the last nearly forty years, Kashmir Valley is under terror, shedding tears
and facing trauma. A handful of separatists in the minuscule Valley under
the command of Intelligence Agency of a neighbouring country, have been
holding by neck the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. The motivation is
pan-Islamism and the instrument is Jihad, which has a wide connotation.
Kashmir is regrettably the only perfect model of apartheid in the Indian
Ropublic. The apartheid is manifest in the tortuous treatment and forced
exile of the little group of tiny community of original natives of the
land professing a faith different from that of the overwhelming majority.
in the vast regions of Ladakh and Jammu are very eager to come closer to
the rest of the country and share its sorrows and happiness as members
of the same family. These regions are neither involved in present terrorism
in the valley nor have they any consideration for the sinister objectives
of the separatists. Indeed they are vehemently opposed to it. These two
regions have nevertheless their own aspirations, expectations, loyalties
and, of course, problems and with that their understandable disappointments.
Ladakh has been clamouring for being taken over as a Centrally-administered
Union territory. In Jammu, the intensity of the feelings of the people
for a complete unequivocal and unconditional accession to India is manifested
in their pressing demand for freeing the accession from any conditions
and artificial barriers such as Article 370 of Indian Constitution.
earlier book Unhappy Kashmir - The Hidden Story, while concluding
the preface I had said: "An in-depth study of these hidden facts should
enable the people in general and policy-makers in particular to learn from
past blunders and act timely and decisively to prevent the looming national
disaster". Has the purpose been served as I had wished? The present
situation may be summed up in a Sanskrit phrase: Yadasthanam pradishtya
bhayami. (We are exactly where we were). In fact, the situation has
worsened. What happened in Bombay on Black Friday, March 12, 1993, will
stay in India's history as a national shame. Nowhere in the world has any
city suffered the misfortune of 13 powerful bomb blasts - all in a span
of two hours or so. A massive building of critical importance to the country's
prestige and economy went up or caved in like nine pins in the explosions
of unparalleled destructive power arranged at regular intervals of time
and space of a single day. A Friday in the Muslims' fasting month of Ramazan
at mid-day time prayers when most of them were in mosques, safe from the
dangers of war-scale bomb operations. It started from Ahmedabad, devastated
Bombay and brought havoc in Calcutta. As the planning appears alphabetical,
one has to keep one's finger crossed as to the fate of D.
blasts were not a sudden development. In July, 1991, some anti- natinal
elements had thrown a sophisticated plastique bomb on a house in Khalse
village of coastal Maharashtra. The blast was so strong that it woke up
villagers 7km away. The local police said arms spare parts and ammunition
were smuggled along the coast and were assembled in an illegal jungle factory. Immediately
afterwards, Mr. A.R. Antulay, M.P. and a former Chief Minister
of Maharashtra brought this incident to the notice of the Home Minister
of India. There was neither response nor action. The tragedy of Black Friday
has shown how incompetent, inefficient, impotent, indifferent, the Government
of India has rendered itself.
who have been holding sway in India since independence have their well-known
techniques which include slandering authors whose factual account is inconvenient
and ensure that facts are sunk down by chorus of denials. Truth alone lives
has come to mean that what is allowed to live will automatically become
the truth. Our ruling establishment as also dominating media men are having
a fixed mindset in regard to Kashmir. Neither the ground reality nor any
amount of genuine arguments affect this mindset even slightly. When Dr.
Johnson was told that the doctrine of Bishop Berkley, that matter was non-existent
and that everything in the Universe was merely ideal, was only ingenious
sophistry but that it was impossible to refute it, Dr. Johnson with great
alacrity answered striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone
till he rebounded from it saying, I refute it thus.
of Kashmir owes its origin to blunders of our leaders after independence.
They unfotunately overlooked the sign posts and took wrong turns. That
speeding prooved suicidical on mountain roads. But shelter was taken under
banality, ambiguity, inanities and what is worse disinformation. Indian
people have been fed on lies and illusions. Facts and situations about
Kashmir have been twisted on the fond hope that tomorrow may be all
have a tendency to be carried away by the status of a person. Popular sentiment
or our fear or respect for him/her plays havoc with our judgement and faculty
for critical appreciation. As a people we lack sense of history and what
passes for history is generally a mixture of myth-making and sycophancy.
Our biographies are nothing more than eulogies. Leaders have to be blindly
glorified and any reference to their lapses is considered to be in bad
taste. In fact, so glaring is the national despair helplessness over the
unending insurgency in Kashmir that any assessment which goes against the
grain of conventional wisdom is brushed under the carpet. Faced with the
collapse of a much trumped up experiment in secularism, the supine Indian intelligentsia
and political monopolists appear determined to pretend to
be unembarassed. Unwilling to accept reality, the Indian political establishment
has been paralysed.
is utter confusion in Government in regard to this over-riding national
problem. Commenting on dreadful blasts in Bombay and Calcutta in March,
1993, the Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao attributed these to an
attempt by India's enemies to obstruct our economic reforms. The fact is
the enemy is working to break India and not just disrupt economic activity.
The bomb blasts are part of Pakistan's proxy war against India in Kashmir.
Abraham Lincoln after his election as President of United States said:
have been elected to fill an important office for a brief period am now
in your eyes, invested with an influence which will soon pass away. But
should my administration prove to be a wicked one or what is more probable,
a very foolish one, if you the people are true to yourselves and the Constitution,
there is but little harm I can do, thank God." These cautioning words
of Lincoln to the people of America are appropriately and very pointedly
applicable to the people of India more particularly at this critical juncture.
even front page ones, countless articles in the media and large number
of books have spared no pains in justifying what has been done or not done
and what has been happening in Kashmir. They have had their say in this
country which guarantees freedom of speech to every one. It is time now
that cold facts are allowed to speak for themselves. This book presents
a new agenda for nation-wide action and may be taken as the Nation's own
White Paper on Kashmir. From the point of independence of thought and
fearless presentation of facts, the book is not a partisan production.
I have not been influenced by fears of wounding either individuals or classes.
Those whom I may have offended must bear with me, in consideration of honesty
and disinterestedness of my aim. I have written dispassionataly and without
prejudice. I have not allowed desire to dictate conclusion or hope to masquerade
as judgement. My only purpose is to force attention of the indifferent
and casual reader to the issues that are dealt with in the book. I would
request the reader to set aside the irritation, if any, and concentrate
his thought on tremendous issues discussed in the book. My aim is to stir
up the average Indian, who is complacent if not somnolent, who is unsuspecting
if not ill-informed, to realise what is happening. If any written word
is not acceptable factually or otherwise, critics are free to launch a convincing
through the same print media. That is the tradition and ethos of this country.
I have tried to break new ground. My approach is unconventional and unorthodox.
And I leave the conclusions to the readers.
pleasure in expressing my gratitude to the tri-lingual magazine,
Samachar, Amar Colony, New Delhi-24, which has been a source of
inspiration and information to me.
August 1, 1993