Who divided India?

Jinnah, Nehru or Hindu extremism?

Muslims punished for the sin of partition.

Senior Indian politician Jaswant Singh who was minister for external affairs, finance and defence, was sacked by the Bharathiya Janatha Party, a political front of Hindu extremists Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,RSS, which demands  that Indian Muslims  either give up their religion, Islam,and embrace Hinduism or leave the country.

Jaswant Singh’s crime was writing a book entitled “Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence” in which he has praised Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah. This happened in India, the largest democracy in the world, where the largest minority of around 150 million Muslims have been treated as outcasts.

Commenting on Singh’s sacking The Hindu: Editorial of Thursday, Aug 20, 2009 stated as follows;

The BJP’s reputation for obscurantism and dogmatic intolerance received an unexpected boost in Shimla .The summary expulsion of the veteran Jaswant Singh for coming out with a positive re-appraisal of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, and what can at most be characterized, as Partition-revisionism has not just upstaged the post-election ‘chintan baitak.’ It is a blow to the BJP’s moral credibility, an advertisement of its political desperation.

Mr. Singh does not claim to be a scholar, on the contrary. He begins his book by noting that, returning from a visit to the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore in 1999, he was “struck by the thought there existed no biography of Jinnah written by a political figure from India.” It took him five years, beginning 2004, to fill that gap.

It is for historians to evaluate the scholarly merit of Mr. Singh’s work. But who is to say that a political figure, especially when he or she is out of power, ought not to dabble in such sensitive areas? Did not the redoubtable Lal Krishna Advani himself publicly commend, in 2005, the  “secular” vision embedded in Jinnah’s presidential address of August 11, 1947 to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan?

Actually, Mr. Singh’s Jinnah is an impressive, personally attractive, intellectually brilliant, freedom-loving, politically iron-willed, tactically unstoppable figure. His flaws were major and incalculably tragic: Mr. Singh opines that both he and Mahatma Gandhi failed in the end to realize their ideals. But the  flaws of the ‘sole spokesman’ arose out of the objective situation of  pre-Partition India and others, especially Jawaharlal Nehru and the  Congress, were complicit in the tragedy of Partition — which in the  author’s view is “the defining event of the twentieth century for this entire subcontinent.” You may agree or disagree with Mr. Jaswant Singh’s Jinnah-appraisal and his allocation of responsibility for Partition — and indeed, for what he sees as the challenge for millions of “alienated” Muslims in post-Partition India. But his book is certainly an interesting read — made more interesting and saleable surely by the BJP’s crude display of bigotry. Thus concluded the Hindu editorial.

Politics in India has been hijacked for decades by RSS extremists and its numerous front organizations whose crime records against the country’s Muslim minority put to shame all established democratic norms and human values. Indian politics has descended to such low depth that six decades after independence today the road to parliament is through hatred, vengeance and violence against the Muslim community.

The hatred of Hindu extremists who hijacked and criminalized Indian politics paved the way for the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan that included today’s Bangladesh.

As pointed out in an article in Hindu one should not forget that the Hindus and Muslims were united during the Indian War of Independence in 1857.Muslim religious scholars joined the freedom struggle with great enthusiasm and Hasrat Mohani even composed patriotic Urdu poems to inspire freedom fighters filling the hearts with the desire to sacrifice their lives for the country.

Even after the partition) then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru,in his landmark centenary speech (1957), described how Hindus and Muslims had fought shoulder to shoulder against the British who had entered the country under the pretence of commerce but usurped the throne in Delhi. He also said that, unlike the British who exploited Indian resources and left, other foreign “invaders including Aryans, Arabs, Turks, Afghans and Mughals had settled down in India permanently and made it their homeland.”

So much so legendary Muslim freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s emotional outburst was unprecedented when he said that: “a Muslim will abandon the cities in which he dwells,will move into the forest,will make friends with serpents and scorpions, but will not make peace with the British government.”A strong supporter of Hindu-Muslim unity, though forgotten now, Maulana Abul Kalam declared: “I will surrender the demand for swaraj but I will not give up unity for, if there is delay in gaining swaraj, the loss will be that of India only, but if our unity is destroyed then it will be a loss for the entire human race.”

The question is how this enviable unity turned into enmity leading to the division of the country itself.

Is it Sir Allama Iqbal, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, Mohamed Ali Jinnah or the caste oriented Hindu mindset that refuses to accept Muslims as normal human beings leave alone as equal citizens?

Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad were three leading Muslims who influenced the thinking of Indian Muslims during the first half of last century. They all firmly believed, long before partition was even thought of, that Muslims could harmoniously blend their religious and cultural identity and patriotism to live with dignity, equality of rights and opportunities.

So much so in his poem  Allama Iqbal proudly said ” saray jahan sae acha Hindustan hamara” meaning  “ our Hindustan (india) is better than entire world”. By describing India as Hindustan, he recognized the Hindu majority of the country.

However, unfortunately for India in general and for Muslims in particular Hindu extremist Dr K.B.Hedgewar ,a great admirer of Benito Mussolini formed the RSS in 1925, along the lines of Italian fascism. Their demand was that all Indian Muslims should give up their  religion and embrace Hinduism or leave the country. This destructive ideology, in total violation of Hinduism itself was,  further defined by M.S.Golwaklkar who became head of the RSS in 1944 under the theme “ , We, or, Our Nationhood Defined “.

The growing hostility of RSS towards Muslims convinced Sir Allama Iqbal   that only a separate state could guarantee the rights of the Muslims.Thus  he mooted the idea of a separate state for Muslims in his presidential address of All India Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930.

Iqbal died in 1938. However, the idea he mooted for a separate state for Muslims did not disappear as the   Hindu hostility pushed Muslims to think deeper into their future plight and endorse Iqbal’s idea of a separate state.

Like wise Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a member of Congress who later joined the Muslim League as well and remained a member of both parties. He too was an ardent advocate of Muslim-Hindu unity and was the main force behind Lucknow Pact of 1916, about Muslim-Hindu unity. However, it did not take long for him also to realize that Hindus were playing double game with the Muslims. By sheer experience, he concluded that the Hindus were not sincere and cannot be trusted. Thus, Jinnah too changed his mind. After all this, change of minds did not come at the spur of the movement but developed over a period.

As a result, he left the Congress and started working towards a separate state for Muslims. The result was the passing of Lahore (Pakistan ) resolution   in 1940 in which Muslims of India decided unanimously to work for an Independent country under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam.

Little bit of wisdom on the part of Hindu extremists then to respect the   desires of Muslims to live in peace and harmony with equal rights and respect would have prevented the break up of India even at that stage.

In this regard large majority of peace loving Hindus too should share the responsibility as they failed to contain the RSS and assure the Muslims that both ,Muslims and Hindus could live-in peace, harmony and unity respecting each others religious and other rights. The gaps between the two communities continued to widen leading to the inevitable ultimate break of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947.

More than a million innocent people were massacred and around eight million victims who lost everything but the clothes they wore. In one of the most shameful episodes of racism, Muslims fled India while Hindus left Pakistan.

Those Muslims who perhaps had the taste of RSS treatment migrated to Pakistan while large majority of Muslims decided to stay behind in the hope sanity would prevail and the Hindus and Muslims would be able to live in peace .Their hopes were dashed as the RSS continued to unleash their vengeance on them.

The editorial comment in the Hindu of 13 September 1948 titled, “Mr. Jinnah”, published two days after Jinnah’s death stated as follows;

“The news of the sudden death of Mr. Jinnah will be received with widespread regret in this country. Till barely a twelvemonth ago he was, next to Gandhiji, the most powerful leader in undivided India. In addition, not only among his fellow-Muslims but also among members of all communities there was great admiration for his sterling personal qualities even while the goal which he pursued with increasing fanaticism was deplored. For more than half the period of nearly forty years in which he was a towering   figure in our public life, he identified himself so completely with the struggle that the Indian National Congress carried on for freedom that he came to be as nearly a popular idol as it was possible for a man so aristocratic and aloof by temperament to be.

But in those days he would have pooh-poohed the idea of the Muslim community cutting itself off from the rest of India.He was so little in sympathy with the Ali Brothers’ Khilafat campaign because it seemed to him to play with fire.He was deeply suspicious of the unrestrained passions of the mob and he was too good a student of history not to realise that once the dormant fires of fanaticism were stoked there was no knowing where it might end. He kept aloof from the Congress at the same time.

Satyagraha with its jail-going and other hardships could not appeal to a hedonist like him; but the main reason for his avoiding the Gandhian Congress was the same nervousness about the consequences of rousing mass enthusiasm.The result was that he went into political hibernation for some years.

