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Kashmir: Realities And Conflict Indicators – OpEd

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Analysis Framework

To understand the current India-ignited Kashmir issue in its actual perspective, it is essential to have a proper grasp of the related realities and the clearly discernible dangerous conflict indicators. For that purpose, critical examination of the under-mentioned aspects is required to identify the realities which are otherwise mostly shrouded in the mist of the claims of the Indian government and its foreign associates.

  • Unreliability of the Document of Accession of the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir to India.
  • Articles 370 and 35-A of Indian Constitution; and the consequence(s) of their revocation.
  • Origin and application of the ‘Hindutva’ philosophy of India’s RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), which is an Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteer organisation and is the parent organisation of the ruling party of India the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
  • India’s declared and ‘implicit’ objectives related to its current action in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
  • Stance of Pakistan government on this issue; and the international response so far.
  • The discerned conflict indicators; and the option(s) for Pakistan.

Unreliability of Document of Accession of Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir to India

It is considered worth mentioning in the outset that, in the context of factual data and reports utilised for analysis and writing of this article, maximum reliance has been placed on the writings and reports of credible foreign authors/publications and not on the writings/publications of either the ones from Pakistan or from Kashmir, to avoid any chances of the claims of ‘bias blemish’.

According to Adarsh Sein Anand, the 29th Chief Justice of India from 10 October 1998 to 31 October 2001 (1), the State of Jammu & Kashmir was created by the British in 1846 to weaken the Sikh Empire; and was sold at a cost of seventy five lakhs British Indian Rupees to Gulab Singh who became the Maharajah of the thus created Princely State of Jammu &Kashmir (2). Gulab Singh was a Dogra Rajput Hindu whereas the majority populace of the thus created Princely State was Muslim. Maharajah Hari Singh who was ruling that Princely State at the time of Indian partition in August 1947 was the heir of the same Dogra ruling dynasty.

A credible author who has published about Kashmir dispute is Alastair Lamb, who graduated from the University of Cambridge; has authored several books on Indo-Pakistani dispute on Kashmir and China-India border dispute; and had the advantage of access to the British India official documents relating to the Kashmir Dispute while working in the Public Record Office and India Office Library in London in 1960s. Subsequently, he also taught and was associated with the University of Malaya, the Department of History at the Australian National University, University of Ghana (1968–1972), and then Reader of History at Hatfield Polytechnic during the 1980s. He is a diplomatic historian by training; and a foremost authority on the juridical and diplomatic history of the Kashmir dispute (3).

Excerpts from his credible writing on the Kashmir Dispute has been published by many publication outlets with the title “Excerpts from ‘The Myth of Indian Claim to JAMMU & KASHMIR ––A REAPPRAISAL’” (4). This writing of his is also included in the list of the ten books in ‘A Bibliography of Books About Kashmir’ by the Chicago (US)-based organisation Sound Vision (5).

In his abovementioned Reappraisal of the ‘Myth of Indian claim to Jammu & Kashmir, Alastair Lamb mentions (6):-

  • That by the rules of the British transfer of power in Indian subcontinent in 1947, like other rulers of Princely states, the Ruler of Jammu & Kashmir Maharajah Sir Hari Singh could opt to join either India or Pakistan or, by doing nothing, become from 15 August 1947 the Ruler of an independent polity. On 15th August 1947, therefore, by default the State of Jammu & Kashmir became independent. India however claims that this period of independence of Jammu & Kashmir State terminated on 26/27 October 1947 and the State became part of India.
  • That Indian stance is based upon Indian claim of four documents. Two of those were allegedly signed by Maharajah Hari Singh on 26 October 1947 – one being an Instrument of Accession of Jammu & Kashmir to India; and the second in which Indian military aid is sought in return for accession to India (on terms stated in an allegedly enclosed Instrument) and the appointment of Sheikh Abdullah to head an Interim Government of the State. The other two of those documents were signed by the then Governor General Lord Mountbatten on 27 October 1947 – one being the acceptance of this Instrument of Accession; and the second being the letter from Lord Mountbatten to the Maharajah, acknowledging the above request and noting that, once the affairs of the State have been settled and law and order is restored, “the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”

Alastair Lamb has then proceeded to present highly logical and credible arguments/data, albeit lengthy, to prove that the Indian claim of such accession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir to become a part of India is false. In that context he asserts that “Recent research, however, has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the date (i.e. 26 October 1947 when Maharajah Hari Singh allegedly signed the Instrument of Accession and the letter to Lord Mountbatten) is false” (7). He has presented many credible arguments to that effect. However, only some of those, very briefly, are (8):-

