Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
Kashmir has a been a troubled land for as far as I can remember (I am old but not that old). In light of recent events, I did some digging to learn about Kashmir and Kashmir’s history. There were quite a few new things that I found and I thought it would be best to share them with my students. It might give them a better perspective on the entire issue. So, given below is the entire video. In the video, I have divided the history of Kashmir according to the timeline given below:
Late 80s – Early 2000
Early 2000 – Till today
I would like to add that I am not an expert on the topic and this is all the information that I gathered in few hours from various sources on the internet. If you find any errors, please let me know via the comment section. I have tried to remain as neutral as possible.
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Given below is the video on ‘A Brief History of Kashmir’
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Buddhism – Ashoka – Suhadev (1300s)
Muslim Rule – Shah Mir – Durrani – Mughals
Sikh Rule – 1819 – Ranjit Singh of Lahore
Dogra Rule – 1845 onwards – Pratab Singh (1925)
1925 – Hari Singh
Hari Singh / Sheikh Abdullah – Independence
Accession to India
People not the King / Plebiscite
1987 – Muslim United Front (Rigged Elections)
Kashmiri Pandit Exodus (Pt Tikka Lal Taploo)
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan
Insurgency supported by Pakistan
Indian Army’s presence grows
Indian Army strengthens
Pakistan’s support declined
Number of deaths (1000 to 100)
Human Rights Violation (95% false)
2014 Elections (Huge participation)
Sharia Law / Pakistan / Switzerland
To understand the reason behind the fury about Wani’s death, we must understand the fury itself; that is to say, we have to understand why Kashmiris support separatist militants like Burhan Wani.
The Armed Forces Special Powers Act:
AFSPA, for short. It is imperative that we understand what AFSPA is, and what powers it grants to the armed forces in the region its enacted in. I highly recommend going through the wikipedia page for the Act, and making your own opinions.
Via a direct Textdump from the Wikipedia article posted above, AFSPA grants the following powers to the Army.
Note the highlighted points above. The guidelines are written in a way that is easily exploitable, as you can see. Arrest without warrants, entering houses without a warrant, and complete legal immunity for any or all actions committed by the Army. Basically the army personnel in the area are completely untouchable, no matter what they do.
And of course, Army is made up of people like you and me. There are disgusting people everywhere, even the army. There have been reported cases of Jawans misusing the powers granted to them under AFSPA, committing rape, murder and arresting people for even frowning at them.
How would you feel, if at any given moment, your house can be raided, the threat of rape against you or the men and women in your house? If you think that it only happens to terrorist sympathizers, you’re wrong. This anger has boiled over for years because these few disgusting army personnel have ruined the name of the entire army, and there is nothing the locals can do. AFPSA grants them immunity from legal action, the people or Kashmir live under constant threat of the Army kicking down their doors.
Yes I know not all of the army is bad, but as long as there is no legal framework to protect the rights of Kashmiri citizens, how can you expect them to trust the Government? This volatile situation is what leads to extremists being formed, kids who feel their future is doomed anyway, and hence they throw it away for a cause they believe is right. This is how militants like Burhan Wani are formed, living under oppressive conditions, being indoctrinated by preachers paid from across the border.
Was all of 15 years old when he joined the terrorist (and separatist) organization Hizbul Mujahideen, an organization known for it’s pro Pakistani bent and funding, which is how they have access to weapons and supplies.
Burhan was insanely popular on Social Media, his fame is what led to his membership with the Hizbul Mujahideen in the first place. He was seen as a hero, still is as a matter of fact, for taking the fight to the Army and fighting for his homeland, an act that the youth of Kashmir looked up to because of the ill reputation of the Army. He regularly posted videos, the recent ones being his assurance of not attacking the Amarnath Piligrims, asking Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homelands as long as it doesn’t turn into a Israel like situation, and also threatening the army colonies.
While Wani was not popular outside of Kashmir, his fame in Kashmir was reaching legend status, which is why thousands of Kashmiris are out on the streets right now protesting, and also attended his funeral.
Because to them, he is a hero who gave his life away for his land. That is something we, as people not from Kashmir, simply do not understand. We don’t live in the same conditions they do.
Just because I understand where their anger is coming from, doesn’t mean I support Kashmir separating from India. India needs Kashmir, plain and simple, and Kashmir needs India, but we’re doing a damn good job in making them hate us. The GOI and the Army needs to change their approach on how to deal with Kashmir, because if they don’t, innocents will die everyday.
The actions of a few reflect on the entire organization. It’s easier to direct their hate at the Army and by extension the establishment, because you can’t explain to a mob that not everyone is like that, when under current rules they can’t even be sued.
I implore you, readers, to think about this. Put aside your political leanings and think about this as a person. Put yourselves in their shoes, and think.
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