Table of Contents
   Index
   About the Author
   Preface
   Foreword
 KASHMIR: PAST
   Kashmiri Hindus: Origin ...
   Sultan Zain-ul-abidin
   The Sayyids as Oppressors
   Chak Fanatics
   The Mughals
   The Afghans
   Sikh Rule
   Dogra Rule
 KASHMIR: PRESENT
   Post-1947 Scenario
   Jammu and Ladakh ...
   Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad
   Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq
   Sayyed Mir Qasim
   Sheikh Abdullah Sows Seeds ...
   Farooq Abdullah ...
   Ghulam Mohammad Shah ...
   Rajiv-Farooq Accord
   Proxy War Declared
   Muslim Fundamentalism
   Terrible Plight of Minorities 
   13th November, 1991
   Epilogue
   Appendix
   Download Book 

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Matrimonial

 
Loading...

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Sheikh Abdullah Sows Seeds of Destruction

With the abdication of Mir Qasim, Sheikh Abdullah assumed power courtesy

Sheikh Abdullah
the Congress Legislature Party lending him unanimous support under the dictates of the Central leadership. He did not have a smooth sailing as got revealed when the Congressites kept away from Raj Bhavan dressed up for the oath-taking ceremony. The tall Sheikh felt all-time low and humiliated. But, fuelled by the fiery desire of capturing power, he resorted to a compromising posture only to weave a web of ministry out of disparate strands. Motivated by his life-long commitments to the establishment of his own fiefdom and deep-seated vengeance, the Sheikh acted in a manner prejudicial to the terms of alliance forged for strengthening the secular and cohesive forces at state and national level. With the defeat of Mrs. Gandhi at the hustings, the entire political scenario underwent a cataclysmic change. Bypassing Mrs. Gandhi's advice, the Congressites at the behest of Mufti Sayyid withdrew support to the Sheikh, who recommended dissolusion of the house, thus paving way for new elections. The Sheikh as a stratagem feigned to be on death-bed and his loyalists in the disbanded Plebiscite Front drummed up tremendous support for him and his candidates in the run up to the Assembly. The Sheikh won elections with a thumping majority and took no time in embarking upon the path of transforming Kashmir into an Islamic ghetto.

Having made tryst with myopic religious agenda, Sheikh Abdullah master-minded the plans for the destruction of the Hari Parbat- (Pradhuman Giri) as the spiritual centre of the Hindus. A sign-board of 'Kohi Maran' was installed at the foot-hills thereby Islamising the spiritual lore woven around the hillock through the aeons-old cultural history of Kashmir. Only to destroy the sanctity of the hillock, a huge water-tank was built at its top, a monstrosity interfering with the scenic surroundings underscoring a deliberate intent to inflict hurt on the religious susceptibilities of the Hindus. The entire path for parikrama was vengefully dug out and destroyed and the earth carried to fill the Muslim Auqaf lands.

Despite numerous pleas and plaints, the Sheikh, supposed to have commanded heights in secular politics, never moved a bit in getting the Muslim bigots restrained from openly dismantling the walls of the plots of land attached to the Chakreshwari shrine on the HariParbat hillock. The law enforcing agencies in full knowledge of the nefarious acts indulged in by the vicious elements always dragged their feet in establishing rule of law. Attempts beyond count were made to grab the compound of the shrine obliging the Hindus to rent it out to a central agency. As an outcome of police neutrality and non-interference, the small tracks leading to the structures housing minor deities dotting the entire path for parikrama were blocked or grabbed.

The encroachments on the Hindu places of worship never abated. Despite court judgments, the Sheikh never established his secular credentials by way of resolving the Bhairav Nath Temple tangle created by the frenzied Muslims as a vital part of Islamisation campaign. The administration infected of communal virus never acted to implement the court orders with a view to restoring the possession of the temple to the Hindus, who have been deprived of their right to worship in the temple for the last 25 years.

In the wake of Indira-Sheikh accord, the popularity graph of the tall Sheikh suffered a remarkable dip. Despite victory at the hustings, there was an erosion in his credibility and sensing it he would laboriously prop it up by resorting to a strident anti-Centre policy. After it lost its utility as a route to popularity, he stuck to a religious agenda in the form of being lukewarm to the bigotted arts of laying claims to the temple properties and their forcible occupation. Flouting the award given by a committee formed by Maharaja Hari Singh about the camping ground near the Mattan shrine, the Muslims true to their form, laid claim to it and occupied it. The Hindus of the area proved more militant than the Muslims and regained it by locking horns with the rabids. The Sheikh remained mum, did not utter a word or flourish his stick against the Muslim deviants. The flareup at Mattan in the district of Anantnag ended in communal clashes forcing the Muslimised administration to maintain the status quo. But, the Muslim Auqaf as the brain-child of the Sheikh grabbed the land belonging to the Durga Nath Temple, Srinagar and made constructions thereby giving a knock to the battered citadel of secularism.

