Friday, August 10, 2007

Uruguay backs J&K separatists -Sandhya Jain(in Pioneer)

By the twitching of my thumbs, fresh mischief is brewing over our northern frontier. The signs are ominous: There is renewed violence in Jammu & Kashmir, including an attack on Amarnath pilgrims. There is Ms Pamela Mountbatten's titillating leak that her father used Edwina Mountbatten to manipulate Jawaharlal Nehru and subvert Indian national interest in the border State. There is US pressure on Ms Benazir Bhutto to cut a deal with President Pervez Musharraf, and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's threat of direct action against terrorists in Pakistan.
Hizbul Mujahideen has asked non-Kashmiri (read non-Muslim) workers to quit the Valley, triggering an exodus. Around this time, Uruguay hosted a Kashmir Conference (July 31) to discuss resolution of the India-Pakistan dispute. Organised by Washington-based Ghulam Nabi Fai of the Kashmiri American Council, the conference proceedings leave little doubt it was backed by the US State Department.
According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, Mr Fai funds Hizbul Mujahideen, which has close links with the Jamaat-e-Islami in the Kashmir Valley and Pakistan. Hizbul was close to Afghan Mujahideen groups like Hizb-e-Islami (which received arms training against the Soviets) and has cordial links with Pakistan's ISI and United Jihad Council. Mr Fai is reputedly friendly with the Hurriyat's Yasin Malik.
The meet was largely ignored by the international media and India, but Pakistan's national television and Islamic websites reported it extensively. Seventeen Uruguan senior Army officers attended; 11 were in uniform and, significantly, had served in Jammu & Kashmir as part of the infamous United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). India remembers UNMOGIP for trying to alter the boundary-markers in favour of Pakistan, a fact which embarrassed Nehru and made him give up ideas for a plebiscite in the State.
Gen Ricardo Galarza of Uruguay, former Chief of UNMOGIP, made the astounding claim that Maharaja Hari Singh's Instrument of Accession (to India) was accepted by Lord Mountbatten subject to the reference of the people! He reiterated Uruguay's support for the 'right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir' (whatever that means). This is a gross intrusion in our internal affairs and New Delhi should take it up with the Uruguan authorities.
In India, few Kashmiri refugees have even heard of Mr Jatinder Bakshi of the Committee of the Return of Kashmiri Pandits. Yet this worthy pontificated that a lasting solution was possible only through peaceful dialogue between India, Pakistan and the People of Jammu & Kashmir (read separatists). Indians are more familiar with Dr Angana Chatterji, darling of the separatists; she demanded demilitarisation (naturally) to improve the 'human rights situation'.
The conference adopted a pompously-worded Montevideo Declaration, beginning with a demand to recognise the inalienable right to self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. It bears emphasising, therefore, that the Instrument of Accession is final and non-negotiable; foreigners have no locus standi to speak of self-determination for Indian citizens.
The declaration calls for a "new beginning and manifested sensible approach to resolve the Kashmir dispute through a peaceful negotiated settlement" keeping in view the sensitivities and wishes of the Kashmiri people. This is probably a certificate to the participants and organisers as the only competent persons to handle the issue. New Delhi should unequivocally inform Uruguay that Kashmiris have expressed their political mandate through free elections, which even international busy-bodies have acknowledged as fair. The Montevideo Conference appears to have a distinct bias towards the Hurriyat.
Irritatingly, the declaration calls for making Kashmiris an integral part of the 'peace process' of which they are primary stakeholders, in order to facilitate a "permanent, durable and honourable settlement of the Kashmir dispute". Kashmiri migrants, however, question the repetitive use of the word 'dispute', and point out that elected representatives of Kashmiris are already sitting in the State Assembly and Indian Parliament. Even more brazenly, the declaration states that the "ceasefire line as an option is totally unacceptable". The Indian view is that Pakistan must vacate Occupied Kashmir so that we can regain control of our 1947 border.
The Uruguay Conference favours an "intensive and comprehensive dialogue between different opinions and regions of the State on both sides of dividing line", so as to "improve the level of trust and confidence... to develop consensus in conflict resolution". It calls upon the Governments of India and Pakistan to provide travel documents to such participants. This vacuous opinion has been repeated ad nauseum in so many forums that it reflects the intellectual bankruptcy of the participants.
Surely, it is pertinent that while New Delhi is going all out to ensure travel documents to Pakistani nationals wishing to visit Jammu & Kashmir, not a single Kashmiri Hindu has received documents to visit the sacred Sharada Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, despite thousands of applications for permission. Even more telling is the fact that Pakistani nationals who entered India on tourist visas to watch cricket matches (for example, at Mohali, Punjab) or visit Sufi shrines, have simply melted into the night. It is certainly risky, therefore, for India to mindlessly keep an open door policy for infiltrators.
The conference has demanded an end to "all types of human rights violations". These West-funded jholawallahs should tell us why they don't speak about human rights violations against Hindus of Jammu & Kashmir, especially the genocide and ethnic cleansing intended to further a pan-Islamic agenda. India must make it clear that in internal or external discourse, we will not allow talk of Gujarat riots without acknowledging Godhra, or discussion of Jammu & Kashmir without admitting who began the selective killings and why.
The final mention about the return of all displaced persons, including Kashmiri Pandits, is polite piffle. The declaration favours Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures, demilitarisation to promote peace and reconciliation, and release of prisoners. Yet, demilitarisation can only augment the terrorists' ability to strike at will, and unsavoury characters like Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate have already been released.
Probably Uruguay and its American mentor want a Pakistani walkover in Jammu & Kashmir to placate Muslim rage over what is happening to the community in the Gulf and the Western world. Pakistan itself was a compensation for the creation of Israel, just as Israel was compensation to the Jews for European racism and religious bigotry. We are walking the same terrain again.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Pak Parliamentary Secy calls for Jihad to ‘liberate Kashmir’

