Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Edit: Someone implied to me that maybe Pawan Durani is not the writer of 'that' post. I don't know. How ridiculous all this cloak-and-dagger business is. In any case I am replacing his name, just in case.

 If there's anything I find trying, it's a complete misreading of something I've written by people I don't really care to invest time in. But the misinformation is so annoying, it must be set right.
Last September I wrote an opinion piece in the Hindustan Times 'Are We Ready To Let Kashmir Be?' which was followed by the usual noise and backlash from trolls or other readers who saw much in the piece that I did not even imply. As happens always, the noise faded after a while, and I even had a few civilised though very opposing responses such as this one by Primary Red. One does not have a problem with a different point of view. One even welcomes it provided it is done with a certain amount of reason, sense, civility, absence of silly assumptions, and an impersonal-ness. [I made that last word up.]

Anyway. I was linked to a Tweet about my article [but no mention or tag given to me, hmm.]  This post happened yesterday, and it's coming on to almost a year since I wrote the column in 2010, so I was a little surprised at the timing. Soon after, surprise turned to irritation turned to amusement.

Just to quickly get back to certain observations made by AnonWriter Ji, the writer of the piece ['Ji' implies a lot of respect as I gathered from his blogpost where he has addressed me as Sabah Ji every single time ~ yay! thank you!]. 

I'm going to keep it short and simple. Here we go. AnonWriter Ji's quotes in blue:

1. 'Sabah Haji starts with why does it justify to be called a Kashmiri for those living in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. How can a person from say Ladakh , who may not even be able to say “hello” in Kashmiri call himself a Kashmiri ?  How can a Dogra from Udhampur , Jammu , Kathu , Samba call himself a Kashmiri when he hardly knows the language or doesn’t even live in . How can a a Gujjar Muslim from Poonch or a Shia from Kargil call himself a Kashmiri , when they speak a different language  ?

Errr. Yes, thank you. I never said a Ladakhi or a Dogra should call himself/herself Kashmiri. I was speaking for people like me who live in the Jammu belt but speak the same language. Instead of repeatedly implying that this is a Kashmir Valley-specific movement, please know that there are substantial portions of the Jammu pahari belt that identify with the sentiment. Within Kashmir, I can call myself Pahari. Outside, I take the generic Kashmiri to apply to me. To quote myself [since it was an opinion piece coming from me about what I feel]: 'We speak Kashmiri. So that's our identity.'

2. I would be delighted to know how does a 5 or a 6 year old child know what different nations are ?  What “Azaadi” means ? Why  India should be hated ?  Does this not get picked up while watching how the elders behave or act .  This is purely a behavior a child from any community in Kashmir or elsewhere is likely to pick up from the parents or elders he/she witnesses each day .

I would love to delight you, but am at a loss as to how. I tried to do this in simple English in the original post but it seems to have escaped your notice.
If you pick up my line immediately after the one you've quoted: 'Somewhere between infancy and childhood, I had picked up unwittingly on what most of my family and people felt.'
Now, when I say my parents or any of my cousins'/friends' parents or any adult that I know of, did not feed us kids revolutionary mantras or hold daily sessions to tutor us in the art of 'knowing something is wrong', it is quite possible that that is exactly what I meant, and can you believe it, that I was actually stating the truth! You can, of course, imagine that we are some sort of sick 'others' where parents don't even know how to bring up their children without introducing politics and prejudices in their heads, but that's your call. And has nothing to do with what I've written. What you're saying quite simply then is that I'm lying. Errr. Oh-kay... *shrug* Whatevs.

3. Sabah Ji has very intelligently tried to balance and clear the issue of exodus and atrocities upon Kashmiri Pandits. Now isn’t that interesting , nowhere a courage to call spade a spade ! Instead she goes to extent of even blaming , yes you have read it right , she has ‘blamed’ some Kashmiri pandits of ‘communalising’ the ‘movement’ as well.

Ah. My favourite bit. Where you play the famous Muslim versus Pandit card, implying that because I am a Muslim I don't think what happened with the Pandits at the time of their departure was wrong.
And slightly hyperbolic outrage that I was blaming some, yes you read it right! blaming some Kashmiri Pandits for events around  the time.
I am not into the blame-game you and other easily side-lined Kashmiris are so fond of on the Twitters. That Pandits were made to leave is indisputable fact, as is the reason why. That there were Kashmiris - Muslims and Pandits - who worsened the situation, is also indisputable. I am not blaming the entire community for having to leave. I am not stupid, but thank you for attempting to imply that. It amuses me even today.

4. Can Sabah Ji pls let us know if Subhas Chander had killed innocents and raped women ? Did Bhagat Singh go out and plunder places of worship of others?

Hmm. Let me see... NO! These two heroes of the Indian Independence Movement never did rape women or plunder places of worship that I know of. You really should read your history textbooks closely. It's all mentioned in there. 
Now, Bhagat Singh Saheb was in fact hanged for shooting a police officer - I am unable to comment on whether that qualifies as killing an innocent or not. [Also, according to Rang De Basanti, random people were shot by the revolutionaries. Okay, okay, I won't take facts from a movie. But awesome film it was! Have you watched?] 
Anyway. What these two gentlemen did advocate, which is what I was referencing, d....uh!, was violent resistance. The same ideology that was the armed resistance in J&K in the '90s. I don't support it, but I find it laughable that people throw this in our face all the time as if India's Movement was something wholly sacrosanct and its leaders never had to resort to violent means to get their point across.
Another beauty by you of course is the implication that ALL the militants of the time were into killing innocents, raping women, and plundering places of worship. Nicely done! But, mehhh, lame. Not so. Certainly outrages were committed, there were horrible crimes done, and again, this is indisputable fact. I'm not going to ask you to look at the outrages done on the other side because apparently they don't matter.  
Am also not into comparing wrongs or pitting numbers against each other. We know how that works.