Mr. Jinnah at his bitterest never forgot that firm friendship between the two States was not only feasible but indispensable if freedom was to be no Dead-Sea apple. It is earnestly to be hoped that the leaders of Pakistan will strive to be true to that ideal.

At the first Round Table Conference, he took a lone stand in favour of a unitary Government for India because he felt that Federation in a country made up of such diverse elements would strengthen fissiparous  tendencies. It was an irony that such a man should have become the  instrument of a policy which, by imposing an unnatural division on a  country meant by Nature to be one, has started a fatal course the end of which no man may foresee. Mr. Jinnah was too weak to withstand the momentum of the forces that he had helped to unleash. And the megalomania   , which unfortunately he came to develop, would hardly allow him to admit that he was wrong.  Thus concluded the Hindu editorial.

In fact Pakistan’s first national anthem stating   “Aey sarzameen-i- pak Zarrey terey hein aaj sitaron sey tabnak Roshan heh kehkashan sey kahin aaj teri khak.”(“Oh land of Pakistan, each particle of yours is being illuminated by stars. Even your dust has been brightened like a rainbow.”‘)was written by Jagannath Azad, a Lahore-based Hindu, acceding to the wishes of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

This national anthem sung for the first time on Pakistan Radio,Karachi, then the capital of Pakistan, served as Pakistan’s national anthem for a year and a half. After Jinnah’s death, a song written by the Urdu poet Hafiz Jallundhari was chosen as the national anthem.

As a result, since partition, Indian Muslims especially those in the north were subjected to all forms of atrocities and naked discrimination .Though attacks on Muslims began even before the partition; it gathered momentum in an organized scale after the independence in 1947.

It is open secret that India wanted to divide Pakistan the day it was born. In keeping with this longstanding design, India systematically planned, trained and assisted the separatist forces in the East Pakistan where it created the new country of Bangladesh. The shortsighted policies of Pakistan’s corrupted and degenerated ruling elite –comprised of armed forces, landowners and business conglomerates- created the conducive political environment that facilitated the smooth implementation of Indian design.

The pathetic situation in Pakistan was such that while the brave soldiers sacrificed their precious lives for the country  the then military ruler General Yahiya Khan was busy with wine and women-general Ranis, Noor Jehans, Black Beauties and Mrs Husseins.  Added to this was the reckless policies of  the then leader of Pakistan Peoples Party Zulficar Ali Bhutto  whose ambition  to become the president at any cost further  facilitated the  Indian design backed by the Jews and the West led by United States.

Thus came into being Bangladesh dealing a crippling blow to Pakistan and demoralizing Indian Muslims. Jubilant RSS began intensifying its vicious anti Muslim campaign and formed several militant front organizations such as Shiv Sena,Jan Sangh now turned BJP, Bajrang Dhal,Vishwa Hindu Prasad, VHP, Sangh Parivar and many more.

What happened to the Muslims who opted to remain in India is common knowledge Today their plight is worse than that of the low caste Hindus-Dalits.They were systematically discriminated at every field.

The RSS and its affiliates continued to attack Muslims all over .This crime was possible because they successfully penetrated the administration, armed forces, police, judiciary and all other such key sectors with their cadres and virtually eliminated Muslims.

Central governments, Congress or otherwise, failed to deal with the perpetrators and ensure the security to Muslims. Instead, they turned a blind eye. Over the years, these attacks on Muslims, often with the connivance of the police, have become order of the day. No one came to the protection of Muslims and even the United Nations, mere tool legalizing the vicious conspiracies of big powers especially against Muslims, did not do anything to chastise India.

The RSS’ hatred towards Muslims has been so deep rooted  that they even started stripping Muslim women, paraded them naked and video filmed as disclosed by the mainstream Indian media. They never thought of the feelings of the relatives of these unfortunate Muslim victims who had witnessed these shameful and heinous crimes in the name of Hinduism.

Repeatedly, the ineffective Organization of Islamic Unity, OIC, tried to take up the issue of the plight of Indian Muslims. However, nothing came out,as good relation with Indian government was more important for the Arab dictators than the plight of the Indian Muslims. As a result, the Indian Muslims continued to suffer .

Organised violence against Muslims has been a common feature in India. Some reports even estimate total number of attacks on Muslims all over India since partition at around 40,000, most of them organised and orchestrated by the RSS and its front organisations.

Six decades later, today people are waking up to the damages caused by the destructive communal politics of Hindu politicians. Highlighting this, in the aftermath of the attack  on Mumbai on 26 November, 2008,Mumbai  teenage school girls told the NDTV in one voice that they-Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others -are friends and living happily and do not want the politicians to divide them and cause this havoc.  This is the only hope for this great country.

Under the title” Life Time too Short to Forget”, the Hindu highlighted on Dec. 14, 2008   what the RSS and its front organizations have been doing in the name of Hinduism;

According to this report ,on February 18, 1983, in the barbaric genocide organized in Nellie in Assam, just 40 km from Guwahati , 2,191 Muslim settlers originally from Bangladesh were slaughtered, leaving 370 children orphaned and their homes in 16 villages destroyed. As the survivors spoke one by one before our gathering a quarter century later, all of us who heard them — including officials, academics, social workers — were completely stunned and ashamed by the enormity and immediacy of their suffering today, which retained an urgency as though they had only very recently suffered the unspeakable cruelties that they gave words to, not 25 years earlier. The bodies of many were twisted and deformed by inadequately treated injuries from the assaults by machetes and daggers; others pulled back their clothes to expose frightening scars of the attacks of a generation earlier.

Hazara Khatun, with scars of a dagger attack on her face that she survived in 1983, sat on the ground before us and pointed to her empty lap. “I was cradling my child here”, she said in a low voice. “They chopped him into two, down the middle”.

Another widow Alekjaan Biwi, was far less calm. Her body was twisted, and we could all see that she had lost her psychological equilibrium. Eleven members of her family were slaughtered in the massacre, and she acted out for us how the mob had attacked them, how she had cowered and hidden herself, how she was discovered and wounded, and how she survived even though scarred and deformed for life. “I have no one in the world,” she concluded quietly.

In his early thirties, Mohammed Monoruddin began to cry inconsolably as soon as he sat before us. “My brothers, sisters were all killed, hacked into pieces,” he recalled. “I was seven years old then. I saw my parents slaughtered in front of me. I saw another woman being killed and her child snatched from her hands and thrown in fire. I wept in terror all day. The CRPF came in the evening and rescued me. Later we came to know that our house was torched. Nothing was left. All our belongings and stores of rice were consumed by the fire. My elder brother, who was in Nagaon, brought me up. But I feel so lonely.”

Many others spoke of their loneliness. Noon Nahar Begum was 10 years old, and when the killings started, she tried to run away but was attacked and badly wounded. She was hospitalized for two months, and her mother and four siblings were murdered. “They were butchered here in the place where we are standing today,” she said, adding: “I have found no peace of mind for the last 25 years. I need justice for my peace. Justice is important because it was such a terrible crime. I feel lonely and miss my family…” Babool Ahmad, a tailor, was two years old when he lost his parents. He was brought up by his grandparents, whereas his sisters were raised in an SOS village.

And so the stories flowed, like a deluge of muddied waters of grief — long unaddressed and denied — gushing from a breached dam. The forgotten massacre in Nellie in 1983 established a bloody trail of open State complicity in repeated traumatic bouts of ethnic cleansing and massacres both in Assam and in India. It was followed by similar State-enabled carnages, in Delhi in 1984, Bhagalpur in 1989, Mumbai in 1993 and climaxed in Gujarat in 2002.

The government gave the survivors of Nellie compensation for each death of as little as 5,000 rupees, contrasted for instance with Rs. 7 lakhs that have been paid to survivors of the Sikh carnage of a year later in 1984. Six hundred and eighty eight criminal cases were filed in connection with Nellie organized massacre and of these 310 cases were charge-sheeted. The remaining 378 cases were closed due to the police claim of “lack of evidence”. However, all the 310 charge-sheeted cases were dropped by the AGP government as a part of Assam Accord; therefore, not a single person has even had to face trial for the gruesome massacre. Some lives are clearly deemed by the State of being of little worth compared to others”.

To cite the few other incidents, for example, Gujarat that should have been a shining example for Hindu-Muslim unity as the two communities had coexisted in harmony for centuries, had been foremost in their attacks on Muslims, who were among the first traders to settle, prosper, assimilate and adopt a strong Gujarati identity. Unfortunately, this very success made Muslims vulnerable to the communal carnage unleashed by Hindu extremists from time to time.

On 27 February 2002, fifty-eight Hindus belonging to the VHP returning from the northern town of Ayodhya were killed when one of the carriages of the Sabarmati Express train they were travelling in was burnt at the town of Godhra.