For all those who propagated the myth that Kashmiri "Freedom Struggle" was indigeneous,the wolf has broken loose out of the lamb's attire...take a look

Islamabad, Aug 8: Pakistan’s Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Major (retd) Syed Tanveer Hussain has advised the government to recognise the Taliban and open all corridors for militants to wage Jihad for the “liberation of Kashmir.” “India will not give freedom to the Kashmiris through dialogue, so we have to wage a Jihad and our Mujahideen will secure the freedom of Kashmir within six months,” he said while speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday during a debate on Pakistan’s foreign policy. The stunning speech of the parliamentary secretary got a positive response from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, particularly when he praised the Taliban and asked the government to give a shut-up call to the United States over its threats to Pakistan. He also asked the government to counter the recent US ‘Pressler-type bill’ by allowing Jihad. “The aid that forces us to mistreat our own people should be spewed out,” he added. In his hard-hitting and emotional speech, Syed Tanveer Hussain said that Pakistan should also recognise the Taliban, who were the enemies of the United States. “Taliban did not have any enmity with Pakistan but only with the United States,” he added. He alleged that the CIA was killing the Chinese in Pakistan to harm the cordial relations between the two countries. He also asked the government to open all the corridors for the Jihadis to enter Kashmir so that they could wage Jihad against India. “We cannot get Kashmir on negotiations table but through Jihad,” he said, while raising the slogans of “Al-Jihad, Al-Jihad.” He said the government should renounce its ‘love affair’ with America and reject all kinds of aid. “We should improve our relations with Iran, China and Russia as the United States will not give us anything except threats,” he added. The parliamentary secretary said Muslims were being killed throughout the world under a conspiracy but “we have turned a blind eye to the same.” “Our foreign policy must be based on Quran and Sunnah,” he stressed. Tanveer Hussain said that Syed Hasan Nasrullah (the Hizbullah chief) had inflicted a defeat on Israel and Pakistan should take a lesson from him. (The News)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Rashneek Kher reviews Jashn-e-Azadi(in Greater Kashmir)

The first images that flashed in front of my eyes when these numbers were shown on the screen were of Brijlal (my father’s best friend) and Choti. Brijlal (a driver in Dept. of Agriculture) and his wife Choti were tied to a jeep in their native village and then dragged till dead. When we received their bodies they were chopped into small pieces as if someone had just brought meat from a butcher. Blood still was fresh in some of their veins as it had reddened the body bag in which we received them. What a way to celebrate Azadi??? Kudos to the Robin Hoods who did this, kudos to the director for endorsing their way of celebration, sickness and creativity comes in such mental frames, I never knew. Beware… a lot of modern day Neros are around the corner.
Read the full column here....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wonder which PANDITS Sanjay Kak spoke to

Some responses to his hate-mail against RIK...

From Soul-in-Exile...

Since my comments/rebuttals to Sanjay Kak’s post about Jash-e-Azadi couldn’t pass the filters of moderation, I am posting my note/open letter and five questions to Sanjay Kak here. Hope Sanjay would oblige with some words of wisdom?Read complete post here...

From Vivek Raina

vivek raina Aug 5th, 2007 at 7:49 pm
hi man……just went through ur blog… remember the Delhi screening… remember the first floor… and remember the guy standing there… the first voice that came… calling yasin a murderer… the guy in the blue shirt who started all ruckus… after which all those kashmiri pandit “I AM YOUR BIG BROTHERS” found their voice… and were a lil more vociferous… and a little more assertive… Well that was me…”was” is the key word…
the group of people who you didnt mention is your blog is called RIK (Roots in Kashmir)… well i dont really know if they wanna gain mileage outta it like you said… and trust me i don’t care.HEY MAN “SORRY” TO HAVE SPOILED YOUR SHOW
About the documentary… It was well made… which proves you are a director of caliber… congrats.also the content was well selected..and you had done your home work well… another congrats for that.
A little about my anger ventilation… and a little about explaining why i did what i did that night that must have pissed you off… and so many people there
1. I dont care if you just showed the one side of the story… as a director thats your creative right. My problem with the movie is you in your movie tried to justify things that we all know are wrong. IF Indian army is killing kashmiri folks there. That is wrong… and if a people want to get freedom that is genuine… but you were justifying the gun culture in the movie. As a human being you know how much have the common kashmiris suffered because of this.
2. You got people in the screening… (Mr yasin malik) and quoted people… and interviewed people… who have advocated gun culture in the valley. That shouldn’t have been done. I mean cmon u r a good director.. And good director always judges the sensitivity of the issue. You know killing is wrong. U know two wrongs don’t make one right.Yasin malik knows hes killed people… so please .. i humbly bed thee… to enlighten me as to why did you have to do something like that.
3. What angered me more was that you are a kashmiri pandit. A kashmiri pandit would never ever… even if he was killed… ever take to violence… or justify violence… and some gentle man in in your movie said “META PHYSICAL WAR”… with what????/ with guns??????????
4.You didn’t address the basic problems of the valley… is it just that people want freedom and they are not getting it that they are pissed off…????? isnt it the economic disparity, the unemployment rate… the mass PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), the fear of gun, poor institutions, corruption… thats hurting the valley more… than the para military forces. WHY FREEDOM? who do people want to be free form a govt… because their needs (emotional, personal, psychological, economic, spiritual) are not somehow fulfilled under a given regime… u not even once mentioned that. It was a masala film under the pretext of a documentary.
5. where did you elucidate on the true nature of kashmiris… are kashmiris just about… freedom struggles… and wars… and getting killed… when u study a revolution… there has to be some reference to the mind set of the man thats running the revolution. that key elementary factor was missing.
LOOK DUDE I AM LIBERAL.. if Kashmir one day is a separate country… ill be happy to be there.. if with India ill still be happy… When that lady… again in the balcony asked you about the fate of kashmiri pandits u said.. u feel for them.. and u would like to treat the topic independently… because of its sensitivity…but dude… i think the topic u were dealing with in your movie was even more sensitive than kashmiri pandit topic… cuz those folks have been living there and facing hell… we just left… and started fresh…
do u think i would ever want you to( seeing ur level of sensitivity) ever want to see ur movie on kashmiri pandits…theres a lot more to say… but a mail sounds so much like a soliloquy.. i prefer listening…I hope u wont mind chatting it over a cuppa coffee… after all the frenzy (all the screenings, and when u have time) settles down…

from Nishant Dudha

(not sure whether he will allow it on his blog...Sanjay Kak talks of freedom,yet his blog is moderated...irony....or joke)
There was a mail invitation doing the rounds of the "E-mail Fwd Circuit", which spoke of a Documentary made by this young Indian filmmaker with many accolades and awards for his past portfolio of work in the "Festival Circuit".
Read full reply here...

from Aditya Raj Kaul...his blog alone has equal hits to your entire team's(Jashn-e-Azadi's)hits

Sanjay Kak obviously irritated because of the amount of criticism his masala movie is receiving and also lately the Police has also stopped his screenings and confiscated his DVD's in Mumbai. In mere frustration he blasted off writing an article targeting a young group of Kashmiri Pandits and some others for this mess up, not realising what he was bouncing his fingers on.Obviously, his masters wouldn't be so happy with him because of the negative success he is getting lately because of this youth group called ROOTS IN KASHMIR.

read full reply here

So Sanjay Kak...we arent such a small bunch of hooligans,but a group of educated non-violent,people ..far different from how you would want people to believe.Of course we dont fit into the profile of your idols because we dont..KILL,RAPE,BURN HOUSES,TORCH TEMPLES,


Monday, August 6, 2007

Lost World,Forgotten People-by Aditi Bhaduri

When Sunita, 24, got married, she was looking forwardto some change in her life. But the much-sought- afterchange never came. Used to living with a family offive in a 10x10-foot hutment, she did not find her newhome - of similar dimensions - radically different.Only the five other members now were all strangers,even if family. For Sunita, the discomfort ofovercrowded living became unbearable because of thelack of privacy and the indignity it entailed. "It'snot possible to change your clothes before yourfather-in-law or brother-in-law, " she complainssullenly.Sunita is not alone in her misery. For the 1,800 menand women living in Battal Balian camp, near Jammu,this one of life's realities. They sought refuge herearound 17 years ago, when terrorism had hit the Kashmir Valley, to escape the horrors of thekilling of Kashmiri Pundits by militants. According to Human Rights Watch, over 300,000 KashmiriHindus - 90 per cent of the Hindu population of theKashmir Valley - remain displaced. In fact, theycomprise India's largest displaced population. Ofthem, about 4,880 families, each with an average offour members, are living in camps in and around Jammu(the summer capital of the state of Jammu andKashmir). And predictably, almost 60 per cent of thedisplaced are women.While almost one-third of Battal Balian camp'spopulation was well into adulthood at the time of theexodus, a new generation like Sunita's has grown uphere. Her husband, Maharaj Kishen, who is in thepolice force, is posted in Budgam near Srinagar, butshe stays with the family because of securityconcerns. The couple meets for a few days every threemonths. But, in his absence, she eagerly watches TVfor news from Kashmir and the images of violence fillher with dread. Quiet, melancholic Sunita suffers fromfainting fits and depression, which is very common inthe camp.Miles from Battal Balian, in Mutthi camp, Janak Rani,65, has acute dementia - she has lost her speech andsits still all her waking hours. She has to be fed,clothed and cleaned by her daughter-in- law. Janak isjust one of the many elderly, who have psychologicaldisorders caused by the trauma of violence in theValley, flight and dislocation.Most women above 40 also suffer from obesity. Hailingfrom Kashmir's rural areas, they were used to anactive lifestyle. But in the camps, due to a paucityof space - narrow walls separate the hutments, whiledirty alleys with open drains are the only outdoorspace available - there is little scope for exerciseor movement. Lack of proper nutrition and a changeddiet (for want of resources and dependence ongovernment rations) has also contributed to theproblem.Extreme climatic conditions, use of harmfulconstruction material, acute electricity shortage,lack of clean and sufficient drinking water anduntreated sewage ensure the spread of many infectionsand diseases in the camps. Skin diseases, respiratoryand pulmonary infections, metabolic and stressdisorders, tuberculosis and diabetes are commonplace.Anaemia, too, is rampant. During a health camporganised by Delhi-based Indraprastha ApolloHospitals, in Purkhu in May this year, Dr Shakti Bhanfound that almost all the 450 women examined hadanaemia, which causes severe menstrual disorders aswell as premature menopause.Doctors at Jammu's Shriya Bhatt Hospital and ResearchCentre say that before the exodus, the average age ofmenopause had been 48 years. It has now come down to41 years. "Depression and trauma lead to prematuremenopause," explains Dr Bhan. "In their case, ayearning for the homeland, the animal-like conditionsof the present, and the uncertainty about the futurehave contributed to depression."Younger women have not been spared from the trauma ofill-heath. Puja, 16, from the Mishriwalla camp did notmenstruate for a full year. She was ultimatelydiagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). DrIndu Kaul, a noted gynaecologist in Jammu, has beenworking with the displaced women for the last 13years. According to her, the rate of menstrualdisorders among women in the camps is 30 per cent ascompared to 15 per cent in the rest of the country.Other physical discomforts and unhygienic conditionslike shared toilets located at some distance from thehutments have also impacted the women negatively. Theunclean communal toilets - one for approximately 75women - are not only the cause of daily humiliationand irritation, but they have serious consequences aswell.Radhamali, 65, from Mishriwalla camp has beensuffering from recurrent UTI or urinary tractinfection for over a decade now. Rajni, 33, in Mutthicamp tripped and had a miscarriage during her firstpregnancy - she was groping her way in the dark to thetoilet situated almost a kilometre away from hertenement. At the same camp, Promilla, 28, had acaesarean delivery, but the unhygienic toilets causedher post-delivery stitches to become septic.While the problems are many and widespread, medicalfacilities in the camps are almost non-existent. Andeven if there are some available, the cost oftreatment is often beyond the inhabitants' means.There is bewilderment in the camps at the indifferenceof the world around them to their plight. "No oneseems to care for us, we do not matter," says RajniBhat of the All Kashmiri Pandit Solidarity Conference.And with no member of the National Women's Commissionor the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare having hadthe time or inclination to visit the camps - Article370 seems to get into the way - who can dispute thisclaim?