Editorial LISA 27
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Thousands of them have been killed (close to 100,000), countless women dishonoured, houses burnt, people displaced, businesses shattered; why after all should this happen. There is an answer to it. It is short answer but one that sums up crux of the matter. The single sentence answer is: the Kashmiri people have never accepted India’s sovereignty over Kashmir and they want to put an end to Indian rule over them.
One may ask: how come then that India has been ruling Kashmir through a democratic set up? Dr Andrabi answers that the whole set up is a farce – a total sham. Democratic institutions are only a smoke screen; the real power is in the hands of the Indian intelligence and the occupying military forces (Well over 700,000 boots on the ground in a tiny landlocked area making it the most highly militarised area on the planet earth).India cannot rule Kashmir if the state operated under the rule of law and true democratic dispensation. Taking the life or honour of a Kashmiri is not a crime; it is “legitimate” to crush the rebellion.
There have been several talks of peace between India and Pakistan but India has always avoided any composite dialogue on this subject. India is happy with the status quo since they are in physical occupation of Kashmir and no matter how hard Pakistan tries India shall not budge an inch from their customary stance. Kashmiris have to keep up their struggle to free themselves from the Indian yoke. Kashmiris get worried when Pakistani leaders talk of friendship with India.
It is a cause of anxiety and apprehension that Pakistani rulers treat Kashmir dispute as a land dispute like the Indians do. They should not forget that it is an issue of principle. It deals with the hopes and aspirations of a people; their dignity and honour; their life and liberty; their conscience and conviction. Kashmir is not an inanimate Siachen glacier; here it is question of a people who have to determine their political destiny. In the dialogue process between India and Pakistan (if and when any), Kashmir occupies an autonomous position- a position that is independent of what India and Pakistan say; it too has something to say. The fact is that the Indian stance has no basis.
India –Pakistan - Kashmir
India does not have a principle of national solidarity that defines it as a nation. The Caste System despite the ban imposed by the India constitution continues to thrive and the majority of people nearly 85% are adversely affected by it (15 % Muslims, 20% Dalits (untouchables), 2.5 % Sikhs, 2.5% Christians and remaining 45% of other scheduled castes and Adivasis) suffer in silence the indignities and internal oppression at the hands of ruling “Hindu minority” that constitutes only 15% of the total Indian population.. Very few outside India realize that out of 15 % of total Hindus in India the real rulers are 3 % elite group called Brahmins. Brahmanism and Zionism are conceptually very similar. Is it a coincidence that 3% Zionist Jews control the Unites States and 3 % of upper castes Brahmins control India and combined they aspire to control the whole world?
Brahmanism of India is a structure of internal oppression that prevents the crystallisation of a wholesome political personality and a genuine national identity. Its insistence that Indian rule over Muslim majority Kashmir or for that matter other majorities in India underlines its secular identity actually denies recognition to Pakistan where Muslim majority did secure national self- determination. For decades India has been trying to delink Pakistan and Kashmir, but interestingly its arguments has actually underlined and reinforced this link.
India is yet to come to terms with the existence of Pakistan. It reviles Pakistan and justifies its ruthless crushing of Kashmiri struggle for self determination insisting that both are undeserving of sovereignty because their national identity is a ‘religious identity; Pakistan is indeed the product of the Muslim exercising their right of self determination; what is India the product of? Imperial succession? Which empire? The British Empire? ‘How? Why? By asserting its right to have political control over all of the erstwhile British Empire in India, it de-legitimises itself; imperial succession is not the validation of the polity of a nation state. If India does not recognize that the creation of Pakistan avoided a massive civil war in South Asia, it puts its imperial designs on display and is inviting the threat of a perpetual war.
