Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Archive for July 15th, 2008

J&K: Fact vs fiction

Posted by jagoindia on July 15, 2008

Arvind Lavakare
J&K: Fact vs fiction
One recalls reading Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah making the catatonic claim that had Jammu and Kashmir been a part of Pakistan, he himself may well have become Pakistan’s prime minister. That was two years ago during the special session of the J&K assembly to discuss the resolution demanding the pre-1953 autonomy status for the state.

And the other day, Abdullah, outgoing chief of the National Conference party, delivered another cathartic conclusion. ‘He said Kashmir would have become part of Pakistan had the National Conference not been there.’ [The Asian Age, Mumbai, July 17, 2002, page 2). That belief, strung to his litany of grievances against New Delhi, is covertly why Abdullah is once again demanding the OGL [open general licence] of the pre-1953 autonomy — as the legitimate reward, by implication, for his party making J&K accede to India rather than to Pakistan 55 years ago.

We’ll come to the autonomy business after first sorting out Abdullah’s view of history of that accession.

Now it is true that the National Conference was the largest and most influential political party in J&K from the thirties onward. But it is perversion to proclaim that it was the National Conference that prevailed upon the J&K maharaja to sign the Instrument of Accession in India’s favour. The facts in several historical documents are clear on that. And as narrated by P N K Bamzai [A History of Kashmir, Metropolitan Book Co Private Ltd., Delhi, 1962] it went the following way.

For years after the lease of Gilgit [in the north of J&K] by Maharaja Gulab Singh (1846-1856) to the British, the latter had given wide latitude to the ruler in the exercise of his powers. With Maharaja Hari Singh’s unstinted support to the British in the Second World War, his position became stronger, and when there arose an extensive movement among the masses to end the British rule in India, the maharaja’s hands were further strengthened by the British to enable him to suppress the opposition to his rule in the state.

Hence the maharaja’s strong measures to suppress the “Quit Kashmir” movement launched in 1944 by the National Conference. Hence too the maharaja’s act of imprisoning popular leaders of the National Conference and Muslim Conference.

Around August 15, 1947, raids from the Pakistan side into J&K territory had begun. Those raids soon increased in frequency and swelled in strength.

Pressed by the hostile acts of Pakistan and realising that the British Crown was powerless to help him, the maharaja tried to win back the support and goodwill of his subjects. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah [founder of the National Conference] and most of his colleagues were released from the prison on September 29.

On their release, the leaders of NC found J&K faced with the important question of whether the state should accede to India or to Pakistan or to remain independent. But there was also another more crucial question that awaited recognition and solution, namely the freedom of the people. So they thought and said that the people of J&K could decide this important question only when they were free. They requested Pakistan not to precipitate a decision upon them, but give them time and support the freedom movement of J&K. One of the leaders, G M Sadiq, went twice to Liaqat Ali Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, with that request. The reply came in the form of (i) a crippling economic blockade whereby supplies of food, petrol and other essentials from the Pakistan route were cut off; and (ii) fresh incursions by their armed forces into the state territory. By October 22, infiltrations and raids were transformed into a full-scale military invasion of the state of J&K.

The maharaja’s state army and the National Militia — started by the NC when the marauding invaders were a few miles from the capital, Srinagar — were simply in no position to halt what would have been Pakistan’s ultimate capture of the entire state.

The J&K maharaja and the NC had no option but to seek military help of India — the same India that had conveyed to the maharaja in June that year that it would not object if he acceded to Pakistan. Lord Mountbatten, governor general of the Dominion of India, offered the requested help only if J&K acceded to India. The maharaja agreed. That accession of October 26, 1947 became a fact.
So, Mr Abdullah, your party had no positive role in J&K becoming a part of India. What you said the other day is fiction. Your party was not doing a favour to India by that accession. That accession was done to save skins, period. That is the fact. Never forget that fact even when, if ever, you retire and write your autobiography. Why, the brutal truth is that, frustrated no end with countless sufferings inflicted by Pakistan on his country for bearing the J&K cross all these 55 years, the lay Indian may today be secretly ruing that historic accession. If we had not agreed to it, your father, Abdullah I, would probably have been interned till interred in Pakistan; you yourself, Abdullah II, would probably have had to flee for ever to England, and your son, Abdullah III, would probably be eyeing a seat in some borough council instead of parroting your autonomy demand as J&K’s chief minister in waiting today.