As suggested in the subsequent police investigations politically motivated plans had been made in advance to attack the train to trigger off the anti-Muslim pogroms that resulted in the death of innocent Muslims. Many Hindus privately told media personnel that there was something far more sinister in the attack as the violence was part of a careful plan by Hindu hardliners supported by the BJP to drive Muslims out of mainstream areas in Ahmadabad and other places. They also described the attack as the culmination of Hindu extremist Sangh Parivar strategy, which left emotionally and economically shattered Muslims with nothing but their clothes they wore. The motive of this gory scary deed is the extermination of the innocent Muslim community.

The mob used knives, axes, swords, iron and wooden rods, acids, gas cylinders and all sorts of inflammable materials and almost every possible weapon to slaughter Muslims in the cities and villages. In some cases, they got the entire Muslim populations in certain areas electrocuted. In many urban centres, explosives were used to blow up houses, shops, dargahs and mosques. Structures that could not be razed by the mobs were mowed down by trucks.

Describing the carnage, columnist Praveen Swami said, “with images of charred bodies and burnt homes, what Gujarat witnessed was a fascist pogrom, conducted by organised death squads of the Hindu Right with the entire State apparatus at their disposal. The pogrom was initiated with two objectives. The first was to ensure that the State’s Muslim population remained confined to its ghettos, and the second to ensure that the authority of the Hindu Right remained stamped forever on Gujarat’s political landscape. The scale of violence was not the worst the country has seen, but its significance is unmistakable: if Hindu fascists ever wield unchecked power, Gujarat is what India might look like”.

Police sided with the mobs and turned a blind eye .In many cases the police were part of the mob. Judge after judge questioned the role of the police and their failure to prevent the anti-Muslim carnage. Of the more than 45,000 cases filed, only around 75 have been pursued while the rest were closed down citing lack of evidence.

The Supreme Court came out with a scathing attack on the Gujarat state authorities over their handling of the riot and the Chief Justice V. N. Khare said, “I have no faith left in the prosecution and the Gujarat Government”.

Independent observers and human rights groups have accused the Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a favourite protégé of L. K. Advani, as the mastermind behind the attacks on Muslims.

Babu Bajrangi of Ahmedabad, one of the major lynchpins of the 2003 Gujarat Genocide has said (on camera):

“We didn’t spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire… we hacked, burned, set on fire… we believe in setting them on fire because these bastards don’t want to be cremated, they’re afraid of it… I have just one last wish… let me be sentenced to death… I don’t care if I’m hanged… just give me two days before my hanging and I will go and have a field day in Juhapura where seven or eight lakhs [seven or eight hundred thousand] of these people stay… I will finish them off… let a few more of them die… at least twenty-five thousand to fifty thousand should die.”

Despite his heinous crime, Babu Bajrangi  is out on bail and lives the life of a respectable man in Gujarat.

As expected Narendra Modi escaped unscathed as he was let off with a mild dressing down. He  was reelected twice, and is deeply respected by India’s biggest corporate houses, Reliance and Tata.  A corporate spokesperson once said, “Modi is God.” He continues in power owing to the support from the top brass of the BJP and the RSS.

The policemen who supervised and sometimes even assisted the rampaging Hindu mobs   have been rewarded and promoted.

Muslim victims had some ray of hope when a Congress government came to power in the centre. But even the Congress government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has so far not given the Muslims any relief. Instead hailed Modi’s Gujarat as the best governed and the most business friendly state in India.

Today according to   some reports, the RSS has around 45,000 branches and more than seven million volunteers preaching its doctrine of hate across India. They include Narendra Modi,   former Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee,   L. K. Advani, and a host of other senior politicians, bureaucrats, and police and intelligence officers.

L,.K Advani went on his dangerous ‘rath yatra’ chariot journey, whipped up anti Muslim sentiments, polarised society, generated passions and destroyed  the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992  .

Advani, together with other BJP, VHP and RSS leaders, was at the Babri Majsjid premises, instigated the organised mob and razed the mosque to the ground in a very professional manner with experts; they had brought in under the guise of activists wearing yellow headbands. Groups of jubilant RSS supporters paraded through the narrow lanes chanting obscene slogans against the Muslims.

An army of civilian and paramilitary police   present were under strict instructions not to interfere with or open fire on the violent vandals. What more official encouragement, Congress government in the centre headed by then Prime Minister P.V Narasimha Rao, maintained silence allowing the mobs to commit this dastardly crime that dented the secular image of this ancient country of   diverse culture and rich heritage?

