Why Kashmiris should speak to Indians, not India

On 28 May this year, the Economic Times, India’s leading business daily, carried a story titled, ‘Kashmir survey finds no majority for independence’. That is a curious headline. What is ‘no majority’? Either there is majority or there is not. Robert Bradnock conducted this survey for Chatham House, a leading British think-tank, Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control. The survey was conducted in the autumn of 2009, and the copy mentioned that 44 percent in Azad Kashmir and 43 percent in Jammu & Kashmir favoured an independent Kashmiri nation state.

Similar was the reporting of the survey in other Indian papers. They omitted some details, though. They did not mention that the survey was conducted not just in Kashmir but also the Jammu and Ladakh regions. They did not mention that even after factoring in Jammu and Ladakh, the total support for India was 21 percent and for Pakistan 15 percent. So if there was a three-way poll, the whole region’s average figure of those supporting independence (43 percent) would win hands down. Most of the rest (14 percent) favoured making the LoC a permanent border, which means sealing the status quo, something India and Pakistan came very close to doing in 2007. This 14 percent comes only from Poonch (94 percent), Rajouri (100 percent) and Jammu (39 percent).

Further, they did not mention that in the district-wise results the greatest support for independence was in the Indian side of the Valley – an astounding 95 percent in Baramulla, 75 percent in Srinagar, 82 percent in Badgam, and 74 percent in Anantnag. Pulwama and Kupwara were not surveyed. The highest support for India was 80 percent in Kargil and 67 percent in Leh, 73 percent in Udhampur and 63 percent in Kathua. In Jammu district, it was 47 percent – ‘no majority’. In Azad Kashmir, 50 percent wanted to be with Pakistan.

Now read the ET headline again. ‘Kashmir survey finds no majority for independence’. The story does not tell us what they found a majority supporting. If we have to be polite, we can say that such manipulative reporting of a detailed survey amounts to the Indian media being in denial of the fact that Kashmiris don’t want to be with India. If we have to call a spade a spade, we can say that this amounts to telling us a lie. Read More

6 thoughts on “Why Kashmiris should speak to Indians, not India”

  1. While ET (the worst “pink” paper in the country) is misleading, as it is often with its coverage and headlines, so are you Shivam with your assertion ” Kashmiris don’t want to be with India”…

    Going by the numbers of the survey, it would only mean that Kashmiri muslims from the valley districts dont want to be in India…Rest of the state of J&K would either support India on the issue or want LoC to be the solution (which too tantamounts to “supporting” the Indian position – that has been the Indian position now for decades)….Since you are seriously talking of treating “will” of the people of J&K separately from the will of the rest of the country, why not consider the “wills” of all districts separately too?

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  2. By the way the same ET also publishes articles and employs Najeeb Mubaraki who the likes of azaadi ke deewane like Vij celebrate. It was the mainstream anti-azaadi paper the Hindu (the hated pravin swami) which has broken several stories of fake encounters that eventually are fodder for self-proclaimed radicals like Vij. But i guess to prove their radicalness, they have to do mainstream and liberal bashing….

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  3. Shivam, for all the protestations of how the protests are about a non-sectarian “azaadi”, the underlying narrative behind the so-called movement is clear….An islamist movement to establish nizam-e-mustafa..The vanguards of the current set of protests are asiya andrabi and her ilk…No amount of sophistry can hide the fact…

    In their zeal to to be “fair” to Kashmiris, the liberalati of India forget the impact of a KAshmiri secession on the rest of the 130 million muslims of India…

    India should open “dialogue”? With whom? Asiya Andrabi? On what? What would the level of Shariah that needs to be implemented in J&K? Or the date of “independence”? Presumably with Jammu hindus and Sikhs having two options -migrate out or convert to Islam…Can any Indian state make such moves and still expect the rest of the country to remain mum?

    Forget the exigenceis of statecraft, which is somehow a “dirty” word….Even on pragmatic humanitarian grounds, what sort of logic is this?

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  4. Mr vij,
    i did read the entire article..i still stand by what i said. Please respond to my earlier response…

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