Motivated by a 'retrogressive outlook', the Sheikh having won accolades as a secularist led to the re-naming of 300 villages and mohallas in the region of Kashmir. The old names owing origin to the Sanskritic word-hoard were replaced by crude Islamic names couched in Persian and Arabic vocabulary. Instead of researching the basic roots of the nomenclatures and establishing their historical import, what the doyen of secularism did was to stamp out the names reminiscent of Hindu history and culture. Be it put that it was a step in the direction of transforming Kashmir into an Islamic enclave where Hindu nomenclatures are a taboo.

Brari-angan as the distorted name of Battarika-angan (the compound of the goddess) was replaced by Sheikhpora and what is ironical that only three Sheikh families live there. Chandra Peetham as the name of a locality on the outskirts of Rainawari, Srinagar is changed into Beroon Kathi-darwaza though the old nomenclature is popular with the local Muslims, who pronounce it with ease and facility.

A champion of 'pluralism, tolerance and equality', the Sheikh surprisingly made a truce with Jammat-i-Islami, which had been consistently pursuing the policies of bigotry and parochialism. All the Jamaat rabids were inducted into the administrative setup and had forged direct links with the family. Mohammed Shafi, a Minister in his cabinet, was a Jamaat rabid aiding and abetting the agit prop of the structure with known links with the subversive forces across the borders. When the Shiekh decided to close down the plethora of schools run by the Jamaat-i-Islami, he was stopped in his tracks by Mohmmad Shafi, who cocked a snook, thereby allowing them to poison the new budding generation. An older version of Sheikh had launched a crusade against the Jamaat fanatics, but in time the lion had lost his roar and commitment and had to call a wild wolf his brother. The Islamised bureaucracy committed to the Jamaat had left the Sheikh convinced that the Kashmirian Muslims could prosper only in a theocratic state put on the pedestal of Islamic law.

In the post-1947 era, the Sheikh was in post-haste in abolishing big landed estates without compensation to the petty landlords ostensibly to give relief to the deprived peasantry. Living down his own image, the same Sheikh owning huge orchards led to the amendment of the Land Reforms Act of 1972 only to keep the orchards beyond the purview of any standard ceiling as stipulated in the Act, thus garnering and self-guarding his own interests and the interests of the apple-Sheikhs. When land was to be snatched away from the Hindus, committees were formed and enactments made. But, now that the land is owned by the Muslim kulaks, converting the cultivable land into orchards, the Sheikh could not contribute to the measure of subjecting them to a standard ceiling and snatching the surplus land for distribution among the landless Hindus or Muslims.

Sheikh Abudllah with his diluted credentials proved very soft to Alfateh saboteurs, who had been operating on the soil of Kashmir only to subvert the Kashmirian polity by erecting high walls of fear and deep gorges of distrust. Ignoring their terrorist acts, court cases filed against them were unilaterally and arbitrarily withdrawn, thus allowing them free scope to mobilise anti-Indian forces for an ultimate battle. When in political wilderness, the Sheikh and his lieutenant, Mirza Afzal Beg, whom he fired for the ascendancy of his son, had been in close laison with them for the purposes of anti-Indian operations and umpteen acts of sabotage involving most of the time the Kashmirian Hindus as a weak social group.

Virtually pandering one dimensional ideology, the Sheikh sunk in his cocoon indulged in fulminations and diatribes against the Congressites who, to him, were dirty vermin in lanes, polluting the entire environs and surroundings. It appeared that the Indian National Congress that had the history of total support to the Sheikh in his sectarian battle against the Maharaja was a thorn rantling him in his side. Out to eradicate its roots, he usually in a fitful anger cautioned the Muslims against the Congress structure, thereby keeping them away from the Indian mainstream. Social boycott (tarki-mavalat) as an Islamic practice was resorted to against the Muslim Congressites. At his behest, the Muslims under the blinding effect of hate generated by the Sheikh refused to join the burial of the dead Muslims owing allegiance to the Congress. The same spleen was vented against the Janata Party, which had become operational in the Valley spreading out its contact base. The N.C. goons launched an operation against the Janata Party workers, raiding and pillaging their houses, bruising them and forcing them to flee their houses only to take refuge in a Muslim school. The Janata Party head-quarters was vengefully ravaged in a hurricane fashion.