The demolition of the Masjid triggered off nationwide religious riots and kiled,   according to official sources,more than 3,000,mainly Muslims. However, the exact number of Muslims killed countrywide will never be known, as those spelling out the official figures were the very same people behind the carnage. The bloodshed was the most serious threat to India’s secular identity since independence in 1947.

In April 2001 Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande described the demolition of the mosque in April 2001 as a pre-meditated and well-planned exercise carried out by experts who knew “structural engineering” – apparent from the fact that the domes of the mosque fell from the base.

Lambasting L.K.Advani for his destructive role in national affairs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on  24 March, 2009 that” Advani played a “prominent role”in the demolition of the Babri Masjid, in Ayodhya and presided over Gujarat riots that killed several thousand Muslims .

This very same Advani is the opposition leader in the corrupt to the core, communalised, commercialised and criminalised democracy often described as the largest in the world.

Meanwhile in Kashmir, the traditionally gentle and peaceful Muslims, remain brutalised and oppressed by the Indian armed forces. Political manoeuvrings of the Central Government in Delhi, the rigging of elections in 1987 and 1996, years of political frustrations, economic problems and poverty, combined with many other factors, led to the 1989 uprising, which became a crucial turning point in the Kashmiri Muslims’ freedom struggle. Instead of seeking peaceful solutions the Central government responded with an iron-fisted policy of brutal oppression.

Highlighting the atrocities, even the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said at a press conference in New Delhi, after a visit to Kashmir in 1991, that ‘the brutalities of the Indian army and the Central Reserve Police meant that India may have lost Kashmir’. It was often said that barbarism inflicted  demonstrated the hatred and intolerance towards Kashmiri Muslims. This was reiterated by former Defence Minister George Fernandez when he remarked in 1990 “I do not believe that any foreign hand engineered the Kashmir problem. The problem was created by us”.

Raping women became a daily occurrence to break the spirit and soul of Kashmiri Muslims. The exact number of rapes will never be known as Kashmiri women who prefer death to dishonour, refuse to speak about their shameful ordeal and prefer to suffer the indignity in silence. Yet cases of rape, including those in front of family members and children by Indian forces were documented by many human rights organisations. One such document was The Rape of Kashmiri Women by Shabnam Qayyum. According to these reports, men were herded into nearby fields for questioning while women at home were raped at will. Severe crackdown and atrocities intensified anti-Indian feelings, triggering off anti-India demonstrations .

In 1998, Jammu And Kashmir State Governor K. V. Krishna Rao admitted that Indian forces had been responsible for the massacre of the Kashmir people on several occasions and that he felt deeply for the victims of these human rights violations.

Once beautiful Srinagar is now a dirty and dusty ghost city with uncollected rubbish littering the roadsides. Life sputters in the lanes and by lanes, while streets, full of potholes, are deserted and the charred remains of many beautiful buildings speak volumes for the unfolding tragedy. Dal Lake is thick and stagnant with weeds.  Almost every Kashmiri has a tale of wore to tell of a family member being grabbed by security forces, not to be seen again.

The late Bertrand Russel, the world-renowned philosopher, once said, “When one observes that the high idealism of the Indian government in international matters breaking down completely with the question of Kashmir, it is difficult to avoid a feeling of despair”. This is the plight of Muslims in the beautiful valley.

Over the years today  Indian Muslims have been marginalised in almost every field.  The report of Sachar Committee, appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Government, revealed the extent of Muslim community’s deprivation and neglect.Their plight is worse than the Hindu backward class.

Muslims were attacked, arrested, detained, tortured and killed with impunity and agitation against police brutality has become a daily occurrence. Today Muslims do not feel safe to live in Hindu majority localities where they are not allowed to buy or lease a property. Well-known actress Shabana Azmi was denied the purchase of a house, not once but twice, in Hindu localities on the ground that she was a Muslim. Muslims who lived for generations in the midst of Hindus started shifting to predominantly Muslim majority areas, despite appalling conditions, to avoid harassment by Hindus.

In the midst comes the honeymoon between India and Israel, sworn enemy of Islam and Muslims. These growing ties between two archenemies of Islam already proved detrimental to the interest of the battered and bruised Muslims all over India. The question is how long the Hindu fascists could continue these oppressions without provoking Muslims to seek means, peaceful or otherwise, to restore their rights.

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