ECONOMICS OF MILITANCYThe second aspect of the disinformation
campaign about the militant violence is pertaining to the alleged economic
deprivations, the Muslims faced in the State. The local political leadership,
specifically the leadership of the National Conference and the splinters
of the Muslims United Front, a section of the Muslim leadership of the
Congress the left parties and some of the constituents of the Janta Dal,
blamed the Hindus of having appropriated economic advantage at the cost
of the Muslim majority. The Muslims, they alleged, were compelled by poverty
and economic depression to resort to armed resistance against India.
The total population of the State
according to census of India, conducted in 1981, was 59,27389 of which
19,30,448 were Hindus, 38,43,451 were Muslims, 1,33,675 were Sikhs, 69,706
were Buddhists, 1,576 Jains, and 2,481 Christians. The population figures,
quoted above did not include the two and a half lakh Hindus and Sikhs, who
migrated to Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, and the Hindus and Sikhs who were
displaced from the territories of the State occupied by Pakistan and who
have lived in the State ever since. These people are still awaiting settlement
in the State. This has been in contrast with the expedition and efficiency
with which the Muslim refugees from Tibet, who claimed Kashmiri lineage
and who migrated to Kashmir in the wake of the Chinese annexation of Tibet
in 1950, the Afghan refugees and thousands of Muslim immigrants, who sneaked
across the Cease-Fire Line, from the occupied territories, in the wake
of the Indo- Pakistan conflict of 1965, and the Bangladesh War of 1971,
were settled in both the provinces of the State. These ugly facets of the
Indian policy towards Kashmir and the double standards of the State Government
have hardly been known outside the State and have generally been lost in
the din of the orchestrated tradition of tolerance and secular values of
the Muslim leadership in Kashmir.
The total population of the Hindus
according to the Census of 1981, formed 32.4 percent of the total population
of the State. The population of Sikhs formed 2.1 percent of the population
of the State and the population of Buddhists constituted 1.1 percent of
the population of the State. The population of the Hindu and Sikh Sharnarthis,
refugees still awaiting settlement, constituted 4.1 percent of the population
of the State. Added together, the population of the Hindus, the Sikhs and
the Buddhists in the State, constituted 39.7 percent of the population
of the State.
The population statistics of the
State have been cited here to provide a broad background of the demographic
composition of the State, to
The Jammu and Kashmir is a prosperous
State, which in terms of per capita in come is placed fourth among the
Indian States. There was a continuous rise in domestic product of the States
in terms of crores of rupees from 249.59 to 458.10 at constant price (1970-71)
in 1985-86 and the growth registered in this behalf at current price in
1971-76, rose from Rs. 249.59 crores to 1,479.49 crores.
remove various misconceptions about
the relative strength of the different communities in the State, including
the Muslims in Kashmir,
bring to surface the consistent effort
of the successive State governments to distort the population statistics
of the Hindus in the State;
show that a large part of the Hindu
population, the refugees who settled in the State in 1947, and the displaced
persons of the occupied territories of "Azad Kashmir", were always excluded
from the population statistics of the State during the last forty seven
expose the consistent efforts of the
State Government, under whose instructions and supervision the census operations
were conducted to tamper with the population figures of the Hindus in Kashmir,
a fact clearly borne out by the stark contrast of the figures of the Hindu
population estimated by the census authorities and the actual number of
the Hindus who migrated from Kashmir;
The per-eapita growth registered
between 1970-71 to 1985-86 was from Rs 548 to Rs 2,204, at current price
and Rs 548 to Rs 683 at constant price of 1970-71. The prosperity of the
Muslims accounted for a greater share in the figures cited above due to
more favourable allocation of financial resources for the Kashmir division,
varying between 65 to 69 percent as compared to 35 to 31 percent allocated
to the two divisions of Jammu and Ladakh.
The widespread propaganda campaign
about the so-called economic deprivation of the Muslims of Kashmir, was
designed to conceal the real import and objectives of the militancy and
was aimed to mislead the Indian public opinion in order to provide tactical
advantage to the secessionist forces working against the unity of the country.
The Muslims in the province were and still are, a prosperous community.
The Muslims of Kashmir dominated the economic organisation of the State,
as shown by the following facts:
The Muslims in Kashmir owned 97.4 percent
of the agricultural land, leaving 2.6 per cent of agricultural land in
the ownership of the Hindus and the other minorities, who together constituted
about 11 percent population of the province.
The Muslims ouned 96 percent of the
fruit orchard acerage in the Kashmir province, whereas the Hindus owned
only 2.8 percent of the fruit orchards.
TheMuslims in Kashmir owned 98.7 per
cent acerage of Kareva highland, growing saffron, whereas the Hindus owned
0.03 percent land yielding saffron.
The export of dry fruit: almond, and
walnut, was a monopoly of the Muslims in Kashmir, the Hindus having negligible
or no share in the export of dry fruit from Kashmir.
