Lal Chowk Today, Lal Qila Tomorrow

Last year after stopping short of declaring that Kashmir was no longer part of India–”autonomy,” “self-determination” and all the other good things–our Prime Minister curiously stopped pursuing the line. And now Lal Chowk has happened. Expectedly, Our Leader in the Blue Turban has mouthed the usual platitudes: “hoisting the Indian flag in Lal Chowk will arouse divisive tendencies,” “people should not get worked up,” “this is a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the Opposition,” etc. In effect, peace at any cost. After all, it was his party that the Apostle of Peace and Non-Violence belonged to. Chauri Chaura, Khilafat Movement, Jinnah, the Partition, and Peace. Let’s not blame poor Manmohan Singh.

But let’s look at what a national flag is. A piece of cloth, paper, and canvas upon which is painted some nice colors, which makes it look attractive. And so it should make perfect sense to agree with the Congress party worthies that the truckload of BJP supporters and other nationalist-minded people are creating a fuss over nothing, really.

But the law of the land provides for a Flag Code of India that lays down elaborate guidelines on how, where, when, and who should hoist the Indian national flag. It also stipulates severe punishment for violating the code. What is interesting is that the National Flag is governed by the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (No.12 of 1950) and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. The last one is worth repeating: Prevention of Insults to National Honour. The full text of the Code can be downloaded here. But we digress.

Let’s let the Code itself define what the Indian flag is.

The Indian National Flag represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. It is the symbol of our national pride. Over the last five decades, several people including members of armed forces have ungrudgingly laid down their lives to keep the tricolour flying in its full glory.

In other words, the Indian Flag is synonymous with India. It isn’t for superstitious reasons that coffins of soldiers killed in combat are draped in the Indian Flag. We live in times where even the most obvious things need to be said and said loudly: a flag is a symbol. Every nation needs its symbols. An extreme case is the USA where although the usage of the national flag goes to ridiculous extremes–bikinis and suchlike–the patriotic undertone is unmistakable.

But it takes perhaps only India, despite having such an elaborate Flag Code, to make a vulgar mockery of it. Actually correct that. It takes only an India under the dispensation that we currently have that flouts every norm of decency, kills national pride bit by bit, debauches democratic institutions, and thinks nothing of bartering the Indian national interest for the sake of remaining in power indefinitely. In the Kashmir affair de disgrace, the UPA headed by the Congress party has demonstrated yet again that it is willing to trade Indian territory if it means even appeasing separatists, an epithet for Pakistan-backed terrorists.

Let’s rewind a little and look at this photograph (courtesy the excellent blog of Vinod Sharma).

pak flag lal chowk

That’s the Pakistan flag at Lal Chowk, Srinagar hoisted last year when a few innocent, misguided youth harmlessly pelted a few pebbles at our policemen and military personnel. Boys will be boys.

What did the government do? Nothing. Well actually it did quite a bit but we’ll get to that in just a while. And now in the same Lal Chowk, Indians want to hoist the Indian Flag on Indian soil. What does the Indian Puppet Prime Minister do? He says:

…the Republic Day was a solemn occasion that joins all Indians in a shared celebration of nationhood. This was not the time to “score political points, embarrass state and local administrations…or to promote divisive agendas.”

A shared celebration of nationhood is meaningless if you block trains stealthily, divert people, and generally use state force against people who want to celebrate the very nationhood you’re talking about–Republic Day flag hoisting is a celebration of nationhood, isn’t it, Mr. Prime Minister? The nation would love to hear you explain how India-flag hoisting on Indian soil on a solemn occasion constitutes scoring political points, embarrassment and divisive agendas. The nation is waiting with bated breath for your 2011 Republic Day speech. Oh wait, but we know where he gets his instructions from. Never mind the speech.

So let’s return to last year when the Pakistan flag was hoisted at Lal Chowk. One arm of the government promptly deployed forces to quell the poor pebble-pelters, the real victims. The other arms quietly activated the Secular Galaxy to do the rest. The media was at the forefront. First, it claimed that “harmless” stone pelting was happening. Then it claimed that nobody was hurt in the stone pelting. Then it claimed that a “few people” were hurt. Then it claimed that the stone pelters were the victims of state high-handedness. Further it blacked out news of Pakistan-flag-unfurling at Lal Chowk. Still further, it invited an Islamic lunatic who threatened a Kashmiri Pandit representative, live on Screw-the-People type shows. The print media added more fuel by writing reams of op-eds on the same sickening “victim” theme in the same sickening vein. Court Hagiographers became overnight defendants of what were subsequently called rageboys on Twitter. And so we had a situation where the government sent the army to rein in rebellion–for what? Logically, for protecting its sovereignty? Ensuring peace on its dominion? On the other hand, we had a situation where the same government pinched its media (since known as #mediamafia, #chormedia #dalalmedia) handmaidens to heap abuse on the selfsame army.

Cut to the present.

Simply put, we as a nation have been reduced to a pathetic state where we need to take out yatras to demand “permission” to hoist our own flag on our own soil–I know I’ve said this a few times already but it bears infinite repitition. Worse, the government is hell-bent on suppressing this “demand.” As they say, it happens only in India. In other words, the state will not think twice before using physical force if somebody wants to express his/her patriotism. Of course, it has its miserable set of justifications none of which stand the scrutiny of reason, decency, morality and the rest. The media as always has already taken the cue. It now says the Indian Tricolour should be in our hearts and “not for show” that the worst kind of politics is that of nationalism, that patriotism isn’t about a political yatra, etc etc. One wonders what kept them busy when Pakistan expressed its “nationalism” in the same Lal Chowk last year. Or when Arundhati Roy continues to openly advocate sedition.

But we’re well-versed with their brand of preachy self-righteousness, the I-have-all-the-answers approach. Like bridled horses, their vision is firmly set in the singular direction of 10 Janpath. The Congress declares it’s willing to grant autonomy to Kashmir? Rageboys become victims, the army becomes evil. The BJP declares that it’ll take out a march to hoist the Indian Flag at Lal Chowk? Nationalism, patriotism are dirty politics and flag hoisting is a matter of personal choice, a lofty feeling that should be carried within our hearts and not expressed in public. You do you’re dead, you don’t you’re really dead.

Here’s the thing: the evil geniuses in the Congress have realized that Kashmir is probably a lost case, hence the “autonomy offer.” But it doesn’t really matter to them if Kashmir goes; there’s still plenty of India left to cut up. Assam is boiling, its demographics rapidly altering. Several border districts of West Bengal are Muslim-majority where atrocities against Hindus are on the rise. Kerala has become the Jihad factory of the South. Swami Lakshmananda is brutally butchered by the Conversion Mafia and the state apparatus–including Her Highness–doesn’t shed a tear. Large parts of Orissa suffer the same fate. Maoists backed by the Missionary Mafia and all kinds of separatists run riot over large swathes of Indian territory, and our Lion of a Home Minister pays lip service. And so on until a day might arrive when nationalists will need to take out a yatra to hoist the Tricolour on the Red Fort. The Secular Brigade will, as is its wont, play the same tune. If you think this is an incredible future scenario, think about how we got to the present in the first place.

And herein lies the deception and the hypocrisy. The liberal-jholawala-bleeding-heart brigade that lectures about personal choice, freedom to not stand up when the national anthem is played, freedom to not respect the National Flag, think nothing about heaping scorn on a system that provides them the freedom to say these things. I’m reminded of this legendary dialogue from A Few Good Men:

We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ‘em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it.

Members of this self-righteous bleeding-heart brigade when not busy bellowing against national flag-hoisting, is busy wearing their surnames as a national treasure. The reason is obvious: a surname is not merely a name, it is a symbol of glorious ancestry, wealth, accomplishment, learning, lineage or whatever. Try belittling one of these surnames? Party-brawls ensue outright. But the national flag is…oh well, who cares as long as it doesn’t affect me personally.

Flag hoisting in India has deeper connotations. It was one of the more common and popular forms of protest against the British. In 1922, M K Gandhi was imprisoned by the British on charges of sedition (incitement to rebellion). The Congress (yes) party asked Sardar Patel to lead the 1923 Nagpur Satyagraha against a law banning the raising of the Indian flag. His commanding presence and personal example had thousands of volunteers rallying behind him in no time. In the end, he got the British government to release hundreds of prisoners and allow the hosting of the Indian flag in public.

Today, the same Congress party is doing the same thing to us that the British did back then.

 

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198 comments for “Lal Chowk Today, Lal Qila Tomorrow

  1. Sunil
    February 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Hello Archeo,

    1. You said – Wasn’t the same argument given in 1992 when MM Joshi hoisted the flag on 26th in Lal Chowk with much fanfare? How much good did that do? – I assume that an intelligent person like you understands the difference between causation and correlation. Just because MM joshi did it in 92 and that did not lead to an improvement in the situation on the ground does not mean that what he did was wrong and it also does not mean that the alleged deterioration in the situation was because he unfurled the Tirangaa on Lal Chowk. I hope you will understand this and in future be rational in discussing these matters and will refrain from the “last time I ate a banana and took an exam and it went badly so this time I will not eat a banana before my exam” line of reasoning.

    Regards

    Sunil.

    PS – The definition of idiocy is confusing correlation for causation and feeling smug at your own intelligence.

  2. Sunil
    February 15, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Hello Gorki,

    1. You said – For the causes and chronology of Punjab militancy are well documented by researched papers. If these are to be discounted, I have nothing to say. – Please use the research papers to bring out facts, but refrain from saying that “so and so research=her has come to this conclusion and hence it must be true”. If you want to engage in this sort of cross linking churlishness, then I really have nothing to say.

    2. You said – By dismissing the dedication and sacrifices (including family memebers) of people like Umranangal as a ‘gesture’ by few celibrities is to pour the blood of heroes down the sewerage drain. Indias current generation may will to do it, so be it. In such circumstances there is absolutely no argument I can give that will be taken on its merit – Gorky all I asked you to do was give me data on the migration of more than 400,000 Hindus from Punjab and you gave me sob stories about Umarangal and shabana azmi. Now you want your sob stories and assumptions about 2% and 1/3rd of the population to be taken on merit. The only place they meritoriously belong to is in the trash can. So next time you talk about mass migration and ethnic cleansing please be ready with verifiable facts not half baked assertions and assumptions which we must accept because you personally know Umarangal or Shabana azmi.

    Regards,

    Sunil

  3. Ava
    February 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    The above meant
    @Gorki

  4. Ava
    February 15, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    @Ava
    The treacherious, lying, double-dealing nature of Kashmiri Muslims has been known to all discerning peoples, except the fashionable politically correct journos that report the news today. For example, famous great scholars like Aurel Stein also noted their lying and deceitful nature. Also they are so short-sighted that they just harm themselves. They have cheated so much selling carpets that they have run the Kashmiri carpet industry to the gound. Foreigners do not want these carpets anymore as they are sick and tired of being cheated by these people. The same with furniture and other items. They should just look at the Pakis in Pak Kashmir and be grateful that the Indian government subsidizes them. A poor person in Bihar for example hardly gets anything in comparison. Sometimes I wonder if all the agitation there is not a ploy to free load off the State. They are doing quite well and if they have problems, it is entirely the fault of their shortsighted leaders. Were they not free to worship and do as they please? What do they want really? It is not hard to see that their cultural ideal is to be in a state like Saudi or Pakistan.

