Placed before the Hon’ble Members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee
On 22 Oct 2019 Dr Nitasha Kaul, Assistant Professor University of Westminster, placed her testimony before the House of the US Representative Committee on Foreign Affairs. A great deal of consternation was caused in Pakistan and London by revocation of temporary Art 370, of the Indian Constitution. As a consequence, the move of the State government to keep in suspended animation phone connectivity can be understood. A responsible government saves her citizens, by curtailing the reach and capacity of trouble makers, to incite violence.
If trouble makers have rights, so do ordinary people have who while living in hinterlands have borne the brunt of terrorism. During nights the villagers are at the receiving ends from the armed insurgents and what Pakistan calls: Non-State actors.
This academic presentation is mostly fiction, erected on the foundations of Proto Fascism, RSS Hindutva and Wail of Kashmir history to convince a very respectful committee to form an opinion detrimental to the very defence of Human Rights per se.
It is not my point to cross check her arguments with the graffiti outside the meeting Hall: Past is the prologue; future is the Story we have to write now; yet she refers to 1922 New York Times criticism of what Hitler stood for. It has become a fashion now for those who are frugal on the Truth but long on hyperbole to refer to Hitler but hide King Leopold’s ugly face in the lumber room of history!
1. If a people are not capable of defending their territory, their fate is sealed ab initio and that is what happened till Kashmir was sold to Hindu King; like Florida, Louisiana were sold. The sale deeds were executed at almost the same time in world history
2. That Kashmir was a depopulated-dying piece of land; population of Srinagar having been reduced to 90,000 souls only at the time the Dogra king took over in 1846 AD.
3. That the first thing he did was to go for State procurement of food grains to ensure food at fixed prices. Shali Store is his creation which continues even today. It is the very first example in history of the Indian sub -continent, when a King genuinely understood the problems of the people. So, the popular claim that the Dogras were cruel is not true.
4. That there were no roads in Kashmir and Sri Pratap Singh in 1885, was the first king who invested in construction of JV and BC roads. His contribution in modernising a backward pugnacious place into a peaceful progressive state is much eclipsed and less appreciated period of Kashmir history.
5. Misfortune of we Kashmiris is that Pakistan tried to take possession of Kashmir forcibly in Oct 1947. She never reversed the aggression although UNO had categorically opined that for any plebiscite to happen the aggression has to be vacated. So, the opinion of the people of Kashmir stands highjacked by Pakistan not India.
6. The Islamic Jihad reached Kashmir which flushed the Kashmiri Pandit minority community from their homes and hearths in some months in early 1990. If Genocide Watch or any other HR NGO was in hibernation in 1990, that is our misfortune. I belong to the aggrieved community as does Dr Natasha Kaul. Imagine a Kurd Professor from Oxford stands up before a UN committee and justifies what Turkey is doing now, against the Kurds!
7. That in my web site surprisemajor.com I had to leave for posterity my evidence about the misfortune that befell us Kashmiri Pandits because in every conflict the stories of refugees are lost.
8. That it is for the first time a very responsible and caring government has assumed office in New Delhi and forces of disruption, deceit and subterfuge stand enfeebled. The support for the present government is support for democracy and fair play.
9. Had media in Kashmir, and in 1989 there was no internet at that point of time, gagged media the genocide could have been avoided. Since armed struggle was outsourced, the violation of privacy of people can’t be denied. In fact, as the reports from Kashmir started pouring in the villagers were living in constant fear in hey days of militancy. Even today people fear guns, brain washed young- men especially ruthless Pakistani and Afghan privateers.
10. What wrong has Indian Parliament done if it has taken an alternative legislative route to discourage misguided local youth. The guns have fallen silent for the time being. The young men who were born post 1990 and who have not seen peace till now, need a period so that detoxification of their violent minds could be achieved. Internet lockdown is in itself serving the cause of humanity by saving mothers from losing their sons. By casting aspersions on the Indian Parliament, she has not only inadvertently degraded the institution of democracy but also politicised a very noble cause.
11. Dr Kaul has intentionally subverted the argument by not appreciating the reluctance of GoI not to use drones or Air Force in fighting terrorism in mountainous regions as other parties are doing in Pak-Afghan area. The emotional facet of HR violations can’t be seen only from the point of view of Rights in isolation. After all Kashmir militancy was fostered, armed and trained in Pakistan.
12. Kashmiri Muslims have temporarily lost their right to protest. But Kashmiri minority Pandit community have lost their geography and history, their institutions and sacred places, their social connectivity and language. The genocide of KP community is total. The world should take note of it.
13. Dr Kaul is living in UK but is very much concerned about future of Indian Muslims who have multiplied from 30 million in 1947 to 190 million now, while in Pakistan minorities have totally been decimated. She not only enjoys the peace and beauty of Europe but also escapes tyranny of Indian climate and poverty. She eats the cake and possesses it too!
14. Dr Kaul is concerned about future of Indian democracy which is an unnecessary worry because we have now graduated from gullible enslaved level to a wise caring country.
15. Dr Kaul has chosen her side and shown considerable love for Kashmiri Muslims which I appreciate. But for me, choosing sides is a very difficult proposition because I have lived in Kashmir for 42 years and my love for Muslims is as much substantial as love for my own dispossessed community is.
Submitted. Let the truth prevail. S L Pandita