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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Kashmir we dream of…(Part 2)

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Under a democratic system if you have people like Hitler in majority then there is nothing much you can do, then the killing of 1 million Jews and endangering the whole world is all inevitable... if two-thirds parliamentarians even vote in favour of something as inhumane as ‘Gay and lesbianism’, then it is bound to become a law which will be enforced by the judiciary. If the two-third Indian parliamentarians are in favour of a worst kind of state terrorism against unarmed Kashmiri youth then what else can you do other than watching as a mute spectator? It is thus manifest that under the shade of ‘equality’, ‘tranquillity’ and ‘freedom’ democracy sets out the worst form of a social and political set-up, Mehdi Siddique continues...
The demand of ‘Azadi’ is not as threatening as the demand for ‘Azadi barah-e-Islam’ to India and world community by and large. Islam is something synonymous to ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’ for them. While others amongst them who know what Islam really stands for try to negate it deliberately just because they can’t see their notorious designs shrinking. Islam as they rightly understand means the complete end of oppressions of all kinds; it takes out an individual from the slavery of man and brings all humanity under the rule of their real master, Almighty God.

Anti-Islamic forces were always there in search of some opportunity to malign Islam, 9/11 gave them a perfect prospect. As if this was why 9/11 took place, one wonders. The post 9/11 era saw the full scale Islam maligning, any one seen even wearing a skull cap was labelled a terrorist, people were locked up in jails just because they had beards and placed their trousers above ankles! So much anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim was written that even Muslims started viewing the Islamic way of attiring as something ‘extremism’ and all! The liquidation of faith which had already engulfed Muslims in many ways now boomed in new century. Things like ‘Islamic state’ and struggling for it were nullified; chapters on Jihad and Ribaat were thrown out of Islamic study curriculum. Any one seen as uttering something in favour of ‘Islamic state’ was immediately labelled as ‘extremist’, ‘fundamentalist’ and even a ‘terrorist’ by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This is where we stand today, a call for an Islamic state is seen something as a call to world war III!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Kashmir we dream of…(Part I)

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Mehdi Siddique sums up as to how India has no legitimacy to consider Kashmir as its 'integral' part 

Kashmir continues to make itself hear on a Global level. But the propellants of tranquillity, liberty, peace, justice and freedom have always turned a blind eye when it came to Kashmir. Partly because many don’t even consider the freedom struggle to be legitimate stating that it is the integral part of India, many try to keep themselves aloof of the ‘mess’ seeing their interests in a developing global economy, India. Many get infuriated when they see people chanting ‘Azadi barah-e-Islam’ and ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ like slogans and many prefer to stay away just because it is not in their bread and butter!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Calling the conscience of India!

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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, Niyaz Ahmad has his say...

George Bernard Shaw once remarked, “The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them but be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity”.
These words cannot sound any stronger with me today when I watch the otherwise kind and emotional Indian public in general and the sagacious Indian civil society in particular watching the ugly orchestra of death in Kashmir silently and through the blood-tinted glasses provided to them by the Indian state. The indifference and the apathy that has come to define your posture towards the collective suffering of the hapless people of Kashmir as inflicted by the Indian state and its hired butchers in Kashmir is simply soul-shattering to all of us.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catching a Kashmiri Terrorist

Ehtesham Siddiqui, facing trial, writes detailed account of cop's alleged brutal techniques.

 I walked over to the local anti terror division in Kashmir and met the top cop there, he was sleeping, I woke him up,
"Whao!" he shouted what are you doing here?"
"I've come to interview you, about your torture methods."
"Sit down here!" he said.
"I'll sit here!" I said.
"No sit here.""But there is no chair there!"
"Sit down!"
"But where is the chair? You want me to sit on the floor?"
"Not on the floor, sit down on the chair!"
"But where is the chair?"

Friday, October 22, 2010

Azadi: The Only Way – Report from a Turbulent Few Hours in Delhi

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By: Shuddhabrata Sengupta

Dear Friends,
I was present and speaking a few hours ago at a meeting titled ‘Azadi: The Only Way’ on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners at the Little Theatre Group in Delhi yesterday (21st October). I was not present from the beginning of the meeting as I was traveling from another city, but can vouch for what occurred from around 4:30 pm till the time that the meeting wound up, well after 8:00 pm in the evening.

