By Hari Om
The people of India have been kept in the dark, so far, by the Indian political class — which has ruled India for the last seven decades — about the truths of Jammu and Kashmir. Contrary to the common belief, Jammu and Kashmir is not a part of the secular and democratic political organization of India. From time to time, Jammu and Kashmir has been variously described as a “Muslim-majority State”; autonomous of the Indian Constitution on account of its “Muslim-majority composition of the state”; a “disputed territory” and even a no-man’s land which has many stakeholders.
Jammu and Kashmir A Theocratic State
Jammu and Kashmir State is a total theocratic State, which functions on the basis of the enforcement of the precedence of Kashmiri Muslim population and the faith it professes. This majority community of Kashmir, which rules the State, has a regimented, fundamentalized and separatist social and political culture that dominates in every aspect of life in the State.
The minority communities, the Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhists, as also refugees from Pakistan-occupied-Jammu and Kashmir and West Pakistan, all victims of fanaticism, which form almost 40 per cent of the population of the state, are reduced to the subjection of a theocratic State in which they have a third-rate citizenship.
The State is a battleground for Pakistan, the Jehadi war groups and the separatist flanks. The successive state governments have functioned at the behest of the separatist flanks and the Chief Ministers of the State have openly said that they are neutral in the war going on in the State they rule. Its cumulative effect has brought about a change in the demographic composition of the State, which is beyond recognition.
Behaviour of Indian political class
The behavior of the political class in India post-independence has always demonstrated a lack of commitment to the continuity of history and civilisation of India as one people. For this reason it has never been able to defend the sanctity of the borders of the Indian nation and its vital national interests. The mess in Jammu and Kashmir is the direct fall-out of this lack of commitment and clarity of the Indian political class.
That separatism and intolerance have only grown in the state since its accession to the Union of India and that nationalist people have not only been subjected to a campaign of exclusion and deprivation, but also subjected to genocide is a testimony of abject failure of the Indian political class. The worst consequence of this approach has been the dangers which have only multiplied in the State to the very survival of minorities living in the state. It appears that the nation is governed by aliens.
Developments in Jammu and Kashmir
The developments in the state of Jammu and Kashmir after the 2014 assembly elections have made all patriots in the state ponder deeper into the malaise that afflicts the state and the nation. As the new PDP-BJP government came to existence on the basis of a written agreement termed “Agenda of Alliance”, a new grim reality has dawned upon all of us. BJP’s compromise with PDP is more than a political expediency to form a government in a situation of fractured mandate. It is an ideological betrayal – brazen and open. We have realized that BJP as an alternative to Congress or any other national party in the state is more than eager to follow the same course as the latter. In fact, we have realized that there is a national consensus between the main national parties operating in the state to run the affairs as they have been till the present.
The foundation of this consensus is a relentless uninterrupted compromise with hegemonic, communal and separatist forces operating in the state. In this consensus the nationalist forces have been assigned only one role – to legitimize this compromise as acceptable to all people of the state – to be a subject people in a free India. We have realized that all patriotic citizens of the state, particularly the people of Jammu, are basically hostage to an arrangement which breeds separatism and communalism and is destructive to all and any national interest in the state. We have realized that we are not only face to face with the machinations of Pakistan and other inimical foreign forces operating in the state, but also a national consensus of the political class which is basically anti-national.
Jammu the Answer
We can no longer delude ourselves in believing that the main political parties will deliver us from a situation of political slavery enforced upon us in the name of national interests. We are witness to the grim reality that the policy of continuous compromises with communal, fundamentalist and separatist forces in the state has led to continuous destruction of national interests in the state at all levels. We can no longer leave the national interests in the State to be arbitrated and defended by the political instruments which have been in power in the state from time to time.
All patriots and nationalists have to declare unambiguously and unequivocally that we have not conferred any power of attorney to New Delhi or to any political party to decide our fate.
We can no longer close our eyes to the fact that the Indian nation living in Jammu and Kashmir has been subjected to the servitude of a communal and anti-national order. Communalism and religious-based identity politics have been conferred secular legitimacy by the political class which has been ruling India. People of Jammu and all minorities in the state have been subjected to a condition of apartheid of the worst kind.
Democratic power in the State has been devised in such a way that a particular set of voters gets more legislative space in the state assembly and the Parliament than all others. There is no equality of voters in this state. Democratic power is being shared in the state in a way where some have been empowered to be rulers permanently and some rendered as subjects permanently.
We are witness to the emergence of the scourge of international terrorism in the state. We have seen it growing under the patronage of a policy that promoted communalism and fundamentalism. We have seen the political class in India supporting such a policy in the name of secularism. We have seen terrorism assuming a genocidal dimension rendering people into refugees in their own state and the nation. We have seen the governments in the state devising policies to hide the genocide unleashed in Kashmir and parts of Jammu from the view of the nation and the world at large. We have seen refugees being called as migrants. We have seen political class in the state and rest of India ensuring that terrorism is fought without an anti-terrorist law.
We are witness to the demographic assaults in the state. We have experienced how the political class in India closed its eyes to the fraudulent census operations which sought to show the number of pro-India population as less. We have seen the genocidal fraud of a census operation done primarily on the table and cosmetically on the ground. We are face to face with a reality where pro-India population in the state is being considered as a problem by the state and the anti-India population as the basis for a solution.
We cannot remain blind to the facts that Pakistan is waging a war on the state and India is suing for peace. Our eyes are open. We know Jamaat-i–Islami, Ahl-i-Hadis, and many pan-Islamic organizations have taken large portions of society in the state under their stranglehold. And we know that successive governments have patronized the infiltration of the cadres of these organizations into the organs of society and administration. We have a clear understanding that all this is happening in the full knowledge of the Government of India.
We have experienced in ample measure the perfidy in which the most rabid anti-India elements are made heads of institutions of education, administration and even Judiciary. Without the clearance of the Indian State at the highest level it could not be so. Persons about whom Intelligence Chiefs and National Security Advisors have put it in writing that they have links with terrorists can aspire to become head of the institution, even the Chief Minister in this state. None in the ruling elite among has any objection to it. We are face to face with colossal subversion of our polity to the extent that many times we have a feeling that we are not living in our own country.
We understand the implications of a national policy which seeks to transform the borders, which have to be defended at all costs, into porous borders with the enemy nation. We understand fully well the madness inherent in the propositions of sharing sovereignty to have peace. We know it very well that we are facing an invasion from outside and a destructive process from within.
The State needs to be retrieved from the state of siege and civil war it has been labouring through for decades, if the northern frontier of India is to be saved.
Jammu is the answer. It is the fulcrum of the unity of the State and India. It is the strategic centre of the security of the all-important Shivalik Plains in the East, Kashmir bowl in the West and Ladakh in the North. Jammu has been the only centre of resistance to Pakistan, the Jehad and separation, and the people of Jammu have paid a heavy price for the freedom of the state as well as its unity with India. Jammu is the springboard for any struggle to retrieve the state from the brink of disaster, where it is today, and Indians have no other alternative but to support the Jammu resistance.
In this situation, all patriotic citizens of the Indian State have to rise up to resist treachery and betrayal and lead a movement for fundamental change. As said, Jammu has to be the battleground of this movement. Let us remember that the battle ahead is not a battle for some political crumbs. It is a battle of existence and survival. With this realization we have decided to launch national movement. It will be called Jammu For India (JFI). It is an initiative for total and complete success.
We believe if India as a nation is to survive, the survival of nationalist Jammu province and nationalist people of Jammu and Kashmir is an historical necessity, the need of the under-attack nation. We just can’t allow anti-nationals to create a situation that rid Kashmir of all nationalists in early 1990. We have to fight and defeat the hate and defeat-India forces. We believe that now is the time to unleash a relentless national movement in Jammu province. To mark time would only help secessionists and radical elements cleanse Jammu province of all nationalists. The exodus of nearly 2000 nationalist non-local students of National Institute of Technology Srinagar is the last warning to nationalists in Jammu province and other persecuted communities to unite to face and defeat the anti-national assault.
Jammu For India aims at
1) Forcing the BJP led-NDA government at the Centre to withdraw the March 2015 PDP-BJP Agenda of Alliance as it has unleashed only forces of instability and subversion and put at stake the very survival of the minorities in the state. It is a document designed to drive the state out of India and enslave the nationalist people of Jammu and Ladakh as well as the internally-displaced seven lakh Hindus of Kashmir.
2) Ensuring all the nationalist forces, particularly the minorities in the state – Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists – all rights and freedoms the people in India enjoy by removing all restrictions imposed upon the application of Fundamental Rights, including the provisions of Article 35-A, added by the Constitutional Application Order of 1954.
3) Ensuring all people of Jammu province, irrespective of their religious denominations, right to equality, right to freedom, right to freedom of religion and right to live and protecting them against discrimination on the basis of religion.
4) Liberating the nationalist and patriotic people of the state from the stranglehold of a religious state. The minorities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are living in a state of servitude under the precedence of the communal majority.
5) Combating communalism, separatism and sectarianism and launch a people’s movement to resist the policy of compromise the Indian political class has followed in dealing with these three scourges for the last seven decades of Indian freedom.
6) Initiating a nation-wide campaign and a state-wide movement against the policy of servile compromise and subterfuge, which the Indian political class has followed in resisting the war of subversion, terrorism and political intervention Pakistan has actively followed to annex the state to its territories as well as the damage it has done to the unity of India, its security and territorial integrity as well as the secular social fabric and the democratic institutions in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
7) Carrying on a movement inside the state against the social, economic, religious and communal imbalances fostered by the political elite which has ruled the state for the last 70 years.
8) Reverse the genocidal process in the state which was unleashed by radical elements in Kashmir in October 1947 itself to help Pakistan complete what it calls the “unfinished agenda of partition”.
Jammu For India makes a fervent appeal to all nationalists in the state to rise above petty political considerations and join the movement launched on April 22, 2016 to achieve these eight pious objectives, considering the fact that the survival and existence of the Indian nation depends wholly and solely on the survival and existence of Jammu province. Time is running out and running out very fast. If we remain indifferent for some more time, the best opportunity for any action would be lost forever. And we just can’t afford that.
Jai Jammu, Jai Bharat
We call upon all nationalists in Jammu province, including all victims of Islamist terrorism like refugees from POJK, Pakistan and Kashmir Valley, to get prepared for a full-scale revolt against any measure that wrecks the nation of India in Jammu and Kashmir.
We warn all nationalists and patriots in Jammu and all over the country that a process to dismantle Indian Unity and integrity brick by brick is unfolding in front of their eyes at a very rapid pace.
It needs to be realized with utmost urgency and deep concern that the present dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir doesn’t belong to us. It has been formed by hijacking the mandate which the people of Jammu gave for upholding the national cause and empowering fully people of Jammu province, including refugees from Kashmir, POJK, and Pakistan, politically, socially and economically. The present dispensation ruling the state is practically one of the Hurriyat Conference, as acknowledged by none other than the present Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, “It took us two months to decide the agenda of alliance. Hurriyat party was also called and getting consent on most of the issues the government is working” (12 December 2015, at Agenda Aaj Tak).
The series of grave events which have taken place in Kashmir very recently, such as the assault on the 2000 nationalist non-local students of NIT, Srinagar, and their running away from Kashmir to protect their life and honor; removal of bunkers from various strategic locations in terrorist-infested Kashmir to the jubilation of seditious crowds; slapping murder charges on Army personnel engaged in anti-insurgency operations; vacation of strategic Army camps from Tattoo Grounds, Srinagar, High Grounds of Anantnag, and many other places; describing the ouster of non-local students from Srinagar as a “non-issue” and a “minor administrative matter”; and calling the death of subversives killed in firing while attacking security pickets, bunkers and camps as “inconsolable loss”, all demonstrate that New Delhi, in complete unison with the separatist establishment in Jammu and Kashmir is dismantling everything that is sacrosanct for the nation in the state.
We apprehend that the Government of India has already come to some understanding with separatists in the state and Pakistan to compromise the Indian position in Jammu and Kashmir and barter away the minorities in the state. The people of India are being kept in the dark about these subversive designs. The legislative mandate is being held hostage and used as legitimizing the compromises already made and still to be made in the near future to facilitate some obscure “bigger purpose” as hinted at both by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti.
We cannot remain mute spectators to the conspiracies being hatched against the nation in the state. We cannot consign ourselves to the fate as suffered by Hindus of Lahore who trusted the Congress party only to get liquidated or converted. We represent the nation of India and we have not given any written attorney to any party to decide the fate of Jammu on whose fate depends the very survival of the nation.
Jammu and Kashmir is not a no-man’s land which has many stakeholders as stated by the PDP-BJP agenda of alliance. The Indian nation is the only stakeholder in Jammu and Kashmir. We cannot endorse the atrocious stakeholder concept as far as the political status of Jammu and Kashmir vis-à-vis Indian nation is concerned.
Hence we declare the formation and launching of Jammu For India (JFI, 22 April 2016) and invite all nationalists, cutting across party lines, to join this platform to ensure a decisive defeat of forces who want to destroy the sovereignty of India in Jammu and Kashmir and seal the fate of the nationalist Jammu province.
The Founder Members of Jammu For India include Dr. Ajay Chrungoo, Dr. Agnishekhar, Sushil Pandit, Pushvinder Singh Manhas, advocate Shyam Lal Basson, Devinder Choudhary, Rajesh Dutta, veteran Swayamsevak Yuvraj Gupta, Ajaat Jamwal, Vikram Singh Chib, and Hari Om (convenor).