  5. Ava
    February 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    @Gorki
    “I think it was a wise decision; in time India changed into a nation more like the United States, a land of many different people bound together by a common civic constitution and yet each contributing in his\her own way to our great land.”

    You make specious comparisons. In America, Muslims have to follow the same civil law as everyone else, there are no exceptions like in India. Also, Muslims cannot indulge in customs such as marrying many wives as they do in India. I am always surprised why people take the work of American and other Western so-called foreign “experts” who often have never lived in Kashmir or know jack about the culture there (William Darlymple is such a one who writes all kinds of specious things about Kashmir without understanding the place at all by virtue of being a reporter and living there for a few weeks!) to be authoritative when they can just go to regugee camps and ask non-Muslims what their experience of living in Kashmir was like and how they were ethnically cleansed. Is this Indian “Sahib” mentality which takes Westerners who have never lived in Kashmir to be experts on Kashmir , and discounts eyewitness accounts of HIndus who have been living there for centuries and were recently forced out of their land?

  6. Archeo
    February 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    ”No it would show to them that the Indian state will not allow its constitution to be undermined by a bunch of Bullies…….for them to become citizens we must ensure that they are aware that citizenship has both privileges and responsibilities, which include respecting the right of an individual to unfurl the Tiranga wherever he wants and peaceful dissent. And if they oppose these values of citizenship, the state reserves the right to use force to protect these values…..”
    Wasn’t the same argument given in 1992 when MM Joshi hoisted the flag on 26th in Lal Chowk with much fanfare? How much good did that do?
    (The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. ;-) ) Whatever….

    “Gangsters routinely get “elected” in local elections….”
    Isn’t that what the Pakistanis say when India claims Kashmiris are with them since they participate in elections? ;-)

  7. Gorky2
    February 11, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    For some reason my earlier relatively long post does not show up; others can’t even be loaded up, perhaps an automated filter seems to keep me out. Anyway the debate has taken a parliamentary form; one sides makes a point and the opposition ‘opposes’ it without fail ;-) thus no agreement whosoever little is likely now.
    a few points
    1. For the causes and chronology of Punjab militancy are well documented by researched papers. If these are to be discounted, I have nothing to say.
    2. By dismissing the dedication and sacrifices (including family memebers) of people like Umranangal as a ‘gesture’ by few celibrities is to pour the blood of heroes down the sewerage drain. Indias current generation may will to do it, so be it. In such circumstances there is absolutely no argument I can give that will be taken on its merit, so goodbye. Gorki

  8. Sunil
    February 11, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    Hello Gorki,

    Let us now move on to the topic of Tiranga in Lal Chowk. I will be following the same format. I hope that you don’t mind.

    1. You said – I thought it was a political gimmick that would not accomplish anything. – It might be a political gimmick, and what it will accomplish is open to question, but the moot point here is not political gimmickry and its purpose. The moot point here is the concept to constitutional liberty and the fact that Kashmir is an integral part of India. You must realize that India is a sovereign republic and a citizen has the right to unfurl the tiranga at a place of his choice as long as he doesn’t disrespect it. This right extends to all citizens and all states that are a part of India. When you deny this right to a citizen with respect to a particular state, you tacitly admit to the fact that either the state in question might not be an integral part of India or that the nation is not strong enough to protect the rights of a citizen in that state. In either case the message you have sent out is detrimental to the position of the nation vis a vis a Kashmir.

    2. You said – “So what would the BJP’s gesture mean” – BJPs gesture would mean that Kashmir is just like any other state of India and that a handful of stone throwers who unfurled the Pakistani Flag at Lal Chowk as the police looked on will not be allowed to undermine the constitution and territorial sovereignty of the republic of India.

    3. You said – “For the people who are convinced that Kashmir is part of India, this would not make them any more nationalistic. ” – Their nationalism and faith has been shaken on seeing the pakistani Flag at Lal Chowk, this will strengthen their resolve.

    4. You said – “or the separatists whose narrative implies that they are a separate but ‘occupied territory’ the gesture would be mean yet another act of an occupier” – No it would show to them that the Indian state will not allow its constitution to be undermined by a bunch of Bullies.

    5. You said – “For the fence sitters, it would mean nothing new;” – No it would mean that the Indian state is serious about protecting the rights of its citizens and constitution and that they would be protected should they choose to help the state.

    6. You said – “for the security forces it would mean yet another headache. ” – It would mean that the nation cares for their sacrifices and that the price of their blood is not just the pakistani Flag on Lal Chowk.

    7. You said – “Ironically by now emotions are running high and the attitudes have hardened enough on this blog that my above paragraph will likely have the same fate as the BJP’s gesture; have no effect on changing anyone’s beliefs. ” – No it will go a long way reinforcing the citizens faith in our constitution and the ability of the republic to protect it.

    8. You said – “I gather is that my opponents in this debate believe that the Sunni Muslims of the valley can never become good Indian citizens ” – False. I do not believe so. But for them to become citizens we must ensure that they are aware that citizenship has both privileges and responsibilities, which include respecting the right of an individual to unfurl the Tiranga wherever he wants and peaceful dissent. And if they oppose these values of citizenship, the state reserves the right to use force to protect these values.

    9. You said – “A political process that weans the population from the separatist propaganda and supportive of the regime in place. This needs to be done politically. The army should do what it does best and the civilians what they do.” – I fully agree. But reaching hearts and minds should not be confused with appeasement and compromising the fundamental rights of a citizen and undermining the constitution. What we have done on the 26th of January 2011 has not reached hearts and minds but reinforced in the minds of ordinary Kashmiris that 1.) they are not citizens of this country 2.) Kashmir is not a part of India 3.) Threat of Violence from the separatists will scare the Mighty Indian republic in to suspending the constitutional rights of other Indian Citizens and compromise on the idea of India’s sovereignty.

    10. You said -”Neither one by itself can be enough. Please note these are not my suggestions but of the experts! ” – Who are these experts? What is the proof of their expertise? The point in having a debate over this with you is not to cross link to academic papers by “experts”. I can very well do that myself without your guidance. The point in having a debate with you is to understand your facts and point view and either rebut them logically or accept them and hence improve my own thought process. I would be grateful if you could refrain from the “so and so says this and he is an expert and so this must be true” line of reasoning in the future . Many Thanks.

    Regards,

    Sunil.

  9. Sunil
    February 11, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Hello Gorki,

    Many Thanks for taking the time and patience to respond. I don’t mean any offense but your style of tackling multiple issues at the same time while drawing parallels between them tends to confuse me. Hence I hope you will not mind the fact that I will take the liberty to respond to your assertion and questions in a pointed manner and would be grateful if you could follow the same format henceforth. I apologize for the inconvenience that it might cause you. Many Thanks.

    1. You said – “Insurgency in Punjab (like in Kashmir) was fueled by people feeling they had been cheated of representation.” – But again earlier, in your first comment you had said – “the Republic day prominent leaders symbolically burnt the pages of the Indian constitution and were arrested but the secessionist movement grew stronger by the day as the Indira Gandhi Govt. used increasing force to quell it.” – Now clearly you have to make your mind as to what the primary fuel for the movement was. Did the movement rise up due to the fact that people were robebd of representation or did the movement “grew stronger by the day as the Indira Gandhi Govt. used increasing force to quell it” as you say. The assertion that the Indira Gandhi used force to quell it is clearly false as I have repeatedly stressed in most of my earlier posts. Now if the latter is false ie if the argument that the movement “grew stronger by the day as the Indira Gandhi Govt. used increasing force to quell it” is false let us examine the other hypothesis that you have postulated.

    2. You said – “Insurgency in Punjab (like in Kashmir) was fueled by people feeling they had been cheated of representation.” – But has this not been the case with several other states where the Congress Government at the center has dismissed and repeatedly harassed a constitutionally elected state government. If this hypothesis were to be true why have we not seen any terrorism in those states. To apply your hypothesis to a recent event, why is it that we do not see a terrorist movement in Karnataka where the Congress appointed Governor has repeatedly tried to break the constitutionally elected BJP Government in power. Why are there no Jihads or Dharamyuddhs in Karnataka??

    3. You said – .The revolt started in 1979 with the murder of a prominent journalist. It was the work of Bhindranwale loyalist. Most SIkhs condemned it. The the Akali ministry was dismissed in 1980 and they started their ‘morcha’. – Now I am confused. You said that “Insurgency in Punjab (like in Kashmir) was fueled by people feeling they had been cheated of representation.”. But if the revolt started in 1979 with the killing of a journalist then it predates the “cheating of the people” by the Congress. Therefore your hypothesis that the seed of the revolt lay in the “cheating of the people” is flawed. The genesis of the revolt always lay in the perception of the so called separate identity of the Sikhs.

    4.You said – “Bhindranwale, who till then was carrying on a private feud with Lala J. Narain and had murdered him now wrapped himself in ‘panthic colors’ and hijacked the rebellion and gave it a violent turn.” – What was the state doing then? It turned the other way just like Kashmir in 1989. If the state had put down Bhindranwale after jagat narain’s murder, there would have been no siege of the Harmandar Sahib and no Blue star , no killing of Indira Gandhi, no anti sikh pogrom by the Congress Goons and no terrorism in Punjab. Therefore while there might have been legitimate political discontent over the way the Congress had ridden roughshod over constitutional law, there would have been no violence and no terrorism. Same in Kashmir.

    5. You said – “The point is this. There are three components to a classical militancy;
    1. violent and armed one; 2. the political leadership; and the most important part, 3. THE PEOPLE.” – Completely agree. But the movement in Punjab was not a classical militancy. While points 1 and 2 were present point 3 was conspicuous by its absence in Punjab. The people were coerced to cooperate with the khalistaanis at the point of a gun as the weak state abdicated its responsibility to protect them. Please look at the civilian casualties in the Punjab by terrorists. It was only when the Punjab police started bullet for bullet that the faith of the people in the state was restored an they openly flouted the terrorists.

    6. You said – “In Punjab the struggle was political but was hijacked by the armed elements as the politicos could not deliver anything.” – Yes there was political disgruntlement but which state in the country does not have it. The point here is not political disgruntlement, the point is that when the state is weak people are allowed to use violent means to undermine the constitution and that legitimizes sedition. This is what happened in Punjab and this is what the separatists want in Kashmir. By not allowing Indians to hoist the flag, they have undermined the constitution thereby legitimizing in the eyes of people the violent means of overthrowing the Republic.

    7. You said – “The people for their part mostly remained unconvinced till the attack on the GT.” – Partly agree.. A large majority remained unconvinced even after GT. But the point is that with Blue Star the violent separatists got legitimacy in the eyes of many. And hence the state could have stopped the militancy on its tracks if it had been strong in the period 1980-1984 and not allowed violence in the name of identity politics or political dissent to go out of control. That would have ensured that no Bhindranwale violated the Harmandar Sahab by fortifying it and no Blue Star would have been necessary. Therefore our lesson from Punjab is that the state must at all costs stop political dissent or identity issues to snowball in to violence that undermines the constitution. By not hoisting the flag at Lal Chowk this is where we have failed and I hope the lessons are not as bloody as the consequence of Blue Star.

