Kashmir: Elusive Spring

March 1846 to March 2018

Dr. Javid Iqbal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Mar 13 2018 11:28PM | Updated Date: Mar 13 2018 11:28PM
Kashmir: Elusive SpringFile Photo

March is the harbinger of spring; the month however has had an ominous setting in Kashmir, down the historical tale. March 2018 dawned with dark clouds hovering over political panorama, as spring remained elusive. The killings in Shopian made it murkier, with a new idiom added to Kashmir’s political lexicon—Over Ground Workers (OGW)’s. The fellow columnist—Ajaz-ul-Haque noted aptly—today we could add one more term to the list of Orwellian euphemism, adding—I am sure Orwell will welcome this inclusion in the list of soft expression for hard facts. Facts indeed! The facts in Kashmir remain contrary to the general run elsewhere. In the wailing vale, the fact remains that FIR’s, investigations are as elusive as the dawn of the spring. The Apex Court verdict is clear; FIR in January Shopian killings may not proceed in investigative trail, given the AFSPA cover armed forces stay protected with in what is called—Line of Duty! Therefore, March killings would do without FIR. Better, save your breath in sounding effusive on FIR’s, investigations and logical conclusions! Voiceless do not matter, the fact stays today as much as it did in March 1846, when Kashmir went through a sale deed, without a stake of its own.

March the 16th 1846 is a dark day in Kashmir’s history. In what is engraved as ‘Bainama Amritsar’ in the soul of Kashmir, East India Company paraded as ‘Company Bhadur’ in the Indian lexicon sold the valley to Gulab Singh of Dogra Raj. Jammu Raja, a tributary of Khalsa Durbar of Lahore overnight became Maharaja of a new political entity—Jammu and Kashmir. The vale of Kashmir remained the prized possession; the Maharaja was often called Maharaja of Kashmir without prefixing Jammu. Gulab Singh worked up his way in Lahore’s Khalsa Durbar from humble beginnings in 1811. He eventually settled his father—Kishore Singh and brothers—Dhayan Singh and Suchet Singh as loyal servants of the Durbar. Winning favours of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by early 1820’s, Gulab Singh attained Jammu Raj. In 1819, Gulab Singh was instrumental in gaining Kashmir for Khalsa Durbar, hence the reward. 

By 1846, Khalsa Durbar had waned with a series of successions after the death of Ranjit Singh in 1839. In the much-weakened Durbar, however dowager Rani Jinda’n—mother of the Dilip Singh was holding the reins of power. Maharaja Dilip Singh was a minor. She chose Gulab Singh to negotiate with ‘Company Bhadur’ as the siege around Lahore tightened. Gulab Singh however had designs of his own, the company made good use of his leanings. Named the ‘Wily Fox’ by the British, Gulab Singh was not beyond double-crossing his erstwhile benefactors. Sensing a bad bargain, Rani Jinda’n replaced Gulab Singh as her emissary with Lal Singh—a functionary of Lahore Durbar. Lal Singh bargained with Kashmir. On March the 9th, Kashmir handover to ‘Company Bhadur’ was formalized in Treaty of Lahore, as per article 4th of the treaty. In article 12th it was noted that Kashmir is slated to be handed over to Gulab Singh in lieu of his services.  On March 16th, Kashmir was sold to Gulab Singh for 75 lakh Nanak Shahi rupees in Bainama Amritsar; the sale deed holds ten clauses.  

Kashmir continued with Dogra Raj for 101 years, as gory a chapter as the preceding Khalsa Raj (1819-1846) and the Afghan Raj (1751-18419). In 1947, new dominions succeeding British Raj—India and Pakistan became stakeholders as erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was divided with bloodline drawn between the two sides. Initially called ceasefire line, it was termed Line of Control (LoC) in 1972, the fire across however has not ceased, apart from brief periods of lull, as and when it suited the combatants. In March 2018, spring remains elusive, as dark clouds hangover the bloodline, with daily reports of civilian death and repeated reports of displacement of border residents on either side. Obviously political mileage is drawn from keeping the line hot. Kashmir is a pawn in the political game played with amazing regularity. No account is taken of the sufferings of the people, as the rest of world watches with hardly a word of concern. As and when, on rare occasions, a word of concern is expressed on human rights situation; it is drowned in the cacophony of cross border terrorism. India reacted sharply to the statement of UN High Commissioner for human rights—Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on human rights situation in Kashmir by weighing it, yet again with cross border terrorism.

March in Kashmir heralds the start of educational institutions after the hard and harsh winter lay-off. However, the murky political situation, continued killings, some of them unexplained delayed the start of educational institutions by over a week in March 2018. The elusive spring hence did not dawn on the generation next--the young buds. The winter vacation was extended for inexplicable reasons by the state that remains obsessed with security. Maintaining security remains the key word, whatever it might cost. Kashmir situation could hardly be expected to improve overnight; however, it should not be constructed as an alibi for closing educational institutions on slightest pretexts. The onus falls not only on the state, but political formations across the board. Education of generation next is too serious a matter to be fiddled with.  

