Dr. Ajay Chrungoo 

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Panun Kashmir - Logic and Relevance

By Dr. Ajay Chrungoo


Panun Kashmir was born as a comprehensive response to the challenges faced by the  nation in Kashmir. An in-depth understanding of the reasons which lead to the forced displacement of Kashmiri Hindus formed the substratum of its political perspective. This understanding did not trivilise the religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus by considering it as a mere aberration in the local political expression.

Panun Kashmir realised the linkage of the religious cleansing in Jammu and Kashmir to the civilisational and political challenges to the nation-building process in the state.

The organisation has been acutely conscious of the grave implications of the process which sought to insulate the national discourse on secularism and human rights from the happenings in Kashmir.

Panun Kashmir developed a firm opinion that the causes of displacement of Kashmiri Hindus underlined issues which were of fundamental importance to the nation. The efforts, particularly from within aimed at ensuring that the internal displacement of Kashmiri Hindus becomes a non-event constitutes one of the crucial elements of the subversive war to balkanise India and cripple the Nation state.

Political Approach

While formulating its political approach Panun Kashmir took into account following realities :

*Kashmir has contributed substantially to the fund of Indian civilization in almost all fields. Kashmiri Hindus pioneered the movement for Sanskritisation of Himalayas, which ultimately paved the way for the evolution and consolidation of Northern Frontier of India. Kashmiri Hindus therefore Constitute the Indian Civilisational Frontline in Kashmir.

Religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus is one more concerted attempt to snap the civilisation link of Kashmir with India. Its wider implication is to prepare the platform for dismantling the Northern Frontier of India by destroying its cultural content.

*Kashmiri Hindus also constituted the Political Frontline for the geopolitics  which aims to undermine Indian position in Kashmir. This social group acted as a symbol of Indian nationalism a vital component of the pluralistic identity of Kashmir and the powerful impetus for democratization of Kashmir polity.

Kashmiri Hindus contested all the variants of Muslim communalism and separatism in the Valley. Their destabilisation was always visualised by the anti-Indian forces in Kashmir as a crucial step towards breaking down of the indigenous political resistance to the separatist politics.

*Muslim separatism in Jammu and Kashmir has three genres which include demand for accession to Pakistan, carving out an Independent State of Jammu and Kashmir and seeking greater autonomy on the basis of Muslim subnationalism.


*The political demand of Panun Kashmir seeks to decisively change the paradigm of politics paractised by Kashmiris. This politics was primarily determined by the Muslim religious identity. It had same ideological connotations as that of Muslim League before partition of India.

*The Panun Kashmir demand links the return of Kashmiri Hindus to the free flow of Indian Constitution. By seeking such a dispensation Panun Kashmir declares the compatibility of Kashmiri identity with the constitutional process governing India. It also proclaims that the communal separatism in Kashmir is an inherent consequence of the constitutional fortification of Muslim identity rather than erosion of the constitutional right.

The demand brings to fore the historical and secular imperatives confronting the Kashmir identity.

Panun Kashmir as Corrective

*Panun Kashmir seeks to act as a decisive corrective so far as the National discourse on Human Rights and secularism is concerned.

*The discourse on Human Rights at the national level has been primarily driven by a subversive drive to undermine and cripple the state responses to the challenges confronting national integrity and sovereignty.

This discourse has selectively focussed on state action in a situation where terrorism has established sway on the social milieu.

It has sought to insulate the individual and the organs of the Kashmiri society from the responsibility of upholding human rights. By implication it has provided space and immunity to the terrorist operatives.

*Panun Kashmir through its campaign has sought to focus attention on the individual and group responsibility in upholding the Human Rights.

Panun Kashmir has stressed the role of state action rather than inaction in fighting terrorism. It has tried to widen the moral space for the actions of a democratically-elected government to curb terrorist violence. Panun Kashmir has sought to delegitimise terrorism in all forms and with all justifications.

*Through its campaigns of focussing national and international attention on religious cleansing and terrorism Panun Kashmir has stripped off the terrorist movement in Kashmir of its pretensions of being a freedom struggle.

Secular discourse in the country particularly vis-a-vis Kashmir has suffered from a serious drawback. It recognises any accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India as the only yardstick which should determine judgement on the secular behaviour of the polity in the state. The communal content of the local politics has always been ignored or rationalised. This attitude helped in strengthening the Muslim communal stridency in the state. It has also accorded respectability to Muslim subnationalism in the state.

Over the years the Muslim subnationalism in Jammu and Kashmir and the fissiparous tendencies in many parts of India have developed a symbiotic relationship. Dilution of Indian sovereignty in Kashmir is being visualised as a decisive in put to redefine principles of Indian federalism along divisive subnational denominators for its eventual balkanisation.

*Panun Kashmir demand essentially brings to surface this contradiction of the secular discourse. It exposes the linkages of Muslim separatism in the state with the separatist tendencies elsewhere in the country. It seeks to sensitise the nation to the dangers of flirting with religious subnationalism.

Last but not the least, Panun Kashmir deals a decisive blow to the Dixon proposal or its variants. These seek the solution for the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir by advocating division of the state along the flow of Chenab river which roughly divides the state into Hindu and Muslim areas.

The demand for rehabilitating 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus north and east of river Jhelum in Kashmir valley brings a new perspective into play. It shifts the emphasis from communal division of state to the fractured political cravings of the Kashmiri population. Panun Kashmir demand renders separatist politics full of stakes for the future.

Source: Kashmir Sentinel



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