…..and they call me a militant.

As I entered my classroom that day, I heard someone whisper, “Militant”. I knew where it came from and I was quite aware of the reason behind it. I was the only one having a different opinion. I am a Kashmiri who believes that the Indian occupation of Kashmir is illegal. My nationality is Kashmiri, and I openly declare it while constantly denying to be labeled as an Indian. I believe that I cannot be Indian by just having an Indian passport; I have to be Indian by heart, which is not true in my case.

Most of the people in my college probably called me “militant”. If I was intimidated or upset by such people, I could have pretended that I was an Indian from deep within my heart. But that wouldn’t be me; nationality is not something you pretend. It is a feeling within you, something which cannot be forced upon you. I have no patriotic feelings for India. I used to sing “jana gana mana” at school as a kid and truly felt patriotic while singing it. I was a kid then, I had absolutely no idea what was going on outside my bubble. But the next few years changed my perception completely. I witnessed things which pulled me away from the patriotic feeling which “jana gana mana” gave me. I saw humiliation, torture and killings around me. Kashmiris were being thrashed and executed. It was no less than genocide which continues unchecked and unabated even today.

As a result, the only nationality that I associate myself with is Kashmiri and this infuriates many people. So were my class mates infuriated. They were looking at things from their own point of view, totally and completely ignorant of how it feels to be a Kashmiri. How it feels to have lived there and experienced things which they have never imagined. If only they could place themselves in my shoes, they would understand why I feel the way I do. It was I who had been in Kashmir all my life and seen it all.

My friends understood to a certain extent when I spoke to them about the commotion I grew in. The atmosphere I was brought up in, the incidents I witnessed. The rebellion inside me did not start due to one particular episode. Infact a series of them continued over the years to pave a way for such passionate feelings. It has been almost seventeen years now. And as time passes, the revulsion within me increases with the increasing injustice around me.
India is their motherland, and they will never hear anything against it. But they can at least show some sympathy towards the Kashmiri cause. What happened in Kashmir because of India does not affect their patriotic feelings, nor do I want anything like that to happen. However, I want them to value the feelings of Kashmiris as well. My classmates apparently had a very typical image of Kashmir. The only conclusion they could derive from my way of thinking was that I wanted Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. Some even thought I was a Pakistani. I would occasionally hear people abusing Pakistan, either calling me a militant or just randomly naming militant outfits as I strolled through the campus. They did not understand the reasons behind my opinions, like many Indians do not. Probably I should not blame them, because either they are totally ignorant about Kashmir history or they are aware but deprived of the real news from Kashmir.

How did these people spend their lives? As kids, did they ever think about death? While they spent a jovial childhood, children in Kashmir grew up amidst guns and bullets, with death hovering at every corner. Even going to school was dangerous with students having to run for their lives time and again. Did they ever do that as school children? Did they ever have a gun pointed at them? Did they ever have their home ransacked? Did they have their brothers and fathers beaten up? Did they ever get tensed about some family member not returning home? Did they ever see their parents and elders being disrespected? Did they ever face humiliation at the hands of the army for no reason? Did any of their relatives ever go to jail for no reason? Did anyone in their family get killed at the hands of the army?

All they did was go to school and return to finish their homework and play. They would go for picnics and parties. And while they were doing that, what were kids doing in Kashmir? Kids like me? We were living under the constant shadow of death. Everyday we would see mutilated bodies on the front covers of the local newspapers. Some relative or acquaintance would get hurt in the daily incidents. Shouts and slogans from protesters during demonstrations kept ringing in our minds. Guns were pointed at us from bunkers at every nook and corner of the valley. Our day after school was spent anticipating the return of our family members who would go out for their daily chores. Protests, strikes, curfews were the usual terms we learnt.

If Kashmir is an integral part of India, what are these people who call me a militant doing for the people of Kashmir? If I support the Kashmiri cause, if I raise my voice against injustice, does that make me a militant? And what would you call those who sit with their eyes closed or dig their head into the sand like an ostrich and pretend there is nothing wrong happening around them? “Militants arrested should be killed, instead of being fed in the jails”, said one class mate of mine. Isn’t that what they do, be the person a militant or a commoner? Do they know how many people their army has killed in fake encounters? The same army they are proud of, the ones who ‘won’ them the Kargil war. They are the ones who make lives of common Kashmiris miserable. And what does the government do about it. Pile up files for such cases in their offices? Promote these army personnel by rewarding them? And what do the Indians do about it, sit down and say, “Yet another militant killed”. And the truth gets dusted under the carpet yet again, thanks to the Indian media. Probably they have no clue about the human rights violations in Kashmir. And if by chance they do, they do nothing about it. Do they care if an innocent Kashmiri is killed?

And as years pass by, many from the Kashmiri youth drift further apart from India. Many completely disassociate themselves from the country. Some take extreme measures, pick up guns. But doesn’t injustice itself breed such feelings? If elections were not rigged, if mass killings weren’t pursued by India in the early nineties, if Pundits were not forced to leave Kashmir, things would certainly have been different. While India shares the blame with its blatant use of force in Kashmir, Pakistan is the hidden enemy here. By pushing arms into Kashmir and triggering events, it has injured people even more.

And if today I do not consider myself Indian, all these things have a role to play. In addition to this, history of Kashmir tells me that we were always destined to be free, destined to be the paradise on earth free of communal bias and hatred. And if expressing such feelings in a ‘democratic’India makes me a militant, I am certainly proud to be one!

