Kashmir: The Whole Truth

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63

Perspective

 

My two neighbors have occupied my home

My two neighbors have occupied my home

One the roof other the rooms

One the roof other the rooms

I the owner

I the owner

Am forced to stand out in the yard

Am forced to stand out in the yard

And watch helplessly

And watch helplessly


This poem was written long time ego by a Kashmiri poet Ahmed Shamim in PAHARI, the mother tongue of the majority of British Kashmiris, also called Mirpuri in Britain. Due to my limited poetic English the above translation does not transform the message into its entirety, particularly the cultural under currents in the original verse. However, it does explain the daily skirmishes between the armies of India and Pakistan on the bloody line in Kashmir. Whether it is the Indians or Pakistanis who open fire, it is the Kashmiris who get killed, wounded or forced to become refugees in their own land on both sides of the bloody line of division, now in 53rd year of its existence. This article attempts to explore and explain the Kashmir question through the ideology and struggle for unification and independence as it has been evolved since the emergence of popular politics in 1930s. What is Kashmir Problem?

While the rulers of India and Pakistan would like the world to believe that Kashmir is fundamentally a bilateral territorial issue, for us Kashmiris the problem is rooted in the occupation and division of our country with a history of over five thousand years as an independent entity. Hence a question of over 13 million peoples right to national liberation, unification and independence. On 15th of August 1947 when India and Pakistan were born out of an anti colonial movement, Kashmir like over 500 other princely states (not part of the British India) had number of options available. To remain independent, join India or Pakistan or to forge a federation or confederation of all or some of them. Indeed this last option was considered however never agreed. Among other options majority of states too fragile to exist as independent joined either India or Pakistan voluntarily or were compelled to take this course. In the case of Kashmir, the ruling King Maharaja Hari Singh representing the historical construction of Jammu and Kashmir State, his Prime Minister Pundit Kak Chand, all Kashmiri political parties born out of a democratic political process stood for independence. Indeed the government of Kashmir led by the Maharaja offered a stand still agreement to both of the new neighbouring governments. Pakistan accepted it while India asked for more time to consider the offer. At this stage Kashmir existed as an independent country with an internal political movement for democratisation and responsible governance. Over half a dozen political parties reflecting all colours of the modern political spectrum featured the political struggle. The major political parties, which formed and led the public opinion at this stage, included All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC), All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (AJKNC) and All Jammu and Kashmir Mazdoor Kissan (workers and peasants) Conference (AJKMKC). Maharaja had no choice but to negotiate with Kashmiri political parties to work out a power sharing formula. Two of the major three parties mentioned above agreed to share power with Maharaja as a symbolic head. The Mazdoor Kissan Conference, however demanded a complete abolition of the monarchy. The accession issue had no significance amongst the mainstream Kashmiri political process and debates. The issue at the centre of the political activism in Kashmir was how to transform a despotic rule into democratic, responsible and in the case of MKC a socialist one. Ideologically Muslim Conference claimed to represent the sentiments of Muslims of Kashmir hence closer to the Indian Muslim League. The National Conference on the other hand shared ideological features with the Indian National Congress. MKC carried the banner of leftist perspective. None of these Kashmiri parties however had any organisational ties with those in the British India or demonstrated any wish for accession to either India or Pakistan until after the armed invasion of the newly independent rival states. In fact the acting President and the Secretary of the Muslim Conference Choudhary Hamid Ullah and Professor M Ishaq Qureshi respectively met Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of Pakistan Movement on 11th of July 1947. According to Prof. Ishaq who I met in Britain in 1998 and recorded his memoirs this was the first official meeting of Quiad e Azam in his capacity of the governor general of Pakistan. In this meeting Mr Jinnah strongley advised these Kashmiris to back Maharaja’s wish to stay independent. A statement outlining Muslim League’s policy on the issue of princely states was issued and printed in various newspapers including Pakistan Times founded by Mr Jinnah and edited at that time by the famous progressive poet Faiz Ahamed Faiz on 18th of July 1947. National Conference and MKC also expressed similar views on several occasions. So with the rise of Indian flag on 15th of August 1947, Kashmir became independent in every sense of the word. Any treaties with British crown lapsed, Maharaja in control of government affairs and Kashmiri political parties engaged in a democratic struggle to gain power Kashmir was moving towards a democratic society. For two months the power struggle in Kashmir took various turns including the revolts and subsequent declarations of provisional democratic governments in Gilgit- Baltistan and in the areas later termed as ‘Azad’ (free) Kashmir in October 1947. What proves that political struggle in Kashmir was separate and distinct from the happenings in the British India was the fact which leaders such as M.K. Gandhi also recognised and praised that Kashmir remained an island of communal harmony and ethnic co existence in the sea of blood unleashed by the communal zeal and bigotry in the regions known at that time as ‘The British India’. Up till October 20th 1947 no communal violence took place amongst Kashmiris. The communal tension which later grown into massacres of Hindus in Mirpur and Muslims in Jammu city was brought in the State with the influx of refugees forced from their homes in India and Pakistan and sought asylum in the relatively peaceful Kashmir. They were followed by the communally motivated invasion of the tribes from Pakistan and the Gin Singhies from India. Kashmiris of all religion even at this stage were not involved in communal riots accept some incidents of attacking moneylenders who were predominantly Hindus.

