Kashmir: a place of blood and memory

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In attempting to suffocate a separate Kashmiri identity, India reveals the cracks in its own idea of nationhood, argues Nitasha Kaul.

Parts of present-day Kashmir are occupied by India, Pakistan, and China.

When you try to locate the territory of Kashmir on a world map, you will find it partitioned into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK, called ‘Azaad Kashmir’ and ‘Northern Areas’,  in Pakistan), India Occupied Kashmir (IOK, called ‘Jammu and Kashmir’ including ‘Ladakh’, in India), and areas such as Aksai Chin and Shaksam Valley under Chinese control (part of ‘Xinjiang autonomous region’ in China).Partitioned Kashmir, courtesy of Wikimedia

A map of a divided Kashmir

Yet, even as it is devoured by the big states that surround it, Kashmir cannot be understood through the simplistic framing of ‘India versus Pakistan’, ‘Hindu versus Muslim’, or ‘China allied with Pakistan versus India’. Instead, see Kashmir as a vital link in the Himalayan mountain chain; a historic part of the Silk Route, that is now a violent battleground. Why? Because people in none of these three regions identify themselves as primarily and ‘above all’ Pakistani, Indian, or Chinese. Neither should they be forced to.

Cartography might lie, but topography and cultural geography does not. Kashmir is not India. Kashmir is not Pakistan. Kashmir is not China. Kashmir is the boundary zone of India-China-Pakistan. But it is distinctively Kashmir. And its people – whatever their religion or national identity – are Kashmiris. In the guise of crude nationalist narratives peddled by the surrounding post-colonial states for internal politicking and international leverage, their history is being stolen from the Kashmiri people. Wherever in Kashmir they are, their options boil down to bullets or ballots – bullets if they protest being co-opted into the big country which is not their homeland, and ballots if they agree to being co-opted into the big country which is not their homeland. How can a Kashmiri live under this perpetual erasure of his or her identity? The same way that every colonised people has survived through the ages: by interpretation and by insurrection. Interpretations enable a re-understanding of the identity choices available to a person, and insurrections allow a collectivity to challenge unjust dominance by force.

In the last years, regions of the POK saw nationalist Kashmiri protests against Pakistan (for example, in Muzzafarabad in December 2009), and, at the moment, nationalist Kashmiris in IOK are witnessing a harsh repression at the hands of Indian security forces; on average a person a day has been killed [1] in the last two months since June 2010, nearly half of them have been teenagers (my focus is IOK, in particular the ongoing brutality in the Kashmir Valley, and the various erasures of blood and memory that surround it). Some in IOK give rallying cries in support of POK (‘Muzzafarabad Chalo’), and in turn others in POK warn that they will cross over to ‘help their brothers in IOK [2]’. Moreover, even during periods of so-called ‘normalcy’, people in both POK (some being Shia ethnic minority in Sunni-majority areas) and in IOK (being a Muslim majority region in a Hindu-majority India) often live with severe restrictions on their freedom and face multiple levels of discrimination. No wonder Kashmiris who live under occupation feel a solidarity for their kind across the boundary lines.

The story of the mountain-peoples of Eurasia is, by and large, a tragedy. Run your index finger on the multi-coloured land surface of a modern day political world map, and you will see how many ‘problem areas’ (some states, some sub-state entities, some overlapping zones of displaced peoples) – Tibet, Kashmir, North Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria – were thriving zones of contact between diverse communities that traded goods and exchanged ideas along the arteries of the ‘Silk Route’. Like many of these other places, Kashmir, a Himalayan zone of contact between diverse peoples in history, has become a zone of conflict, due in large measure to modern boundary-making processes which evolved to accommodate economic privileges and political trade-offs with rivals that were necessary for European (especially British) colonisation of the region.
Genesis of the ‘Mandarin-Machiavelli interaction’

Empires of the ancient world had a fluid notion of boundaries. In parts of the Himalayas especially, there were multiple systems of power transmission – these ranged from marriages to tributes to reincarnations. The idea of people owing an overarching allegiance to a national identity (over religious, ethnic or other forms of affiliation) is a relatively modern construct. The British Empire in south Asia was nitpicky and dissonant, it was an empire run by a democracy, that expanded by median diplomacy, strategic but grounded thinking, conceptual reconstruction, and accounting, as much as it did by force. Unlike the earlier rulers who came from central Asia, the British operated primarily on the dual bases of economic rationality and assumed moral superiority. They often drew lines on maps opportunistically, and in time, these ‘boundaries’ would get transformed into ‘frontiers’.

In the case of the Himalayan mountains, the British never saw much advantage in direct control (they calculated that the administrative, policing, transportation costs were too high and the returns not worthwhile when compared to the fertile and bustling plains) and preferred, instead, to follow a stated policy of “controlling the hills from the plains”. In order to do this, the administration at the centre needed to depend on local elites in the peripheral regions. So, the system was set up during colonial times – the bureaucrats at the centre would be the administrators and policy makers and they would cultivate local aristocratic, political and business elites in the peripheral regions. Often, they would patronise rival elites in a peripheral region and ‘activate’ their influence as and when required. In the middle of the twentieth century when the British formally left, the post-colonial Asian states inherited this mindset and this system of governance. To this day, the Indian state manages its peripheries in this way. Both Kashmir and the ‘North-East’ are examples.

Why does this matter? Because it sets up structures of power and responsibility that do not overlap meaningfully. The bureaucrats and politicians at the centre do not have direct interaction with the regions; their interest is only to have a ‘reliable’ power base in the periphery. Equally, the local elites in the periphery exaggerate reports of their influence over ‘their’ people in order to gain maximum advantage from the centre. This pattern of (what I would call) Mandarin-Machiavelli interaction has characterised the relationship of India with Kashmir (or rather of New Delhi with Srinagar). Neither the centre nor the periphery has any interest in being genuinely concerned about the people in whose name they wield power and exercise authority. What is more, in such a scenario, there is enormous potential of corruption as long as it doesn’t harm the ruling interests of both ends of the chain, and any dissent will only be tolerated if it can be channeled for political gains. Otherwise, those dissenting or seeking change will be punished and brutalised. This is exactly what is happening in IOK today.
Kashmir as India’s disputed ‘integral’

IOK (‘India occupied Kashmir’, called ‘Jammu and Kashmir’, including ‘Ladakh’, in India) has never been an indisputable part of India. Paradoxically, presenting this historical fact invariably causes most Indians to assert even more vigorously that Kashmir is an ‘integral’ part of India. Why? Why is Kashmir so fundamental to the Indian psyche?

The average Indian insists that Kashmir is an indisputable part of India to be held by force when necessary in the same way that the Indian state insists that Kashmir is an ‘integral’ part of India while occupying it by military means. Indians and the Indian state find it necessary to repeatedly state this because they know that Kashmir is not actually an indisputable part of India and this galls them.

It is no coincidence that Kashmir and the North-East were two of the least involved regions during the nationalist freedom struggle which led to India’s independence, and it is these regions which have remained least understood in the mainstream nationalist imagination. In Kashmir, for example, in the 1930s and 1940s, it was the Kashmiri Nationalists (led by Sheikh Abdullah) and the Kashmiri Communists (both Hindu and Muslim) who shaped the pre-1947 political landscape by their opposition to princely rule (of the unrepresentative Dogra monarch); integration with India was an ‘unintended consequence’ of their progressivist leanings. With time, their faith in India was rudely jolted – independent India came to fear two things most – Muslims and communists (Kashmir had both).

This way Kashmir is viewed in the mainstream Indian imagination is linked to the wider evolution of Indian self-perception in the decades after independence and more specifically to the quantum shift in the political and economic structure of Indian society in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Indian nation that had been born (from a partition) with idealistic anti-colonial promises saw its first national event in the assassination of its biggest moral voice – Mahatma Gandhi – at the hands of a Hindu fanatical extremist. The successive decades saw an undoing of the social, political, economic, and moral ideals which had motivated the people in their anti-colonial independence struggle. The two biggest, and significantly reactionary, transformations that India has seen since its independence became most visible in the late 1980s and early 1990s – the rise of economic and religious fundamentalism – neo-liberalism and Hindutva. From the late 1940s to late 1980s (with the exception of the rather telling ‘Emergency period’ and its aftermath), electoral politics in India was dominated by the traditional elites. Within such a system, there was a continued ‘capture’ of the Indian state by the privileged, the only route into the political imagination left for others was through asserting ‘identity politics’ (especially caste-based identities, as in the case of the BSP or Bahujan Samaj party, and the Mayawati – their leader – phenomenon).