Photo: GreaterKashmir…


32 Responses

  1. my dear brothers,

    You are doing great work, keep it up, great.

    We need to let the Indian people know the real face of their forces. They are being presented with sugar coated face of the acts of security forces.

    But, I do not understand why you guys are hiding your identities, this way, indian people will think that these blogs are run by millitants and not civillians.

    Hope you understand.

  2. Pakistan is the hidden enemy here. By pushing arms into Kashmir and triggering events, it has injured people even more.

    If you can understand this, then you should also understand why the army is there in large numbers – to protect Kashmiris from Pakistan trained militants. Terrorists dont carry identification marks on them that identify them as terrorists. So the forces have to conduct rigid searches to flush them out. During this time some violations can take place which ppl will have to bear with. It is the price that Kashmiris have to pay for Pakistan’s meddleing in Kashmir.

    India has never used brute force like Pakistan used in killing Baloch nationalist Sardar Bugti. India could have easily used brute force and the state of Kashmir would have been very different today. So-called Kashmiri martyrs would have been in millions today.

  3. RS,

    India claims that the Army is there for the protection on Kashmiris. But most of the time Kashmiris are troubled by army more than they are troubled by the millitants. Just scan the local papers and you will realise how much “protection” we have from the army.

    And regarding the violations, it is not “SOME” violations. If you see what was done in the early nineties and what has been continuing since then, if you know the statistics, you will realise that it is not SOME.

    Even if it is one innocent life, the law says that it is entitled to justice. But how many times have we got justice for innocent killings? Everything is easily brushed aside, every dead body is labelled as a millitant, every killing labelled as an encounter. How long will these violations continue?

    Civilians are not there to bear the frustation of the Indian Army. Protection from them is a feeling which we never got over the last seventeen years. And it is no excuse that thousands of Kashmiris have to die just because Pakistan meddled in between. There are always better ways to resolve political and complex disputes like Kashmir, only if the concerned parties attempt to. What India is doing as a result of the meddling in of Pakistan is no less than a brute force approach. Blatant brute force was definitely used earlier, probably you are unaware of that. Now it is all done under the cover of “zero tolerance”.

    And not all people who were dead were martyrs. Those who blow themselves away are not martyrs. But those who fight against injustice and opression are. But such people who raised a voice in favour of truth were crushed. They and the thousands of innocents who lost their lives,are our real martyrs!

  4. Hey if you think you are not an Indian, what the hell are you doing studying in an Indian education institute along with other Indians? Never step out of the Kashmir state border all your life then.

  5. All those who want kashmir to be an independent country, here is some food for thought. Firstly do you think Kashmir will survive (leave prosper) surrounded by powerful neighbours like India, Pakistan and China? Today only the Indian and Pakistani government butts in kashmir. If Kashmir does get independence, besides these two, you will also have the China, America and Russia. Not counting further headaches from the tacit support to Kashmiri Muslim clergy and indegineous fanatic groups by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran.

    If you consider yourself intelligent and patriotic, here is what you could do –
    (1) Accept Kashmir’s fate that it cannot sustain as an independent country and its survival is best if it is a formal part of India or Pakistan.
    (2) Try negotiating with the governments of both India and Pakistan as to who will offer the best Kashmir Development plan in terms of trade & commerce, infrastructure, economy, education, law & order and justice.
    (3) Get one of them to sign an accord confirming a detailed plan on the above in the presence of the UN with a counter clause on what happens if the demands are not met after accession.
    (4) Ensure that post such an accession, only Kashmiris (by birth) are allowed to participate in the regional politics and the other political parties of the country cannot run the state elections.
    (5) For God’s sake throw away the gun and start using your tongues for such a dialogue.

    Lastly, let me clarify that my heart truly weeps for all those innocent Kashmiris (Hindus & Muslims) who were wrongly killed, displaced or tortured by Kashmiri / Pakistani terrorists and by the Indian security forces. As much as it hates selfish mercilless terrorists & security forces. I may not have witnessed such gruesome acts like some of you have. But had I been a true Kashmiri, I would have dissuaded my brothers to shed the gun and start negotiations with the governments of both countries.

  6. Mr. India Awakes,

    Just because I am not an Indian, I should not go to India for education. Just because I am not American , I should not go to states for studying. If this is how it is supposed to be, I wonder what millions of Indians are doing all over the world. Shouldn’t they be in India, ‘coz they are Indians and not Americans or British or whatever nationality?

    Accepting one nationality does not restrict you to go out and mingle and interact with others. The prevalent conditions of Kashmir, which have pushed it back almost two decades than the rest of India and Pakistan is a result of the interference of both countries. Both India and Pakistan are responsible for the “disputed” status of Kashmir right now.

    Rather than cornering myself in Kashmir, I would rather go out in India and educate the Indian people about the ‘real’ Kashmir, which they never get to see. For doing that and for educating myself in an Indian institute, I do not need to be an Indian. Like you said, “dialogue” and not “guns”.

  7. And regarding the options that you have suggested, you think its as easy as it all is said? Tripartite talks on Kashmir have hardly been achieved with all the three parties content with one unanimous agreement.

    Most of the time, India and Pakistan talk and the Kashmiris are just left to be tossed around the two courts.

    There are solutions, there are many peaceful solutions, but nobody is willing to implement those.