Pakistan invaded to save the Muslim ‘brethren’ from the Hindu ruler and the Indians to protect the secular character of Kashmiri society under attack from Pakistani forces. Both occupied chunks of the state of Jammu and Kashmir while Kashmiris, the owner of the home were forced to take the course of action their new masters prescribed for them. From then on the real issue that of the restoration of the unification and independence of Kashmir has continuously and consciously been mystified through philosophical, contrasting and conflicting claims over Kashmir. The land and the people of Kashmir are constantly used as the pawn in the game of strengthening Indian and Pakistani nationalisms at the cost of the lives and living of Kashmiris as well as those of Indian and Pakistani peoples.

Had the roots of Kashmir problem been in the issue of accession or ideological affinities of two major Kashmiri parties with the Indian Secularists or Pakistani Islamists, the division of Kashmiri would have solved the Kashmir Isuue. For division presented a prefect picture of the regional, ideological and religious differences in Kashmir. The secular and religious elements in Kashmiri society which preferred India over Pakistan went under Indian and those seen as favouring Pakistan under Pakistani occupation. The National Conference led by Sheikh Abdullah was given charge of the affairs in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) while the Muslim Conference led by Sardar Ibrahim was given power to rule in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (POK). The Gilgit and Baltistan were brought under the direct control of Pakistan through the notorious Karachi Agreement on 28th of April 1948 between Sardar Ibrahim and Mushtaq Gumani the Pakistani Minister for Kashmir affairs.

But what went wrong that the honeymoon of this marriage between the Kashmiri parties sharing ideologies with the Indian and Pakistani ruling parties which was presented as a ‘love marriage’ was over within five years? Sheikh Abdullah the acclaimed friend of Nehru was ridiculed and imprisoned. Indeed Nehru branded him as mentally disturbed because he was working for an independent Kashmir. Sheikh’s counterpart across the line divided Kashmir was also thrown out of the ‘presidency’ in the very year 1953. That is where the origins of present day uprising in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and the rise of over a dozen pro independence political organisations in the Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (POK), hence of the current Kashmir problem are rooted. Now if the problem was that of secularism and Kashmiri people led by Sheikh Abdullah wished to join secular India why then Nehru the champion of the Indian secular movement had to put his dear friend Abdullah in prison? And if it was a problem of Muslim majority state going to Pakistan why the Muslim brethren ruling Pakistan needed to grab the leader of Kashmir Muslim Conference from neck and send him to his home in Poonch, the home of Muslim revolt against Maharaja just six years back?

Well the answer is simple. The contradiction between Kashmir and the Indian or Pakistani states which appeared repeatedly in the demand for plebiscite and self determination was never and is not in the secular or religious rhetoric Kashmiris did or did not share with India or Pakistan. It always was, and is, in the will of Kashmiri peoples for national independence and its suppression by the Indian and Pakistani states. The history of Kashmir since its division in 1947 clearly proves this argument.

