Kashmir the misunderstood nation

We need to study the very concept of our nationhood afresh


When I say Kashmir I mean the state of J&K that comprises Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh plus its misunderstood people the Dogras Lamas and Kashmiris that make a unique nation. Despite the fact we speak different languages have different cultures and practice different faiths we are bound by a strange fabric of bondage called Kashmiryat. Its Sikhs are unique so are its Pundits like our Himalayas shining with snow Peak Mountains.

A few years back while traveling from Syracuse to New York to attend a conference we had to take a long route through Yale as I was keen to see and understand why university of Yale is one of the top ten institutions of learning in USA. It was a cold day of mixed showers of snowy rains with biting cold of North America. We Were escorted to different departments its museums and libraries so elaborately that we had to struggle to catch up with time to continue our onward journey to the next station where my son had planned to spend the night with his friend Mr. Kak the grandson of Mr.Ramchand Kak the erstwhile Prime Minster of J&K in Maharaja’s rule. Mr.Kak, a software engineer, had ordered a sumptuous dinner keeping in view the concerns of Halal and had made it a point to cook Nadroo and Dam Aaloo personally for us. Kashmiris abroad make all the efforts to keep Kashmiryat alive through our language, culture, hospitality and traditions. Next day we were just in time for the scheduled conference in New York a city of crowded markets busy streets and hustle & bustle of different nationalities from all over the world. After the conference I made it a point to visit the United Nations headquarters the epitome of integrity to which people of J&K had erroneously pinned all the hopes for justice. On the other hand Washington DC that houses the White House is peaceful and orderly. It is also known for its cherry blossom.   

Having a look on recent history of Kashmir as to see what happened wrong during the tragic partition of India it is interesting to note that Mr. Ramchand Kak despite being a Kashmiri Pundit was reluctant to oblige Indian leadership regarding the accession of Kashmir and Maharaja Hari Singh regardless of being a Dogra from Jammu was in favor of an independent Kashmir. Consequently although Dr.Karan Singh having qualified to be the most feasible candidate as president of India yet he is bound to inherit the legacies of his father some sweet some bitter! While the future of Kashmir was being debated Pt; Jawahar Lal Nehru intended to visit Kashmir personally but Patel’s opinion prevailed and Gandhi Ji was deputed to persuade Mahraja to join union of India. Gandhi Ji had to face a tough time at Baramulah where his motorcade was stoned and windscreens were damaged though he managed a safe exit because of his soft response of a shrewd politician. Next day despite his ‘Moan berth’ (self imposed restrictions not to speak) he made it to Islamabad ( Anantnag) where he was greeted by a mammoth gathering near Shair Bagh.  It is not known what transpired between the two that Maharaja conceded to Ghandi’s advice. Triggered by the tribal attack in response of Muslim massacre in Jammu the UN resolutions landed J&K in to unending miseries of uncertainty threatening a nuclear war anytime. While division of India and future of Kashmir was being bartered National Conference leaders Sheikh Muhammad Abdulla and Mirza Afzal Beg were in Baderwah jail and Mahraja Hari Singh left the valley through our cart road in a great hurry. A bridge was constructed on river Chinab at Kathua and telephone lines were installed to facilitate the entry of Indian army and to build the political nitty-gritty of strategically related developments in the state.
Keeping in view the changing global political social and economical scenario there is no doubt that Kashmir needs a negotiated settlement to keep pace with the developments in the rest of the world.

That is why Kashmir accord of 1974 came in to vogue and when I asked its architect Mirza Afzal Beg if there was any symbiotic benefit for Kashmir and Delhi in the said accord and he said, “Accords are the outcome of successful negotiations and to reap its benefits depends on proper follow up and the intentions of the concerned parties”.

Generations have passed and the ‘genius’ still holds good when we say that dialogue is the only way out. It is a pity we were told that the arms of a clock cannot go anti-clockwise. It is a tragedy that despite creating such a hype regarding the interlocutors their reports have accumulated dust somewhere in Delhi. People fail to understand that Kashmir is not only a law and order problem. It is a problem within the problems. It has its issues of Roti Kapda Makan or Sadak Bijli Pani but it is something beyond that and logically all that needs to be addressed simultaneously.

Coming back to our dialogue process, there is absolutely nothing wrong if the present generation of torch bearers for peace ‘The Huriats’ are advocating for revisiting the dialogue process. At the same time people who are apprehensive are genuine to say it should be result oriented and time bound because history has shown that apparent lull cannot be lull forever. Let us look on Kashmir problem through our colorless glasses lest this nation once again remains a misunderstood nation getting involved in conspiracies between the nation’s intrigues of the agencies or malicious desires of the vested interests.  

  (Feedback at drashrafbeg@gmail.com)