    I am not someone who believes that we can get freedom using guns. But as I said, if injustice prevails in Kashmir, it will be hard to convince people to give up guns. There needs to be a mutual trust first. PM Zero tolerance was a step in that direction, but sadly even that just stayed on paper and in his speech.

  8. Zarafshan,

    I have read your article and agree 100% with everything you have said.

    I’m a male adult living in London of Kashmiri descent abiding in London. Both my parents were born in Pakistan however throughout my upbringing, attending Pakistani wedding, funeral and events I always felt out of place. What made me feel like this was the fact that brownie Pakistanis used to keep asking me why I was white, it never occurred to me that I was, why our foods and customs were different. No one explained to me that my family were political refugees that had escaped from the brutal forces of the Dogras to be faced with further antagonism and racism by fellow Muslims in the Punjab.

    Without having knowledge on my background, deep down I knew that I not only looked different, but felt different as well. I had inherited typical Aryan features, an olive complexion, a broad minded Sufi mentality and a desire to live close to nature, preferably mountains. Perhaps it was a spiritual pull or merely genetical.

    Like you I lived in a bubble also, I initially called myself a Pakistani Kashmiri, then British-Pakistani, British-Muslim, and then joined in the Indian trend lately seen in west and started to refer to myself as of Indian-Kashmiri origin until I visited the motherland this summer. I first stopped in Delhi, a great experience but at times people couldn’t stop staring. At the Red Fort a few Muslims from Jaipur told me that because I didn’t look Indian but spoke Hindi it only meant 1 thing – that I was a KASHMIRI! Therefore they advised that I kept a low profile – to hell with that, I’m proud of who I am and if people have an issue with it then that’s their problem not mine, I’m not going to forcibly give myself a tan or pretend to be a Turkish tourist like my cousins had to do back in 1990. They were right though, I experienced the dropped smiles and occasional horrified look on peoples face when I said I was a Kashmiri particularly in New Delhi Railway Station. In a shop selling Kashmir papier machie goods the manager said “Naah, Kashmir I different, they’re not part of us”, he said it in sense that Kashmiri is a problem and we ought to rid of it, it’s not India and good riddens, from my perspective I thought thank you for acknowledging we are not part of you, if only all Indians and your Government felt the same, we could all get on well but on our own separate paths.

    I landed in Srinagar, my first every visit to the valley and felt at home instantly. The red headed Police officers, green eyed ladies at the tourist desk and taxi drivers all started to speak to me in Kashmiri – it was a relief that my own kind recnognised me, it was the first time in my life where no one had actually asked me my racial background, I was part of a majority.

    I was with my people, got to know my roots and culture properly. I visited several organisations and talked to people about Kashmir. Everyone had suffered, if they had not been beaten then they had known someone who had been, or worse killed or disappeared. Businesses had taken a toll, psychological disturbances were on the high, people started to marry late and there was fear of the unknown future. Although tourism was increasing and apparently the Winter Commonwealth Games 2010 are to be held in Gulmarg, there wasn’t and isn’t anything promising for the people. Fortunately I have never experienced or witnessed any of the atrocities and had never been stopped to identify myself unless entering a public building. I was however made a mockery of by the military guards when visiting the Shankarcharya, the soldiers pointed to me and said in Hindi “He looks like a typical Kashmiri terrorist and should be shot down, ha ha ha!” – the thoughts through my head were how dare you and that on my land too. I remained calm and maintained my composure and remembered local tips, only speak in English and flag your British passport if you feel you’re stuck, they thought I was a European tourist so wasn’t hassled face to face.

    I have overheard anti-Kashmiri conversations between the forces and Yatris, I have been scolded at by soldiers whilst asking them for directions being lost in Srinagar, this is just the tip of the iceberg for a brief visitor like myself, and it must be hell for inhabitants having to live and see this rotten faced people day in and day out.

    After Kashmir I visited Pakistan, the Land of the Pure. A land to which a minority of Kashmiris have allegiance to but as usual I follow my gut instinct and don’t trust them. Sure, I have religious affiliation but I jump down the throat of any Pakistani the moment they tell me that Kashmiri is shown as part of their country on maps, that they have a legal claim over it – ever thought of asking the Kashmiri what he wants? Since Musaharraf took over he has emphasised that in any dialogue with India, Kashmir is pivotal, at the same time Kashmir is less and less shown as part of Pakistan on maps and banners that say ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ have disappeared, I was delighted to see these subtle moves and eventually they will stop making a claim that it is the 5th province of Pakistan.

    My childhood apprehensions returned and I felt I did not belong in Pakistan or amongst Pakistanis. The people are not sober like Kashmiris, the retailers of Old Lahore are not gentle and polite, the children do not have the same innocence as our children despite this turmoil period, the body language is harsh and women should wear a Taleban burqa here because the men are filthy, but I would never dream of the burqa in Kashmir because men never touch passing by ladies or whistle at her or even give her the top-to-toe x-ray look. On the other hand Kashmiris living here can be spotted a mile away, they are descendants of those migrated here in 1857. They have retained their pure blood and wouldn’t dream of marrying outside Kashmiris, they have the same charm as people of the valley even though they have not visited it for 5 or 6 generations – they truly look incongruous and should be shifted back to Srinagar. However, this group of Kashmiri is a bolder and stronger group, they’ve had to be, similar to the Irish of New York, they had to fight against discrimination and bully and stand up for their rights.
    I may have digressed and gone into a travelogue but my aim was to point out the overall differences between Pakistan, India and Kashmir. Trying to avoid in-depth history, we were an independent kingdom and should have remained independent as so even after the British left the subcontinent. Pakistanis need to learn that native Kashmiris are not like the so-called Azad Kashmiris who are Paharis and speak a Punjabi dialect, a language that is not written nor read, they don’t even know what a wazwaan, taash-naar or samovar is. The Indians are brutal, they have brain wshed their public throught he media against us but there there are genuine Indian witnesses of the genocide including ndian journalists, reporters, army, humans rights organisations, teachers and medical professionals.

