Random Thoughts on Kashmir, My Ancestral Home

by Rafiq Kathwari

Before the Modi regime annexed Kashmir on August 5th last, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minster, in fact annexed Kashmir in 1947 just months after India partitioned herself to create the new state of Pakistan.

Delhi flew in a regiment of troops to Srinagar as soon as the Maharajah of Kashmir signed an Instrument of Accession. Even the great Mahatma Gandhi approved of Nehru’s action.

Modi’s so-called annexation last year was religiously motivated. Kashmir penetrates the core of Hindu nationalist idea of Akhand Bharat, united, undivided Hindu India from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Myanmar to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

That’s the map draped in orange the color of choice of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, RSS, founded in 1924, a volunteer army of the young, world’s largest fascist organization, based in Nagpur. It’s the parent organization of the Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, the present xenophobic regime in Delhi.

Modi’s functionaries told their Hindu goons that Kashmir’s Muslim majority population was now truly an integral part of India and that Hindus should at once apply for Domicile Certificates to buy property in Kashmir. and marry fair-skinned Kashmiri girls.

But Nehru loved Kashmir.  It was his ancestral home.  His family were Kashmiri pandits. There are 250,000 pandits in Kashmir, 3% of Kashmir’s 8 million Muslims. Pandits are 0.1% of India’s 1.2 billion, but Modi’s regime has weaponized the 0.1 % pandits to rouse India’s Hindus. Modi will dump the pandits after doing his feats, and the pandits know it.

Nehru hoisted Kashmir on the flagpole of secularism to flaunt India’s republican credentials to the West, and the West clapped. Nehru became a celebrity on a state visit to Washington.

Jacqueline Kennedy didn’t seem to mind him touching her bare arms, reportedly.

“I have a right to bare arms,” she told him, reportedly.

President Kennedy didn’t like that.


Nehru had a torrid affair with a socialite in the Hamptons who, subsequently, went around wearing a Nehru jacket with a red rose stuck in the second buttonhole, imitating Nehru.

Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, 1905-1982, one of the most important political figures in the modern history of Kashmir, was a tall slim man, all too human: with one stroke of his fountain pen the Sheikh gave tillers the land they ploughed, freeing Kashmiri peasants from serfdom. It earned him the title, ‘Lion of Kashmir’”

This frightened the sexually-transmitted Dogra dynasty who thought of themselves as proprietors of paradise, its people, flora, fauna, pashmina goats—words enshrined by the British in the Treaty of Amritsar that in 1845 sold Kashmiris into slavery.

Nehru exiled the Sheikh. How dare he give land to tillers. It wasn’t his land to give.

Modi’s Neanderthal of Nagpur follow the dictates of Mussolini’s black shirts. Every Summer they spread the legs of virgin glaciers in Kashmir, encourage thousands of Hindu pilgrims shielded by the armed forces to worship Shiva’s icy lingam —daring an ecological tragedy, or even a plague.”

The Neanderthals have demolished 500-year-old mosque built by the first Mughal emperor, claiming the mosque was built upon the birthplace of Lord Rama.  It’s all religion, not politics. They plan to build a temple to reprise history, and the architecture of the temple is being beamed in Times Square on August 5th bankrolled by the Hindu diaspora in the United States.

The erasure of Islam, its decimation in India, has begun. Thin bureaucrats from the plains have sealed Srinagar’s Sufi shrines where 8 million Kashmiris once swayed with Allah — that’s how Modi and his ventriloquists will turn shrines into bars and each shrine will be re-branded, ‘Jai Shree Ram’ or Long Live Lord Rama.

Since Augut 5th 2019, 8.8 million mobile phones were blocked in the Vale of Kashmir, 7,000 Kashmiris, including politicians, activists, including 144 children were arrested. Mining rights were opened to all Indian bidders and the bulk went to non-Kashmiris. Urdu is being replaced by Hindi. the  Vale of Kashmir is deemed a strategic area where the army is allowed to build anything anywhere anytime. No questions asked. There is talk of rounding up Kashmiri youth, bussing them to reeducation centers, their heads shaved off.

Here’s a tweet I read today on my timeline: “If England removed internet access in Scotland, locked them down saying you are now England, sent in 900,000 troops, raped women, blinded children and killed thousands, why should the world be so silent about Kashmir?”

I am livid. I feel the rage swelling. Neanderthals marching to the drumbeat of Hindu supremythology have turned a Vale of Lotus Eaters into the world’s most militarized place.”

The Muslims of Kashmir using all means necessary are trying to rouse the 250 million Muslims of India, more Muslims than there are in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to fight the subversion of India’s secular constitution which the Neanderthals believe is imposed by the west.

The battle is not merely for the soul of Kashmir, but for the compassion of India even though the Congress party did to Kashmiris by night what the BJP is doing by light. They came yesterday for the Kashmiris. They will come tomorrow for India’s Muslims. Beware. Preparedness is everything.

We are not alone. There are concurrent historical battles being waged beyond Kashmir. Women are heroines in our battle, not reduced to weeping or objects of desire. Remember, history is on our side. The French colonized Algeria for 132 years, but the men and women of the Kasbah in Algiers, using all means necessary, kicked out the French who rolled up their Algerian Domicile Certificates under their armpits that smelled of fleas from a thousand camels.