My Kashmir Diary

(Disclaimer: All this is a work of fiction. I have simply made it up. If anybody is hurt, I apologize.)

1. On the very first day, I learnt there was a Kashmir Bandh organized by Geelani against the Kousar Nath Yatra. What sort of secularism and tolerance is this? Apparently they are doing it to protect the fragile ecosystem there :-)

2. During a dinner in Pahalgam, the restaurant was playing Pakistani TV channel showing some political news of theirs! I suppose we as Indians would be more interested in our politics than some other country’s. And mind you, Pahalgam is not some far flung interior area in Kashmir but a major tourist destination.

3. Had a dinner with a friend’s friend who is a rich Kashmiri and has done all his education in ‘India’ (actually rest of India). He owes his entire career to India. We talked about how staying out helps in developing a perspective and getting away from narrow mindedness. So expected him to be more sympathetic and reasonable. When the topic came, he began by saying there should be a political solution which was encouraging for me. When asked further what sort of a political solution does he see, he said ‘referendum’!! (referendum on whether kashmir should be a part of india or not!)

4. While passing through an area where they made cricket bats, saw some posters of Shahid Afridi and other Pakistani players for promotional purposes! I know admiring foreign players and that too Pakistanis and also watching Pakistani TV is no crime, but when it comes to Kashmir, we can’t be ostriches, can we?

I last visited Kashmir in 2002 when terrorism was high. Kashmir was impoverished and one could see security forces everywhere. But this time things were completely different. Nice houses, smooth roads, prosperity clearly visible in the valley. Security personnel also were rare. I thought all these years of peace and prosperity (because of India) would have changed the outlook and made them see the benefits of sticking with India. I used to think economic development weans away a person from separatist tendencies, but looks like I am wrong :-(

Also clearly, we can’t afford to withdraw our forces from there – not yet!

30 thoughts on “My Kashmir Diary”

  1. Good education is the answer.
    Residents of J&K should be made aware of three things:
    1. J&K strategic location between three nuclear powers doesn’t allow it to be independent, if it leaves India, Pakistan/China will capture it within hours.
    2. Pakistan and China are the worst in the world when it comes to freedom and human rights. Most people do not have any idea what Pakistan or ISIS really is, hence these misguided youths support them. India’s government is not the best, but India is trying atleast.
    3. These narrow minded separatists (Geelani, Hurriyat airheads, Hafiz Saeed’s bff Yasin Malik) are the biggest hindrance in J&K’s development, stooping down to any levels for political greed. Abdullah family has outlived its political utility.
    No responsible government can allow its citizen’s mingling with world famous terrorists. They need to be dealt with a strong hand.

    [Btw, its good to see a bureaucrat shedding political correctness and taking up difficult issues, hope you continue this in future as well.]

  2. Nice Information Provided By You Gaurav Sir In a form of “Kashmir Diary”
    Feeling Happy For Kashmir’s Prosperity nd fact that it is eacaping from terrorism slowly slowly…
    Points 1,2 and 3 of yr diary is enough to understand that we cant take any risk to withdraw our forces from there (Ofcourse due to article 370 &political issues)

  3. The things you have mentioned in your diary are true but you have failed to mention few other things which are true aswell;
    1. there are 471 torture centers in kashmir which belong to army,wnere even juveniles are tortured
    2.In a village named kunanposhpora,distt kupwara 80 women were raped in single night by army,the women aged between 8 to 80 years.justice was denied to all of them
    3.There are hundreds of unidentified mass graves,custodial killings,fake encounters in the valley.Army picks up locals and do there fake encounter by labelling them such racket was busted for which SSP parihar is facing trial have not mentioned that kid who encounters 7 lakh army,curfews,hartals, who escapes bullets and reaches his school.who resists the whole mental stigma and later becomes a doctor or an engineer or even aspires to be as IAS
    5.There are around 1 lakh youth killed in the past 30 years
    6.The reason behind why they watch pak tv channels may be that our media has labelled them as terrorists just as your diary why would they wish to watch our news channels
    7.there has been mass human rights violation in kashmir for which no one is showing any due concern have not mentioned that 48 year old mother Parveena Ahanger whose student son was picked by army and never returned.the lady set up an NGO to fight for the pernicious human rights abuse in kashmir.She was nominated for Nobel Prize For Peace in 2005
    This is all a littel yet there is much more,
    why your diary is so biased,please answer me???

    1. I think u shud join isis n enjoy annihilation of yazidis and other devil worshippers…oh u r d victim everywhere….ur brothers and mothers and sisters are d only real human being,others are devils, raping and killing 80 year old women….have sone shame adil bhat..

    2. Sh. Adil Bhat Sahab, Gaurav Sir just shared his experience, nothing else, we are all speechless after came to know that how you people are still fooled by Pakistani media as well as ISI’s tricks. Do you think that referendum is the solution? No! You are not able to see, what he saw!!!

      What you narrated was not even baseless, but also incomplete. You didn’t include few of them tried to attack on Parliament, fee of them attacked on Akshardham, few of them continuously trying to add more red colour in the soil of Lal chowk, sudden and unprecedented death of innocence Kashiri’s who went to market to buy vege.. Small school kids, who tries to kick an isolated football, without sensing that could be a bomb.

      Please stop this kind of blame game, which have been started in the every disturbed region in the world, since than peace keeping army have been present.

      I bet you, no one in our Army who disrespect the lady and don’t save the lives of innocence. You must be proud of them.

      In Delhi, we heard about the stones plating incidents, later we knew that it was not Kashiri’s idea, but that had been meticulously designed in Islamabad, and training given in Lahore to do that.

      Instead of doing things, that brings peace, prosperity and happiness in Kashmir, we Indians speaking Pakistani’s juban (tongue). Had hai ( enough).

    3. even if this info is true. what would u have indian army do instead(if rapes did happen i strongly oppose this and think that every step must b taken by govt to discipline army men.. )? murder and torture are natural to war …there has been a proxy war in the valley and our jawans are trying to do the best they can . they may not be perfect none can be in a war every day they find themselves in mortal danger.. do you think terrorist dint rape , murder , torture ?.. that those who fight for kashmir “freedom ” are all angels ? if tomorrow army is to leave terrorist will take hold of kashmir.. what will happen to hindu minority there then or even muslim majority.. pakistan is glowing example where kashmir can end up.. first hindus will be raped killed tortured eliminated converted and when there are only muslims left extremism will start killing them too just like in pak … strange you can talk of rights of one community while ignoring others completely.. army didnt start this situation of murder from both sides extremists and separatists did.. and easiest solution to end all this is for them to come to indian mainstream. terrorists and pak is resposible for every blood drop on either side ..

    4. I am sure that half of the above ‘facts’ don’t even have any proof/basis. Please care to cite some proofs.

      Such sweeping statements often attract attention of people (as seen by many comments here), but are usually baseless.

      For example, from where did you get the information about the number of those torture cells? When you say people have suffered, they have suffered because of a ‘scenario’ created in ’89-’90 by ‘we all know who’, as a result of which there had been some unavoidable circumstances that had to be taken care of. I am in no way justifying any innocent killings, but making a terrorist appear innocent is now a different story altogether. So, let’s abstain from giving out such crowd-catching sweeping statements and base our thoughts on facts. The author here isn’t giving any baseless opinions; everything is based on the occurrences he has cited.

  4. I think right to reside and settle any where within the territory of India is one such right which was designed to foster feeling of fraternity i.e. brotherhood among fellow Indians by our Constitution makers.There are many people who in this age of modern transportation and communication especially our generation were native residents of some other state, got secondary education from some other state and college education from some other, and in turn we are free from all such regional bias as we ourselves are amalgamation of the culture of entire nation.

    Now debarring people from this right(Right to reside and settle any where within the territory of India) prevents society from mixing up and acquiring singular color.

    Now imagine if a Gujarati or Bihari or Tamil or a Telugu was also living in the same village or district where Adil Bhatt just mentioned so many carnage took place, then even people living in other parts of nation would have known that this happened.(I dont know about any such village or district, but I don’t call it a lie even, as I don’t have any proof against it.) So keeping army also under a natural check and also terrorists at the same time. It would have even prevented the politicians from using regional politics.

    So I think this article in constitution of Kashmir should be the first step to rectify if we want a long term solution for Kashmir.

    1. Gaurav sir please give your view also on probable solution for Kashmir, as I have seen it being asked multiple times in interview.Just a a paragraph will do sir.

  5. #mr_adil !! it is ur brainwaSh against indian army and which fault r told by u useless .. and it s rumours against indian army which is increse by terrior activities and increase the no of hater of indian army
    so plss understood the reality and nvr talk these cheap words to indian army

  6. Dear sir ,
    1.Can you post elaborate posts, relating to this post for understanding real politics regarding J&K (Article 370), Violations, Kashmiri’s views on India & Pakistan.
    2. According to me there is lot of violations but i know wherever Military force placed, there happen lot of human rights violations.
    3.Though Referendum allows freedom to express their view on annexation, It may affects India’s interests. But the atrocities on the humans must contemned.

  7. Hey Gaurav!

    i have few kashmiri friends and i have discussed this issue with them. From what I understand a balanced solution is what we need. Let me ask you this, isn’t keeping those people with us almost equivalent to marrying a girl without her assent? We may have only the best and noblest of intentions, but just by forcing somebody we make us look bad.

    Everyone likes to have a freedom of choice to decide their destiny for themselves, even if what they choose is wrong.

    From what I have read in India After Gandhi, Sardar Patel initially did not mind giving Kashmir to Pakistan, it was only when Jinnah tried to take it and Junagarh by force that he resisted and decided to hold on to it.

    By forcefully making Kashmir stay with us, aren’t just making the prospect of joining Pakistan seem more attractive for the Kashmiris ?

    Kashmir’s problem has dragged long enough, its not possible for people to constantly be in the whirlwind for half a century and still be rational.

    The question is do we really want a solution? Since solutions of this kind involve compromises from both sides. We cannot get all we want and expect a peaceful and stable future.

    The strategy should be seeking a long term permanent solution, instead of for the next 5 years.

  8. @Adil..As an Indian , I strongly condemn each atrocity committed by armed forces/ police on any citizen in any part of india including kashmir .
    at the same time I also want to know why self-proclaimed kashmiri representatives like geelani/ shah etc & many freedom loving kashmiris like you never speak out about disappearance of kashmiri pandits from valley ?
    Is kashmiriyat only about majority(muslim) identity ? what about minorities like pandits, shiks , buddhists…?
    hope permanent peace along with displaced pandits returns to J & K …& It becomes once again a syncretic place for all communities Ameen..!!!!

  9. कश्मीर को ले कर कुछ पोस्ट पढ़े तकलीफ हुई। किसी की तकलीफ हमें किसी पर तंज़ करने का कारण कैसे दे सकती है ? हमारे किस धर्म ने हमें असहिषणुता का पाठ पढाया है ?
    बचपन में एक कहानी पढ़ी थी.- एक बार एक सांप गड्ढे में गिर गे गिर गया। बहुत प्रयासों के बाद भी वह गड्ढे से निकल नहीं पा रहा था। तभी उधर से एक साधू निकला। उसने हाथ बढ़ा कर सांप को पकड़ कर बाहर निकालने की कोशिश की लेकिन सांप ने उसे डस लिया। यह क्रम बहुत देर तक चलता रहा। एक आदमी जो बहुत देर से यह सब देख रहा था साधू से पूछ बेठा – यह क्या कर रहे हो साधू महराज—–जब वह तुमको डस रहा है तो तुम उसको उसके हाल पर क्यों नहीं छोड़ देते ?
    साधू ने कहा -वह अपने स्वाभाव से मजबूर है और मैं अपने।
    आंख के लिए आंख वाली सोच तो हमें बरबादी की तरफ ही ले जायगी। कल जब कोई अपील करेगा तो हम एक दिन की तनखा देकर अपने कर्तव्यों की इतिश्री कर लेंगे। हम कुछ नहीं कर सकते लेकिन संवेदना और सहानभूति के दो शब्द खर्चने से पहले क्या हम कश्मीरियों से उनके भारतीय होने का प्रमाण मांगेगे?
    हो सकता है कभी वह दिन भी आये जब हर काशमीरी के हाथों में हमारे जवानों के लिए पत्थर नहीं बल्कि फूल हों।

  10. no need to take Adil’s comments seriously, Adil’s name reminds me of Adil Shahof delhi sultanate. he is just his re incarnation and pissed of at seeing his sultanate and raj gone. so just keep calm and study for exam.

  11. I am from kashmir and i would like to clarify a few points which i guess are not clear ro most people.

    Kashmir is imagined by most people from rest of the states as a backward and tribal kind of area where there are always crossfires, protests and killings…
    It is a completely wrong picture which has been engraved into the minds of those who have never visited the valley.( I dont know why!)

    Instead J and K is like any other state of India. The only thing is that Kashmir is, on climatologic and landscape basis a different kind of place. So guys when you next time think of Kashmir, think of it as a place of serene beauty, marvel and calm. A place wherein one finds himself closer to nature…

    Now coming to the political scenario.
    It is quite unfortunate that Kashmir has landed into a politically complex situation as it is. It is also true that kashmiris( both pandits and muslims) have suffered in the years of turmoil. While the Kashmiri pandits migrated, the muslims who remained here suffered at the hands of both the Indian Army as well as the Militants and Ikhvanis( the more dreaded group who were a creation of army to tackle militants. They killed anyone they liked and anytime they liked during the decade after 1989.)

    This three pronged suffering of kashmiris has probably led to their anger( not only against the army but also the other two groups). While the ikhvanis have been wiped out, there are still militants in the valley who mostly come from across the border.

    Indeed the agony kashmiris suffered from during the peak of insurgency is heartbreaking. Imagine a teenager leaving for school in the morning and never coming back, a husband, a brother, a father being taken by the army never to be returned, or being directly shot in his house by ikhvanis while no one could raise a voice…. Or a sister, a mother being raped mercilessly….. It is indeed heartbreaking.

    While the militants took undue advantage of the gun, it can also not be ignored that the armed forces took equally undue advantage of theirs… or even greater advantage of the AFSPA.

    But wait. It is all past… Although scars still exist, but they are slowly diminishing overall… But sometimes, theses wounds are again scratched, be it by thr Govt. or the separatists, and people again turn angry… as happened in 2008 and 2010.
    But these are rare occurences.

    Now people don’t protest generally over freedom. They do so over faulty governance and corruption. We kashmiris are tired of us being merely used as puppets by Separatists who cash in on the emotions of the youth and turn them into protesters, thus ruining their careers.

    I personally believe that Pakistan plays with Kashmiri sentiments and pak politicians merely raise the kashmir issue in their country to gain votes of people in elections(which are seldom held properly there). While Pakistan has not been able to successfully fulfill needs of people in pak. adm. kashmir (people here are grossly poor), how does it even hope to acquire Indian adm. kashmir.

    It is also true that kashmiris are for some reason biased towards say the pak cricket team, it is something that has developed in kashmir and will take time to get rid of.
    But on a political and especially economic front, majority of educated kashmiris are aware that we are better in india rather than pakistan. Also it is an established fact that India will never let go of kashmir(this is sometging which is 100% sure).

    The turning out of kashmiris to vote in huge numbers in all elections is itself indicative of the fact that We want good governance more than azadi. To also cite hete that recently 9 kadhmiri boys and girls cracked the presigeous civil services exams. Not to forget Dr. Shah Faesal who achieved 1st rank in IAS a few years back- He also belonged to Kashmir.
    With thousands of young kashmiris aspiring to crack such prestigeous exams and attempting to be a part of India’s Administration and Bureaucracy, it is clear that kashmir is well on track of sticking with India and scaling progress.

    The only issue that looms large is widespread corruption and inefficient governance in the state of J&k (as is the problem with the rest if india).
    Also if the Indian govt. gives less ‘Masala’ to separatists( who are in search of even minute things to raise protests) and tackles them by delivering good governance and gaining peoples’ support through better policies, schemes and incentives, then the future of Kashmir as an intehral part of India is UNQUESTIONABLY BRIGHT.

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