Radical India would fail in Kashmir
THE National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party, grew into a mass movement and led Germany through totalitarian means from 1933 to 1945 under the leadership of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945). Hitler invaded and occupied France in 1940.
It created a Vichy France – common name of the French State (État français) headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. The occupiers started erasing the national symbols of the French nation and forced them to endure a traumatic life.
The national motto of France Liberty, Equality and Fraternity was replaced to Work, Family and Fatherland. The war had produced 600,000 widows, 760,000 orphans, and 1.3 million grieving parents.
We have a similar situation in Kashmir. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which came on the streets of Lahore against the Muslims of Kashmir on 20 December 1931 grew and grew and sneaked into Kashmir in March 2014.
On 01 March 2014 BJP signed a 38 point Common Minimum Programme with PDP and began its foothold in Kashmir governance.
Article 10 of the agreement reads as: “While recognising the different positions and appreciating the perceptions BJP and PDP have on the constitutional status of J&K, considering the political and legislative realities, the present position will be maintained on all the constitutional provisions pertaining to J&K, including the special status in the Constitution of India.”
Article 38 states, “There shall be a Steering Committee comprising the President of PDP and BJP, and four members each from the parties for overseeing the implementation of the Common Minimum Program.” There was no apparent reason to believe that BJP would prove the Arab Camel and throw out the PDP out of the tent at a later date.
And they did it when BJP pulled out of the coalition government. Although Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone staked their claims to have the numbers for forming the government sans BJP, Governor’s office feigned that it had not received the two claims.
It held out an excuse that the fax machine in the Governor’s office was not working and the two notices had not been received. BJP did not stop at this betrayal and fraud.
It used the Delhi-appointed Governor to dissolve the State Assembly. The common man and woman were disenfranchised.
After the death of Mufti Sayeed, BJP had started to take advantage of the inexperience and gender of State Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
She was not wise enough to keep a sharp vigil on the files that would move from Delhi to Srinagar and from office to office in Srinagar. There was an attempt to remove the State Flag from government building and to keep the lone Indian flag instead.
The matter went to High Court and the court ordered that Jammu and Kashmir flag was as important to the people of the State as the Indian flag to the people of India. The decision did not sit well with the political psychology and programme of BJP.
BJP as Hitler in Nazi Germany has started to erase all constitutional, political, cultural and linguistic symbols in the State.
Names of places, events and other signs that would distinguish the State and the people of Kashmir are being erased.
One of the surprising and distasteful changes was renaming of J & K High Court as ‘Common High Court of UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh’.
Circumstances in Kashmir are so cruel that people (non Kashmiris in particular) vested with the duty to protect the symbols and their sanctity, are falling in line as French fell in line during the period of Vichy France from 10 July 1940 – 9 August 1944 and signed up to Hitler’s choices.
The Chief Justice of the J & K High Court had conveyed her no objection to the proposed name.
On Friday 16 July 2021 the name ‘Common High Court of UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh’ has been changed to ‘High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh’.
President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2021, to effect the change.
The renaming may well have been done under the “Removal of Difficulties Order”, it is reminder to RSS that if Nazi Germany could not erase the national mottos and symbols of France in 1940, India is no exception to this rule of enduring sanctity of national symbols.
It does not mean that we should consign our share of resistance and disapproval to the work of divine forces or dictates of history.
We need to intervene, interfere and keep our march, to seek the right of self-determination and demand reparation from Indian State.
There are voices, as have always been in history, who may suggest that Indian action of 5 August 2019 is irreversible. Such forces were in France as well and these forces applauded Petian’s rule of France.
We need to ignore these voices who want us to freeze our faith and settle down with Indian action of 5 August 2019.
We have to bear in mind that after the occupation of France Marshal Pétain sought to reform the schools and send women back to the home. French Catholic cardinals and archbishops rejoiced as if Pétain had been sent by God to restore the rightful order.
They saw the defeat of France in terms of divine punishment and would proclaim veneration of Pétain as a “man of providence” throughout the years of occupation. The Vatican recognized the Vichy state almost immediately.
Our physical and psychological scars, a war waged by Indian army on us and its memory are visceral and real.
We would also have our share of disappointments as French had in the kind of French Catholic cardinals and archbishops, who recognised the occupation.
All such forces that would co-operate or collaborate with RSS and BJP in Kashmir or others who would play foul with the cause of the people of Kashmir, would have no future.
The future is boxed and allocated for the people of Kashmir, described by the United Nations as “People of a legend and historic people”.
Nazi Germany’s attempt to erase the national motto of France that is, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity to Work, Family and Fatherland, had a very short life. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity assumed its place and survive till today.
Kashmiris should document their symbols and we shall repaint all erased symbols in the near future. RSS has no future in Kashmir.
—The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.