    Overall, I now understand I am a Kashmiri Muslim and nothing but a Kashmiri Muslim, I have respect for all other communities but will not tolerate my identity being questioned. I have held insulting conversations with Pakistanis and Indians alike over my identity, they do not have the intellect to understand what Kashmiri nationality is only on the basis because it is not an independent state yet I have the Kashmiri DNA, thought and patriotism and know who I am and no one can make me think otherwise, for the reocd most kshmiris especially the young feel like this, including everyone I met in Srinagar, my couins here int eh UK, my friends and most of my family.

    I have learnt to stop criticising my ancestors who risked their lives from the torments of another foreign rule and escaped across the mountain passes overnight heading for the plains of Punjab to ensure their future generations were provided with security and assurance. I can imagine the difficulty of having to farewell this former Heaven on Earth and would not be surprised if they had nervous breakdowns having settled in a new place which was not even comparable to the valley. I hope this exodus is not repeated in Kashmiri and the diaspora can return to our motherland.

    We look forward to the world’s largest democracy, India letting go of Kashmir, it is in its favour also, it can utilise its budget on its homeless and let us turn a new leaf in history. It will allow us to buy and spend using the Kashmiri Dollar, have diplomatic missions via Kashmiri Embassies dotted across the globe, build a valiant and chivalrous force and develop a strong economy. With my full trust and Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala I know this will happen, if not in my life time the in the lifetime of my children or my grandchildren because there is always an end to the perpetrator of injustice.

    Armani Pampori Butt

  9. Zarafshan & Armani

    I must say you have put most of my feeling on this 15″ screen courtesy WordPress… I am really moved by all that you have written.

    Sometimes I also felt I suffer from some kinda identity crisis (now living away for nearly 6 years) but I am happy that I have started to get attached to my roots again. In fact now I think I know more about my motherland, its history, its culture than i knew so many years ago. And may I mention all this time wherever I have gone I have never compromised on one thing – that is saying it with pride that “I am a Kashmiri”. Even if this meant my loved ones passport getting delayed for want of “extra-chai-paani” in this place called the “financial capital of India”. But I don’t bother.

    Let us continue to know our motherland even better and share our views with each other.

    Juz A Kashmiri

  10. Dear Juz A Kashmiri

    It pleases me to see our people as yourself firmly grounding themselves so that they come to know their identity, this is becoming more and more prevalent especially amongst the 16 to 30 years old Kashmiris, as well other other age groups.

    I find it obscure when Kashmiris in London ie those who’s parents were born in Pakistan have no inclination towards the valley, their cousins or their race experiencing genocide, (it could easily have been them) just like a German with 1/10 Jewish blood would have been a target for Hitler. Other Asians acknowledge the difference between them and Kashmiris – it ought to trigger a thought. I have seen such Kashmiris so typical of Kashmiriness in their food and family yet it saddens me that they know it not.

    The worst case scenario: ethnic cleansing took place in the UK, (could happen) afterall Bosnia is only some 14 years ago and 2 hours flight away, we shift to India or Pakistan, they don’t exactly welcome us with open arms. SOLUTION – we go to Kashmir. Like everywhere else there is a chance of discrimination but never grounds of RACE!

    Enjoy the weekend
    Armani Pampori Butt

  11. zarafshan,
    Every thing you wrote about life in Kashmir made me cry but with all of the mistakes India’s government and India’s military has made in the past, Indians truly want Kashmir to be a part of India. I truly care about the Kashmiris but feel powerless. I want the Kashmiris to be happy and be proud to be Indian.

    What do you suggest Indian military do about the jihadis coming from Pakistan? Kashmir borders with Pakistani Kashmir. If the Indian military left Indian occupied Kashmir these jihadis will be free to come and go as they please bombing India left and right and also killing more Kashmiris.

    What is your solution to this issue of psycho terrorists coming from Pakistan into Kashmir?
    Is there any way that you could contact the news stations in India and make your opinions heard about what India could do about the Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir. If the terrorists didn’t exist then Kashmir’s internal problems could be dealt with.

    Parsis in India look very different from most Indians and their culture is also very different but they see themselves as Indians. So even if Kashmiri culture is different from Indian culture it doesn’t mean that they can’t see themselves as Indian.

  12. I don’t understand the point of gaining independence just so all Kashmiris can join Pakistan. Quite a few Kashmiris living abroad say this. What is the point of all freedom fighters if this is the main objective?

    Also, the main issue is whether all Kashmiris have the same mindset. Obviously there are some Kashmiris that are giving shelter to the terrorists otherwise how are terrorists surviving in Kashmir and causing so many problems? I’m hoping you can kind of understand why India feels reluctant to give complete freedom to Kashmir. Kashmir borders India and it is so easy for terrorists to enter India from there.
    If all Kashmiris would band together against terrorism as much as they are banding together on the freedom struggle, Kashmir could be given more importance and the Indian army could leave Kashmir to the Kashmiri soldiers.

