Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Notes from Kashmiri Muslims

I wanted my readers to know how Kashmiri Muslim feel about Indian rule. I took some of the notes from different blogs to get a picture of how they feel.

Ali, based in Srinagar, Kashmir, India, writes:

“Another incident of unprovoked killing by the CRPF yesterday underscores the fact that no matter how sincere the intentions of the politicians in Delhi may be, the decision to harass or not harass, or in yesterdays instance, to kill or not to kill, lies in the hands of the trigger-happy Indian security forces patrolling the streets of Kashmir.” [03 July 2006]

“…we should look at Iraq and what is happening there, and then draw parallels. Do you think that the US president or any body in the top administration ordered the disgusting and abhorrent acts committed in Haditha? where almost two dozen innocent civilians were shot in the head; the victims included infants. The answer to this question is a definite NO and I am certain they were genuinely saddened by this ghastly act…”

“Now there are too many paralles to be drawn when we consider the Haditha incident and what is happening in Kashmir. If we ask the same questions whether the general public in India condones the daily violations of human rights by their security forces in Kashmir. The answer to the best of my knowledge is that an overwhelimg majority of Indians would be surprised and shocked to know how the daily life of innocent Kashmiris is unbearable because of the constant interference in their lives by the Indian forces.” [05 June 2006]

Zarafshan, India, writes:

“As I entered my classroom that day, I heard someone whisper, “Militant”. 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.”

“…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. 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.”

“India is their motherland, and they will never hear anything against it.”

“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.”

“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.”

“…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.”

Talking about Indians, he says, “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 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… we were living under the constant shadow of death. Guns were pointed at us from bunkers at every nook and corner of the valley.”

“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 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.”

“And as years pass by, many from the Kashmiri youth drift further apart from India. Many completely disassociate themselves from the country.”

“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!”

Kashmir, Kashmir, India, writes:

“The movie, Fanaa, starts with Kajol saluting the Indian flag and this act sets the tone for the entire movie: of Kashmiris being patriotic Indians, of an Islamic movement being thrust upon them.”

“If all Kashmiris were patriotic Indians, there wouldn’t be the need of 0.7 million troops to ‘control them’ and a movement cannot be thrust upon a people until and unless they are ‘fed up’ of the present regime.”

“The reality is that Kashmiris in Azad Kashmir will never vote for India, they have never shown any inclination for India. They may want independence from Pakistan but they can't even imagine in their wildest dreams to be a part of India.” [10 June 2006]

“There are two Kashmirs within a Kashmir. No, not the Pakistan and Indian Administered parts. These two Kashmirs exists within the Valley of Kashmir. There is a Kashmir all of you know about, which when searched for on Google gives thousands of results and there is a Kashmir, which doesn’t ever show up on google search. And it is this Kashmir which matters!”

“Then there is another Kashmir. The Kashmir of the people. It’s people to whom it has and always will belong. It is the Kashmir that scoffs at Integral Part and Jugular Vein claims. It is the Kashmir that has not yet been captured by the lens, nor can it be. It is the Kashmir that comes out in the dark of the night or the breeze of the morning for identification parades. It is the Kashmir that wakes up in the morning to the headlines of death and destruction... It is the Kashmir whose life is dependent on an identity card. It is the Kashmir that falls prey to a bullet of the military or the militant as it walks through the crowded bazaars or tries to find a place in the over crowded buses. It is the Kashmir that makes a Que at the only telephone fee collection center and falls prey to a bomb many a times. It is the Kashmir that weeps within as it has no one to talk for it. It is a Kashmir that sees silently but is waking up within: slowly but surely. This is the Kashmir you do not know of.” [05 May 2006]


  1. Here are some differing opinions from other Kashmiri Muslims. These are from BBC, an unbiased source:

    1. Ishaq Khan, 55, is a professor of history who teaches at Kashmir University, Srinagar. He has written several books including Kashmir's Transition to Islam. He is currently compiling an encyclopedia on Sufis in South Asia. Dr Khan is married to an English teacher.


    One of the distinctive features of Kashmir has been its religious tolerance. It used to be an ideal state where you would find Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists all living together.

    And this ethos of co-existence has continued, despite the partition of the state in 1948 between India and Pakistan.

    For Kashmir to retain its sanity and for any hope for future generations, it is very important that this ethos is resurrected. It is the very basis of this land and without it we stand a very strong chance of losing our sense of who we are.

    2. Mohammad Sadiq, 45, runs the Siachen Hotel in the town of Kargil, close to the Line of Control which separates Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir. Very popular with journalists, it was the only functional hotel during the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999. Part of the hotel was damaged in Pakistani shelling, a grim reminder of the continued stand-off over Kashmir between the two nuclear neighbours.


    We are at the receiving end of Pakistan's heavy shelling and it has destroyed our lives.

    Every time there is an increase in tension between the two countries, we come under heavy bombing.


    We back India and want to continue being a part of it. We have not had the kind of separatist violence that has affected other parts of Kashmir.

    Despite that, we seem to have suffered more than most.

    3. Sajjad Hussain, 19, is a student in a polytechnic in Kargil, Kashmir. His family is originally from Baltistan, which lies in Pakistan's disputed Northern Areas. Passionate about the issues that confront his generation he is involved in student politics. He has lived in Kargil all his life and lives at home with his parents and two sisters.

