Thursday, October 10, 2019


If there is heaven on earth they say it is in Kashmir. 

Maybe it is because of this that everyone is fighting for this piece of land. History tells us that Kashmir was once ruled by a king who sought help from newly independent India in order to avoid being invaded by Pakistan. While India tried to win the hearts of Kashmir by giving it a special status and by pouring more money that it has ever given to other states, Pakistan never gave up it’s pursuits. In fact, the first war between India and Pakistan was fought over Kashmir and the next one in 1965 ensured that Pakistan shall be forever under the grips of the military regime. 

(The Indo–Pakistani war of 1965 caused thousands of deaths on both sides with a heavy deployment of armoured vehicles)

India had two options: either give up Kashmir or make Kashmir a part of India in every way. Over the years India tried in every way to make Kashmir a part of India but it has never worked. Pakistan never gave up and has always encouraged militancy among the Kashmir youth. Even today if you converse with a Kashmiri who fights for independence at the end his/her support is for Pakistan.

 In the late 1980s, separatist discourse gained momentum in Kashmir and the military insurgency started spreading in the valley against what is perceived as an Indian occupation. 

Now one may wonder why India should resist this. If Kashmir is ever separated from India it is for everyone to see that Pakistan shall occupy it within no time. Why not says Pakistan. But shall the world ever say that? Look at the both the nations and where they stand after 1947. The same set of people or DNA started building a nation. Where does Pakistan stand now? How good is it’s economy as compared to India?

As of 2019, GDP of India is around of 10 times greater than Pakistan. In nominal terms gap is wider (above 10 times) than ppp terms (below 10 times). India is 5th largest country of the world in nominal method and 3rd largest economy in ppp method. Nominal ranking of Pakistan is 43 and PPP ranking is 25. India's economically largest states Maharashtra has GDP ($334 billion) greater than Pakistan. Margin between these two countries was lowest in 1993 when Nominal GDP of India was 5.43x of Pakistan and highest was in 1973 (13.53x).

Now let us see how minorities have fared in both the countries over the years.

In India, if in 1951 Muslims were 9.8% as compared to 84.1%  of Hindus, in 2011 it is 14.23% as compared to 79.8%.  

It is obvious that the Muslim population in India is not declining whereas in Pakistan the situation is getting worse day by day.

At the time of partition in 1947, almost 23% of Pakistan’s population was [composed] ofnon-Muslim citizens. Today, the proportion of non-Muslims has declined toapproximately 3%. The distinctions among Muslim denominations have also becomefar more accentuated over the years. Muslim groups such as the Shias whoaccount for approximately 20-25% of Pakistan’s Muslim population, Ahmadis whohave been declared non-Muslim by the writ of the state, and non-Muslimminorities such as Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have been the targets ofsuicide bomb attacks on their neighborhoods, had community members converted toIslam against their will, and had their houses of worship attacked and bombedeven while they were inhabited by worshipers.”

How did minorities fare in India over the years politically and economically?

A small list of positions minorities have/are occupying in India.

APJ Abdul Kalam(Muslim- Former President)

Manmohan Singh(Sikh- Former Prime Minister)

Giani Zail Singh(Sikh- Former President)

Zakir Hussain(Muslim- Former President)

Mohammad Hidayatullah (Muslim- Former President and Chief Justice)

Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (Muslim- Former President)

Mohammad Hamid Ansari (Muslim- Former President)

Sonia Gandhi(Roman Catholic- Former Congress President)

Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi (Muslim- Former Chief Justice)

Altamas Kabir (Muslim- Former Chief Justice)

Jagdish Singh Khehar(Sikh- Former Chief Justice)

S. Y. Quraishi(Muslim- Former Chief Election Commissioner)

Nasim Zaidi(Muslim- Former Chief Election Commissioner)

Sunith Francis Rodrigues(Catholic- Former Army Chief)

Joginder Jaswant Singh(Sikh- Former Army Chief)

Salman Khurshid(Muslim- Former Foreign Minister)

Syed Akbaruddin(India’s current UN representative)

Asif Ibrahim(Muslim- Former Chief of Intelligence Bureau)

These are some of the most important posts of India.