  • In the complex course of events of August, September and October 1947 out of which the Kashmir crisis of 26/27 October 1947 emerged, the Maharajah confronted with growing internal disorder including a full scale rebellion in the Poonch region of the State and sought Indian military help without, if at all possible, surrendering his own independence. The Government of India delayed assisting him in the hope that in despair he would accede to India before any Indian actions had to be taken.
  • “During 26 October 1947 the Maharajah of Jammu & Kashmir was travelling by road from Srinagar to Jammu. His Prime Minister, M.C. Mahajan, who was negotiating with the Government of India, and the senior Indian official concerned in State matters, V.P. Menon, were still in New Delhi where they remained overnight, and where their presence was noted by many observers. There was no communication of any sort between New Delhi and the traveling Maharajah. Menon and Mahajan set out by air from New Delhi to Jammu at about 10.00 a.m. on 27 October; and the Maharajah learned from them for the first time the result of his Prime Minister’s negotiations in New Delhi in the early afternoon of that day. The key point, of course, as has already been noted above, is that it is now obvious that these documents could only have been signed after the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. When the Indian troops arrived at Srinagar air field, that State was still independent. Any agreements favourable to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the charge of having been produced under duress”.
  • Seems more than probable, both (the document of accession and letter for military help allegedly signed by the Maharajah) were drafted by the Government of India before being taken up to Jammu on 27 October 1947 (by V.P. Menon and Jammu & Kashmir Prime Minister M.C. Mahajan, whose movements, incidentally, are correctly reported in the London Times of 28 October 1947) after the arrival of the Indian troops at Srinagar airfield.
  • “The far more important document i.e. the alleged Instrument of Accession, was not published until many years later, if at all. It was not communicated to Pakistan at the outset of the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, nor was it presented in facsimile to the United Nations in early 1948 as part of the initial Indian reference to the Security Council. The 1948 White Paper in which the Government of India set out its formal case in respect to the State of Jammu & Kashmir, does not contain the Instrument of Accession as claimed to have been signed by the Maharajah: instead, it reproduces an unsigned form of Accession such as, it is implied, the Maharajah might have signed”.

Another credible and relevant scholar in this matter is Victoria Schofield. She read Modern History at the University of Oxford, and in 2004-05 she was the Visiting Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She is an historian and commentator on international affairs, with specialist knowledge and love of South Asia, having travelled widely in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She is acknowledged as one of the leading international experts on the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir and has given lectures on the subject in India, Pakistan, the United States, Europe and Australia (9).

One of her articles titled, “Kashmir: The origins of the dispute By Victoria Schofield, author of Kashmir in Conflict”, was published by BBC dated 16 January 2002. In essence her knowledge on the subject also supports the abovementioned assertions of Alastair Lamb. Some of her own assertions in this context are (10):-

  • “The ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, whose state was situated between the two new countries, could not decide which country to join. He was Hindu, his population was predominantly Muslim. He therefore did nothing. Instead he signed a “standstill” agreement with Pakistan in order that services such as trade, travel and communication would be uninterrupted. India did not sign a similar agreement”.
  • “There had been persistent reports of communal violence against Muslims in the state and, supported by the Pakistani Government, they were eager to precipitate its accession to Pakistan”.
  • “On the morning of 27 October, Indian troops were airlifted into Srinagar”.
  • “Recent research, from British sources, has indicated that Hari Singh did not reach Jammu until the evening of 26 October and that, due to poor flying conditions, V P Menon was unable to get to Jammu until the morning of 27 October, by which time Indian troops were already arriving in Srinagar”.
  • “To date no authentic original document has been made available”.
  • “Pakistan immediately contested the accession, suggesting that it was fraudulent, that the Maharaja acted under duress and that he had no right to sign an agreement with India when the standstill agreement with Pakistan was still in force”.
  • “In 1949 Maharaja Hari Singh was obliged by the Government of India to leave the state and hand over the government to Sheikh Abdullah. He died in Bombay in 1962”.

Yet another writer on this subject is Erin Blakemore. She is a journalist from Boulder, Colorado (US); and writes about history, literature, culture, and science for publications (11).

In the well-known publication National Geographic dated 2 March 2019, in her article titled, “The Kashmir conflict: How did it start?” she has also  highlighted that Maharajah Hari Singh did not want to utilise the option of accession, instead he wanted to remain an independent ruler. In that context she has asserted, “At the time, the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, which had a majority Muslim population, was governed by Maharaja Hari Singh, a Hindu. Unlike most of the princely states which aligned themselves with one nation or the other, Singh wanted independence for Kashmir. To avert pressure to join either of the new nations, the Maharaja signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan that allowed citizens of Kashmir to continue trade and travel with that new country. India did not sign a similar standstill agreement with the princely state”. (12)

Incidentally, as inferred by the aforementioned credible scholars, the fact that Maharajah Hari Singh wanted to remain the ruler of independent State of Jammu & Kasmir and had to sign the Instrument of Accession to India under duress, had also been confirmed, albeit indirectly, through one of Maharaja’s own letter dated 31 January 1948 written to Sardar Patel, the then Indian Deputy prime Mister. It is important to note that Maharajah Hari Singh had written this letter on 31 January 1948, i.e. after seeing that UN Security Council, acting on the request of Indian government for intervention in the Kashmir dispute, had adopted on 20 January 1948 its Resolution number 39 offering to assist in peaceful solution of the Kashmir Conflict by setting up a commission of three members; one to be chosen by India, one to be chosen by Pakistan and the third to be chosen by the other two members of the commission (13).  That letter clearly reflects the repentance of Maharajah Hari Singh for accession of State of Jammu & Kashmir to India; and his desire to withdraw that accession if possible.