    The people of this part of Kashmir have always stood by India. When Pakistani intruders tried to cross into Kargil in the summer of 1999, we alerted the Indian army.


    India is a democratic country and we have faith in its democracy and its commitment to a multi-faith society.


    This is not to prove any point or to engender another debate but just to give differing viewpoints from Kashmiri Muslims.


    I also wish readers here read what a Kashmiri Pandit, who has been driven out of his homeland by terrorists, has to say:

    Radhakrishnan, 74, is a Kashmir Hindu migrant who has been living in a refugee camp in Jammu for the past 13 years. Originally from the border district of Kupwara, in the Kashmir Valley, he fled along with hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus after a sharp increase in separatist violence in 1989. He lives with his wife, two sons and their wives in a tiny one-room house on the outskirts of Jammu.


    I've heard that some people are thinking of carving up our homeland - and creating a small place for us Hindus.

    Maybe that's best - we live separately from the Kashmiri Muslims since we have nothing in common anymore.

    But it also makes me sad to think that this is what it's come to. I was born in Kashmir - it's my home. Why should I be asked to go away? Why can't I die there?


    Thanks a lot!

  2. Atlantean:
    While Ishaq Khan(1) lives in Kashmir region, Mohammad Sadiq(2) and Sajjad Hussain(3) are not from Kashmir region of that state. Please understand that when asking for opinions of Telangana people for a separate statehood, one doesn't take opinions from people who reside outside Telangana (like in Coastal Andhra or Rayalaseema).

    The state of Jammu & Kashmir is divided into different regions.
    1. Kashmir (includes the Valley)
    2. Jammu
    3. Northern Regions (Baltistan and Gilgit)
    4. Ladakh

    The topic of disucssion on this blog has always been Kashmir Region of that state.

  3. Army men are all bullies, they enter train compartments without reservation and occupy the seats, if anyone objects they threaten to throw off the train, keep abusing passengers. - i myself was a witness - have no respect for them.

  4. Dear Sujai

    All these comments are going to make no difference to the solution. The Kashmiris should have realised what they were getting into when the movement reignited in 1989. Many of them expected that Azaadi was just round the corner. Now that the horses have bolted they are hoping that Indian and pakistan will come up with a peace agreement. How silly! No Indian leader worth his salt will ever sign any agreement with pakistan that will change the status of kashmir and it does not matter how much violence exists. If the violence crosses a certain threshold Kashmir will end up as a tragedy like Chechenya. Apart from complicating their own lives Kashmiris have made lives hell for 150 Indian muslims.
    There is no solution to the Kashmir problem. The more the violence the more misery that the Kashmiris will face. The challenge is for them to change, that is all.


  5. hmm...
    i guess you should have done a bit more study of the kashmir issue. The issue of kashmir is the simple issue of the problem of coexistence of islam with any other religion - to put the long story short.
    Now come your comments that you have taken from various blogs regarding the views that kashmiris hold. I think you should also have posted some comments about the view of Kashmiri HINDUS(have you even heard of them) who were brutally massacred and killed by the militants which are supported by these very ppl whose comments you have unreservedly posted. A place which was historically a Hindu place was converted by the thread of sword to muslims and hence you find the majority populations muslims. Do you even know in what conditions those Kashmiri pandits live, what differential treatment they have got from their own government(If you are a man enough do some research a put a blog on that.)DO you know around 5 lakh kashmiri pandits were forced to flee their motherland(KASHMIR), leaving all their belongings and now are living in tents in inhuman conditions since 1990s. Their rich culture and heritage is on the brink of extinction because of the facist muslims. I guess your blog on Kashmir deserves a complete post on that. Do you even know how brutally those Kashmiris were killed in what was called the process of cleansing of Kashmir of Hindus. And you have the might and guts to post the comments of the very people who support the militants and blurb against the army of India. And you think these kashmiri muslims deserve some space. Do you know that all the administrative service positions in J&K are awarded to muslims only. Thanks to the Indian government. These people eat and drink of Indian soil but sing the song of Pakistan or Anti India. They shld take a look the POK and see in what terrible conditions the people live there. It is India that can tolerate all this shit. I dont think army does anything wrong if it manhandles any of these guys. These guys are that difficult to control. This space is too small to post my complete views. If you are interested you can contact me at my email. I Know Kashmir is an Issue but a simple solution of giving it to Pakistan or giving it independence is not viable. You have hurt the sentiments of lakhs of Indians who still love their motherland Kashmir but were made to flee away from it and to say the least I was one of them.

  6. 9. A Female Approach to Peacekeeping which will solve real problem in Kashmir too:
    “When female soldiers are present, the situation is closer to real life, and as a result the men tend to behave,” said Gerard J. DeGroot, a history professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland who has written books about women in the military. “Any conflict where you have an all-male army, it’s like a holiday from reality. If you inject women into that situation, they do have a civilizing effect.

  7. Kashmiri people want freedom from india. If one kashmiri go to other parts of india. People look us as an enemy. Even police take us to custody for investigation without any reason. Lot of crimes done by indian army against our people.


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