Guest Post by Anil Chamadia
I am an Indian, but a separatist too. I am hostile against Kashmiri people because I only love my fellow countrymen.
The feeling of separatism among the people of a bordering state is easily identified. But there are two types of separatism. In a state or region like Kashmir and North – Eastern states, separatism is identified in such a way that there is a group or more than one group of people who want to secede from Indian nation and they carry out “actions” to fulfill this desire. They try to galvanize public support through their “actions” and harm government machinery as well. But have we ever identified the separatism that is professed by the majority section of the society?
I belong to a Hindu family of north India. Right from the beginning, a separatist feeling against Kashmir has been cultivated within me. A survey can be conducted in entire north India to know how a relationship with Kashmir has been nurtured among the people of this region during their childhood. If I ask 100 children, they all know Kashmir only through the materials available in media. I want to repeat the story how I was introduced to Kashmir. I was born in the early years of 1960s. While going to school or returning back, I was told that Kashmir has a separate flag which is different from Indian tricolour. Like prime minister of India, it also has a prime minister. There is a separate section in Indian Constitution for it and Muslims are in majority there. Since Pakistan follows Islam, therefore loyalty of Kashmir people is also doubtful. Continue reading Separatism of Majority against Kashmir : Anil Chamadia
This is a guest post by ASHOK SWAIN
Since the death of a young and charismatic separatist named Burhan Wani, Kashmir has erupted into violence and chaos. Weeks of violent protests in the Valley have resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people and over 5,000 injuries. Kashmir is not new to violent protests and civilian deaths, but this time the intensity of the protest and the passion of the protesters is unprecedented. Continue reading Not Pakistan, but Modi has pushed Kashmir on the Brink : Ashok Swain
Guest Post by New Socialist Initiative, Delhi Chapter
The valley of Kashmir is on the boil again. Forsaking the so-called normal routines of their lives, people are on the streets. Not just young men, but even children and women are out, challenging the military might of the Indian state. Any fear of the police and army appears to have been discarded. Police stations and even CRPF camps have been attacked. A popular upsurge, it is energised by mass fury. Forty people have lost their lives in one week at the hands of the Indian security establishment. Hundreds of others have suffered serious eye and other injuries from presumedly ‘non-lethal’ pellets used by the police. While people are out confronting the police, para-military and army, the other organs of the Indian state in Kashmir, the elected government and its bureaucracy, elected members of the legislature, panchayats, etc. are in a rathole, fearing public appearance. It is just the people of Kashmir valley versus the institutions of organised violence of the Indian state.
While the immediate cause of popular anger is the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, reasons for this anger go much deeper and have a longer history. The stifling and repression of the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination stands at the root of this conflict. This repression has taken on extreme violent forms. For twenty five years now, the Kashmir valley has been among the most militarised places in the world. More than half a million troops of Indian army and para-military forces have been stationed in the state and its border with Pakistan. Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF camps dot the land scape. Highway checkpoints and random searches are part of everyday life. Thousands of men have disappeared, been picked up by security forces, thrown in the black hole of interrogation camps, often ending up in unmarked graves. The hated AFSPA gives Indian security forces legal cover to assault basic rights of Kashmiris to live a life of elementary dignity. If an average valley resident is alienated from the normal practices of the Indian state such as elections and its administrative initiatives, s/he harbours deep resentment against the presence of Indian security forces in their homeland. This resentment has erupted in mass protests again and again.
Continue reading Statement On the Unfolding Situation in Kashmir : NSI Delhi Chapter
(Photo Courtesy : http://www.malaysiagazette.com)
Faith based banking in a country which has secularism enshrined in its constitution ! Does not it sound anachronous ?
Well, as far as the present dispensation at the centre led by BJP is concerned – which has an altogether different take on secularism – it does not seem to think so. And that’s why it has gladly accepted the proposal by the Saudi Arabia based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) – an international investment organisation – to start its operations here. In fact this proposal is considered a positive outcome of PM Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia sometime back.( April 2016) Although a date has not been announced when the Bank would start its operations here, all the formalities regarding its launching have been completed and even the city for its first branch in India has been identified. Ahmedabad would see the first branch of this Bank. Continue reading Islamic Banking in India – For Financial Inclusion of Muslims or to squeeze them further ?
Guest Post by Karthik Venkatesh
Freedom at midnight put some people in a spot – those Muslims who chose to stay back in India and did not opt for Pakistan. Pakistan was always conceived as a nation that would be created in areas where Muslims were in a majority in undivided India i.e., the north-western portion and a part of the eastern portion. It was difficult to visualize how all of India’s Muslims would be accommodated there because the reality was that Muslims were and are found in every nook and corner in this country. How then was Pakistan going to fulfill its purpose? It clearly could not. Recognizing this and recognizing the danger to those Muslims who could not go to the ‘promised land’, many Muslim leaders opposed the creation of Pakistan. Muslims against Partition by Shamsul Islam (Pharos Media, 2015) is their story. It details how such leaders were in effect betrayed after having striving unreservedly for a united India. Continue reading Betrayal at Midnight – Review of ‘Muslims against Partition’ : Guest Post by Karthik Venkatesh
Guest Post by Karthik Venkatesh
Pakistan was created as a homeland for the sub-continent’s Muslims and yet, even before it had formally taken birth, its founder in a famous speech delivered on August 11, 1947 stated his intention to establish a secular nation where religion would be relegated to the private sphere and the public discourse would be given to pressing development issues. Jinnah’s first cabinet consisted of an Ahmadi (considered by orthodox Muslims as a heretical sect), Sir Zafarullah Khan and Jogendranath Manadal, a Hindu from East Pakistan. Jinnah himself was a Shia while the majority of Pakistan’s Muslims were Sunnis. Roughly one-quarter of Pakistan was non-Muslim at the time of independence and secularism seemed a realistic option. Also, Jinnah’s actions appeared to imply that it would actually be practised. But events proved otherwise.
During Jinnah’s time itself, as Ispahani adeptly documents, an unhealthy nexus had begun to develop between politicians and extremist religious groups. His death in 1948 merely served to accentuate this process. In March 1949, PM Liaquat Ali Khan moved the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly which set the tone for the Islamisation of Pakistan. Continue reading A Review of Purifying the Land of the Pure – Pakistan’s Religious Minorities : Guest Post by Karthik Venkatesh
Guest post by PRABHAT KUMAR
Hanuman in the Enemy Land
What did our Ram-bhakt Hanuman do in Lanka, the land of his master’s enemy when he went there in the golden past? Everybody knows. What will Hanuman do, if today he is sent to Pakistan? Lankan voyage of Hanuman then, and cinematic expedition of his modern counterparts now (Sunny Deols of Border, The Hero, Ghadar, etc.), leave no room for imagination. Pakistan – the enemy land of India’s nationalist imagination – must be taught a lesson, as Rashtra-bhakt TV news anchors keep shouting from behind fire and embers on the screen.
We have seen on almost daily basis the bhakts, posing variously as Rashtra-bhakt or Ram-bhakt or lately as NaMo-bhakt. Bhakts, who persistently wish to annihilate the enemy land in TV studios, social media, or movie theatres. However, what a latest Hindi film Bajrangi Bhaijan shows is an unusual, or should I say, an abnormal bhakt. A bhakt, who does not want to destroy Pakistan! Lo and behold, he is a Hanuman-bhakt! He is called Bajrangi-Bhaijaan (Salman Khan). For, the word Bajrangi is a synonym of Hanuman, the ubiquitous monkey-god. He is bhaijaan because he is unable to lose his affection for a cute little girl even after knowing that she is a Muslim and, more than that, a Pakistani! Continue reading Of Hanuman, Pakistan and Bhaijaan: Prabhat Kumar