The meeting took place in the packed to capacity auditorium of the Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg at the heart of New Delhi. Several speakers, including the poet Varavara Rao, Prof. Mihir Bhattacharya, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Mr. Shivnandan (?) an activist from Jammu, Professor G.N.Saibaba, Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain – Professor of Law, Srinagar University, the journalist Najeeb Mubaraki, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, the writer Arundhati Roy and myself spoke at the meeting. (I may be missing out some names, for which I apologize, but I was not present for a part of the meeting, at the very beginning) The climax of the meeting was a very substantive and significant speech by Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Hurriyat Conference (G), which spelt out the vision of liberation (Azaadi) and Justice that Syed Ali Shah Geelani held out before the assembled public, of which I will write in detail later in this text.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kashmir dispute: Myth and reality

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'Kashmir is not a real estate which can be parceled out between two disputants but the home of a nation with a history far more compact and coherent than India’s and far longer than Pakistan’s', Ghulam Nabi Fai gives the fundamental accounts...

Pointing out that (i) “India does conduct a ‘plebiscite' every five years in the form of elections, nobody has ever questioned the elections in Kashmir as fake" and that (ii) "Kashmir is an internal matter of India" The Foreign Minister of India, S M Krishna,  ruled out any (iii) third party intervention.
Earlier, the Home Minister of India, P Chidambaram said that (iv) Line of Control could become an International Border and he also hinted that (v) autonomy could be an option.  

Let us see how grounded these statements are. Both, Krishna and Chidambaram need to be reminded of some historical facts.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Facts we need to know

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Abdul Majid Zargar takes a leaf from history by pointing towards some unknown but startling facts about accession

IT  is extremely  important to reignite the accession debate in view of some recent articles appearing in various Newspapers  notably the One authored by Hashim Qureshi  (Greater Kashmir 29th September 2010). The fierce debate on the subject  in the Legislative Assembly has also generated considerable heat and controversy necessitating a revisit.

 Mr. Qureshi writes that besides the option of Joining Either India Or Pakistan, the Princely States were also extended the Option of remaining Independent. Advancement of this argument is prompted more to Counter Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s argument of  “only two Options” than based on any legal or historical facts.

‘My son died for freedom not money’

Via Greater Kashmir



Srinagar, Oct 12: Death of their eldest son Suhail Yaseen Dar, 15, in police and paramilitary CRPF firing during the present unrest has shattered the dreams of Muhammad Yasin Dar and his wife Maryam, who wanted to make him a computer engineer.
Suhail was Yaseen’s eldest son and was studying in Vision Public School Hyderpora. He was a meritorious student and had passed his exams with good marks.
 “Our son didn’t let us down and scored over 90 per cent marks in his previous classes. We were waiting for the day when he would become an engineer,” Yaseen told Greater Kashmir.
“I brought computer and other electronic gadgets as he was interested in it from childhood, but his death snatched our dreams forever,” he added. Recalling the fateful day, he said that his son had left home early morning to participate in the Eidgah march on August 3.
“He too joined procession and when they reached near Fairdeal motors at Parimpora, the police resorted to indiscriminate firing on them. The procession was peaceful and there was no stone pelting or provocation from protesters.  I was shocked to hear that bullet had hit him. I him rushed to SMHS where he was battling for life for more than 5-hours and succumbed later to injuries,” he added.
Quoting eyewitnesses and doctors, he said that Suhail was fired upon from a close range.
“After being hit by a bullet from just five metres range, he lost one major vessel and got multiple gut proliferations,” Yaseen quoted doctors as having told him.
The family has also rejected compensation of Rs 5 lakh offered by the government to the families of civilians killed in ongoing agitation.
 “My son sacrificed life for Azadi and not for money .How can I sell his blood by accepting compensation money from government,” he said.
“We want punishment for the killer cops and no amount of money can return us him back,” he added.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We should be thankful to India

Thank you for awakening us from the deep slumber we are in, for altering the very meaning of our lives, for making us overcome the fear of death, Irfan Ali has his say...

The imposing curfew and restrictions in Kashmir will certainly end up isolating its architects and enforcers. It will spawn more anger and violence on the already blood bathed streets of valley. For a commoner certainly it means living in a climate of sickening uncertainty. It is absurd for government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out violence and protests with more violence and oppression.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pillar of democracy?

