Posted Fri, 04/09/2010 – 17:10
Burning Issue-By Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
Kashmir should be defined as that region of the South Asia or Sub continent of India and Pakistan where the inhabitants are harvesting tears of sorrow for the separation of their near and dear ones over 12 years. The official head count of the population or census looks significant for India as her army and police is engaged in ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris on daily basis over a decade. Thousands of graveyards spread over Kashmir in each village, town and city speak volumes on the subject of genocide in this unfortunate region where fortune tellers need not be asked the question of life and death.
Thousands of youthful Kashmiris have been forcibly disappeared by army, police and state sponsored armed gangs. Again thousands are languishing in jails or torture centres in or outside the state. No less than 20 thousand old and young with or without their families mainly from the rural and pastoral areas have crossed into AJ&K and are living as migrants in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. These are the figures of nineties only when the current campaign of ethnic cleansing was launched to crush the ongoing struggle for the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir. In the wounded Kashmir valley, army scared and frightened people or families have been displaced and they often wander from village to village to escape army’s wrath and humiliation of women folk.
Is census justified under the given conditions of Kashmir? The head count of a population should be just, fair, impartial and honourable, but who will give that sort of guarantee and would any guarantee by Indian officials be acceptable to the shaken public of Kashmir? It is strange that the so-called state authorities have not penned public objections and reasons against census after two decades in Kashmir, which indicates that the top officials of the census department do not understand the sentiments of their employees nor of the society in Kashmir.
If in 1948, India did not agree to hold plebiscite in Kashmir, simply under the pretext of tribesmen in Kashmir, how they would hold census in a region which they are demolishing for the last 12 years with impunity. Is India ready for a UN supervised plebiscite in J&K, we are prepared for a fair count of our population in the state.
Census as a scientific practice studying ebb and flow of population statistics to help in the overall economic and social development and progress of the people, is of course an important field, but in Kashmir it has never been carried out with the same spirit, rather the people of Kashmir especially the intelligentsia showed disbelief and doubt after every census by Indian authorities since 1951 in J&K.
The last census of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir under the dynastic rule of Dogra Maharaja Hari Sing took place in 1941. Then J&K was a princely state owing her allegiance to the crown of British. In 48/49, the state was divided under a cease fire agreement between India and Pakistan and in 1951 the first census of this part of Kashmir was carried out by new rulers of Kashmir. It is noteworthy that in 1951, India’s sponsored government headed by Sheikh Abdullah also held the drama of the first elections for the so-called constituent assembly and after unparalleled terror and unholy methods all the 75 candidates of the ruling National Conference were declared unopposed. In 1951 census figures, Muslims were shown 70% of the total population and in subsequent census years of 1961,1971 and 1981, the percentage of Muslim population was reduced further, as 68% in 61, 65% in 71 and 63% in 1981. The census figures of 1981, made people angry and restless and they expressed their anger against the census authorities of India who were responsible for releasing all the manipulated figures right from 1951 in Kashmir. A mid decade census to remove the anger of people was ordered by then government of J&K, but the decision could not be implemented owing to uncertain political conditions and opposition by non local bureaucracy in the government. This view was further stressed by Dr. Bashir-ul-Haq(a Kashmiri scholar) in an article in 1995.
As per the sources of the Public Record Office(pro)Census of India, further decrease in the population ratio of Muslims in J&K by 1% from 1981 to 1991, i.e,62% was placed before the world in 1991, which shows Muslim fall by 8% and Hindu rise by 7.5 percent in five decades by the end of 1991. What census figures would India place before the world by the end of 2000 could easily be guessed.
It is strange and conspicuous that India withdrew her decision to conduct mid decade census under the pretext of unstable political conditions. But today Farooq govt in collusion with the Hindu BJP led Government has decided to hold census despite anarchy, and unprecedented bloodshed and demolition of social fabric under army backed rule, which has remained armed with draconian laws over the last 12 years to kill every Kashmiri who may have reached military age.
The employees of J&K who have been trained for census task in the state, should also remember that they are basically citizens of Kashmir and it is incumbent on them to guard the mother Kashmir against the political conspiracies of India. No Kashmiri would shut his eyes to the following reasons and experiences at this precise moment of the history of Kashmir:-
1. According to the sources of the census of India birth rate of Muslims in the state have remained higher in comparison to the average growth rates at All India level. Therefore, the continuous decrease in Muslim population in J&K is natural nor a demographic fact, but it is manipulated, imposed and well planned to prove finally Indians false, concocted and highly biased political doctrine on Kashmir, which remains unrecognised before the world body till date.
2. The collaboration between India and Israel in various fields, especially in defence has rapidly grown during the last 10 years. Israel, Zionists and RSS leaders equally believe in bringing manipulated population changes in their occupied lands and non-Hindu and non Jew majority regions or societies, to force unjust solutions on their subjugated peoples. World Zionists movement did it in Palestine after World War Ist and the Israeli Govt concluded the drive against Palestine Arab majority after 1948. Pro Zionist lobby and Hindu Raj revivalists share each others views over Kashmir and minority issues in India and the Govt of India has learnt from Israeli experiments of Holy Lands.
3. India keeps a constant watch over the demographic character of J&K state and in no way is ready to restore the pre 47 proportion of Muslims to Kashmir. This became quite clear when in the last year of Sheikh Abdullah’s life and CMship a law was passed by him, reaffirming the right of refugees of J&K living in Pakistan to their citizenship of the state of J&K. The piece of legislation recognises the JK refugees living in Pakistan as the citizens of the state, which India does not like. After the death of Sheikh Abdullah the Bill re-entered the state Assembly and was passed on October 4,1982, from the state Assembly for the second time. But in order to bury the Act cunningly, both the new CM Dr. Farooq and the Delhi Govt sought the advice of the Apex Court of India, where the case is still pending. This is how the resettlement Act was treated by the communal chaunists of India.
4. The Delhi Govt, wanted to confer citizenship rights on 1947 refugees of West Punjab living in Jammu province and in 1969, the state govt, was directed by the centre to initiate some solid measures in this regard, but public agitation on this question in Srinagar frustrated the plan temporarily. However, the practice of issuing state subject certificates to non Kashmiris from Indian provinces is continuing over years and non local bureaucrats in the state administration are fully backing the nefarious designs of manipulating demographic changes against Muslims, as has already been done to Sikh community in Punjab. These are overt and covert methods by India to marginalize Kashmiri Muslims in their state.
5. It appears that the govt. of India this time again after two decades wants to hold false census to take full advantage of the extra judicial emergency powers under the Armed forces special powers Act, ignore the relevant census data, terror, trauma and turmoil in our society and thus manipulate final results to suit her unjust political aims and objectives in Jammu and Kashmir.
6. This analysis is aimed at drawing the attention of the world community and human rights agencies to illicit Indian plans in Kashmir, which at any time may ignite the whole region resulting in mass disaster of humanity in this populous part of the world.
7. The time is running short and the people of Kashmir have to guard and protect their national interests against India’s military and political manoeuvring themselves without being caught napping. A sage can warn them in his thoughtful verse:-
sad salah dawrey chrakh tha sagar ka ek dawr
nikley jo mykadey say to dunya badal gayee. #END# Dated 22-12-2000