Jammu-Kashmir Vichar Manch enlightened Keralites on ‘Kashmir’ issue

published on November 1, 2010

Kashmiri Pandits want sedition case against Roy
PNS | Thiruvananthapuram

Jammu-Kashmir Vichar Manch, an organization of Kashmiri Pandits, on Monday asked the Centre to initiate a sedition case against writer Arundhati Roy for the remarks she made recently in Delhi on the Kashmir issue.

Ajay Bharti, president of the Manch, said in Thiruvananthapuram that the writer herself might not be afraid of such a case but an act like that could deter others from making such irresponsible statements and joining separatist forces.

Speaking at a seminar, Bharti said that Roy’s remarks were focused only on a limited part of Kashmir and alleged that the ground realities in the Valley were being ignored by a section of people. He said Roy’s remarks sympathizing with the displaced Kashmiri Pandits were made “out of compulsion”.

If she was sincere in her remarks on this “she would have joined our dharna in New Delhi where we were fighting for our rights,” he said, adding that Roy did not even visit them but instead participated in another dharna by “the violators of our rights.” The seminar was organized by the Bharatiya Vichara Kendram.

According to Bharti, people like Arundhati Roy were aiding the radicalization of the Sufi ideals that led the Kashmiris. He said the Manch leaders were currently traveling across the country to highlight the real picture of events in the Valley.

“We in Kashmir grew up listening to stories about Adi Shankara from Kerala. But we are annoyed that Roy, who is also from Kerala, has chosen to focus on a limited part of Kashmir which forms only eight percent of the total state,” Bharti said.

The Manch alleged that that Central Government was hesitating to register a case against Roy on the pretext that it might internationalize the Kashmir issue and would give a bad name to India. Roy had stated that Kashmir was never an integral part of India and claimed that this was a historical fact.

Official narrative on Kashmir, right from the dawn of Independence and the subsequent reporting by print and electronic media did not largely match the actual ground situation, Bharti said. This had ensured that a lot of misconceptions had become firm beliefs and this was the greatest tragedy Kashmir was facing, he said.

According to him, Kashmir was just 7.13 per cent area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed and acceded to The Dominion of India in October, 1947. “It is only 15.63 per cent of the area that continues to be within Indian administration. So, we need to be very careful when we talk of the Kashmir issue,” he said.

On the appointment of interlocutors on the Kashmir issue, Bharti said their effort would prove futile. They would not be able to provide any solution to the issues in Kashmir, he said. They were talking more to the media than to the people of Kashmir, he alleged.

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