There is no perceptible evidence available suggesting the disapproval and rejection by the Sheikh of the ISI plan of Greater Kashmir, the details and contours of which were delineated with precision by the Islamised bureaucracy. The entire Doda district with dominant Muslim population was linked with Kashmir via Simthan Pass and Poonch-Rajouri belt was under way to be linked with Kashmir via Mughal Road. There have been persistent demands for allotment of funds for the construction of road-links between Kashmir and the Muslim dominated regions of Jammu. The nefarious idelology of Greater Kashmir with communal underpinnings attracted focus when a paper named Greater Kashmir was floated by the brother of a Muslim engineer alleged to be funded by sources across the border and presently meeting the demands of Muslim insurgency and terrorism. With a view to forging and fostering broad links and contracts with the Muslim areas of Jammu province, the Islamised bureaucracy thrust most of the Muslim officers on such areas ignoring the claims of the Jammuites. The Sheikh is reported to have lent a receptive ear to the puerile ideology of Greater Kashmir though the fact remains that he was more interested in the Valley than other areas falling in the Jammu belt.

That the National Conference politics was stenchy became perceptible when a ring of Muslim colonies was laid out to surround the city of Jammu dominated by the Hindus. The designs smacking of bigotry and intolerance are said to have been conceived and executed by Sheikh Abdullah himself. The colonies patterned on communal lines came up as Muslim colonies. Ostensibly these were laid out for backward class Gujjars, but are inhabited by all classes of Muslims. These colonies as such have proved sanctuaries for the Muslim terrorists to fan out and organise acts of sabotage and terrorism designed to engulf the major areas of Jammu belt in communal conflagration and ethnic strife. The poor and deprived Hindus forming a weaker section were never on the policy projections of the Sheikh. The Gaddies as the tribesmen of the hilly terrains of Jammu region were not considered for any such relief for the plain fact that they are the adherents of Hindu faith. Exhibiting a pro-Muslim tilt, the Sheikh was categoric in his jottings on the file that the Gujjars were to be armed, but not the Hindu Gaddies, thus speaking volumes for his mind.

As a prelude to Muslim insurgency, body-building materials worth lakhs were reportedly recovered from a class-room in the state high school, now burnt by the terrorists, in downtown of Srinagar by the principal of the institution. The matter was reported to the police authorities who prepared the inventory of the goods, all of foreign make. On the express instructions of the Sheikh, the Director of Sports was reportedly made to own the goods and the matter stood hushed up. The materials stuffed in the school building were fruitfully used by the prospective terrorists for gaining agility and nimbleness to meet the requiremeots of terrorism. Having been trapped by ISI subversives, the prospective terrorists were imparted basics in the very playground of the said institution.

To cap it all, the Resettlement Bill as a measure of initability and insecurity was introduced in the legislature to pave the way for the Muslims of Pak-occupied Kashmir to re-settle in Kashmir by occupying their landed and structural properties which some Hindus and Sikh refugees have occupied. The Bill was mischievous in intent and content and was designed to flare up turbulence and turmoil leading to the destabilisation of the state. Measuring the implicit perils ensuing from the implementation of the Bill, the leaders of major political parties in the country characterised it as a danger to overall seeurity of the State. The pro-Sheikh Governor, B.K Nehru, stalled the Bill by withholding his formal assent.

Disregarding a coherent perspective for evaluating historical processes, distortions were initiated only to feed the ends of Muslim bigotry and myopia. Islamic perspectives and hate-lndia objectives were devised to project the Mughals, the Afghans, the Sikhs and the Dogras as foreign oppressors impinging on the independent status of the Kashmirian polity. The Sayyids as oppressors were not evaluated nor was the Chak rule put to critical studies. The role-conduct of some Kashmirian Hindus connected with the Mughal, Afghan and Dogra courts was used as a ploy to characterise the total community of Hindus as oppressors of the general mass of neo-converts to Islam. That the Muslim rulers ruled Kashmir for six hundred years without raising the quality and worth of life of the Muslim masses was put out of focus as a matter of deliberate design. The Chaks as per the distortionists were great natives who fought the Mughals and their hegemony. But who invited the Mughals to terminate the Chak rule is smokescreened. Birbal Dhar was a renegade for the fact that he went to the Sikh Court to redeem Kashmir from the Afghan savagery. But Mir Muquim Kanth as one inviting the Afghan boors adherent to the Islamic faith was a saviour. The same distortion is upheld by the Sheikh in his autobiography which generated hatred against the Kashmirian Hindus. The positive and sterling contributions made by the Kashmirian Hindus to the total polity of Kashmir have gone out of his mind. That the Kashmirian Hindus are a 'fifth columan' proved a prelude to the training of guns against them for ethnic cleansing.