That letter of Maharajah Hari Singh has been published by Frontline which is a fortnightly English language magazine published by The Hindu Group of Publications from Chennai, India (14). Following is the copy of that letter as published on 8 November 2017 by Frontline under the title “Hari Singh, the first separatist”:-

“Sometimes I feel that I should withdraw the accession that I have made to the Indian Union. The Union only provisionally accepted the accession and if the Union cannot recover back our territory and is going eventually to agree to the decision of the Security Council which may result to handing us over to Pakistan then there is no point in sticking to the accession of the State to the Indian Union. For the time being it may be possible to have better terms from Pakistan, but that is immaterial because eventually it would mean an end of the dynasty and end of the Hindus and Sikhs in the State. There is an alternative possible for me and that is to withdraw the accession and that may kill the reference to the UNO because the Indian Union will have no right to continue the proceedings before the Council if the accession is withdrawn. The result may be a return to the position the state held before the accession.

“The difficulty in that situation, however, will be that the Indian troops cannot be maintained in the State except as volunteers to help the State. I am prepared to take over command of my own forces along with the forces of the Indian Army as volunteers to help the State. I am prepared to lead my Army personally and to command, if the Indian Union agrees, also their troops.”

(Hari Singh’s letter to Sardar Patel dated January 31, 1948.) (15)

All these credible evidence brought forth by the aforementioned scholars clearly establish the fact that Maharajah Hari Singh did not accede his State of Jammu & Kashmir to India of his own free will, as claimed by Indian government.

Articles 370 and 35-A of Indian Constitution; and the Consequence(s) of Their Revocation.

For clearly understanding the Articles 370 and 35-A of Indian Constitution, it is essential to keep in mind the essence of the Instrument of Accession (IoA) to India purportedly signed by Maharajah Hari Singh ruler of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and accepted by Mountbatten, Governor General of India. In that context, clauses 7 and 8 of that IoA are especially noteworthy, in which the Maharajah had declared that (16):-

  1. Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future constitution.
  2. Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state, or, save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force in this State.

Thus in The clause 7 of the IoA signed by Maharaja Hari Singh declared that the State could not be compelled to accept any future Constitution of India. The State was within its rights to draft its own Constitution and to decide for itself what additional powers to extend to the Central Government. Article 370 was designed to protect those rights. (17)

Article 370 of the Indian constitution was drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, after its establishment, was empowered to recommend the articles of the Indian constitution that should be applied to the state or to abrogate the Article 370 altogether. After consultation with the state’s Constituent Assembly, the 1954 Presidential Order was issued, specifying the articles of the Indian constitution that applied to the state. Since the Constituent Assembly dissolved itself without recommending the abrogation of Article 370, the article was deemed to have become a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution. This article, along with Article 35A, defined that the Jammu and Kashmir state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to resident of other Indian states. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir. Thus Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir—a state in India, located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947—allowing it to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state. (18)

Article 370 embodied six special provisions for Jammu and Kashmir:

  1. It exempted the State from the complete applicability of the Constitution of India. The State was allowed to have its own Constitution.
  2. Central legislative powers over the State were limited, at the time of framing, to the three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communications.
  3. Other constitutional powers of the Central Government could be extended to the State only with the concurrence of the State Government.
  4. The ‘concurrence’ was only provisional. It had to be ratified by the State’s Constituent Assembly.
  5. The State Government’s authority to give ‘concurrence’ lasted only until the State Constituent Assembly was convened. Once the State Constituent Assembly finalised the scheme of powers and dispersed, no further extension of powers was possible.
  6. Article 370 could be abrogated or amended only upon the recommendation of the State’s Constituent Assembly”. (19)

As for Article 35-A, It was enacted as a subsequent to the ‘1952 Delhi agreement’, reached between (Prime Minister of India) Nehru and the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah. “Article 35A of the Indian Constitution was an article that empowered the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 – issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954, under Article 370. The state of Jammu and Kashmir defined these privileges to include the ability to purchase land and unmovable property, ability to vote and contest elections, seeking government employment and availing other state benefits such as higher education and health care. Non-permanent residents of the state, even if Indian citizens, were not entitled to these ‘privileges’.” (20)

However, on 5 August this year (2019) Indian government unilaterally revoked both Articles 370 and 35-A through a Presidential order, removing altogether the Statehood status of Jammu & Kashmir, and dividing its territory into the Union territories (ruled directly by the Central government) of Laddakh, Jammu and Kashmir.  That act certainly showed Indian government’s gravest disregard of the authority of UN Security Council (UNSC) and over a dozen of UNSC’s resolutions on the Kashmir dispute. UNSC Resolution had directed, through clause 7 of UNSC Resolution 47 of 21 April 1948, that the question of the accession of the State (Jammu & Kashmir) to India or Pakistan will be decided through a plebiscite (21). And, other UNSC resolutions – UNSC Resolution 126 of 2 December 1957 (22) and UNSC Resolution 211 of 20 September 1965 (23), etc – had required the governments of India and Pakistan to refrain from taking any action which could aggravate the situation.