Background of the struggle for Unification and Independence As alluded above the division of Kashmir seemed perfect as for as the ideological proximity of Kashmiri political parties with either of the political forces in the British India was concerned. It did provide an opportunity to both Indian and Pakistani rulers to incorporate Kashmiris in the federal structures of the newly formed ‘nation states’. For Kashmiris although willing strongly for self-government, did not put up any violent organised fight against the Indian army in the Indian occupied areas or against Pakistani army in the Pakistani occupied areas. National Conference with its stronghold in IOK and Muslim Conference in POK convinced people that the armed involvement of the Indian and Pakistani states has made the goal of independence an unachievable one. Indeed the struggle that gave birth to these two mass political parties in Kashmir seemed concluded. They accepted the division with each ruling a part of Kashmir autonomously. However, as the events immediately after this apparently permanent division of Kashmir demonstrated, this was not a solution the rulers of Indian and Pakistan had in mind. As mentioned above the initial recognition of autonomous Kashmiri governments across the cease-fire line soon proved a transient gesture. The rulers of both India and Pakistan wanted to take it all in order to satisfy their mighty egos rooted in the lust of plunder and coated in their narrow nationalist and communalist rivalry. The Indian National Conference and Pakistan Muslim League, which millions cheered as ‘liberators’ from the British colonialism and many welcomed them into Kashmir, soon began transforming into ‘monstrous colonial forces’ as for as the peoples of Kashmir and their right to independence was concerned. What unfolded on both sides of the divided Kashmir is the story needs to be comprehended by all with a slightest interest in a just resolution of Kashmir question and bringing peace in the land where heaven meets earth.

Deposing the ‘heads’ of Kashmiri governments by the Indian and Pakistani rulers previously claiming as ‘their own’ in the IOK and POK was the first major problem to emerge in a relationship otherwise claimed as based on ideological love and solidarity. Ousted Kashmiri leaders on both sides did not take it lying down. Both fought back and backed by the people. The resistance was brutally crushed using the very armies, which only five years ego entered into Kashmir as saviours. This episode featured by months of clashes between Kashmiri protesting against the actions of Delhi and Karachi generated the earliest waves of public resentment against the new set up. The National and Muslim Conferences which in their respective strongholds cheered the armies of India and Pakistan as protectors and liberators now vigorously attacked them as butchers and occupiers. The flame of independence, which was considered dead and buried, rekindled.

However, for number of reasons, National Conference and Muslim Conference were no longer in a position to take the fight for independence further in a new environment. Firstly, both were quick to ditch the goal of liberation with the rise of earliest possibility of given power in their respective strongholds. The taste of power later moulded them further from instruments of liberation into the tools of ruling. They wanted to rule the respective parts of Kashmir with least intervention in the internal affairs from their Indian and Pakistani masters. Secondly, there was no shortage of cadres from their own rank and file to replace them regardless of the conditions Delhi and Karachi wanted to impose. Thirdly, Kashmir was now divided and peoples on both sides who fought bravely against Maharaja system for over three decades although unhappy with the situation were not in a position to fight Indian or Pakistani armies. The fall of Maharaja system certainly opened up some avenues for new freedoms and opportunities to get on with their lives and not indulge into the fights which they viewed as of power struggle (commonly described as for Kursi, the chair) between Kashmiris and non Kashmiri politicians. In other words the Kashmiri generation grown up fighting Maharaja system rightly sensed that political struggle in Kashmir has been emptied of the radical and revolutionary credentials and has become a game of power hungry politicians.

This belief of people was reinforced further when leaders such as Sheikh Abdullah and Sardar Ibrahim later joined by the Bakhshis in IOK and Qayuums in POK, became habitual of using the slogan of freedom merely to deceive Kashmiris in order to blackmail their Indian and Pakistani masters. Various attempts by the leaders of the Muslim Conference in POK and the formation of Plebiscite Front by Sheikh Abdullah in IOK clearly reflected this new methodology adopted by this breed of Kashmiri politicians. They wanted to capitalise on the clout they earned earlier during the fight against Maharaja system but not to achieve the goal they abandoned é the independence of Kashmir. This goal was to be strove for by the new generation of Kashmiris. Aware of the pre division struggle of their parents but not comfortable with its out come, this generation initially formed a minority on the both sides of the divided Kashmir. The resentment that agitated this generation of Kashmiris was generated by the derogatory treatment Kashmiris received from the Indians and Pakistani rulers. The reasons for this were then explored and explained in the unequal economic and political relationship of Kashmir with India and Pakistan. A new consciousness emerged laying the basis for a modern national liberation struggle. (To be concluded)

However, the evolution of Kashmiri consciousness under the Indian and Pakistani occupation although share the element of liberation, it has developed numerous differences. Reflecting the nature of occupation on each side, these differences, if not addressed by the pro independence Kashmiri intellectuals and activists, pose severe challenges to the struggle for unification and independence of Kashmir. This is illustrated in the next article.