The Cultural Academy as a stalutory body placed under the charge of a literate ignoramus strenuously worked to the end of propagating the Islamic contributions to the history and culture of Kashmir at the expense of the Hindu contributions which have undoubtedly been vast and varied. Divisive and myopic trends were fostered and strengthened to feed the Islamisation campaign to bring about a liatus in the continuity of Kashmir history embracing varied trends and influences to shape out a comprehensive scenario.

Driven by intolerance and religious prejudice, the Sheikh led to the establishment of the Muslim Auqaf in Jammu to lay its tentacles on government land and custodian properties. Such an act of the Sheikh caused a steep slide in his popularity in the Hindu dominated region of Jammu.

With a view to eliminating the Buddhist sway over the entire Laddakh belt, the Sheikh jerrymandered the region into two separate districts of Leh and Kargil, one dominated by the Buddhists and the other by the Shia-Muslims, thus demolishing the bridges that had been joining the two diverse faiths. The bifurcation of the entire region was motivated by religious considerations ignoring all canons of race, stock and culture. Leaving the Ladakhis completely at the mercy of Muslim bigots, the government presided over by the Sheikh led to the virtual closure of the Department of Ladakh Affairs functioning in the secretariat. The presence of a son of the soil in his cabinet failed to heal the wound of neglect that had been inflicted on the Ladakhis. Their tryst with freedom was a tryst with pain, neglect and ruthless exploitation. The longstanding demand of the Ladakhi Buddhists for establishment of a college in Leh was never met, thus perpetuating their backwardness and illiteracy levels.

As a sheer act of vengefulness, the Sheikh in pursuit of myopic agenda led to the jerrymandering of the constituencies where the Kashmirian Hindus had a role for political assertion. The localities of Rainawari, Habbakadal and Karan Nagar in the city of Srinagar were fragmented to bits only to reduce them as tiny and insignificant parts of Muslim dominaled constituencies thereby depriving the miniscule minority of Hindus to elect a single representative of their choice and will. It will be pertinent to put that the fragile community of the Hindus was represented by a legislator who was vociferous in his support of the retrograde politics of National Conference and blatant discrimination of the Hindus.

Sheikh Abdullah and his lieutenant Mirza Afzal Beg maligned Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad for seeping corruption into the Kashmirian fabric. But the Sheikh failed to curb his lieutenant, who openly encouraged the Muslim cultivators to cultivate charas for sale to the underworld. Wedded to Islam, he was expected to vigorously fight the propagation of such a pernicious and unethical proclivity gripping the neo-rich Muslim peasantry. Confined to an ivory tower, he allowed the state machine to work as a hand-maid of all manner of corruption thereby tearing apart the moral fibre of the Kashmirian society. The Muslim youth undergoing educative processes were the first to catch the malaise and kept away from the institutions only to get involved in the processes of cultivation and sale of charas. It was the first step to immoralise and brutalise the Muslim mind.

Steeped in the hate Hindu syndrome, Sheikh Abdullah as the Chief Minister of J&K State pounced on the miniscule minority of the Hindus. His speech to the Muslim officers of the Secretariat for edging out Hindus is said to have shocked even those Muslims, who should have hailed it. The doors of the state services were completely closed for them. He personally perused each list of candidates for employment and erased the names of Hindu boys and girls with his own pen. The non-recruitment of the Hindus to the state services after 1975 is a testimony to the policy of herding them out of their native land. Ignoring and discarding the academic achievements, the Sheikh clung to the resolution of the Plebiscite Front stipulating population as the basic criterion for recruitment to services. The Hindu brights were kept at bay by the communal policy of the government favouring the Muslims and hunting the Hindus. The Sheikh was cruel in disregarding the claims of late Moti Lal Misri's daughter to a medical seat though she was a first divisoner and top freedom fighter's daughter.

Kashmir: Past and Present

 

CONNECT WITH  US

Facebook Account Follow us and get Koshur Updates Youtube.com Video clips Image Gallery
Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA) is a 501c(3) non-profit, tax-exempt socio-cultural organization registered in Maryland, USA. Its purpose is to protect, preserve, and promote Kashmiri ethnic and socio-cultural heritage, to promote and celebrate festivals, and to provide financial assistance to the needy and deserving.

 | Home | Culture & Heritage | Copyrights Policy | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Credits | Contact Us |

Any content available on this site should NOT be copied or reproduced

in any form or context without the written permission of KOA.

 
 
Watch
Thumbnail
World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
... Click here for more video clips ...