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I happened to read the entire transcript of Mr. Arun Jaitley’s interview by one of the most renowned interviewers on a CNN-IBN, one of the channels which at times does try to maintain some objectivity, if not complete. The interviewer did his level best to force Mr. Jaitley to accept his and his party’s follies and all Mr. Jaitley does is evade the question by constantly resorting to falsehood and untenable arguments. Knowing how articulate he generally is, it was a disappointment. I would like to counter some of the assertions he made during the interview.

On being asked if BJP’s policy (on Amarnath land transfer) is inflaming separatism, he replies

I think you are being too naïve when you ask this question. Do you seriously think that the separatists in the Valley have re-launched the separatist movement because of the land issue?

Well done, Mr. Jaitley you have just done us a favour by accepting the fact that the ongoing protests are not related to land-transfer but to the actual unresolved dispute of Kashmir. Isn’t this what the whole of Kashmir is saying?

Land transfer is and was never an issue. This imbroglio combined with the insensitive and humiliating remarks by the ex-CEO of Amarnath Shrine Board against Kashmiri Muslims, did something delayed but inevitable. It shook the people  and woke them from the deep slumber, made them come out on roads and start demanding resolution of the dispute according to the wishes of people. People who had been subjugated for decades now, people who had been humiliated and insulted almost on a daily basis – These are the very people who felt enough is enough, and challenged the might of the great nation against their resolve. Might may succeed temporarily but not for long. The resolve is going to be even stronger next time, even if some may like to believe to have quelled it, the struggle is far from over, it will hit them even strongly next time.

On being questioned that the separatists have been given the opportunity because of the land issue, Mr. Jaitley retorts

….First, the separatists lied to the whole country and to the whole world, saying that Hindu colonisation would come up in the Valley.

If Mr. Jaitley believes the apprehensions were wrong, I’d like to ask him what material bearing does the permanent diversion (and the cancellation of the order) have on the Yatra. There are 1000s of hectares (please note, not 100 odd hectares) which are utilised before, during and after the Amarnath Yatra directly or indirectly by the piligrims to enable them to perform their religious duties. This land has been in use for years and decades now, then why is the BJP and the AYSS hell bent upon claiming that cancellation of land transfer order is tantamount to religious interference. If SASB’s intention was to create better facilities for Yatris (and not at all attempt to change the demography of the valley) shouldn’t Mr. Arun Kumar have been thankful to the local populace for never creating an issue about these thousands of hectares. All he knew was to humiliate and agitate Kashmiris by raising issues like Muslim pollution and Hindu pollution – As if nature cares what your religious beliefs are.

I have no doubt in my mind now, particularly seeing what AYSS (incidentally led by three staunch RSS loyalists) is doing in Jammu that someone saw through their game, stopped them in their tracks and hence put paid to their plans. If Kashmiris today see a parallel between the way Jewish settlements and Palestine problem and the Kashmir’s future, it is not an entirely misplaced fear.

Now let me come to what Jaitley Sb feels is tragic, The interviewer questions him about PDP and NC (what they generally refer to as mainstream parties) also having reacted to the land transfer, he replies curtly

That is the tragedy

Now, it’s Mr. Jaitley who is acting naive (happens to be his pet word). If he thinks that Hurriyat and separatists do not represent the popular opinion in Kashmir, he must conceed that the parties named above surely represent that. Now, if a regional party’s views are called tragic, I do not know then what is less tragic, perhaps a Delhi based party telling Kashmiris what they are supposed to do, what they should say, what they should comment upon and what they should like and dislike. Sorry, Mr. Jaitley you are terribly wrong here. Give Kashmiris their due, don’t think that we cannot decide for ourselves.

Now to something really hillarious, Mr. Jaitley mentions that August – September is not the apple season, then may I know from him what is – perhaps month of March. Needless to say, contrary to the widely accepted fact he says there was and there is no economic blockade – even though you have the boastful comments by some of his party colleagues on how they haven’t and won’t allow trucks to move between Srinagar and Jammu.