Just before the announcement of the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A on 5 August, Indian government commenced the complete lockdown of Jammu & Kashmir, turning the State into a jail. To the already deployed over 600,000 Indian troops, additional 50,000 Indian troops were immediately sent to the State. Continuing curfew was clamped in the State. (still continuing on 26 August). All means of phone/TV/other communication, as also all means of food and medical subsistence were cut off from the over 7 million people of the state. That horrific inhuman treatment is continuing (on 26 August). All tourist, foreign reporters, journalists, Indian students, etc were ordered to get out of the State. Indian troops and police regularly continue raiding, torturing, killing, arresting and deporting to unknown destination thousands of Kashmiri political leaders and other men and children, as also raping Kashmiri women.

As a consequence of these actions Indian Modi government has consolidated its support by the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)/BJP members/supporters. However, on the negative side for Modi government: (a) Kashmir dispute has been internationalized again after 50 years, and had to be reconsidered by UNSC; (b) the world opinion is turning against the Indian government, as never before, acknowledging the widespread gravest violations by India of human rights and international laws; (c) the pro-India Kashmiri political elements/party have publicly announced their mistake of siding with India and have united with the anti-India Kashmiri political parties/elements and masses; (d) the urge of getting rid of Indian rule has been much more ignited now in all these Kashmiri political parties and Kashmiri masses; (e) India and Pakistan have come to the brink of war, which certainly entails the risk of a nuclear clash.

India’s Ruling RSS/BJP and Its Philosophy ‘Hindutva’

To clearly understand the current ‘militantly-extremist’ policies of RSS/BJP government, it is essential to get the grasp of the initiation of ‘militant Hinduism’, now known as ‘Hindutva’, in India in the last century.

While going through the extracts of papers/articles of credible scholars, historians and writers in the succeeding paragraphs, it will not be difficult to discern the stark reality that factually the philosophy of ‘Hindutva’ is a combination of the racial and religious extremism, Hindu supremacy, non-tolerance of non-Hindus, and an ingrained strong hostility against Muslims.

It was Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar, who is mostly considered to be the initiator of ‘militant Hinduism’ in 1920s. He was an Indian independence activist, politician, lawyer, writer, and the formulator of the ‘Hindutva’ philosophy (24).

Ariel Sophia Bardi is an American journalist, academic and consultant. She lives in New Delhi, India. Her article titled, “How ‘Hindutva’ recast multi-faith India as the Hindu homeland”, was published on 24 September 2017 in Melbourne, Australia-based aeon – a digital magazine of ideas, philosophy and culture.

In her article, she has highlighted: “As a 20-something law student living in England, Savarkar was charged with plotting against the British monarchy after aiding in the assassination of a British civil servant. Extradited back to India in 1911, Savarkar received two life terms. Through a series of confinements Savarkar plotted his political manifesto, which laid out a long, historically fanciful rationale for Hindu supremacy. Hindutva represented a hardline form of Hindu nationalism, in which Muslims appeared as bellicose invaders”; and, The book is today a Bible for Hindu nationalists,’ wrote the journalist Uday Mahurkar of Savarkar’s tract in 2015. The politics of India’s current administration are still greatly informed by the young law student’s vision of a Hindu nation. ‘Savarkar has become more relevant today,’ said Amit Shah, president of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (the Right-wing BJP) earlier this year (he is currently the Home Minister of India). ‘We have to apprise the youths and generation next of his freedom fight and literary work.’ Just two years after the release of Essentials of Hindutva, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was founded as a volunteer paramilitary organisation dedicated to advancing Savarkar’s platform of Hindu unity and promoting Hindu causes. It is often called the BJP’s ‘ideological parent (25).

According to Britannica, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak), also known as Rashtriya Seva Sangh was formed in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, as part of the movement against British Rule and as a response to rioting between Hindus and Muslims. Hedgewar was heavily influenced by the writings of the Hindu nationalist ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Hedgewar formed the RSS as a disciplined cadre consisting mostly of upper-caste Brahmins who were dedicated to independence and the protection of Hindu political, cultural, and religious interests. The RSS presents itself as a cultural, not a political organization that nevertheless advocates a Hindu nationalistic agenda under the banner of Hindutva. Paramilitary training and daily exercise and drills are part of this discipline. (26).

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay is a Delhi-based writer and journalist, and the author of Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times andSikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984. His article titled, “Militarising Hindus Is a Long-Standing Unaccomplished Project of Hindu Nationalists”, was published in The Wire – an Indian company’s News website on 14 February 2018.

