From Virag Pachpore in New Delhi
New Delhi: “Scrap Article 370, ensure employment to Kashmiri youths, retrieve areas forcefully occupied by Pakistan and China in Kashmir”. These are not the demands voiced by some hardcore Hindu organization or leaders. These demands were raised publically and in unison by the Muslims of India Jammu and Kashmir included on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at Jantar-Mantar in New Delhi.
The occasion was culmination of “Hum Hindustani-Kashmir Hindustan Ka”, a unique campaign launched some three months ago by Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an organization of nationalist Muslims of India. During the three-month campaign the MRM activists conducted prayers in mosques, convened seminars and meetings all over the country. The campaign concluded at New Delhi on December 18 in which nearly 10,000 Muslims drawn from 23 states and 175 districts of India participated braving the chilling cold and dense fog to raise these demands.
They came from all directions carrying the national tricolors and placards displaying their demands to scrap Article 370, take back the areas of PoK and CoK and ensure peace and progress of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Initiating the discussion Mohd Farooq from Srinagar categorically stated that the Article 370 was the main problem of Jammu and Kashmir. This article should be removed. Even the common people were in favor of its removal, he stated. He also blamed Sheikh Abdulla and Pt. Nehru for the problems of Kashmir.
Mushtaq Ahmed Pir from Baramulla expressed that politics would not solve the problems of the people of Kashmir neither the problems would be redressed by raising the tricolor in Lal Chowk. A different approach needed to resolve and redress the issues blocking progress of the state.
Bashir Ahmed, who started his speech with ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ stated demanded voting right for the refugees residing in Kashmir for the past six decades. Engineer Gulam Ali, who came from Bakkarwal community, blamed Sheikh Abdullah and Pt. Nehru for the present state of affairs in J & K. He said that the political leaders conspired against the Muslims of Jammu and heaped injustices against them.
Demanding scrapping of Article 370, he added that this article helped only a handful of political leaders in the state. It has not done any good to the common masses, he added. Gulam Ali also demanded action on two resolutions adopted by the Parliament with regard to taking back the Indian territories forcefully occupied by Pakistan and China.
Halima, a sister from Kashmir called for steps to improve the economic condition of the common people in the state. Nazir Mir, who lost three of his brothers in terrorist violence said that political parties had been playing with the sentiments of the people. Denouncing the demand for ‘azadi’ Mir asked “who want ‘azadi’ when we are alresdy ‘azad’? He said that we were associated with the Muslim Rashtriya Manch and would remain so.
Mufti maulana Abdus Saami voiced similar sentiments regarding Article 370. He said that this constitutional provision was solely responsible the problems of the state. Stalwarts like Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai had opposed the inclusion of Article 370. But Pt Nehru insisted on its inclusion and in the following years political parties were using this provision for playing their political game. He praised the MRM for raising the issues related to border security for the first time. He assured that the Muslims in India would associated with the MRM and work under the guidance from Sri Indresh Kumar.
President of Jamat-e-Hind said that this program was organized to insure progress of the nation. The situation in our border regions was serious even after sixty years of independence. The MRM was the first Muslim organization to raise the issue of border security.
Abbas Ali Bohra from Bangalore said that Muslims in south India were in solidarity with the nationalist Muslims of J & K. He urged the Muslims to unite under the banner of the MRM and give a befitting reply to those anti-national forces active in the Kashmir Valley. Stressing the need to erase the terrorist tag to Muslims, he said that we must rise in unison as ‘Hindustani’ as we did in the pre-independence days.
Dr Salim Raj, Chairman of Haj Commmittee, Chhattisgarh said that Muslims were always patriotic in nature. He blamed the Congress for defaming the Muslims. Tanveer Ahmed, President of BJP Minority Morcha reminded the people the history of Kashmir problem. He said that the accession of Kashmir with India was ‘full and final’ when the Maharaja Hari Singh signed the “Instrument of Accession” on 26th October 1947. The problem of Kashmir was created by Pt Nehru when he declared one-sided ceasefire and took the issue to the UN.
Quoting Rafi Ahmed Kidwai he said that Pt Nehru and his Congress were responsible for distorting the culture of Kashmir. He demanded implementation on Parliament resolutions.
Imran Ismail, Corporator from New Delhi It was Indresh Kumar, who stepped forward for helping the widows of Kashmir on whose appeal he took 724 sewing machines to Kashmir. Similarly during the earth quake, again it was Indresh Kuar who took initiative to organize help to Kashmiri victims. Not a single Muslims leader came forward to help the Muslims in Kashmir, Ismail said raising questions over attempts to bracket Indresh Kumar in terrorist activities. He blamed the political leaders for misleading Muslims regarding RSS and Hindu organizations and its leaders like Indresh Kumar.
These parties and leaders have created an atmosphere of doubt about the Muslims also, he said and added that this needed to be removed once again.
Dr J K Jain of BJP said that the demand for autonomy for Kashmir was based on wrong premises. The Congress and other parties were trying to divide the society by spreading falsehood and misbelieve against each other. He said that the Muslims of India were equally patriotic as their Hindu counterparts. He , however denounced terrorism in the name of religion and asked the Muslims as to whom they would accept as their leader Osama bin-Laden or the Prophet of Islam?
Indresh Kumar, Patron of the Manch, who could not make it to the program as his train was running behind the schedule, addressed the gathering on mobile phone. He said that MRM was a movement to rebuild a new India of peace, brotherhood and mutual love and understanding.
He blamed the government for playing dangerous game by blaming innocent Muslims and patriotic Hindus by falsely implicating them in terrorist activities in the country.
Indresh Kumar said the anti-India elements and political parties were trying to mislead people in Kashmir. He also demanded scrapping of Article 370 which drove a wedge between people of the same land. This Article spread hatred and divided people. He said that Maulana Hasrat Mohani had opposed this Article by presenting a nationalist view point. The MRM would carry forward this view to generate national and patriotic fervor in the country.
Referring to the presence of large number of Muslims from various parts of the country Indresh Kumar expressed confidence that this movement would usher in a new era of brotherhood, peace, love and mutual understanding among the people of this country.