Human Rights Violations in J&K: Some compelling facts

published on November 2, 2010

Paper presented in seminar on Kashmir in Trivandrum on 01-11-2010 by  Ajay Bharti , Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch

Official narrative on Kashmir right from the dawn of independence and the subsequent reporting based by print and electronic media does not largely match the actual situation on ground. Consistency on this count has ensured that a lot of misconceptions created deliberately by vested interests have become firm beliefs. That in my opinion is the greatest tragedy Kashmir is facing. This, we will see, is the root cause of the most issues related to the trouble torn state.

First casualty is the myth that Kashmir means Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir is just 7.13% area of the state of Jammu & Kashmir as it existed and acceded to The Dominion of India on 26th October 1947. It is only 15.63% of the area that continues to be within Indian administration. So we need to be very careful when we talk of Kashmir issue.

Second impression that has been accepted as a fact is that J&K is a Muslim state. No it is not. It certainly is the Muslim majority state but Muslims are in Majority in only one province. Both Laddakh and Jammu divisions are Buddhist and Hindu majority areas respectively. Third is the misconception about the Muslim population of Kashmir valley. We are being asked to believe that the majority community is a homogenous entity. No sir; it is not. Kashmiri Muslim community is as heterogeneous and divided or united as any other community in rest of the country with sharp divisions leading to bloody conflicts at times.

The most treacherous and the most ferocious perception is that the violent movement has anything to do with Kashmiris. It is the nastiest deceit being pulled out to attain some amount of legitimacy and respectability. The fact of the matter is that the entire mobilization is based on religious affiliation and is aimed at establishing a monolithic- theo-fascist socio-political order in which there is no scope for dissent and divergence. The entire concept is summed up in a dictum in use for last seven to eight decades. It says CHALIV, GALIV YA RALIV( Leave, Perish or Merge).

This background is important to be kept in mind when we discuss the plight of Hindus of Kashmir and what, why and how it happened.

Let us go back in time to 1930-31. Maharaj Hari Singh, the then ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir as chairman of the chamber of Princes vehemently pleads Independence for India in London Roundtable Conference and in the process rubs the British on wrong side. British Government don not take it lightly and start troubling Ruler by inciting his Muslim subjects on religious sentiment. Sheikh Abdullah a Aligarh educated young Muslim grabs the opportunity to become a faithful stooge. Muslim League activists from Punjab are infiltrated into the state in disguise. Ab. Qadir is one important name to be mentioned who creeped in as a cook of some European tourist. He used his oratory skills to provoke Muslims. He was arrested and tried in session’s court on 6th July and continued on 7th, 8th &9th July 1931. During these days people came out in large numbers to have a glance of the “crusader”. Fearing a law and order problem the hearing was shifted to the central Jail. On 13th July, the next date of hearing mob attacked the jail premises. Police took action and around 26 people were killed. The crowd took the bodies in a procession to the city. On the way hundreds of Hindu shops and homes were denuded of their contents and inmates badly handled. Fore Hindus were killed and sixty injured in the mayhem. The incident reveals that it had nothing to do with the secular, democratic aspirations of the people of Kashmir for the Muslim majority chose to attack fellow Kashmiris for an alien co-religionist. This basic character of Kashmir struggle has continued and in fact graduated to extreme position of fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

One of the distorted information based on half truth that has been in constant use ever since is the contention that Hindus of Kashmir have Lorded over Muslim majority of Kashmir. The truh can be understood by recorded fact. At the time of Birth of Karan Singh Jagirdaars and Nobles of Kashmir decide to felicitate Maharaja Hari singh. They assembled in Srinagar and set up a committee to present their greetings to the ruler and chose Balkak Dhar as its president. Reading Room Party, a group of Aligarh returned Muslim youth teased Muslims nobles for electing Hindu as president. This resulted in Muslim nobles having a separate meeting which was attended by 200 of them. But the truth is the victim in Kashmir. Disinformation Campaign continues.