    8. You said – “This is borne by the fact that only 21.6% (I was generous earlier) people voted and close to 80% boycotted the polls in sympathy with the militants. (The same year once the popular govt. was in place the municipality elections saw a 68% turnout.” – The turnout could have been lower due to threats from terrorists. Your assertion that 80% did not vote due to sympathy for the terrorists is extremely tenuous. Also I fail to understand, how can a government which was voted by less than 21% of the people be so popular, so as to lead to a 68% turnout in the municipal elections that very same year. We must not confuse correlation with causation.

    9. You said – “First of all, hard data during conflicts of this kind are difficult to come by and even hard to interpret.” – I agree, but when you are talking about a mass movement of 300,000 to 400,000 people all belonging to one religious community, it is a little hard to miss – case in point being the KP refugees.

    10. On Iraq death toll – This is largely irrelevant but I agree, exact death tolls are difficult compute – but hold on , I never asked you tell me the exact number of Hindus leaving Punjab due to sikh terrorism, I just asked you to prove your assertion that this number was larger than that of the KPs which is around 400,000. So please don’t tell me the difficulties of computing the exact number, just give me data to prove that the number is greater than 400,000. By the way have you heard of the “strawman argument” :)?

    11. You said – “but journals of the time (e.g: India Today) carried articles about the migration of Hindus.” – where, and is the number greater than 400,000. (as an aside, we should not be looking at absolute numbers but the % of population that was forced to migrate, in case of the KPs it was 100%, but then that would be impossible for you to prove wouldnt it :))

    12. You said – “I personally know people like Jathedar Umranangal for example (Hold on it is all there in old papers ;-) ) who went out of Punjab along with celebrities like Shabana Azmi etc. going home to home of people who had left Punjab due to militancy and promising to protect them.” – so shabana azmi and some celebrities met a few people who had left punjab proves that the Hindu migration as greater than the cleansing of KPs. By the way shaban azmi also met the Muslim family that was refused a house on rent in a Hindu Building – ergo, more Muslims have been denied rented accommodation in Hindu Buildings than the number of KP refugees – Like the Pink panther says, good one.

    13. You said – “Ask anyone in Delhi who may be able to get you in touch with people like the Munjals (of the Hero Honda fame) why and when they left Punjab” – I have an extensive family in Delhi and no one has ever heard of the mass cleansing of Hindus from Punjab like the one you claim. But I did not say this earlier since unlike you I dont believe in the “My family says so and so and hence this did not happen” form of debate. The Munjals are a business family and business families will always migrate to an area of greatest opportunity (which usually never lies in a terrorism afflicted state like Punjab was then). By the way a huge chunk of Marwari businessmen have left West Bengal, by your logic there has been ethnic cleansing of Marwaris by the Bengalis at a scale greater than that of the KPs. I am forced to say this again, good one.

    14. You said – Let us call them 1/3. That makes the number 8 million. If only 2 % migrated it would be 160,000. – How do you know 2% migrated??? Where is this assumption coming from?

    15. You said – “In addition to this some 2 million migrant Biharis worked in Punjab. In those times after the migrants working on the Sutlej Jumna link were murdered; it was said the number halved. Let us again assume only a 1/3 left it still becomes a pretty big number” – Who said that the numbers halved??? How can you assume that only 1/3rd were left. I am afraid we will need more than your assertions and assumptions to prove your claim that cleansing of Hindus from Punjab was at a far greater scale than that of KPs from Kashmir.

    Now on Kashmir and the hoisting of the Tiranga.

    Regards,

    Sunil.

  10. Gorki
    February 11, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    Thanks Sandeep for your gracious response. (I did not think you would ban me because I noticed that you put up with people baiting you without purpose but you never know).
    Perhaps it was an automated ban but I tried from three different computers over a several hour period.
    Thanks again for letting me post my thoughts.

    Dear Cricfan;
    Your cynicism can be understood and shared by many given the cantankerous nature of the Kashmiris and the duration of the Kashmir problem.
    Earlier you compared the problem to a man with head injury and implied that I was suggesting plastic surgery for it. Well what do we do when we have a loved one with head injury?
    We find a specialist in the field and take his\her advice. Well the papers I quote are written by such specialists. For example the US Staff college study was written by a counterinsurgency specialist after a lot of research.

    You wrote that I am ‘cherry picking’ data. I am open to the suggestion that I suffer from bias; it is not a vice, every human being suffers from bias. That is why there are scientific methods to overcome bias. The best way would be to point out where the weakness of the above papers using other such published studies.

    In other words, using your analogy, get a second opinion; and a third, or a fourth, if need be. However if you don’t find suitable papers to back your cynicism (or find ones that are weak, without any sufficient references and whose arguments seem like opinions pieces) then you too must keep an open mind that perhaps another POV may be correct.

    I suggest you read these papers like a senior army officer or an administrator would, one who has to make crucial decisions. Consider that India has devoted far too many of its scarce resources and far too much blood of its finest men to simply say this is an intractable problem; I quit.

    Well you can’t. You will have to set aside your personal biases and do what you think is in the national interest. And as I pointed out before, it is in utmost national interest that the Kashmiri population is weaned off from the ISI inspired Jihadist\separatist nexus and start seeing the advantages of living as citizens of the Indian Republic as equals.

    For clarity sake I will reemphasize all that I have been trying to say (and also highlight where you are right.)

    First; you are right to imply that India has done everything possible but the separatists refuse to see it and continue protesting. You are also right in saying that the current Kashmiri separatist sentiment is pro-Islamist\Jihadist ideology and will be hard to wean. Of course it is; that is why it is so challenging!

    What I have been saying (and is amply corroborated by all the sources I quoted) is that:

    a) it did not start out that way; the Jihadist hijacked the trouble and are now capitalizing on the anti-India sentiment to further their agenda. Bhindranwale was the same in Punjab (read the parts about Punjab in Kajal Walia paper link, feel free to check out the referenced annotations).
    b) Like in Punjab, we will have to use a combination of military and political tools to defeat the insurgency which means to isolate the people from the Jihadist leadership, (both armed and political)
    c) The alternatives, which means relying on indiscriminate use of force alone are not only more costly but almost certainly unlikely to succeed regardless how much force we apply if we do not use a combination approach (This applies to all force based alternatives, all the way up to attempting a complete genocide or a leaving it as such which means a perpetual low grade war). The last stated options also happen to be immoral; and unacceptable to the rest of the world.
    If you (or anyone else) has a better argument based on specific intelligence and or military expert data, I am willing to listen otherwise I have said enough already.

    Regards.

  11. Sandeep
    February 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Gork11,

    It’d help if you have some patience. Your comments will be held for moderation by default. If you try to post more than 1 comment within a minute, the blog system will think it’s spam and will send it to me for moderation. I’m not in the habit of barring or banning anybody on this blog unless it’s extreme.

    Thank you very much.

  12. GoRKI1
    February 10, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Sorry, here is the link; hope it works.

    The title of the paper is:

    AN ANALYSIS OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT’S COUNTERINSURGENCY CAMPAIGN
    IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR (A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army
    Command and General Staff College by MATTHEW J. VAN WAGENEN, MAJ, USA
    B.S., Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1991
    Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
    2004

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA428962

  13. GoRKI1
    February 10, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    I am having trouble uploading my comments on this blog under my name and email address (three different computers). I will try to upload this comment under my second email. If this loads up then it means that I have been barred from writing more stuff. That is fine since it is the prerogative of the site manager(s) to set the editorial policy.

    I will leave a link to a paper I mentioned in my earlier posts to the US Staff college paper which did not show up in the references before.
    Goodbye.

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc%3FAD%3D...

  14. Ava
    February 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    @Gorki
    I think Muslims are having it good there, and the problems they face are their own doing and the doing of their leaders. Now I hear they are fighting amongst themselves. This is the nature of these people. They had always been free to worship and do as they please. But that was not good enough for them. They are not happy till they live like Kashmiri Muslims on the side of Pakistan, and live under more stringent forms of Islam–see how well Pakistan treats them and how poor they are as they do not get subsidies like Muslims in Indian Kashmir who freeload off the taxpayer money of the Indian State. What has development resulted there? Nothing. Indians are throwing money into a black hole. One has to realize that Kashmir can never be like Sikkim because it is the nature of Muslims and their regressive culture. They get heavy subsidies from the Indian government and do not have to work too hard, whereas a poor state like Bihar gets hardly anything/head. The subsidies will work in the case of Hindus and Buddhists in places like Sikkim as they are not regressive in culture, but not in Kashmir with the muslim mentality that wants to revert to 7th century tribal Arab culture and thinks this is the height of civilization…I think you will see many problems like Kashmir erupting in India gradually….

  15. cricfan
    February 10, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    @Gorki on ‘fear in Punjab 1992′ :
    ” … Before the 1992 elections were the Parliamentary elections. In that the militants did not call for a boycott; the radical Sikh leaders who had actively propogated Khalistan swept the field leaving all the Congress and the moderate Akalis biting dust. …”

    thanks for the followup. Still not convincing unless there is some data to back it up and comes across as hearsay. In any place in the world where civil law and order has collapsed, it is not surprising that violent elements get elected if they choose to contest an election. Gangsters routinely get “elected” in local elections. The Hamas in the middle east did so too. More than likely it represents the pervasive fear of the people and in the end, the surrender of that will.

  16. cricfan
    February 10, 2011 at 5:20 AM

    @Gorki:
    1. Your entire line of reasoning is based on the falsehood that the kashmir problem is not because of radical islam. I don’t resent your ideology but your cherry-picking pointers to “ground reality” when it suits your particular narrative.

    2. You can wake a person who is asleep, but you can’t wake a person pretending to be asleep. The people of kashmir fall in the latter category. your plan doesn’t want to see thru this. i wonder why.

  17. Ava
    February 9, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    @Gorki
    I think that Kashmir shows that Muslims never change their colors. It is simply impossible for non-Muslims to live in their midst, nowhere do they do so in peace. It is time Hindus wake up and realize this. The Pandits have been undergoing persecution at the hands of Muslims for centuries. What they underwent in ’89 is just Mulims showing their true colors when they have power. Also people were already leaving before ’89 owing to the fact that it was impossible to live in their midst, Pandits faced discrimination in business, educational institutions. I think its time people wake up to the reality that is Islam and understand that Islam have never changed its colors since the 7th century.