And, the list is unending(Even if I don’t include Actors, Sportsmen, Businessmen and many other notable non-Hindus in India.)

Whereas in Pakistan the national assembly rejects a bill that allows non muslims to become the President or the PM.

Now let us return to the present status of Kashmir.

The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was rendered infructuous by The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 2019 (C.O. 272) issued by the president of India on 5 August 2019. Indian President Ram Nath Kovind issued an order under the power of Article 370, overriding the prevailing 1954 Presidential Order and nullifying all the provisions of autonomy granted to the state. The opposition calls this unconstitutional and without any precedence. But it has precedence if you look at Indian history. The state of Goa came into existence thus but even now there are many Goans who want Goa to be an independent state.

The fight for freedom began in the 1940s as India inched closer to independence from British rule. But Goa remained a Portuguese colony until 1961, straining relations between India and Portugal as the former's support for the anti-colonial movement in Goa grew. In 1955, India even imposed an economic blockade on Goa. 

In 1961,the Indian army invaded the state after the Portuguese fired at Indian fishingboats, killing one fisherman.

If you think Goans have given their pursuit for freedom then you are wrong.

Thepetitioners appeal to the current members of the United Nations GeneralAssembly (UNGA) to review the subject matter of this petition with a freshperspective as the conscience keepers of world peace. The UNSC resolutionS/5033 was passed in the 988th meeting on 18.Dec.61 with 7 members out of 11voting in favour of the motion calling for India to withdraw its forces fromGoa to its pre 17.Dec.61 position which was vetoed by USSR, a permanent member.

As for this letter’s claim of genocide, it is utter nonsense.

If Kashmir is looked at from the point of religious majority, let us look at another princely state in India which joined India much later. While Cochin joined in1949, Travancore joined only in 1956

Even now my mother who experienced the princely rule states that those times were much better as compared to now. Now I may disagree as much as I can. J

Kashmir too will have its problems in the years to come but am glad that the current step was taken. This will give its inhabitants a chance to experience India just like any other Indian. Without the intervention of Pakistan I believe Kashmir shall prosper and shall truly become an Indian paradise. 

If not, let India give up Kashmir to it's fate. 

The restrictions imposed on tourists intending to visit the Kashmir Valley will be lifted today following a direction from Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday. On August 2, the state administration had issued a security advisory asking tourists, especially pilgrims taking part in the annual Amarnath yatra, to leave the Kashmir Valley as soon as possible. Back then, the government had said this advisory has been issued due to a "terror threat" in the Kashmir Valley.

An interesting conversation if you have time to read.


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Those beautiful places on earth

A tweet took me back to Peerumade and the one day trip that we made to that place. Just like Munnar and Ooty, even Peerumade and Kuttikanam have changed. Since the tea estates no longer seems to be viable much land has been sold (illegally one presumes) and many cottages and buildings have sprung up. More educational institutions too have been built since the climate is good and it is far away from the usual distractions.

A resort up on a steep mountainside astonished me and we thought of exploring it. I remember climbing that mountain and finding lost or wandering cows and even small caves where wild animals made their home. No idea how this place was given up for a resort. The road that leads to it goes through the estate where I once lived and it is very narrow and steep.

We found none when we reached there.

 Maybe because it is the monsoon time and hence off season. Water source is a small dam built at the bottom of the resort.

One can see Kuttikanam and much of Peerumade from the spot.

Maybe next time one should book early and stay at least one night out here in the wilderness before more buildings come up and take away all the charm.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Marriageable age

This vacation I realized that one can no longer ignore the fact my daughter is of marriageable age. She is now working and people have started to ask us if we are looking out for her. The society has fixed certain age for the same and many fall into it. Daughter says she wants to work and make some money before she gets married while we are not in a hurry too. I mean what more can a mother ask for? Daughter is at home and one can enjoy her presence longer. Some of us had to leave home after 10th and then it was only for short visits that one could stay with the parents. These days many are refusing to marry too or by the time they think they are ready the bus is already gone. But I see no regrets in them. 

Anyway let me see how long she will....

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