Trouble for Hindu minority was being institutionalized in Kashmir.  A fresh dose of migration that had almost stopped in Sikh-Dogra regime began anew after Battaloot day of 1931. Muslim Conference headed by Sheikh Abdullah with the backing of British was gaining strength. Pt. Nehru who had personal envy with Maharaja and close affinity with sheikh started meddling. Ambitious sheikh saw his future with loosely knit Congress as compared to Ali Mohd. Jinnah. This along with several other factors lead to transformation of Muslim Conference into National Conference. Nation denoting Kashmir, not India. With this kind of situation we reach 1947. Partition of the country on the basis of two nation theory and subsequent events had its toll in Kashmir. Insistence of Pt. Nehru to install Sheikh Abdulla as Prime Minister/emergency administrator ensured that NC cadres built on communal narrative became ruling elite overnight

•    A well-planned psychological war was unleashed against the Hindus, which involved:  
•     denigration of their religious precept and rituals;
•     desecration and destruction of their temples;  
•    encroachment on their religious endowments, unlawful occupation of the land attached to temples and ancient shrines;
•     frequent provocations to arouse general communal tension to instill fear among them, so that they abandoned their homes;
•     promotion of the distress sales of Hindu property, with finances made available from various Muslim endowments and trusts;  
•     pressure built upon the small Hindu business community to close down whatever business enterprises it owned;
•    Elimination of Hindus from decision making process;
•    Delimitation and redrawing of territorial constituencies so as to get rid of all chances of any Hindu getting elected to state legislature;
•     the recruitment of the Hindus in the services was further reduced to almost eliminate them completely with a view to compel them to leave the State;
•     Reduction of the intake of Hindus in the higher educational institutions in spite of merit and competence.

Forgotten Heroes
People like Shaheed Mohd. Maqbool Sherwani were pushed into oblivion and separatist rewarded constantly.  Alfath insurgents were mostly recruited in state police. Cadres of Jamait- Islami absorbed in education department and so on. On the people with pro India leanings castigated and ridiculed. Mohd. Abdullah Tibat Bakal a sufi Singer sung some Bhajans in praise of Lord Mahadev. They became very famous and infact are on lips of every one. He was removed from Imamat of a mosque for this crime.

Moti Lal Saqi and encyclopedia and use of Kashmiri language objected by people like M.Y.Teng. Seminar of Kashmiri Department of Kashmir university and ML Saqis experience. ( Shihij Vath) soothing path.

Urdu the state Language & Nastaliq, not Devnagri or Shard as its script

The second aspect of the disinformation campaign about the militant violence is pertaining to the alleged economic deprivations, the Muslims faced in the State. The local political leadership, specifically the leadership of the National Conference and the splinters of the Muslims United Front, a section of the Muslim leadership of the Congress the left parties and some of the constituents of the Janta Dal, blamed the Hindus of having appropriated economic advantage at the cost of the Muslim majority. The Muslims, they alleged, were compelled by poverty and economic depression to resort to armed resistance against India. 

The total population of the State according to census of India, conducted in 1981, was 59,27389 of which 19,30,448 were Hindus, 38,43,451 were Muslims, 1,33,675 were Sikhs, 69,706 were Buddhists, 1,576 Jains, and 2,481 Christians. The population figures, quoted above did not include the two and a half lakh Hindus and Sikhs, who migrated to Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, and the Hindus and Sikhs who were displaced from the territories of the State occupied by Pakistan and who have lived in the State ever since. These people are still awaiting settlement in the State. This has been in contrast with the expedition and efficiency with which the Muslim refugees from Tibet, who claimed Kashmiri lineage and who migrated to Kashmir in the wake of the Chinese annexation of Tibet in 1950, the Afghan refugees and thousands of Muslim immigrants, who sneaked across the Cease-Fire Line, from the occupied territories, in the wake of the Indo- Pakistan conflict of 1965, and the Bangladesh War of 1971, were settled in both the provinces of the State. These ugly facets of the Indian policy towards Kashmir and the double standards of the State Government have hardly been known outside the State and have generally been lost in the din of the orchestrated tradition of tolerance and secular values of the Muslim leadership in Kashmir. 

The total population of the Hindus according to the Census of 1981, formed 32.4 percent of the total population of the State. The population of Sikhs formed 2.1 percent of the population of the State and the population of Buddhists constituted 1.1 percent of the population of the State. The population of the Hindu and Sikh Sharnarthis, refugees still awaiting settlement, constituted 4.1 percent of the population of the State. Added together, the population of the Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhists in the State, constituted 39.7 percent of the population of the State. 

The population statistics of the State have been cited here to provide a broad background of the demographic composition of the State, to remove various misconceptions about the relative strength of the different communities in the State, including the Muslims in Kashmir, bring to surface the consistent effort of the successive State governments to distort the population statistics of the Hindus in the State; show that a large part of the Hindu population, the refugees who settled in the State in 1947, and the displaced persons of the occupied territories of “Azad Kashmir”, were always excluded from the population statistics of the State during the last forty seven years; expose the consistent efforts of the State Government, under whose instructions and supervision the census operations were conducted to tamper with the population figures of the Hindus in Kashmir, a fact clearly borne out by the stark contrast of the figures of the Hindu population estimated by the census authorities and the actual number of the Hindus who migrated from Kashmir;

The Jammu and Kashmir is a prosperous State, which in terms of per capita in come is placed fourth among the Indian States. The prosperity of the Muslims accounted for a greater share in the figures cited above due to more favourable allocation of financial resources for the Kashmir division, varying between 65 to 69 percent as compared to 35 to 31 percent allocated to the two divisions of Jammu and Ladakh. 