    What happened recently to Hindus in West Bangal when the Bangladeshi population grew? They were cleansed from the area. Hindus are going to be cleansed furthermore and are shrinking in India…

  18. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    SECOND PAPER
    Jammu & Kashmir: A Strategy to Counter Insurgency ( Kaajal Wallia)

    SUMMARY & RECOMMENDATIONS
    As discussed in the earlier section, the Indian response in three of the four vital counterinsurgency elements leaves much to be desired. The present unified command and coordination structure in J&K is largely ineffective which, in turn, has led to a great deal of confusion and competition among security forces and intelligence agencies deployed in the operations. The government has failed to effectively meet the political and socio-economic needs of the Kashmiri people and has hence been unable to enlist their support in the struggle. The absence of a cooperative and integrative intelligence organization has left the security forces engaged in operations without sufficient actionable intelligence. To its credit though, the Indian government has been reasonably effective in enlisting the assistance and cooperation of other governments and foreign security-intelligence agencies in the struggle.
    Based on the detailed assessment and analysis of the Indian strategy, the paper recommends following changes and countermeasures for the J&K campaign:

    • A single (instead of the present twin) unified headquarters should be established. The Chief Minister could chair the unified headquarters, but its operational command should be left in the hands of the “right person” – preferably a former police commissioner or director-general of police; a skilled strategist who is able to integrate all elements of power and take a long-term perspective; a person with immense personal strength and character. In other words, the Chief Minister’s role should be limited to over-viewing the campaign’s proceedings and facilitating an environment to ensure the smooth functioning of the UHQ. Implementing this measure would definitely not be easy but the Indian government should demonstrate its strength of will and character to decisively defeat the insurgency.
    • A mobilized and reorganized Jammu and Kashmir police should be made responsible for upholding the law and maintaining order in the state. A word of caution here: it is imperative that the police retain its civil character to inspire trust and confidence of the people by using persuasive methods and observing norms of decency rather than becoming a mirror-image of the Army as was the case in Punjab. The Army and paramilitary forces should be progressively disengaged from internal security operations and deployed only in hard militancy areas and along the border. Their presence should gradually be scaled down. Joint Police-Army-Paramilitary interrogation teams and operation rooms should be established and later integrated at divisional and district levels to ensure greater civil-military cooperation. The government should modernize and augment the strength of the existing taskforces comprising local volunteers and former security personnel. Doing so would not only improve intelligence available for counter-operations but also redress the serious manpower deficiency facing the state’s police force.
    • To enlist the support of the population, the Indian Central and State governments should jointly strive to create an environment where Kashmiris can live with security, stability, and dignity. For its part, the Central government should make every effort to build a national consensus to grant greater political autonomy to J&K. It should further facilitate the process toward full revival of the democratic politics in J&K, and engage all Kashmiri separatist groups in peace talks. The Indian government should make every effort to improve its standing before the local, national, and international community. It could start the process by punishing errant security personnel, granting access to international human rights groups in Kashmir, and setting-up a special human-rights commission in the state with representation from local Kashmiri, Indian, and international human rights groups. The government should seriously consider acknowledging the large-scale atrocities its security forces has committed against Kashmiri civilians and apologize to them.
    • The J&K government, on its part, should strive to provide honest and efficient administration and good law-and-order in the state. Every effort should be made to enhance the state’s economic growth and development. This would mean developing adequate transport, communications, and power infrastructure, and establishing a fair regulatory environment in the state, among other things. Special attention should also be focused on providing basic civic and public healthcare amenities to the public.
    • Together, the Central and State governments should make every effort to create a strong economic infrastructure in Kashmir. Further efforts should be initiated to institute an effective judiciary system, undertake reforms in the prison system, release ‘innocent’ political prisoners, facilitate the return of displaced Kashmiri Hindu Pandits and Muslims to the state, establish special government information offices that disseminate terrorist propaganda and respond to the interests of Kashmiris and initiate stern action against errant security personnel and “irresponsible” media houses.
    • On the diplomatic front, the Indian government should continue to engage Pakistan and Kashmiri separatist leaders in peace talks toward conflict resolution and maintain a more-or-less stable ceasefire at the LoC. The government should collaborate with more governments and foreign agencies on the critical security-intelligence-legal aspects of the conflict as well as for securing economic investments in J&K. The Indian leadership should capitalize on the United States’ growing interest and friendship with India to pressurize Pakistan to seriously dismantle the terrorist infrastructure within its territory and stop the flow of militants into J&K. Co-opting the help of the influential Indian and Kashmiri diasporas is extremely essential not only in resolving the Kashmir conflict but also for securing economic investments in the strife-torn state.

    CONCLUSION

    “In the absence of a comprehensive national plan, the individual application of selected tactics and policies can prolong a conflict or even result in outright failure,” conclude Hoffman and Morrison-Taw.127 This observation aptly sums up the Indian strategy in J&K. The government’s sustained emphasis on military measures without corresponding socio-economic and political initiatives has undeniably prolonged the conflict. Incoherent and inconsistent government policies have negated the impact of several positive initiatives in the campaign. In the end, the Kashmiri people – the center of gravity in this warfare – remain unconvinced about the government’s ability to provide them with better and secure lives and hence are still alienated from the regime.
    Thus, it would only be fair to conclude that lack of a comprehensive and coherent counterinsurgency strategy in J&K combined with the absence of clear political resolve and commitment to end the insurgency has led to the campaign’s failure. A holistic counterinsurgency strategy is hence extremely essential in J&K. Equally essential are the correct metrics employed to judge the campaign’s progress and a clear political resolve and commitment to end the insurgency. It bears repeating: a winning counterinsurgency strategy requires political will and perseverance. In short, New Delhi and Srinagar should abandon strategies that bring short-term political gains at the cost of long-term strategic interests and work in greater harmony toward the larger goal of decisively defeating Kashmiri militancy

    http://www.spp.nus.edu.sg/Handler.ashx?path=Data/Site/SiteDocuments/wp/wp0702.pdf

  19. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Dear Sunil

    My initial post was regarding the BJP’s plan to unfurl the tricolor in Lal Chowk Kashmir. I thought it was a political gimmick that would not accomplish anything. My reason was that it is not something unusual; the Indian army is present in force in Kashmir and marches under the Indian flag. An Indian CM holds office in Srinagar under the Indian constitution; he had indicated that as is customary he and his cabinet would unfurl the Indian flag on Jan 26th and salute it.
    So what would the BJP’s gesture mean? Not much more than above. For the people who are convinced that Kashmir is part of India, this would not make them any more nationalistic. For the separatists whose narrative implies that they are a separate but ‘occupied territory’ the gesture would be mean yet another act of an occupier; big deal. For the fence sitters, it would mean nothing new; a few hundred noisy political activists would mean much more security precautions on the streets and for the security forces it would mean yet another headache. Ironically by now emotions are running high and the attitudes have hardened enough on this blog that my above paragraph will likely have the same fate as the BJP’s gesture; have no effect on changing anyone’s beliefs.

    It does not mean that I am a defeatist. As a thinking Indian I want my country to follow the course that is most likely to yield the desired results. I think that we all agree it is desirable that Kashmir remains Indian. So what options do we have?
    I gather is that my opponents in this debate believe that the Sunni Muslims of the valley can never become good Indian citizens (or they have to be whipped into becoming one).
    If so then we have only three choices:
    1) Kill all four or five million or drive them into Pakistan 2) Whip them with harsh measures till they get into shape or are physically finished ie option #1 in slow motion 3) Accept status quo

    I believe that all three are unsatisfactory options and unlikely to yield the desired outcomes. The first two are immoral besides being impractical. If India attempted a Pakistani in BD style genocide we will draw international isolation and very likely a military intervention perhaps by China with UN support.
    Status quo is unacceptable too; a basic counterinsurgency rule states that ‘An insurgent wins by not losing; the state loses by not winning’. A constant state of war in Kashmir is that a part of India will remain a perpetual battleground on which adventurers both Pakistani and Chinese will be tempted to try their luck. Sooner or later populations held only by force breaks lose provided powerful external sponsors are willing to help. So, not acceptable either.

    The alternative is an intelligent waging of war. It is not rocket science. Insurgencies are as old as mankind and in the recent times experts have drawn a few lessons from these. I summarize below the salient points from two scholarly papers complete with annotations and reasoning. In summary they suggest
    1) a strong military strategy that neutralizes the armed elements of the insurgency. This has been mostly accomplished.
    2) A political process that weans the population from the separatist propaganda and supportive of the regime in place. This needs to be done politically. The army should do what it does best and the civilians what they do. Neither one by itself can be enough. Please note these are not my suggestions but of the experts!

    References:

    1. J and K counterinsurgency assessment by US Army major thesis for General Staff

    http://www.spp.nus.edu.sg/Handler.ashx?path=Data/Site/SiteDocuments/wp/wp0702.pdf

    2. A Peer reviewed paper that compares insurgencies in Punjab and Kashmir.

    http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/5/1/1/1/pages251114/p251114-1.php

    Additional reading:

    http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2711/stories/20100604271107900.htm

    http://etc.hil.unb.ca/ojs/index.php/JCS/article/viewArticle/4293/4888

  20. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    Regardless of your ideology…

    I think you misunderstand my ‘ideology’. I have a lot of empathy for the victims of Kashmir just like I have for those of the Punjab violence and the Delhi riots adn Mumbai massacre. They are all my people and I cannot but grieve for them.

  21. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    Dear Cricfan:
    I will come to Kashmir later but lets us clear the Punjab issue first:
    “although nearly 80% were forced to stay away from the polls under threat from militants …”

    NO it was not fear.

    Before the 1992 elections were the Parliamentary elections. In that the militants did not call for a boycott; the radical Sikh leaders who had actively propogated Khalistan swept the field leaving all the Congress and the moderate Akalis biting dust. (Simranjit Sigh Mann made it the Parliament in triumph in that election). The state elections were then cancelled fearing a militant sweep predicted by the intelligence services. It was subsequent to this election (and to protest the election postponment that the militants then called for a boycott).

    I am glad Sunil wants to engage in a more scholarly debate; I have scholarly peer reviewed references for the Kashmir issue that I want to bring up when we get to it.

    Regards.

  22. cricfan
    February 9, 2011 at 6:53 AM

    a couple of points that @gorky restated that i had comment on:

    1. ” .. the fact that only 21.6% (I was generous earlier) people voted and close to 80% boycotted the polls in sympathy with the militants… ”

    i think it should be this:
    ” .. despite this, more than 20% (I was generous earlier) under the threat of death, bravely chose to vote, although nearly 80% were forced to stay away from the polls under threat from militants …”

    unless there is some actual data to back it up, such statements in english is quite easy to twist and turn as one likes. A second example follows below.

    2. ” … Insurgency in Punjab (like in Kashmir) was fueled by people feeling they had been cheated of representation. ”

    there we go again! This is a basic premise that you keep repeating, except this premise never had a real basis. It is the other way around and i state it below:

    “Unlike Punjab, Radical Islam fueled a mob-psychosis-turned insurgency in Kashmir in 1989, and shunning of their existing (super-) representation, which spawned terrorism, leading to start of a vicious cycle that continues to this day”

    Radical Islam caused this mess and has to shunned in Kashmir for any chance of a permanent peace. Although, we agreed to end the debate earlier, i had to comment because you posted the same old arguments yet again, which i happen to completely disagree with. Since we can’t get beyond this basic point, it’s not worth either of our time to revisit this (again).

    Regardless of your ideology, I would recommend reading of the book “The Diary of an Unknown Kashmiri” if u did not already do so. It was published years ago. Imho, it provides the best, first-hand insight into the minds of the people of Kashmir as the tragic events of 1989 began to unfold. It is just as touching, true, and heartbreaking as ‘the diary of Anne Frank’ and the Jewish Holocaust – the unknown author of what was a personal diary is (most likely) dead and the diary ends abruptly. It was published in book form by some one who found it.

  23. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 2:52 AM

    Hi Sunil:

    Sorry for the piecemeal replies (I am trying to read and reply with a few paragraphs in my lunch hour). I will try to answer your specific but indirectly relate questions first to as to get them out of the way.