Man was born free but when he chose to become a journalist, he found himself in chains, Zahir-ud-Din comments

It happened yet again last week. The scribes now curse their stars for not being a part of the oldest profession (prostitution). The past two weeks were very difficult for the journalists. Time and again they were humiliated, thrashed and ridiculed. Alas! The second oldest profession is losing its sheen.
The journalists have been at the receiving end during the past twenty years of the on-going conflict. The commoner expects him to play saviour. He is under a mistaken notion that a journalist is all powerful and can perform miracles.  But this is far from the reality. In fact, the journalist is as endangered and helpless as the commoner on the street. They have been killed, abducted, arrested, intimidated and lured by the state and non-state actors. While the people envy the `privileges’ of the scribes, a question haunts all of them. Is it safe to pursue a career in the second oldest profession?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I don’t feel like an Indian

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Omar Bashir takes us through a very powerful and thoughtful piece of writing which combines a personal testimony and highlights the alienation of Kashmir with India

I was born in 90s—a time when armed rebellion against New Delhi’s rule in Kashmir was passing through the bloodiest phase. A few months before it actually began, I was enrolled in one of Srinagar’s prestigious school but I had most of my studies at home.

As one of my former principal writes in his memoirs that appeared in our school magazine a few years later: “There were only 60 working days and the rest of year was consumed by curfews, crackdowns, and strikes.”

Living in a posh colony shielded me from the outside world in some way; it couldn’t, however, stop me see what was happening in the streets outside. The voices of Azadi (freedom) became a part of my life and like any child who recites nursery rhymes, I found myself reciting my own, ‘
Hum Kya Chahetay Azadi (We Want Freedom)’, ‘Sarhad Paar Jayenge Kalashankope Layengay Bharat Ko Bhagayenge(We’ll Cross Over The Border, Bring Kalashnikov and Chase Away India)’.  One day I asked my father what a Kalashankope (Kalashnikov) was, he pointed towards a pressure cooker. I used to wonder why youth would cross over to Pakistan-administered Kashmir to get a pressure cooker. Time passed, my home became my school and my parents became my teachers.  I learnt English words before I learnt words, grenade, bomb, curfew, and crackdown became part of my lingo.  In May 1990, I remember my mother was expecting my younger brother and while accompanying her to the city’s Lalded hospital with my grandmother I saw blood for the first time. A blast occurred just outside the hospital. Dozens were injured. All of them were taken to the hospital and I saw blood oozing from their bodies—a scene that I can’t forget.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nothing personal about it

Sidelights of Kashmir Debates on Indian Television channels, by Gowhar Geelani

'Ostrich' on 'Devil's Advocate':
"Your party, the  National Conference passed a resolution for the restoration of autonomy, New Delhi rejected it; your party demanded partial withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), New Delhi rejected it; you, your son and your party demanded change in the status quo in Kashmir; New Delhi rejected it too, aren't you disappointed, isn't your party marginalized, isn't your credibility eroded, Karan Thapar's volley of questions to Mr. Farooq Abdullah? "No, not at all. I'm not disappointed. Credibility is a temporary thing, it isn't important. It comes and goes. What do you want me to do? Should I jump into a well, he replies. Farooq Saheb, even jumping into a well needs some credibility! Sorry, you've got no chance!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Youth Buzz!!!

Disputed territory
This refers to the Kashmir crisis. It is high time that the government of India and the citizens of the country understand that Kashmir is a disputed territory and not the part of India. The letters exchanged between Maharaja Hari Singh and Lord Mountbatten October 1947 clearly state that “The state of Jammu and Kashmir had never been a part Indian or Pakistani state, rather it had been an independent state.” Maharaja Hari Sing accepted his state with Indian Dominion to seek help.  And it was clearly mentioned that as soon as law and order restores in the State, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference of the people..... not the ruling body. Why is the Indian State so envious to Jammu and Kashmir?  

Sentiment of Aazadi! (exposing Indian brutality)

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We can kill people to suppress their ‘hum kya chahte, Azadi’ (we want, Freedom) slogans but how can we suppress their sentiments, their feelings, their emotions and their outlook and attitude which tells them that ‘Indian occupation is illegal, it is tyrannical and pure oppression’, Mehdi Siddique has his take...

