Wednesday 7 October 2015

My views on Kashmir

The publisher/editor of an Urdu magazine in Kashmir has sent me the following questionnaire  by email :

(1)    Katju sir, you have a definite Kashmiri ancestry  and in this context you have also put up a detailed post in your blog last year. Could you please elaborate it?
(2)    In a recent telephonic conversation with me, you spoke freely and frankly on various aspects of the Complex Kashmir Problem. Would I ask as to why you appear to be annoyed and angry with Separatists, mainstream Political leadership from the valley, Indian leaders and Pakistani leadership. On repeated occasions, You have held them individually responsible for this vexed problem. Kindly let us know as to how all of them could be responsible for this mess in a single time frame?
(3)    Sir, Shall it not be better if you clearly and directly address to Kashmir’s muslim majority. Let them also know what you want to say. After all people respect your  honesty ,clear heartedness and crystal clear integrity. You can freely and  directly  present your point of view as a  Kashmiri.
(4) Sir, what  permanent solution do you perceive of this vexed problem? You have been a legal luminary  of the country and let us presume this issue comes up before your good self for decision/ resolution/ solution, would you very kindly clarify as to what shall you decide as its just  and final  solution.
(5) Sir, recently Mr R S Dulat retired chief of RAW has published a book and he has comprehensively touched most of the contours and layers of this vexed problem. Sir have you gone through this book? Do you agree with what Mr Dulat says in the Book especially that New Delhi has been feeding almost all segments and entities of separatists in Kashmir?
(6)  Sir, What are your views on migration of Kashmiri Pandits from valley? According to your information how and why did it happen? And sir what do you feel about the issue of return of Kashmiri Pandits to valley ? There is an organization called PANUN KASHMIR which has a different perspective on theissue of return of Kashmiri Pandits to valley. How do you view this complex issue of return of Kashmiri Pandits to valley ?
(7) Sir, you have spoken to me that you have  friendly and warm feelings towards all Kashmiris irrespective of their religion or caste .Does your ancestral lineage and  warm blood make you to feel like that?
(8) Sir,  you  keep sending Tweets  and  post  your views  on other social media on almost  all issues  facing the country in particular  and society in General. A section of  your readers feel that by doing so, you want to be in the News. Is it so ?

My answers are as follows :
(1) The answer to  question number (1) is contained in my blog on which I am reproducing below :
My First Home
I have seven homes in India, Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Orissa, Tamilnadu, and Delhi and so I am truly all Indian. Let me mention about them one by one, in separate posts. This post is about Kashmir, my first home

I am a Kashmiri Pandit. There are two kinds of Kashmiri Pandits, the Kashmiri speaking ones, and the non Kashmiri speaking ones. The non Kashmiri speaking Kashmiri Pandits ( like myself) are those whose ancestors had migrated from Kashmir valley about 200 years back. These Kashmiri Pandits all migrated in exactly the same way, that is, they got employment in some princely state, i.e. in the Court of some Maharaja or Nawab ( they got such jobs as Kashmiri Pandits were highly proficient in Urdu and Persian, the Court languages).  The ancestors of Pt. Nehru, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, etc had all come from Kashmir in this way. Having left Kashmir, they forgot the Kashmiri language after about two generations, and now know only Hindi and English ( those upto my father's generaation were highly proficient in Urdu, but those in my generation have forgotten it. ). My estimate is that they are between one and two lacs in number. My own ancestor, Pt. Mansa Ram Katju migrated from Kashmir about 200 years ago and got service in the Court of the Nawab of Jaora. Jaora is a town in Ratlam district in western Madhya Pradesh, on the border of Rajasthan. My family lived in Jaora for several generations until my grandfather Dr. K.N. Katju moved to U.P. and settled in Allahabad
These non Kashmiri speaking Kashmiris, like my family, did not migrate from Kashmir because of persecution but because of job opportunities in the plains. They were highly proficient in Persian and Urdu ( though those of my generation have forgotten it ) and so they got jobs in princely states in India i.e. courts of some Maharaja or Nawab where the court language was Urdu. All the Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from Kasmir to the plains of India at that time, and whose descendants have since then forgotten the Kashmiri language,  came exactly in the same way.
My ancestor Pt. Mansa Ram Katju, who migrated from Kashmir about 200 years ago has written in Persian in the register of the panda of Kurukshetra ' batalash-e-maash aamadaam ' which means ' I have in quest of bread ' ( i.e. job )

