Srinagar

A demolished house of a Kashmiri pandit in Srinagar

I wonder, how the people here who have spoken before me, have tried to create an impression that the lone stake holder in the Jammu and Kashmir state is Muslim population of the Valley.I would like to understand, as to why do all debates just end up with the secessionists or separatists or their supporters in politicians, who out do each other in their rhetoric of azaadi.Is Jammu And Kashmir State only valley and its Muslims? What about Kashmiri Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ladhakis and Dogras?

Does our constitution grant us the freedom to take the proprietary of land and declare it free or part of another country at our whim or violence?The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir in section 3 says that the State is the integral part of India and section 147 prohibits any amendment. So all the politicians of Jammu and Kashmir, who say that their State is different, need to understand this first.

Pandit Nehru in the Lok Sabha (in response to a pointed question by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in February 1964) was quoted – “Article 370 will get eroded in due course and vanish ultimately….”.

Mohammadalli Karim Chagla, in the Rajya Sabha was quoted – “The Prime Minister the other day spoke of the gradual erosion of Article 370. I hope that this erosion is accelerated and I also hope that very soon that article will disappear from the constitution. After all it is transitional and temporary. I think transitional period has been long enough!”

The Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhists are the important stake holders in the State. They have rejected the autonomy, self rule as well as the independence of the State. They have fought against the forces which have been trying to disengage Jammu and Kashmir State from India.Also, independence from India does not have the support of nearly 2 Million Muslims who are living in Jammu Province and several others like the Gujjars, Paharis, bakarwals etc.

Here, I want to make a reference to the transfer of power from the British to India and Pakistan in 1947, that the partition was not and did not apply to princely States, nor was the right of self determination recognized as the basis of accession of the States.The right of self determination was strongly opposed by both the British and the Muslim League. I also want to state for the information of all the participants here, that the British categorically denied the right of any State to assume Independence, the then Indian National Congress also categorically refused to recognize the Independence of these States

Massacre by terrorists

Massacre by terrorists

Courtesy - FACTINDIA

Courtesy - FACTINDIA

Therefore, is it a joint move of Pakistan and the separatist forces in the Jammu and Kashmir to initiate the process of Balkanization of India now?I would like to submit for your consideration, that the Autonomy of the State and self rule will lead to further communalization of the civil society in the State and the displacement of the 4 Million Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists of the State who are living in Jammu and Ladakh now.

I and my community are already in the State of exile in our country and suffering in all dimensions including political, cultural, and economical.I and my community want to live in dignity and honour in the moorings of Burzohama civilization which we are inheritors off and want to live in the State with the free flow of Indian constitution as envisaged by Panun Kashmir.

We have a right to this as we are equal and legitimate stake holders in the valley of Kashmir and in turn Jammu and Kashmir and victims of terrorism first and foremost.No solution to Kashmir or for that matter to the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be allowed or arrived at unless our return to the Valley is achieved at on our terms. The only solution possible is the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir State.

Terrorism and secessionism being practiced in the valley has led to ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Hindu and their habitat. What is being asked for now is the exclusion of Jammu and Kashmir from the secular political fabric of the Indian State and further Islamization which is unacceptable to the Kashmiri Pandits in any form.

October 31, 2009

Maoists-SIMI tie-up to create base in south India: IB

Filed under: Islam,Jihad — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Communist Party of India-Maoist have established linkages with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India, and are looking to set up a base in south India, an Intelligence Bureau report, accessed by rediff.com, has revealed.This is the first time an intelligence agency has established a link between the two banned groups.

The report says that early this year leaders of the two organisations held two meetings — in Bengaluru and Hyderabad — to strike an alliance.

After discussions, the two outfits decided to create a joint base in south India, the report said, adding that while they would step up recruitment, the base would operate out of Kerala.

Though the Maoists have always supported the Kashmir insurgency, and have raised their voice against what they call the ‘persecution of Muslims in India’, till now there has never been concrete evidence of any linkages with Islamic terror groups.

The IB report say the first signs of a link were in Kerala, where SIMI had a strong base before it was banned and the Maoists are also present in sizeable numbers.The IB report claims that several Maoist leaders and cadre took shelter in Kerala with the help of SIMI.

Red India

Red India by Maoists : Image courtesy - http://naxalwar.wordpress.com/

Last year, nearly 500 Maoists underwent training under the SIMI in the Vagamon hills on the Idukki-Kottayam border, IB sources said. This information is bound to worry the security forces that are planning to storm Chhattisgarh’s Abujmaad forests, the de facto headquarters of the Maoists. Special forces have been trained in jungle warfare to take on the Maoists in their stronghold.

The Maoist cadre were imparted commando training and some were even asked to train with SIMI’s suicide squads, the IB report says.

SIMI’s leader, Safdar Nagori, who is now in police custody in Madhya Pradesh, confirmed this fact, sources added.

Following several serial blasts across the country, the SIMI anticipated that it would face tremendous heat from the security agencies. They also knew that their cause of destabilising India could be furthered if they tied up with the Maoists, sources said.

Similarly, the Maoists are always open to make strategic alliances which will aid them achieve their ultimate goal. Known as Strategic United Front, the Maoists say that it is one of the three ‘magic weapons’ that will help them reach their goal (The other two are the party and the army).

Sources said that more importantly, the Maoists were aware that SIMI could impart commando training since most of its cadres were already trained in this type of warfare.

Last year, when the government renewed the ban on SIMI, the Maoists condemned it. Its central committee spokesperson Azad said, “This reiterates the government’s policy to continue its brutal war on Muslims.”

Around the same time, Azad also condemned what he called the ‘double standards of the Indian ruling classes in Kashmir.’ He called upon the Kashmiri Muslims to ‘fight back Hindu fascist forces and Indian expansionists.’

Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim Brotherhood by SIMI

The Maoists have been traditionally calling the insurgency in the Valley as a ‘nationalist struggle’ and talked about it in the same breath as the movements in India’s northeast and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam’s fight against the Sri Lankan army.

What should be more worrying to the Centre and the security forces is the fact that the Maoists are adept at forming strategic and tactical alliances with any group that might help them achieve their ultimate goal.

“If at all the Maoists are looking for a linkage with the SIMI, or whatever remains of it, it should be understood considering the following points: First, it is an attempt to win over the support of the Muslim community and thus broaden their base. Second, they are trying to make common cause with SIMI, as both are banned outfits. Third and most important is the Maoist strategy of making common cause with any outfit that opposes the Indian state either through peaceful means or violence,” a security expert said.

However, till now, there has been no known instance where the Maoists had colluded with religious fundamentalists in any major operation.

In another crucial development in this context, CPI-Maoist general secretary, Ganapati, recently said only the Maoist leadership can provide anti-imperialist orientation and achieve class unity among Muslims.

“Islamic jihadist movements of today are a product of imperialist — particularly the US imperialist — aggression and the suppression of the oil-rich Islamic and Arab countries and the persecution of the entire Muslim religious community,” Ganapati had said.

“Atrocities on the Muslims have reached horrendous proportions unheard of since the persecution of the Jews under Hitler [ Images ]. It is only the Maoist leadership that can provide correct anti-imperialist orientation and achieve class unity among the Muslims as well as the people of other religious persuasions,” he had said.

Source: Rediff

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