That demand itself hides a hypocrisy and irony that’s been largely overlooked by people who naively dub the state of Jammu and Kashmir as simply ‘Kashmir,’ who believe the fiction that there is some ineluctable Kashmiriyat that pervades the whole state, and that the state itself deserves to be treated forever with kid gloves and candy floss. Just see the contradiction: from Delhi, the Abdullahs demand more powers for themselves and from Srinagar, as seen below, they do not devolve powers to the several regions of the state, preferring, instead, to centralise authority in their “dynastised” throne.

Like some other ugly facets of J&K, this craving for monopoly power goes back to Sheikh Abdullah. On record on this subject is Balraj Puri, a very old hand on J&K affairs going back to the fifties when he met Jawaharlal Nehru to seek an arrangement that would ensure Jammu a share of power. Puri, mind you, led a mass campaign in the mid-sixties for regional autonomy in J&K. In an edit-page article in The Hindu of August 21, 2001 and another in The Times of India, Mumbai, of May 8, 2000, Puri wrote:

In 1975, Sheikh Abdullah called a convention of representatives of Jammu and Ladakh and sought their support on the basis of regional autonomy. As chief minister, he repeated his commitment on various occasions and in various fora. He did not honour his word.

Dr Farooq Abdullah appointed Puri as working chairman of the Regional Autonomy Committee. But for six months after the RAC’s report was submitted in June 1998, Abdullah could not find time to meet Puri despite several requests from the latter. Reason? Probably because the Puri Report proposed devolution of political power at regional, district, block and panchayat levels and allocation of funds according to an objective, equitable formula based on a variety of socio-economic indicators.

Thereafter, Puri was removed from RAC and an officially drafted alternative report was released on behalf of three out its six original members

This report proposed the division of Jammu and Ladakh regions on religious lines without proposing any devolution of political and economic powers. Its main feature was not the quantum and nature of autonomy but change in the very concept of regions — something that was not in the RAC’s terms of reference.
Consider the above with the fact that, in his Times article referred above, Puri also revealed that ‘the district boards, under the state Panchayat Raj Act, have a nominated president, 33 per cent nominated women, nominated scheduled caste and scheduled tribe members and representatives of semi-government agencies with a deputy commissioner as executive head.’

It is obvious that what the Abdullahs are demanding is autocracy, not autonomy. If their ‘subjects’ are alienated, it is because of autocracy and not for lack of autonomy. That is the fact vs fiction in J&K. And yet there are influential people around who are endorsing that demand for the pre-1953 status. Why, an intellectual politician, Arun Jaitley, has just been engaged to discuss it with the Abdullahs — whatever the subsequent spin given on that assignment by our deputy prime minister.

Why do we continue to humour the Abdullah dynasty and its National Conference party? Why are we scared of them? Because all those who have governed the nation from 1947 have had no policy on J&K — unless being scared of the Abdullahs is a policy itself.

Posted in Kashmir, Pakistan, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

The Old Arab and The Turkey, Nixon on National Will and lessons for India

Posted by jagoindia on July 15, 2008

Kashmir Herald, August 2002

India — A Soft State And National Will
Vinod Kumar

My friend Chanchal Chatterji wrote: “Our inability to deal with hard targets strongly has given us the soft state image and everyone takes us for a ride.”