I hope that we will all use words and take actions that will heal and support each other and try to maintain our calm and humanity in the face of incalculable suffering and sadness.

This poem was written long time ego by a Kashmiri poet Ahmed Shamim in PAHARI, the mother tongue of the majority of British Kashmiris, also called Mirpuri in Britain. Due to my limited poetic English the above translation does not transform the message into its entirety, particularly the cultural under currents in the original verse. However, it does explain the daily skirmishes between the armies of India and Pakistan on the bloody line in Kashmir. Whether it is the Indians or Pakistanis who open fire, it is the Kashmiris who get killed, wounded or forced to become refugees in their own land on both sides of the bloody line of division, now in 53rd year of its existence. This article attempts to explore and explain the Kashmir question through the ideology and struggle for unification and independence as it has been evolved since the emergence of popular politics in 1930s. What is Kashmir Problem?

While the rulers of India and Pakistan would like the world to believe that Kashmir is fundamentally a bilateral territorial issue, for us Kashmiris the problem is rooted in the occupation and division of our country with a history of over five thousand years as an independent entity. Hence a question of over 13 million peoples right to national liberation, unification and independence. On 15th of August 1947 when India and Pakistan were born out of an anti colonial movement, Kashmir like over 500 other princely states (not part of the British India) had number of options available. To remain independent, join India or Pakistan or to forge a federation or confederation of all or some of them. Indeed this last option was considered however never agreed. Among other options majority of states too fragile to exist as independent joined either India or Pakistan voluntarily or were compelled to take this course. In the case of Kashmir, the ruling King Maharaja Hari Singh representing the historical construction of Jammu and Kashmir State, his Prime Minister Pundit Kak Chand, all Kashmiri political parties born out of a democratic political process stood for independence. Indeed the government of Kashmir led by the Maharaja offered a stand still agreement to both of the new neighbouring governments. Pakistan accepted it while India asked for more time to consider the offer. At this stage Kashmir existed as an independent country with an internal political movement for democratisation and responsible governance. Over half a dozen political parties reflecting all colours of the modern political spectrum featured the political struggle. The major political parties, which formed and led the public opinion at this stage, included All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (AJKMC), All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (AJKNC) and All Jammu and Kashmir Mazdoor Kissan (workers and peasants) Conference (AJKMKC). Maharaja had no choice but to negotiate with Kashmiri political parties to work out a power sharing formula. Two of the major three parties mentioned above agreed to share power with Maharaja as a symbolic head. The Mazdoor Kissan Conference, however demanded a complete abolition of the monarchy. The accession issue had no significance amongst the mainstream Kashmiri political process and debates. The issue at the centre of the political activism in Kashmir was how to transform a despotic rule into democratic, responsible and in the case of MKC a socialist one. Ideologically Muslim Conference claimed to represent the sentiments of Muslims of Kashmir hence closer to the Indian Muslim League. The National Conference on the other hand shared ideological features with the Indian National Congress. MKC carried the banner of leftist perspective. None of these Kashmiri parties however had any organisational ties with those in the British India or demonstrated any wish for accession to either India or Pakistan until after the armed invasion of the newly independent rival states. In fact the acting President and the Secretary of the Muslim Conference Choudhary Hamid Ullah and Professor M Ishaq Qureshi respectively met Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of Pakistan Movement on 11th of July 1947. According to Prof. Ishaq who I met in Britain in 1998 and recorded his memoirs this was the first official meeting of Quiad e Azam in his capacity of the governor general of Pakistan. In this meeting Mr Jinnah strongley advised these Kashmiris to back Maharaja’s wish to stay independent. A statement outlining Muslim League’s policy on the issue of princely states was issued and printed in various newspapers including Pakistan Times founded by Mr Jinnah and edited at that time by the famous progressive poet Faiz Ahamed Faiz on 18th of July 1947. National Conference and MKC also expressed similar views on several occasions. So with the rise of Indian flag on 15th of August 1947, Kashmir became independent in every sense of the word. Any treaties with British crown lapsed, Maharaja in control of government affairs and Kashmiri political parties engaged in a democratic struggle to gain power Kashmir was moving towards a democratic society. For two months the power struggle in Kashmir took various turns including the revolts and subsequent declarations of provisional democratic governments in Gilgit- Baltistan and in the areas later termed as ‘Azad’ (free) Kashmir in October 1947. What proves that political struggle in Kashmir was separate and distinct from the happenings in the British India was the fact which leaders such as M.K. Gandhi also recognised and praised that Kashmir remained an island of communal harmony and ethnic co existence in the sea of blood unleashed by the communal zeal and bigotry in the regions known at that time as ‘The British India’. Up till October 20th 1947 no communal violence took place amongst Kashmiris. The communal tension which later grown into massacres of Hindus in Mirpur and Muslims in Jammu city was brought in the State with the influx of refugees forced from their homes in India and Pakistan and sought asylum in the relatively peaceful Kashmir. They were followed by the communally motivated invasion of the tribes from Pakistan and the Gin Singhies from India. Kashmiris of all religion even at this stage were not involved in communal riots accept some incidents of attacking moneylenders who were predominantly Hindus.

