Tag Archives: Kashmir

Kashmir – Resource Page

In India, discussion about Kashmir almost always ends in a confusion due to lack of consensus on every single issue related to the crisis situation. This is due to the illogical arguments floating in the public domain, sustained misinformation campaign by vested interests and lack of awareness about reality.   The objective of any Kashmir related activity should be

 1. Set out clear objectives for a debate, or for an initiative.

2. Provide valid information, arguments and insights leading to the realization of objectives.

3. Provide pointers to  web sources to help sustaining meaningful perspectives.


       This page is a first landing on the web in an urgent effort to reduce confusions regarding Kashmir

Kashmir is a long standing security concern for India. Pakistan is waiting for a suitable opportunity to annex Kashmir. Unrealistic assessment of Pakistani establishment has been exposed in previous wars – but Pakistani society as a whole has not learnt any lessons so far.

China and other global powers are responsible for complicating the Kashmir problems for India. Lack of awareness about the problem, lack of consensus on various issues of Kashmir among Indians can be cited as main problems faced by India. This page provides  lists resources to address these problems

What is Happening in Kashmir – NOW

AGITATIONAL TERRORISM – is adopted by separatist forces and expressed through exploting Islamic religious sentiments in Kishtwar district.  On the day of Ramzan, a communal riot broke out in which shops and houses of minority Hindus were targetted by anti Indian Muslims who were carrying Pakistani flags for the Id prayers.   Two relevant reports in this regard – by Samvada.org  and by South Asia Intelligence review

kashmir-medsyn : a blog on Kashmir by media.syndicate. Intended to individuals who would like to take a sensible stance on History of Kashmir, disputes around the region and proposed newer arrangements.

Panun Kashmir is an organisation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus) founded in December 1990, in order to demand that a separate homeland for Kashmir’s Hindu population be carved out of the overwhelmingly Muslim Valley of Kashmir. Panun means “our own” in Kashmir. Panun Kashmir is an imaginary region north and east of river Zhelum demanded to protect Hindus from onslaught of Muslim/Islam.   Panun Kashmir Website

Kashmiri Shaivism – Vaideeka philosophy taught by teachers from Kashmir – Abhinavagupta, and Jayaratha.




Arundhati, Mirwaiz in trouble on seditious statements

Anti Indian statements by politicians and social activists are being contested by NGOs and social leaders.

Two days after Hurriyat leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Bilal Lone were heckled allegedly by activists of right-wing Hindu outfits at a seminar here, a criminal complaint was filed in a local court on Saturday, 27th Nov 2010, accusing the duo of waging a war against the country by making seditious statements. The complaint was filed by an NGO in the court of Judicial Magistrate Paramjit Kaur who fixed December one as the date for hearing evidences in the case.

In his complaint, Global Human Rights Council chairman Arvind Thakur contended that both the Hurriyat leaders had clear intentions to damage the integrity of the country. “Both Farooq and Lone always praise the policies of Pakistan against India and they themselves claim that Jammu and Kashmir is integral part of Pakistan,” he contended while adding thatspeeches of the two Hurriyat leaders at the seminar were designed to wage a war against the country and create circumstances detrimental to peace and harmony. “The speeches of Farooq and Lone are highly imflammable and directly hitting the national integrity and was an abetment for waging of war by challenging status of Jammu and Kashmir,” he contended.

In a similar incident, an Indian court ruled that award-winning author Arundhati Roy could face prosecution for allegedly speaking out on the disputed region of Kashmir. A court in Delhi allowed the registration of a case against Roy and hardline Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Roy, winner of the prestigious Booker award for her novel “The God of Small Things” in 1997, is a fierce critic of Indian policy in Kashmir.

The writer and social activist shared a stage with Geelani in October and backed the idea of “azadi” or freedom for Kashmir, leading New Delhi police to look into charging her with sedition.
Originally, the Indian government was reported to be opposed to prosecuting her.

The main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has called Roy’s comments seditious and accused the Congress-led government of looking the other way by not taking any legal action against her.

Sources:       Hindustantimes          AFP

Kashmir mediators face embarrassment in Baramulla

Kashmir interlocutors on Wednesday, 10th Nov 2010,  faced an embarrassing situation in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district when no major civil society bodies, traders, transporters or lawyers came to meet them during their visit. Academician Radha Kumar and information commissioner MM Ansari reached Baramulla town, 60 km north of Srinagar, in the afternoon after staying in Ladakh for a day. Before landing in Baramulla district, the interlocutors visited Kargil and met political, social and civil society members there.

In Baramulla town, for the whole day, no significant or high-profile delegation came to see them except for representatives of mainstream political parties.

The interlocutors had intimated local divisional commissioner and state government authorities to rope in civil society members in the district. But the administration failed to attract any significant delegate from among fruit traders, transporters or lawyers from the district.

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani has asked people to boycott the interlocutors till his five-point demands are met by New Delhi, which includes demilitarization and declaring Kashmir as an international dispute.

The interlocutors, however, met a journalists’ body, which included a Tongo (horse-driven cart)-owner Nissar Yatoo.  Major trade and lawyers bodies’ are from north Kashmir with their base in Sopore, known as apple town of Kashmir, and Baramulla. It’s the north Kashmir traders who favoured cross-LoC trade with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the past.

Home minister P Chidamabaram met a series of delegations of traders, transporters and lawyers on his visit on October 31. But this time the interlocutors failed to evince any positive response from civil society or business houses.

via  Hindustan Times


Srinagar vendors defy Geelani’s civil curfew

Hundreds of roadside vendors  defied hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s announcement to observe ‘civil curfew’ as they displayed their merchandise in the popular flea market in the city.

Geelani had announced a three-day ‘civil curfew’ to be observed, beginning with arrival of US President Barack Obama to India, but the roadside vendors decided to defy the diktat.

“We have seen enough of strikes and curfews for the past four months and now we want to feed our families. We cannot go on forever like this,” a vendor, who identified himself only as Khalid, said.

Khalid said he also wanted resolution of Kashmir issue but not by forcing his family to starvation. “There has to be a strategy… any movement that forces the poor into further poverty cannot sustain for too long,” the graduate from S P College said.

The sentiments were echoed by many of Khalid’s fellow traders at the Sunday market, but would not speak on record for the fear of reprisal from separatist elements.

“We do not want to indulge into politics. We are trying to fulfill our basic needs… the separatist have not cared and the Government at best has been absent,” Nazir Ahmad (name changed) said.

Asked about the impact of breaking the strike when Obama is in India, both Khalid and Nazir were of the opinion that the “Kashmiri nation” should stop looking at foreign powers for resolution of the issue.

“The US, China, UK and UN have been there for so many decades but what have they done so far?” they asked.

The defiance by vendors comes a week after an unknown group, Jammu and Kashmir Ittehadi Islami, circulated posters in the city asking the Hurriyat Conference to review its strike calendar as it was only harming economy of the valley.

Although an estimated 5000 roadside vendors set up their shop from TRC Crossing to Batamaloo every Sunday to earn a livelihood, only 20 per cent of them have decided to defy the separatist diktat.

Meanwhile, normal life remained disrupted in the Valley as most of the shops, private offices and commercial establishments remained closed on account of strike.

A police spokesman said the situation across the Valley so far was peaceful. “There is no curfew or restrictions in place anywhere in the Kashmir Valley,” he said.

Kashmir Valley has been in the grip of protests, strikes and curfew since June when a 17-year-old boy was killed by a tear smoke shell allegedly fired by police at Rajouri Kadal area of the city.

via Srinagar vendors defy Geelani’s ‘civil curfew’ 

Kahmir Update – Oct 30

Border Front
In the midst of the credible intelligence reports that about 80Islamic militants are ready to sneak into the Kashmir valley to continue the militancy in India,  Pakistani  forces shelled Indian posts. Indian Army lodged protests with Pakistan over ceasefire violations.

Kashmir Interlocutors
Interlocutors appointed by the Indian Government in their first visit to the Kashmir, met youth who were involved in stone throwing incidents and the militants who are lodged in the prison. They also met J&K governor and the Chief minister Omar Abdullah.

BJP slammed Padagaonkar, one of the interlocutor, for his remarks supporting involvement of Pakistan as a party to end  terrorism in Kashmir. Padagaonkar claims to be realistic in his approach to solve the Kashmir Problem. Interestengly, Ram Jethmalani, a BJP MP supported interlocutors toeing a line different from the party he represents. Anantha Kumar,  a senior BJP leader suggested merging of PoK with India as a final solution to the Kashmir problem. 

Arundhati Roy sharing dias with Kashmiri separatist leader Geelani opined that Kashmir was never an integral part of India. BJP called for strictest possible action  against her. Veerappa Moily, union law minister strongly criticised her statements. The Hindu, a prominent Indian daily, supported Arundhati Roy and opposed initiating  sedition charges against her citing the freedom of expression.  Bajarang Dal warned Arundhati Roy for crossing all limits in the name of freedom of expression.

International relations
Meanwhile, United States, snubbing Pakistan, maintained that Kashmir as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

Amend constitution to make way for azaadi debate: Panel        Sedition or democracy: How far can freedom of speech be taken?      Pak violates ceasefire, opens fire on Indian posts in Poonch      Written complaint against Arundhati Roy   Arundhati Roy Offends the Indian State – Again  Who has set interlocutors’ agenda, asks BJP

Bias by The Hindu in supporting the Sedition

The Hindu newspaper has exhibited bias in the case of Arundhati Roys speech on J&K.

Arundhati Roy on Oct 21 had said in a conference “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” BJP, the main opposition party of India had strongly opposed the statement and demanded strongest possible action against Roy. The law minister of the ruling Congress party was very unhappy over her comment.  He said “Arundhati’s remark over sovereignty of Jammu and Kashmir was unfortunate. Freedom of speech can not violate patriotic sentiments”. The law ministry also confirmed that a case of sedition can be initiated against the booker prize winner author and socialite [SamayLive].

The Hindu news paper came out strongly in support of Arundhati Roy. It advocated that the speech is within the purview of Freedom of Speech.  The news paper in its editorial deplored the demand for action against her.  It termed the angry reactions as zealous hyper-patriotic.  It considered the demand for sedition charges against her as outrageous. The newspaper called Section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code which could be invoked for exciting “disaffection” towards or bringing “hatred or contempt” against the government that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment as an archaic section. It tried to justify her remarks by comparing her statements to that of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. It advised central government to deny reports that it is considering pressing sedition charges against Roy and Geelani. It also advised courts to apply their mind and refuse to entertain any petition against her concluding such petitions as frivolous and vexatious.

The Hindu news paper makes an attempt to extend the scope of the Freedom of speech to include Roy’s speech simultaneously trying to undermine the sedition laws. In the process, it blames Indian government for the violence in Kashmir and repeats allegations of human right violations against Indian state.

The editorial is yet another example of inherent bias in The Hindu against Indian Nationalism.

via ‘Sedition’ versus free speech.

Arundhati’s speech on J&K unfortunate: Moily

Arundhatis speech on jk unfortunate: Moily

Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily on Thursday said that the sedition case against writer-activist Arundhati Roy will be thoroughly looked at even as civil rights group have been protesting against the Government’s reported move to book her and Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for sedition.

“Freedom of speech cannot violate the patriotic sentiments of the people and country. It is most unfortunate and most uncalled for,” Moily told CNN-IBN.

 Moily said that he cannot comment on the case unless he thoroughly examines it.

Interlocutors begin meetings in Kashmir

Dileep Padagaonkar (Second from left), Radha Kumar (from left) and M.M. Ansari with Muzaffar Hussain Baig

The three-member team of interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir led by eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar arrived here on Saturday, saying its focus will be on meeting students and youth to “get the feeling on the ground.” It said no solution could emerge without involving Pakistan.

Soon after arrival, Mr. Padgaonkar, M.M. Ansari and Radha Kumar started establishing contact with the people they know. Reiterating that the team had come to Kashmir with an “open mind and a big heart,” Mr. Padgaonkar said there had been many slogans here and there but “we have to move forward for a comprehensive and viable political solution of the problem.”

Acknowledging that the unrest in the Valley was mostly youth-driven, the team has decided to devote Monday for meeting students and youth. “We are in touch with a certain number of people. We have said we would like students — representing all opinions coming from all parts of the State — to meet us. All of Monday, we would like to listen to young people,” he told journalists.

Kashmir, Mr. Padgaonkar said, was a complex issue and needed a political approach to find a “political solution.” He said there were different perspectives in Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu. However, he emphasised, there were no readymade formulas.

The team is staying at the State Guest House here and has chalked out a schedule of spending 10 days each month in the State. The team will visit Jammu next week. It will brief the Prime Minister after every visit to build an understanding at the higher level.

On Pakistan, Mr. Padgaonkar said its involvement in finding a comprehensive political solution was a must. “Pakistan has been there since 1947 and without talking to Pakistan a solution cannot emerge,” he said, adding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues were desirous of engaging with Pakistan and ready to go half way should Pakistan come forward on the “entire range of issues, including Kashmir.”

Boycott call

The team members parried questions about the boycott called by hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. But Mr. Padgaonkar said they would reach out to people on their own and move without security. “If they [separatists] have problems in coming to us we will go to their doorstep,” he said.

“We are open to meeting anybody. Since we have just started we should not jump the gun,” Ms. Radha Kumar told The Hindu. “We are optimistic that we can open channels of communication with a larger group of people,” she said.

via  Interlocutors begin ‘Mission Kashmir’.

Geelani opposes interlocutors – Roy supports Geelani

In a meeting organized in Delhi “Convention on Kashmir – Azadi: The only Way,” organised by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP, Kashmiri separatist leader Geelani, Maoist ideologue and Telangana poet, Varavara Rao, and Booker Prize winner and writer Arundhati Roy expressed their solidarity with the people of Kashmir in their fight against Indian government.

Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday gave a call toboycott interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir recently appointed by the Indian government.

Describing the exercise as a ploy of the government to gain time, Mr. Geelani said there was “no sincerity” towards finding a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem.

Frequent interruptions, sloganeering and noisy protests by a section of the audience, including some Kashmiri Pandits, who were objecting to the presence of the separatist leader on the dais, marred the proceedings. The protesters, shouting slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram, created ruckus at the convention. They were finally taken out by police. A large number of Kashmiri youth and their supporters countered them with slogans like “We want freedom.”

Ms. Roy called for forging a united platform of people who were involved in their own struggles for justice in different regions of the country.

“You have to look for tactical, political and intellectual alliances and think about justice, otherwise you will be like fish swimming in a tank with strong walls and ultimately getting tired,” she said.

Ms. Roy said she did not want young people in Kashmir to be let down even by their own leaders. She said the idea of justice linked struggles of people in Nagaland, Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa to the people of Kashmir.

via Geelani opposes interlocutors – Roy supports Geelani