    You asked (about Punjabi Hindu forced migrations) : “This is a really big assertion and I would like you to provide us with more data on this rather than an explanation that “we lived through those times and I heard so and so person say this” – Close to 400,000 Pandits were thrown out of kashmir. If you have evidence of a greater number of Hindus being thrown out of Punjab how come there is no data or information on this.

    1. First of all, hard data during conflicts of this kind are difficult to come by and even hard to interpret. For example the recent Iraq war has been the most documented conflict in the recent times and perhaps ever. The causalities were compiled daily by multiple news agencies, NGOs, Govt. agencies etc. so it should be fairly easy to estimate; right?
    The answer is clearly no.
    I will refer you to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (one of the most prestigious journals of medicine anywhere) which said the following about the figures of Iraq war:
    “Estimates of the death toll in Iraq from the time of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 until June 2006 have ranged from 47,668 (from the Iraq Body Count) to 601,027 (from a national survey). Results from the Iraq Family Health Survey (IFHS), which was conducted in 2006 and 2007, provide new evidence on mortality in Iraq…” (N Engl J Med 2008; 358:484-493January 31, 2008)

    2. Thus compared to the above war, Punjab Insurgency was poorly documented; there were no published figures AFAIK but journals of the time (e.g: India Today) carried articles about the migration of Hindus.

    3. I personally know people like Jathedar Umranangal for example (Hold on it is all there in old papers ;-) ) who went out of Punjab along with celebrities like Shabana Azmi etc. going home to home of people who had left Punjab due to militancy and promising to protect them.

    4. Ask anyone in Delhi who may be able to get you in touch with people like the Munjals (of the Hero Honda fame) why and when they left Punjab and under what circumstances. Obviously they were not alone.

    5. For my calculations I used the demographics to compute the data. Punjab population is about 24 million; with Hindus making 45 %. Let us call them 1/3. That makes the number 8 million. If only 2 % migrated it would be 160,000. In addition to this some 2 million migrant Biharis worked in Punjab. In those times after the migrants working on the Sutlej Jumna link were murdered; it was said the number halved. Let us again assume only a 1/3 left it still becomes a pretty big number… OTOH, if you have any alternative published numbers, I am willing to listen….

    Regards.

  24. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    So the specific answer to your question:

    The secessionist movement in Punjab increased in vigor due to a strong state intervention prior to the storming of the Harmandar Sahab in 1984 and the riots following it.

    NO.
    The movement started due to a dismissal of a legally elected state govt. Bhindranwale, who till then was carrying on a private feud with Lala J. Narain and had murdered him now wrapped himself in ‘panthic colors’ and hijacked the rebellion and gave it a violent turn.
    The Govt. dillydallied with the legitimate demands of the Akalis which led to more anti India feelings which further hijacked by Jarnail Singh Brar (weakening the political side).
    Indira Gandhi’s attack on the Golden temple, (and the death of Bhindranwale and his cohorts) more than anything legitimized Bhindranwale’s vision as a Sikh struggle among the Sikh masses. Before that most Sikhs reviled him. In the post 1984 period, the militancy gained its most legitimacy with the Sikhs (and became the fiercest) in the period 1988-1992 (during governor rule). It finally started to subside AFTER 1992 (post elections)

    The point is this. There are three components to a classical militancy;
    1. violent and armed one; 2. the political leadership; and the most important part, 3. THE PEOPLE.
    It is the last one that counts.
    In Punjab the struggle was political but was hijacked by the armed elements as the politicos could not deliver anything. The people for their part mostly remained unconvinced till the attack on the GT. After that too the militants won the majority of the people’s silent support only in the period of 1988-1992 (Governor’s rule, police atrocities). This is borne by the fact that only 21.6% (I was generous earlier) people voted and close to 80% boycotted the polls in sympathy with the militants. (The same year once the popular govt. was in place the municipality elections saw a 68% turnout. Which means people left the militants after a local govt. took over and took over the fight)

  25. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    our choice = your choice

  26. Gorki
    February 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Dear Archpagan:

    You can form any idea about me, it is our choice and concerns me far less than what would happen to our country if we play into the hands of the separatist and destroy the unity and secular fabric of our country.

    Nationalists come in all shapes and forms; don’t be fooled into thinking that it is only the preserve of those who can shout the loudest and write the sharpest invectives on the net. Don’t be so quick to judge; some of us ‘trashy liberals’ too have shed blood for the nation in real life; perhaps more so in some cases.

    Regards.

  27. Gorki
    February 8, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Dear Sunil:

    I started writing and contacting people after my country was attacked in Mumbai in 26/11. I find this an important part of my duty to my land, thus since you have made an effort to engage in a reasoned debate I will try to do my part and address your questions the best I can but since our discussion that can meander many ways let me clear some points quickly so that we can come back to the main discussion later. Feel free to raise any point left unanswered or if you differ.
    You wrote:

    1. The secessionist movement in Punjab increased in vigor due to a strong state intervention prior to the storming of the Harmandar Sahab in 1984 and the riots following it.
    2. If the state had been less stringent in its application of the laws of the republic, the wind would have been sucked out of the movement much earlier and much bloodshed would have been avoided.

    What I wrote about Punjab insurgency (at different places) is different though. Please note the following (all taken verbatim from my earlier posts) :

    1. Like you all I believe that Kashmir is a part of India but unlike you I believe Kashmir means the people of Kashmir. They are alienated today like once we were; in Punjab due to police atrocities and human rights violations that fell on deaf years.

    2. The struggle can briefly be divided into 4 phases; 1971-1978-80; 1980-1984, 1984-1992, and 1992 to 1995-96. The first part was a sham; a former Punjab minister, JS Chohan announced Khalistan in USA. Perhaps ten people noticed it and no Sikh responded to it. Then in 1978 Bhindranwale had a run in with the Akali Govt. again no one bothered. In 1980 the legally elected Akali Govt. was arbitrarily dismissed by Indira G. Govt. The Akalis called a Dharam Yugh to get ‘justice’. The Govt. ignored them; they dug up the Anandpur Sahib resolution; Bhindranwale adopted their ‘struggle’ and things heated up and let to 1984 and the aftermath. Now things heated up. Before there was KPS Gill (not MS Gill as you wrote) there was an even more charismatic DGP; Julius Reibiero; who tried very hard under the Governor, SS Ray (legendary for having defeated the Naxalites in Bengal) ; yet the militancy gained strength; The last phase was 1992 and after when again an elected GOVT took up the struggle. KPS Gill was the DGP but many junior and mid level men fought with him. Incidentally that phrase was the bloodiest for Sikh on Sikh violence.

    3. The point I was trying to make was twofold:
    1. Insurgency in Punjab (like in Kashmir) was fueled by people feeling they had been cheated of representation. (In Kashmir too the congress rigged the poll and within months the losing candidates were the who is who on the list of the militants).
    2. Insurgencies are best fought when the local govt. is empowered and the only role the ‘Indian state’ is seen to be playing is that of upholding its own principles.

    4.The revolt started in 1979 with the murder of a prominent journalist. It was the work of Bhindranwale loyalist. Most SIkhs condemned it. The the Akali ministry was dismissed in 1980 and they started their ‘morcha’. The revolt boiled over in 1984 and worsened in 1984-1992 (Presidents rule in Punjab). It was at its worst when the Beant SIngh ministry took over. (With a 25% vote in a state with only 65% Sikhs, which means almost all the Sikhs boycotted the vote as called for by the militants) The rovolt fell apart as the Sikh ministry and the SIkh police force took charge of the fighting and the Hindus intelectuals if anything, supported the human rights angle. That took the winds out of the sails of the terrorists.

    Regards.

  28. Archpagan
    February 8, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    @ Gorky
    Yes, try your best to respond, but I am sure you will not say anything new beyond those trashes regularly bandied about by our secular media. In your letter to Dr Khan you argued ‘Letting the Muslims of the valley to go join Pakistan would in no way enhance the security of the non-Kashmiri Muslims elsewhere in India and if anything would make them even more insecure and strengthen the very forces of Hindutva that you pointed out threaten India’s fragile communal amity.’
    This is only a sham moral posturing at the cost of only nationalist force in India. It gives me ample scope to form an idea about you. But, I confess in my college days, I had been a secular like you are.

  29. Gorki
    February 8, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Dear Sunil,
    I saw your posts rather late in the day today. I will try my best to respond. However my day job is very demanding and your questions need detailed answers. Unlike as has been assumed above by one of the commentators above, I am not writing a paper or anything like that ( my background is in medicine) therefore the research that you are asking me to do may not be possible but I will provide references the best I can. For that I will have to take a few hours, perhaps on the weekend.
    Till then,
    Regards.

  30. Gorki
    February 6, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    I want to make the Indians of all political persuasions aware of the malicious propaganda that is being carried out against us using all sorts of half truths and non truths.
    It is however my hope that those who care to refute such articles will do so using logic and true data but without indulging in any verbal abuse.
    Regards.

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/02/05/today-we-are-all-seditious/

  31. Sunil
    February 5, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Hello Gorki,

    After going through all your posts on Kashmir, I assumed the following about your position. I will try to reason with it. Please correct me if i am wrong.

    Your Hypothesis –
    1. The nature of Insurgency in Kashmir is not religious.
    2. It is not religious because JKLF was secular when it was founded and Yasin Malik wants the pandits to come back.
    3. The JKLF is fighting for something called Kashmiriyat.
    4. There is a direct parallel between kashmir and punjab and since in Punjab strong state action increased violence and socio economic measures quelled it, we should follow the same approach in kashmir
    4. The Army has done well to pacify the state.
    5 We need to undertake strong social and economic outreach programs to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris.
    6. Flag hoisting by the BJP will “rock the boat” in the sense that it will again give the separatists the opportunity to paint India as the ENEMY.

    My Response

    1. We have to understand that any separatist movement is driven by a sense of separate identity that flows either from religion or from culture or from political ideology. The basic premise of a separatist movement is that their identity is incompatible with the identity of the state as defined by the state’s constitution. Now what a separatist movement needs is the perception that they have a different identity and that identity is incompatible with the identity of the state they seek separation from. So the seed or the essence of a separatist movement is this perception and not necessarily the facts backing this perception. In case of both the Punjab and Kashmir movements this perception finds its basis not in culture but in religion. The Punjab movement sought to create the perception that for a Sikh his identity was superior to his identity as an Indian and hence the only way he could realize his identity was by separating fom India and creating a theological Sikh state where his identity will not be encumbered by a secular constitution. For the kashmir movement the basis has been Islam. You might claim that the movement is not Islamic in nature but all literature of the early militants, their attacks on the Pandits, their threats from loudspeakers after the azaan, their slogans (asi gachi pakistan, bata ros te batanev san – remember this one) and their destruction of pandit houses and temples have explicitly betrayed a desire to create a theocratic state of kashmir. The core of their perception of separateness stems from the fact that they are sunni muslim and hence find it incompatible with the aspirations of their identity to live in a secular country despite the safeguards that Article 370 offers them. Therefore while it is very difficult for us to judge all the muslims in the valley, the movement for Kashmir, whether it be for more autonomy or azaadi or merger with pakistan, has at its core this belief in separateness, this perception that the identity of Kashmir cannot be realized within the constitution of a secular India because they are Sunni Muslim. If this had not been the case there would have been Gujjars, Pandits, Shias and Buddhists in the ranks of those seeking autonomy/azaadi/merger with pakistan. The fact that everybody else is conspicuous by their absence and that only the sunni muslims see the Indian state as incompatible with their aspirations nails the hypothesis that the separatism in Kashmir has no basis in religion.