In his article he has clearly asserted that the founding fathers of RSS, of which BJP is an affiliate, certainly had an ingrained strong hostility against Muslims, as also the mental framework akin to Hitler’s Nazism and Mussolini’s Fascism. In that context, he has highlighted, “Savarkar firmly believed able-bodied and armed Hindus were the only answer to what he called “growing danger from the designs of the awakened Muslim mind”. He had already told a Mahasabha meeting that if Hindus grew in strength, Muslims would eventually be relegated to the position of Jews in Germany”. And, that Hedgewar (founder of RSS)’s mentor, BS Moonje had visited in Italy many of the Italian military institutions, as also the Fascist Academy of Physical Education, and the Balilla and Avanguardisti organisations that were the mainstay of the fascist system of indoctrination of youths. And after his return he wrote: “Hindu India need some such institution for the military regeneration of the Hindus… Our institution of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr Hedgewar is of this kind…” (27).

Palash Ghosh Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India, has also highlighted similar aspects related to RSS and BJP in his feature titled,

“Hindu Nationalist’s Historical Links to Nazism and Fascism”. His feature was published in The International Business Times – an American online news publication that publishes seven national editions in four languages. Some of the following extracts of his feature are worth noting:-

“The current BJP is the successor of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) party, which itself was the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a group that espoused openly militant Hindu activism and the suppression of minorities in India”; “What may surprise many in the West is that some of the most prominent figures of RSS deeply admired Fascism and Nazism, the two totalitarian movements that swept through Europe at the time”; “senior RSS members had direct links to both Benito Mussolini in Italy and Adolf Hitler in Germany”; “Perhaps there was no greater admirer of Hitler and Mussolini in India than Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, another leading member of RSS”; “While the RSS was not explicitly anti-Semitic (largely because India never had a large Jewish population), Savarkar even praised Hitler’s treatment of the Jews (at least before the death camps and ovens became known to the public at large). In 1938, during the time of accelerating anti-Jewish legislation in Germany, Savarkar suggested a similar fate for India’s Muslims”; “Another senior RSS member, Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also praised Nazism and believed the ideology should be applied to India”; “Golwalkar enthusiastically advocated for an India dominated by Hindus. “There are only two courses open to the foreign elements, either to merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture, or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race,” he wrote; “That is the only sound view on the minorities problem. That is the only logical and correct solution”; “In the present climate, the RSS and BJP are both generally opposed to the Muslim presence and express extreme hostility toward India’s principal Muslim rival, Pakistan”; and, “Moreover, Nazism, and the mysticism of Adolf Hitler’s warped philosophies, remain an obsession with many Indians, almost 80 years after Der Führer came to power in Germany” (28).

As for the psycho-social aspects, and the application, of the philosophy of ‘Hindutva’ which is religiously followed and applied by the RSS/BJP government along with their ‘religious associates’ like VHP, Shiv Sena, etc, the article written by Sumanta Banerjee provides the clear understanding. That article was published by Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 26, No. 3 (Jan. 19, 1991), a weekly peer-reviewed academic journal covering all social sciences, and published by the Sameeksha Trust (India) (29).

His article is titled, “Hindutva: Ideology and Social Psychology” (30). Some of the extracts of that article which present a very clear understanding of the psycho-social aspects of ‘Hindutva’ are: “It will be seen that there is an enduring hostility to reason and intellect and a support for emotion, immediacy, and self in the thinking of the champions of ‘Hindutva’”. “The ideologues of ‘Hidutvtva’ invoke providence and rummage through history and mythology, —— The Hindus are entitled, therefore, to exercise authority, precedence, and domination over others. We are told that anybody can be a Hindu – even a Muslim – provided he or she accepts Rama as omnipotent (Rama and Krishna are two of the Hindu gods) and denounces Babar and his descendants as foreigners”. “Mythological characters like Rama and Krishna are counterposed as indigenous Indian heroes against historical figures like Christ and Mohammad whose followers in India are made to suffer being identified with ‘foreign’ religious sources”.(p. 97). About the communal Hindu ideologues, the author highlights “When political dislocation challenges the personally perceived identity and self-esteem of these people, their response can be highly emotional. Availability of religiously and socially sanctioned objects of aggression can influence the restitutional measures to which they may resort. One of the most conspicuous objects of such aggression is the Muslim community”. (p. 99).

As mentioned in beginning of this section, these abovementioned assertions of the credible scholars, historians, and academics clearly make it evident that factually the philosophy of ‘Hindutva’ is a combination of the racial and religious extremism, Hindu supremacy, non-tolerance of non-Hindus, and an ingrained strong hostility against Muslims. And, realisation of that fact also explains as to why the RSS/BJP government, out of the 11 special status States (31), chose to militarily occupy the State of Jammu & Kashmir and subject its populace to such grave inhuman torture – obviously because State of Jammu & Kashmir is the only State out of the 11 which has dominant Muslim majority; and that, those of the populace so inhumanly tortured, by the Indian military, police, and RSS members, are Muslims.

