Indian bigotry, a threat to Muslims across the region, including Kashmir

(Anam Bilal, Karachi)

Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is a unique place due to its beautiful scenery, unique mountains and breathtaking seasons. Nature has endowed every part of Jammu and Kashmir with everlasting beauty, but unfortunately this part has been in turmoil for decades due to conflicts. Soil of Kashmir has given great leaders like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Shorash Kashmiri and Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri. Allama Iqbal also belongs to Kashmir, who awakened the spirit of freedom in all the Muslims of the subcontinent but Kashmir itself unfortunately remained doomed. He was always concerned for the independence and sovereignty of Kashmir and made every effort. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, leader of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference says "Iqbal has dreamt of a new Kashmir, when we were still infants. Whenever we sought advice about our movement, he gave us gems of wisdom. His poetry is regarded as the archangel's trumpet for the people of Kashmir."(1)

As the head of the All India Kashmir Committee, he not only continued his best efforts for the independence but also raised the spirit of independence of Kashmiris through his poetry. But, the Kashmiri people are still subjugated and oppressed.
Aaj Woh Kashmir Hai Makhoom Majboor-O-Faqeer
Kal Jisay Ahle-E-Nazar KehteThay Iran-E-Sageer
(Today that land of Kashmir, under the heels of the enemy, has become weak, helpless and poor-
Once known among the wise as little Iran) (2)

India has been trying for many years to genocide Kashmiris and make demographic changes. India’s aggressive domination has destroyed its culture and economy. Kashmiris have been fighting for independence since the partition of India.

October 27, 1947 is a dark chapter in the history of Kashmir which Kashmiris observe every year as Black Day. It was the day when Indian forces entered Kashmir and the unending suffering of Kashmiri people began. India, ignoring the law of independence and partition of India, occupied Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir. The first two are Hindu-majority states ruled by Muslims while the Kashmir Valley is a Muslim-majority area ruled by Hindu rulers. The Kashmiri people have never accepted this illegal occupation. The massacre of Muslims started after the entry of Indian forces into Kashmir on October 27, 1947. From then till today India tried its best to make Kashmir its part but always failed and could not suppress the Kashmiris’ spirit of independence.

Pakistan has always raised its voice for the rights of Kashmiris in every forum but unfortunately, when western countries become vanguard of human rights, their only goal is to promote their foreign policy. To date, Kashmiris have not been able to get their rights. Being muslims, the basis of our relationship with Kashmir is Kalima Tayyaba and on this basis it is the responsibility of all Muslim states to support the Kashmiris in their struggle for independence.

India has never given equal rights to Muslims and it would be correct to say that the Indian state has never considered Muslims as human beings and has always treated them inhumanely. If we look at the 70 years history of India since independence, the atrocities perpetrated on Muslims are unprecedented.It would be correct to name the current Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi as Hitler II who is a Hindu extremist and wants to make his ideology Greater India (Mahabharata) and wants to establish a Hindu state in which no one belonging to any ideology other than Hindu should be spared.

Over the years, Indian Muslims have often been targeted for everything. In India, Muslims are killed daily in the name of cow slaughter, hijab, azan, prayers and mosques. They are openly threatened to become Hindus. “Unprovoked attacks on Muslims by Hindu mobs have become routine in India, but they seem to evoke little condemnation from the government.”(3)

Are Muslims living in India not part of the Muslim Ummah? If so, why is the Muslim Ummah silent? Muslims have been targeted by government-sponsored Hindu extremists for many years. Recently, Hindutva-inspired extremists in Rajasthan set fire to 40 Muslim homes under government supervision, but unfortunately the media has not spoken out against it. If we talk about further incidents, the Indian state of Karnataka banned the wearing of hijab by Muslim women and thousands of girls were sent back from schools and colleges for wearing hijab.

Recently, Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, had made blesphemous remarks against the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.W which has hurt the feelings of Muslims all over the world.

“Several people were injured after clashes erupted between Muslims and Hindus in Kanpur and other places over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokeswoman Nupur Sharma’s comments”(4)

It will be a long list if we talk about the atrocities against Muslims in India. The ruthless government of India, while crossing all the boundaries of oppression and barbarism in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, has been constantly committing acts of violence against humanity as well as massacre of Kashmiris, but despite this oppression, the Kashmir Independence Movement has been gaining momentum. Islamophobia is raising day by day in India. Anti muslim songs are being composed and played in several rallies. Krishnavanshi’s song is an exmple of a new culture in India:
“Insaan nahi ho saalo, ho tum kasaayi; Bahut ho chuka Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai” – You are not human, you are butchers; it’s enough of Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.”
India has always pursued a strategy of keeping Kashmiris politically, economically and socially backward. Indian forces have been illegally laying siege to Kashmiris since August 5, 2019, but no action has been taken by the international community and the Muslim world against these atrocities. India has repealed Article 370 under which Occupied Kashmir will no longer be called a state but a federal unit, which will have a Legislative Assembly and Kashmiris will be required to abide by all Indian laws.

“The Order supersedes the 1954 Order. This effectively means that all the provisions that formed the basis of a separate “Constitution” for Jammu and Kashmir stand abrogated. The Order declares that all the provisions of the Constitution of India, shall apply to Jammu and Kashmir too. “(5)

India's move to end the special status of Occupied Kashmir is against international law. This move of Modi government has put Kashmiris in a state of grief and anger.
The way Israeli citizens settled in Palestine and these Israeli citizens paid exorbitant prices to the Palestinians to buy these lands and established their dominance over most of the territory. Adopting exactly the same procedure, Article 35A has also been repealed which now allows Indian citizens to build property and invest in Kashmir. Of course, the purpose of repealing this article is to bring about demographic changes in Kashmir. Kashmiris are concerned that now Indian Residents from all over the country will buy property and take up permanent residence in Kashmir so that the Muslim majority of Kashmir can be turned into a minority so that India can easily assert its right over Kashmir.

While the Indian government ended Kashmir’s sovereignty, which provoked as strong reaction from Kashmiris, it also violated the Line of Control to put pressure on Pakistan, and as always, tried to drop all the rubble on Pakistan. If the Kashmir issue is not resolved, it could engulf the whole of Asia and lead to a world war. The solution to this problem is to give the right to the rightful owner.

(1) Sheikh Abdullah, Flames of the Chinar, translated from urdu by Khushwant Sing, New Delhi, 1993, p.52

(2) Armaghan e Hijaz

(3) Geeta Pandey, Beaten and humiliated by Hindu mobs for being a Muslim in India, BBC News

(4) Blasphemous remarks: Hindu-Muslim clashes erupt in India (June 6, 2022), The News
(5) K.Venkataramanan, How the status of Jammu and Kashmir is being changed, The Hindu

Anam Bilal
About the Author: Anam BilalWriter, researcher and also has been working in the field of education for more than 10 years... View More