Partition of the country in the year 1947, though highly unfortunate, settled certain issues. The ‘divide-and-rule’ policy of the imperialists fructified, though they were thrown out of the Indian continent. The country was divided on the basis of religion. India opted to remain secular. In gross violation of the international conventions, Pakistan sent raiders to Kashmir in an effort to annex the territory of Kashmir by force. India, instead of beating back the aggressor, took the issue to the United Nations and as per article of the UN, both India and Pakistan accepted the January 20, 1948 UN Security Council Resolution for a ceasefire, demilitarization and a step by step solution by holding a ‘plebiscite.’ But the precondition for holding the plebiscite was that the aggressor, Pakistan, must vacate the occupied part of Kashmir first. Pakistan is now not willing for this arrangement and demands withdrawal of troops of both sides, before holding the plebiscite. It has succeeded in creating a dispute and harps on the settlement of the issue.
The historical perspective of the kashmir issue
In substance, the “two-nation theory” is absolutely illogical. The historic unity of the country has suffered; the old culture has suffered even more. Astronomical defense budgets of both the countries and the rat-race of armaments between them, has robbed the common man of his bread and butter. How can the two countries walk together? Pakistan has adopted Islam as the State religion and incorporated the same in the constitution of the country. It has systematically eliminated the minorities, their religious and educational institutions, and done all possible damage to Hindus and Sikhs in particular. This is the plain truth. Color it in any style. Pakistan does not believe that Hindus and Muslims can live together peacefully, and many of its prominent mullahs have resorted to Aurangzeb’s methods of forcible conversions of people from different faiths. This naked aggression on people of different faiths continues unabated in Pakistan. For example, at the time of partition Hindu population in Pakistan was 24%, now it is less than 2%. That is obvious. 97% of the population is Muslims, Pakistan being an Islamic country. The cultural genocide is responsible for this sliding percentage of Hindus.
The present state of affairs
Well, it is the business of Pakistan, as to which religion it follows. But India is a secular country and the population of Muslims in India is more than that of Pakistan. Why for the sake of arguments say that Kashmir is a political problem? It is a pure religious issue, India versus the Muslim fundamentalists. Pakistan has no right to speak about Kashmir. Let them first unite their own Bangladesh, which was part of Pakistan, and also a Muslim country. India must curb the separatist tendencies ruthlessly and force is the only answer, because the other side understands that language. India cannot be divided on religious lines, being a secular country. India is a multi-religious and multi-lingual country. The First Prime Minister of India Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru was a Kashmiri. Let the Kashmiri people participate in the mainstream of Indian social, cultural and political life and enjoy all the benefits. In fact, they are already enjoying it.
That India is emerging as a great economic power is a fact. Instead of feeling envious about it, Pakistan also needs to emerge as a modern nation and come out of the rut of Muslim fanaticism. A small country like Japan has become a world economic power, why not Pakistan? Pakistan is spending a major part of its annual budget on defense, setting up infiltration camps and giving military training to budding terrorists and starving their own religiously gullible population that thinks backward!
The role of the Indian Muslims
The Muslims in India need to give up fanaticism and must engage in open condemnation of Pakistan and insist for the vacation of aggression in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. In the recent elections held in Bihar, they have demonstrated their progressive mentality and showed to the leaders that empty secular rhetoric cannot sway them. Such a stand by the Indian Muslims, will de-moralize Pakistan and its harping on the non-existent issue of Kashmir. They should rise above the ‘vote-bank’ politics.
The final solution to the Kashmir problem
- Delete article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and treat Kashmir on par with the other States of the Indian Union.
- On the basis of area and population give appropriate representation to the people of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir in State Assemblies and in the Parliament.
- The root cause of problems in Kashmir, are the infiltration camps in Pakistan. Destroy them by taking military action. Armed infiltrators must be ruthlessly dealt with.
- Let all those Kashmiri people, Kashmiri Pundits and Sikhs, who were driven out of Kashmir by the fanatical leadership of Muslims there, return to Kashmir. Government should help them to resettle and restore to them their ancestral homes.
- The industrialists need to be encouraged to establish Industries in Kashmir and all Indians should be allowed to buy/sell properties there.
The lessons of history are before us. The unity of USA was preserved by the then President Abraham Lincoln, through righteous war, not through the glib talk of peace. The North/South division of America would have been certain, but for the foresight exhibited by leaders like him to preserve the unity of the country. War is bad; deceptive peace is worst. Lakhs of people have been killed in Kashmir, including valiant Officers and men of our defense forces in this so-called “peace” period since 1947.
Kashmir issue deserves the final solution through the righteous war, a language that Pakistan understands. It understood that language when Lt. Gen. Niazi surrendered to the Indian army with his 90,000 troops in the year 1971. Neither America nor China came to the rescue of Pakistan, because it was the righteous war! The cherished values of secularism must be upheld!