    2. If JKLF was secular why did it kill pandits, if JKLF was secular why did it not protect the pandits, if JKLF was secular how come and overwhelming majority of its militants are Sunni Muslims, if JKLF was secular why did it not oppose the mullahs who raisesd incendiary slogans against the Pandits. It is very comforting to know that yasin Malik wants Pandits to come back, but in politics you are not judged by what you say you want but what you do – Is Yasin malik willing to Guarantee security to the pandits, wiull yasin malik give back the pandits their homes that have now been occupied by the muslims, will yasin mallik give back the pandits their temples that have been destroyed?

    3. What is Kashmiriyat – Is its so much different from the Indian constitution that it needs a separate country to blossom – Yasin mallik opposed the allocation of land for Amarnath Pilgrims, is that kashmiriyat, is this form kashmiriyat superior to the the Indian constitution??

    4. There are several issues in this part of your hypothesis. Allow me to go through them one by one.

    a. There is no paralell between Kashmir and Punjab . The prime reason is that the basis of separation ie religion was very weak in case of Punjab. Hinduism and Sikhism despite the claims of the goons from the SGPC and as one astute commentator observed Neo Sikhi wallas (I assume he means the tat Khalsa types) are joined at the hip. Any perception of the values of Sikhism being inherently incompatible with the secular values of the Indian state and Hinduism will fall like and empty sack on greater scrutiny despite the best propaganda of the NRI sikhs fed on SGPC hogwash. Therefore the very essence or the basis of the separatist movement in Punjab was weak and had no mass support and was sustained by the brute force of the Khadkoos. Once the state overwhelmed the brute force of the Khalistanis with even greater force the Khalistani supporters realized the futility of their plans, the confidence of the common folk was restored in the state and he actively helped the Police weed out the remaining terrorists.

    b. There was no strong state action prior to the rise of militancy in Punjab. I have already explained this point in my observations on your comments in the previous posts.

    c. Militancy was fanned due to the weakness of the state and the designs of pakistan to use the ineffectualness of the Indian state to wage a proxy war. I have already explained what the basis of the perception of separateness is and how it drives the the separatist. However no separatist no matter how determined can sustain himself without a support system. This support system has to be both external (pakistan) and local. However most ordinary folk are governed by the principals of self preservation and even the most hardcore separatist will think twice before exposing himself if he believes that the state will generate conditions that will be inimical to his survival. Therefore any separatist movement gains strength not because the state has taken actions that have increased the perceived grievances of the hardliners but because the hardliners start to believe that they can willfully undermine the state without any harm accruing to them. Once this core group violates the constitution in public, their stock amongst the people as deliverers of relief from the perceived grievances increases and thereby starts a death spiral where more and more people start believing the perceived grievances as the boldness and strength with which they undermine the state compounds. This continues till the state is no longer able to control the chain reaction and either has to capitulate or use excessively brutal force. This is exactly what happened in Punjab between 1980 and 1984. As the people who were spreading perceived grievances (some genuine due to Congress mismanagement) and a rationale for separateness progressively undermined the state , the state looked the other way thereby further entrenching the position of the separatists and Bhindranwale which led to a spiral of violence which culminated in operation blue star, which in turn further stoked passions and led to the darkest days in this country’s history. Therefore in case of punjab as also in case of kashmir, it is the weakness of the state that encourages the separatists to undermine the constitution and not the other way round as you seem to suggest.

    d. It was not the socio economic measures that quelled militancy in Punjab. The movement since its very inceptions was led by hooligans using brute force to terrorize the local populace. Once the state under Ribeiro and then Gill used even more brutal force to dispense justice to the terrorists, their resolve dissolved and their backers realized the futility of the movement. Also the confidence of the common folk was restored and he actively helped the police. This was primarily a battle of wills between the khalistanis and the Punjab Police which the latter won, not the byproduct of socio economic measures or outreach programs. Therefore we should follow a similar if not more strident approach in Kashmir since the basis of separateness in case of kashmir is stronger than that in case of Punjab (ISLAM is actually INCOMPATIBLE WITH A SECULAR INDIA)

    4. The Army has done well to pacify the state. – Absolutely

    5. We need to undertake strong social and economic outreach programs to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris. – Yes but not by compromising the constitution of the country and succumbing to the bullying tactics of the separatists. The more we submit to their bullying and compromise our constitutional rights the more confident they will get of their success and the more momentum their movement will gather.

    6. 6. Flag hoisting by the BJP will “rock the boat” in the sense that it will again give the separatists the opportunity to paint India as the ENEMY. – Like I said, constitutional rights must not be compromised for anyone irrespective of the consequences since once you start making an exception, it becomes the rule. Whatever the intent of the BJP, it is the constitutional right of every Indian to unfurl the tricolor and this right should remain non negotiable irrespective of the consequences. Also you seem to have assumed that the bulk of the Kashmiris are so anti India that the tricolor on lal Chowk will radicalize them enough so as to rock the boat. This might not be true. Even if it is the case, this is more appealing than the alternative where you end up compromising the constitution and set a very negative precedent to appease a few bullies who will gain further converts to their cause and end up causing a bigger headache to us in the future.

    Regards

    Sunil

  32. Sunil
    February 5, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Hello Gorki,

    This my response to your post dated 28th January 2011, 3:03 AM.

    1. The demand for a separate Sikh State did not come to the fore in 1971. In some sections of the Sikhs there was always a desire to have a separate theocratic state on the lines of Pakistan as far back as 1947. There is no doubt about the fact that the Congress messed up the political situation in Punjab like it did in Kashmir by rigging elections and dismissing elected governments. However the Khalistani militancy did not rise due to these factors. If this had been the case, similar uprisings would have arisen in several other states where the Congress adopted similar tactics. The most critical period as accepted by you in your post was that between 1980 and 1984 when the state instead of strongly putting down the separatists tried to exploit schisms in Punjab. This gave Pakistan the opportunity to exploit the internal weakness of the state and convert the latent disaffection of the Akalis in to a full blown proxy war.

    In response to your post dated 28th January 2011, 3:07.

    The NRI Sikhs heavily participated in the proxy war by providing financial and diplomatic support to the Khalistanis. Just because they did not want to let go of their businesses in Canada and farms in California and get involved in the dirty business of Fighting does not mean they did not participate in the insurgency.

    In response to your post dated – 28. January 2011 – 8:23 AM

    You said – (Incidently the Khalistan movement was a Jat Sikh phenomena; Parmar was a rajput hence an exception). – This is clearly a very convenient generalization. The khalistan movement had participation from all “castes” of sikhs including the Gursikhs and the so called rajput sikhs. I fail to understand how the fact that an NRI rajput sikh who engaged in an wanton act of terrorism for the purposes of the Khalistan movement be dissociated from it just because you think that the Khalistan Movement is a Jatt Sikh movement and participative acts for the express purpose of realizing the goal of the movement by sikhs of other denominations do not count. By the way the JS chohan who according to you first demanded Khalistan in USA was a rajput sikh. Does this mean that he was not part of the khalistan movement, since the movement is supposed to be exclusively jatt sikh in nature ?

    You said – For example if you blame a new religous trend in the Sikhs and date it from the British days it is hard to explain why the Sikhs who had fought loyally in 1965 and 1971 revolted in 1978-80. – A large majority of the Sikhs were and remained loyal to the country even at the height of the khalistan movement. The movement failed because it did not have much grassroot support. As far as 65 and 71 is concerned, the sikh members of the armed forces who faought valiantly in these battles continued to remain loyal even through operation blue star and the pogrom that followed it. HS Dayal was GOC Northern Command During Blue Star. KS Brar was in charge of the operation. The first team of the Brigade of the guards to enter the Harmandar sahab complex and sustain the maximum casualties was led by a young Lt JS Rana who had volunteered for it. The khalistan movement never had mass support or support amongst the armed forces despite the fact that in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination Congress goons had pulled Sikhs in uniform from trains and killed them.

    You said – Also the more religiuos among the Sikhs are the urban Bhappas yet the insurgents were mostly rural Jat SIkhs, (many were clean shaven). If you follow what I said, then it makes sense. – My friend as a scholar of sikh politics, i assume you understand that religiosity that drives violent movements is not vested in whether you wear a turban or not. The Khalistan Movement was not about religion. Any true sikh who has read and understood the principles of the Granth sahib cannot engage in terrorist acts. The movement was about identity politics being espoused by a few sikh politicians anxious to gain control over the community and this issue was deftly exploited by the pakistanis to give it a violent colour.

    You said -In Kashmir too if it was purely religion, Kashmir would not have been peaceful in 1948 (The locals helped Indian Army against the tribal invaders per General Kalwant Singh’s account) – The Muslim members of the state forces did defect to the pathan tribesman in 1947. So there was a religious angle in 1947 as well. Also the local population supported the army in 1947 because of the fact that the Pathan tribesman under the Pakistani command brutally raped and pillaged Kashmir.

    You said – The rovolt fell apart as the Sikh ministry and the SIkh police force took charge of the fighting – The sikh police force was always in charge of the fighting. The revolt fell apart as the bullet for bullet tactics of Ribiero and Gill started taking a heavy toll on the terrorists and the hitherto scared local population that could earlier be coerced to cooperate by the terrorists realised that the state would deal strongly with the terrorists and came out in open support of the police. for more on this please read KPS Gills writings on the issue at SATP.org.

  33. Sunil
    February 5, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Hello Gorki,

    This is my response to your comment dated 27th January 2011, 7:21 PM.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    You said

    1. Far more Hindus were cleansed by the Khalistanis in Punjab than by the ISI in Kashmir – This is a really big assertion and I would like you to provide us with more data on this rather than an explanation that “we lived through those times and I heard so and so person say this” – Close to 400,000 Pandits were thrown out of kashmir. If you have evidence of a greater number of Hindus being thrown out of Punjab how come there is no data or information on this.

    Regards,

    Sunil.

  34. Sunil
    February 5, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Hello Gorki,

    My apologies in responding to your post a little late. I hope you will notice this and still take the trouble to reply. On reading your first post dated 27th January, 2011, 11:57 AM, I inferred the following. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. The secessionist movement in Punjab increased in vigor due to a strong state intervention prior to the storming of the Harmandar Sahab in 1984 and the riots following it.

    2. If the state had been less stringent in its application of the laws of the republic, the wind would have been sucked out of the movement much earlier and much bloodshed would have been avoided.

    Let me respond to these assertions one by one.