Well, it is not just an image — it is a matter of fact. It is this understanding that India is a soft state that almost every country takes India for a ride. This soft state status comes not solely from the lack of weapons in Indian armory but also due to India’s commitment to Gandhian and Buddhist concept (it will become clear later) of how to deal with adversaries and this has led to lack of “Will”. Even if India had all the weapons in the world but lacked the “will” to use them — these weapons will do no good. Every time we give in even to a minor terrorist demand — we convey the message that India is a soft state; it has no “will”.

I will give below two examples on this issue of “will” : One is how Nixon saw this issue of national “will” and another is an old Arab story.

I will relate the Arab story first and then quote Nixon.

The Old Arab and The Turkey
Someone told an old Arab if he ate turkey, he will become virile again. So he bought himself a turkey and fed it the best grain and watched it grow big. Every day he said to himself: “One of these days I am going to eat this turkey and be virile again. I am going to be a stud.”

He started eyeing the good looking young women around. One morning he found his turkey has been stolen. He gathered his sons around him and said in a somber voice; “Sons, we are in grave danger. My turkey has been stolen. Go, find my turkey.”

The boys laughed at him and said, “So what is the big deal, Old man? What do you need the turkey for anyway?” The old Arab replied, “Never mind, what I need the turkey for. The important thing is that our turkey has been stolen and it must be found. Go, find my turkey.” The boys walked away and paid no more attention to the old man or look for his turkey.

A few weeks later, old Arab’s camel was stolen. This time the sons went to the old man and said, “Father, our camel has been stolen? What shall we do?” “Forget about the camel. Find my turkey” the old Arab told his sons. The sons did not bother about the turkey but looked for the camel for a few days and soon they forgot about the camel too.

Another few weeks later the old Arab’s horse was stolen. The sons once again went to their father and said, “Father, our horse has been stolen, what shall we do?” “Forget about the horse. Find my turkey.” The old man replied. The sons again did not bother about the turkey but looked for the horse in the neighborhood. Again, after a few days the sons forgot about the horse too.

Finally a few weeks later old Arab’s daughter was raped. The sons were furious, went to father and said, “Father, our sister has been raped. We shall kill the bastard.” The old man looked at his sons and said, “No use showing your temper now. It is all because of the turkey. Once they found out that they can get away with the turkey, everything was lost. They knew they can get away with anything they want.”

Nixon on National Will
In his book “The Real War”, Nixon wrote: “Nations live or die by the way they respond to the particular challenges they face. Those challenges may be internal or external; they may be faced by a nation alone or in concert with other nations; they may come gradually or suddenly. There is no immutable law of nature that says only the unjust will afflicted, or that the just will prevail. While might certainly does not make right, neither does right by itself make might. The time when a nation most craves ease may be the moment when it can least afford to let down its guard. The moment when it most wishes it could address its domestic needs may be the moment when it most urgently has to confront an external threat. The nation that survives is the one that rises to meet that moment: that has the wisdom to recognize the threat and the will to turn it back, and that does so before it is too late.”

“The naïve notion that we can preserve freedom by exuding goodwill is not only silly, but dangerous. The more adherents it wins, the more it tempts the aggressor.”

Nixon went on to write: “There are two aspects to national will. There is will as demonstrated by the nation itself, and there is will as perceived by the nation’s adversaries. In averting the ultimate challenge, perceived will can be as important as actual will. Although an American President would launch a nuclear strike only with the most extreme reluctance, the Kremlin leaders must always assume that he might; and that if truly vital interests of the nation or the West required the use of nuclear weapons, that he would do so. If they are to be effectively deterred from the ultimate provocation, they must perceive that such a provocation carries with it the ultimate risk.

“National will involves far more than readiness to use military power, whether nuclear or conventional. It includes a readiness to allocate the resources necessary to maintain that power. It includes a clear view of where the dangers lie, and of what kinds of responses are necessary to meet those dangers. It includes also a basic, crystalline faith that the United States is on the right side in the struggle, and that what we represent in the world is worth defending.

