Before we discuss Kashmir ( a small part of Jammu & Kashmir State of India) and the insurgency, Let’s talk about a province of Russia who is still part of Russia even being religiously and culturally different – CHECHNYA.
Located in the Caucasus region which is a melting pot of different cultures with over 50 ethnic groups.From a religious perspective, it is diverse with Orthodox Christians, Oriental Christians, Sunni and Shia Muslims and Salafists. The people have similar languages, culture, moral values, cuisine and even songs which are alike. But their histories are different.
The Caucasus can be divided into 2 parts; North and South based on the Greater Caucasus mountain range:
- The North Caucasus region consists of autonomous republics of the Russian Federation – Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia etc which are known for their instability.
- The Southern part consists of the stable centralized independent republics – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey
While the Southern Caucasus region was conquered by several empires like the Greeks, the Romans, the Turks, the Arabs etc, the Northern part was largely untouched and so there was no need for any unity or centralization.The only time the Northern Caucasus tribes united was to fight a common enemy like the Mongols. No empire was able to conquer and occupy the Northern Part, that is until the Russians arrived under the rule of Catherine the Great.
Although there have been a couple of wars, one with Russia and the other within Chechnya, they finally agreed to be part of Russia with no special conditions attached. Take a look at this video which tells us how the Chechens have restored their war-torn republic and how this region continues to be part of the Russian Federation and yet retains its distinct Islamic identity and is now progressing rapidly on the economic and Human Development Index fronts.
If you have thoroughly watched the video, I am sure it must have come to your mind that why our Kashmir be more like what Chechnya is now.The content in this video tells me that Kashmir can also be restored provided Kashmiris work on improving the living standards and education level of people and if they have any grievances, directly report to the Govt.
Also Read: Why NDTV should be Banned for Life?
But What’s with Kashmir that no matter what efforts are taken, things just don’t get resolved.
First, let’s take up the issues currently in the air of Kashmir:
- 2 groups of Separatists; one supporting Pakistan & other Azad Kashmir, although they call POK as Azad Kashmir as well
- Army presence: first protested by stone pelting, earlier it was only Fridays but now no fixed day
- Locals Arms Struggle: ignited allegedly because of mass murder & kidnapping of Kashmiris by Army, although never proven
Many say that what’s in Kashmir anyways that both countries are fighting for it? They may have Hydropower, artistic exports, scenic beauty, but is that worth of all this war and killings? The loss has been incurred by both the sides but really, is it worth it?
Well, for India, Its more like a question of pride than anything else. Since India boast on Kashmir being the crown of Bharat Mata & one of the prime jewels of India, it will be like taking away India from India.
For Pakistan, well there are many reasons:
- They need Water & Electricity which is provided by rivers which flow through Kashmir and another part of India. Many even claim that if Kashmir issue gets resolved & if India stops giving them water, Thar desert might spread more in Pakistan. Kinda like Harappa Civilization all over again.
- They need to win something after defeats of 1965, 1971 and 1999
- Most Importantly, they need to provide crossroads to China for their Silk Route project (CPEC) as they have taken funds for it. They just can’t back out now. Even when they know that Indian Kashmiris are free to practice Islam as they please and Kashmiris do not suffer from the levels of repression when practicing our faith like the Uighurs in China do. Yet they call China their best friend when in reality they are severely oppressing Muslims in Xinjiang with impunity.
What Indians have opposed is endless Jihadist violence, Jihadist propaganda, separatist mindset and intimidation and expulsion of religious minorities from Kashmir. But step of oppression taken by Indian army was also ill-advised, after all, they were doing what they were told to do by the Chief commander of all the forces – President, who works on the advice given by cabinet ministers headed by Prime Minister. But it’s in the hand of Kashmiris to find out ways just like Shah Faesal – the first IAS topper from Kashmir region. Rather than following Kashmir Monitor, follow Shah’s blog and try to learn his ways to sort out things. There are many examples like him but the point is Kashmiris have to stop thinking as Kashmiris for one moment and start thinking about as an Indian and what’s best for them.
A few fundamental facts which many don’t know and are often confused about:
- Laws passed by Indian parliament are not applicable to J&K.
- J&K has its own constitution and provisions of Indian constitution are not applicable to J&K except Article 370 which gives it “special status” The phraseology “Special Status” has been used to hide facts that it is an alien state. That also states that J&K has its own National Flag and its own Prime Minister, who until recently called SADRE RIYASAT and now called Chief Minister (probably to deceive Indian public)
- J&K residents can buy property in India incl. J&K but Indians can’t buy in J&K & women marrying outside JK are barred from owning any property in J&K.
- J&K Govt’s Accounts are not auditable by Indian CAG, not even the financial assistance provided by Indian Govt. Not to forget, there is no Income Tax in J&K.
- No Indian Citizen can fight assembly election in JK but vice Versa is possible.
Which in anyway, the choice is Kashmiri’s. They want Anna Hazare style movement and guaranteed win or continuous violence struggle with no future. TAKE CHECHNYA’S WORD FOR IT.