Table of Contents
   Index
   Secessionist Movements
- Article 370
- Interim Government
- The Plebiscite Front
   Muslim Militancy
- The Gathering Storm
- War of Attrition
   Disinformation Compaign
- Political Alienation
- Muslim Precedence
- Economics of Militancy
   Genocide of Hindus
- The Minorities
- Quit Kashmir
- Darkness at Noon
- The Exodus
- Ethnic Cleansing
   Search for Refuge
- Leave Salary
- Scorched Earth
   Book in pdf format  

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

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Chapter 1
Secessionist Movements

INTERIM GOVERNMENT

Immediately after the accession of the State, an Emergency Administration was constituted by the National Conference to help the State Government to meet the emergency created by the invasion. In March 1948, the Emergency Administration was dissolved and replaced by an Interim Government which was vested with all the authority to conduct the administration of the State. The Interim Government was constituted by the National Conference and headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. 

The induction of the Interim Government virtually brought the autarchy of the Dogra rulers to its end, and marked the beginning of a more pernicious era of servitude and oppression for the Hindus in the State. The Interim Government which ruled the State by ordinance and governed the State for almost a decade, enforced Muslim precedence in the goverment, society and the economic organisation of the State. 

The Interim Government ordered the resumption of all landed estates and Jagirs and the imposition of ceilings on land holdings, without compensation. to socialise all production in land. The Interim Government, further ordered the nationalisation of industry, communications and transport and all commercial enterprise in order to establish a classless society in the State, which the National Conference claimed, was envisaged by the manifesto of the Conference, the 'New Kashmir'. However, though the land reforms were applied to the Muslims and the Hindus in Jammu with equanimity, and they were secured, land which they retained within the postulated ceiling of 21 acres, the Hindus in Kashmir, including the Kashmiri Pandits were dispossessed of all their landed possessions by a campaign of land grab which the National Conference cadres carried on with the help of the administrative agencies now under their complete control. Legal redress claimed by the Hindus for the restoration of their rights in land was denied to them and most of the cases filed by Hindus in the concerned tribunals and the revenue authorities were hung up, forcing most of the claimants to abandon their lands. 

The nationalization of industry, communications and transport and various commercial enterprises, which the National Conference emphatically claimed, would usher in the State a classless society, was also used to dissolve whatever property interests the Hindus possessed. Special license systems were devised to recanalise financial resources and state patronage to enable the Muslims, whose property interests had been deliberately saved from the nationalization, to establish industries and private transport, organise private trading and purchase immovable property in commercial enterprises. State-sponsored marketing agencies were formed, ostensibly to exclude the middlemen, but in actual practice, to provide facilities to Muslim enterpreneurs to monopolise trade and commerce of the State. By the time the Interim Govemment was dissolved in 1953, a new Muslim middle class had replaced the socialism the National conference had set out to achieve at the cost of the Hindus. 

While the process of the dispossession of the Hindus from their property was being carried out, a widesprcad campaign of removing Hindus from the State services was undertaken, ostensibly to liberate the State from the Hindu mercenaries of the Dogra regime and allegedly to correct the communal imbalances, the Dogras had engendered in the administrative organisation of the State. In the 'New Kashmir' manifesto, the National Conference had committed itself to the right to equality and right to protection against discrimination on the basis of religion. "The equality of all rights of all citizens", the New Kashmir Manifesto stated, "irrespxtive of their nationality, religion, race or birth in all spheres of national life, economic, political, social, shall be an irrevocable law". The Interim Government was law unto itself; it cast overboand all the commitments of the National Conference to secularism and 'New Kashmir' and insisted upon the restructurisation of the State Gavernment in accordance with population proportions, to ensure the Muslim majority its place of precedence in the admimstration of the State. Besides arbitrary removal of the Hindus from the State services, the Interim Government imposed a virtual embargo on the recruitment of Hindus to all employments in the State. 

The ruthless communalisation of the framework of the society and the state which the Interim Government undertook to accomplish, was extended to the admission of the Hindus and the other minorities to educational institutions as well. A limitation was placed on the entry of the Hindus and other minorities to the educational institutions and nominations made by the State Government to the technical trainings and the grant of scholarships. Quotas were filled for the Hindus and the other minorities for admission to educational institutions on three different criteria in the three regions of the State in the Kashmir province where the Hindus and the other minorities constituted 9 percent of the population, quotas were filed accordiing to the proportion of their population. In the Jammu province, where Muslims formed a small minority of the population, special quotas for their admission were filed on the basis of their economic and educational backwardness. In the Ladakh region, the Buddhists were excluded from all quotas, eliminating them completely from the reservations for admissions to the educational institutions made on the basis of educational backwardness. In an unabashed self conceit the Interim Government applauded its efforts to communalise the society in the State, a process which ultimately led to the emergence of Muslim extremism in the State. 

The economic strangulation of the Hindus in Kashmir, particularly their exclusion from the government and administrative processes and the restrictions placed upon their admissions to educational institutions had a devastating effect on them. The policy of communal precedence was vigourously followed by successive State Governments and the Hindus continued to suffer almost to the present day, the ravages which communal precedence wrought in the entire State. In Kashmir, the Hindus gradually abondoned their homes and migrated to the other parts of India in search of their livelihood. More than two lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus were compelled to migrate to Jammu and the other parts of India. 

The fate of the displaced Hindus and other minorities from the territories of the State, occupied by Pakistan, turned to be worse. They were never rehabilitated in the State, though fairly large evacuee properties and land, left behind by the Muslims who went over to Pakistan or the occupied territories of Azad Kashmir, were retained by the Governrnent as a dosely guarded possession for a long time, and they surreptitiously made over to Muslims and their religious trusts, leaving the Hindu refugees high and dry. This happened inspite of the fact that all properties belonging to the Hindus and the Sikhs, their religious places and endowments, left behiud in the occupied territories, were appropriated by the Muslims. Most of the religious places in the occupied territories of Azad Kashmir were razed to ground or converted into more mundane places of occupation. 

Far more worse was the fate of the Hindus and Sikhs who had fled from the Punjab and who were given refuge by the Maharaja's Government in 1947. They are still living in the State as refugees. They are reckoned out of the population of the State. In contrast. the Muslim refugees from Tibet, who claimed to have left Kashmir about two centuries earlier and settled in Tibet, the Afghan refugees, who trickled into Kashmir after the end of the second world war, and thousands of Muslims, who sneaked from the occupied territories of "Azad Kashmir", the terrtories occupied by Pakistan, into the border districts of the Jammu province in the aftermath of the conflicts between India and Pakistan in 1965, and 1971, were quietly resettled in the State. It is of interest to note that the Tibetan refugees and the Afghan settlers have provided considerable cadres to both the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and the military arm of the Jamaiti-Islami, the Hizibul Mujahidin, and a sizable section of the hardcore of the subversive forces, operating in the Muslim majority districts of Jammu, is drawn from the recent Muslim settlers from the occupied territories of Pakistan. 

The process of Muslimisation undertaken by the Interim Government evoked sharp reaction from the Hindus in the State. The distrust sunk deeper after the Interim Government secured the exclusion of the State from the constitutional organisation of India which the Hindus perceived as the first step in the direction of reconstituting the State into a Muslim political organisation, independent of India. The later events proved that their fears were not unfounded; only two years after its institution, the Interim Government, began to look out for help to extricate the State from the Indian fold. For vested political interests, much has been said to whitewash the truth. 

That the Interim Government was dismissed at the back of Nehru, is not true. On 6 August 1953, only three days before the Interim Government was dismissed, Maulana Syed Masoodi, the General Secretary of the National Conference called upon the people of India to recognise the claim of the Muslims in the State to their independence. The statement read: 

The real issue, it should be realised, is that there are people in India, who are not prepared to see Kashmir maintain its existing position. They are angry that Kashmiris should remain aloof both from India as well as Pakistan; one should not work oneself up necessarily to see this view being expressed. Instead, it should be examined dispassionately. Then only can there be possible, a correct appraisal of the situation in Kashmir. If Kashmiris rose as one man against Pakistan, it was because they saw that, that country wanted to force them into a position which they were not prepared to accept. If today demands are made in India which endanger the present autonomous position of the State and realising this danger, the people of Kashmir feel inclined towards a third alternative, it is not they who should be blamed for it but those who are the root cause of it. 
The Maulana added: 
All those people in India, who are honestly interested in Kashmir and India, thrive together on the basis of a willing, not forced, association, should come into the field and organise the Indian public opinion against movement for the merger of the State. 
Maulana Masoodi conveyed in veiled terms that equidistance from India and Pakistan alone ensured the Muslims in the State, a political organisation which was based upon their communal precedence in its political organisation. Masoodi claimed that since the Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhists, whom he lumped together as the "communal forces" and who formed almost forty per cent of the population of the State, sought the integration of the State into the constitutional organisation of India, the Muslims had a divine right to adopt an alternative to the accession of the State "a third alternative'': that of the independence of the State. 

The Indian leaders had depended upon the National Conference and its leaders in their struggle against Pakistan. They had rejected the application of the partition of India to the States, and accepted the accession of the Jammu and Kashmir to India, to neutralise the effect of the partition in India and reconstruct the Indian States into a secular political organisation, in which people of all faiths were integrated on the basis of equality and protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or class. The National Conference strongly supported the secular integration of the Indian Muslims in the political organisation of India and vigorously opposed all political movements in India, which supported communal precedence of the Hindu majority in India. However, the Conference leaders guarded jealously the communal character of the political organisation they sought to forge in the State, which accepted communal precedence of the Muslims as its essential basis. They insisted upon the exclusion of the State from the political organisation of India to safeguard the Muslim majority character of the State and the communal precedence of the Muslims in its society and politics. Jinnah had sought guarantees from the British for a separate Muslim homeland, in which the Indian Muslims would be absolved from the Hindu majority dominance. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah sought to use the United Nations intervention in the dispute over the accession of the State, to secure a separate homeland for the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir.  
 

White Paper on Kashmir

 

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