Kashmir in March 2018 remains despondent despite the change of the season. The physical landmarks associated with spring are not in sync with the psychological state of masses. Almonds might have blossomed, tulips might be in bloom, but deep within the soul of Kashmir hardly registers the spring, as the pall of gloom remains the overriding phenomenon.    

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]

 

Latest News

  1. Mansbal blast: Police doesn’t rule out use of explosive material
  2. Mansbal blast: Police doesn’t rule out use of explosive material
  1. Ceasefire ‘drama’ was made to achieve covert targets: Lashkar-e-Toiba
  2. Ceasefire ‘drama’ was made to achieve covert targets: Lashkar-e-Toiba
  1. Youth shot dead by unknown gunmen in Kulgam in south Kashmir
  2. Youth shot dead by unknown gunmen in Kulgam in south Kashmir
  1. Four civilians injured in mysterious blast at Manasbal park
  2. Four civilians injured in mysterious blast at Manasbal park
  1. No let up in oppression even on Eid day: Yasin Malik
  2. No let up in oppression even on Eid day: Yasin Malik
  1. Policeman injured in Kak Sarai attack continues to be critical
  2. Policeman injured in Kak Sarai attack continues to be critical
  1. Man returns from Dubai to celebrate Eid with family in Rajouri, found dead
  2. Man returns from Dubai to celebrate Eid with family in Rajouri, found dead
  1. 17 dead in Venezuela club stampede
  2. 17 dead in Venezuela club stampede
  1. GoI decides not to extend ceasefire in Kashmir
  2. GoI decides not to extend ceasefire in Kashmir
  1. Youth critically injured in last evening Soura clashes
  2. Youth critically injured in last evening Soura clashes
  1. US pips India as top greenfield FDI investment destination: Report
  2. US pips India as top greenfield FDI investment destination: Report
  1. Egypt raises fuel prices by up to 66.6% to push reforms
  2. Egypt raises fuel prices by up to 66.6% to push reforms
  1. JRL condemns killing of two youth in south Kashmir in past 24 hours
  2. JRL condemns killing of two youth in south Kashmir in past 24 hours
  1. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated with religious fervour, gaiety across Jammu
  2. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated with religious fervour, gaiety across Jammu
  1. Devender Rana exchanges greetings at Eidgahs, meets people
  2. Devender Rana exchanges greetings at Eidgahs, meets people
  1. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated with religious fervor across Ramban
  2. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated with religious fervor across Ramban
  1. Governor views arrangements for Mela Kheer Bhawani
  2. Governor views arrangements for Mela Kheer Bhawani
  1. Member Parliament Karan Singh meets Jammu and Kashmir Governor
  2. Member Parliament Karan Singh meets Jammu and Kashmir Governor
  1. Mushtaq ul Hassan, Abdul Aziz Lone of Tangmarg bereaved
  2. Mushtaq ul Hassan, Abdul Aziz Lone of Tangmarg bereaved
  1. Two persons shot at in Shopian, hospitalised
  2. Two persons shot at in Shopian, hospitalised
  1. Three women killed, five minors injured in Kishtwar landslide
  2. Three women killed, five minors injured in Kishtwar landslide
  1. CM Mehbooba visits Kreeri, offers condolences to Shujaat Bukhari’s family
  2. CM Mehbooba visits Kreeri, offers condolences to Shujaat Bukhari’s family
  1. Eid celebrated with religious fervor in Kashmir
  2. Eid celebrated with religious fervor in Kashmir
  1. Man killed, four injured after vehicle hired by locals for sightseeing turns turtle in Lolab
  2. Man killed, four injured after vehicle hired by locals for sightseeing turns turtle in Lolab
  1. Mehbooba Mufti offers Eid prayers at Sonwar, prays for peace
  2. Mehbooba Mufti offers Eid prayers at Sonwar, prays for peace
  1. Soldier killed in cross-LoC sniper fire in Rajouri
  2. Soldier killed in cross-LoC sniper fire in Rajouri
  1. Trooper injured after militants attack CRPF party in Srinagar
  2. Trooper injured after militants attack CRPF party in Srinagar
  1. Police refute news reports, claim Anantnag youth died in grenade explosion
  2. Police refute news reports, claim Anantnag youth died in grenade explosion
  1. Nine youth with pellet injuries to eyes brought to SMHS hospital from Anantnag
  2. Nine youth with pellet injuries to eyes brought to SMHS hospital from Anantnag
  1. SSA teachers call off protest after meeting CM Mehbooba Mufti
  2. SSA teachers call off protest after meeting CM Mehbooba Mufti
  1. Seven youth injured in Shopian clashes
  2. Seven youth injured in Shopian clashes
  1. Youth killed, 10 cops among 22 injured in Anantnag clashes
  2. Youth killed, 10 cops among 22 injured in Anantnag clashes
  1. Geelani barred from offering Eid prayers: Spokesman
  2. Geelani barred from offering Eid prayers: Spokesman
  1. SSA teachers stage sit-in at Pratap Park on Eid day to press for demands
  2. SSA teachers stage sit-in at Pratap Park on Eid day to press for demands
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine