Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, chapter 552
Kashmir Crisis Relates to the Continuous Persecution of the Himalayas! The Problem has NOTHING to do With Either Islam or Hindutva!
We have witnessed Bleeding North East, Gorkhaland and Uttarakhand several times. Extremism and Insurgency have been the best possible CONTINUITY in the Himalayan Landscape and Humanscape ISOLATED from the rest of the country. Entire Himalayas are divided by Vertical Route map meant for Military Intervention, Tourism and Exploitation of Man and Nature.
The Nation bears with draconian Law like AFPSA looming all over the Himalayas minus Caste Hindu Dominated Uttarakhand and Himachal and Violation of Human and Civic Rights is as much as Day to day routine as it is happening in the so called RED Corridor inflicted with Maoist Menace as the Resistance against Monopolistic Aggression against Nature and aboriginal Indigenous People is Branded by the Strategic Brahaminical Zionsist Nuclear Allaince of corporate Interests and Economies. The Imperialism Saga is No different anywhere else as the History of Civilisation is Reduced to GENOCIDE Culture of wars and Civil Wars. The Problem is that without addressing the Himalayan realities Economic and Political , we tend to deal the Kashmir Crisis as ISLAMOPHOBIA or the Refugee Problem of the Kashmiri Pundits. It has become the part and parcel of US Corporate Imperialist Strategy of Dominace and Military Presence tod efend the interests of the Satanic Illuminity aligned with Global Hindutva and it is called the War against Terror.
Just think, while Islamabad and New Delhi are so SUBORDINATE to Washington and the Dictations are followed with such Surgcal Precision, and US Military Presence in Indo pak border as the greatest reality- how the Terror may be described as an imported Pak Sponsered Islamic Call for Jihad! We have to understnd the ROT within ansd the Psyche of the majority Masses who do fight just for Sustenance against all ODDS. And the Odds have some demographic, Ecological, Environmental dimensions also which are often DISTORTED by the Exclusive Persecuting Repressive Politics and economy!
We have been involved in Environmental as well as social Activism in the Himalayas as well as in the Seized within Aboriginal Humanscape in the mainstream! We understand the Complexities on Identities and Nationalities which deals with EXCLUSION resultant in EXTINCTION. Being a member of the Refugee community scattered systematically to be destroyed, all because of the Brahaminical System adn Manusmriti Order, I may well understand how difficult is to defend CITIZENSHIP and Existance, mother tongue and cultural Roots against the Venegeance of the Ruling Hegemony aligned with Global Zionist Order. And it is an EXPERIENCE to be countered to deal with the Kashmir Crisis which is NOT Addressed as a Himalayan Crisis not any point of Time by any Party involved so far. The Media, Policy makers, Security agencies, Foreign elements, Intelligentsia, Political parties and Governments do treat the Himalayan People as teh Enemies of the nation. And it is the Truth even in the states like Uttarakhand and Himachal and Sikkim, the peace zones so far. Not to mention Gorkhaland, North East or Kashmir.
This psyche should be changed immediately!
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AbstractEthnographic research and house-by-house census data provide the basis for a study of changing ecology and demography, their interrelationship and their social organizational implications in a Himalayan Hindu farming village and its region over a 15-year period. Among the processes analyzed are: modest population increase among land-owning high castes as contrasted to net population decrease among exploited low castes; relatively low fertility rate; strategies of adjustment in family and household composition in order to optimize the ratio of people to land; "polyandry" as an example of such adjustment. Implications of these phenomena for development in the region and for the future of these and other Himalayan peoples are discussed.
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Don't see, don't hear, don't speak
This is Monkey Politics. Governments have simply refused to acknowledge that the people have rights, that the people are supreme, that the people matter
GUEST COLUMN BY SEEMA MUSTAFASmaller Default Larger
The debate on Kashmir in Parliament was perhaps the most significant reminder of how far the political class in Delhi is from the happenings in the Valley. The speeches by BJP and Congress members in particular were completely disheartening, as they reflected a crassness of approach that highlighted a depressing disconnect. The BJP laced its comments with the usual dose of communalism, the Congress said essentially the same thing but tried to skirt around the Hindu-Muslim mind set without much success. And went on to speak of employment, dole, jobs without a word about the real issues of justice and security of the people of Kashmir.
A senior official in Delhi in an influential position, who is conversant with Kashmir and clearly of a more sensitive calling told this columnist the other day that the handling of Kashmir by the central government was completely different from its attitude towards protests in any other part of the country. He said he could sense a strong discrimination in the attitude, and mind you he is not a Muslim but a good secular citizen of India. The bias, he said, is visible.
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah made his usual emotional intervention in the House. And played to the gallery as always. Unfortunately this time the gallery was Delhi and there was little in what he said that could work as balm for the agitating youth in Kashmir. Again the disconnect was visible, as the distance between the National Conference has grown to a point of being almost unbridgeable. Of course, the Congress that prefers to work with the NC---both sharing a certain arrogance of approach as parties-----has decided to back the state government to the hilt regardless of the total unpopularity of the father and son duo, and the party itself in the simmering Valley.
There is concern in Delhi definitely. But it varies from a BJP-Congress kind of reaction where officials who have probably never visited the state speak in a well managed whisper, that the the capital's drawing rooms pick up…"you know they are being backed, there are all these other groups and governments behind the protest." Fortunately there are many who rubbish this as forcefully, making it clear that until and unless the government recognized the gravity of the situation, it would only worsen.
The advice filtering in from the security and intelligence agencies seems to have shifted from 'Lashkar e Tayaba' to 'indigenous' protest. From trying to fix it on the former, as was evident in the responses of all those in power in the state and the centre, the realization that this would not work on the ground this time finally sank in. But there is no strategy to tackle it, no understanding, no political will. It is just not evident as the Home Ministry under P. Chidambaram knowns only the 'lathi and bullet' approach and the Prime Minister who was seen as more humane has fallen silent. He does not speak any more, or only very occasionally as if the words were being dragged out of him.
In this context the Chinese activity in Gilgit-Baltistan and of course the denial of the visa to the Army general has come as very welcome to the official circles in Delhi. They needed a bogey, could not find it in terrorism this time, so now it will be China and its plans for the region. Of course, Beijing is not innocent and given the Indian flirtations with the Dalai Lama has decided to use the Kashmir card, in addition to Arunachal Pradesh. The Pakistan-China nexus is of course, of added concern. But it again highlights the absence of strategy with New Delhi rushing into knee jerk responses, in the hope that the crisis will wither away. It will not, because as is well known, China does not move without considerable thought and planning and does not move away easily either.
The political outcome of the Chinese signals could generate a response from Kashmir though. These are early days still but given the disillusionment with Pakistan, the alienation from India, the anger and a certain suspicion of the United States, the young people on the streets could be looking for new support. Perhaps China could become the card they pick up, at least for bargaining purposes. In a completely fluid situation, any one could fill the current political void and the Indian state will have to monitor the situation carefully to ensure that it is not the Chinese who make their way on to the streets of Jammu and Kashmir. After all China still commands awe and respect in the north eastern states, a sentiment that is very evident during large scale protests in that part of India.
The point here is not that this is going to happen. But without justice and a political solution, the Kashmir field is pretty open for all kinds of interventions. New Delhi that remains in a state of total drift, about everything including Kashmir, has to wake up. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will have to go. He is a nice man but unable to handle the Valley, with the result that he and his father are cutting into the basic efficacy of the National Conference. Not that this will make a major difference, but will give some breathing space for effective action for the people of Kashmir, if those in authority are so inclined.
Two, Justice and Transparency go hand in hand and the government, the army, the security agencies will have to order immediate enquiries within specified time frames, and publicly punish those found guilty of the terrible encounters. All those involved in the encounters and the cover up must be identified and tried and put away. "Security" agencies are expected to provide security to the people. In Kashmir they are taking away the security of the people, and hence are totally redundant and useless. The people cannot become the enemy, the state has to correct its perception and its strategy.
Three, work on a political solution should begin on a war footing. Not in the half hearted, callous, 'let us buy' time fashion that all these politicians are so good at. But in a manner where all sections of Jammu and Kashmir are represented, serious work is done, and done along with credible voices from the state. Autonomy has to be put firmly on the table, and no one will grudge a discussion and a settlement that is fair, honest, and sincere. What really turns people against governments is when there is evidence of double dealings, of skullduggery, and a meanness of approach that has unfortunately been the case in most, if not all, New Delhi-Srinagar dealings.
I am trying to include solutions in every column I write on Kashmir. As now there is no point in writing without at least some suggestions that could douse fires, begin talks, and open the way to a political solution to the problem. Whatever it is. Cheap dole in the form of money and more money, and empty promises have led to this pass. Tampering with the peoples aspirations, fooling around with their sentiments has led to this pass.
Discrimination and arrogance has led to this pass. A refusal to acknowledge that the people have rights, that the people are supreme, that the people matter has led to this pass.
One can only write, even though one knows that now the governments have, like the three monkeys, stopped seeing, hearing and now, as the good Prime Minister has shown, even speaking.
The author is National Affairs Editor, News X.
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Kashmir in CrisisThe Kashmir Valley has been in the grip of severe unrest over the last few weeks. The cycle of violence has claimed many lives and brought Kashmir to the brink once again. Here is a full news & analysis of the crisis.
30 August 2010 Last updated at 22:19 GMT
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Hard as it may sound to those overcome by the sheer magnificence of this mountain chain, the majestic Himalayas are surprisingly vulnerable to both natural processes and man-made ones. The mountain chain is young and, as has been proved in recent years, it is still geologically active. The Indian landmass continues to move towards the Eurasian landmass as a result of which the Himalayas rise by a few millimeters every year. Due to this, the Himalayas are still structurally unstable.
|Orchids of |
Arunachal Pradesh, India
Credit: Karamjeet Singh
The Himalayas also feature a fragile ecosystem. For centuries, this ecosystem has remained delicately balanced, and has been responsible for the tremendous biodiversity of the Himalayas. Only in recent years has the ecosystem been disturbed in various parts due to processes both man-made and natural.
Man has also been responsible to a large extent for some of the environmental problems faced by the mountains. As he strives for industrialization, modernization and the so-called higher standard of living, man has disturbed the natural ecosystems of many parts of the world. The Himalayas have been no exception. Over the centuries, pilgrims and explorers have visited the mountains. However, in the past their numbers were few and the Himalayan ecosystem, fragile as it is, was able to cope with the effects of human exploration in the areas. But today, the story is different. In the last few decades, an intricate network of roads have been built into the mountains, which have made some of the most remote areas more easily accessible. This has translated into a tremendous increase in the numbers of people who visit the mountains every year. The Himalayas are now being exploited, to the hilt in many areas, to provide materials for the growing number of forest-based industries. Thus, it is not a surprise that environmental problems have emerged in the Himalayan region.
People and Economy
Source:"Himalayas," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001
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Friday, July 30th, 2010 | Posted by Hira Fotedar
Islamization of Kashmir through Media ManipulationOn August 15, 2008, on India's Independence Day, Kashmir valley witnessed an unprecedented event as Pakistani flag was hoisted in Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar while Indian security forces stood by as moot and passive spectators. Following this, on August 18, 2008, separatists organized a huge rally attended by over 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims denouncing India and demanding Azadi and the imposition of Islamic rule in Kashmir. The demonstration was led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani an ex-government school teacher and Congress supported former Member of J&K Legislative Assembly. He was accompanied by other Kashmiri Muslim leaders such as Mirwaiz Omar a religious leader, former terrorists Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik and invited guests such as leftist writer Arundhati Roy and other fellow travelers for maximum propaganda effect.
According to press reports (Guardian 8/22/08) "there were green flags on every lamp post, every roof, every bus stop, and on the roof of chinar trees. A big one fluttered outside the All India Radio building. Roadsides were painterd over. Rawalpindi they said or simply Pakistan"
Everywhere there were Pakistani flags, everywhere the cry Pakistan se rishta kya? La illah illah (What is our bond with Pakistan? There is no God but Allah.) Azadi ka matlab kya? La illah illah (What does freedom mean? There is no god but Allah). The crowd chanted "crush India", "When Lashkar comes India will be defeated", "Kashmir ki Mandi-Rawalpindi".
Syed Ali Shah Geelani a leader of Pro-Pakistani faction of Hurriyet began his address with a recitation of Qur'an told the crowd that the only way for the struggle to succeed was to turn to Quran for guidance. He said "Pakistan was created for Islam and must continue to safe guard interests of Islam. Likewise in Kashmir nationalism will not work, the American world order will not work, only Islam unites us………."
In an interview (Rediff.com) with Asha Khosa on August 25, 2008, Mr. Geelani expounded on his plans for Kashmir. He said "I have a three point target, first to impose Islamic Nizam (jurisprudence) in Kashmir. Islam should govern our political thought, socio economic plans, culture and the ongoing movement. The creed of socialism and secularism should not touch our lives and we must totally be governed by Koran and Sunnat (precedents from Prophet Muhammad's life)".
Watching this scenario unfold in the Kashmir Valley must give the rulers in Pakistan, the Pakistani Army and ISI great satisfaction. Having failed to annex Kashmir by force in 1947, 1965 and 1971 wars with India, Pakistan was finally achieving Islamization of Kashmir through subversion, intrigue, media manipulation and terrorism.
ISLAMIZING KASHMIR VALLEY
To achieve the goal of Islamization, Pakistan ISI had been working hard for over 30 years to change the centuries old Kashmiri Muslim outlook of secularism and Kashmiriyet to the ideology of fundamentalist Islam. This was done by implanting seeds of subversion and terrorism in two stages:
Stage I began in 1965, with operation "Gibraltar" with heavy infiltration of Pakistani nationals as well as military training of Kashmiri Muslim youth. These youths were recruited by Jamaat-i-Islami a theo –fascist outfit with connections to Rabita-ul-Islam the international headquarters of the Islamic fundamentalist movement based in Saudi Arabia and Pakistani Jamat-i-Islami. This organization developed an elaborate infrastructure for propagating Wahabi style Islamic ideology through mosques, study groups and schools in Kashmiri towns and villages with the connivance of civil adminstartion funded by Indian tax payers. Study circles received money directly from Arab countries through the medium of Muslim Welfare Society, ostensibly for promoting Islamic culture. In mid seventies these Study Circles started operating openly in colleges and universities as well as in Government offices. Moulvis were recruited from UP and Bihar in India to whip up communal and secessionist passions. These Moulvis have played a critical role in subverting the Kashmiri Sufi-Islamic tradition and whip up passions against secular and liberal Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims. To expand its influence among women Shoba-i-Khowateen was launched. It advocates strict observance of Islamic codes for women. Its impact began to be noticed when Kashmiri women who for centuries never accepted veil now were using Arab style Burqa. Many members of this organization formed Dukhtarain-i-Millat with the goal of supporting Islamic terrorists by engaging in intelligence gathering, ferrying arms, keeping under custody the kidnapped victims as well as raking up false stories of human rights abuse and accuse Indian security forces of committing rapes in order to gain international media attention. Stage I produced Kashmiri leaders such as Yasin Malik of JKLF, Syed Ali Shah Geelani of Jamat, Dr. Ayub Thukar of World Kashmiri Movement, Ghulam Nabi Fai of Kashmir American Council as well as Syed Sallahudin of Hizbul Mujahdeen based in Pakistan. These people have been at the forefront of media manipulation to denigrate India and present Islamic movement in Kashmir as a movement for liberation and freedom to hoodwink Indian and foreign Journalists, Academics and Politicians.
Stage II of Pakistani subversion and terrorism began with operation "TOPAC" in late 70's after the defeat of Pakistan in 1971 war with India. It was designed as part of a proxy war by Pakistan against India to wrest control of Kashmir. Having established a viable fundamentalist Islamic infrastructure through Jamat controlled schools, colleges and with thousands of trained sympathizers in the police and civilian government, Operation TOPAC aimed to bleed India and make it powerless in Kashmir. The goal was to provide Pakistan complete deniability of its involvement as the conflict would appear as an indigenous uprising by Kashmiri Muslims fighting for Azadi against "oppressive Hindu Indians". Operation TOPAC was conceived by Gen. Zia Ul Huq as an Action Plan for incorporation of Kashmir into Pakistan through Jihad and creating a grass roots movement of freedom from India using Islam as the uniting force.
Operation TOPAC had four aims:
1. Train Kashmiri youths in handling of sophisticated arms
2. To destabilize and discourage the state administration
3. To make Kashmir valley a Hindu-less Muslim area.
4. To prepare Kashmiri Muslims for Jehad.
This was to be accomplished in two phases:
1. The sentiments of students and farmers be aroused against India and their cooperation will be sought for anti-government demonstrations and riots.
2. Create chaos and spread terror
3. Impart military training to Mujahdeen for fighting Para-military forces and the army
4. Disrupt communication links between the valley, Jammu and Laddakh.
5. Help of Sikh militants be sought for insurgency activities in Jammu region in order to divert the attention of security forces in the valley and make the governments position awkward and disgraceful
6. Take control of the areas where security forces are camped. South Kashmir is suitable for this action.
1. Mount pressure on the Indian Army in Siachin, Kargil, Rajouri and Poonch areas in order to bring down the morale
2. Sudden and vigorous attacks be made on the Army depots and Army convoys at Srinagar, Pattan, Kupwara, Bandipoa and Chowkibal.
3. Afghan Mujahdeen would be infiltrated from Azad Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) in order to intensify the freedom struggle of Kashmiri Mujahdeen.
4. Mistake in carrying out "Operation Gibraltar" of 1965 should not be repeated.
5. Special task force under the command of retired Pakistani Army Officers, mainly Afghans will be sent to blast the railway stations, Aerodrome, Jawahar Tunnel, Leh Sonamarg road and Army cantonments etc. After successful operations in the valley, parts of Jammu and Laddakh will also be brought under the full fledged armed insurgency operation.
OPERATION "TOPAC" IN ACTION
The very first evidence of the presence of arms and trained terrorists in the valley came in August 1988 during the riots that occurred in Srinagar after Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Huq's death in an air crash. The entire town of Srinagar was in turmoil with wide spread looting and arson. Curfew had to be imposed on several areas of inner-city Srinagar strong hold of Jamat-i- Islami. During curfew hours mobs attacked the paramilitary police with semi-automatic weapons, a phenomenon which was unknown before this time.
After a lull of one year violence started again in September 1989 with the murder of prominent Kashmiri Hindus such as a prominent Lawyer Mr. Tika Lal Taploo, Justice Neel Kanth Ganjoo, famous Kashmiri poet Sarwanand Premi along with thousands of Hindu teachers, engineers, doctors and civil servants.
Mosques became the hotbed of terrorist activity during the winter months of 1989-90 for the recruitment of Kashmiri Muslim boys for the cause of Jihad. Video shows describing terrorist tactics and guerilla warfare began running on a 24 hour basis in the mosques and other public places. Pakistan television and radio started creating a sense of hysteria by broadcasting vicious propaganda aimed at arousing the religious feelings among Kashmiri Muslims. Posters started appearing in Srinagar and other towns asking people to observe strict Islamic codes regarding dress, food and entertainment. Video shops and cinema theaters were forced to shut down, drinking of alcohol was banned. Pakistani currency started to appear in circulation and several attempts were made to ban Indian currency. By the end of 1989 Kashmir valley had become a de-facto Pakistani territory with each move of the terrorists legitimized and accepted by the public under duress. Young men wielding guns and pistols began to be accepted as a status symbol in Kashmir and being called a Mujhdeen became a real honor for the Muslim boys and their families.
On January 4, 1990 Aftab an Urdu daily of Srinagar published a press release from Hizbul Mujahdeen asking Kashmiri Hindus to leave Kashmir or face annihilation. Alsafa another Urdu newspaper repeated these warnings. On January 19, 1990 JKF, Hizbul-Mujahdeen and other terrorist outfits declared the introduction of Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic rule) in Kashmir.
On the night of January 19, 1990 all mosques in the valley began to issue threats and warnings to Kashmiri Hindus with loudspeakers broadcasting taped messages, continuously for 24 hours for three consecutive days creating a psychosis of fear and doom.
"Kashmir mein agar rehna hai; Allah-o-Akbar Kehna hai" ( If you want to live in Kashmir you will have to convert and chant Allah-o-Akbar)
"Asi gachchi Pakistan; Batao roas te Batni san" (We want Pakistan with Kashmiri Hindu women but without their men folk)
"Yhan kya chalega; Nizame Mustafa" ( What kind of law will work here Islamic law)
These threats led to the exodus of 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus form the valley ensuring complete Islamization.
MANIPULATION OF MEDIA
1. Misguided Youths, Militants, Jehadis and Islamic Terrorists
The manipulation of Indian media by Kashmiri Muslims began in late sixties after 1965 Indo Pak war with the formation of Jamat-i-Islami affiliated Al-Fatah and Muslim Janbaz Force. These outfits were at the forefront of armed terrorists acts in Kashmir. Their cadres received training in Pakistan and funding from Arab countries, eventually morphing into JKLF (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front) and present day Hurriyet with the active backing of Pakistan. JKLF and Hurriyet touts itself as a secular even though its core ideology is to impose Islamic rule in Kashmir and banish Kashmiri Hindus. No one in the media ever questioned why its leaders were only Muslims if it was indeed secular. When some of their activists were arrested and convicted for murder, loot and arson the sympathetic J&K Government Officials would release them by referring to them as Misguided Youths. As reported in India Today, April 30, 1990 "Between July and December 1989, 70 hardcore terrorists were released by Farooq Abdullah government. All detentions had been confirmed by the Advisory Body headed by the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court". No one in the media took Farooq Abdullah to task for releasing convicted killers and thus encouraging more terrorism.
These misguided youths later became, Militants, Jehadis and now Islamic terrorists
2. Migrants, refugees or internally displaced people
Kashmiri Hindus forced to flee their homes were dubbed as Migrants by Kashmiri Muslim press. No one in Indian media challenged this terminology. Calling them refugees or internally displaced people would call into question the secular façade of Kashmir valley and its Muslim Leadership who were in cahoots with the Congress Government.
3. Militant religious organizations operating under secular garb
In Kashmir valley many organizations espouse to be secular where as their core membership comprises of people with close association with Jamat-i-Islami such as People's League, People's Democratic Party, and Hurriyet etc. Outside India, World Kashmir Movement (WKM) in London and Kashmir American Council (KAC) in Washington DC serve as mouthpiece of Islamists and pro Pakistani elements. These organizations have hired western lobbyists to project Islamic terrorists as freedom fighters fighting for liberation of J&K from India. These Lobbyists are paid by Pakistan and Arab countries.
In order to keep India and its security forces on the defensive these organizations employ leftist Indian Journalists, Academics and politicians to espouse and parrot the cause of the secessionist. Kashmir American Council has published pamphlets for distribution to journalists and members of the Congress and Senate in the USA. These pamphlets have sympathetic reports from Ashok Mitra of Daily Telegraph 5/16/1990, Dr. N. Y. Dole of Rashtra Seva Dal, Syed Shahabudin President Insaf party, reports from All India Revolutionary Students Federation Karnatka, Dipankar Bhattacharya, Secretary General, India's People Front, Minoo Masani of Dalit Voice and retired Justice V. M Tarkunde. In order to discredit Indian security apparatus in Kashmir, Separatists falsely accused Indian Army of rape which was at first accepted at face value and reported as such by the leftist Indian media.
In the last 18 years new generations of anti- Indian Mao- Islamists have been recruited to be the mouthpiece of radical Islamists operating under the secular garb. Some of them are Dr. Angana Chaterjee, Arundhati Roy, AS Aiyar etc. These pamphlets are used to give legitimacy to the point of view espoused by Pakistan funded secessionists outfits.
4. Worldwide Disinformation Campaign through Demonstrations, Symposiums and Tours
Pakistani ISI and Arab countries have organized and funded the formation of various organizations in Kashmir and around the world to coordinate demonstrations, organize symposiums and lectures to promote disinformation regarding human rights abuses by Indian security forces and project humane face of Islamic insurgency fighting for the liberation of Kashmir. Some of these organizations are: Muslim Welfare Society, Falah-I Am Trust, Dukhtarain-e-Millat in Kashmir and Kashmir American Council in Washington D. C, World Kashmir Movement in London, International Institute of Kashmir Studies in London, Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights in London etc. Amir of Jamat-i-Islami Pakistan Qazi Hussein frequently tours Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE in support of Independence of Kashmir and fund raising.
One of the earliest examples of disinformation campaign undertaken by Kashmiri Muslims and their secular allies in India was to deny that any atrocity or ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus had happened. All the blame for the exodus of 350,000 Hindus was laid on Governor Jag Mohan who according to them wanted Hindus out so that he could deal with the Islamic terrorists. Indo American Kashmir Forum has worked hard to debunk this canard through symposiums and workshops.
Another example of disinformation was the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chittisingpora near Srinagar on 3/20/1990 by armed Islamic terrorists dressed in official Indian Army uniforms. Islamists and its allies in Indian media initially blamed Indian Army for the massacre which was proven not to be the case after detailed investigation by Barry Bearak of New York Times.
5. Task Forces, Petitions and Letter Writing Campaigns.
Faroukh Kathwari a prominent U. S based Kashmiri Muslim businessman has financed Kashmir Study Group composed of University Professors and U. S Diplomats to examine the situation in Kashmir and propose solutions. The Islamist Separatists have taken politicians, journalists and diplomats from various countries to visit Kashmir valley for propaganda purposes to show-case human rights abuses by Indian security forces. The cadres of Jamat-i-Islami along with Dukhtaran-i- Millat are used to spin horror stories with usual drama. Whenever there is a demonstration in the valley KAC, WKM get into action and activate their friends and sympathizers worldwide to write petitions and letters to the United Nations as well as various Government Agencies. Recent case of a petition to U.N by Dr. Angana Chaterjee against Jammu agitation in support of Amarnath Yatra is a good example.
Reacting to the demonstrations in Srinagar, a well known liberal Indian Columnists Swaminathan A. Aiyar in Times of India dated 8/17/08 wrote: "We promised Kashmiris a plebiscite six decades ago. Let us hold one now and give them three choices: independence, union with Pakistan and union with India. Almost certainly the Valley will opt for independence. Jammu will opt to stay with India and probably Laddhakh too. Let Kashmiris decide the outcome not the politicians and armies of India and Pakistan."
On 8/19/08 Arundhati Roy commented to Times of India "India needs Azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs Azadi from India"
It is surprising that these Indian columnists who claim to be liberal, secularist have no problem to propose the dismemberment of India to appease and satisfy Islamist demands. It seems after sixty years of partition we Indians have learned nothing from Muslim mechanization of deceit through Taki'ya to create Pakistan which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Hindus from West Punjab, Sindh and East Bengal. If we do not wake up it is only a matter of time that India will be partitioned into hundreds of small Muslim enclaves governed by Qura'nic Sharia laws, virtually no-go zones for Hindus and Indian security forces from where Indian Mujahdeen will be free to engage in murder and arson to terrorize Indians and demand freedom from the "Oppressive Hindus". Recently Gen. (rtd.) S. K. Sinha, former Governor J&K gave an interview with Kallol Bhattacharjee, The Week 31/08/2008, which sums the challenge we face in Indian media. He said:
"There is an environment of religious intolerance in Kashmir. There was ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) from the state but no one talks about them. Kashmir has been Talibanized by the Separatists. The Secular lobby never condemns the communal politics of Syed Ali Shah Geelani".
Hira Fotedar is Co-Founder and past President of IAKF (Indo-American Kashmir Forum). This paper was presented at the Sixth Annual Human Empowerment Conference in Chicago in October 2008 as a Case Study in manipulation of Indian media.
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Posted by Barun Roy on March 14, 2008
Global Demography ProjectBy Vimal Khawas
The then superintendent Dr. Campbell had reported the population of Darjeeling Himalaya to be 1900 in 1850 and 2200 in 1869. The years that followed saw the rapid growth in the population in the region. Over the years, people belonging to various castes, tribes, religions and speaking various languages have found places across the geographical and temporal spaces in the 'queen of the hills'. It can be said that Darjeeling as of today is an ethnographic museum and a cultural melting pot. Darjeeling Himalaya offers the most remarkable example of growth of population stemming mainly from immigration from outside. The most potent factor contributing to the growth of population in the area has been the tea industry. Another important force which also encouraged immigration in the district has been the general agriculture. This is especially true in case of Kalimpong Sub-division with relatively low altitude and comparatively high potential for agriculture.Besides, immigrations due to political reasons (mainly from Bangladesh, Tibet and Bhutan) have played role in the growth of population in Darjeeling. As per the Census of India (2001) the total population of Darjeeling District comes to 1605900; the share of hill population being over 8.5 lakh.
The rapid population increase has caused unscientific expansion of the area of cultivated fields. Natural pakhas (slopes) and jungles have thus receded to greater distances from the original settlement. The daily transportation of fodder leaves and grasses, as well as firewood has become far more difficult and painstaking. This has reduced the number of animals per household over the period of time, which has in turn impacted the agricultural productivity in the Himalaya.
Such situation has forced the local folks to construct new terraced fields on more and more inappropriate slopes. Vast areas of forests have shrunk and many pakhas have been turned into cultivated fields. Consequently, the jungles around the villages have begun to disappear. This nibbling effect is apparent in around the hill villages and its diameter is increasing day by day. In consequence, soil erosion has accelerated. In areas where the cover of natural vegetation has been stripped off, the cycle of successive landslides has been abruptly shortened. Thus a number of landslides have begun to destroy fields and threaten the areas of inhabitants. Sources of water have begun to decrease in quantity.Consequently, the burden of everyday task of carrying water has become far more severe than before impacting the rural women. In number of cases, the quality of water has also dropped and as a result sickness increased. This simply means additional distress and economic burden.
Society of Darjeeling Hills
Darjeeling Himalaya is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-lingual area. The society in the area is made up of various elements drawn from diverse origin. The social diversity is perhaps the most powerful manifestation of the area. The social groups with diverse ethnic and linguistic origins, representing various racial stocks and social status have found a place for themselves at different points of time adapting themselves to the different ecological niches offered by the physiographic and climatic setting of the area. The waves of immigration have drawn the ancestors of the majority of the present population of the area from the surrounding territories across the Himalayas. Their dispersal has resulted in a creation of a social mosaic with ethnic distinctiveness.
Approximate ethnic group wise composition of the population of Darjeeling Himalaya may be mentioned as follows -
• Nepali: this is a generic term and subsumes more than 15 ethnic groups under it. Various castes and tribe (like Sherpa, Subbas, and Tamangs) that immigrated to the area during the 18th,19th and early 20th century from Nepal are subsumed under this group. Today they are the permanent settlers and bonafide citizens of India
• Lepcha: they are the earliest settlers and are regarded as the autochthonous tribe of the region.
• Bhutia: They are the tribe that migrated to the area from Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet during both colonial and post colonial era.
• Tibetan: They include refugees that fled Tibet and came to the area after the Sino-Indian War of 1961.
• Bengali : They comprise both permanent settlers and migrants Bengalis of south Bengal and the refugees from Bangladesh (encouraged by the left front government of West Bengal over the years)
• Other Indians
The social groups with diverse history and corresponding needs and demands have not been satisfied with the multilevel planning and development framework in India and continuously struggling for the separate politico-administrative identity. Evidences available in this context highlight that the people living in the district had to pass through different phases in the process of development and importantly never formed the part of the mainstream development process. The district saw various ethnic insurgencies with diverse characteristics and demands for a long period of time. Ultimately, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council was formed under the State Act in 1988, in response to the continuous struggle, which looks after the developmental aspects in the hill areas of the district, apart from the traditional administrative (i.e. district collectorate) unit of the state.
Economy of Darjeeling Hills
Environmental conditions play a major role in conditioning the livelihood and economy of the people in Darjeeling Himalaya. The topography, climatic variations, soil condition have all influenced human occupance. Subsistence agriculture, livestock, forestry, plantations and allied activities are the major activity of the rural folks. Darjeeling Himalaya has only over 13% cultivable land in proportion to its total geographical area. No effort has been made by the government to maximize the utilization of the land.
Physiography in the area has made agricultural conditions extremely diverse. Agriculture is greatly impacted by altitude and slope aspect. On account of cold no crops are grown above 9500 feet a.s.l. Such situation in Darjeeling Himalaya has made cultivation extremely difficult and needs considerable input of human labour. Large section of people who are living in Khasmal areas are practicing traditional agriculture, more than 35 % of land falling under such category. Bare rocky and steepness restrict agriculture operations to a great extent.
Broadly, agricultural crops in the Himalaya can be grouped into two categories – Food crops and cash crops. Food crops include rice, maize, potato, wheat, barley etc. while the cash crops are tea, cinchona, ginger etc. The methods of agriculture change with the crops. Fruits such as orange, papaya, peaches, guava, plumbs and even mangoes are grown in the valleys and in areas with low altitudes. Livestock and animal husbandry engages a measurable proportion of rural folks in the area. Grazing of livestock is a regular practice in the valley area of the Darjeeling Himalaya.
Usually agriculture is practiced on irrigated terraces called Khet or rain fed terraces termed as Bari. Khets are mostly seen on the lower altitudes (below 1500 meters, approximately) and is meant mainly for paddy cultivation although winter or dry season crops are also grown in addition to paddy in many cases. Bari on the other hand are prevalent both at lower and higher altitudes (up to 3500 meters, approximately). With the increase in altitudes, the proportion of Bari to Khet increases, as a result of cooler dry season conditions, increasing slope gradient and inaccessibility of water. Livestock supply draught power and serve as the primary and perhaps the most important source of fertilizer. The villagers use the pairs of oxen to cultivate the terraced fields. Animal manure is indispensable for field fertilization as artificial fertilizers are hardly used.
Tea, tourism and timber are much talked about establishment here. Cinchona and other medicinal plants have its base here. Sericulture is another section, which has been spreading with time. Darjeeling Himalaya has been producing finest quality tea in the world fetching the highest price. Starting on a commercial scale in 1856 the present area under Tea Gardens is 20200 hectares producing about 9 million Kgs of tea per year. Cinchona was introduced during 1861-1869 on trial; large-scale production started from 1887. The best of Indian quality mulberry silk is being produced in Darjeeling Hills. Forestry is an important occupation of the people of Darjeeling. Darjeeling has about 38.91 % of its area under forest. Many forest-based industries have come up and there is huge potential for further development. Cultivation of aromatic medicine and exotic plants and orchids has been a source of income in the regional economy. Tourism is one such industry, which is most promising in a place like Darjeeling. It attracts large number of tourists from all over the country as well as from abroad.
Over the years the influence of dense human and livestock population in the Himalayas, like many other parts of the country, has led to large-scale destruction of both renewable and nonrenewable resources in this sensitive area. Moreover, routine damages through faulty agricultural practices, overgrazing of the hill slopes in the catchments areas, cutting and lopping of natural forests for fuel, fodder and timber for house building and agricultural implements are other forces contributing to Himalayan degradation. The forest areas in the hills have diminished considerably in recent years. Owing to high rate of population increase, the per capita agricultural and forest areas have shown a sharp decline. With increase in harvesting practices and shrinkage in open Pakhas and Jungles the practice of grazing has also been increased. The continuous and regular practice of grazing has exposed the rock and soil layers. This has reduced the compactness of the soil paving the way for soil erosion. Unplanned growth of tourism has led to deterioration of environment and ecosystem, which has in turn been affecting the tourist traffic in the area. Tourism as an industry is no doubt a part of the socio economic development of any nation but from the point of view of sustainable development this industry has been yielding many negative results.
Unfortunately, the economic status of rural Darjeeling is disappointing. Darjeeling is excluded from the industrial map of the country. Surely, the economic viability and environmental feasibility do not welcome the industrialists. Yet, small and cottage industries that have great potentialities in the region have not been brought in as required. The deep-rooted poverty and ignorance have become chronic over the period of time. Besides, the people are living in an underdeveloped infrastructure. As one may do in many parts of the country, the economic structure cannot be analyzed in the Queen of the Hills merely by observing the towns and roadside developments. A house-to-house survey in the rural villages will reveal the real picture as to how people are struggling for their livelihood. That the infrastructure is unsatisfactory is evident on seeing the poor of remote villages still trudging a day long walk for shopping in the towns. It means many villages are without proper transportand communication facilities. The rural folks have to walk day long to sell their produce in the nearest town. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season when frequent large-scale landslides and other forms of mass wasting take place in the hills. During this period a large number of villagers lose their lives. Safe drinking water, educational institutions, primary health centre, power supply etc. face similar fate in the rural hills.
Moreover, rural Darjeeling in the last few decades has been witnessing a notable male selective migration for better opportunities. The migration is mainly taking place towards the urban environment of the district and to the major cities of the country like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai, to name the important few. Population pressure; degradation of the Common Property Resources, forests; long neglect of the region, backwardness of the economy and society, low agricultural productivity, lack of opportunity etc. have played prominent role in this regard. Though this has been bringing in money, much needed hands are diminished from native villages. As a result, agricultural production has seriously been disrupted and has started declining. The draining of the labour force has caused damage to the subsistence economy on the one hand while on the other hand efforts towards self reliance in the villages are discouraged. Also, although, the money earned is sent to the villages to buy provisions; the ecological constraints, inadequate manpower and low technology traditional agriculture do not allow the local hill folks to have adequate income to meet their basic necessities. Thus, the money again flows back to the plains as cost of provisions acquired from the plains. This vicious cycle keeps the rural people of Darjeeling Himalaya with very little savings or no savings at all.
This entry was posted on March 14, 2008 at 10:46 pm and is filed under Essays. Tagged: bangladesh, bari, barley, bengali, bhutan, bhutia, census of india, chennai, cinchona, common property resources, darjeeling district, darjeeling gorkha hill council, darjeeling himalaya, delhi, dr campbell, environmental, food crops, ginger, guava, himalaya, india, indians, jungles, khet, kolkata, lepcha, maize, mangaoes, mulberry silk, mumbai, nepal, orange, pakhas, papaya, peaches, plumbs, potato, queen of the hills, rice, sherpa, sikkim, subbas, tamangs, Tea, tibet, tibetan, timber, Tourism, wheat. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Demography of IndiaDemography of India
INDIA IS A COUNTRY of great diversity with a wide range of landform types, including major mountain ranges, deserts, rich agricultural plains, and hilly jungle regions. Indeed, the term Indian subcontinent aptly describes the enormous extent of the earth's surface that India occupies, and any attempt to generalize about its physiography is inaccurate. Diversity is also evident in the geographical distribution of India's ethnic and linguistic groups. In ancient times, the major river valleys of the Indo-Gangetic Plain of South Asia were among the great cradles of civilization in Asia, as were the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in West Asia and the Huang He (Yellow River) in East Asia. As a result of thousands of years of cultural and political expansion and amalgamation, contemporary India has come to include many different natural and cultural regions.
The Himalayas (and the nations of Nepal and Bhutan) form India's northern frontier with China. Pakistan borders India to the west and Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) to the east. Although both were formerly part of the British Indian Empire, India and Pakistan became separate countries in 1947 and East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh in 1971. The boundaries of the Indian polity are not fully demarcated because of regional ethnic and political disputes and are the source of occasional tensions.
When the 1991 national census was taken, India's population was approximately 846.3 million. The annual population growth rate from 1981 to 1991 was 2 percent. Accounting for only 2.4 percent of the world's landmass, India is home to 16 percent of the world's population. Every sixth person in the world in the early 1990s was an Indian. It is generally assumed that India's population will surpass the 1 billion mark some time before the next census in 2001. In July 1995, the population was estimated at 936.5 million.
Demography of India :
Some 38 percent of all Indians were officially listed as living below the poverty line in fiscal year (FY--see Glossary) 1991. This number represented an increase from the low mark of 26 percent in FY 1989, but the rise was believed to be only temporary by some observers. Although government-sponsored health clinics are widely available in the mid-1990s, their emphasis is on curative techniques rather than preventive medicine. However, the lack of such basic amenities as safe, potable water for much of the population is indicative of the severity of health problems. This situation has traditionally led most Indians to have large families as their only form of insurance against sickness and for their care in old age. Although family planning programs are becoming integrated with the programs of urban and rural health clinics, no official birth control programs have widespread support. The severity of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in India has become increasingly apparent to health specialists, but local awareness of the causes of and ways to prevent the spread of AIDS is growing slowly.
Although many public schools are inadequate, improvements to the education system overall have been substantial since 1947. In the mid-1990s, however, only about 50 percent of children between the ages of six and fourteen are enrolled in schools. The goal of compulsory and free primary and middle school education is embodied in the Indian constitution but has been elusive. The National Policy on Education of 1986 sought to institutionalize universal primary education by setting 1990 as a target date for the education of all children up to eleven years of age. The ability of India's education system to meet this goal has been constrained by lack of adequate financial resources. Important achievements have been made, however, with implementation of the nonformal education system and adult education programs. Whereas public education is generally below standard, education standards in private schools are very high. There also are high standards among the elite institutions in the higher education system.
Data as of September 1995
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Analysing Kashmir: Who failed, where?
By Nilofar Suhrawardy, The Milli Gazette
Published Online: Aug 30, 2010
Print Issue: 16-31 August 2010
It is indeed amazing that respected leaders are still apparently unaware of how to tackle the Kashmir-crisis. Even now, when they are giving the impression of considering a humanitarian approach towards it, it is difficult to take the apparent turn in their attitude seriously for it may be a part of their strategy to cleanse their image for the global audience. They have no choice but to indulge in such rhetoric. The world is not oblivious of what is going on in Kashmir. Statistics of number of innocent civilians having died due to firing from state-controlled bullets together with photographs of unarmed, young and angry people throwing stones are sufficient for the world to see. Why have these people been targeted by bullets? They could be checked, pushed back by use of tear gas, water cannons and other such means.
The governments, central led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and state by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, seemed practically unfazed by loss of lives till it apparently dawned on them that they could no longer remain mute spectators to the Kashmir crisis. Sadly, they are still in the stage of deliberating on what moves should be taken to "win over hearts and minds of Kashmiris". It simply points that they had given minimal importance to this aspect till date. They have probably started talking now only to improve their image and present a better picture to the world about their policy towards Kashmir and Kashmiris.
It is indeed ironical, that the same people who risked their lives, ignoring the fear of falling victim to militants' bullets, to exercise their right to vote, are now being targeted by state-controlled bullets. Considering that it has not been an easy road for Indian Kashmiris as well as the Indian government to have reached this stage, it is indeed tragic that the governments have failed to pay the timely needed importance to Kashmir-crisis. Had the correct approach being timely used, the crisis would not have probably reached this stage.
During the July 7 meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security, the government opted for a "maximum crackdown" policy against Kashmiri protestors. During the second meeting (August 1), the CCS decided to send more forces to the state. At the same time, the government decided to initiate dialogue with Kashmiri leaders and focus on a political rather than a military solution to the problem. This was followed by Omar visiting a hospital in Srinagar to meet a few victims and their relatives. Subsequently, Home Minister P. Chidambaram responded to clarifications sought in Rajya Sabha on Kashmir-crisis by saying that "it is important to win the hearts and minds of people of Jammu and Kashmir." Omar's visit to the hospital apparently suggested the attempts being made by him in this direction. The media-coverage accorded to his visit certainly indicates that Omar did not want this move to go unnoticed. His aim is to improve his image, damaged considerably, having failed to control the Kashmir-crisis.
Willingly or unwillingly, Chidambaram's statement exposes the harsh reality that Indian Kashmiris have been subject to. Kashmir-issue has certainly dominated strategic concerns of the government but in the process lives and problems of Kashmiris have not just been sidelined but also considerably exploited as well as abused. The latter point is supported by the callous manner in which young, unarmed Kashmiris have been killed for simply protesting against their fellow beings having been shot dead by state-controlled bullets.
The concerned authorities apparently thought that guns would silence Kashmiris and check others from protesting. They weren't probably prepared for the frenzy with which Kashmiris would increase their protest caring little for loss of further lives. The Kashmiris have made a point. They have a right to protest and so they will irrespective of whether a few more among them fall victim to firing. It cannot be forgotten, as mentioned earlier, that Kashmiris have exercised their right to vote also without fearing, of being gunned down by militants.
But as Chidambaram's comments suggest, till now, the Indian government had not given much importance to initiate steps to "win the hearts and minds" of Kashmiris. It is hoped that this statement of Chidambaram and Omar's visit to hospital is followed by some constructive measures having some relevance for Kashmiris. So far, the "crackdown" approach has only alienated and agitated the Kashmiris further. Bullets can never win them over and/or silence them. The government has accepted the failure of this approach. But this isn't enough. A crackdown approach is needed against those who have killed unarmed Kashmiris. They must be punished. Besides, relatives of those killed should be given some compensation, even if they don't demand these!This article appeared in The Milli Gazette the print issue of 16-31 August 2010 on page no. 14
August 29, 2010
Kashmir: youth bulge, peace deficitPraveen Swami
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Kashmiri youth shout slogans during a protest march at Budgham, on the outskirts of Srinagar, on Sunday. Photo: AP
In the summer of 1995, the United States' super-secret Defence Intelligence Agency concluded a study on the growth of water hyacinths in Lake Victoria. It might seem like an odd occupation for spies to engage in — but it wasn't. Lake Victoria provides more than 1,20,000 tonnes of fish to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, a resource which would not survive the proliferation of hyacinth.
"This in turn," scholar Colin Kahl pointed out "could lead to widespread famine and political instability, possibly creating a situation in which the United States would be called on to intervene".
Lake Victoria's hyacinths and their strategic import hold out a lesson for Indian policymaking in Jammu and Kashmir — that causes of conflicts aren't often what they appear to be, and neither are their solutions.
Early in August, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of the need to reach out to Kashmir's young street protesters to "give them the sense of purpose, hope and direction they need to make use of the many opportunities that our economy provides." Dr. Singh was attacked by critics who argued that his remarks demeaned the political causes driving the protests: among them, anger against human rights violations and the demand for independence. Insensitive and ill-timed as the Prime Minister's suggestions might have appeared, the fact is that they rested on sound policy foundations.
Large-scale deaths stalked Kashmir in the first decades of the last century. Epidemics of cholera broke out three times between 1901 and 1911; three floods and eight earthquakes claimed thousands of lives. In the following decade, there were epidemics of influenza, cholera and smallpox; the decade between 1921 and 1931, too, was punctuated by famine and disease.
Post-independence successes in combating deprivation, paradoxically enough, laid the foundation for a new set of challenges. From 1971, Jammu and Kashmir began to record growth rates far in excess of the national average. From the time of the 1971 census, decadal population growth in the State hovered around 30 per cent, significantly higher than the national average. In the build-up to the insurgency, the 1981 census found, over 40 per cent of the Kashmir region's population was made up of children under 14. Put simply, the economic gains of the first decades of independence had run up against a demographic wall.
In a 1987 study of Kashmir's demographics, Kanan Kusum Sadhu found that despite their relative affluence "the Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims of Srinagar and Sopore are under more economic stress than the population of India as a whole." Sadhu's findings were based on what demographers called the dependency ratio — that part of society dependent on economically-productive individuals aged between 15 and 59. The populations Sadhu sampled in Sopore and Srinagar had dependency ratios ranging between 91.5 to 94.9. The all-India ratio was 78.
Kashmir's jihadist movement emerged from urban centres like these: homes of artisans and small traders who had constituted the region's traditional middle-class but had lost both political power and economic muscle because of the economic policies adopted after independence. There was, as scholar Thomas Marks has argued: "a demographic tidal wave of unabsorbed youthful males appearing in the late 1980s, especially in Kashmir, just as political issues … called into question the legitimacy of the existing order."
The 2001 census showed a fall in Kashmir's dependency ratio, as the children reached the working age. Few investors were willing to sink capital in Kashmir's battle-scarred economy; there was no public sector to speak of; and much infrastructure spending ended up in the hands of a small élite who sank their profits into purchasing land, not making productive investment. Moreover, traditional artisanal occupations were in decline. Kashmir's agricultural economy, with no forward links to local industry, also offered few opportunities.
Today, over 70 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir's population is estimated to be under 35. Reliable figures are hard to come by but there is evidence of chronic unemployment and under-employment. Earlier this year, the State government invited young people to register with an entrepreneurship project targeting the unemployed; more than 6,00,000 have so far signed up. The available data suggest that the best part of three-quarters of a million people will have joined the ranks of working-age people seeking jobs between 2001 and 2011. Jammu and Kashmir's population is expected to increase from 10,069,917 in 2001 to 13,809,601 in 2025. Historians have long known this: too many young people with too little to do mean trouble. Jack Goldstone has shown that this demographic phenomenon underpinned crises from the English civil wars of 1642-1651 to the European revolutions of 1848. In a review of European history 1700 to 1900, Mary K. Mattossian and William Schafer found links between political violence and an "increase in the number of young adult males in proportion to the total male population."
Demographer Herbert Moller has shown that the high proportion of young adults in Germany helped lay the foundations for the rise of fascism. Germany, he argued in a path-breaking 1968 essay, saw the emergence of children born between 1900 and 1914 on the job market — "a cohort," he noted, "more numerous than any earlier ones." Even as the Great Depression crippled Germany in 1933, 41.5 per cent of its residents were aged between 20 and 45. Moller wrote that "the economic depression hit Germany at the worst possible time: employment was shrinking precisely at a time when the employable population reached its post-war peak."
Historian Paul Madden, in a 1983 study of the early membership of the Nazi party, found that it "was a young, overwhelmingly masculine movement which drew a disproportionately large percentage of its membership from the lower middle class and from the Mittelstand [small businesses]."
Kahl, in his study of the ethnic violence which tore Kenya apart from 1991-1993, placed material conditions at its core. "The ability of the economy to absorb a rapidly growing labour force," he observed, "declined as the private sector slumped and the number of jobs in the public sector, Kenya's largest source of employment, stopped growing. As a result, population growth in excess of job creation resulted in a substantial increase in un- and under-employment."
Further, Ted Gurr has pointed out in a 1981 study, cities with high youth populations will have crime rates "higher than in times and places where the population is older." "The coming of age of the post-war generation of youths," he noted "is closely related to the onset of major increases in personal and property crime in the United States and Britain." Historians have even suggested that the high homicide rates in medieval England may have been linked to the relatively youthful population of its cities.
In an exhaustive 2006 review of the evidence, social scientist Henrik Urdal concluded that "relatively large youth cohorts are associated with a significantly increased risk of domestic armed conflict, terrorism and riots/violent demonstrations."
It is fashionable to assert, as commentator after commentator has done in recent weeks, that the ongoing protests have little to do with issues like jobs or the economy, and are instead rooted in textual questions: in competing narratives, as it is sometimes put, of nationhood. But the material conditions from which the protests have derived their ideological character have been largely ignored. The articulate English-speaking élites who have been speaking for the protesters on national television represent a social class very distinct from the protesters themselves: in the main, members of disenfranchised young people from decaying urban areas without prospects or a political voice.
It is no one's case that the demographic tides are the sole force driving Kashmir's discontent: this crisis, like all others, has no single cause. There is little doubt though that Kashmir's youth bulge has provided the firmament for the crisis to flourish. Political engagement, a dialogue on autonomy and better policing, will all do not a little to help end the bloodshed. They are, however, palliatives, not prescriptions that will ensure an abiding peace.
India's ability to transform the youth crisis it faces in Kashmir could prove a testing ground for how it will face the challenges that lie ahead for the country as a whole. In the next two decades, India's working-age population will increase by a staggering 240 million people — in stark contrast to China, where the working-age population will begin to decline from 2015, or Russia, where it will have shrunk by 20 million. It is far from clear if India will be able to create opportunities for these enormous numbers of people; to educate and equip them to deal with the kinds of skills needed to capitalise on new economic opportunities.
Political democratisation becomes meaningful only when the material foundations for social and economic modernity exist. India must summon the resources needed for a transformative project that will give real meaning to its promises of democracy and development.
The Prime Minister might not have found the words so many hoped his August address would contain. But history isn't like a Hindi film: even the finest speech would have done little to stem the tide of blood on Kashmir's streets. The foundations of an abiding peace will be laid not by words but sickles and hammers; in farms and factories; by concrete and steel.
Keywords: Kashmir youth, protest
NEWSCentre working on political solution to Kashmir issue, says Omar
TOPICSdefence national security
diplomacy peace negotiations
unrest, conflicts and war armed conflict
Possibly the best written article I've seen on this issue. I'm glad someone has mined data (a bit like 'freakonomics) and chosen to see the larger picture, rather than take a more superficial stance. Under-employment means idle minds, and those are devil's workshops.
I hope your newspaper does the same for other problems that plague our country as well. If we don't know where the problem lies, how are we going to go about solving it. It will take keen economists and social scientists to unearth these.
For now, the govt should encourage the brave entrepreneurs to create a local ecosystem that fosters job creation, such as large scale manufacturing. The first decade will no doubt see some hiccups, but in the longer term, peace and stability will reign because there is no time (and little willingness) for conflict.
Let the best roads and railroads in the country lead to Kashmir. Yes, it means more short term investment in security, but that will be little in comparison to the cost of not treating a festering, but curable, wound.
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 09:41 IST
I do not agree with the writer. Kashmir youth are not protesting for jobs or education. Their protests are spontaneous and passionate. These protests are for dignity and respect. India has poured billions of rupees without the desired results. India has used unfettered force and still the results are not there. Kashmiri separatist can call for one strike and the entire valley is shut down. Kashmir youth are agitating for respect and dignity. They do not want hand outs, artificially created jobs. They want empowerment, they want real change in their lives. They want real jobs and opportunities for self improvement.
from: Naveed Khan
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 10:29 IST
Most of what you say is true but the Kashmiri Muslim elite is so hung up on "Azadi" that the argument will not cut much ice with them. While thousands throng the streets in protest, the movement all along has been led by the self-serving educated elite of the valley. These people have made and continue to make their millions and have no interest in the Prime Minister's announcements which if implemented could possibly help the poor.
from: Anil Kotwal
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 10:35 IST
Excellent analysis - a perspective which was sorely missing so far in the Kashmir debate.
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 11:09 IST
It will be better if these educated Kashmiri youth are provided training and employment opportunities outside their State so that the youth will get a chance to feel that they belong to India. This may help the Kashmir situation to stabilise and ready the State for more investment opportunities in infrastructure, tourism and agri oriented industries. Instead of having a narrow vision of containing violence and keeping the youth suppressed in their houses, the above suggestion could be given a chance.
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 13:01 IST
This is an illuminating article that is also very frightening!
Change the statistics which may remain almost the same and we could have the scenario for most parts of India, which, now it seems, were deliberately kept lesser developed until our home grown industrialists were given the pleasure of the regulations being washed down the sink.
That having been said, why the incongruity of Mr. Swami's last line...?
Why can't areas that have to de developed not be kept 'less industrialised' but yet economically sound? How one wishes those running this country would desist from force-feeding its upwardly mobile population with the myth that rapid industrialization is the only answer to all our woes.
Does it really make sense for us to grow rice and dal in East and Central Africa to feed those who can afford it and slowly starve our poor to death depriving them of food and water?
from: Hartman de Souza
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 13:27 IST
An excellent article with an holistic route-cause analysis of problems in Kashmir. Kudos to Praveen.
In fact my fellow Kashmir brothers should understand that they are dealing with problems which are wide-spread in all the developing nations right from India, China, Brazil to Russia and breaking away from a country is no solution.
Unemployment, hunger, poverty and corruption are common phenomena across many States in India (and in-fact many other countries).
Kashmiris cannot exempt themselves from these sociological phenomenons and demand for independence for each and every problem.
from: Dileep Varma K.
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 13:51 IST
A very good analysis of the situation. It's a no-brainer that too many youths without jobs and families are going to cause trouble to any State. However, in the context of J&K, the issue of job creation is a bit difficult. Public sector cannot employ everyone and private sector wouldn't come there because of Article 370. I agree that all these so-called Kashmiri representatives seen on national television are from well off families. It's a pity that separatists have been allowed to take advantage of this opportunity and are affecting the life of youths of Kashmir.
from: Naveen Kumar
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 13:59 IST
While praising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his realisation of the need "to reach out to Kashmir's young street protesters" and "give them the sense of purpose, hope and direction they need to make use of the many opportunities that our economy provides", he should also be blamed for not doing anything in this regard in the last few years as head of the nation's government. Moreover his party, the Congress, which had been in power for many decades at the Centre has also much to answer for with regard to the political mess the State of J&K is in today. Mouthing noble thoughts now cannot wipe out the stigma of inaction when Kashmir has been sliding into more and more serious crises over the decades. Kashmir crisis is not a natural phenomenon;it is a man-made fiasco. There has to be some political leaders or some political party or parties responsible for this. Political commentators should stand up and identify them.
from: K. Vijayakumar
Posted on: Aug 30, 2010 at 14:23 IST
Crisis in Kashmir
India squandered its opportunity for political reform.
