Kashmir is grabbing world attention. Suffering of the people are being taken note of. Resilience of the people is paying dividends. The nuclear flash point the unsettled Kashmir issue has placed the South Asia on is making the world to look to seek its peaceful resolution.
In a significant development the European Parliament has linked Kashmir issue with signing of Free Trade Agreement with India. On May 21, 2011, The EP passed a resolution that among other things stated: ‘Human rights, democracy and security are essential elements of the relationship between European Union and India. Therefore, we call upon both sides to ensure that dialogue on open issues is stepped with particular reference to Kashmir’.
Earlier in 2008 EU has termed Kashmir as ‘world’s most beautiful prison’ and its parliament has passed the resolution , asking new Delhi ‘to urgently ensure independent and partial investigation into all suspected sites of mass graves in J&K and as an immediate first step to secure the grave sites in order to observe the evidence’.
The summer uprising of 2010, in which 116 civilian mainly children and youth, were killed by police and Para-military CRPF, also did not escape world attention. A report presented by UN Human Rights Council Special Reporter , on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions reveals that on October 22 2010, The United Nations dispatched a letter to India’s representative at the UN and sought report over the killings of civilians by the ‘military and police force’ in Kashmir from June 11 to August 7 last year. And of late the UN General secretary Ban ki Moon, soon after he was elected for second five-year term in office, has asked the governments of India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue. Moon said he was ‘ready to step in with helping hand’.
Thus, with passage of time Kashmir is pulling world attention. It is in this back-drop we have to look into the frustration of the BJP president L K Advani that he has posted on his blog (http://blog.lkadvani.in). The veteran leader of the communalist party slammed political family of Jawahar Lal Nehru and the late Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah for making Kashmir a headache for India. Advani wrote that Nehru’s ‘lack of courage, firmness and foresight’, created Kashmir issue and Shiekh Abdullah’s ‘ambition to become the unquestioned leader of a virtually independent Kashmir’ contributed to the issue. Advani also expressed anger against Article370 which gives special status to J&K in the Indian Constitution. He states that the Article 370 has ‘emboldened secessionist forces in the state to carry out their poisonous propaganda and that accession (of Kashmir) to New Delhi is not final and that Kashmir, in particular, is not a part of India’.
Advani then blames Nehru family for letting go waste two importunities ‘to settle the issue once for all’, one in the 1947 war when Nehru ruled India and the other in 1970 Bangladesh war when Nehru’s daughter Indra Gandhi was at the helm of affairs. Writing sarcastically, that ‘Kashmir problem is Nehru’s family’s special ‘gift’ to the nation’, Advani adds that consequences of this ‘gift’ are ‘Pakistan’s export of cross-border terrorism and religious extremism’.
If Kashmir has become the albatross around the neck of India and has exposed its democratic credentials the blame surely lies on New Delhi. The politics of deceit and betrayal Nehru practiced coupled with lust for power by Sheikh Abdullah resulted in Kashmir problem. With the belief that Congress and National Conference shared the same secular ideology-as the very conversion of Muslim Conference into National Conference does reflect -and SheIkh Abdullah enjoyed mass support in the state, Nehru used Abdullah as a political tool against Pakistan and to secure his support for accession of state to Indian Union. ‘I shall prefer death to joining Pakistan’, Sheikh Abdullah pleading Indian case in Security Council on February 5, 1948 said, ‘I have nothing to do with a state that tried to enslave us. Pakistan has no right to say that Kashmir must have an impartial administration. I do not accept Pakistan as a party to Kashmir dispute’. That
was the level of Sheikh’s courtship with New Delhi. Nehru was hopeful that making accession subject to plebiscite would keep his personal and Congress party’s “democratic profile” intact and win a moral victory over a “communalist” Pakistan. But despite National Conference leadership’s ‘honeymoon’ to the Nehru, ‘preference’ did not percolate down to the grassroots level. That was absolutely the reason why, despite having Sheikh dynasty in its fold, New Delhi never, till date, summoned courage to pledge its plebiscite promise. Making accession ‘provisional’ subject to people’s endorsement through internationally supervised referendum, Nehru believed Sheikh’s ‘preference’ would be honored by people of Kashmir. However, heart-beatings of people in conflict with those in positions of power, forced Delhi to change its mind.
Pandit Nehru, it is said, would keep the Arath Shastra under the pillow. The book written by Kautilya taught kings how to rule, how to tame subjects and expand territories through “philosophy” of deceit. It is no surprise to see Nehru’s action mirrored the “philosophy” of Chanakya in roping Kashmir to Delhi and for that matter Nehruji’s ‘foresight’, ‘courage’ and ‘firmness’ have to be acknowledged, even ‘praised’.