Saturday, 3 June 2017

Ray of Light

Ray of Light
Professor Muhammad Rafiq Bhatti

With reference to freedom movement and history of State of Jammu and Kashmir, much pain and hard work has been taken in authoring and publishing of this book. To inform new generation about bitter facts, which were intentionally and purposefully distorted by forces of occupation to suit their political agenda is indeed a difficult and even suicidal attempt.

Interest centred powerful forces never ever tolerate that some scholars authors, poets or journalists expose their evil acts, bad practices and selfishness. On one hand these sycophants, coffin seller, traitors, agents of imperial powers work as touts and they avail their privileges and perks; and on the other hand they instigate commoners in the name of religion against all those who speak truth. These people are Mir Sadiq and Mir Jafar of Jammu and Kashmir who rightly be called as black spots on the face of the nation, country and mankind.

Due to their bad intentions and practices freedom turns into slavery, knowledge turns into ignorance and light turns into darkness. They are such fatal vipers whose stings burn the body of truth. They change happiness into cries and love into enmity. They lick the foot sole of their imperial masters and bargain the honour and dignity of their nation and country. Ultimately they confront the fate of those who are recorded as traitor in history.

Dr Shabir Choudhry presently is a ray of light in the State of Jammu and Kashmir which is shrouded under black clouds. He is a torch bearer with a future vision on Jammu and Kashmir and South Asia; and is a true patriot. His writings, books and analysis are the true and pure reflectors of political sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; and I firmly believe that Dr Shabir Choudhry is neither against India nor against Pakistan. Yes, he greatly differs with the policies of both these countries regarding Kashmir dispute. It is due to the policies of both the countries that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is hanging on the gallows. Because of their policies, both these countries are themselves under great political, economic, social and constitutional chaos. They are wasting their limited precious resources on lethal armaments and missiles like Agni, Prithvi, Trishool, Hatif and Ghori. Billions of their poor countrymen are living below the utter poverty line like ants and insects.

Pakistanis, Indian and Kashmiris who have the latest technologies and modern facilities to avail the information about the present, past and ancient periods must read and analyse scientifically and critically writings of writers like Dr Shabir Choudhry. Particularly, the new generation of the State of Jammu and Kashmir must shoulder the duty of impartial and scientific discourse of their history so that they may expel and smash the viper of religious and communal riots which is shattering their solidarity and integrity and crossing all limits maliciously.

There is a wide difference among the politicians, scholars and writers about the pre – planned tribal attack on the State of Jammu and Kashmir on 22nd October 1947. Every school of thought, political thinker, or scholar under given conditions favours or opposes it. If we critically examine the opinions of these experts we find that there are three categories of these scholars:

1)   First, those whose intellectual and political thought was nurtured during the period when India was fighting for freedom against the British Government.
2)   Second, those whose intellectual and political grooming took place during the movement of division of India.
3)   Third, those who got their intellectual and political food after the division of India.

To be brief and relevant, I ignore the first two categories and focus on the third one that the superiority or inferiority of the logic advanced by Dr Shabir Choudhry might be understood.

This book written by Dr Shabir Choudhry is not a regular composition in conventional sense. It consists of those speeches, reports and writings which he made occasionally at different times and places. But all these are produced after due deliberation and research. He read them in international conferences and other important academic meetings. They are not based on some visionary slogans or theories. Actually they are based on those ground realities which are internationally, maliciously and wilfully concealed.

After August 1947, some people converted the movement for political rights of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into a struggle for religious rights. They inducted their false notions in curriculum of educational institutions. For the past 65 years we are teaching a curriculum which has converted the rights movement of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into a war of faith and religion.

The people of the State Jammu and Kashmir were struggling against despotic role of Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir even at that time when there was no mention of Muslim League or the movement for Pakistan. Muslim League was established in 1906, and the resolution of Pakistan was passed in 1940, while the labourers of silk factories in the State of Jammu and Kashmir held their strike in 1877 and the Valliant Sardars in Poonch revolted against despotic rule of Dogra Shahi in 1832. The massacre of labourers in Chicago took place in 1886 while brave Sardars Sabaz Ali Khan and Malli Khan were tortured to death by scratching off their skins in 1832 as they demanded their political and civil rights.

As a bad luck, the potential chaos in the State of Jammu and Kashmir started due to personal difference and dissensions of the two prominent leaders and parties of the State, namely Sheikh Abdullah and Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas. There was an urgent need to bridge this gap so that at a very critical juncture of India’s division that the political and geographic integrity of the State could remain intact. But the main stakeholders or players of India’s division, i.e., India, Pakistan and the British, for their own ends widened this gap instead of narrowing it.

The British, Indians and Pakistanis needed their own touts as spokesmen of the people to meet their political motives here. In the second phase such touts and spokesmen were mentally and politically ready to serve their masters. They made somersaults of right, left, up and down, set their targets and jumped into the field. Naturally human beings make mistakes, political leaders also make mistakes. But the mistakes of politicians based on selfishness, self-projection and arrogance cost irrevocable loss for the future generations. Some of the politicians of the State made big blunders, as a result of which Kashmir, the paradise on earth turned into hell; and we continue to suffer on both sides of the forced division for the past 65 years.