India’s Declared and ‘Implicit’ Objectives Related to Its Current Action in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK)

India’s first declared objective is what it has done, i.e. through military occupation unilaterally annexing the internationally recognised as disputed territory of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and making it a part of India as a Union Territory directly governed by the central government of India.

India’s second declared objective is what it is doing, i.e. Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims. That is being done by their killings, mass expulsions to/jailing in other States of India, and settling the Hindu Indians in Kashmir, so as to ultimately convert the thus militarily occupied Muslim-majority Kashmir into a Hindu-majority Union Territory. That process is going on since 5 August in the form of continuing curfew, complete lock down and communication black out, not allowing anybody to move out even for getting water, food and medical aid; and extreme brutalities on Kashmiri Muslims including daily raids on the civilians’ houses, beating and arresting without any legal charge men, women, children, and deporting them to jails in India for the period of two years (reported number of such deportations so far exceeds 10,000); as also raping Kashmiri women and even minor girls.

India’s third implicit, albeit not so declared, objective is the Holocaustof Kashmiri Muslims. That objective is discerned from two undeniable factors. Firstly, the current majority of Muslim Kashmiri generation – especially the youth, but also the middle-aged – have although their life have seen nothing but Indian forces’ markedly anti-Muslim extreme brutalities including killings and dishonouring women, etc. (According to different reports of Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, and Amnesty International – 2,730 bodies in 40 mass graves; 8,000 disappearances; over 70,000 killings mostly by Indian forces; and that disappearances, torture and rape by Indian Army units against Kashmiri Muslims are common(32). It is therefore almost certain that this time around the Kashmiri Muslim masses, who are also more united now as never before, will chose only one response to Indian occupation, i.e. to fight to death, irrespective when the curfew is lifted. And, secondly, it is for that situation that “BJP leaders speak of the “Final Solution” for Kashmir” (33), which according to ‘Hindutva’ means only one action for ‘final solution’, i.e. “Holocaust’ of Kashmiri Muslims.

The abovementioned Indian objectives of Ethnic Cleansing and Holocaust of Kashmiri Muslims are clearly evident from the most important report of the Washington (US)-based GENOCIDE WATCH dated 15 August 2019. It cautions that “Genocide Watch’s Ten Stages of the genocidal process are also far advanced”; and that, “Genocide Watch calls upon the United Nations and its members to warn India not to commit genocide in Kashmir” (34).

Stance of Pakistan Government on This Issue; and International Response

Immediately after India’s actions on 5 August of revoking the constitutional status of statehood of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, unilaterally converting it into a part of India, and reinforcing its military occupation of that State, Pakistan declared all these Indian actions illegal and violation of the existing UNSC resolutions and international law. Pakistan also downgraded its diplomatic relations with India.

Then through China’s assistance Pakistan took the matter to UNSC, where a closed door meeting was held of the five permanent members (US, Russia, UK, China, France) to discuss Pakistan’s request. Out of these five members, only France opposed an open discussion on Pakistan’s request. As such no official UNSC resolution could be issued on this case. It is said that UNSC ‘advised’ India and Pakistan to peacefully resolve the issue through mutual consultation. That UNSC’s action meant that it only repeated its acknowledgement that the State of Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, but it failed to take any action even to enforce its own still existing 1948 Resolution – still lingering in limbo since the last 71 years – requiring a plebiscite to be held in which the Kashmiri people had to decide whether they wanted to accede their State to Pakistan or India.

That action of UNSC clearly showed the fact that UNO and even its apex body UNSC does not necessarily act according to its own much trumpeted statutes and international laws; rather from case to case basis it acts in accordance of Realpolitik’, i.e. politics based upon the application of power by the ‘power wielding’ members, rather than the moral or purely legal considerations.

The only prompt and unequivocal response strongly condemning India’s action in Kashmir came from the governments and people of Turkey and Malaysia. Governments of other countries – even the purported champions of human rights and rule of law (US, UK, France, Germany) – merely showed their ‘concern’; whereas whenever their own interests are at stake, governments of these ‘power wielders’ immediately ‘team up’ to punish the ‘target country’ through sanctions or even military intervention with or even without UNSC sanction.

This aspect of UNO’s Realpolitikhas already been known to the educated people of the developing and under-developed countries. However, with the ‘information explosion’ through radio, television, etc since last some decades even the not much educated masses of such countries have also become fully aware of the fact that for ‘non-power wielding’ countries the expectation to get justice through UNO/UNSC is not possible. That realisation has already created the urge in the masses of such countries to take the matter in their own hands to get justice through any available means. In the case of this recent failure of UNSC to take action against India’s flagrant violation of human rights and international law, as also the saddening acquiescence of the ‘power wielding’ world powers, has also started strengthening the urge in the masses of Pakistan and certain other countries to take the matter in their own hands. That is like a ‘ticking bomb’ of masses’ upheaval; and if that explodes the whole region’s stability will get topsy-turvy, leaving the ‘power wielding’ world powers bewildered to re-think their economic or other interests in the region.