If India continues to harbour imperial designs, it will suffer the same fate as all the other empires; it would disintegrate. War and repression are not tolerable in any part of the world as a viable instrument for establishing or expanding empires. India has been fighting insurrection in seventeen different areas of it vast empire called India. All of these are not for national self determination; some of these are against the apartheid and oppression (e.g. Dalits and Naxalite). It is only by conceding national self – determination that it would deal with its social atrophy and obtain some semblance of national identity. India has no choice eventually it has to restructure itself on the basis of the national self- determination if it is to avoid a total collapse. India has to seek friendly relations with its neighbours if it is to avoid being a puppet in the hands of imperial masters from afar that have their own designs.
The people of India need and deserve peace as much as it neighbours. By suppressing the movements of the self determination in Kashmir with wanton use of force, it denies itself any prospect of peace within or with Pakistan. Continued hiatus over Kashmir would be the death of India. By going back on its promise to hold a plebiscite it does not only defy international law, it defines itself as an outlaw state that denies the universal principle of national self- determination,.
Dalit in the Hindu Caste System – An Overview
The caste system in India is the largest surviving social hierarchy. It encompasses a complex ordering of social groups on the basis of ritual purity. Traditional scholarship has described this more than 2,000-year-old system within the context of the four principal Varna, or large caste categories. In order of precedence these are the Brahmins (priests and teachers), the Kshatriyas (rulers and soldiers), the Vaisya (merchants and traders), and the Shudras (labourers and artisans). A fifth category falls outside the Varna system and consists of those known as “untouchables” or Dalits; they are often assigned tasks too ritually polluting to merit inclusion within the traditional Varna system.
The plight of Dalits is one of the menacing realities in the 66 year old independent “nation” India. Dalits literally mean broken people or the “untouchables” or the “outcaste” who are at the bottom of India’s caste system. They are also referred as “Schedule Caste” which refers to a list of socially deprived caste prepared by the British Government in 1935. Dalit is a category that is used to describe nearly 18% percent of India’s population or almost 200 million people. They live an insecure existence, rejected by much of the society because of their ranks as untouchables. Dalits are discriminated against, denied access to land, forced to work in degrading conditions and routinely abused at the hands of the police and of higher caste groups that enjoy state protection. Many people are of the view that India with one fifth of its population knowingly treated as Untouchables has no right to be called a nation state.
In terms of size, P.Sainath in his article “Dalits in India 2000” reported “There are more Dalits in India than there are people in Pakistan. There are more Dalits in India than there are people in Brazil, marginally more. If taken as a national population they would be the fifth largest in the world after China, India, the United States and Indonesia. You are really taking about a very large section of humanity. They comprise about 18.48 per cent of India’s population and their contribution in terms of labour and their contribution to culture is enormous and significantly larger than their share in the population. What is disproportionately lower relative to their size in the population is their ownership of land and property and their access to education and to employment of a serious, meaningful and gainful nature.”
Dalits throughout the country also suffer in many instances from de facto disenfranchisement. During election, those persuaded by typical electioneering are routinely threatened and beaten by political party strongmen in order to compel them to vote for certain candidates. It is believed that 70% percent of Dalit vote as they are easily compelled by money, physical coercion and threat. This is nearly twice the national percentage of votes cast. This data totally exposes the facade of Indian democracy and shows it as a large bonded labour camp. India is the best example of a truly farce democracy.
Negotiating with friend and foe
In Mr Hamayun Gohar\'s words Nawaz Sharif the newly elect Prime Minister of Pakistan is bending over backwards to appease India and appears to be over zealous to negotiate with terrorist who have played havoc with peace and security of ordinary Pakistanis. In the perception of many analysts he is either naive or has his strings pulled from masters elsewhere. Rather harsh comments but one thing does stand out that one has to negotiate from some position of strength if you want to preserve your identity and way of life. He could ask himself questions have you won against the native or foreign sponsored terrorists? Those who sue for friendship or talks have some weakness. In any case friendship can never be a one way street. One must know how much you can give them and whether you’re Own people can swallow it. If you still persist you shall be taken for a ride. As they say you might win over some but the hardcore will remain, for zealots don’t give up until they have imposed their belief system or are wiped out either by force or with counter ideology.