Communal, are we?
See how we hosted our pilgrims and then say
KASHMIR BY SAYED NUSRAT GEELANI
Kashmir has always presented a marvelous example of communal tolerance. Such examples are hard to find anywhere these days. In 2008 during the uprising against Amaranth land transfer, now widely referred to as Ragda movement in Kashmir, we saw the same Kashmiri Muslims who were being killed for protesting against a decision whose sole beneficiaries were yatris, serving food prepared at their homes to the yatris so that they don’t have to go hungry in absence of arrangements from the state government. In 2009 again yatra was a smooth affair and now in 2010 when India is at its oppressive best answering stones with bullets shot to kill, yatra has just ended without any disruption. Ever wondered how Kashmiris manage to be so tolerant towards these yatris? Ever given a thought how these yatris manage to go without a single bruise through the very same roads on which Kashmir witnesses a massacre every day? Remember 64 people have been killed mostly teenagers in the past two and a half months alone. Some might give the credit to deployment of security forces in huge numbers on the yatra route while others may attribute it to the so called “kashmiriyat”. But we all know very well that it's only because of that universal value of harmony and hospitality that makes us so kind in our character.
It is something well above the petty worldly ideologies that the people of Kashmir draw their strength from, it is the teachings of Islam that promote brotherhood, religious tolerance and urge Muslims to safeguard the rights of non-Muslims, the same religion which the world ignorantly and unfortunately sees as the religion of violence. The values of Islam are the sole inspiration for such exemplary behavior. As it is clearly mentioned in Quran:
” If any one kills a human being, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he has killed the whole of humankind and if any one saves a single human life, it would be as if he has saved the whole of humankind.”(5:32)
The belief of Kashmiris in these teachings ensures that even though the Kashmir is on fire, yatris don’t feel even the heat of it.
India has made diabolic efforts to give communal color to our movement for self determination and a large section of Indian media is hand in glove with the policy makers in portrayal of Kashmiri movement along communal lines. The handling of recent reports of Kashmiri Sikhs getting threatening letters from unknown sources is the latest example of Indian media playing a propagandist when it comes to Kashmir. Though nobody yet knows where the threats are emerging from, an overwhelming majority in Kashmir believes it to be the ploy of state agencies to create communal unrest in valley with an eye to divert attention from ongoing protests which have now snowballed into a full scale civil disobedience movement against India. Even some Sikh leaders expressed the same concerns but as was expected it went unreported in the Indian media. Only thing that is doing the rounds on news channels is that Kashmiri Sikhs are being threatened to embrace Islam or leave the valley.
No Muslim who believes in the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) would ever resort to such mischief. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has clearly stated:
“Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, curtails their rights, burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)
It speaks of the success of our ongoing movement that India had to resort to such cheap tactics. Sikhs have survived the toughest times of 1990s with their Muslim brothers in Kashmir. Hats off to the courage and commitment of Sikhs who never took the route of Kashmiri pundits even after brutal massacre of Chattisingpora was carried out and futile attempts of blaming it on militants were made. Today we see how Kashmiri pundits long to return to valley and leave behind a dark period of exile, but somehow the players of a big political game succeed to prevent their return.
Besides can Sikhs afford to even think of leaving the harmonious atmosphere of Kashmir and migrate to India- a country whose post independence history is stained with the innocent Sikh blood. The brutal crushing of Khalistani movement is still fresh in everyone’s mind.The most sacred place of Sikhs the Golden temple was attacked and significantly damaged under Indira Gandhi’s tenure in the name of “Operation Blue star”. The massacre of thousands of Sikhs in the year 1984 still remains unaccounted for. India has tried some damage control measures but can appointing a Sikh as PM ever console the hearts of numerous mothers whose sons were brutally killed, can it ever bring back the color in lives of countless widows whose husbands were mercilessly murdered or will it ever heal the hearts of the innocent orphans whose entire families were wiped out.
I do cherish a desire to see our Sikh brothers joining us in our movement for self determination but I want their willful participation, not an enforced one. The revolutionary sentiment for Aazadi and that unspeakable emotional attachment with our movement has to come from within. While the source of these threats still remains a mystery, forcing them to join the movement is unIslamic, unethical and unacceptable. This message needs to go out loud and clear.
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 31 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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