The interviewer then counters Mr. Jaitley’s arguments about blockade on the basis of figures released by the president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Mubeen Shah, which mentioned the loss to the Kashmir fruit industry to the tune of 1000 crore all thanks to the blockade of National Highway (thanks to Mr. Jaitley’s partymen and other like minded people). To this he replies

Well, Mobin (Mubeen) Shah is a part of the Hurriyat

Now stomach this, separatists, common people, traders and even the pro-India parties all agitated, and he feels it’s tragic. If everyone in the state is agitated over an issue, this means for them it is a vital issue and not somehting which can be brushed under the carpet. He tries his best to either paint all with the ‘separatist’ brush or resorts to  ‘its tragic’ when “mainstream” political parties find a fault with Jaitley ji’s party policies. Guess he simply cannot stomach the fact that Kashmiris cannot be taken for a ride always.

On economic blockade he tries to comment that even Times of India, Indian Express and Hindustan Times (three of the most widely read newspapers in India) do not know the correct story, then who does.. Ofcourse Mr. Jaitley himself.. No economic blockade. Needless to say he even goes on to say that even the Kashmiri journalists are lieing. Shame!!! To him the talk of economic blockade is a myth perpetuated by ISI. Mr. Jaitley, can you tell me how one truck driver Mohammed Lateef Wani died in Delhi’s AIIMS? Only yesterday, truck drivers in Srinagar bore visible marks of having been beaten in Kathua, where did that come from? Perhaps ISI agents landing in Kathua and beating them up, windscreens broken who is doing it ofcourse drivers themselves for propaganda, Is that what you believe?

Sometime back I heard that a oft repeated lie starts to sound like a truth after some time. Sorry Mr. Jaitley it won’t happen now, The whole world knows it.

Just before signing off, an age old couplet by Allama Iqbal which could be so apt for the party Mr. Jaitley represents and its other allies, for they can never read the writing on the wall when it comes to Kashmir.

Na samjhoge toh mitt jaaoge ae hindustaan waalo
Tumhari daastaan tak na hogi daastaanon mein

Better late than never

iShahnaz

I am back

Hi Manish, Mharaj, Sandeep and our latest visitor Aastha,

I must say I have a very good chance of being in the Guiness Book of Records for being the blog-admin who had taken this long a hiatus (professional and personal reasons kept me away). Apologies for the same. I am sure in between, there have been discussions / arguments and at times slanders thrown in either direction which is not acceptable.

Now onwards, I promise to be a bit more regular. Since it’s day 1 after a long break for me, so I may not be able to respond to many comments but still would like to express my point of view on some of the questions raised or some comments posted here by visitors.

I have always encouraged healthy discussions on this blog but it does seem to me, that quite often this blog is used by some people to just vent out their sentiment here – whether or not it makes any connection to the post. That is what has been happening of late, many of us indulging in mud-slinging and I must say in certain cases, things mentioned could not be far from the reality.

I do not necessarily have to agree with everyone’s views and have really liked people sharing their views even if it doesn’t conform to the stereotyped image. For example my last post which was about the influx of non-Kashmiri labourers to Kashmir, the discussion was quite a healthy one and surprisingly one Kashmiri Muslim (who had this strange fantasy of working in Srinagar Airport) while hitting the keys from the land of Uncle Sam was vehemently opposing every thought of asking Bihari labourers to leave Kashmir.

Fair enough, if he is indeed a Kashmiri he is entitled to have his opinion as I do. And he has a right to say whether or not he wants Bihari migrants to set up their abode in Kashmir, Now whether or not it happens is entirely a different story.

But the same post has been totally hijacked by some blog visitors and all they have been doing is posting material to demean the other community and then in the same breath comment how the quality of this blog has gone down.  I would like to remind them, a place visited by everyone is as good or as bad as the people who grace it by their presence. Once something is public (as I am happy to say this blog is with no restriction on the relevant content you want to post) it stops being an individual responsibility. One who likes to just spew venom, may he kindly excuse the fellow bloggers here.

One of our bloggers opines that carrying Trishuls in hand is not an offence at all – I guess it suits him that he calls himself an avenger. I wonder why he needs one. Needless to say I am not sure that post can stay long. If you want to avenge, please do so, but not here.

Hopefully, the avenger sees reason in discussing and not avenging. An age old saying .. An eye for eye leaves the whole world blind… A Trishul for a gun, though no match but damages equally.

Till we see each other again.

Juz A Kashmiri

Influx of non-Kashmiris

My views which appear here have actually been taken from the comments section of my earlier post as I felt it would do justice to have this topic (Influx of non-Kashmiri labourers / artisans into Kashmir and recent threat by some organisations) discussed separately.

