“If there is heaven on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!” – Firdaus
Little did the heaven know about man’s greed – so little that it carved the heaven into a slaughterhouse where heroes live and rise from time to time, just to be buried forever.
What Maharaja Hari Singh initiated in 1947 was to leave profound scars on the generations to come. The day he dismissed his Prime Minister, Ram Chandra Kak – the Muslim League knew of the horrors to follow so Quaid-e-Azam wrote Maharaja Hari a letter, that he may acknowledge Jinnah’s apprehension of his decision if he may decide to take it. But what Jinnah forgot was that the Maharaja was now in the pinfold of lustrous perks thrown to him by the Indian government. Maharaja rejected Jinnah’s proposal and just like that, thousands of lives were put on the stake, just like that. The extremists took upon themselves to cleanse Jammu and Kashmir off Muslims and by September 1947, Azad Kashmir Government claimed that over 200,000 Muslims were killed.
Then came the decade of death for the Kashmiris. In 1962, troops from China and India clashed in a territory claimed by both. India’s lust for Kashmir set it into war with China. The infamous Sino-Indian war brought the Hindu government to its knees and shoved their arrogance into the earth. But then again, lust never dies. Just three years after defeat, India entered another war over Kashmir – this time with Pakistan. The 1965 war left hundreds of dead on both sides but the traumas felt by the Kashmiris bid farewell to their desire to live peacefully.
The 1987 state elections saw unity of Muslim leaders against the oppression of India backed groups in Jammu. Numerous Muslim parties formed Muslim Union Front contesting directly against the much stronger National Conference supported by the governing Indian National Congress party. Such lustrous greed ruled the Indian Government that when the Jammu Muslims asked for their rights bloodlessly through elections, they were cheated on. The elections were rigged on a high scale, resulting in Jammu’s attempt for a peaceful plebiscite to crush away. Now, Jammu stood firmly with Kashmir. Even the ruler of National Conference party said:
‘I remember that there was massive rigging in 1987 elections. The losing candidates were declared winners. It shook the ordinary people’s faith in the elections and the democratic process’
The 1990s gave rise to a number of freedom parties who were convinced that the Indian forces would never allow Kashmir to join Pakistan without armed struggle. Indian government wasn’t ready to allow such movements to prosper and decided it was their duty to put down such movements with oppression and persecutions. Hundreds of Kashmiris lost their lives just because they weren’t ready to live under the Indian tyranny. Their children were put into prisons, their men executed and their women sold as slaves if any family member was doubted to be a participant in the freedom movement. Pakistan heard the cries of the helpless when the international organizations decided it was India’s internal affairs. The Kargil War of 1999 pushed the Indian forces to almost defeat but then again, the international organizations couldn’t bear to see the Kashmiris given their rights and US president Bill Clinton forced Pakistan to back up.
Even now, the Kashmiris are brutally murdered because they resist Indian rule. The Indian forces on the grounds of terrorism assassinated Burhan Wani, the freedom fighter who stood up for his people. Thousands showed up to his funeral and a wave of protests initiated. Such is the impact of the rebellion that the Indian government enforced an information black out, raiding newspaper printing facilities and seizing copies of newspapers. Leader of the Indian Opposition, Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad in the House is quoted to have said that the unrest in Kashmir was unprecedented, something even the 1990s had not witnessed. Over 50 people have died and more than a thousand injured in the curfew imposed by the Indian forces. Pellet bullets are used on Kashmiri protestors that blind them for life. Social media posts are removed if they support Kashmiris. The international organizations are silent on this matter while Kashmir is slowly transforming into ‘hell on earth’.
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About the author: Shahzaib Awan is the CEO of Bisouv Group and House of Entremuse. He is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Jacobs University, Germany. He regularly writes for a number of newspapers including The Express Tribune, DAWN, The Nation, and Dusk