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 Pseudo-nationalism : Venom against neighbours

Modi-led NDA-1 regime Government was inaugurated in 2014 with a Neighbors First Policy, with neighbouring countries including Pakistan as the guests, and that was good. Modi had been to Pakistan unannounced, visited and greeted his family, embraced Premier Nawaj Sharif in 2015 December.

However, Sangh Parivar , as part of its double talk, and a large section of Indian media carry on a venomous propaganda showing Pakistan and China as our enemies. Same is the duplicity about JK, blaming Pakistan and China for problems of India’s own creation there.‘Patriotism’ has been reduced to jingoism, particularly ranting against the two neighbouring countries, China and Pakistan, accusing them of joining hands against India, more so in the media, and also with an eye on domestic politics.

There is the need to see through this game, reject jingoism, and expose all such poisonous and Goebbels’ propaganda. Some current as well as historical facts are presented here in that context, and in particular the tech-savvy, GenNext brimming with social-media-driven patriotism, need to be told about them. Activists, writers and speakers committed to peace should disseminate these facts extensively so as to counter lies and jingoism.

Kashmir issue was born before Pakistan’s formation

This simple fact of history is forgotten. India-Pakistan wars, the First one that began in Oct 1947 centered on Kashmir issue, are presented in terms of patriotism and nationalism. It is ridiculous as both were like just-born Siamese twins, part of one country, until August 1947 and partition.

It is to be reminded that Goa did not merge in India until 1961, and legally, Puduchery until 1962, i.e., just before China war. These were under Portuguese and French colonial masters. Even while they made war cries about Kashmir in 1947 and after, our patriots, and leaders including the Iron Man, were powerless against colonial powers for 14 more years to come. Why did not the new Indian ruling classes, led by Nehru and Sardar Patel, press for integration of these two territories?

War against our cousin (Pakistan) was more important than against colonial powers.That is the story of our Epic Mahabharat, a war between cousins !

It is falsely claimed as if Pakistan created Kashmir problem and Nehru compromised or vacillated unlike the ‘Iron Man’ Patel.In August 2019 parliament debate,it was claimed that Patel’s dream was realized by Modi.

History is distorted: The First Indo-Pak war of 1947-48 on JK, a fall out of the tragedy of partition, is shown not only as a patriotic war. Anti-Muslim politics is also mixed with this falsehood. Kashmir and Hyderabad with a major Muslim component are demonized. In fact, not only Kashmir, but many other Hindu Rajas also desired to be independent like Travancore and Mysore. Full integration of Hindu-ruled Travancore and Manipur did not take place until late 1949. In June 1949, the Maharajah of Mysore, with the concurrence of his ministers, similarly executed a revised Instrument of Accession.

Facts are : Both India and Pakistan were born on Aug 14-15, 1947. And Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh had already refused to join India by that date. How can an unborn Pakistan create the problem? And what was Patel’s stand?

1947-48: A rare war, fought under the command of British Generals, on both sides

The 1947-48 Indo-Pak war regarding JK was headed by English Military Generals, Rob Lockhart, Roy Bucher etc for India; and Frank Messervy and Douglas Gracey for Pak, with Gen Mountbatten above. It was a rare war, fought after 1947 August, in which both sides were headed by British Generals, who were daily discussing troop movements ! And it is shamefully painted as a patriotic war! Patel is show to be the hero of this inglorious, ironic and tragic war between cousins.

Patel’s statue is too big, not only in size but also politically    

Patel’s dream? Chief Negotiator-Executive VP Menon (in his book) wrote that Mountbatten spent four days with JK Maharaja ,who however dreamt of an independent Dogra kingdom. Mountbatten “went so far as to tell the Maharaja that if he acceded to Pakistan, India would not take it amiss, and that he had a firm assurance on this from Sardar Patel himself.” (Menon p.271).