The founding myth of the post-colonial Indian state was that of a ‘sovereign democratic republic’ (original preamble to the Indian constitution) and it was later amended to become, ‘sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’. The same amendment  (the 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1976) that added the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’, also inserted the word ‘integrity’ in addition to the ‘unity’ originally mentioned; the changed preamble went from ‘unity of the nation’ to ‘unity and integrity of the nation’. It is of crucial importance that the labels confirming India as ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’, and the pledge for ‘integrity’ came about in 1976 during the Emergency era (1975-1977) which witnessed a general curtailment of the freedoms of most ordinary Indians, especially those such as religious minorities and the economically deprived. In other words, by the 1970s, India’s founding myths were already severely challenged, and therefore needed to be proclaimed as an exercise in self-justification. There was discrimination against religious minorities (for example, as an unstated rule, Muslims were never placed in ‘sensitive’ government positions – not that this has gone away – click here [3] for a recent report that state-run banks in India routinely turn away Muslims), hence India needed to call itself ‘secular’. There was growing inequality and continued widespread poverty, hence India needed to call itself ‘socialist’. There was justified alienation in various parts of the country due to ignorance and corrupt misgovernance enabled by the Mandarin-Machiavelli relations (and the ‘integrity’ of India’s neighbour Pakistan had been challenged with the creation of Bangladesh in 1971), hence India’s ‘integrity’ needed to be affirmed.

From 1947 onwards, post-colonial India saw itself as an inheritor of the British imperial mantle in the region. Indian leadership, while aware of the negative legacies of the empire, also inherited its realpolitik attitudes, which were made worse by a euphoria of emergent nationalism and self-righteousness. The regime had changed but the processes had simply replaced foreign elites with a home-grown indigenous elite (for example, a significant number of rulers from the erstwhile princely states were appointed as bureaucrats, ambassadors, policy-makers). Add to which there was the personality cult of Nehru whose personal friendships, affiliations, and dispositions could brook little opposition and loomed large on the decision-making processes in a democratic state. In the subsequent decades, notwithstanding the official non-aligned third-worldist stance, India’s political priorities – national and international – were shaped by its close relations with the old and new imperial powers. An entrenched (often English-speaking, Brahminical, Hindu) elite thrived domestically, India began to be seen as a regional hegemon, relations with neighbours (China, Pakistan) rapidly deteriorated, and electoral politics became a game of patronage.

In the years following independence, India refused to negotiate with China on the boundary issue (while simultaneously following a less-than-pragmatic policy on Tibet), pursued an ill-advised ‘forward policy’ in NEFA (North East Frontier Areas), and Nehru – a Kashmiri himself and fond of Kashmir; Kashmir was special – promised Kashmiris a plebiscite to determine their future.

In the middle of the twentieth century, my grandfather, then a young man, stood among the crowd at Lal Chowk in the centre of Srinagar (capital of IOK) listening to the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru make a rousing speech to the people of Kashmir – ‘Kashmir ke log koi bhhed-bakri nahin hain ki hamne kaha yahaan chalo ya wahaan chalo’ (the people of Kashmir can’t be led like goat or sheep in one direction or the other) – in which he promised them a choice to determine their identity, specifically a plebiscite to determine their own future. In later years, my grandfather would often recall those words of Nehru apologetically (recently he passed away and I went again to Srinagar to mourn for him in his birthplace, the land of my lost memories). This Nehruvian promise came to naught as India’s stance on Kashmir became ever more legalistic.

As for India’s claim that Kashmir is ‘integral’ to India to confirm its secular credentials (being the only Muslim majority state in a Hindu majority India): what an irony, since India’s secular credentials (being an afterthought as the ‘Emergency’ time amendment shows) were not ‘integral’ to the Indian state at its founding!

Internationally, the Indian state has thrived by trading on its publicised self-image as democratic, secular, and peaceful. The comparison has always been with neighbours like China and Pakistan – one communist, the other theocratic (to the wider western world, nothing could be worse than someone who is a ‘Commie’ or ‘Islamic’). The world at large has been fooled for too long by the articulate, if not argumentative, Indian upper-class governmental and corporate elite and their publicity machines. So successful is this illusion about India, that the world media consistently under-reports the Indian state’s brutality when it comes to Naxalites [4], the ‘North East [5]’ (the only part of the country which is referred to by geographical co-ordinates; a telling synecdochic use of the generic term ‘north east’ to refer to one or all of the seven different states together), and always, Kashmir.

India is demographically a Hindu majority state, and for all its talk of ‘unity in diversity’, it is intolerant towards its minorities. That discrimination and intolerance flourishes in Pakistan or China or the West is no justification for ignoring this fact in India. For instance, there is a violent ongoing repression of the tribals, there is recurrent and extreme state brutality in Kashmir, there have been orchestrated pogroms against the Muslims (Gujarat 2002 [6]), violence against the Sikhs (Delhi 1984), the Christians (Orissa 2007-08 [7]), add to which, there is a constant ongoing broad-ranging discrimination against people in terms of their religion, caste, class, gender, sexuality. Of course, India is democratic, secular, and peaceful, except when it needs to suppress those that don’t look like mainstream Indians (the Hindus) – these ‘others’ include its tribal and indigenous people, ‘lower’ castes, its minorities, its ‘north eastern’ peoples (ethnically different, they are derisively referred to as ‘Chinks’, often confused for Chinese in the main metropolises, and seen as different and separate), and Muslims. The people who fit India’s self-narrative best are affluent Hindus.

Today, India wishes to be recognised as a ‘superpower-in-waiting’, yet like other superpowers (to wit, the USA) it is rotting from within. After the end of the Cold War, both the blatant privatisation (euphemistically called ‘liberalisation’) of the Indian economy, and the overt  ‘Hinduisation’ of Indian polity (rise of right-wing parties like the BJP) came to full flowering in the 1990s; together this created an intolerant and unholy consensus in the arenas of politics and economics. Today, both the main national parties – Congress and BJP – converge on the ‘free-market’ economic fundamentals and the political space is given over to divisive ‘vote-bank’ driven identity politics. Over time, this has resulted in greater inequality, more deprivation, and a disenfranchisement of large sections of the country, but it has been politically profitable for those who instigated these changes. The Hinduising, reactionary BJP came to power spreading its message of bigotry, and the Congress leader with a carefully maintained image who engineered the neoliberal restructuring of the country (as the finance minister) in the early 1990s, is the prime minister of the country today. In his recent remarks, he (bizarrely) used the public reaction [8] to his budget in 1991 as a counter to the criticism of his Nuclear Bill in 2010.

In so many regions and in so many ways, the project and vision of postcolonial India is coming apart at the seams. The same-old routine use of the narrative of ‘national integration’ and ‘outside infiltration’ (Pakistani trained terrorists in Kashmir, China-trained Maoists in Eastern India) cannot inoculate a country that is failing its people economically, politically and socially.

The Indian political class is superbly corrupt. Entry into politics is seen as a route for upward class mobility by enabling wealth accumulation; generally only the sons and scions of those with pre-existing political connexions rise through the ranks, unless one is a goon with a criminal record! Indian bureaucracy has a reputation for being tremendously arrogant. It is a truism that Indian bureaucrats are generally smug and supercilious, unwilling to learn or exchange ideas from any but the most hawkish and pro-establishment intellectuals. The large swathes of Indian middle classes are stuffed with intolerance, unthinking mass entertainment, and over consumption – fed by a corporatised media that ‘manufactures consent’ in a textbook Chomsky way. The mix of ignorance and blustery self-confidence that one encounters in middle-class Indians rivals Americans (they share this ‘superpower’ trait!). All of the above – a corrupt political class, a smug bureaucracy, an unthinking and avidly consuming middle class – makes India a wonderful ‘market’ globally. This is the reason why the world keeps silent when the Indian state commits or abets violent atrocities, both inside its boundaries and outside.

In such an environment, proper political consciousness is rare. Indian people are fed the ‘national integration’ mantra and they lap it up, unable to perceive the way in which people such as the Kashmiris are being dehumanised. The average middle-class Indian (who grows up learning in history and geography books at school about everywhere in the world except for the countries that are India’s neighbours) is intolerant of Pakistan, suspicious of China, unwilling to commingle with Muslims or ‘lower castes’, and willfully blind to the poverty that surrounds them – s/he is focused on making money, spending money, and occasionally, redemption through self-help. Kashmir is a distant nightmare for them.

Indian politicians ultimately don’t care for Kashmir. When the situation looks extremely grim, as now, they make a few statements, a few changes [9] happen at the state level, a few lies are spun, and some schemes are floated to keep public opinion on board. The leadership is, by turns and at different levels, dull, corrupt, and lacking in morals.

Most importantly, the compulsions of India’s domestic politics ensure that there is no real potential for dialogue and understanding on Kashmir. The entrenched national narrative is so strong that any move forward is seized by the opposition as ‘compromise’ and ‘betrayal’. Given the circumstances, even the most measly statement made by government representatives that recognises any problem in Kashmir or questions the Hindu right-wing is challenged by the xenophobic intolerant right-wing politicians (BJP and their ilk) and exploited for political gain ( e.g. the BJP asking the Home Minister to apologise [10] for commenting on ‘saffron terror’/Hindu right-wing extremism, and the BJP challenging the PM for his statement on autonomy for Kashmir [11]).

What is more, India’s political, military and bureaucratic interests in Kashmir are not coherently aligned, and are subject to the varying intensity and profitability of India’s strategic international alliances. The strength and honesty of political will of the Indian government on Kashmir then becomes a pawn in line with India’s interests in Afghanistan, and in turn hostage to US policy on ‘AfPak’.

Finally, India’s defence sector is rapidly modernising and therefore internationally very lucrative at the moment [12]. [12] At the same time, there is an excessive use of force in the occupation of Kashmir. Such conflict then unleashes its own perverse incentives such as the increased expenditure on arms and debilitates the initiatives for peace. In any case, the militarisation of security in India is a dangerous development for the dehumanising violence it enables (some Indian military tactics [13] in Kashmir are excessive even for the Israeli IDF!).

Kashmir is not an ‘integral’ part of India. It is a disputed integral, in fact, as I have argued, the Indian attitude to Kashmir can only be understood in the wider context of the failed political, economic, and social promises of post-colonial India. In the name of ‘national integration’, India is occupying a region against the will of the people who live there. Kashmir is ‘integral’ only to the life of Kashmiris.
The tragedy of Kashmir

Having a historical legacy as a sacred site of early Himalayan Buddhism, Kashmir was a Muslim-majority state in a Hindu-majority India at the time of India’s independence from the British; through most of the last millennium, it was variously ruled by central and west Asian originating Mughal-Afghan dynasties. In the nineteenth century, it was ruled by Sikhs from whom the British acquired it and sold it on to a Hindu Dogra King. As a people of the mountains who had been bartered by the British, Kashmiris were aware of the oppression they faced. The distinctive identity of Kashmir was shaped by multiple influences and rulerships. Kashmir’s history is a knot of contested interpretations made worse by ignorance.

The biggest myth of recent times is that of seeing Kashmir historically in terms of Muslims versus Hindus, instead of Muslims and Hindus.

Kashmiris did not see themselves in these terms until they were classified as such by the political games of the later part of the twentieth century. The centuries-old tradition of ‘Kashmiriyat’ bears testimony to the identity of Kashmiris as a people who did not let their religious affiliations overwhelm their ethnic and regional commonality. Contemporary Hindu religious extremists/activists often try to extrapolate selective facts from Kashmir’s rich history to push their communal case – citing especially the forced conversions to Islam (click here [14] for a scholarly contradiction of this claim, notable because it is written by a Kashmiri Hindu, so it defies assumed communal viewpoint in this regard), and the 1989 exodus of Kashmiri Pandits (minority Hindus) from the Valley as having been forced by Kashmiri Muslims.