  13. Manisha, the mistakes were not only made in the past, they are very much being committed even now, and no one is doing anything against the Indian army. With innocents being killed all around, you cannot expect Kashmiris to trust the Indian army as “security” forces, to say the least consider themselves Indians.

    The gunmen in Kashmir are not only Pakistanis ( I do not call them jihadi’s – it is a misused term in the media ). The ones who started the armed struggle against India were Kashmiris, no wonder they had armed support from across the border. You seem to be worried about these Jihadis killing Kashmiris and bombing India left and right? If you look into the statistics of people ( INNOCENT CIVILIANS ) killed by the Indian army, you will realise that for us the Indian army are terrorists, who are killing under the tag of maintaining law and order and peace in the valley.

    I ask you what we should do against the freely roaming ‘security’ forces of India who have been given a free hand to kill anyone anytime they want, without being questioned. Thousands have disappeared, and now their graves are appearing. What do you expect from the locals when there are so many atrocities happening and justice seems to be something achieved in the dream land only? There are people who are fighting for independence, and there are others who are fighting against the opression, the injustice, the atrocities that they are facing. If the human rights violations do not stop, these gunmen are not going to stop as well. The PM spoke about zero tolerance, but we do not see that anywhere. Just check the human right abuses in Kashmir, you will realise who the real terrorists are.

    Again its not about Kashmiri culture being different, its about Kashmir being a disputed land which many Indians fail to recognize. If you look at the history of Kashmir you will realise what stirred the present situation in Kashmir. You will realise that the conflict has deep roots, deeper than 1989. The history of this dispute goes long back and I cannot write all that here. Indians need to know that before they can comment and that too based on the information they get from the biased Indian media.

  14. Kavya ( – Manisha )

    The point of gaining independence is not to join Pakistan. You say Independence and then you relate it to joining with Pakistan? Aren’t you contradicting yourself? Independence means Independence from India as well as Pakistan, since Kashmir itself is divided between the two countries who technically have no right over this land.

    Terrorists are those who kill innocents – but the armed people in Kashmir are fighting against the Indian army. And when you have such a bad track record of the Indian army, you cannot expect people to sit quietly and be oppressed and killed. Result – these gunmen are not opposed by a large section of the society.

    And regarding sheltering terrorists. There are people who think independence can be achieved through peaceful means and there are some who take the armed approach.So there is support for both. Right now India and Pakistan have been talking on Kashmir for the last 18 years( actually it has been going on since 1947) without any results. Mainly because they do not involve the people of Kashmir in deciding their future. And till there is a neutral atmosphere in Kashmir, with Indian army leaving or to the least stopping the atrocities they are committing on Kashmiris, you cannot see any giving up from the side of the gun holding people.

    Regarding crossing borders, India borders Pakistan as well in areas other than Kashmir. If they can protect that, I am sure they can protect any infiltration from the Kashmiri side as well. That is no excuse for not withdrawing forces from Kashmir or not granting freedom to the Kashmiris.

  15. Hi Mr Z,

    Your blog gives a very intresting reading. But one thing Kashmir does not belong to Kashmiri Muslims only, it very much is a part of each and every Kashmiri Pandit, who have been forced to leave their homes, their comfort, their jobs, buisness & everything. You only speak of your pain, what Indian forces are doing. May be Indian forces are harsh with you but have you ever analyzed why. What have you done to innocent Kashmiri Pandits – whom u call Dalle- Batta, he never raised gun, why was he forced to leave. Why were Pandits like Mr Taploo, Mr Ganjoo etc killed. Why were Pandit girls raped/ killed. It all started there. One of my uncles was killed in his attic, (where he was hiding as he had life threat)& his wife was left unharmed as milltants had said someone should be there to weep for him.He had 2 young girls which he left behind. When u people killed innocent Pandits was that not human rights voilation. I still remember early 1990, when I was a kid there was a sudden onslaught of slogans from Masjid’s threatning Pandits of killing & kidnapping of women folk. I just want to ask you & all of you, how you could have gained azadi by kidnapping Pandit females??
    What you inflicted on Pandits then is being given back to you now. As it is rightly said “What u sow, so shall u reap”.

  16. I am not here to discuss the politics behind what happened in Kashmir in the early nineties. I am here to let the world know what exactly happens in Kashmir. What does an innocent have to do with the politics which India and Pakistan are playing with each other? What is the crime of a Kashmiri to be threatened, abused, tortured, killed by the Indian armed forces? The thousands of innocents are not the ones who were responsible for Kashmiri Pundit exodus, the ones who were are freely roaming around without even a finger being pointed at them.

    Me as an individual has not done anything with the Kashmiri Pundit community, I was a kid then. Why should I not raise my voice against the atrocities that I face or my fellow Kashmiris face? I have not sowed anything – why should I reap which someone else sowed – for their own gain?

    “I just want to ask you & all of you, how you could have gained azadi by kidnapping Pandit females?? ” – You are missing the essence of the whole Kashmiri problem, no sane person would think that this would lead them to azaadi, and I am sure the ones who are out to fight for freedom in their own ways do not think like this as well.And it was not these sane ones who did what happened in the early nineties, we all know the motive behind it.

    Kashmir problem was painted with colors that India wanted by implementing the exodus of Pundits from Kashmir with full dexterity – and unfortunately they succeeded in their plan by manipulating minds as well, as is evident from your post.

  17. HI,

    Indeed,very intersting blog.Once my friend asked me why is it alway melancholic to talk to a Kashmiri? My answer was simple Kashmiris are born and listen to the lulubies of Ak47, what do you expect from a person who is raised in the land of oppression and suppression. ..identity crisis…hahahaha..makes me laugh coz being a kashmiri i have always been a victim of …identity crisis… Well…I think time wont allow me to voice out my feelings right now, but i promise to bring some intersting facts about the Indian-pakistani injustice on the people of KASHMIR.


    Jumu jarman

  18. We kashmiris suffer. Come Republic day, and we are locked up in our houses. People (innocents) are killed by the Army, and the Militants. We have become so much disturbed. A tyre burst somewhere on the street, and we almost wet our pants. Pandits have been thrown out of their own land. Muslims dispersed, looking for livelihood outside Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandit women wash their clothes and hair under a Water Truck (How can you stand this!!!).

    All this is happening to us, we complain about everything. About being killed, raped, looted and tortured. BUT have we asked ourselves a questions? WHY? WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

    It was us kashmiris who are responsible for our own fate! Arent we? We welcomed these Militants. I still remember as a Kid how stones were thrown on Pandits houses, how Amit, a pandit school mate of mine wept and said “My father has been labelled as Indian Mukhbir and Given the Ultimatum to leave. Swear I didnt know then what Ultimatum meant!”

    Who did all this? When we ourselves are responsible for whatever we have done. Zarafshan doesn’t feel being an Indian. Neither do I. But have we asked ourselves WHY? There as a time, when people wept on the streets when Sheikh Abdullah died. Then the wind changed, and these very people throw pee on his Grave. Is this what Kashmiris should be doing?

    We are stupid. (I swear we are). We go the way the wind blows. Look at what has happened to Kashmir right now. Does anyone care? Given a chance, everyone would want himself a piece of Land at Dal Lake. I think Kashmiris (myself being one of them) are one of the worst people. (This is no hate blog or anything), but still see what we have done.

    Yes, Muslims. Even though a handful drove Pandits out of their houses. I know about Pandits, who are yet in torn tents at Jammu with tears in their eyes asking “How is my mother kashmir”

    Watali was hunted upon, and the next day we saw Posters demanding freedom from India. “Someone” from outside came and showed us what to do, and we followed… OH YES WE BLINDLY DID!

    Had they for example stated that we demand acession to USA, we would have loudly and blindly said YES!! We kashmiris are illiterates, simple fools, who are always taken for rides, don’t think with too much brains to take decisions on our own.

    I remember how Moulvis would pray for Independence! OMG!! I would rather not go pray to the Masjid then!

    I have seen how these “Militants” pulled beards of these very Moulvis. DONT TELL ME THESE ARE JUST A BUNCH OF PEOPLE!! WHO AREN’T MILITANTS. They are all the rotten apples of the whole basket, and all of them are the same.

    Ah! AH! I wish we would have had given a thought about what we are doing.

    There is ABSOLUTELY no justification in what is happening in Kashmir right now, but I strongly believe if we had then nipped this Militancy problem in the Bud, we wouldnt have been Blogging here.

    By The way, My parents, instead of praying for independence then prayed: “Allah, Do whatever is good for us”

  19. dear zaraf,
    to say that i am very impressed with your blog would be an undestatement. debates on kashmir usually revolve on the same lines but your patience in engaging with these exasperating and outrageous contentions raised by my ‘compatriats’ is truly admirable. i dont know if u can keep it up, day in and day out countering the same allegations in person and in your blog and in any other platform where the kashmir question is discussed. i can only wish u luck.
    ironically, being born into a hindu family and having grown up in a protected environment where nationality was treated with respect i still do not regard myself as an indian. nationality cannot be thrust upon people is something i have also said all along. but u have used this statement to assert an alternate identity while i find this neccesity to identify oneself by nature restrictive. shedding all identity markers helps me take a stand against oppression and injustice. is stressing an alternate identity as liberating?

  20. Z,

    You have been very biased, Why are you not talking about the Pandits , or the very fact Army wasnt there before the 1980’s, The reason Army is there cuz of the miltants, If you dont like the army to be there, flush out the miltants. You are being a hypocrite, For the mere fact that you are studying here, and having an Indian passport please do move over to Pakistan, The creation of Pakistan is just for that.

    Have you seen the condition of Pakistani muslims, Lets not even talk about British Muslims they are the most crazy zealots I have seen, Who are using British System to their advantage and trying to change it into a khaliffah, Muslim’s were known to be a lovely set of people in the times of Salauddin Ayyubi but they are bunch friggin terrorist or terroist sympathizers now. Stop Playing the Muslim Victim Card, You have more rights protecting you in India than me.

    Gilgit and Other parts of PoK is filled with Pathans and Punjabi’s. You are so blind that you cant even see the true light. 40 people were killed most of them Shia’s yesterday in pakistan. I come from another Muslim dominated area in India, called kerala. Muslims over here converted cuz of their love of Islam, not cuz of the sword of Ghauri. I respect them and they are happy with their lives and today they are the most powerful community in my state.

    Sadly as being kashmiri you talk only about Muslims, not the pandits not the Mongolid people, Therefore your cry baby story is not worth anything, Cuz you are not a true kashmiri, just a true Muslim. I am happy that the Indian Army is there protecting pandits and Ladaki’s ,Gujjars etc from people like you or the people you sympathize with


  21. I do not take away anything from the fact that Pundits have been victims of the conflict. This is something everyone is aware of , coz it has been publicized everywhere in the media.