The export of precious walnut and willow-wood
was wholly a monopoly of the Muslims, the Hindus having no share in it.
The employment of the Muslims in the
horticulture industry approximated to 8 lakhs of people working on 4,81,000
orchard holdings. The employment of Hindus in the Horticul- ture indus
try was less than 0.5 percent.
Of the industries using electric power
in Kashmir province, 98.9 per cent were owned by the Muslims and only 0.02
per cent were owned by the Hindus.
The handicrafts and handloom industry
of Kashmir division was almost wholly owned by the Muslims and provided
employment to 91,941 persons, among whom only 0.4 per cent were Hindus.
The membership of the handicrafts and
handloom cooperative societies in 1985-86, the years, when the Muslim fundamental
its were getting militarised, was 17,776, of which only 0.3 per cent belonged
to the Hindus in Kashmir.
In 1985-86, the number of small-scale
industries and industrial units registered with the Directorate of Industries
in Kashmir province was 46,293. The number of units registered in the name
of the Hindus of Kashmir estimated to only 0.01 percent. 98.7 percent of
the industrial units were registered in the name of the Kashmiri Muslims.
The Khadi and village industries registered
under Khadi and Village Industries Board, provided employment to 28,110
persons. 98.8 percent of the employees were Muslims.
The road transport in the State, the
primaty means of communication in the absence of any railways, was owned
by Muslim transporters and transport companies, with the Sikhs having a
marginal 4.2 percent share among them. The Hindus of Kashmir had a negligible
share in the transport organisation of the State.
According to the statistics and figures
collected from the Government sources for the years 1985-86, the State
Transport Corporation employed 6,434 persons of which the Kashmiri Hindus
accounted for 0.8 percent.
According to the figures available for
the year 1985-86, from the government sources, the entire boat transport
in the State was monopolised by the Kashmiri Muslims. The number of the
various types of boats, was as follows:
|Type of Boats
||Number of persons
|Tourist House Boats
|Passenger House Boats
The entire fleet of the
boats of various types, listed above, was owned by the Muslims. The fleet
included the high cost luxury house-boats, which had considerable commercial
The Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir were
never the oppressed masses in the State. In the Dogra regime, they formed
an important part of the Dogra ruling class. After the accession of the
State to India, they ruled the State in the name of Islam, exercised unrestricted
authority and power, replaced the middle class the Dogras had forged in
the State, by a formidable Muslim middle class, to provide an economic
base for the Muslimisation of the State. After the communalisation of the
government and society was accomplished, they demanded the separation of
the State from India, as a condition for the realisation of their Muslim
destiny. The militant violence, which struck the State in 1989, and which
continues unabated, marked the culmination of the Muslim struggle for the
secessation of the State from India and its unification with the Muslim
Commonwealth of Pakistan.
The hotel industry is a highly lucerative
industry in Kashmir. It was always a closed preserve of the Muslims of
Kashmir. The Muslims owned about 96 percent of the hotel property in Kashmir,
the Hindus owned only 2.2 percent of the Hotel property in Kashmir.
94 percent of the State subsidy paid
on horticulture, agriculture, agricultural implements, fertilisers, pesticides
etc. was appropriated by the Muslims in Kashmir with 2.4 per cent and less
of the subsidies received by the Hindus.
The Muslims appropriated the whole of
the State subsidies on industrial loans, exports, self employment schemes
etc. The share of the Hindus of Kashmir in such subsidies was negligible;
less than 0.1 per cent.
The share of the Hindus in the industrial
loans, provided by the State Government, the loans on self-employment schemes,
loans on small scale and handicraft industrial units and the lands alloted
for the establishment of such industries, was negligible; less than 0.1
The Hindus were almost excluded from
contracts and public works undertaken by the Government and were given,
on an average, a share of 4 percent in the works undertaken by the State.
The share of the Hindus in the exploitation
of forest products till the forests were nationalised in 1979, was 6.2
The licensing for quarrying, mining
of marble brick-kilns, was a monopoly of the Muslims.
The manufacture and export of carpets,
of Kashmir was a monopoly of the Muslims of Kashmir.
The manufacture and export of shawls
of Kashmir was a monopoly of the Kashmiri Muslims.
The terrorist violence provided Muslim
secessionism a militant dimension, which the Muslim elite in Kashmir and
Pakistan realised would deal India and the Hindus a below, from which they
would not recover. The Hindus, unarmed and without help, were unable to
with stand the sudden military offensive which the Muslim militant organisations
mounted against them. After having suffered heavy causalities, they withdrew
from Kashmir, leaving the Indian Government to face the militant onslaught
as best as they could. The tragedy is that the men who wield power in India
are still unable to decide whether they are fighting Muslim communalism
in Jammu and Kashmir or their own intransigence to bear the brunt of the
truth, they concealed for the last forty-seven years.