Kashmiris were a people who were somehow ‘bargained’ into nationhood when the British left the region. From mid-nineteenth century onwards, the practice of statecraft and governance came to be tied closely to statistics, enumeration and classification (the first census in UK was carried out in 1800s). In the colonies too, the British tried to stabilise and centralise channels of power by classifying their subjects and dealing with them in terms of race, genetic stock, community leaders, and religion. Hindus and Muslims were two important lenses through which people were perceived, roused, and then divided during partition. In the case of Kashmir, this British formula was messed-up – the Muslims were the majority in Kashmir, but the ruler (Hari Singh) was not Muslim, Indian Prime Minister Nehru was Kashmiri Hindu but close to Sheikh Abdullah, the most prominent Kashmiri leader, a Muslim. Plus, the entire Himalayas, including Kashmir, had been constructed as a strategic geopolitical buffer in the imperial trajectory till then; the ‘Great Game’ was a kind of proto-Cold War. When India and Pakistan were being carved up, Kashmir was coveted on either side (this manic struggle over possessing Kashmir has led to multiple wars – 1947, 1965, 1999 – between India and Pakistan – both of whom use Kashmir as a propaganda pawn for their opportunistic and hypocritical purposes – and a continued boundary stalemate, including over the unpopulated Aksai-Chin area, between India and China).

In so many ways, Kashmir was ‘special’. The Kashmiri political voice and consciousness was different from that of the rest of India. The Kashmiris of an earlier generation – up until the 1980s – saw themselves as ‘Kashmiris’, in spite of everything. Kashmiris as a people have historically shared language, mannerisms, speech inflections, customs and even some festivals (such as the springtime ‘Badaamwari’). Today, very little understanding of this commonality remains. Why?

Because mainstream India (and Pakistan) never understood Kashmir nor cared for Kashmiri people.

When Pakistan and India came into being, Kashmir was attacked by one side to obtain it by force and its unrepresentative ruler was forced by the other side to sign an ‘instrument of accession’ as a condition of providing help in repelling the attack. Where were the Kashmiri people’s aspirations accounted for in all of this? In India, they were promised self-determination but over the successive decades witnessed a tug of war between the centre and periphery during which governments in Srinagar were removed from power, puppets were installed, and elections were rigged. India saw the people of Kashmir as inherently ‘alien’ and ‘untrustworthy’, somehow always already ‘tainted’.

The progressivist aspirations of Kashmir’s leaders and their openly communist leanings from the 1930s onwards did not help either when it came to the fast-polarising ideological alliances between states in the Cold War era (various other larger factors were salient in this framing also, such as the Dalai Lama’s exile to India, ZA Bhutto forging the alliance with communist China). The Communists of Kashmir had surnames that were both Hindu and Muslim. The intellectuals of Kashmir had vivid memories of pre-independence Lahore, a centre of gravity in those times. But, most people in India have never heard of Kashmir and communism together in the same sentence[1] [15]. The currently evolving Chinese stance on Kashmir (China denied a visa [16] in August 2010 to an Indian general posted in Kashmir) is news only to someone who doesn’t know of Sheikh Abdullah meeting Chou-en-Lai in Algiers in 1967.

Those non-Kashmiri Indians who spew hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric today and claim Kashmir as an undying part of India, do they know of one festival or tradition of Kashmiri Hindus, let alone of Kashmiri Muslims? But, why speak of festivals. Ask the average Indian what happened in Kashmir in the late 1980s. Some might know about the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley from 1989 onwards (only some, for mainstream India does not actually care for Kashmiris, either Hindu or Muslim, they care for their own existential need to control and possess Kashmir), but they are unlikely to know about the elections of 1987, by which time India was acting desperate, rigged to prevent the Kashmiri people from electing anyone but those ‘approved’ by New Delhi. Every grievance of the Kashmiri people (who are majority Muslim) was seen through the anti-national lens. Is it any surprise then that some of those Kashmiri Muslims, frustrated and pigeonholed by India for decades, actually turned to radical political Islam, given the role of the Pakistani ISI, the wider dynamics of the closing Cold War (like Muslims everywhere else, Kashmiris too were/are affected by radical political Islam, which in many parts of the world was deliberately encouraged by the West as a counter to communist ‘red’ threat), and the Afghan and central Asian scenario at the time?

In the 1980s, radical Islamism rose in Kashmir. But let us not forget the figure of Jagmohan, the governor of Kashmir in the 1980s (1984-1989, again in 1990) who played a prominent (though not exclusive) role in instigating the departure of Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley. A communal right-wing Hindu who later joined the BJP, he was the representative of the centre in Muslim majority Kashmir in these turbulent years which included the 1987 election rigging[2] [17]. Much more needs to be written about his terrible