It is the first time from past 63 years that the Indian media, public at large and intellectuals have accepted that there is a word ‘Azadi’ buzzing around Jammu and Kashmir. But the irony is that some of them define it their ‘own’ way and link it with jobs, placements, security etc while others openly condemn this spirit which they very well know means complete independence from Indian state. Some people question the survival of Kashmir as an independent state while others see this sentiment from the prism of Pakistan; define it as a communal war which needs to be suppressed ‘by any means necessary’!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kashmiri Pandits: You owe us a condolence message

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We want pandits back in Kashmir, but it really pains when they malign the indigenous freedom movement to prove their loyalty to New Delhi, Hamid Jan Bader comments

My bother Kashmiri pandits
I know not, who is dead?
My chest embraced a bullet
Did your Conscience fell Dead?
I return all your hugs of Eid
I refuse Ramadhan greetings
You owe a condolence message
Of hundred recent dead.…

Kashmir: A place entrapped in 'Power Politics'

When the whole world was busy in celebrating Eid, Kashmiri people were out on the streets demanding freedom from India. What else they need to prove that it is not the noisy minority who demand freedom? Syed Haamid Bukhari comments (with inputs from editor Freedom Writers blog)
A place which seems different if we look it from historical prism. A place of international importance, where as soon as water dried up leading to its formation, it started sucking blood of those who lived on it in order to maintain its balance, its land wants to remain wet. It hardly measures the viscosity of fluid in which it used to bath from centuries. A place where Rajneeti (politics) took thousand lives of innocent, a place where big shopping complexes and colonies are made above ‘unmarked’ and ‘unknown’ graves. Tragedies from time and again didn’t happen naturally, no cloud burst took place but rulers from time to time crushed the land beneath their feet, as our modern oppressors use chilly bombs through choppers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Independence Day for Kashmir

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Do you think the people of Junagadh would have integrated with Pakistan after six decades of genuine Pakistani effort? No? Then can you really be confident that Kashmiris will stop demanding azaadi and integrate with India? Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar has his say...

On August 15, India celebrated independence from the British Raj. But Kashmiris staged a bandh demanding independence from India. A day symbolising the end of colonialism in India became a day symbolising Indian colonialism in the Valley.

As a liberal, i dislike ruling people against their will. True, nation-building is a difficult and complex exercise, and initial resistance can give way to the integration of regional aspirations into a larger national identity — the end of Tamil secessionism was a classical example of this.

I was once hopeful of Kashmir's integration, but after six decades of effort, Kashmiri alienation looks greater than ever. India seeks to integrate with Kashmir, not rule it colonially. Yet, the parallels between British rule in India and Indian rule in Kashmir have become too close for my comfort.

Many Indians say that Kashmir legally became an integral part of India when the maharaja of the state signed the instrument of accession. Alas, such legalisms become irrelevant when ground realities change. Indian kings and princes, including the Mughals, acceded to the British Raj. The documents they signed became irrelevant when Indians launched an independence movement.

The British insisted for a long time that India was an integral part of their Empire, the jewel in its crown, and would never be given up. Imperialist Blimps remained in denial for decades. I fear we are in similar denial on Kashmir.

The politically correct story of the maharaja's accession ignores a devastating parallel event. Just as Kashmir had a Hindu maharaja ruling over a Muslim majority, Junagadh had a Muslim nawab ruling over a Hindu majority. The Hindu maharaja acceded to India, and the Muslim nawab to Pakistan.

But while India claimed that the Kashmiri accession to India was sacred, it did not accept Junagadh's accession to Pakistan. India sent troops into Junagadh, just as Pakistan sent troops into Kashmir. The difference was that Pakistan lacked the military means to intervene in Junagadh, while India was able to send troops into Srinagar. The Junagadh nawab fled to Pakistan, whereas the Kashmir maharaja sat tight. India's double standard on Junagadh and Kashmir was breathtaking.

Do you think the people of Junagadh would have integrated with Pakistan after six decades of genuine Pakistani effort? No? Then can you really be confident that Kashmiris will stop demanding azaadi and integrate with India?

The British came to India uninvited. By contrast, Sheikh Abdullah, the most popular politician in Kashmir, supported accession to India subject to ratification by a plebiscite. But his heart lay in independence for Kashmir, and he soon began manoeuvering towards that end. He was jailed by Nehru, who then declared Kashmir's accession was final and no longer required ratification by a plebiscite. The fact that Kashmir had a Muslim majority was held to be irrelevant, since India was a secular country empowering citizens through democracy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

1 line msg for the people of India!

The 'Freedom Writers' Admin conducted a 'One line message' event, so that the Kashmiri voice can be heard in short and with wide spectrum. We got many messages, some of them are published below:

Our One Line message for the people of India:

                          • Mehdi Siddique Don't let d govt deceive u, they r playing politics just to save their 'chair'. It was the first PM of India himself who made a promise of 'plebiscite' to the ppl of Jammu and Kashmir, it is tym dat u take ur stand n support Kashmiris in dr struggle for Azadi. 

                          • Saqib Mir indians b realistic.............

                          • Shahroz Ahmed Sidiqi free kashmir

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