A Nehru Vs Patel story has been built up for long, and revived by Sangh Parivar in recent past, for all sundry purposes. It is necessary to know the real story, also from the Horse’s Mouth, of Menon.

VP Menon (1893-1965), was a senior-most ICS officer, who authored the classic and authentic book The Story of the Integration of The Indian States (Longmans -1955). He was the Secretary and Constitutional Advisor and Political Reforms Commissioner to the last three Viceroys of British India, the last being Mountbatten. “This book is in part fulfilment of a promise made to the late Sardar Vallabbhai Patel”, he wrote in his Preface : “I have narrated the whole story as objectively as it is possible for one who was in the midst of it…”

And in Chapter-1 he gives credit to the British and writes:

It must be emphasized that not even in the palmiest days of the Hindu and Moghul empires did the entire country come under one political umbrella. No greater achievement can be credited to the British than that they brought about India’s enduring political consolidation. But for this accomplishment and the rise of national consciousness in its wake, the Government of Free India could hardly have taken the final step of bringing about the peaceful integration of the princely States. Today, for the first time in the country’s history, the writ of a single central Government runs from Kailas to Kanyakumari, from Kathiawar to Kamarupa (the old name of Assam). (Menon p.8)

 Patel, the architect, teams up with Menon, the Viceroy’s man 

We should know something about the making of the architect and how the IRON man was forged. A new States Department.was formed by the new Viceroy Mountbatten upon Secretary Menon’s suggestion. Nehru who headed the Interim Ministry named Sardar Patel to head the department. And Patel had before him a veteran bureaucrat of the Viceroy’s secretariat.  Menon writes:

A few days later, Sardar sent for me and offered me the Secretary-ship of the States Department. I told Sardar that it was my intention to take all the leave I had earned and to retire from Government service after 15 August. Ever since 1917, I had been dealing with constitutional reforms…Further, I had been overworked and was feeling the strain. I had not taken a rest for many years. Sardar added that I had taken a prominent part in the transfer of power and that I should consider it my bounden duty to work for the consolidation of freedom….

Since I was the Constitutional Adviser to Lord Mountbatten and since the appointment was to take effect immediately, I was obliged to mention the matter to him.. Lord Mountbatten advised me to accept Sardar’s offer and later on confirmed our conversation in a charming letter…

The position at that time was that though I consulted Sardar, the final responsibility for whatever advice I gave to the Governor-General was mine. Now that we were to work as Minister and Secretary, I was not quite sure how far we should hit it off together. Sardar replied that the question did not arise at all and that I should not think along those lines.(p65).

At its meeting held on 25 June (1947) the interim Cabinet accepted the proposal for the creation of the States Department and on 27 June a press communiqué was issued allotting the Department to Sardar. I was named as the Secretary…(I assumed charge of the States Department on 5 July.).

Nor was Sardar himself over-optimistic. For one thing, he was doubtful whether we could get the accession policy implemented in the few weeks before 15 August; but, as I suggested to Sardar, the very shortness of time might work to our advantage.

Incidentally, I proposed that the active co-operation of Lord Mountbatten should be secured. Apart from his position, his grace and his gifts, his relationship to the Royal Family was bound  to influence the rulers. Sardar whole-heartedly agreed and asked me to approach him without delay.

A day or two later, I met Lord Mountbatten and mentioned to him my talk with Sardar and our tentative plan. I asked for his help in getting the States to accede on three subjects (Defence, Foreign Policy and Communications)…and suggested that it would be a great act of statesmanship on his part if he could bring it about. I felt that he was deeply touched by my remark …he would be earning the gratitude of  generations of Indians if he could assist in achieving the basic unity of the country… to my relief and joy, he accepted the plan.

 Lord Mountbatten discussed the matter with Sardar. This frank talk enabled them to explain and understand each other’s point of view. I should add that Nehru, with the approval of the Cabinet, readily entrusted Lord Mountbatten with the task of negotiating with the rulers on the question of accession and also with the task of dealing with Hyderabad. (p.68).

It is a typical case of how modern states are run, handpicking loyal and able bureaucrats who play a decisive role behind the screen.This is how political figures are sculpted by the ruling classes, aided by media. Lot of screen-play-writing goes into building up Bahubalis, Nehru Patel or Modi.

Long Live Mountbatten was one of the main slogans on August 15, 1947, not only in Delhi but at several places in princely states too, it is recorded. Obviously he was a main architect along with Menon:

The task of Integration was not finished by August 15, 1947: Two of the biggest and crucial states, Hyderabad and Kashmir, remained outside. Mountbatten the last Viceroy, who had planned to retire from India, was requested to postpone his return to UK, and to take up the job as the First Governor General of India and help finish the job. He agreed and continued.

There were prolonged discussions with some of them (princes)…In view of the special position and peculiar problems of Hyderabad, both Nehru and Sardar felt that Lord Mountbatten should continue to negotiate with the Nizam even after 15 August. (p.82)

During this extended period, Mountbatten handled Kashmir and its representatives also. All the related crucial activity, civilian as well as military, ranging from ‘obtaining’ a Letter of Accession from Hari Singh, discussing in Defence Committee meetings, up to dispatching troops to Kashmir, involved the crucial role of Mountbatten .

Mountbatten personally met and negotiated with Hyderabad’s representatives at least 10 times, during his extended stay. Patel, down with a heart attack, was away from office for several weeks under medical advice (p.236). Mountbatten’s role was obviously not ceremonial. He was also the Military Chief, and headed the Army operations during Kashmir war. Developments leading upto Hyderabad Police (actually military) Action (1948 September), and handling the Communists there also involved his key role,narrated Menon. (p.215 etc). So-called Liberation of Hyderabad by Patel is a story by itself, to be told separately.

Out of about 400 pages of Menon’s narrative, dealing with about 565 states, more than 75 pages are devoted to JK and Hyderabad, with Mountbatten playing a key role along with Menon.       

One can see from the above Menon’s key role as Secretary both before and after a new department was created, and how and by whom Patel himself was picked up for the job of the architect.. .

JK : Instrument of Accession, signed under duress

It was neither patriotism of Hari Singh nor the strength of the Iron Man that led to Accession of Kashmir on October 26. It is to be noted that Abdullah was never pro-Pakistan. In his Letter of Oct 26, 1947, Hari Singh said that “Pakistan accepted the Standstill Agreement” with JK; they operated P&T in Kashmir; then he cited the “emergency” caused by “infiltration of tribesmen” from North-West, and wrote :

I have no option but to ask for help from the Indian Dominion. Naturally they can not send the help (troops) asked for by me without my State acceding to the Dominion of India. I have accordingly decided to do so and I attach the Instrument of Accession.

Obviously it was under duress, about which Menon “will explain to you”. He signed on 26th, and troops in waiting arrived 27th morning!

It was not Nehru,blamed as the sole villain, who appointed Abdullah. In the same Letter the Maharaja wrote:

“..it is my intention at once to set up an interim govt. and ask Sheik Abdullah to carry the responsibilities…”

Menon amplifies :

Take the case of Kashmir: no sooner had Sheikh Abdullah secured complete power than he insisted that the Maharajah should stay out of the State. It was on Sardar’s persuasion that the Maharajah agreed to do so, though reluctantly. The Government of India negotiated a settlement in regard to his Privy Purse and other matters. Sheikh Abdullah refused to honour the agreement, and the Government of India is still paying the Privy Purse from its own coffers. (P.330)

It was a conditional Instrument of Accession

Hari Singh stressed : “Nothing in this Instrument” …“shall deem to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future Constitution of India or to fetter my discretion…” (point 7); nor “affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state,”(point 8).

Though he was made to somehow sign it, (the exact date of Accession has also been a controversy; it is a long and controversial episode by itself) he was already powerless by then. When the troops arrived on Oct 27, he already fled JK along with his Premier Mahajan. Both Nehru and Patel let him down, alleged Karan Singh, his son and later Union Minister.

Following this, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947 which India’s last Governor- General Lord Mountbatten accepted on October 27, and troops arrived the same day. How was it possible, at such short notice, in those days of limited logistics?

Though Menon covers it up, Tribal invasion from Pakistan was only an alibi, because there is evidence to show that preparations were made for military action many weeks earlier. On 7th of October Sardar Patel wrote to the then Defense Minister Baldev Singh:

I hope the arrangements to send arms and ammunition by train to Kashmir are on. If necessary, we may also send them by air.

However, no such arrangement could be implemented in full as the British military officials called the shots:

In those days India and Pakistan had a common Commanding Officer, General Lockhart was the Commander in Chief. The Commander in Chief General Lockhart along with Field Marshal Okanlak did not allow this decision to get executed. Lockhart was saying that arms are not available in Delhi.

The Iron Man was powerless.

Rethinking the Accession by the Maharaja

According to the published Correspondence of Sardar Patel, Volume1, Maharaja Hari Singh, who fled Kashmir, wrote to the Sardar on January 31, 1948, a long letter giving vent to his agony and mindset:

…Our civil administration is in the hands of the National Conference and military operations in the hands of the Indian Union. I have no voice or power either on the civil or military side…My position in this matter is also precarious. You know I definitely  acceded to the Indian Union with the idea that …my position and that of my dynasty would remain secure. It was for this reason that I accepted the advice of the Indian Union…

Sometimes I feel that I should withdraw the accession that I have made to the Indian Union… There is an alternative possible for me and that is to withdraw the accession and that may kill the reference to the UNO, because the Indian Union will have no right to continue the proceedings before the Council, if the accession is withdrawn….

Another alternative that strikes me is that if I can do nothing, I should leave the State (short of abdication) and reside outside so that people do not think that I can do anything for them…

Of course, I well anticipate that, as people started saying when I left Kashmir only on Mr. Menon’s advice, that I had run away from Srinagar…

To this letter Sardar Patel replied on February 9, 1948, and said: “I fully realise what an anxious time you must be having…

Fact was the King had already fled JK.

In the words (on 25th October) of JK Premier MC Mahajan:

We decided that now if possible we will fly down to Delhi or else go to Pakistan and surrender. Then, someone suggested to go to Kabul, may be, they would help.

But fortunately, V. P. Menon reached in the night. He suggested to the Maharaja to leave Srinagar immediately for Jammu and took me with him to Delhi…

He signed on Oct 26, and Mountbatten accepted it on Oct27, as told above. It was all a well-written screen play, it is alleged, with detailed analysis.

Sizing up Patel, the ‘great’ architect of Modern India

The number of princely states is not consistent, varying from 560 to 600, as per different criteria. Menon cites Sir B. N. Rau, Adviser to the Constituent Assembly, who actually sized up the States: 327 rulers were of petty States, average area about 20 sq. miles, average population about 3,000 and average annual revenue about Rs. 22,000.

Fully empowered States numbered only 140, small or big, and Accession applied only to them.

Besides these 140, there were smaller estates and talukas, which were also counted as ‘States’. These, numbering over 300, were situated in Kathiawar and the rest in Gujarat.(p.222)

Out of a total of around 565 states, but for about 100, the rest are all in Gujarat, Bombay and Rajasthan, all close to Patel and Gandhi (of Porbandar, Kathiawar), the Barristers who personally knew many of them. Annual revenue of 450 of them was less than Rs 15 lakh per year. (VP Menon p.73-76 and p.325).