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A few months ago, Pakistan was virtually begging India to restart the dialogue process between the two governments, suspended after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. Now Pakistani spokesman Abdul Basit asserts that Pakistan will not agree to "any preconditions for resuming the dialogue process." Why did Islamabad's attitude change?
The answer lies in two cities: Srinagar and Kabul.
With 62 civilian deaths in the ongoing rioting in the capital city Srinagar and two districts, over the past couple months Kashmir has witnessed a fresh uprising against the symbols of the state. Kashmiris are using every avenue they have—from stones to the Internet—to demand azaadi, or freedom. The mostly spontaneous upheaval involves young men, women and even children. Kashmiris want freedom from corruption, bad governance and the overbearing presence of soldiers.
For decades Pakistan has been trying to wrest Kashmir away from India by sponsoring insurgency. But today, thanks to the ineffective administration in Srinagar, Pakistan doesn't have to try very hard. After the security forces managed to restore law and order three years ago, India failed to take the political initiative, and frittered away its gains. The result is widespread disillusionment. At a ceremony commemorating India's Independence Day this month, a local policeman threw a shoe at Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, whose grandfather Sheikh Abdullah ratified the state's accession to India.
Up until 2008, the state had a lot going for it: several round-table meetings for self rule and confidence-building measures, periodic release of economic packages, annual visits by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, conferences connecting the people and quiet dialogue with moderate and hardline separatist leaders. The ceasefire on the Line of Control was holding, and a four-point formula for resolving the Kashmir dispute hammered out with Pakistan through back channels seemed as good as done.
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Indian security personnel beat detained Kashmiri Muslim protesters in Srinagar, India.
Mysteriously, the peace process then ground to a halt. The India-Pakistan dialogue began unraveling soon after Gen. Pervez Musharraf left the scene. The new Pakistani Army Chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, a Fort Leavenworth graduate and favorite of the U.S. establishment, reversed the process of reconciliation. The ceasefire has become shaky, and the Pakistani government's rhetoric on Kashmir has returned to the rights of the people to self determination and "diplomatic and moral support to Kashmir in their legitimate struggle no matter how brutally Indian forces try to suppress it."
The reason Gen. Kayani feels emboldened to take a harder line is easy to discern. Tensions deepened after the U.S. elevated Pakistan from "major non-NATO ally" to the linchpin of its Afghan exit strategy, and excluded India from a political solution in Afghanistan. Despite the denials of U.S. Af-Pak point man Richard Holbrooke, the Afghanistan-Pakistan free trade agreement has only underscored India's irrelevance to Kabul.
Civilian strife in the Kashmir Valley will only strengthen Pakistan's case that resumption of a dialogue on Kashmir alone will enable a more focused fight against the Taliban on the Western frontier. This is not entirely true, as the Pakistan Army has already redeployed to the west 52% of its offensive and 45% of its defensive forces previously devoted to facing down India.
The priority for Delhi is to stop the stone-throwing in Kashmir. Every death—one recent fatality was a child of eight years old—is fresh cause for protests. On an hour's notice, 10,000 people will come out on the streets to join the funeral procession of someone they don't know. Further, Kashmir's moderate Islam is being radicalized by the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami, which has made even separatist leaders irrelevant. No one is willing to talk unconditionally anymore.
Delhi will have to start from scratch in rolling back alienation by reaching out to youth. Yet Rahul Gandhi, India's prime-minister-in-waiting and supposedly its youth leader, has not reached out to his favorite constituency in Kashmir. Neither has Congress President Sonia Gandhi or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Srinagar since the troubles began in June. Until a few months back, Kashmir was the most violence-free state in India, as security forces had significantly marginalized insurgent and terrorist groups over the last three years.
Islamabad is not about to take over Kashmir—according to a survey by London-based think tank Chatham House last month, just 2% of the population favors joining Pakistan. But as the cry for azaadi grows louder, no one has a clue when this uprising is going to stop. Even as the faithful observe Ramadan, Delhi needs to do something before U.S. President Barack Obama's scheduled visit in November.
Mr. Mehta is a retired major general of the Indian Army's Gurkha regiment.
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NEW DELHI: J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has decided to sack Roads and Buildings Minister GM Saroori. The decision was taken after a bizarre resignation ...
Indian Express - Aug 26, 2010
Under fire for failing to contain street protests and the cycle of civilian killings in the Valley, J&K CM Omar Abdullah on Thursday reshuffled the police ...
Indian Express - Aug 26, 2010
Governor NN Vohra accepted the J&K CM Omar Abdullah's recommendation to dismiss Ghulam Mohammad Saroori from his council of ministers. ...
IBNLive.com - Aug 26, 2010
PTI | 11:08 PM,Aug 26,2010 Srinagar, Aug 26 (PTI) Underscoring the importance of power sector in the economic development of the state, Jammu and Kashmir ...
Indian Express - Aug 26, 2010
Defying the Congress leadership's directive to resign in wake of allegations that his daughter cheated in the MBBS entrance exam to a private medical ...
Hindustan Times - Aug 26, 2010
PTI Jammu and Kashmir government today attached two senior police officials, including the Inspector General (Security), for lax security arrangements for ...
Sify - Aug 26, 2010
In a major administrative reshuffle, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday ordered transfer of several senior civil and police ...
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Reuters Blogs (blog) - 7 hours ago
But now Kashmir's chief minister, Omar Abdullah, has hinted at a political solution of the crisis by New Delhi in the coming days. "The Union government is ...
The Hindu - Praveen Swami - 20 Aug 2010
Even as violent protests have engulfed urban Kashmir, large swathes of its countryside have remained peaceful. Noorabad, home to one of the most intense ...
Outlook - 21 Aug 2010
Terming the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir as the result of a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today accused the Union ...
Centre lacks concrete policy over Kashmir: Joshi - Times of India
The Hindu - 3 Aug 2010
Far larger secessionist mobilisations were seen in 2008, after all, when competing ethnic-religious chauvinisms tore Kashmir and Jammu apart. The crisis is ...
Take the wheel - Indian Express
The only package Kashmir needs is justice - The Hindu
NDTV.com - 4 days ago
New Delhi: Union Minister Farooq Abdullah made a passionate appeal in Parliament for a political solution to the Kashmir crisis. Speaking on the importance ...
J&K self-rule plan under Opp fire - Daily Pioneer
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Kashmir conflict · 1947 War · 1965 War · 1971 War · Siachen · Operation Brasstacks · Operation Rakshak · Kargil War · Atlantique Incident · Operation ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashmir_conflict - Cached - Similar
Even as we usher in the New Year with high hopes of peace, India and Pakistan are on the brink of a war over the State of Kashmir. Is this dispute political ...
4 Aug 2010 ... Kashmir's crisis of authority. Share · Comment (21) · print · ... The crisis is, in fact, the culmination of two years of drift. ...
Analysing Kashmir: Who failed, where? - 6 hours ago
By Nilofar Suhrawardy, The Milli Gazette It is indeed amazing that respected leaders are still apparently unaware of how to tackle the Kashmir-crisis. ...
Milli Gazette - 237 related articles »
1 Jun 2003 ... Kashmir, the last of the defiant states, was the reverse of Hyderabad. It had a Hindu ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, but his subjects were ...
The Crisis in Kashmir. Why the squabble over Kashmir? Kashmir, or the state of Jammu and Kashmir to give it its full title, has been a flashpoint between ...
7 Aug 2010 ... CPI(M) asked the government to immediately initiate a dialogue process with all sections of people in the valley.
Security and Political Analysis of Kashmir Conflict.
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21 Aug 2010 ... Front Page · Printer Friendly Page · Send this Article to a Friend In the midst of Kashmir crisis, some islands of peace. Praveen Swami ...
18 Aug 2010 ... BACKGROUND. Roots of the crisis. Victoria Schofield, author of Kashmir in Conflict, explains how the dispute began. ...
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4 Aug 2010 ... After bouts of violent protests in the valley over the last one week, all districts of Kashmir remained under curfew even on Wednesday as ...
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