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IndiaUnderstanding Jammuriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat

Understanding Jammuriyat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat


Brig Anil Gupta

The opposition parties that were crying hoarse on the prime minister's silence on the current unrest have dismissed his outreach to the Kashmiris with cynical remarks like “too late and too little”, “the writing on the wall is clear”, “it is not a normal law and order problem but political and economic too”, “unwillingness to accept that development doesn't solve all problems”.

These remarks have been made by the leaders of mainstream political parties as well as separatists. Though said in different words the intent of these leaders is same. They are not interested in resolving the issue except issuing misleading statements to keep the pot boiling for their petty political ends. The political parties to which these leaders belong have been exploiting the innocent Kashmiris for the last seven decades leading to the current impasse because they have not only been involved in political jugglery but regional discrimination, economic exploitation and radicalization coupled with poor governance infected with corruption. When in power they chose to blatantly ignore the so-called “real problem” in Kashmir and want to shift the onus of solving the problem on the present dispensation.

The fact is that they have a vested interest in the present mess to continue for their own survival. They all tend to ignore the real fact, that is, Kashmir is only one of the parts of the state of & Kashmir and the other two regions do not subscribe to their theory of “real problem” and are more than satisfied with total integration of the state with the Union of India.

The Prime Minister while invoking the spirit of ‘insaniyat (humanity)', ‘jamhuriyat (democracy)', ‘Kasmiriyat (composite culture) made it amply clear to those demanding ‘azadi' that “Kashmir has same freedom that every Indian has”.  Modi's appeal of ‘democracy and dialogue' is unambiguous but murmurs being heard in certain quarters that the government is planning to hold talks with the separatists. Even if there is an iota of truth in this it would be a grave error of judgement on part of the government because the separatist ideology is diametrically opposite to the concept of ‘Jamhuriyat', ‘Insaniyat' and ‘Kashmiriyat'.

‘Jamhuriyat' implies a democratic process within the confines of the Constitution of India. The Constitution unequivocally states that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and so does Article 3 of The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, “The State of Jammu & Kashmir is said and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.” Are the separatists willing to concede to this fundamental truth? The answer is obviously in the negative because the ‘Hurriyat', a conglomeration of the separatists, is controlled by Pakistan which questions the very accession of the State to India and terms it as “an unfinished agenda of the partition.” It is the “Hurriyat” leadership that has sowed the seeds of ‘Azadi' in the minds of the misguided youth in the Valley to further the Pakistani agenda. There can be no talk with those who advocate the division of the state because the other two constituents of the state namely Jammu & are not in favour of any form of ‘azadi' and are against any form of secession.  J&K has a democratically elected government but the separatists refuse to participate in the democratic process but misuse the freedom of speech enjoined on them by the constitution and spit venom against the Indian nation. The irony is that they do all this at the behest of Pakistan while their counterparts in POJK are not even allowed to contest the provincial elections without pledging in writing their allegiance to Pakistan.  Let there be no doubt in anybody's mind that Azadi is neither conceivable nor in the interest of the state. Those who talk of “Kashmiri Nationalism” must know that they are not the only stake holder in Jammu & Kashmir. The view of a minority segment cannot be attributed to other stake holders. Jammu & Kashmir is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious society. There is no scope of sub-nationalism since the Indian nation is proud of its unity in diversity.

‘Insaniyat' and separatists are pole apart because the separatists are hand in gloves with the terrorists who epitomise ‘Haiwaniyat (inhumanity)'. Pak sponsored proxy war as an instrument of state policy to ‘bleed India through thousand cuts' has unleashed a culture of destruction and bloodbath in the Kashmir valley known over as ‘heaven on earth'. It has created an environment of fear and mistrust with merciless killing of those who do not succumb to their diktats. Hurriyat patronises jihadi terror organisations like LET, JEM, HM and newly formed Lashkar-e- Islamiya (LEI) who spread the ideology of radical Islam with the barrel of the gun. They are motivated by the barbaric and cruel techniques practised by the global jihadi terror outfits like ISIS which believe in imposing their will through barbaric use of force. Their ideology is nowhere near ‘Insaniyat' but to the contrary is alien to the Kashmiri culture. ‘Healing Touch' and development are vital ingredients of ‘Insaniyat' but the separatists are not interested in that but only appeasement. So, with these credentials will any sensible government even think of sharing the table with Hurriyat and its leaders?

‘Kashmiriyat', a unique trait of Kashmiri society, was patronised by two Muslim Kings namely Sultan-Gyas-ud-Din Zain-ul-Abdin (fondly called Badshah) and Jalal-ud-Din Mohammed (popularly known as Akbar the Great) and nurtured by Sufi saints and Reshis with Sheikh Noor-ud-Din known with reverence as Nund Reshi being more prominent. Subsequently, with passage of time it became a way of life in Kashmir and ‘Kashmiriyat' became synonymous with ‘Sufism' or ‘Inclusive Islam'. The main pillars of Kashmiriyat are co-existence, tolerance and pluralism. Kashmiriyat in its true form is the modern day secularism. But the separatists in collaboration with Pakistan have promoted spread of Salafism, a radical form of Islam, at the expense of ‘Sufism' thus sounding the death knell of Kashmiriyat. Salafism has led to radicalisation of youth and polarisation of Sunni Muslims leading to a religious divide in the Kashmiri society opposed to the very idea of co-existence. Free flow of petro- dollars, easy availability of Salafi literature, growth of social media and mushrooming of mosques and madarsas espousing Salafi ideology that preaches hatred and intolerance against other communities and advocates secession has changed the social fabric of Kashmir. Those radicalised by the Salafi ideology are encouraged by the separatists to threaten the members of the minority community (mainly Sikh) to leave Kashmir so that they can convert it into a singular monolithic society, an anti-thesis of Kashmiriyat. Will the Government of India be justified to talk to those who possess such a mind-set?

In any case the ongoing turmoil has exposed the popularity and authority of the separatist leaders because their writ is being opposed by the Kashmiri youth. These separatist leaders are worried about their own future and by agreeing to talk to them the government will only be providing much needed ‘Oxygen'. Is the government willing to do that? It is apparent that no talks can be held with separatists within the spirit of ‘Jamhuriyat', ‘Insaniyat' and ‘Kashmiriyat'. The offer of “Democracy and dialogue” is only for those who swear loyalty to the Indian Constitution, believe in cherished human values and accept the tenets of co-existence, pluralism and tolerance.

(The author is a Jammu-based columnist, political commentator, security and strategic analyst. He can be contacted at


The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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