“For will to be effective, it must necessarily include the readiness to sacrifice if necessary – to deter those goals that are merely desirable in order to advance those that are essential; to pay the cost of defense; to incur risks; to incur the displeasure of powerful constituencies at home and of raucous voices abroad.”

Nixon might have written these with India in view (but we know he didn’t) and he sums up the entire issue one sentence:

“The naïve notion that we can preserve freedom by exuding goodwill is not only silly, but dangerous. The more adherents it wins, the more it tempts the aggressor.”

When I referred to Gandhian and Buddhist concept — I was referring to “naive notion” that Hindus have that if they are nice to others, others will be good to them too. Or if we disarm, others will cause us no harm. If we go on bhookh hartal (hunger strike), the others will at least leave us alone if not give us what we demand. We have practiced these kind of “silly notions” for far too long and that is what led Will Durant to write:

“The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India’s boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600-1000 A.D.) India invited conquest; and at last it came.”

He went on to write:
“This is the secret of the political history of modern India. Weakened by division, it succumbed to invaders; impoverished by invaders, it lost all power of resistance, and took refuge in supernatural consolations; it argued that both mastery and slavery were superficial delusions, and concluded that freedom of the body or the nation was hardly worth defending in so brief a life. The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry.”‘

India has not only not learnt the basic lessons in national “will” and it failed to learn the basic facts of life.

Gandhi further pushed India into the abyss that “freedom of the body or the nation was hardly worth defending in so brief a life” except from the British. Unless we can tear ourselves asunder from the legacy of Buddha and Gandhi, any amount of arms or ICBM’s are not to going to help. Gandhi and Buddha might have expounded a philosophy that is good for peace of the mind and of the soul but it does not protect the body and the nation.

Posted in Arabs, Hindus, India, Islamofascism, Terrorism | 3 Comments »

In Kashmir, no land for Hindus

Posted by jagoindia on July 15, 2008

In Kashmir, no land for Hindus
July 15, 2008, A Surya Prakash, The Pioneer

Giving in to Muslim communalists and protesters who indulged in violence across the Kashmir Valley, the Congress-led Government in Jammu & Kashmir hastily withdrew the allotment of 100 acres of land made to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board to provide basic amenities to Hindu pilgrims along the Amarnath Yatra route. The attitude of the Muslim majority to the Hindu minority in the Valley and the response of the Government in India’s only Muslim-majority State to the issue of minority rights is in sharp contrast to the manner in which the Hindu majority and the Union and State Governments treat the religious minorities in the rest of India, specially in regard to pilgrimages. The contrast is so striking that these developments have suddenly rekindled the debate on the pseudo-secularism and minorityism that is practiced by the Congress and its allies in the United Progressive Alliance.

Apart from constructing exclusive Haj terminals in airports and offering Haj pilgrims 16 embarkation points in the country, the Union Government has been providing Haj subsidy that has been rising every year. The Haj subsidy, which was a mere Rs 25.59 crore in 1993, crossed Rs 348 crore in 2006. The cost of the subsidy has ballooned because the price the pilgrims pay for the return ticket to Jeddah has remained constant at Rs 12,000 since 1994 while the actual cost of the ticket has risen from Rs 33,000 to Rs 46,000.

The number of pilgrims has also shot up. Apart from this subsidy, the Indian government has a Haj Office in the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, runs a hospital in Mecca and dispensaries in Mecca and Madinah, and sends doctors, nurses and para-medical staff to run these medical establishments during the pilgrimage. In addition, the Government has sanctioned eight ambulances and medicines for pilgrims who fall ill.

