Muhammad Ali Baig
WHY the systematic extermination of European Jews at the hands of Hitler’s war machine has had remained a pivotal part of post-Second World War dominant academic literature? Why extremely graphic motion pictures such as ‘Schindler’s List’ (1993) was mandatory to watch even for the school going children? If the annihilation of six million Jews can happen in merely twelve years from 1933 till 1945 – then what about those Kashmiri Muslims who have been living their lives at the mercy of brutal Indian military forces for the past seven decades? Why the extra judicial and unlawful killings do not invoke the international community to stop an organized ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Muslims? Why the international community and the United Nations cannot differentiate between Auschwitz and Srinagar? There is a grave human crisis situation in Kashmir and is growing rapidly due to the unrestricted use of violence by the Indian security forces and the state apparatus.
Undoubtedly, the Jewish Holocaust is simply undeniable. There is no qualm that Jews of Europe suffered unprecedentedly under the Nazi regime. Quite interestingly, denying Holocaust is a punishable federal crime in many European countries with it being taught as a distinct subject worldwide. However, the history of the world is a witness that Mongols brought unparalleled military invasions primarily aimed to unleash death and destruction which resulted in extreme bloodshed. The invasions of Genghis and Helagu Khan are taken as precedents while explaining the level of intensity and ferociousness of the attacking forces. Similarly, the way Mongols toppled down cities and raised minarets of skulls support their aggressive way of war. However, there exists no law to bind people in accepting, acknowledging and lamenting the Mongol invasions – except, of course, the Holocaust. The most important question this article intends to address is that if twelve years can result in the death of six million human beings – then what would be the vaguest guess in estimating the deaths of innocent Muslim people in almost seventy years? It is understandable that Hitler and his comrades were deeply moved by anti-Semitism – since Hitler’s Mein Kampf laid down the foundations of hatred for Jews and declared them to be the enemy within. Quite similarly, Indians – Hindus in particular – are acutely charged by anti-Muslim sentiments. Hitler held Jews responsible for the downfall of Germany during the First World War and declared that Jews stabbed Germany in the back. Likewise, Indian Hindus lament the division of ‘Mother India’ by Muslims and intend to unify it while eliminating any other religion but Hinduism. Amazingly, Hitler published his memoir ‘Mein Kampf’ in 1925 while Hindu nationalist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar presented his ideology of Hindutva in 1923.
Before Savarkar, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha was established to advance Hindu interests in 1915. These developments placed extreme nationalism inwards and severe hatred towards other ethnic groups at the forefront. Savarkar declared race, culture and nationalism to be the pivots of Hindu Rashtra or Hindu Nation. It was Savarkar, who did put fuel on the fire and widened the already existing fault lines between Hindus and Muslims. It is interesting that apart from virulent rhetoric of Savarkar and his fanatic Hindu fellows regarding Muslims – they could not raise a single objection on the Great Mughals who were Muslims and ruled India from 1526 till 1857. Had Mughals wanted, the entire Hindu race would have been wiped out from the face of the earth. The overwhelming majority of Hindus in the various countries of the world is a testament to the egalitarian and harmonious Mughal way of governance.
Unfortunately, the Republic of India is being dominated by Hindus right from the beginning – majority of those either from Indian National Congress or any other political party – were intensely motivated by anti-Muslim feelings. One of the major reasons for this animosity was Savarkar’s views about Hindus being racially, nationally and culturally different and distinct from Muslims. The Indian Military as well as Hindutva-driven incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is playing a cruel and inhuman game in Kashmir. The basic objective of this brutal game is to eliminate the Kashmiri indigenous freedom movement which was spearheaded by the Kashmiri Youth and the likes of Shaheed Burhan Wani. It is also intended to alter the demographic settings of the Indian-occupied region while turning the Muslim majority into Hindu majority. Undoubtedly, an organized ethnic cleansing of Muslims is underway in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Without a doubt, the international politics inherently due to its structure is driven by great powers. Apart from that, states tend to do the things which serve their interests – not the other way around. Perhaps, these are among the intervening variables which hinder the international support for Kashmiri people. This reality also unveils that the world has double standards regarding the Jewish Holocaust in Europe and the Muslim Holocaust in Kashmir. This bitter yet real aspect of international politics leaves little choice for Pakistan to enhance its diplomatic, moral and political support for Kashmiri Muslims. There is a huge question mark on the collective wisdom and conscience of the international community that they are now and have always been silent over the Indian state-sponsored terrorism and atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir aimed against innocent Muslims.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.