One can see, from the above, why Patel’s statue was set up in Gujarat. So it was a bonaza helped by Patel, from public exchequer, for these petty states that they would get handsome privy purses and privileges, promised by Indian Govt., for decades to come, and given by progressive regimes of Nehru and Indira Gandhi too. The princes got them until 1971 when they were abolished by Indira regime that fell into minority and indulged in some Left gimmicks to save itself with Left support. When they were abolished, it must be recalled, Jan Sangh (now BJP) and Swatantra Party opposed the relevant Bill in parliament.

Patel, the Hero who had no villains, but all allies.

Patel was a Bahubali, an inflated character. He was not an adversary but an ally of the princes. Menon writes:

“Patel had no doubt that the feudal system had to go, but was against any sort of violent expropriation of Jagirdars, which he always described as ‘choree’ (theft), or ‘daka’ (dacoity). … He was as much  concerned about the future of the Jagirdars as about the future of the tenants. There was certainly no sadistic socialism in his make-up…That is why he insisted  that their lands should be taken only on payment of reasonable compensation…”(Menon p.332)

In addition, these feudals, petty except a few, were honored, Menon wrote, by Patel as “co-architects” of India! For the Hero that was Patel, thus there were no villains, all were their class allies. Many of the bigger kings continued as Raj Pramukhs (Governors) until 1956! And many later continued as CMs, Ministers and MPs with power and income greater than what they ever got as petty kings.

They were told of their doomed destiny – if they did not join the union – by Mountbatten, who cited Europe’s anti-feudal revolutions, that they would be swept away by the wrath of peoples revolts, rising all over. The Union would protect and reward them at its cost, if they joined.So the princes fell in line.

On July 28, 1947, Mountbatten hosted a Gala Reception attended by over 50 princes plus 100 representatives of States. He spoke to them along above lines. Some who were adamant did not attend.Out of those who attended, those who were still reluctant, were all taken to Mountbatten for a one-to-one meeting to be convinced by him, to fall in line.Then they were taken to Patel (p.78, 82-83).

On August 15, 1947 Mountbatten spoke again,paid a tribute to Patel, appreciated the princes who all fell in line, heeding the advice, and congratulated both sides.

Menon writes by way of summing up :

The masterly handling of the rulers by Sardar was the foremost factor in the success of the accession policy. The rulers soon came to recognize him as a stable force in Indian politics and as one who would give them a fair deal. Added to this, his unfailing politeness to the rulers, viewed against his reputation as the ‘Iron Man of India,’ endeared him to them…

Another factor which went a long way in winning over the rulers was of course the infectious charm and inborn tact of Lord Mountbatten. It was because of his abundant love for India, and not merely because he was obliged to do so, that he had taken upon himself the task of negotiating with the rulers on the question of accession. And once he undertook any task he invariably put the whole weight of his personality into what he was doing and spared himself no effort. Half-hearted methods and half-hearted measures are alien to him. India can never forget the magnificent service he rendered at a critical juncture in her history.

Nor can one forget the rulers, but for whose willing and patriotic co-operation the policy of accession could not have been implemented.(p.83)

Thus Patel was not the only architect, as it is made out by the Sangh parivar. Mountbatten and Menon played decisive roles, the latter travelled across the country, virtually met hundreds of them, and implemented the carrot and stick policy.

Did Nehru pamper Sheik Abdullah?

BJP and RSS show as if Nehru pampered Sheik Abdullah while Patel was the Iron Man! Congress claims it was democratic and secular, also vis-à-vis JK. Both are false.

Facts are otherwise: Sheik was made the interim leader of JK by an order signed by Maharaja as indicated in his Letter of Oct 26, 1947, and blessed also by Patel as Home Minister in charge of Princely States. Patel died in Dec 1950 itself, and he was not there to handle either JK or Sheik Abdullah.

Sheik who had spoken in UN against Pakistan on Feb 5, 1948, was removed from power in 1953, and jailed for 11 years by Nehru, not Patel! He was released on 1964 April 8, sent as an emissary by Nehru to Pakistan. Sheik fixed a meeting for Nehru with Pak Chief Ayub Khan for June 1964, but Nehru died in May 1964. After that jobwork by Sheik, he was again imprisoned during 1965-68! He was externed from JK during Bangla war, before Indira signed a political deal with him and made him the CM. Thus for about 14 years in all, he was jailed by “secular and democratic” Congress Govt; in that respect, Sheik was the Nelson Mandela of India!

JK not alone in special features as made out by BJP Govt.

Nehru conceded too much to Muslim Kashmir is the theme song of Sangh parivar : It was allowed a separate Constitution etc. VP Menon wrote :

Towards the end of September 1949, copies of the draft Constitution of India and of lists of amendments proposed were flown to Saurashtra, Travancore-Cochin and Mysore, where (their own) constituent assemblies were functioning at the time, so that they could consider them before they were finally adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India. … .

One of the points they suggested was that the provisions of article 371 of the draft Constitution regarding the control of the Government of India over the governments of the States and Unions should not apply to them…

Sardar would be prepared to give an assurance that the Government of India would treat Mysore and Travancore-Cochin differently from the rest of the Unions. The relevant article of the draft Constitution gave discretion to the President in this respect. Subsequently, Sardar announced to this effect in the Constituent Assembly.

Another objection raised by the Mysore delegates was to the use of the term ‘Rajpramukh’. This title had been chosen after due deliberation and all the Unions without exception had accepted it. However, we told the Mysore delegates that they could use the title ‘Maharajah’ for all internal purposes.

 The amendments affecting the States and Unions were then incorporated in the Constitution.

 It was decided that the acceptance of the Constitution should be by the Rajpramukh or by the ruler, as the case might be, on the basis of a resolution to be adopted by the constituent assembly where such a body existed. This was done in the case of Saurashtra, Mysore and Travancore-Cochin.(P.319)

Following this, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession  on October 26, 1947 which India’s last Governor-General Lord Mountbatten accepted on October 27, and troops arrived the same day! That in those days backward logistics.How come?

Tribal invasion was only an alibi, because there is evidence to show that preparations were made for military action many weeks earlier. On 7th of October Sardar Patel wrote to the then Defense Minister Baldev Singh:

I hope the arrangements to send arms and ammunition by train to Kashmir are on. If necessary, we may also send them by air.

However, no such arrangement could be effectively made. In those days India and Pakistan had a common Commanding Officer, General Lockhart was the Commander in Chief. “The Commander in Chief General Lockhart along with Field Marshal Okanlak did not allow this decision to get executed. Lockhart was saying that arms are not available in Delhi. And the Iron man was powerless.

Accession : Rethinking by Hari Singh

According to the published Correspondence of Sardar Patel, Volume1, Maharaja Hari Singh, who fled Kashmir, wrote to the Sardar as late as January 31, 1948, a long letter giving vent to his agony and mindset:

…Our civil administration is in the hands of the National Conference and military operations in the hands of the Indian Union. I have no voice or power either on the civil or military side…My position in this matter is also precarious.

You know I definitely acceded to the Indian Union with the idea that …my position and that of my dynasty would remain secure. It was for this reason that I accepted the advice of the Indian Union…

Sometimes I feel that I should withdraw the accession that I have made to the Indian Union… There is an alternative possible for me and that is to withdraw the accession and that may kill the reference to the UNO, because the Indian Union will have no right to continue the proceedings before the Council, if the accession is withdrawn….

Another alternative that strikes me is that if I can do nothing, I should leave the State (short of abdication) and reside outside so that people do not think that I can do anything for them…

Of course, I well anticipate that, as people started saying when I left Kashmir only on Mr. Menon’s advice, that I had run away from Srinagar…

To this letter Sardar Patel replied on February 9, 1948, and said: “I fully realise what an anxious time you must be having…

Fact was the King had already fled JK.

