#BoycottHaider. In the wake of #VishalBhardwaj’s brilliant, but anti-national film, which makes villains of Indian soldiers & heroes of terrorists, it’s relevant to have a good look at Kashmir.

I have been covering Kashmir as a political correspondent for nearly 20 years and it has always been my feeling that Kashmiris, from the humble sikhara to the High Court lawyer not only dislike India, but would want nothing better than be attached to Pakistan. But various Indian Governments have preferred to fool the public by saying that it was only a ‘tiny’ minority which wants independence, while the majority of Kashmiri Muslims are ‘fed-up’ with militancy. The frequent massive demonstrations in Srinagar for Separation have come as a slap to the face of the successive Government. The priests and attacks against the Armanath pilgrimage have also deflated the financial sham of the Valley of Kashmir, who has been subsidized for decades at the tone of thousands of crores each year. The anger of the Hindu pilgrims is not only about being denied basic facilities on the way to Armanath, whereas Haj pilgrims get royal facilities and subsidies, but also about the injustice of Kashmiri Muslims settling all over India and making business in India, while no Indian can buy land in Kashmir, without speaking of the disproportionate amount of MP’s which the Valley has.

Western correspondents (and unfortunately often Indian journalists) have lionized for three decades the Kashmiri “freedom fighters” and demonized the “bad” Indian army (notice how the Indian Press always gleefully reports suicides of soldiers in Kashmir or any army scandal). But they should do well to remember Sri Aurobindo, who wrote in 1940: “in Kashmir, the Hindus had all the monopoly. Now if the Muslim demands are acceded to, the Hindus will be wiped out again.” (India’s Rebirth, p. 220) How prophetic ! Because nobody cares to remember today that Kashmiris were almost entirely Hindus or Buddhists, before they were converted by the invading Muslims six centuries ago. True, today these Muslims in Kashmir have not only accepted as their own a religion which their ancestors had rejected, but they have also often taken-up the strident cry of Islam. Does any one remember too, that at the beginning of the century, there still were 25% Hindus in the Kashmir valley and that today the last 350.000 Kashmiri Pandits have become refugees in their own land, they who originally inhabited the valley, at least 5000 years ago, a much bigger ethnic cleansing than the one of the Bosnian Muslims?

It’s a common refrain today in most newspapers to say that since Independence, India alienated Kashmiris through years of wrong policies. But those who have been in close contact with Kashmir, even in its heydays of tourism, know for a fact that as a general rule, there was only one thing that attached Kashmiris to India, it was the marvellous financial gains and state bounties that they made out of tourism. But those Kashmiris who are now settled in India make no bones about where their loyalty lies. Talk to them, specially if you are a Westerner, and after some time, they’ll open their hearts to you; whether it is the owner of this Kashmir emporium in a five star hotel in Madras, or the proprietor of that famous travel agency in Delhi: suddenly, after all the polite talk, they burst out with their loathing of India and their attachment to an independent Kashmir.

Nowadays Omar Abdullah and others want us to believe that with a certain degree of autonomy, Kashmiris will be appeased. This may be true in most Indian states, who are often rightly fed-up with Centre’s constant interference in their internal affairs, but basically, there is only one thing which Kashmiris are craving for and that is a plebiscite on whether they want to stay with India or secede…The answer in the Kashmir valley, would be a massive “no” to India (98%?). And as for Abdullah, he would be quickly eliminated by the militants, who would immediately seize control of Kashmir and attach it to Pakistan.

The Indian security forces in Kashmir are accused of all kind of atrocities. #VishalBhardwaj emphasizes it with a heavy hand in his film #Haider. But this is war, not a tea party! If India decides to keep Kashmir, it has to do so according to the rules set by the militants: violence, death and treachery are the order of the day. And men are men: after having been ambushed repeatedly, after having seen their comrades die, after weeks and weeks of waiting in fear, one day, they just explode in a burst of outrage and excesses. It should also be understood that the hardline Sunni influence of Pakistan and even Afghanistan, has radicalized the once softer sufi side of Kashmir and that it’s a painful, deadly and uphill battle for the Indian army, which should have the support of Indians.

6 responses to “

  1. Nice one do us informing about kashmir viz rest of world. .tkz

  2. Mr. François Gautier has confused us more as he looks himself confused. In the first para he says , “But various Indian Governments have preferred to fool the public by saying that it was only a ‘tiny’ minority which wants independence, while the majority of Kashmiri Muslims are ‘fed-up’ with militancy. ” And in the end he says ‘” And men are men: after having been ambushed repeatedly, after having seen their comrades die, after weeks and weeks of waiting in fear, one day, they just explode in a burst of outrage and excesses. ” What does Mr. GAutier want say

  3. Aarshay Pardesi

    Utterly bullshit……… In movie there is no point that takes side of any community or says that this is the final solution. I had to watch the movie myself due to all the buzz created by #BoycottHaider. The things shown there did happen and the director tried to show effectively why this happened. It is just a story revolves around a particular community does not mean it is pro them. OH please save me a moment. The real story of the movie is if you go for revenge you will only give birth to another revenge….. That they did to KPs same happened to them as some people just manipulated the situations for their profits. But they will one day again face the same demon they placed in the paradise. And the if still KPs want there own free land please make sure you know even if we all settle back there still we will be a minority and will never have right decision taken for us. Stop putting poison in young minds for just some fame. rather make sure truth is shown as it should have been. For the brothers and sisters living in the valley I will hope they understand what is the right decision for them as even after the freedom the vultures will be there to take the complete piece out of the paradise. PLEASE come to your senses and make the right choice by putting an end to all this and come to mainstream and create a new Paradise so that it become an example. Gandhi had told violence is never the solution you need to understand what you want and go for it at any cost without hurting others. Things have to return to the original state as they were pro independence. Major part of kashmir is already not under Indian control so they can not ask for a referendum as it would be unfair to hold the referendum by Indian Govt if the parts have already been freed long ago. The map we see is not the actual territory under India. If still some more people want to go and have themselves added to the Neighbors please feel free to cross the border and stay there. You may find peace there. But what is left with us is our portion. we can not share it. Please respect the reality and stop disturbing the peace.

    All the words above are my own and do not form a part of any political view. I am just another frustrated KP who wants the Portion of Kashmir Leh and Jammu to stand up against the anti national people like the Blogger here who points fingers at the wrong direction. I love to be called an Indian Rather than a Kashmiri Pandit.

  4. India needs leaders who would trash article 370 and repopulate Kashmir with loyal Indian citizens.

  5. Ehsaan Baloch

    @RK Handa Pakistan censor only banned the movie because some of things shown in the movie done by the Indian army in Kashmir are exactly being done by Pakistan army in Balochistan, Its seems both of them are following the same manual and Pakistan were to afraid that they would laughed at as they are following the Indian army manual.

  6. Nice Movie……. “Chutzpah”

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