    What is hidden is the day to day human rights abuses by the Indian army. Your media is biased, they project everything the way they want. They do not report the countless human rights violations that take place in Kashmir. And when people like me speak about it, you people instead of recognizing the fact that your army is torturing and killing innocents in Kashmir, get the Kashmiri pundit issue in between.

    No doubt they are related, but what makes your ignore the fact that Indian army is involved in numerous killings of innocent Kashmiris? If you follow the Indian media, then I don’t blame you. May be this and related blogs are something you should read and if possible read the local papers of Kashmir – to give you a broader perspective of the issue and the problems people like US face LIVING in Kashmir, not sitting away in some corner of India and just talking about Kashmir through your keyboard.

    But, if you know the reality and still think that Indian army is our protector, then I am sorry, you are just like any other biased Indian.

    …..and talking about flushing out the militants to flush out the army…you have to go deeper into the history of why the militants actually came into existence in Kashmir…..

    “I am happy that the Indian Army is there protecting pandits and Ladaki’s ,Gujjars etc from people like you or the people you sympathize with”

    To think of it, you never said the army was there to protect us! Hah! Atleast something from your comment that I agree with!

  22. india is in kashmir because of its force of nearl 700000 soldier.it in in kashmir to control
    and opress people of kashmir not to fight miltants which are comparatively very less than
    indian army,it is presumed they are about 2000-3000 miltants in kashmir(it is figure given by
    indian army).so called indian security force is to kill kashmiri`s not to protect them.india should leave kasmiri to deside their own fate.besides indian army is reponsible for killing,fake encouter,toture and rapes in kashmir even killing children of age 4 . indian army should be tried war for war crimes.kashmir must rise to gain independence from brutal india.

  23. I am very proud to be an indian and i am proud to say that kashmir only belongs to india. while the government can bring development to other states of india why not with your state, because you people are not cooperating with the government, you people want to remain illiterate and stick with your guns. If you want real freedom,fight with pakistan terrorist so that our soliders will set your land free. Tell me why the yatris visiting amarnath cave are being killed by you agitators.You people drove away the pandits from the valley . Now it your time to leave the valley.If you are not comfortable there please leave your place and you have all rights to go to pakistan since you were supporting pakistan.I finally conclude that Kashmir is always a state of india, land of hindus we will not leave kashmir in your blood stained hands.

  24. Poornima the fact that you are asking Kashmiris, to whom the land belongs, to leave – shows your ignorance on the whole issue. You are just talking what the media has fed you all these years, the ‘INDIAN’ media – that is HIGHLY biased!!

    They can give a full day coverage to a kid who falls in the tubewell ditch ( Prince ), but they have absolutely no time to talk about the kids being killed in mis-fire or mistaken identity by the Indian army – who are supposed to be our protectors.

    Go beyond Pakistan, the Jehad word being played around in the media and the misery which the Kashmiri Pundits had to face. If you can get over these pre-conceived notions, then may be you might be able to see the plight of the thousands of Kashmiris who lie buried in their graves after being labelled as foreign terrorists, or being killed in “fake encounters” by the army.

    Kashmir is a land of Kashmiris, it was never a land of Hindus or Muslims. They were always there as Kashmiris only.

    I lived in Kashmir no matter how uncomfortable it was all these years, even when death was hovering around ever nook and corner of the valley. You want the oppressors to stay and the oppressed people to leave, what JUSTICE!

    The Kashmiris who live in Kashmir now a days have survived the most difficult times, and even now its not easy for them. But they chose to stay there, COZ it is their MOTHERLAND. We are fighting for our right and you are conveniently asking us to leave the land which you “think” belongs to you? Kashmir was never a state of India, just look back into the history books as to where the core Kashmir issue starts and then come back and “conclude”.

    And if nothing, just watch Jash-ne-Azadi with an open mind, may be you get a hint to the plight of the people because of your very own “SECURITY” forces.

    Writing “security” in front of the “forces” is an irony itself!

  25. Jammu & Kashmir in the year 1947 was an independent country for all practical purposes. The Maharaja who ruled the State had signed agreements with both Pakistan and India to remain neutral and not be part of either country. India honoured that agreement but Pakistan did not. Pakistani raiders and soldiers attacked the state in 1947 forcing the Maharaja to flee to India. The Maharaja asked India to help his people who were being killed and looted by the Pakistani raiders. He also agreed to make Jammu &; Kashmir part of India. The Indian ruler at that time was Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He accepted Jammu &; Kashmir’s accession to India and agreed to rescue his people from the Pakistani attackers. Indian troops were flown into the Kashmir Valley and they managed to drive away most of the Pakistani raiders from the state. But a large area of the state remained under the control of Pakistani soldiers. These areas were difficult to reach because they were surrounded by tall mountain ranges. Also, India wanted to stop the fighting. The fighting ended with Pakistan retaining control of a large area of the state but India keeping a larger part.