In the words (on 25th October) of  JK Premier, ex-Judge, MC Mahajan, “We decided that now if possible we will fly down to Delhi or else go to Pakistan and surrender. Then, someone suggested to go to Kabul, may be, they would help”. But fortunately, V. P. Menon reached in the night. He suggested to the Maharaja to leave Srinagar immediately for Jammu and took me with him to Delhi…

Not all Kashmiri Pandits are celebrating Modi’s Policy

It is shown as if Kashmiri Pandits are all praise for Modi’s policy of subjugation. Nishita Trisal , a Kashmiri Pandit doctoral scholar wrote in  www.washingtonpost.com, on  August 22, 2019  with the title, India must stop weaponizing the pain of Kashmiri Pandit :

Current Hindutva strategies of divide and rule in Kashmir echo techniques of imperial conquest that far precede the rise of the religious right wing in India. Such strategies were present during the pre-colonial period as well as following Indian independence, as the Congress party — now part of India’s opposition — did its part to systematically erode Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy, rig elections and splinter the political field.

But the BJP has managed to push us to a precipice: It is using the Kashmiri Pandit exodus, in addition to arguments about “development,” to justify an undemocratic, illegal annexation of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir and to instate one of India’s most severe sieges.

Another Kashmiri Pandit scholar Nitasha Kaul, wrote in the famous US journal,  foreignpolicy.com , on  August 13, 2019 with the title, Kashmir Is Under the Heel of India’s Colonialism: 

Kashmiris are claimed in the name of democracy and further colonized in the name of development. This isn’t the first such step. Go back only a little, and you’ll see repeated cycles of brutal suppression of Kashmiri aspirations. The use of Kashmiri civilians as human shields and the blinding of Kashmiri protesters using pellet guns in 2016 and 2017. Kashmiris being presented with a bill for flood rescue in 2014. Indigenous uprisings seen solely through the lens of Pakistan-backed terrorism in 2010.”

Instead of requesting judicial inquiries into violence, rapes, massacres, and losses of both Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits, or addressing the conflict in order to move toward a just peace that would enable Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes and Kashmiri Muslims to find justice, they want Kashmir to be a rallying point for a Hindu nation.

This latest move does not serve Indians, Kashmiri Pandits, or anyone other than the Modi-led BJP, backed by the far-right RSS, and crony industrialist backers. It makes Indians less secure and makes the future of Pandits ever more uncertain and hostage to circumstances.

It will result in further uprising, violence, and deaths, hurt India’s  international credibility, and put another nail in the coffin of the idea of India as a secular democracy…

One of their cherished dreams is the idea of Akhand Bharat, a greater India that includes what are now neighboring countries, from Pakistan to Bangladesh….

If Indians do not challenge the possessive fantasies and dehumanizing practices of their government, it wont be long before they find themselves the residents, willing or otherwise, of a Hindu supremacist colonial democracy.”

There has been a feeble argument made by Congress etc that sufficient discussion did not take place, and the measure was rushed by Modi regime. Their reply is that it has been their Manifesto and discussed for decades, which is a fact. Modi now asks : Can the Opposition dare to tell that they would reverse the measures regarding Art.370 ? No reply.

It is a fact that a prolonged discussion took place, but outside JK. But is discussion a substitute for democracy in content? There indeed was a long debate in the Parliament of Kauravas before disrobing Draupadi, which act can not be called democratic simply because it was discussed.

As ex-CM Mehabooba Mufti pointed out, more than 9 lakh troops are now occupying Kashmir, up from 5 lakhs earlier. That being so, the verbal debate outside kashmir is misleading.

Their demand has been the Right of Self-determination, which has been denied with or without Article 370. That is the real demand of Kashmiris who are wronged for decades. It has wide support around the world.             

(Part-1 of this article was published on October 15, with the title:Modi’s summit-2 with Xi Jinping: Implications for Kashmir, with focus on certain external policy dimensions.)

(The author is political commentator who contributed to countercurrents.org)


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