    1. The secessionist movement in Punjab was not dealt with as aggressively as you seem to assert. In fact it was dealt with in the most craven and cynical fashion by the Congress Government at the center. If it had been dealt with as much vigour as you seem to suggest, Bhindranwale and his followers would not have been roaming the highways of Punjab with AK 47s and naked swords in trucks pulling out people from buses and shooting those who were not wearing a turban. If the movement had been dealt with as strongly as you suggest the government would have strongly acted against the murderers of Jagat Narain. On the contrary the Congress cultivated Bhindranwale in an attempt to divide the Sikh vote that had traditionally gone to the Akalis. All his provocations, his attempts to arm his followers , his creation of a parallel state in Punjab were ignored by the Congress in their zeal to break the Akali hold in Punjab. They even allowed Bhindranwale to campaign for the Congress in 1980. Needless to say like the Geelanis of Kashmir he did not achieve much success in electoral politics. It was this limp wristed response to a direct challenge to the authority of the state that led to Bhindranwale and the Akalis engaging in a competitive spiral of extremism ultimately leading them to fortify the Harmandar Sahab right under the nose of the government. Therefore far from the movement being fanned by the “tough response” of the government to the burning of the constitution, it was the cowardice of the state in dealing with a bunch of Hooligans with guns and the cynicism of the Congress that led to the creation of Bhindranwale and the tragedy of Blue Star.

    2. As I have explained above, the state was not stringent enough in dealing with these hooligans who undermined our constitution in public. On the contrary electoral considerations led the Congress to allow these boils to fester and that landed us in the mess of Blue Star and the subsequent congress led pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984.

    It is for this reason that the unfurling of the Flag at Lal Chowk was necessary. It was to prove to the separatists that their bullying cannot undermine the state and cannot take away the constitutional right of an Indian Citizen. Unfortunately we seem to be repeating the mistakes of Punjab in Kashmir again and I fervently hope that this does not culminate in another Blue Star.

    Regards

    Sunil.

  35. Mythreyee
    February 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    simply superb

  36. Ankit jain
    February 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Nothing left in INDIA to be proud of…
    Every day i think i should feel proud of my Nation India. But few bunch of people at centre has made a shame of such a resourceful nation. I try a lot but my heart does not feel like voting ever. You take BJP or Congress or any other….they are all same……CONGRESS is the King of LOOTERS. They did during independence and they are still ON. But now with force and justification. Supereme Court of India is reduce to just a commentator on Govt handy work but they don’t act….As judiciary itself are biased. ARMY is now becoming political and greedy….EVEN ARMY MEN of today can be seen with BIG BELLY hanging out of there body….They are getting rusted with political outlook and justified corruption inside Army Headquarters…A lot to say but you all understand I dont feel like expressing also…

  37. Archpagan
    February 1, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    @ Gorky
    I can not honour a ‘faith’ which calls for destruction of all other faiths.

  38. cricfan
    February 1, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    so much for “fragile peace”, and its not even summer yet. Who rocked the boat?

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/133697/two-sisters-shot-dead-lashkar.html

    Thanks to the ‘shadow warrior’ blog for highlighting this link. Unlike the tricolor hoisting by unarmed civilians, there’s unlikely to be any major media coverage nor protests by the psec groups.

  39. Rashmi
    February 1, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    The present Day problems of Kashmir?india – has historical reasons since 9 th century every Sufi saint and Muslim King has tried to sabotage the Culture of India, All customs and rrituals of Hindus have evolved from Vedas.
    The problems of Chechnaya, Lebanon,Egypt,Malaysia,Tanzani, Sudan etc lies in History the forced conversion on the name of Jihad. Now see very soon Sudan will be divided into North and South, One side with rich oil reserves is with Christian domination and other with muslim control. Same is hapenning in tanzani and many african and Asian nation. Both christanity and Islam have originated from middle east. Both are equally Brutally. I may remind you of Infamous Goa Inequistion the reason was revered and Holy jesuit saint St Francis Xavier, Breaking down of idols other places of worship and denegrating others faith is embedded in Islam and Christanity. A report on Burning of churches in coastal Karanataka by Fact finding team on Hindu-Christian clashes in coastal Karnataka is out please read (http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HkPage.aspx?PAGEID=13192&SKIN=C ).

    The much quoted casteism is again not Indian by origin you read, Fahian (400 Ad), Alberuni . I quote Alberuni on caste system ”
    No discussion of India would be complete without observation on the contemporary caste system and rightly so Alberuni does miss it. He describes the traditional division of Hindu society along the four Varnas and the Antyaja — who are not reckoned in any caste; but makes no mention of any oppression of low caste by the upper castes. Much, however the four castes differ from each other, they live together in the same towns and villages, mixed together in the same houses and lodgings. The Antyajas are divided into eight classes — formed into guilds — according to their professions who freely intermarry with each other except with the fuller, shoemaker and the weaver. They live near the villages and towns of the four castes but outside of them.”
    Regarding Islam and Christianity it is better to read there books written by there own people. Quran as follwed in middle east esp Saudi arabian version, there History and past similarly for Bible.
    It is important to mention here that Sikhs teaching do not vary a inch from vedas. Hindu sikh divide was created by Britishers now by our scholars and politicians. The truth of God is related with Human Body , it can be biologically and scientific proven the body and constitution of every Hindu/muslim/Buddha/Sikh/Xtanity is same. To reach God you should activate 8 nerve centres of a human body by severe Yogic practices. In a fully realised yogis(who has achieved samadhi) both the side of brain works(scientifically he has achieved resonance with cosmic creator and its frequencr/vibration OM, this is only samadhi). The right part of brain is activated by grace of God, Guru, Success in Yogis practices and by the power of vedamantras.

    So Gorki, Gajanan i request you to practice and gain first hand experience instead of a plain rhetoric. Todays entire problem of mankind is this only just talks and Definition of My God is superior to Others God without knowledge of ultimate reality.

  40. cricfan
    February 1, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    The next time the tv media mentions fragile peace, double-check if you are wearing a sweater. why?
    The psecs that talk anxiously about a “fragile peace” does not tell u the obvious thing – that we have this fragile peace every winter when most of the ammo supply and infiltration routes are snowed in. Come summer, the passes open and it will be business as usual for 8 months between the jihadists and the isi, before the next fragile peace begins.

    And it’s about time we stop accusing the gentle isi of having terrorist links. It’s time to start accusing terrorists of having isi links.

  41. Kaffir
    January 31, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Gorki wrote:

    “I would like to sign off with the timeless words of Emperor Ashoka; found inscribed on the Rock Edict XII in Gujarat:
    ‘The faiths of all deserve to be honored for one reason or another. By honoring them one exalts one’s own faith and at the same time performs a service to the faith of others. By acting otherwise, one injures one’s own faith and does disservice to that of others…’”

    ++

    Gorki,

    Reign of King Ashoka: 269 BC to 232 BC.
    Life of Jesus: 5 BC to 30 AD => Christianity as an organized religion came after Jesus’ death.
    Life of Mohammad: 570 AD to 632 AD.

    Clearly, when King Ashoka wrote his lofty edict, the two desert death-cults were not even in existence. So, Ashoka’s writings are valid to the extent that they apply to the faiths existent and known during his lifetime. Blindly applying such lofty ideas to any and all religions/faiths that exist today would be at best foolhardiness and at worst, suicidal; or ascribe qualities to King Ashoka that he didn’t possess, viz. an ability to see in the future and predict the rise of religions like Christianity, Islam and Scientology.

    Same goes for the much flaunted “sarv dharm sambhav” and including in its ambit, monotheistic imperialistic ideologies.

  42. cricfan
    January 31, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    @gorky: i’m not here to question your sincerity or your patriotism. neither am i going to say that your recent post was “emotionally satisfying but ultimately …”. However, my conclusion is simple: if kashmir were a patient with a serious head injury and other injuries, you advocate performing plastic surgery and treatment of all other wounds.

    On a less important note, any thesis that requires a lot of big english words like in its defense or description – is a dead giveaway to common folk like me that something “must be” off.

    The number of times your observations deviated from the facts is disturbing and that is what prompted me to comment. But I cant deny that you have taken the time to do something different, and for that, good luck.

  43. Gorki
    January 31, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    “Also, since you agree that we should not forget and forgive, i’m very confident that your impressive thesis has paragraph right at the top that deals with the ethnic cleansing of the pandits and their complete repatriation and restoration of everything that was taken from them, and the strict prosecution of those involved in this modern day holocaust. After all, they are the minority there….”

    My dear Cricfan, what happened to the Kashmiri Pundits in 1989 was a national tragedy; a wrong that all of us Indian nationalists hope to see righted some day.

    Ironically it is said that it was the plight of the same Kashmiri Pundits that motivated the nine year old Gobind Rai to ask his father, the ninth Sikh Guru to go and lay down his life for the protection of the faithful. Some three hundred and thirty five years later India continues to spend a lot of blood and treasure for the sake of the same freedom of the same very people.

    I would like to take this opportunity to mention that one such hero was a Sikh of that same Guru, a childhood friend and classmate who laid down his life on the icy slopes of Siachen so that Kashmir may remain Indian soil. However a fitting homage to such heroes will be not end with a just settlement of the Kashmiris in their ancient homeland but also a just treatment for all Indians regardless of their majority or minority status.

    I would like to sign off with the timeless words of Emperor Ashoka; found inscribed on the Rock Edict XII in Gujarat:
    ‘The faiths of all deserve to be honored for one reason or another. By honoring them one exalts one’s own faith and at the same time performs a service to the faith of others. By acting otherwise, one injures one’s own faith and does disservice to that of others…’

    Goodbye dear Cricfan, it was great debating with you.

  44. cricfan
    January 31, 2011 at 7:38 AM

    @gorki “Again I find this an emotionally satisfying position but not a very useful one from a strategic counterinsurgency standpoint ”

    too bad it does not fit into some neat little thesis you are writing. Luckily, that’s your problem. Sadly, you can’t wish it away. Any military or political “solution” that does not involve the complete renunciation of the vile theology that led to the whole this is pretty much useless, buddy. That’s just common sense. Otherwise, this cycle just repeats itself, and all neatly laid out political steps, however sincere are doomed to failure.

    Also, since you agree that we should not forget and forgive, i’m very confident that your impressive thesis has paragraph right at the top that deals with the ethnic cleansing of the pandits and their complete repatriation and restoration of everything that was taken from them, and the strict prosecution of those involved in this modern day holocaust. After all, they are the minority there.

  45. Gorki
    January 31, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    therefore I done condone either = therefore I don’t condone either.

  46. Gorki
    January 31, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    “It has nothing to do with rights and azaadi and everything to do with kashmiris adopting fundamentalist islam and supporting terrorism. If you agree with the root cause, we can agree to get past 1989…”

    I think most people agree that one of the first separatist groups to start fighting were the JKLF; they were (and still not) pro Pakistan. They still claim to be secular and stand for what they claim is ‘Kashmiriat’ The Islamist came with the Hijbul Mujahidin (HUM) a Pakistani organization along with others like the LeT and the most virulent of all , the Harkat ul Ansar (HUA), which advocates Islamic supremacy of the Ummah. Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology; all groups first tried to fight a guerrilla war but found the army was too strong so they adjusted to terrorism.

    Now that is history and can be verified from a million different sources. However if you find it emotionally more satisfying to lump them all as Islamist you can do so because it doesn’t matter to me. I believe both causes, (Azadi as well as Islamists) are inimical to the Indian republic therefore I done condone either.

    “My contention is that past actions are a strong, if not total, indicator of future actions, and it is utterly foolish to forgot ..” and “Consequently, no practical solution is possible unless the separatists first own up to their actions, submit to the rule of the law and pledge to adopt the mainstream version of islam practiced in the rest of india….”