  26. But what is the legal position on Jammu & Kashmir?
    Legally, Jammu & Kashmir is an integral and inseparable part of India. The British had ruled India as one undivided country made up of many provinces and princely states. When they left, India was partitioned into two separate countries. The new country, as mentioned earlier, was called Pakistan. The British as well as the leaders of both India and Pakistan had agreed to one basic principle – every inch of land must go either to India or to Pakistan. In other words, people living in India before the partition of 1947, had only two options: they could either join Pakistan or they could join India. They could not remain independent.
    Jammu & Kashmir was actually an exception. The Maharaja of the State had wanted time to decide whether he should join Pakistan or join India. But the rulers of Pakistan did not want to give him the opportunity to decide and instead attacked his state, killing hundreds of people and causing extensive damage to property. The Pakistani action forced the Maharaja to join India. LOOK KASHMIR BELONGS ONLY TO INDIA

  27. Poornima,

    You don’t have to repeat history to me. I know it very well.

    The fact is that this is what has been fed to you all these years. The Maharaja was not representing the majority in Kashmir. If he was then why was the supposed Referendum to be held in 1953? Why did it never happen? Why did he have to run away from his very own Kashmir?

    Where is the instrument of accession that the Maharaja signed? Do you know Indian troops landed in Kashmir even before the agreement was signed?

    Do you know that agreement (if it exists and if it supposedly represented the voice of Kashmiris) spoke about autonomy? A Parliament of its own in Kashmir, a President. But what did India do? Where is the autonomy?

    Kashmir was to be under Indian military protection. It was never techinically a state of India. But India is not even standing by that agreement. It claims Kashmir is an integral part of India, which I believe goes against the very essence of the Instrument of Accession that you are talking about.

    The autonomy is gone, and the supposed protection by the Indian forces has turned into a siege. Just to contain the passion of freedom in the hearts of Kashmiris.

    Where is Amnesty? Why isn’t it allowed to come and check the human rights abuses in Kashmir? What do you know about what military does in Kashmir?

    Just to quote an Indian whom you will probably trust more than me. I watched the movie Jash-ne-Azadi with an Indian crowd. The director Sanjay Kak said, ” If I were to present even one percent of what the Indian army is doing in Kashmir, I would not have been standing in front of you today”.

    And in reply, a gentle man said. “Sir, I know what you are talking about. I have a nephew who worked in Kashmir as a member of the Indian army. He himself told me, ” When any village in Kashmir talks about ‘freedom’ or resists the Indian rule, we parcel 5-6 dead bodies to their village”.

    Who are these dead? Innocent Kashmiris. Innocents being killed in the world’s largest democracy? Where you aren’t even allowed to voice your opinion. Where you could be put behind prison for mere suspicion…and who knows later killed in a fake encounter. You sit there and talk, we sit in Kashmir and bear it all. Talking is easier than actually living it.

    When you people close your eyes to the reality in Kashmir, then you have no right even to talk about Kashmir. Either you want to keep your eyes and ears closed to reality or you are one of those Indians who care about the land, but do not care about the innocents Kashmiris who are being butchered there by your “security” forces.

    If you are here to tell me your version of history, thank you very much. I know that very well.

    I am only here to show the reality of Kashmir. Truth is always bitter my dear. Accept it, or just don’t indulge in something for which you already have a biased attitude.

    Dialogue has to be done with an open mind. Else there is no dialogue.

  28. Poornima, shouting “LOOK KASHMIR BELONGS ONLY TO INDIA” does not hide the truth. You can go to the top of Mount Everest and shout it, but the commotion in Kashmir already proves you wrong.

    And I repeat again : Kashmir belongs only to Kashmiris and they have a right to decide its future, and not outsiders.

  29. Poornima, In reply to :

    “The Indian ruler at that time was Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He accepted Jammu &; Kashmir’s accession to India and agreed to rescue his people from the Pakistani attackers”

    Here is an excerpt from an article in Greater Kashmir, a local daily – http://www.greaterkashmir.com

    “In the context of the Kashmir dispute, the Security Council has affirmed “that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.” This decision, enshrined in Security Council Resolutions 91 and 122, constitutes clear, unequivocal, and definitive recognition of the right of Kashmiris to self-determination (as do Security Council declarations embodied in other resolutions). It must be emphasized that the Indian government has also recognized the existence of this right on numerous occasions. For example, on November 2, 1947, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said, “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given, and the Maharaja has supported it, not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it.” In a statement to the Security Council on January 15, 1948, Shree Gopalaswamy Ayanger, India’s Ambassador to the United Nations, reiterated his government’s pledge in the following words: “The question of the future status of Kashmir vis-à-vis her neighbors and the world at large and a further question, namely, whether she should withdraw from her accession to India and either accede to Pakistan or remain independent, with a right to claim admission as a member of the United Nations – all this we have recognized to be a matter for an unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir….”

  30. Now that is what Nehru said, and the Indian ambassador said at that time. If you can refute this and still say that Kashmir is an integral part of India, then I guess there is no scope of any more discussion with you.

    I am here to represent that side of Kashmir that is cornered into the valley itself because the Indian media is too influenced to show the truth. The truth is in front of you, accept it or reject it, its all in your hands. I cannot force you to accept it.

    And for those who write abusive stuff on this blog, there is no space for that in an educated dialogue. Those are signs of ignorance.

  31. IF at All you do not agree to the point that you are an Indian, Then What the hell are you doing in India? Kashmir Belonged to Hindustan and will remain in Hindustan forever. Long Live Hindustan.. Jai Hind

  32. Well Mr. Jai Hind!

    You are not getting the point here. I am not an Indian, but I still live in Indian occupied Kashmir, and I am not going to leave Kashmir, instead the people who have occupied it should and must leave.

    Kashmir was never a part of Hindustan, some historical facts need to be corrected here. Thank you!

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