Discerned Conflict Indicators; and Option(s) for Pakistan   

First conflict indicator relates to the fact that, being emboldened due to the acquiescence of UNO/UNSC and the world powers on the unbearable violations of human rights and international laws by India, Modi’s government is most likely to continue wreaking widespread intolerable miseries on the Kasmiri Muslims – Modi government’s plan to detain thousands of the Kashmiri Muslims in jails without trial indicates the time span of continuation of that horrible treatment to Kasshmiri Muslims. By these heinous acts Modi government expects to completely subjugate the Kashmiri Muslims – an expectation which is least likely to actualise due to the abovementioned aroused determination of united Kashmiri Muslim masses to continue fighting irrespective of the consequences. Their current thinking in that context is logical. They say that all through their life they have faced killings, torture, jailing, rapes of woman, and insult from the Indian forces, and much worse is in store for them now on becoming subjects of Indian government; then why not die fighting rather than facing still worse treatment for the rest of their life.

The second conflict indicator relates to the possibility of Modi government launching the Holocaust of Kasmiri Muslims in a bid to finally attempt their subjugation, if the current actions of Modi government appear to be insufficient to subdue them. In that context it is worth noting that Modi and his RSS/BJP associates already have the proven fascist mindset for committing such heinous acts like human carnage, as was demonstrated by Modi’s chief ministerial government in India’s Gujrat.  That extremely inhuman massacre of more than 1,000 Muslims by Hindus took place in India’s Gujrat when Modi was the chief minister of that state. It was widely known that the massacre took place because Modi allowed it, though he denied it. However, Modi’s criminal involvement was recognised and published in world media. A BBC report (35) dated 21 April 2011 also published that a senior police officer’s sworn statement to India’s Supreme Court mentioned that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi deliberately allowed anti-Muslim riots in the state, in which more than 1,000 people were killed in the violence in 2002. Actualisation of this conflict indicator can also not be ruled out.

The third conflict indicator is the high probability of India initiating a military conflict with Pakistan to divert world attention from its own actions in Kashmir. India is known to use its planted ‘false flag operations’ to create the pretext for military confrontations with Pakistan. In the current scenario there are three possible modes in which India is most likely to initiate its military conflict with Pakistan. One, India may again use the pretext of any such ‘false flag operation’ to initiate military aggression against Pakistan. Second, India may increase the intensity and stretch of its already heightened cease fire violations by bombing the civilian localities in Pakistan administered Kashmir across the Line of Control (LOC), to the extent of making it unbearable for Pakistani masses and military alike; and then making any of the retaliation by Pakistan as an excuse to initiate attack on Pakistan. Third, India may launch a military attack on Pakistan at any opportune time. In that case India may engage Pakistan on multiple fronts, but the most likely venue of its main offensive could be the Pakistan administered Kashmir (including the Northern Areas), to earn the laurel and support of its ‘Hindutva’-mesmerized Hindu masses for attempting to capture the remaining part of Kashmir.

The probability is very high of such a military aggression by India against Pakistan, through any of these modes. Factually, the Indian plan for such an attack on Pakistan is already known to Pakistan military. That was disclosed by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and was reported by media. In that context, Indian Newspaper The Times of India dated 15 August 2019 also reported, “Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told a special session of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir “assembly” in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday, Pakistan’s independence day, that India had plans to attack PoK and that Islamabad would “fight till the end” to counter that. Imran also told that Pakistan Army had full knowledge that India has made a plan to take action in AJK” (36).

As for the options available to Pakistan, the advice to Pakistan and India by UNSC and the world powers like US, UK, Germany, and France to resolve Kashmir dispute through mutual consultation – something which India did not do for the last 71 years – was obviously baseless; and hence that option is out being clearly impracticable.

One important aspect which has to be kept in mind is that after seeing the disgusting and shocking attitude of acquiescence of UNSC and world powers (US, UK, Germany, France) over India’s gravest crimes against humanity – (as defined in the Rome Statute Section 7, published in Harvard International Law Journal (37) – Pakistani masses have left with no doubt that these world powers cannot be expected to come out to help the oppressed Kashmiri Muslims, because these world powers have their economic and strategic interests in the oppressor country, i.e. India. It is because of that feeling that the masses of Pakistan (Muslim, Sikhs, Christians, and Hindus alike) have reached the point of strongly urging the government to fight, military and masses together, to oust Indian occupation of Kashmir and liberate the Kashmiris to themselves choose their future. It is worth noting that the Pakistani Sikh, Christian, and Hindu community leaders have recently given their pledge in a public meeting to fight alongside Pakistani military and masses to liberate the severely oppressed Kashmiri Muslims.

The government and military of Pakistan have also given their pledge to Pakistani nation to do their utmost including war if so required, irrespective of consequences, to liberate the Kashmiris from Indian occupation and allowing them to choose their future.

So, at least for now there is no option available to Pakistan except for war. And, no one can be sure about any possibility of restricting the military conflict between India and Pakistan to a limited war. All students of military history know that the plan of war remains as such till the commencement of war; but once war starts, war events also take many unplanned courses. The danger of nuclear conflict also cannot be ruled out. But the Pakistani Nation is now compelled to disregard the worries about the consequences, howsoever dreaded they may appear. If there is a danger of nuclear conflict spreading devastation not only in the region but all around the world, that is certainly regrettable, but Pakistani Nation cannot any more bear the extreme human sufferings of our Kashmiri brothers, sisters, and children at the hands of the Fascist and Nazist RSS/BJP government of India.

 References

(1).https://www.google.com/search?q=Adarsh+sein+Anand&oq=Adarsh+sein+Anand+&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j69i60.9068j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(2). https://www.jstor.org/stable/43949788?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

(3). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alastair_Lamb

(4). www.mofa.gov.pk/documents/related/Myth.pdf (Hereinafter cited as Alastair Lamb. Myth of accession Document.)

(5). https://www.soundvision.com/article/a-bibliography-of-books-about-kashmir

(6). Alastair Lamb. Myth of accession Document. op.cit.

(7). Ibid.

(8). Ibid.

(9).https://www.commonwealthroundtable.co.uk/organisation/member/victoria-schofield/

(10). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1762146.stm

(11). https://www.google.com/search?q=ERIN+BLAKEMORE+-+BIO&oq=ERIN+BLAKEMORE+-+BIO+&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2.3376j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(12). https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/03/kashmir-conflict-how-did-it-start/

(13).https://www.google.com/search?q=UN+Security+Council+Resolutio+39+0n+Kashmir&oq=UN+Security+Council+Resolutio+39+0n+Kashmir&aqs=chrome..69i57j33l2.29795j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(14). https://www.google.com/search?q=FRONTLINE+India%27s+National+Magazine+-+about&oq=FRONTLINe+India%27s+National+Magazine+-+about&aqs=chrome.0.69i59.24511j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(15 ). https://frontline.thehindu.com/the-nation/hari-singh-the-first-separatist/article9946289.ece

(16).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_of_Accession_(Jammu_and_Kashmir)

(17).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_370_of_the_Constitution_of_India#CITEREFNoorani,_Article_3702011

(18). ibid.

(19). ibid.

(20). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_35A_of_the_Constitution_of_India

(21). http://unscr.com/en/resolutions/47

(22).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_126

(23).https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_211

(24).https://www.google.com/search?q=Vinayak+Damodar+Savarkar&oq=Vinayak+Damodar+Savarkar&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i59j0l4.901j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(25).https://aeon.co/ideas/how-hindutva-recast-multi-faith-india-as-the-hindu-homeland

(26). https://www.britannica.com/topic/Rashtriya-Swayamsevak-Sangh

(27).https://thewire.in/communalism/militarising-hindus-unaccomplished-project-hindu-nationalists

(28). https://www.ibtimes.com/hindu-nationalists-historical-links-nazism-fascism-214222

(29).https://www.google.com/search?q=Economic+and+Political+Weekly+-+about&oq=Economic+and+Political+Weekly+-+about&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.25647j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

(30). https://www.jstor.org/stable/4397215

(31). JagranJosh.com – a New Delhi (India)-based website https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/what-is-special-category-status-to-states-and-its-benefits-1521705118-1

(32). http://www.genocidewatch.com/single-post/2019/08/15/Genocide-Alert-for-Kashmir-India

(33). ibid.

(34). Ibid.

(35). https://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-13170914

(36).https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-pm-imran-khan-claims-india-plans-to-attack-pok/articleshow/70682210.cms

(37). https://harvardilj.org/2019/01/what-counts-as-a-crime-against-humanity/



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Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman Khan

Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman Khan is a retired officer of Pakistan Army, a war veteran, a post-retirement PhD relating to Afghanistan from University of Peshawar, lectured in social sciences in the universities of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi for about 11 years, and a published freelance research analyst.

One thought on “Kashmir: Realities And Conflict Indicators – OpEd

  • Avatar
    August 27, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    He is selective in providing information in this article . By not saying what at first Pakistan was suppose supposed to do under UNO resolutions . Even with the standstill agreement he say Pakistan signed with king of J&K. He doesn’t say why Pakistan sent into J&K It’s soldiers in disguise of tribesmen and invaded state ofJ&K and killed men and rapped women and young girls and robbed people of the said state . This author is looney .In many incidents he is lier . He selective in his quotes. Only the quotes that suited his narrative. Rape and murder as well loot . this was the ethoe and the holmark of these Muslim marouders is what that was faced by India ever since Muslim set foot on this sub content . To put simply he should stop shedding crocodile tears for J&K and it’s peoples . He need to instead tell the rest of the world how well Pakistan punjabe and sunni dominated army has looked after Shia people in J&K of which it ceased in 1947. How free they are .Pakistan changed demography with suni Muslims from Pakistan punjabe. POK people can’t protest. Pakistan also without the permission of pok resident gave away substantial land area to China in 1963, only because India lost in war to trenches China As Nauru was bloody stupid . Nauru was stupid selfish before 1947 and was the same thereafter.

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