No realistic or sincere effort was made to extinguish this fire which was started in name of religion in October 1947; if anything, more fuel was added to it and the fire is still furiously raging, and innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer as a result of this. Those people who support the rights movement of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir are being hard-pressed against walls. Those people who joined the journey of freedom struggle of Kashmir in third phase are almost ignorant of local, regional and international political forces of the first phase (1947-1950). They are oblivious of relationship between the Two Nation Theory and the Princely States under the British Raj. Even educated and qualified people were unaware about the movement for democratic rights, independence, accession and their legal and constitutional status.

Those forces which wanted to occupy and take over the State territory benefitted from this ignorance. These forces converted the rights movement of the people of the State to religious struggle which culminated in to communal confrontations and riots, and resulted in fragmentation of our State. This process took place primarily due to utter ignorance of this third group of Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians. We don’t doubt their intentions, but can say with certainty and accuracy that the majority of people in power and politics on both sides of the Line of Control in the State is ignorant about the history, geography, culture, languages, legal and constitutional status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Besides that, knowledge and information of this category of people rests on the fabricated historical evidence and references which was made part of the national curriculum, hence we cannot benefit from their political insight or intellectual wit loaded in their software. If the people of Jammu and Kashmir are unaware about the history and freedom struggle of the State of Jammu and Kashmir they are not to be blamed. Similarly if our new generation is ignorant about it, they too are not responsible because the source of their information is our curriculum, teachers and educational system which is totally biased and partial and was prepared by those who occupy us.

Dr Shabir Choudhry in this book has broken the idol of our ignorance, and presented some hard facts about movement and history of Kashmir. Dr Shabir Choudhry wants us to be informed on historical facts; and also wants us to inform others, particularly those who consider our independence as hurdle for them. He expects them to change their views in light of legal and geographical realities. Dr Shabir Choudhry is, indeed correct, when he says that we cannot turn back the course of history, but we can learn lessons from the history.

Presently the State of Jammu and Kashmir is surrounded by three nuclear countries. It is a principal gate for Central Asia and South East Asia due to its geographical situation. For India and Pakistan it is of a great strategic significance. The economies of both these countries, to a large extent, are also dependent on the resources of this State. Nature has bestowed it with rich mineral, hydel and other natural resources. Natural resources are strength for countries; but for us this fact has proved to be a weakness because our neighbours don’t want to leave us because of our natural resources and strategic importance. Once a big political leader of the State of Jammu and Kashmir pronounced that our beauty is our weakness.

It is relevant to mention that in United India, status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was different from other Princely States as far as the legal, constitutional and geographic matters were concerned. This State was established by Maharaja Ghulab Singh who acquired Kashmir from the British under Treaty of Amritsar in 1846. The people of the State were ruled by an autocratic Ruler; and the people started a movement for democratic rights which started many decades before the establishment of India and Pakistan. There was a Constituent Assembly, a Cabinet, and Prime Minister of the State. The citizens of the State had the right to vote. There were political parties and their struggle was political; and it was for fundamental human rights. The people of the State wanted to have more reforms and determine constitutional rights for the Maharaja and make him a constitutional head. The Maharaja wanted to maintain friendly relations with India and Pakistan by keeping his State independent and sovereign.

Before October 1947, India and Pakistan tried their best to obtain accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to their countries. Both the countries and even Lord Mountbatten also pressurised the Maharaja to make a decision before 15th August 1947. But the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir gave no such consent; instead, he entered into Standstill Agreement and gave a clear message that he wanted to maintain political and geographical unity of the State. 

Both countries were planning secretly, directly and indirectly to occupy the State. The demarcation of Boundary Commission in Punjab reveals that some secret hand was in operation. As such India, Pakistan and their dividers seem playing foul at that time. If some people may not feel annoyed, I am right in saying that the ill will of India and Pakistan and conflicts of political leaders of the State levelled the route for tribal attack on Kashmir in October 1947. Even now, if both countries want peace, progress and prosperity, harmony and tolerance without poverty, distress and diseases, they must abandon their obstinacy, follow the changing international scenario and restore the original identity of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The new generation must correct their historical facts. They must critically examine political leaders and self-centred scholars. The curriculum they studied was designed to mislead people on historical facts that they could maintain their control; and that must be changed. Those individuals and groups who are true friends and benefactors of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir must be supported, irrespective of their cast, creed and colour. The politics of ideologies and slogans has to be abstained. The culture promoted under occupation, oppression and hatred must be relinquished. The objectives could only be achieved if we reinstate the political sovereignty of the State as it existed on 15th August 1947, and sincerely try to promote friendship with positive results. It is also possible only when Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control blatantly adopt the conviction that “First Independence and then then think of Accession”.

I wholeheartedly support all those who favour and believe in political sovereignty and geographical unity of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and urge youngsters to revisit their understanding of the Kashmiri history and freedom movement and analyse the situation in light of new facts. Scientifically examine interests of India and Pakistan associated with the State, and get rid of paradox of slogans and elusive ideologies. Think over the aims and objectives of those who gave birth to the Kashmir dispute; and in particular take account of the somersaults of Kashmiri leaders and resist all forms of terrorism in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

We must critically examine the UN Resolutions, Tashkent Agreement, Shimla Agreement, Lahore Declaration and Delhi Accord and understand that there was no Kashmiri input in these; and India and Pakistan only protected and promoted their national interests. Also we should closely and critically watch bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan, and particularly the present Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s), and see what there is for us people of the divided Jammu and Kashmir. In this respect the writings of Dr Shabir Choudhry are a “Ray of Light” in darkness; and we should appreciate his hard work and benefit from his wisdom and understanding of the Kashmir dispute.

No comments: