By Arif M. Khan
By Arif M. Khan
Kaabe mein budkade mein hai yeksan teri zia
Mein imtiaze dero haram mein phansa raha
(The divine light equally illuminates the Kaaba and the house of idols (temple), but woe to me that I remained obsessed with the differences and distinctions between the two)
Jonaraja, the 15th century chronicler of Rajatarangini, has recorded an interesting dialogue between Sultan Shihabuddin (1354-73) of
The words were the Sultan's, but it was the soul of
Lall Ded said:
Shiva abides in all that is, everywhere
Then discriminate not between a Hindu and Muslim.
Nund Rishi said:
We belong to the same parents
Then why this difference
Let Hindus and Muslims worship God alone
We came to this world like partners
We should share our joys and sorrows together.
This is the glorious heritage of
The recent blooper by the J&K Government in the case of the Amarnath shrine, when viewed in historic perspective, clearly shows a stark contrast between the inanities of government and the sanity of public mind. The Muslim family of Buta Malik has been guarding the Shrine of Amarnath since 1850 and looking after the devout pilgrims. But the government of the state charged with the responsibility to look after the welfare of any visitor not just the pilgrims shamefully abdicated its duty in the face of threat from the divisive and separatist elements.
On behalf of the outgoing government it has been asserted that the order diverting land to the SASB was revoked "because of mischievous propaganda." Further, it has been asserted that "while revoking it, the Cabinet gave an equally good order which should have been hailed by the Hindu community. As per the Cabinet decision, the Government made full commitment to discharge all responsibilities of undertaking the creation of required infrastructure and facilitating the welfare, safety and security of pilgrims during the entire period of the Yatra."
The issue at stake is not about some facilities for the pilgrims or lack of it. In fact the mindset of pilgrims is such that they equate physical discomfort with religious merit. But the crucial question is whether the governments will take their decisions on merit or vacillate whenever faced with communal and separatist threats. To dub these threats as 'mischievous propaganda' is itself mischief and an attempt at diverting attention from the real aim and object of forces inimical to the unity and integrity of
George Santayan has said that "progress far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." If there is one basic lesson that we can learn from our recent history is that you cannot ensure peace and harmony by accommodating the demands of communal and separatist forces. All through the first half of twentieth century we were given a choice between accommodation and separatism, we kept making accommodation and finally we had accept full blown separatism in the form of partition of the country.
Similarly, in 1986 when the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Shah Bano was opposed, the government succumbed to the pressure and decided to bring a new legislation to render the court judgment ineffective. On that occasion it was worth noting that every Minister of the Government who stood up to speak in Parliament defended not the new measure on merit, but talked about intelligence reports and apprehended threats to the security. The result is for everyone to see, the threats have increased multifold, the politics has become totally communalized and Congress that had more than 400 seats in Lok Sabha has never recovered since then. The present imbroglio created by the
Finally it must be said that the common man should not be made to suffer on account of the follies of politics and politicians. It cannot be accepted that the good commonsense of Indians has come to an end.
As far as
--The writer is a former Union Minister
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This is Kashmiri baiting at its worst
By Sajjad Lone | Chairman, J&K Peoples Conference
If the outcry against land transfer revocation was 'anti-Hindu' then why aren't Hindus all over
The Amarnath Yatra has been facilitated by the Muslims of Kashmir for nearly two centuries now. The Yatra had was going on in both the colonial and post-1947 periods. The relationship between the Yatris and the people of Kashmir came into existence before the current geographical concept of
The Government passed an order in May 2008 transferring approximately 100 acres of land to the Amarnath Shrine board. The people of
Now we have an agitation in
Now, if it was not a party to the dispute why should it be bothered about its outcome and start agitating ? One of the arguments being put forward is that the agitators in
The current agitation was initially facilitated by the state administration and now it seems to have gone out of hand. It is a free for all. Fanatic versions of Hindu demagoguery are openly on the show across
The anti-Kashmiri venom in
If a nation is forced into starvation by imposing a blockade it is an act of war. There is an unofficial embargo against the Kashmiris. Economic blockade constitutes an instrument of economic warfare as per international law. This particular mode of war has been historically used by sovereign states and by the UN Security Council. The only difference in the current economic blockade is that it is perhaps for the first time that hooligans and not sovereign states are imposing and enforcing an economic blockade. Economic pressure is being exerted in order to gain supremacy in the conflict. Even the most fascist states have exempted medicines and essential items from an economic blockade.
The current economic blockade imposed on the Kashmiris nourishes no such pretensions. Even baby milk powder and medicines are not being allowed. The export of horticulture products like apples has been strategically stopped to demolish the horticulture industry by ensuring that the apples are stranded into rot. This reminds us of the demolition of the horticulture industry of Gazans including the famed strawberries when Israelis enforced an economic blockade and strawberries worth millions of dollars rotted away.
The roots of the current malaise can be traced to coercive demography. The current demographic set up in the state of J & K is a hangover of the colonial era and has not evolved naturally. While the demographic structure in the colonial era was tailored to suit the erstwhile Maharaja of Kashmir. Post-1947, the demography was left unchanged to suit the political interests of the Indian state. The majority of the inhabitants of
The solution to the current conflict does not lie in resolving the land deal issue. The land deal issue is a convenient excuse and typifies the symptom not the disease. Treating the disease would mean allowing the nurturance of demography, defined by history and ethnicity.
Source: The Pioneer, New Delhi