The Kashmiri speaking Pandits ( like my wife) are those who can speak Kashmiri ( apart from Hindi and English). Such Kashmiri Pandits are those who remained in Kashmir, and would be today about 3 lacs in number ( most of them fled from Kashmir after the selected killings of Kashmiri Pandits from 1989 onwards). Kashmiri language is totally different from Hindi, and when my wife speaks to her relatives in Kashmiri I cannot understand,though we have been married for over 45 years.

Though the non Kashmiri speaking Kashmiri Pandits had left Kashmir about 200 years ago, they married only among themselves, and not with the local Pandits or other communities. Also, they retained their food habits. They are non vegetarians, their preference being for Kashmiri mutton dishes, e.g. roghanjosh, yaqni,kabargah, kofta, rista, etc, apart from vegetarian dishes like dam aloo, haq, etc.

Although such Kashmiri Pandits had migrated about 200 years ago, we never forgot Kashmir, and proudly called ourselves Kashmiris. We were like the Jews who had migrated a long time back from their homeland, but said in their prayers :
 " If I forget thee, O Jerusalem
   let my right hand forget its skill
   If I do not remember thee
   let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth"
                                     Psalm : 137.5
 The same was always our sentiment for Kashmir

Despite leaving Kashmir so long ago, we would perform the Kashmiri Pandit religious rituals regularly, e.g. Shivratri puja, pun, etc. I remember when I was very young on Shivratri day my family members used to go in a procession to a door, behind which was another family member. We used to say " Kuch choo, kuch choo", and the person inside would say, "Kay heyth ", and we would say " An dhan Laxmi", and then the door would be opened and we would enter. It was only after my marriage with a Kashmiri speaking lady that I came to know what we had been chanting for 200 years without understanding its meaning ( like many people chanting Sanskrit mantras). In Kashmiri language, ' kus choo ?" means "who is it?". "Kus choo" became "Kuch Choo" after 200 years, and "kay hyeth" i.e. ' what have you brought with you ?", became "kay heyth". It was only when my wife told us the meaning of what we had been chanting for 200 years that we understood its meaning.

Although the Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated about 200 years ago were only a tiny community in the regions where they had settled, their influence ( like that of the Parsis, another tiny community) far outweighed their numbers. We were a highly respected intellectual community, and having first taken up service in some princely state, in a later generation we entered the legal profession, where we excelled. In U.P. not only were some of the top lawyers in the Allahabad High Court Kashmiri Pandits, in about one half of the district Courts in U.P. the leader of the bar was a Kashmiri Pandit ( though in each town we were only a few dozen in numbers). The same was the position in many other north Indian states where Kashmiri Pandits had settled

Still later many of us entered the civil services, or became business executives, etc, and some migrated to foreign countries. Some of us, like Pt. Nehru, entered public life, and rose to high positions. My grandfather was a Union Home and Law Minister

(2) The question numbers (2), (3) and (4) are really the same, and so I may answer them together.
  Firstly, let me tell you that most Kashmiri Muslims love and respect me, though I have called most of them stupid in demanding freedom from India ( just as I have called most Indians stupid for being casteist, communal and superstitious ). I have always condemned atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims.
I remember once when I was sitting in court in the Supreme Court suddenly 50-60 young people entered my courtroom and stood there hearing the proceedings. At lunch interval when I was proceeding to my chamber my peon came running to me and said that these young people are Kashmiris from Kashmir who wanted to meet me. So I invited them to the judges lounge for a cup of tea, and I also sent a message to my dear friend, late Mr. Altaf Ahmed, senior advocate of the Supreme Court, who had earlier been Advocate General of J&K and Additional Solicitor General of India, to join us, as he was a Kashmiri who could speak in Kashmiri ( which I do not know ). These Kashmiri youth were law students of Kashmir University, and had come for an excursion to Delhi and elsewhere, and hearing that there was a Kashmiri Pandit judge in the Supreme Court they felt an affinity with me, as I had towards them, and wanted to meet me. I told them that our religions may be different ( I am in fact an atheist ), our DNA was the same. They felt very happy in my company, and thought I was one of them. Then when my friend Altaf Ahmed came and started talking to them in Kashmiri they were even more delighted, because everyone likes to hear and speak in his/her mother tongue.
 On another occasion, another batch of young Kashmiri boys and girls wanted to meet me, and I invited them to my residence for tea. I also requested Altaf and his wife to come. Altaf, his wife and my wife all spoke to these young people in Kashmiri, and they felt at home. Later my wife served some delicious non vegetarian snacks, which everyone enjoyed.
   Now coming to the political issues. I have consistently said that the real and only solution to the Kashmir problem is reunification of India and Pakistan ( and Bangladesh ) under a strong secular government which will not tolerate religious extremism of any kind, whether Hindu or Muslim, and crush it with an iron hand. I have also repeatedly said that Pakistan is a fake, artificial country created by the British on the basis of the bogus two nation theory ( see my article online ' The Truth about Pakistan ', which was published in the Pakistani newspaper ' The Nation ' some time back ), and we are bound to reunite one day ( though that will take time ), just as West and East Germany reunited after a separation of 45 years.
 What is Pakistan ? It is Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. These were all parts of India since Mughal times. When I meet Pakistanis I feel no different from them. We speak the same language, Hindustani, look like each other, have the same food habits ( biryani, etc ), same love for Urdu poetry and classical language, etc. In fact we are one. Indians and Pakistanis abroad mix socially as if Partition  had never taken place.
 The Partition of 1947 was a historical British fraud and swindle, to keep Hindus and Muslims fighting each other, so that we may remain weak and backward, and thus not become another China, a powerful rival to Western industry, of which now we have all the potential. Also, Indo-Pak tension will ensure continuity of sales of the Western arms industries in our sub continent, thus giving them huge profits, when all these billions of dollars spent by India and Pakistan for foreign arms purchases could be spent on the welfare of our poor peoples.
 To those who say that Partition was done a long time back, and now talk of reunification is fantasy and day dreaming, my reply is that when Mazzini spoke of unification of Italy most people called it a fantasy and day dreaming, but later it became a reality under Cavour and Garibaldi. Germany, which was divided into hundreds of principalities, became united under Bismarck.
  Now let me answer those who want independence for Kashmir.
The real problems of the people of our sub continent are massive poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, lack of healthcare and good education, etc. These can only be solved by creating a massive modern industry, because it is only modern industry which can generate the wealth required to achieve our objective. Even setting up a single primary school requires a huge amount of money, to pay salaries to teachers and staff, building funds, purchase of books for a library, etc. We have to set up not just one such school but hundreds of thousands of them, tens of thousands of high schools, colleges, technical institutes, engineering colleges, medical colleges, scientific research institutes, etc. Where is the money for all this going to come from ? Money does not fall from the sky. It can only come from a highly developed industry.
 But to set up a highly developed industry we require a large market, because the goods that are produced have to be sold. Modern industry arose in Europe by the smashing down of the small feudal principalities and creation of nation states which provided a large market. Similarly, can Kashmir exist independently and prosper ? No, it will remain poor, for modern industry cannot develop in a small state like Kashmir. In fact, even Jammu will not join it, as its people who are mostly Hindu will prefer to remain in India.
 Apart from the above, if Kashmir is allowed to secede from India, then tomorrow the Nagas will demand independence, then Mizos, Tamils, etc. Where will this end ? India will break up into pieces, and modern industry, which alone can abolish  poverty and other socio-economic evils in our sub continent, cannot develop. So that must never be allowed. Kashmiris should stop foolishly demanding independence and instead demand reunification of India and Pakistan ( and Bangladesh ) under a secular, federal government.
 Kashmir was always part of India ever since it was incorporated into the Mughal Empire in 1587 by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar
 I condemn atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims, as I regard them my blood brothers and sisters, just as I condemn the atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits ( see my blog on ' Kashmiri Pandits ') and atrocities on everyone anywhere on earth, but that does not mean that we should not look beyond one's nose and not consider what I have said above.
 As regards Indian politicians, they are mostly a bunch of rogues and rascals who have looted the country and polarized our people on the basis of caste and religion, and the only way out is a Revolution. These politicians, despite tall promises of 'vikas' etc are incapable of solving our real massive problems of poverty, unemployment, healthcare, etc and so divert attention to caste and religion.
 India ( of which I regard not only Kashmir but also Pakistan a part ) is a country of great diversity, with so many religions, castes, languages, ethnic groups, etc, and so only secularism and giving equal respect to all can keep it together and lead us to the path of progress ( see my blog ' What is India ?). This was the policy of the great Emperor Akbar who gave equal respect to all, and whom I regard as the real Father of our nation ( see my blog ' The Real Father of the Nation '), not those British agents Gandhi and Jinnah ( see my blogs on them ).

(3) As regards your question number (5), I have not read Mr. Dulat's book, and I do not know whether Delhi has been feeding separatists in Kashmir

(4)  I condemn the atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir from 1989 onwards. Kashmiri Pandits constituted a small minority in Kashmir (3% or so).They were a gentle peace loving people, but many were selectively targeted and slaughtered, and other atrocities committed on them, and ultimately most of them they had to flee from their homeland out of fear. Since Kashmiri Pandits are only 5 lac or so in number in India they are not a big vote bank, and so hardly anyone lifted a finger when they were hounded out from their homeland. I am myself a Kashmiri Pandit, and though my ancestors had left the valley about 200 years ago (my wife's family remained in Kashmir till recent times, and many of her relatives have told me about the atrocities and indignities they had to suffer in Kashmir) I can fully understand their pain.
 A Kashmiri Pandit lady doctor in Delhi, who is a relative of my wife, and whose family had to flee in fear from  Kashmir, told me that when she was young a crowd of Kasmiri Muslims came to her house in Srinagar and shouted that the male members of the family should get out of Kashmir, leaving the females behind. This was no doubt a brave act on the part of those Kashmiri Muslims.
The Kashmiri Pandits began to leave in much greater numbers in the 1990s during the eruption of militancy, following persecution and threats by radical Islamists and militants. The events of 19 January 1990 were particularly vicious. On that day, mosques issued declarations that the Kashmiri Pandits were Kafirs and that the males had to leave Kashmir, convert to Islam or be killed. Those who chose to the first of these were told to leave their women behind so that they could be used as sex slaves. The Kashmiri Muslims were instructed to identify Pandit homes so they could be systematically targeted for conversion or killing.
 Kashmiri Pandits were killed both individally or in groups. On 14.9.1989 Pt. Tika Lal Taploo was killed. In 1998 the terrible Wandhaam massacre of 23 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children took place, the Hindu temple and houses of Kashmiri Pandits destroyed.. Many more such incidents can be related.
Many Kashmiri Muslims blame Governor Jagmohan for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley, but what did Jagmohan do ? He only provided Kasmiri Pandits transport to leave the valley, where a reign of terror had been created for them.
 Supposing someone had provided transports for Jews to leave Nazi Germany. Should he be blamed, or the Nazis who were committing horrible atrocities on the Jews ? So it is silly to blame Jagmohan. Should Kashmiri Pandits have remained behind in the valley and be slaughtered ?
On Jan, 04, 1990, a local Urdu newspaper, Aftab, published a press release issued by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, asking all Pandits to leave the Valley immediately. Al Safa, another local daily repeated the warning.These warnings were followed by Kalashnikov-wielding masked Jehadis carrying out military-type marches openly. Reports of killing of Kashmiri Pandits continued to pour in. Bomb explosions and sporadic firing by militants became a daily occurrence.
Explosive and inflammatory speeches  ..

Read more at:

This is the truth, the reality, of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir, the land where they had lived for centuries. Does anyone leave his home and homeland unless terror is struck in his heart ? Kashmiri Muslims should consider this. How would they feel if they are all thrown out of Kashmir ? Out of the several lac Kashmiri Pandits in the valley before 1989 only 3445 remain today, as a J&K govt. report noted.
 I doubt that Kashmiri Pandits will return in the near future, if at all, to Kashmir. They are small in number, and jehadi elements are still presnt in Kashmir who may kill them.
  In this connection I may mention that I tried to unite all Kashmiris, Muslim and Hindu under an organization called the Chinar Foundation ( see my blog on it ) but failed. Kashmiri Pandits are too bitter after their horrendous experience to unite with Kashmiri Muslims. I tried to reason with them that no doubt what happened in the past was terrible, but now we must apply a healing balm on the wounds of both Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims ( who too have suffered and are still suffering ) and move ahead, but no one listened to me.
 I have little idea of Panun Kashmir, and have no contact with its members.

(5) As regards your question number (7) my rely is already contained in my reply to your question number (1)

(6) Regarding your question number (8), it is totally false to say that what I write on facebook, bog and twitter is to remain in the news. I do so because I have found my country ( in which I include Pakistan and Kashmir ) in a terrible condition, and wish to remedy the situation, and make India prosperous with its people enjoying a high standard of living. For this clarity of ideas is necessary, and that is what I have been doing. We must attack feudal, backward ideas and spread scientific and rational thinking among our masses. I am not a publicity or popularity seeker. In fact I have a low opinion of publicity of popularity seekers, and regard such seeking as a form of vulgarity. But what i wish to do is publicize and spread my ideas, which i think are sorely needed by the nation..


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  2. Kashmir has really become a complex problem with the passage of time and Pakistan is under compulsion to carry on its support to this issue. It understands well that it is not possible for it to get but its internal conditions keep it busy to divert the attention of its citizens. Instead of further trying on this, Pakistan and India must talk about unification as rightly proposed by you. Once we make out a great union by merging all - Pakistan, India, BanglaDesh, Nepal....we may take all the Saarc countries in fold, Indian sub-continent will become a super power with a super market to save a lot we all spend on defence now-a-days.

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    1. Respected and Hon'ble Justice Katju, I am afraid and surprised as why the Hon'ble Apex Court of India has not taken the cognizance on the issue of Kashmiri Pandits. I know- "DUNIYA ME KITNA GHAM HAI AUR KASHMIRI PANDITON KA GHAM IN SAB ME KITNA KAAM HAI." And I assume and think that considering the numbers of cases pending in the Hon'ble Apex Court of India, already over burdended/over pressured Hon'ble Apex court may have not taken the notice/cognizance on this Kashmiri Pandit issue till now. But should these reasons/excuses be taken into consideration for not entertaining this issue by the intellectuals and the Hon'ble Apex Court of India.

      Moreover, this is an internal law & order issue and not the international or external affairs/issue. This is not only the violation of fundamental rights but also voilative of personal liberty and privacy as well. Kashmiri Pandits can not be deprived of the fundamental rights, liberty and right to live with dignity and Privacy anywhere in India (Including their home land i.e. Kashmir) If the Govt of India is not capable or competent to give their basic rights and others, in that case anybody be it me or anyone (by applying the common logical sense being a part of the common men of India)can not expect anything from the Govt. of India.

      I have been watching every thing with my opened eyes and also I have witnessed the miserable law & order/administrative system in J&K. Governement of India (Specially the previous Govts) has been failed to maintain the basic law & order situation in J&K. Previuos Govts. of India focused on crushing the saperatists using the Indian Armed Forces but was unable to give security to the Kashmiri Pandits. This is really beyond my undrstanding. Can anyone focus more information on this issue and question please? Thanks you!


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