Kashmiris Struggle for Independence

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Malik Muhammad Aslam Awan;
(E-mail: [email protected])

The founder of Dogra Raj in Jammu & Kashmir Gulab Singh joined the army of Ranjeet Singh at two rupee per month salary. He was a selfish person with mean habits and deceiving nature. Ranjeet Singh, realizing his merciless nature, entrusted the whole administrative control of Jammu Jagir in 1819 to Gulab Singh. When the belligerency between the Sikh state and British took place, Gulab Singh had maneuvered with the British administration against the Sikh State. Sikhs were defeated at the hands of British army, then the Sikhs entrusted the territories as ransom to the British Rule including Jammu and Kashmir to the conqueror – The British army. In March 1846 the Britain sold the 84 thousand square miles to the Gulab Singh in lieu of 50 Lakh rupees. Some sheep and blankets were in addition to the 50 Lakh paid to the Britain by Gulab Singh. Thus 84 thousand square miles of Jamoon and Kashmir alongwith its inhabitants were sold to Gulab Singh like animals. In this merciless deal the price of per acre was determined 14 paisa and per head price of inhabitants was Rs.7.50 only. A state which consisted of 80 percent Muslim population became under the sway of Dogra Raj. Gulab Singh enjoyed the patronage of British rule and due to this armed favour he attacked neighboring small Muslim states, Muzaffarabad, Rajori, Bhimber, Poonch and other areas and annexed these into his territory, to come under his sway. Gulab Singh continued incessant annexation of nearby areas and his cruel rule got established over muslim majority areas, with the conspiracy of the Britain. Dogra Raj crue lties and atrocities over Muslims can’t be put in black and white because pen of the historian is incapable of encompassing the ma nitude of cruelties of Dogra Raj over helpless Muslims. With Muslim community the behavior of Dogra Raj was not that of the Ruler and the ruled but that of Hindus and Muslims. Dogra Raj suppressed the Muslim community with exorbitant levy of taxes and the Muslims associated with agriculture were made to embrace the fate of helpless community by imposition of agricultural duties of different kinds. Dogra’s policy hinged on one point agenda; total annihilation of the Muslims and viable efforts to make the Hindus so strong as to be the masters of the fate of Muslims. In 1885 when Partap Singh ascended the throne, he started patronizing the Shudhi, Sangthon, Hindu Mahasba as official Tehreeks under Dogra Raj. Jamoon became the hub of revengeful activities against the Muslims, due to the fact that Jamoon was the birth place of Dogra Gulab Singh and the citadel of Dogra power. It is interesting to note that the voice of Muslim renaissance and protection of Muslims first echoed in Dogra Raj. On 29 April 1931 the Eid Sermon was banned and desecration of the Holy Quran Majeed at the hands of a Hindu Constable at Police Lines fanned the religious sentiments of Muslims and afterwards on 13 July, 1931, 22 Kashmiri Muslims were martyred at the hands of Dogra army, while prforming adhan for prayer. Three consecutive incidents in one year ignited the sentiments of freedom from Dogra Raj. This Tehreek flourished in the Jamia Mosque of Sirinagar, the foundation of which was the Islamic Ideology. Owing to the flare up of religious sentiments of Jammu and Kashmir, the echo of slogan primarily based on the “first Kalma” resounded in Jammu and Kashmir and the masses of Jammu and Kashmir unconditionally came within the ambit of Islamic slogan and entrusted their future to the Muslims of India to wage concerted efforts for the creation of Pakistan. The inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir became the vanguard of Liberation movement for Pakistan. The Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir had unconditionally attached their fate with Pakistan and to punish them for this faith a horrendous conspiracy for wholesale massacre of Muslims was hatched by Mahraja Hurry Singh, Congress and the Britain to stall their religious sentimental attachment with Pakistan. One Battalion out of 13 battalions of Maharaja’s army consisted of Muslim soldiers, they were disarmed, Muslim Police force was terminated and the arsenal in their possession was confiscated. Not only ended here the arms of Muslim population were confiscated, the Muslim massacre plan was engineered and supervised by Governor Chait Ram Chopra and the wife of Hurry Singh. The Prime Minister Meher Chand Mahajan, also, participated the Muslim massacre plan. Meher chand Mahajan having smile on his hypocrite face, proposed the Muslims, in friendly way, to migrate towards Pakistan, to save the chastity of their women and their own life. He promised to guard the migrating Muslims at official level. The caravan of Muslims in 60 buses started travelling towards Pakistan, when the caravan reached near “Mewa” the Dogra army already in ambush attacked suddenly, killed brutally  the Muslims and abducted young girls, only a few Muslims could escape and the rest were butchered mercilessly. According to Times of London 2.5 Lacs Muslims were slain in a few days. The Editor of Kashmir Times, expressing his observations stated that in Single night he saw 24 Villages set ablaze by the Dogra army and 123 villages were turned into ashes, leaving not even a single soul alive. Several villages with whole population were shot dead, the young girls abducted which were raped by Dogra army. This is a short description of travails, the Kashmiri Muslims were inflicted upon, the real portrayal will require several thousand pages to put these in black and white. The Muslims of Jammu had to undergo countless brutalities but their love with Pakistan is so entrenched with religious sentiments, having seen no ends. Unflinching and unwavering belief upon God Almighty to ultimately gain independence glaze their faces. With the providence of God Almighty they will see a day, when the destination of freedom will be under their feet. 173 years of subjugation under cruel rule have not made them fatigued of their incessant struggle for independence. Indian government has opened all fronts to dilute the Muslims majority of IOK into minority. The I.O.K aimless population cannot withstand Indian atrocities, all Muslim countries are incumbent to help them at all forums, especially Pakistan have the onus responsibility to extend helping hand to the I.O.K Kashmiris to thwart Indian designs to continue its tyrannical rule over the Muslim population, who are in majority and have the exclusive right to determine their own fate and own rule in their own homeland. Modi, with all his sinister intents, is hell-bent to destroy the fruits of 173 years long struggle of Kashmiris for independent status of I.O.K. His malicious designs endeavor to destroy the distinctive majority of Muslims, to incarnate his motives he has devised cruel policies to dominate the IOK with Hindu population. Modi’s motives further ignited the Muslim sentiments to expedite their struggle but they are shore of resources required to continue their struggle against the Hindutva. Muslims all over the world are required to be at the back of Kashmiris, without the backing of world Muslims Kashmiri’s alone cannot achieve the goal of independence. When caravans of independence travel with unflinching belief, then the courses emanate where from the caravans desire. Will the Muslim community of the world be ever united to save their Kashmiri Brethren from the bitter plight inflicted upon them by the Hindutva?-

The writer is a journalist, author of English Book on current affairs and independent analyst based in Lahore

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