What's next, what's next?

5. As for someone asking “Aap Hindustan se hai ” to people in Kashmir , all I can say is that the argument is a bit to stretched by Sabah Ji . Unlike her, I am from the valley while she is from Doda district .

Tsk tsk. AnonWriter Ji, there you go calling me a liar again. And also all my friends and their families who have told me that their tour guides have asked them this question. Erm... What does my being from Doda district have to do with the simple fact I stated that tourists from India ARE considered as coming from Hindustan, and therefore not Kashmiris? I'm not saying it happens to each and every tourist. I'm saying it happens, and has happened often enough. My point was one of Kashmiri identity. I'm sure the very intelligent and quick-witted tour guides even KNEW the tourists were from Hindustan and therefore asked them. You see? 

Oh, forget it.
This was fun. *insert smiley*


Anonymous said...

thought no one is trolling on to your blog and commenting as you were expecting.so I am posting a question that is confusing me

what is the difference between saying
are you from India (means you are not Kashmiri)?

and asking an Indian if you look into your history textbooks

longblackveil said...

Also, Anonymous commenter - How original. :)

Jeehard4lyfe said...

Who the eff cares about india? eh, We Muslims are capable of getting independence on our own yuss jeehard style!!. Problem?? We had around 40-50% kashmiri pandits today 99.99% pure authetic muslim kashmir now so much so u can actually feel allah's fire crackers in the mountains >.> (he loves that shyte). And oh also we got enough support from Lashkar aye big bada bang bang BOOM! Tayeba also our birather in parkistan hein ji? they always ready to park themselves in ere. We muslims have faith in Allah and we can make Kashmir superpower Insha allah O_o in case anything goes wrong insha allah is to take care o btw we got indians peasants tax money hah :D What can be more Ayyashfulz They work their asses out and we here doo jeehard and study the art of stone peltering Islamic shtye? hein ji

Longblackveil sistah in islam
Do not worries i Iz here lemme know when to jeehard. I jeehard long tyme ;)

Thanatos said...

My perspective on Kashmir aligns with what most (many? I don't know) of my peers "down south" have. Who gets to make the ultimate call about secession from a nation? Is it wrong for a nation to resist such a movement? There was one such attempt in 1861, and we all know how that turned out.

Should the Khalistan movement be supported too? Should the radical groups in South India that believe the "north" is a burden on them (I shit you not, this propaganda exists) be allowed to go ahead with a separate south of Maharashtra nation? LTTE? One state's freedom struggle is a nations civil war. A nation owes its citizens action to quell dissent.

What of the pundits? Can a separatist movement gain legitimacy if its opposers are summarily silenced? Has there ever been a referendum for separation that included the entire populace?

I don't mean to troll, I just want to know - who gets to decide?

K said...

Not really a fan of
a. organized religions
b. separation based on religion
c. religious cleansing.

We have seen what happened with Pakistan when one makes a state based on religion.

Why would anyone make a mistake twice?.

the idea of a religion (delusion) as a basis for a state's separate existence is itself flawed (at inception itself) and time and again proven to be bad.

If religion is not the idea (for a separate entity) , with the diversity we have, then almost every state could totally make a case for independence based on culture and language differences. States with classical/non-sanskrit languages could make that case even more.

If we have to take one lesson from history then it has to be that we are stronger together vs divided.

ayman said...

Thank you for sharing

Betweenthelinesreader said...

Something in here reeks of pseudo-intellectualism and fabrication.

Also, cut out the "mehhh" and other bullshit and learn some English.

longblackveil said...

@Jeehard4lyfe: I believe you were attempting humour? Please try harder, with less Islam-bashing.

@Thanatos: You are certainly not trolling. That is a different kind of animal altogether. All good points for discussion, and thank you for your civil tone. As to who gets to decide, that's all we're saying - the people of Kashmir should. ALL of them.

K: Not really a fan of anonymous commenters who suggest I'm playing the religious card. When I never do.

BetweenTheWhatevs... Mehhh. I speakz a good eNglISh.

longblackveil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

well,,,being a jammuite,i would definetly want kashmir go to pakistan ASAP,,,,but i know,this wont happen in near future,,,kashmirs are cashing on this issue for a long time,,,,but once this is done,leh ladakh jammu region wil live a paeceful life,,,we have seen it all,,how power plays an important part in day to day life,,,yeah,,POWER is the curse on this state,,,kashmirs will be always in power,,which leads to degradation of other areas,,,grant goes to kashmir region,,,medical n engg seats go same way,,,govt jobs ,scenario is same,,,bank jobs,,,my lord,,JnK bank have stopped publishing the list of employees recruited inlast 3 years,,,90% are from kashmir,,,in KAS ,,people have seen it all,,,i mean ,,who the hel wants kashmir to be a part of this nation,,,but one fact will always be there,,,kashmiris themselves dun want to merge with pak,,,they know how well established that country is,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

But you didn't answer K, longblackveil (K and lbv sound equally anonymous btw).
My question, if you please: Are you against the Indian state?