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Kashmir and the forgotten Sheikh


Sixty years after Kashmir threw in its lot with India, the state remains an enigma for policymakers. Even back then, the Kashmiri Muslims – the majority in the state – led by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, had defied popular perception that Muslim majority states would prefer joining Pakistan. Abdullah had snubbed Jinnah by refusing to even meet him when the latter came to the Valley in the hope of convincing the young leader to support Pakistan. (via The forgotten Sheikh).

An enigma, inside a puzzle wrapped in a mystery …

Kashmir remains an interesting complication – from a historical perspective. It was Muslim majority – so Pakistan could take a technical refuge under the Indian actions in Junagadh and Hyderabad. Since, it had a Muslim majority, Pakistan could lay claim to it.

The Hindu ruler wished to remain independent – and then changed his mind – and decided to join India. Popular leaders of Kashmir, like Sheikh Abdullah, also wanted Kashmir to be a part of India. Hence the legitimacy of Indian claim.

Note the body language

Note the body language

Colonial detritus

The jokers in the pack were the legacy Colonial rulers – in India and Pakistan. The Governor General of India was Mountbatten – and the Pakistani Generals and some Indian army officials were British.

The collusion between these colonial agents in the dying days of the Raj, has created a festering problem – which India and Pakistan are still fighting over.

We can continue with this problem for the next 60 years – without success. Instead, a better idea may be to put the Kashmir problem into a cryogenic chamber and revive this issue 50 years later.

Westernization of the sub-continent

India’s independent movement created leaders like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Sheikh Abdullah – who have been forgotten. Instead we now see only the Taliban – created by the West.

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  1. Vishal
    November 10, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Well, I think that blaming people (either Nehru, Hari Singh, Mountbatten, Sheikh Abdulla, Jinnah, Khurshid Anwar, or… just everyone) is not going to solve any issues.

    There have been decades of malpractice, miscalculations and atrocities (from both sides) with the unfortunate people of Kashmir that tracing the root is not going to amend any current scenarios.

    And by the way, I don’t see anything more than expressions of two close mature friends in that body language

  2. November 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Well, I think that blaming people (either Nehru, Hari Singh, Mountbatten, Sheikh Abdulla, Jinnah, Khurshid Anwar, or… just everyone) is not going to solve any issues.

    Are you expecting me to give a Kashmir solution in one short post of less than 1000 words? There is a not-so-small difference between responsibility and blame, which you are possibly overlooking?

    By the way, the many embedded links would have given you better info!

    There have been decades of malpractice, miscalculations and atrocities (from both sides)

    Is Kashmir the only place in the world where ‘decades of malpractice, miscalculations and atrocities (from both sides)’ have happened? On what data set are you basing your conclusions on?

    the unfortunate people of Kashmir

    Are Kashmiris the the only ones? What do you propose as the ‘special’ steps that should be taken to assuage the ‘decades of malpractice, miscalculations and atrocities (from both sides)’?

    tracing the root is not going to amend any current scenarios.

    I was taught that understanding the problem was half the solution! You are suggesting a whole new way of dealing with such situations!

    We should just jump to a solution – with a lot of tears, sympathy for ‘the unfortunate people of Kashmir’ who have suffered from ‘decades of malpractice, miscalculations and atrocities (from both sides)’!

    You have now given me a base to seek a refund from all the ‘expensive’ schools and costly corporate trainers who have trained me wrongly! Thanks.

    I don’t see anything more than expressions of two close mature friends in that body language

    Just do a google images search for photographs – and you will find many where Mountbatten is looking the other way!

    It would be irrelevant – except that it raises some natural questions? Was Mountbatten appointed the GG of Free India to facilitate Nehru-Edwina Affair? Was Edwina the classic ‘honey-pot trap’ for Nehru? Are we paying a price in Kashmir for the Nehru-Edwina affair?

  3. Vishal
    November 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Oops, I feel like I have disturbed a beehive!

    I wasn’t trying to offend you, dude. Take a chill pill. I don’t want to make this a mud fight, so I will refrain from making any further comments.

  4. November 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Well … well … well …

    For a Kashmir expert like you, to back off when called to substantiate positions …

    Who is being advised by Vir Sanghvi, Arundhati Roy, Amit Varma, Pratap Mehta, Swaminathan Aiyar, your reticence to debate is surprising!

    While you are sensitive to others getting personal in your blog, you see no contradiction in telling off a ‘dude to take a chill pill’ and showing yourself as superior to a ‘mudfight’.

  1. July 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm
  2. August 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm
  3. August 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm

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