I will start with my recent remarks which also appear in the previous post. Request all fellow bloggers to drop in their comments on the topic in this post only.

Thanks

Sajad
Thanks for regularly participating in this discussion, although the subject of this post and your views may not be in complete harmony.

Having said that, I’d like to mention that we should not be comparing the large scale immigration (or whatever word you may like to refer it by) of unskilled labour to the valley with the employment of Kashmiris (generally high-skilled) outside Kashmir. There are many reasons for holding this belief but I would like to quote a few:

1. Kashmiris employed in any of the corporates be it IT, BPOs or even banks outside of valley contribute to the national GDP by way of taxes. So, if I am gainfully employed in Mumbai not only do I pay my annual taxes as required, I also pay other taxes like Professional tax every month. This tax goes towards development of the city that I earn my bread and butter from. Can anyone of us draw a parallel here – Does the unskilled labour contribute to economy of Kashmir besides buying bread and butter there?

2. The large scale influx of non-locals to Kashmiris besides giving rise to some unwelcome social issues can also deal a body blow (if it hasn’t already) to the locals who are involved in similar profession – masons, carpenters, barbers. Agreed the services come at a discount, but can we sustain the long term impact – I am not very sure. I would say this is some kind of a dumping being forced on us, thereby ensuring the locals themselves are forced out of the profession.

3. What happens if suddenly this long line of supply (non-local labour) starts dwindling, how are we supposed to cope up with the demand then? We have always been dependent on outside Kashmir for many of the things, this will simply add to our woes.

4. How many of the non-state subjects would be paying their electricity bills, water taxes, road tax. I doubt if they do – and even if they do pay electricity bills (assuming the landlord doesn’t resort to widespread illegal tapping of electricity so much prevalent) it would be a pittance compared to what those outside the state have to shell out.

5. Most of the Kashmiris who earn their livelihood outside spent a good percentage of their income outside the valley – be it mobile bills, travel, recreation, entertainment since they invariably stay at the same place. Thus, again there is an inflow of capital into the same economy where I earn it from. What does non-skilled labour from rest of India does in Kashmir, Earn and then save enough money and pump it back into their local markets- a massive outflow of capital from Kashmiri economy.

I may not be a supporter of Quit-Kashmir, but I do not believe in the fact that we can compare the scenario.

May my Kashmir always remain for Kashmiris.
Juz A Kashmiri

Hi Friends,

After three weeks of blogging here I am sure most of you who happen to be a regular to this blog now would have basically understood that our idea of being here is not to promote the jinogism or any hatred against a particular community. We are here because we know Kashmir and Kashmiris have suffered – regardless of his / her faith – we speak about the harsh treatment meted out to some in one way and we talk about suffering of others others in a different context. And while acknowledging that this misfortune has befallen almost every soul, who is connected to the valley in some or the other way, let us come forward and express our thoughts about each other even if at times there are highly dissenting voices from either side. Lets atleast agree to one thing – to disagree.

A friend of mine suggested that I should express my thoughts about how do we feel about the Pandits and the opinions expressed by them. So here we are and in this post of mine I will highlight why I feel the participation of Kashmiri Pandits in any discussion on Kashmir is of paramount importance.

We all know that most of the Kashmiri Pandits (either by coercion or by force or whatever you may like to call that) lost their homes and left for some of the most un-welcome places at the start of the militancy (or tehreek – you may use any word). Strangely enough Kashmiri Muslims were as confused as anyone as to what the reasons for the exodus is… Some presumed it as Jagmohan’s siyaasi-saazish while some were certain in their mind that it was the game plan for the militants to “sanitise” the land. Most of my Kashmiri Pandit friends say that they were clearly threatened with dire consequences lest they convert to the faith of the majority.

As I have mentioned earlier I am too ordinary a soul to claim that I know the whole story – but as far as my knowledge goes there were no particular threats issued from our neighborhood mosque to “convert or else“. May be the scenario in other areas was different. And now when I remember the kind of slogans that were raised at our local mosque, it seems they were not totally “innocuous”. I say that based on my personal choice. Tomorrow if majority demands that the law of the land (where I live in) be suddenly changed to suit the demands of their faith only (of which I am not a part) and this is blared endlessly from loud speakers right into my home, I think I have a reason to be paranoid. So slogans like Yahaan Kya Chalega — Nizaam-e-Mustafa (Only the rule of Prophet (PBUH) will prevail here) or Pakistan se rishta kya.. and countless others being heard time and again at every nook and corner surely would have made Kashmiri Pandits fear the worst.

I still wonder who coined these slogans and whether it was done out of a purpose or was it something which was quite instinctive. Whatever be the case, the supporters (if some one says now he never supported this is either lyeing or he was not there at that time or else he has to be a sooth-sayer) at the same time made no efforts to also highlight the concept of universal brotherhood that is enshrined in the tenets of Islam. In the absence of which Pandits had no choice but to leave. And it was not an easy choice to make. Atleast, I think that way and am open to discussing this with whosoever comes forward. Having said that, what role did the administration or any other central agencies play is something which is open to interpretation. Could they have done anything different to prevent this exodus – I am not sure they bothered, just as no one bothers about how many Kashmiris fall prey to violence on a daily basis.

I am sure that the psyche of the Kashmiri Pandits must have been under tremendous strain not only because of incessant sloganeering but also since lot of Pandits were killed at the hands of militants after being branded as mukhbir (So were countless Muslims after tagging them similarly or a more heinous version). A call by a prominent militant organisation asking gair-muslim (non-Muslims) to vacate the land did not help either though the same militant group later said it was a typo and it should have read gair-kashmiri (non-Kashmiri). To me this is has to categorise as the most costly typo in the world – more costlier than last year’s typo by a Mizuho broker.

Now coming to the main post… For me a Kashmiri Pandit is as important as any other Kashmiri Muslim whom I know or with whom I share no acquaintance. They have as much a right to decide about the future of Kashmir as we have. Even if we want, Pandits cannot simply be wished away. I can hear some murmurs pointing to the fact that when Kashmir needed to present a united face to the outside world they were simply not there; then why such clamour to join at this juncture. My response to such reasoning is that you need to first of all understand the reasons – I repeat threat coercion or whatever – why they left the place which was their own and moved to the climes which at best can be described as inhospitable. No one on the face of earth likes to be displaced from his own home to a land of uncertainities, un-welcome culture and what not.

I have been scouring for blogs by Kashmiri Pandits and I am not surprised to see varying opinions – some very blunt in their thoughts as to how they have been “let-down” by almost everyone while a few (and its not a huge majority – I must contend) do understand the pain everyone in Kashmir is going through. While there are some who are optimistic of visiting their homes in Kashmir and get settled like they used to two decades ago others are not sure they would go back even if the situation is very conducive for their return. The people who fall in the second category are among that group which is well-settled in various parts of the world and returning to Kashmir would be like starting from a scratch. For them, it could mean yet another displacement and I am not sure they would be looking ahead to that. While for others who are living in squalid conditions in refugee camps in Jammu (or elsewhere) nothing less than a return to their homes is required.

The need of the hour now is to first of all recognise Kashmiri Pandits as equal stake holders in the future of the valley. At the same time both the communities must go for self-introspection and try to understand why the things went wrong and how to correct it. Continuing to shift the blame to either side is an exercise in futility. Its not that Kashmiris have lost the guts to raise the voice against evil – For that matter we continue to do this – but either our voice is suppressed through invocation of draconian acts (of laws) or by threats from the other side. Every Kashmiri needs the space (and the freedom) to express his thoughts freely and if some one dissents that he / she may also come to the discussion table rather than resort to coercion or threat of a physical retribution.

I must mention that any discussion on the subject of Kashmir between two nuclear nations will be meaningless if the aspirations of the people who are in Kashmir are not taken into account. And at the same time, if wishes of the Kashmiri Pandits (who have left) are not considered the solution arrived at has the potential to foment more trouble. So it is essential that both India and Pakistan understand that any solution foisted on the hapless Kashmiri people may be counter-productive and so every attempt be made to make the discussions broad based. But before that intelligentsia from both the communities need to shed the communal cloak that they have put on for quite some time and look at the Kashmir as a human issue. Till the time a Kashmiri is viewed as a terrorist and Pandits thought of as Indian agents we will get absolutely nowhere.

May Almighty give each one of us the sense to understand that it is high time to set aside our differences, acknowledge the fact that we need to work together and that we start in earnest before it gets too late.

iShahnaz

http://www.twitter.com/iShahnaz

Friends,

HM says Tahab grenade thrower is an informer. And we all know what the state government / J&K Police are claiming. Surely one of them is lying and I wish Almighty gives us the sense to perceive the true picture.

Having said that, does it make any difference to the families who lost their loved ones. This irreparable loss is equally great whether the victim fell to some militant designs or to machinations of the state. They’re no more now and their families have to live with this sorrow for ever. Would they care less if they come to know who the culprit actually worked for? It is a loss of a human life – but strangely in Kashmir such incidents hardly get noticed. I had read it somewhere (I think it was CNN-IBN blog of Suhasini Haider (corrected read as) Mufti Islah Read it here .. do have a look) that Kashmiris need a hell of a weeping and that day I really felt how innure and insensitive we all have become. Deaths dont scare us at all, Grenade attacks are normal part of our vocab. And to me that is the biggest tragedy of all.

I would like to share a personal experience here. That experience of mine simply confirmed what I had thought long time ago – We hardly realise what deaths mean these days. Some time back I lost my dearest friend to a rare disease… His death was a huge setback for his family and for every friend of his. But I did feel that within days I was carrying on with my life the way I had done before. My grief was not less in any manner – even I miss him now though its been months, My feeling was that either the realisation that he is no more had not sunken yet or I don’t know what death (My friend used to call death as “The Universal Truth”) is – oblivious to the fact that I am not going to see him again till the Day of Judgement. I still feel it is the latter at least when it comes to Kashmir and Kashmiris (living in the valley).

At the same time I also believe that we ourselves are responsible for this. For behaving like no better than a person who is almost dead. When I think of innocent killings – I recall Gow Kadal, Bijbehara and countless other such incidents. But at the same time I cannot forget that day when a Pandit doctor’s entire family was wiped out in Aali Kadal. By whom, yes by people who had promised Kashmiris Azaadi (or some may say Pakistan). Just by killing 5 innocent they thought they were closer to their aim. May Almighty do unto them what they deserve.

I felt so sad that day and even today I wish I could ask those murderers Why, what was their crime. We should have questioned them then … We didn’t… No one was shaken by that and so now even massacres don’t move us.

Keep your thoughts coming on this…

Juz A Kashmiri

Can someone please explain?

Friends another sad day in the already sad history of our valley.

Yet another grenade attack on civilians this time near a Friday congregation. Five killed and countless injured in Tahab Pulwama. And all the government comes up with is this.

 Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pulwama, Meraj Ahmad Kakroo told Greater Kashmir that the Maulana had not sought permission from the district administration for holding the congregation, as a result no security arrangements were made.
Courtesy Greater Kashmir

The matter doesn’t simply end there. Soon after this incident residents of Tahab claimed that the grenade thrower was nabbed by them and understandably handed over to the police.

Some reports said that local residents, who were on way to the mosque for Friday prayers spotted the grenade thrower and chased him and captured him at a distance from the mosque. The grenade thrower, whose identity was not known, was handed over to police, said the reports.
Courtesy Greater Kashmir

The man who allegedly threw the grenade at Tahab in Pulwama district triggering a blast that killed five persons has been handed over to the Army. Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Litter village in Pulwama, was caught by local people on Friday after he allegedly hurled the grenade outside a mosque at Tahab, a defence spokesman said on Saturday.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S M Sahai said the youth was paid Rs 1,000 by Hizbul Mujahideen to hurl the grenade with the intention of targetting Maulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi, a preacher of Barielvi sect.
Courtesy Kashmir Live – Indian Express

This revelation from the IGP (Kashmir) came shortly after the state administration had vehemently denied that people had caught hold of the grenade thrower.

But Kakroo, the Deputy Commissioner, said, “These reports (that people caught the grenade thrower) are just rumours.”
Courtesy Greater Kashmir

Now having read all this I am really amazed at the speed with which a) DC Sahib vehemently denied people having handed over the culprit to the Police / Army (and in the process branded the locals (dare I say) as liars, and b) IGP Sahib’s earnest in letting us know the motive behind the whole thing after acknowledging the fact that locals did indeed nab the culprit, within an hour or so after the bureaucrat’s denial.

Now it is a mathematical certainity that at maximum only one of the above two statements is correct. If no one was caught IGP Sb had no reason to talk about the identity of the person, the sum handed over and the motive as well. And if someone was indeed caught (as the locals claim and so do the IGP) why did our DC Sahib show all the eagerness in denying the truth.

Mind you if such earnest was shown in securing the lives of people (rather than bothering about the bureaucratic hassles) today I would not have been commenting on this sordid episode. DC Pulwama says since no permission was sought for congregation so no security was provided – as if to say no permission is equivalent to denial of right to live. The fact that the congregation was being held must have been common knowledge atleast in today’s times. So why was the police protection denied? Just because of procedural hassles we have lost more innocent lives and no-one (repeat no-one) is willing to share the blame.

At the same point of time general public would like to know what happened to the grenade thrower who was nabbed yet again by public (isn’t it amazing un-armed civilians did the job twice) in Dalgate and handed over to Police. Till date we are yet to hear about that as well. Why isn’t that person paraded in front of live 24X7 TV channels. I don’t care a damn who the guy is and what his theory is. I want him to be ashamed of himself. But may be he cannot be questioned.. Why (you may ask)? Well I had once heard this urdu couplet somewhere… Though it doesnt entirely fit in the context but I found it apt

Mujhsey mat poochh merey dil ki kahani humdum….
ismey kuchh parda nasheenon key bhi naam aatey hain

Could someone please explain till how long do we have to face these faceless murderers?

Juz A Kashmiri

Hi Everyone,

I happened to read this post ..And his life should become extinct on the blog Soul in Exile. As I have maintained right from the start, I am not here to decide who is innocent and who is guilty – for the picture when it comes to Kashmir is always hazy. So it is better to just listen to what the other person says and then make your conclusions – whether or not they are accepted by the masses. In the comments section of my previous post I had referred to this link and for those who want to have a complete understanding of what we are discussing here, I request them to first go through the article.

Our friend Soul in Exile has made some observations and I am sure it doesn’t harm anyone if we go through his post. Now having done that, I have put in my comments which I am reproducing here – for fear of being censored at the place they are intended for.

Soul in Exile,

As I had promised I am responding to your post and I will try to be as concise as possible to avoid boring you with un-necessary things… things that you must be aware of and pleading ignorance. However, I must admit that your post (a lengthy one indeed) doesn’t make my job simpler – for you have jumped from one issue to another to third and then to fourth. I wish you had stuck to one issue. However, I will try my level best to put my thoughts here. Mind you, I am not defending Afzal Guru here. My problem is because you have a problem with someone who attempts to put the true picture in front of the public and then let the public decide.
Calls Arundhati Roy a pseudo-secular
1. You call Arundhati Roy a pseudo-secular and I cannot help but be reminded of the way a right-wing party in India chooses to call all those who raise any kind of voice for the minorities. Anyways arguing against your such perception -for you won’t be convinced – will be a futile exercise.

I must thank you for I have learnt that one who has a way-with-words will make us believe every non-sense in this world. You surely deserve an award for this new theory. Why don’t you try for some kinda Nobel or similar award.

Now lets come to the observations and counter-arguments made by you.

Ridicules Arundhati for saying Afzal Guru is innocent – because SAR Geelani was acquitted by the Indian ……
2. You have mentioned that Arundhati Roy tries to say “Courts be damned” and what not. I wish you had read the article without any bias and you would have understood what she meant. Hard as it may sound, but I failed to find a single sentence in her write-up which claimed that Afzal is totally innocent. She has merely put the pieces together, and there in what has emerged are glaring loopholes. Well, why would you talk about those loopholes – that would only make you case even more weaker. Just that one innocent professor was not convicted doesn’t mean whosoever else is tried has to be guilty. It was only due to the unrelented pressure by NGOs, reputed lawyers and thinkers, his students that today SAR Geelani is a free man.

Ridicules Arundhati Roy for mentioning Afzal Guru’s trial is totally based on all false evidence and there is nothing true in the case. …
3. What Arundhati Roy should or should not have done is none of our choices. I don’t think Ms. Roy wants people like you to believe anything – as you won’t believe anyway. She is a booker prize winner not a publicity hungry politician out to hoodwink you and earn votes (read money). Some of you have taken this famous saying to heart “Never believe what is obvious”. It is possible that Arundhati too might have had similar views as yours but now after researching the case she has changed her opinion. Let her say what she wants to – but the way you are frustrated at this clearly indicates your nervousness.

Is not impressed when A. Roy says Afzal Guru was victimized by the then government so as to be able to find premise for launching a war on Pakistan. Which war? ….
4. Why don’t you ask the big honchos of your favourite party which was in power. Operation Parakram and what not was launched at their behest. And I cannot stop laughing when you say that A. Roy has just weaved a plot for another novel and yet is so naive to discuss it in a weekly. Hey my suggestion, why don’t you take the cue (for you also have a way-with-words) and come out with a bestseller. And by the way, I never knew A. Roy is a Christian.

Madame Roy also makes a reference to her favorite Gujarat riots here – for no evident reason.
5.It is really sick to find someone refer to a pogrom as “favourite” as if one were talking about some daily soap. I hope you understood what pogrom is (not a program on your favourite channel). What Gujarat riots were and what Godhra riots were, let that be for another post .. some other time. Do you want us to believe no-one was killed in Narodiya-Patiya, Best-Bakery case is a myth, A pregnant woman did not have her womb split and her foetus burnt in front of eyes, In Vadodra no one was inside that Sumo around which barbed wire was wound before setting it on fire… I can go and on.. but as I said some other post. And when has a best selling author needed a riot and minorities support to boost her career. By the way what is the percentage of Muslims who read her… I am sure it wont be even a percent.

Says that as per Ms Roy, the terrorism in Kashmir is due to the para-military forces in the valley …
6.I found this to be the most absurd argument from your side. You are stretching her views too far and wide. What she is trying to emphasise on is the ‘terror” that is unleashed in the name of anti-militant activities by Special Operations Group or STF or SOG. But you were lucky enough to escape them so you won’t know how good (or bad) they are. So it would help if you trust ordinary Kashmiris views about them (Oh no you wont do that either.. for you think we all are terrorists).

Says that Ms. Roy has empathy for the enraged people of Kashmir, for the war-torn zone that they are living in and the pain related to it. …
7. Pain of our own making. Yes Kashmiris (read Muslims) are responsible for everything bad in this country be it Babri Masjid demolition, Mumbai riots in 93, Bhagalpur riots, Gujarat riots. So we deserve to die and we are dying. And yes, the conflict in Kashmir is our own creation – Indira Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah, Mufti Syed and yes His Highness Jagmohan had no hand in anything that has happened till now. Now whether A. Roy had condemned Mumbai blasts or Delhi Diwali blasts hardly matters for it is a different case we are discussing.

There was a media orgy forcing the judiciary and the system to prosecute someone – Afzal becoming the victim.
8. When a confession is obtained on Live TV first and only later proper procedures are followed – what other conclusion do you come to… Simply that the channel in addition to boosting their TRP wants to be knows as the channel on which “Afzal confessed”.. Pretty smart but gross. And do I need to tell you what relentless media pressure can force the judiciary to do… No you’re well aware.

Death Sentence should be abolished as it is not a civil form of punishment…
Now you are jumping to so many issues together and I don’t think my comment needs to tackle all of them issues together. Well you talk of the murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo, despite being from the other side of divide I have always wished for the punishment to guilty – whether the victim is a Muslim or a Pandit. How strongly each one of us feels about this case, have you ever wondered why? The reason is it was only possible due to the pressure maintained by the media esp. 24X7 news channels that today Santosh Singh has been convicted. Some years ago no one knew Priyadarshini and no one knew Santosh Singh’s crime either. But tomorrow if anyone stands for him, freedom of expression gives him/her the right to say what he/she wants and I don’t think we need a certificate to be issued whether the person is qualified to defend anyone.
 

And yeah… Vinayak, to be honest,… in relative terms I do think Afzal got a raw deal… Afterall, if Bitta Karate…
I am really amazed that even after nearly two decades whenever we talk of atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits by militants the only name that crops up is of Bitta Karate (incidentally in jail for 16 years till now). An excerpt from a blog I recently visited may be some food for thought for you…

“However, at the same point of time I have no hesitation in saying that while there are Bitta Karates on one end of the spectrum, you wont have to do much to find their equal and opposite personality. That person may not have taken as many lives (or may be even more) but he too has killed an innocent human being somewhere in Gow Kadal, Hawal, Bijbehara; hurt the dignity of women in Chhanapora, Handwara so on and so forth.
Tragedy is while you can ascribe a face to a Bitta Karate terror you cannot do the same for the other gun. The reason we all are here is we acknowledge those tragedies and feel the pain that everyone has gone through”

Hope that helps you in having some objectivity in your posts in the future.

Juz A Kashmiri