The widespread propaganda campaign about the so-called economic deprivation of the Muslims of Kashmir, was designed to conceal the real import and objectives of the militancy and was aimed to mislead the Indian public opinion in order to provide tactical advantage to the secessionist forces working against the unity of the country. The Muslims in the province were and still are, a prosperous community. The Muslims of Kashmir dominated the economic organisation of the State, as shown by the following facts: 

The Muslims in Kashmir owned 97.4 percent of the agricultural land, leaving 2.6 per cent of agricultural land in the ownership of the Hindus and the other minorities, who together constituted about 11 percent population of the province. The Muslims owned 96 percent of the fruit orchard acerage in the Kashmir province, whereas the Hindus owned only 2.8 percent of the fruit orchards.

TheMuslims in Kashmir owned 98.7 per cent acerage of Kareva highland, growing saffron, whereas the Hindus owned 0.03 percent land yielding saffron. The export of dry fruit: almond, and walnut, was a monopoly of the Muslims in Kashmir, the Hindus having negligible or no share in the export of dry fruit from Kashmir.

The export of precious walnut and willow-wood was wholly a monopoly of the Muslims, the Hindus having no share in it. The employment of the Muslims in the horticulture industry approximated to 8 lakhs of people working on 4,81,000 orchard holdings. The employment of Hindus in the Horticul- ture indus try was less than 0.5 percent.

Of the industries using electric power in Kashmir province, 98.9 per cent were owned by the Muslims and only 0.02 per cent were owned by the Hindus.

The handicrafts and handloom industry of Kashmir division was almost wholly owned by the Muslims and provided employment to 91,941 persons, among whom only 0.4 per cent were Hindus.

The membership of the handicrafts and handloom cooperative societies in 1985-86, the years, when the Muslim fundamental its were getting militarised, was 17,776, of which only 0.3 per cent belonged to the Hindus in Kashmir.

In 1985-86, the number of small-scale industries and industrial units registered with the Directorate of Industries in Kashmir province was 46,293. The number of units registered in the name of the Hindus of Kashmir estimated to only 0.01 percent. 98.7 percent of the industrial units were registered in the name of the Kashmiri Muslims.

The Khadi and village industries registered under Khadi and Village Industries Board, provided employment to 28,110 persons. 98.8 percent of the employees were Muslims.
According to the statistics and figures collected from the Government sources for the years 1985-86, the State Transport Corporation employed 6,434 persons of which the Kashmiri Hindus accounted for 0.8 percent. According to the figures available for the year 1985-86, from the government sources, the entire boat transport in the State was monopolised by the Kashmiri Muslims.

The hotel industry is a highly lucerative industry in Kashmir. It was always a closed preserve of the Muslims of Kashmir. The Muslims owned about 96 percent of the hotel property in Kashmir, the Hindus owned only 2.2 percent of the Hotel property in Kashmir.

94 percent of the State subsidy paid on horticulture, agriculture, agricultural implements, fertilisers, pesticides etc. was appropriated by the Muslims in Kashmir with 2.4 per cent and less of the subsidies received by the Hindus. The Muslims appropriated the whole of the State subsidies on industrial loans, exports, self employment schemes etc. The share of the Hindus of Kashmir in such subsidies was negligible; less than 0.1 per cent.

The share of the Hindus in the industrial loans, provided by the State Government, the loans on self-employment schemes, loans on small scale and handicraft industrial units and the lands alloted for the establishment of such industries, was negligible; less than 0.1 per cent. The Hindus were almost excluded from contracts and public works undertaken by the Government and were given, on an average, a share of 4 percent in the works undertaken by the State.

Land to tiller

With one stroke of pen Hindu community was rendered landless. Social boycott of pro Indian parties.
Gujjar Bakerwals , shias and Ahmedias also not accepted as equals.
 Caste system within Muslims prevalent everywhere.
Love Jihad existed in Ka
hmir earlier

Sample of Indian Laws those are already not applicable in J&K

– Article 370 is responsible for this!

AG3-1. Article 370 undermines the entire Constitution of India and hence the Parliament and the People of India since it makes it possible for the Jammu and Kashmir State Government to enact any and every such law that it may deem fit except any that has direct relationship with regard to Defense, Foreign Affairs and Communications.

AG3-2. As pointed out by eminent Kashmiri Hindus, Article 370 has had a negative effect on the well being of the Kashmiri Hindu community, as well as on the socio-economic development of the entire State and on its entire population. Article 370 has resulted in the deterioration of the situation in J&K from the combination of segregation of the state from India due to Article 370, and due to import of fundamentalism from POK and hence Abrogation of Article 370 will be a positive step.

AG3-3. The State of J&K has a Flag of its own. The Indian National Flag can be flown only along with the State Flag.

AG3-4. Jammu and Kashmir is the only State that has dual citizenship, one of the State and the other of India. Even the voters lists for State elections and for Parliament elections are not common.

AG3-5. If a girl belonging to Jammu and Kashmir marries a boy from outside the state, who is not a state subject, she loses all her rights as a ‘State Subject’. Even if her children are then born in the state, those children have no rights as state subjects!

AG3-6. The wealth tax cannot be imposed in the state.

AG3-7. The Urban Land Act, 1976, which is in force in the entire country, is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, rich landlords, belonging to the majority community in the Valley, indulge in economic exploitation of the poor and the Indian citizens, who are non-state subjects and living in the valley, cannot even secure loans from the financial institutions.
AG3-8. The State Government of Jammu and Kashmir did not accept the Anti-defection law adopted in the country; it made several amendments. The decision on defection is not taken by the Speaker of the Assembly but by the leader of the connected political party, giving unbridled authority to the leader of the party.

AG3-9. The Governor of the State is usually not a citizen of the state, and hence he has no right to vote.

AG3-10. Burning of the national flag is not a cognizable offence in

AG3-11. Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.

AG3-12. International agreements entered into by the Union Government under Article 253 of the Constitution cannot be extended automatically to Jammu and Kashmir.

AG3-13. Constitutional protections for minorities are not applicable in J&K.

AG3-14. In J&K, residential pockets of Hindu majority were combined with Muslim majority districts so that no Kashmiri Hindu could get elected to the assembly. Out of the J&K assembly’s total strength of 86 (excluding 25 seats reserved for areas of the state currently under Pakistan’s occupation), 41 are earmarked for the districts of Jammu and Ladakh together, while 45 are earmarked for the much smaller Kashmir valley which is only sparsely populated compared to the two other regions.

AG3-15. The admissions of Kashmiri Hindus to various academic institutions were restricted to a negligible 2-8 percent of the total admissions made every year, when they were amongst the most meritorious ones.

AG3-16. The Union Government enacted the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988. It was made applicable to all the States of the Union except J and K. Because of Article 370, concurrence of the State Government was needed for extension of this law to the State, but the same was not given. Says Jagmohan: “Nowhere was this law needed more than in the State of J and K. Nowhere were religious places misused more than here.” This is a classic example of how Article 370 has influenced Jammu and Kashmir State laws on issues that the Article does not itself address explicitly! Restrictions imposed by Article 370 have empowered the J&K State to enact absurd State Constitution laws in later years, fully exploiting the irrational continuation of the ‘Temporary Provisions’ of Article 370.

AG3-17. The Constitution of India contemplates three types of emergencies:
*Emergency arising out of (i) war or (ii) internal disturbance (Article 352)
*Breakdown of constitutional machinery in the States (Article 356)
*Financial emergency (Article 360)

As per the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order 1976 issued by the President of India under Article 370, there is a modification of Article 352 in its application to J&K. This modification says “No Proclamation of Emergency made on grounds only of internal disturbance or imminent danger thereof shall have effect in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir unless—(a) It is made at the request of or with the concurrence of the Government of that State, or (b) Where it has not been so made, it is applied subsequently by the President to that State at the request or with the concurrence Government of that State.” (The modification (a) was introduced by a similar Order of 1974.)

 AG3-18. Two Presidential Orders, respectively of 1964 and of 1993, modified article 356 for J&K. The position today is as follows: In clause (1) article 356, references to provisions or provision of this Constitution shall, in relation to the State of J&K, be construed as reference to provisions or provision of the Constitution of J&K Article 360 is not applicable to J&K. ”
High Court of J&K

The High Court of J&K has limited powers as compared to other High Courts within India. It can’t declare any law unconstitutional. Unlike High Courts in other states, under Article 226 of the Constitution, it can’t issue writs except for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

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