    Again I find this an emotionally satisfying position but not a very useful one from a strategic counterinsurgency standpoint.
    Moreover no one is asking you to forget and to forgive; only to remember that most of the active members who started and led the insurgency have been killed; (‘neutralized’ in military parlance). Their graves dot the Kashmir valley.
    Many of the separatists political leaders too are dead (some killed by the same mujahedeen and buried in the same graveyards!)

    The army is already committed to rehabilitating the reformed militants who by definition have to forgo future anti national activities. Some of them even turned against their previous comrades in arms and fought for India. Thus all we have left today are a few hundred militants who are under pressure.

    The political steps outlined in the paper that I quoted before are meant to wean off the local population; termed the ‘Human Environment’ in counterinsurgency terminology. A very important component of which is supposed to be a joint military\political action plan to consolidate the gains made so far by actively countering the Jihadist propaganda among the population at large. The military and security forces are already doing their part as follows:

    1. Continue the military strategy pursuing insurgents and applying
    maximum military pressure to force the traditionalist insurgents from derailing the APHC
    negotiations. 2. Expand the Kashmiri local police to take on a more prominent role in
    leading the fight against the insurgency and Islamic extremism.

    The politicians and other nationalists need to help it do the following:
    1. Establish a national economic recovery and reconstruction plan that
    focuses on encouraging tourism and international investment in order to reduce
    unemployment, the recruiting base for insurgents. 2. Develop an information campaign that focuses on reconciling the Kashmiri and Indian government in order to begin winning back popular support in J&K. 3. Continue to use the military and information as the primary instruments of national power to fight Islamic extremists and traditionalists who will continue to exist in Kashmir regardless of any peace deal with separatists. It is primarily in this context that I made the comment to not ‘rock the boat’ till the job is done.

    This is not my personal advice but that of professional soldiers studying counterinsurgencies….

    Regards.

  47. cricfan
    January 31, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    @Gorki:
    let me be clear:
    1. i completely disagree with you as far as the reasons for the *origin of the current kashmiri conflict*. It has nothing to do with rights and azaadi and everything to do with kashmiris adopting fundamentalist islam and supporting terrorism. If you agree with the root cause, we can agree to get past 1989.

    2. My statement on bringing in more army today was a hypothetical one to counter what i feel is an inherent bias in the comment u made that india and the pandits should somehow “forget the past” and start off rebuilding as equals. Suppose today is (say) 2047 and (suppose) the army came in 2011 and wiped most of them out regardless of collateral damage. *IF* that happened, by the same token, is it reasonable to expect the kashmiris to forget the events of 2011 and enthusiastically start rebuilding as equals?

    My contention is that past actions are a strong, if not total, indicator of future actions, and it is utterly foolish to forgot.

    3. Consequently, no practical solution is possible unless the separatists first own up to their actions, submit to the rule of the law and pledge to adopt the mainstream version of islam practiced in the rest of india. The dacoits in chambal valley owned up in the 80s and are rehabilitated, so why not these guys? That has to be the starting point. I’m not asking for retribution, but i certainly demand accountability and trustworthy leadership, and some justice for the enthnic cleansing of the Pandits. Today, what comes across to the rest of india from Kashmir is deceit and arrogance.

    Only after this first step of accountability can some real solution be implemented. Otherwise, it is almost certain that the rest of the laundry list of steps you present are futile, and the same cycle will repeat.

  48. Gorki
    January 31, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    Ranvir
    29. January 2011 – 12:53 AM
    “To you Khalistan appeared out of thin air in the 80s because of “human rights violations” but to more sober analysts the beginnings of it can be traced back to the British rule and an explicit demand for it was debated in 1947 itself….”

    Dear Ranvir:

    In a deluge of questions and answers I seemed to have missed your above post. Your information about the Sikhs and the Khalistan movement seems to have been gleamed from the web sites. The links that you have posted are not political scientist, researchers or anyone involved with the events but a partisan sect of the Sikhs. Interestingly the sect itself is UK based and has very minimal following, political or otherwise within Punjab. There are umpteen Sikh sects today with varying degrees of religious followers. Bhindranwale himself belonged to one such sect; the Damdami Taksal which has gone back to its customary obscurity after its prominence during the militancy.

    Most mainstream Sikhs do not follow any one or the other sects and many would be surprised to know that the site you linked even exists. Neither are these sects political although they vie among each other for followers, which explains the biased literature you may have come across.
    For example if you do a web search of Nidder Singh the leader of the sect you quote, you will come across various statements\counterstatements controversies etc. (For example Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha whom you quote as a British sympathizer was the mentor of Maharaja Ripudaman Singh, the ruler deposed by the British for anti-Govt. activities) Anyway tnoe of these sects ever had much direct influence on Sikh politics.

    Your note is only partly correct. The division of Punjab did indeed come about in 1966 based on a ‘Punjabi Suba’ demand because the Akalis felt they had a better chance at forming a Govt. in a state which had a Sikh majority, it was not a secessionist demand; the idea was to carve out a region within the Indian Union and bound by the Indian constitution. Socondly while the Akali Dal claims to speak on the behalf of all the Sikhs, it is only a political party and the only time it won the Sikh vote decisively was 1977 in the aftermath of the emergency. It was partnered with the Janata party and the Jan Sangh factions then. Most of the other elections its share of Sikh vote has never been over 55%.

    Therefore the mainstream Sikhs (who you seem to call the ‘neo-Sikhs’) have always been divided equally between the Akalis and non-Akalis (mainly the congress). Moreover their political loyalties had little to do with religion and more to do with local politics. Thus even at the height of the insurgency many grass root political workers, midlevel functionaries, intellectuals etc. who were gunned down by the militants were in private life the kind of Sikhs who you describe as ‘neo Sikhs’. So were many brave Sikh police officers who laid their life for the country. For example General Dayal, the officer commanding the attack on the GT is one such Sikh, so was the police officer I mentioned earlier (who was a devout Sikh in personal life). So are many vocal opponents of the militancy in public life; including Sardar Beant Singh and most of his Sikh cabinet. I speak from personal experience.

    So what caused the Khalistan movement as you asked?

    It is a complex issue and will take a small monogram to answer but a short answer to it is: Political brinkmanship gone wrong.

    There are excellent books and articles from unbiased sources. I mentioned Mark Tully’s book earlier up to the events of 1984. Many more are available. None of them have the spin you seem to have read up from the sects you quote.

    As a parting tip please note that Bhindranwale who is made out to be a great leader was an obscure unlettered preacher with little understanding of history or political theory; had it not been for Zail Singh he would have remained a small time preacher forever involved in propaganda tussles with the likes of Nidder Singh etal. He despised most Akali leaders, Longowal, Badal, etc. the feelings were mutual….

    Good to talk to you about one of the five or six questions I posted earlier.

  49. ganapathy
    January 30, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    dear gorki
    nice to see ur sound reasoning and defence.since LTTE has come in i will add a few words
    the tamil population is spread in north and east and the lethal blow was struck by RAW when they managed to pit the eastern ltte leader karuna against prabhakaran.tsunami created a lot of damge to the ltte defences and supply and coupled with karunas revolt exposing the regional divide(the tamil muslims where never part of ltte and were antagonistic and the lakhs of srilankan tamils working as plantation tamils where considered untouchables by the tamil leadership from north who where rulers once while the plantation workers came as slaves.
    its same as the punjab issue where a weakened enemy is crushed by own people and the difference between srilanka and india is the absence of a single powerful buddhist clergy/sinhala speaking buddhist leadership in all wings.the mandalisation of indian politics is absolute and the dreams of a hindu unity is utopia

  50. Gorki
    January 30, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Dear Cricfan:

    So what you are proposing is a pure military solution. I wonder if you have a military background of a close contact with friends\relatives in the service. Anyway a little background so that we agree on the facts.

    In the aftermath of the 1989 rising a lot of local youth took up the gun and went to Pakistan for training. Pakistan military and the ISI could not believe their good luck (and Indian political inaptitude) and threw their resources behind the insurgents. They not only provided training and arms but also started training their own Punjabi youth to come and fight in the valley. This had a two fold purpose, to pin down the Indian army and to provoke a backlash so that more recruits would come. It partly succeeded in the first phase. Also the cadres trained in Pakistan were indoctrinated and supplemented by the Islamist fresh back from the Afghan war. The immediate effect of this was that the more secular insurgents of the JKLF were sidelined (and often eliminated) and the insurgency became strictly Islamist. Fortunately for India the Indian army, after initial missteps, adjusted marvelously and fought the insurgency to a standstill. After 26/11 the Pakistani army and ISI too came under greater scrutiny and due to external pressure decided to temporarily suspend the support for the ‘freedom fighters’. During this phase the Indian army completed its job; today there are a few hundred active fighters left in Kashmir and their fighting capability is severely degraded. (Hence the statement from General Singh).

    What is happening today is a political unrest and mob violence that comes with such protests. The separatists hope that by such acts they can stay in the news till such time that the geo-political situation changes in their favor. It is unlikely in the short term but yet that can happen. India’s tensions with China can spill over or a terror attack in India may bring India-Pakistan clash that may pull China in. There are all sorts of scenarios. The question is what India should do in the meantime.

    I take it that you suggest that more military pressure is the solution. I disagree because that is not the opinion of the military experts. I already pointed out General Singh’s statement.

    He is not alone. In 2004 a military expert on insurgencies, Major M. J. Van Wagenen, posted at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA wrote a scholarly paper on Kashmir insurgency titled ‘An analysis of the Indian Government’s counterinsurgency campaign in Jammu and Kashmir’. I have a copy of that paper with me. In it he outlined the commendable role that the army had performed in J and K so far and made the following military and political recommendations, in summary they are:

    1. Military: Continue the military strategy pursuing insurgents and applying
    maximum military pressure to force the traditionalist insurgents from derailing the APHC
    and Pakistani negotiations.
    2. Military: Expand the Kashmiri local police to take on a more prominent role in
    leading the fight against the insurgency and Islamic extremism.
    3. Economic: Establish a national economic recovery and reconstruction plan that
    focuses on encouraging tourism and international investment in order to reduce
    unemployment, the recruiting base for insurgents.
    4. Diplomatic: Exercise maximum diplomatic moderation and go towards the
    Pakistani and Kashmiri political representatives by giving in on some issues of self
    autonomy.
    5. Information: Develop an information campaign that focuses on reconciling the
    Kashmiri and Indian government in order to begin winning back popular support in J&K.
    6. Military and or Information: Continue to use the military and information as the
    primary instruments of national power to fight Islamic extremists and traditionalists who
    will continue to exist in Kashmir regardless of any peace deal with separatists.

    I think the paper is right on mark. The military has and continues to perform a marvelous task to military part of the problem yet by itself it will not be enough. Our public and the politicians need to understand that.

    One last thing; you mentioned the SLA and the LTTE. It is an exception to the rule that most insurgencies are never defeated militarily alone and the SLA succeeded only because unlike in the past, India refused to provide a sanctuary to the LTTE.
    For every Sri Lanka there are dozens of Gazas, Chechenyas and Afghan quagmires.
    I asked you before if you are a military related man for a reason; if so (and especially if you have been exposed to counterinsurgencies studies) you can search the data on yourself. If you do so, don’t forget the geopolitical angle, especially the thinking in the Chinese think tanks since for all practical purposes we are today locked in a strategic race with the Chinese, all statements to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Regards.

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