The number of Haj pilgrims has gone up from 25,205 in 1993 to 1.08 lakh in 2006. Though Jammu & Kashmir is one of the less-populated States in the country, it sent the fifth biggest contingent of pilgrims (6,630) for Haj in 2006. The Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh has taken this policy of minorityism a step further and announced subsidy for Christians who wish to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. However, in the only Muslim-majority State in the Indian Union, Hindu pilgrims to the Amarnath Shrine do not qualify for grant of a few acres of land along the yatra route for provision of basic amenities. BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu put it succinctly at a public meeting in New Delhi the other day when he said the population of the Hindus may be 100 crore. But in India, Hindu pilgrims are not entitled to even 100 acres.

Apart from the double standards practiced by a national party, the Hindu majority in India has also to cope with the blatant dishonesty of Muslim politicians of Jammu & Kashmir. They claim that by allocating land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, the State Government has harmed the cause of ‘Kashmiriyat’. Pray, what is ‘Kashmiriyat’? If it supposedly means the peaceful and harmonious co-existence of Hindus and Muslims, we need to ask ourselves if that was ever there.

Any history book will tell us that the onslaught on Hindus in Kashmir began in the 14th Century during the reign of Sultan Sikander. Apart from destroying Hindu temples and breaking idols, he began a systematic drive to proselytise Hindus, thus forcing large number of them to convert or migrate. His successors like Sultan Ali Shah carried on the ‘good work’. In more recent times, Islamic terrorists raped and killed Hindus, burnt their homes and forced them to flee the Valley in 1989-90, leading to the most comprehensive and cold-blooded instance of ethnic cleansing in this region. An estimated three lakh Hindus have fled their homes and taken refuge in Jammu and New Delhi. Yet, Kashmiri Muslim politicians have the temerity to talk of ‘Kashmiriyat’ and communal amity in the State!

Even more preposterous is the argument relating to demographic change. The whole world is aware of how Hindus were driven out of the Valley. Yet, we have this disgusting spectacle of politicians like Mr Omar Abdullah from the Valley stating publicly on television channels that they oppose the transfer of 100 acres to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board because they fear that through the transfer of these few acres of land “the demographic character of Kashmir is being altered”.

Mr Omar Abdullah is packaged by some media houses as a ‘liberal, secular’ politician and is almost a permanent fixture in some television studios during debates on minority rights. But the minority rights he is concerned about are not the rights of the Hindu minority in his home State but the rights of Muslims in the rest of India. The Amarnath land allotment affair has completely exposed him.

Given his objections to the allotment of land, we need to remind him that ‘secularism’, like charity, ought to begin at home. He must first display some passion and commitment to defend the rights of Hindus in the Kashmir Valley, just as there are many Hindu politicians in the rest of India who stand up for the rights of the Muslim minority in their States. Otherwise, his utterances will sound hypocritical and people from other Indian States will be urging media houses to please shut out this man’s humbug.

Incidentally, Mr Omar Abdullah is not the only Kashmiri politician who is given to double-speak. Take Mr Yasin Malik for example. He claimed on television last week that Kashmiris “are the most hospitable people in the world” and that the religious harmony that prevails in the Kashmir Valley “is unique in the world”. Yet another gem from this man is that Kashmiri Muslims have been “taking care” of Hindu pilgrims all these years.

Is amnesia a standard condition among Kashmiri politicians or is it that they are completely disconnected from truth? Is not Mr Malik aware of what his people have done to the Hindu minority in 1989-90? Is he not aware of the number of Hindu pilgrims who have been killed by terrorists during the Amarnath Yatra in previous years? Equally preposterous is his claim that since Muslims “take care” of Hindu pilgrims, there is no need for a Hindu Board to manage the Sri Amarnath Shrine! We should now ask Mr Malik to please apply this logic to all Muslim shrines across India. Since Hindus take such good care of Muslims (they even subsidise their pilgrimage, build Haj terminals in airports and hospitals in Jeddah), why have Waqf Boards and other Muslim religious bodies to manage mosques and dargahs?

All Indians who value democracy and a secular order must challenge these purveyors of untruth and remind them that secularism is not a one-way street.

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Posted in Amarnath, Hindus, India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Kashmir, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »