A unicorn called Kashmiriyat

One of the favorite slogans of the self-proclaimed leaders of Kashmir’s secessionist movements and their apologists is Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat. It loosely translates to the spirit of Kashmir, Humaneness and Democracy. Lofty ideals, right? Wrong. Let’s break down the slogan to understand why it’s a load of you-know-what.

January, 1990: Loudspeakers across Kashmir bellowed a chilling message, “ Ralive, Tsaliv ya Galiv” (either convert to Islam, leave this land or die). The sign were ominous but the Hindus had faith in Kashmiriyat. They paid with their lives for their naivety. The persecution of Kashmiri Pandits in their own homeland led to their exodus. They never returned. They could not. Their properties are now either occupied or destroyed. Successive governments at the Centre and in the state have largely been apathetic to their cause. For the Pandits, the paradise is all but lost.

Insaniyat was on ample display when DSP Ayub Pandith was lynched by a mob outside Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid. His fault? He was allegedly shooting a video of stone pelters. The Dainik Bhaskar carried a report on the recent terrorist attack on Amarnath yatris in which seven people were killed. In the report, the survivors recounted how the local Kashmiris laughed at their misfortune, let alone lend a helping hand. Probably the yatris were not worthy of a little Insaniyat.

Many of the Kashmiri separatist organizations, both of the political and the militant variety, are committed to establishing Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic Caliphate) in Kashmir. Last I checked, it bears no resemblance to a modern democracy or Jamhuriyat.

If diagnosed at an early stage, cancer can be treated. But the patient is guaranteed to die if the doctor dismisses the symptoms as that of common cold. At the core of India’s Kashmir problem is Islamic radicalization. We can either treat it as that or continue to live in denial.