as an ardent admirer of the role the Indian army plays in keeping our country together, i do admit there have been lapses in the security apparatus in J&K , both internally and externally. However to pin the blame of the recent years of terrorism in Kashmir on the Indian government is nothing short of blashphemy.
during my visit to Ladhakh last month, the dangers of islamic extremism were there before my eyes. islamic teenagers throwing stones at foreigners (indians included) is something of a pastime today, unheard of a few years ago when there were not many islamics around.
Islamic ghettos (shanty townships) have started springing around the capital city, Leh. more and more Ladhkhis are now being forced to study Urdu , since it the official language of the govt. of Jammu and Kashmir. Even the foreign tourists whom i spoke to and who have visited Ladhakh several times in the last one decade are aghast at the rapid rate of the very obvious islamisation of this predominantly Budhhist district.
with all these developments, locals told me that it wont be very long before terrorism rears its ugly head in Ladhakh , since the islamic jehadis will now seek shelter and food in these islamic ghettos. this is a very real threat to the culture and identity of Ladhakh , which i was witness to with my very own eyes.
Ladhakh is a strategic frontier district for India and she was badly mauled by the Chinese army in 1962. in fact the captial city, Leh, would have fallen to the Chinese army but due to international pressure (read America"s president Kennedy) she stopped short at Nimu, about 35 kms from Leh. today China illegally occupies 55, 000 sq kms of Ladhaki territory in Aksai China and Pangong lake basin. the fall of Leh could spell the end of Jammu and kashmir in future. with a hostile Chinese army sitting across in Tibet and a hate-filled Jehadi Pakistani army across the Kargil valley, India is today in an surrounded, unenviable position. during my talks to many of the war veterans of the 1962 war with China, the Ladhakis were all praise for the gallant Indian army, but poured thier hearts out at the step-motherly treatement of our politacal leadership under Jawaharlal Nehru, who had no strategy or will to contain the greedy and violent communist China.
As a non-practising Christian in Hindustan, i certainly dont want to see any Monastries or temples (or churches) pulled down by battle-tanks , just like we saw in Afghanistan a few years ago for the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban regime. i respect secularism , but will not stand bigotry and hatred in the name of religion in a "democratic " country like ours.
(O yues? CONGRATULATIONS, but you will still stay CHRISTIAN in Hindustan lust like Abdul Kalam who will stick to his GUNS, i.e., ISLAM.)
Ladhakh, Kashmir Valley and indeed Jammu, are beutiful places and should stay that way without uncalled for islamisation. in July 2000, during my visit to the Kashmir Valley i stayed in a houseboat owned by poor Kashmiri peasants. their hospitality to me for the whole week of my stay in Srinagar touched my heart and convinced me that "Kashmiriyat" is a term coined by foreign jehadis among the violent Pathans and others who have permeated the valley . i mixed freely with the locals in Kashmir, during my visits to Baramulla, Sopore, Awantipora, Dachigam, Anantnag, Kargil, Dras, Gulmarg, Sonmarg and other places.
An overwhelming majority of the locals i met, actually love India (or Hindustan) and refer to Pakistan as "Gadh-dhar" or traitors. this is in reference to the rape of Baramulla by the "muslim" Pakistani soldiers and Pathans who raped the beautiful Kashmiri women of Baramulla town (also muslim) on their way to capturing Srinagar city in 1948.
this mass rape and genocide by fellow "muslims" is still fresh in the minds of the older Kashmiris, even if Pakistan (or India) has forgotten it.
i respect my country , with a long history and great culture, revered by foreigners for thousands of years, and accept that today she is ghost of her former self, thanks to public corruption, filth and greed.
i strongly believe the country comes before religion , not the other way around as espoused by so-called islamics.
i wait for the day India (and indeed kashmir) , rises from her ashes , together, like the proverbial phoenix.
NETAJI BOSE FOUNDATION, Chennai, India.
(NICE TO BE A SECULAR CATHOLIC LIKE SONIA KHAN AND USHA TIN TIN NARAYANAN, IN YOUR DECOMPOSING, DISINTEGRATING HINDUSTAN, WHERE WE CANNOT FIND EVEN ONE HINDU GOOD ENOUGH TO HOLD THE POST OF PRESIDENT OR SUPREME COMMANDER.)