Pakistan invaded to save the Muslim ‘brethren’ from the Hindu ruler and the Indians to protect the secular character of Kashmiri society under attack from Pakistani forces. Both occupied chunks of the state of Jammu and Kashmir while Kashmiris, the owner of the home were forced to take the course of action their new masters prescribed for them. From then on the real issue that of the restoration of the unification and independence of Kashmir has continuously and consciously been mystified through philosophical, contrasting and conflicting claims over Kashmir. The land and the people of Kashmir are constantly used as the pawn in the game of strengthening Indian and Pakistani nationalisms at the cost of the lives and living of Kashmiris as well as those of Indian and Pakistani peoples.

Had the roots of Kashmir problem been in the issue of accession or ideological affinities of two major Kashmiri parties with the Indian Secularists or Pakistani Islamists, the division of Kashmiri would have solved the Kashmir Isuue. For division presented a prefect picture of the regional, ideological and religious differences in Kashmir. The secular and religious elements in Kashmiri society which preferred India over Pakistan went under Indian and those seen as favouring Pakistan under Pakistani occupation. The National Conference led by Sheikh Abdullah was given charge of the affairs in the Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) while the Muslim Conference led by Sardar Ibrahim was given power to rule in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (POK). The Gilgit and Baltistan were brought under the direct control of Pakistan through the notorious Karachi Agreement on 28th of April 1948 between Sardar Ibrahim and Mushtaq Gumani the Pakistani Minister for Kashmir affairs.

But what went wrong that the honeymoon of this marriage between the Kashmiri parties sharing ideologies with the Indian and Pakistani ruling parties which was presented as a ‘love marriage’ was over within five years? Sheikh Abdullah the acclaimed friend of Nehru was ridiculed and imprisoned. Indeed Nehru branded him as mentally disturbed because he was working for an independent Kashmir. Sheikh’s counterpart across the line divided Kashmir was also thrown out of the ‘presidency’ in the very year 1953. That is where the origins of present day uprising in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and the rise of over a dozen pro independence political organisations in the Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (POK), hence of the current Kashmir problem are rooted. Now if the problem was that of secularism and Kashmiri people led by Sheikh Abdullah wished to join secular India why then Nehru the champion of the Indian secular movement had to put his dear friend Abdullah in prison? And if it was a problem of Muslim majority state going to Pakistan why the Muslim brethren ruling Pakistan needed to grab the leader of Kashmir Muslim Conference from neck and send him to his home in Poonch, the home of Muslim revolt against Maharaja just six years back?

Well the answer is simple. The contradiction between Kashmir and the Indian or Pakistani states which appeared repeatedly in the demand for plebiscite and self determination was never and is not in the secular or religious rhetoric Kashmiris did or did not share with India or Pakistan. It always was, and is, in the will of Kashmiri peoples for national independence and its suppression by the Indian and Pakistani states. The history of Kashmir since its division in 1947 clearly proves this argument.

