South Asia Research and Analysis Studies

In-depth analysis by Indian writers
Muhammad Jamil

A GREAT majority of journalists in India endorse and support the stance of its government on Kashmir, while embedded journalists downplay the atrocities committed by the Indian military on the people of Kashmir. Yet there are a few journalists and analysts who have a nuanced and multidimensional approach and warn their government about the consequences of brutal actions of Indian military.

They also remind the present government about the commitments made by earlier governments to the United Nations. UNSC resolutions especially January 5, 1949 resolution giving the people of Kashmir to either join Pakistan or India through a plebiscite under the aegis of the UN, is a case in point. Veteran Indian journalists Shujaat Bukhari and A G Noorani have recently written articles in the bi-monthly magazine namely Frontline published by “The Hindu”, in which they have revealed facts about struggle of Kashmiris to get rid of the Indian yoke. They believe that Kashmiris are seething with anger and see their present phase of struggle as a “do or die” situation”. Their slogans with regard to the demand for “Azaadi” from India are louder than they were before, and the protests this time round are different from earlier ones. The present generation, born after 1990, is in complete disconnect with India, as they have seen martyrdom of thousands of Kashmiri youth and the reign of terror by Indian military. According to Shujaat Bukhari, police officers confirmed that the boys who joined militant organizations in the past one year had worked as PDP activists and sympathizers in the 2014 elections. He stated that the fact that hundreds of thousands of people came on the streets on the funeral procession of Burhan Wani and in their protests, which merited serious attention by New Delhi on its own standing in Kashmir. The plans for setting up Sainik Colonies (soldiers colonies), separate townships for Kashmiri Pundits, and a new industrial policy for the State have reinforced the feeling that India is working on a plan to change Jammu and Kashmir’s demography. Kashmiris had also protested against Indian government efforts to bring about the demographic change by facilitating Hindus to settle down in large numbers in Jammu and Kashmir. It has to be mentioned that it was India which had taken the Kashmir issue to the UN under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, which deals with Pacific Settlement of Disputes. The Security Council had then passed the resolution on January 5, 1949 stating: “The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan would be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”, of course under the aegis of the UN. However, the terrible massacre of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir continues unabatedly for the last seven decades. The catastrophe is big enough to move any conscious human being, but unfortunately the apathy and insensitivity of international community encouraged India to perpetrate atrocities on the people of Kashmir in violations of universally accepted human rights. Not that international community is unaware of repression and heinous crimes in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK); it is rather the vested interest of western governments to remain mute just to please India. Recently, a new wave of Indian brutalities has been witnessed with the martyr of an eminent Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani, who was a great voice for freedom of IOK. The planned killing of Burhan Wani in which state government and centre were hands in glove triggered protests throughout the valley as well as in other parts of Kashmir. Despite reign of terror unleashed by India, and committing murder, rape and atrocities on the people of Kashmir, the anti-India sentiment has never been in short display. With its use of brutal massive military force in the occupied Kashmir, India may have driven out the freedom sentiment from the street, but manifestly it lives in Kashmiri hearts still animatedly. The trigger-happy Indian soldiers in the past years inflicted so much of brutality on the Kashmiris to subdue and crush their popular uprising for freedom that not a single Kashmiri home is left without family tragedy. By every reckoning, the Kashmiris’ alienation is now irreversible. When their popular uprising was at its peak in the 1990s, India had deployed over 700,000 soldiers to put it down. Even in the face of this large military force, the Kashmiris didn’t cave in. Frustrated by the apathy of the international community and non-implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, Kashmiri youth took up the arms in 1989. However after 9/11, political landscape of the world changed dramatically, and since then freedom struggles of the people the world over are considered as terrorism. However, A.G. Noorani in his recent article wrote: “The year 2016 only proves that the people of Kashmir have not acquiesced in the State of Jammu & Kashmir’s accession to India. The Third Kashmir Crisis of 2016 is far worse. The valley is no longer on the boil. It is in an incipient revolt which can get worse. It builds on the renewed awakening through militancy and is mostly local in origin. Article 370 is neither a wall nor a mountain, but that it is a tunnel. The Modi govt has revived the tunnel theory.” The author also referred to the Indian Constitution and stated that it was utterly unconstitutional to deny Kashmiris the right to demand a plebiscite in Kashmir. The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, applies Article 253 of the Indian Constitution to Kashmir with one overriding proviso. It reads thus: “Provided that after the commencement of the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, no decision affecting the disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be made by the Government of India without the consent of the Government of that State. The Order of 1954 was made by the President on May 14, 1954. The very next day then prime minister Pundit Nehru had said: “India still stands by her international commitments on the Kashmir issue and will implement them at the appropriate time.” Yet, India continues to be in a denial mode.