Patriotism in Jammu and Kashmir
The popular site Wikipedia defines it as attachment to Homeland, which includes love, and attachment for one’s culture, tradition, practices, and custom, and rituals, social, political and geographical aspects.
This culture is globally followed be it any village, district, city, town, or country, it is inherent in one’s heart.
Similarly this inherent quality is also found is the citizens of the most debated part of Ancient India- Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir has always been a victim to the terrorist activities and violence taking away the lives of thousands of people every day, turning the families isolate day by day.
There are various viewpoints of patriotism in Jammu and Kashmir. It rather depends on the perspective of a particular person than a common ideology or parameter of considering who is a true patriot and who is a traitor.
The questions, which arise, here are- whether Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir should be considered real natives and true patriots or the Hindus living there since ages should be considered true patriots.
They questions are certainly not answerable because different people from different arena have different opinion which cannot be clubbed together to form one answer.
The Hindus and Muslims living there choose their own viewpoint and way of living so they also have their own theories of patriotism and love for their homeland.
Talking about an incident in Shopian,last year, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said Kashmir’s problems were not because of the presence of army in the state but because of people living in Kashmir Valley who can be easily misled by rumors, which the “neighboring country” took advantage of. He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day symposium on Kashmir titled ‘Peace, People and Possibilities’ organized by the RSS-affiliated NGO Vishwagram at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication.
Citing British officer Sir Walter Roper Lawrence’s 1895 book titled ‘The Valley of Kashmir’, he said, “In it he said people living in Srinagar and bordering areas are easily misled by rumors. It was said 125 years ago, but stands true even now because the moment a rumor spreads, people start believing it. And people who have a different aim and mentality take advantage of this.”
Talking about Kashmir’s history, Singh, who served as the Chief of Army Staff, said, “There came a time when several people were led astray, and one of our neighboring countries took advantage of this through a proxy war. I believe there are as many patriots in Kashmir, as in the rest of the country.” He argued that in Kashmir “there are those who are misled and those who are misleading” and “both can be dealt with differently”.
Talking about an incident in Shopian, he said Kashmir’s problems were not because of the presence of army in the state. “We had created an atmosphere because of dialogue. The villagers had faith in the army but not the administration. We say the situation is getting worse because the army is stationed there, but the army has no religion or caste; its only concern is the country.
Speaking at the event, J&K MLA Abdul Ghani Kohli dismissed those advocating azadi for Kashmir and said, “Kashmir is the crown of India. I am a proud Indian and a proud BJP minister.”
RSS leader Indresh Kumar said, “There was time when Kashmir was trying to separate from India, but that stage has been passed and it can no longer happen.” He also sounded a note of caution for the media and said they needed to stop giving prominence to the voices of separatists and terrorists.
The above mentioned news peiece is a sample of how kashmiri and Indians differ on ideas which makes it impossible to become the real patriots of their homeland.
- This article was written by Nidhi for competition organised by Into Legal World for the post of Legal News Reporter.