Background of the struggle for Unification and Independence As alluded above the division of Kashmir seemed perfect as for as the ideological proximity of Kashmiri political parties with either of the political forces in the British India was concerned. It did provide an opportunity to both Indian and Pakistani rulers to incorporate Kashmiris in the federal structures of the newly formed ‘nation states’. For Kashmiris although willing strongly for self-government, did not put up any violent organised fight against the Indian army in the Indian occupied areas or against Pakistani army in the Pakistani occupied areas. National Conference with its stronghold in IOK and Muslim Conference in POK convinced people that the armed involvement of the Indian and Pakistani states has made the goal of independence an unachievable one. Indeed the struggle that gave birth to these two mass political parties in Kashmir seemed concluded. They accepted the division with each ruling a part of Kashmir autonomously. However, as the events immediately after this apparently permanent division of Kashmir demonstrated, this was not a solution the rulers of Indian and Pakistan had in mind. As mentioned above the initial recognition of autonomous Kashmiri governments across the cease-fire line soon proved a transient gesture. The rulers of both India and Pakistan wanted to take it all in order to satisfy their mighty egos rooted in the lust of plunder and coated in their narrow nationalist and communalist rivalry. The Indian National Conference and Pakistan Muslim League, which millions cheered as ‘liberators’ from the British colonialism and many welcomed them into Kashmir, soon began transforming into ‘monstrous colonial forces’ as for as the peoples of Kashmir and their right to independence was concerned. What unfolded on both sides of the divided Kashmir is the story needs to be comprehended by all with a slightest interest in a just resolution of Kashmir question and bringing peace in the land where heaven meets earth.

Deposing the ‘heads’ of Kashmiri governments by the Indian and Pakistani rulers previously claiming as ‘their own’ in the IOK and POK was the first major problem to emerge in a relationship otherwise claimed as based on ideological love and solidarity. Ousted Kashmiri leaders on both sides did not take it lying down. Both fought back and backed by the people. The resistance was brutally crushed using the very armies, which only five years ego entered into Kashmir as saviours. This episode featured by months of clashes between Kashmiri protesting against the actions of Delhi and Karachi generated the earliest waves of public resentment against the new set up. The National and Muslim Conferences which in their respective strongholds cheered the armies of India and Pakistan as protectors and liberators now vigorously attacked them as butchers and occupiers. The flame of independence, which was considered dead and buried, rekindled.

However, for number of reasons, National Conference and Muslim Conference were no longer in a position to take the fight for independence further in a new environment. Firstly, both were quick to ditch the goal of liberation with the rise of earliest possibility of given power in their respective strongholds. The taste of power later moulded them further from instruments of liberation into the tools of ruling. They wanted to rule the respective parts of Kashmir with least intervention in the internal affairs from their Indian and Pakistani masters. Secondly, there was no shortage of cadres from their own rank and file to replace them regardless of the conditions Delhi and Karachi wanted to impose. Thirdly, Kashmir was now divided and peoples on both sides who fought bravely against Maharaja system for over three decades although unhappy with the situation were not in a position to fight Indian or Pakistani armies. The fall of Maharaja system certainly opened up some avenues for new freedoms and opportunities to get on with their lives and not indulge into the fights which they viewed as of power struggle (commonly described as for Kursi, the chair) between Kashmiris and non Kashmiri politicians. In other words the Kashmiri generation grown up fighting Maharaja system rightly sensed that political struggle in Kashmir has been emptied of the radical and revolutionary credentials and has become a game of power hungry politicians.

This belief of people was reinforced further when leaders such as Sheikh Abdullah and Sardar Ibrahim later joined by the Bakhshis in IOK and Qayuums in POK, became habitual of using the slogan of freedom merely to deceive Kashmiris in order to blackmail their Indian and Pakistani masters. Various attempts by the leaders of the Muslim Conference in POK and the formation of Plebiscite Front by Sheikh Abdullah in IOK clearly reflected this new methodology adopted by this breed of Kashmiri politicians. They wanted to capitalise on the clout they earned earlier during the fight against Maharaja system but not to achieve the goal they abandoned é the independence of Kashmir. This goal was to be strove for by the new generation of Kashmiris. Aware of the pre division struggle of their parents but not comfortable with its out come, this generation initially formed a minority on the both sides of the divided Kashmir. The resentment that agitated this generation of Kashmiris was generated by the derogatory treatment Kashmiris received from the Indians and Pakistani rulers. The reasons for this were then explored and explained in the unequal economic and political relationship of Kashmir with India and Pakistan. A new consciousness emerged laying the basis for a modern national liberation struggle. (To be concluded)

However, the evolution of Kashmiri consciousness under the Indian and Pakistani occupation although share the element of liberation, it has developed numerous differences. Reflecting the nature of occupation on each side, these differences, if not addressed by the pro independence Kashmiri intellectuals and activists, pose severe challenges to the struggle for unification and independence of Kashmir. This is illustrated in the next article.

I hope that we will all use words and take actions that will heal and support each other and try to maintain our calm and humanity in the face of incalculable suffering and sadness.

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