After four years of Amaranth Land Row (2008). This year once again right wing Hindu parties in India are going to spew poisonous misinformation campaign against Kashmir. This is not something unusual, but a usual course of dictum they have pronounced. They have in very clear words declared that they will forcefully counter the propaganda allegedly unleashed by separatists; their supporters and valley based main stream political parties against the facilities being provided to pilgrims of holy Amarnath shrine by the Government. The leaders of various Hindu organizations, social activists and intellectuals who participated in a meeting organized by Baba Amaranth & Buda Amarnath Yatri Niyas (BABAYN) on this September to frame a roadmap to counter the (alleged) propaganda against the yatra. We will not allow any one to interfere in the religious affairs of Hindus reports EARLY TIMES, Jammu. This is again politicization of Amaranth by the right wing Hindu parties, done in 2008, and still remembered. by all , as a renowned Jammu based correspondent, Bini Joshi, has very recently wrote : The BJP was playing politics with the sentiments of the people, became very clear, when it fuelled the Amarnath Land Row in 2008.
What Bino Joshi confessed now a few days back , Kashmir has faced it very bitterly in 2008, and is going to face again, as the right wing Hindu Parties have chalked out the program as mentioned above. Kashmir talked logic then, when land was allotted to the Shrine Board, intriguingly, and Kashmir is talking logic now , when new political lovers of Amarnath , are pleading for the construction of road ,or nationalization f the Amaranth Yatra Route. But the fact is Kashmir was always trampled, instead of giving Kashmir heed.
Yes! It is Syed Ali Shah Geelani , who took the stand on new development of Amarnath road and its expected fall back. But this too is a fact, that this time, Kashmir Civil Society, under the influence of highly enlightened Prof. Naeema Ahmad who came with a well-meaning resolution on the new development.
What Kashmirs fault is?
What wrong Civil society of Kashmir did, and what crime, Mirwaiz Maulana Omar Farooq, Mohammad Yassin Malik or Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani committed against Amrnath Yatra, or yatries or Hindus, as alleged by the right wing Hindu Parties. It is nothing like that. It is a statement issued by the Mirwaiz Maulana Omar Farooq , expressing concern on big danger to the environment ,while Syed Ali Shah Geelani took a note of the controversy on Construction of road to Amaranth and voiced the peoples concern on the issue. This is for the first time, after 2008 Land Row on environment, that Geelani Sahib felt the need of speaking on this issue ——- beyond the Freedom Movement. Certainly his stand on this important, has been welcomed not by the people in general but even by the people who differ with his ideology. This writer is one among such people. Geelanis stand on protection of environment is not being appreciated in Kashmir only but it is being welcomed outside Kashmir as well.
Madhu Purnima Kishwar, a professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi and Founder of MANUSHIan organization committed to protect democratic rights in India, who is also a member of Kashmir Committee (Ram Jaith Malani ) has congratulated Geelani Sahib for having voiced concern for the environmental damage being caused to the eco-sensitive zone due to the massive increase in the number of yatris that have begun visiting the Amarnath Shrine now. I have personally seen how much garbage and filth, the Yatra generates, and how the extension of the Yatra to two months has caused further damage to the delicate ecology of the area.
Madhu Kishwar —-in an open letter to Geelani Sahib in tahlaka.com has said On behalf of Kashmir Committee, I fully endorse your demand that just as 153 km area from Gomukh to Devprayag has been notified as an eco-sensitive zone by the Government of India, so also the area around the Amarnath shrine needs to be declared as an eco-sensitive zone. All those who value the Amarnath Shrine as a sacred site, should join hands with their Kashmiri brothers in preserving the pristine purity of the area. She also admitted ——–You are also right in alleging that the creation of the Shrine Board by Faros Abdullah government was an ill conceived political move. However, the Board stayed within its limits till General Sinha as the Governor of J&K did all he could to communalize the Yatra as well as its management. Your demand that the management of the Yatra be handed over to the Kashmiri Pandits of the Valley and that they along with their Muslim brothers take care of the needs of the yatris is a welcome suggestion, especially considering that Kashmiri Muslims have played a stellar role in ensuring that the yatris feel welcome and safe no matter how disturbed the conditions in the Valley. This well-meaning Indian lady, with a positive and constructive approach has not hesitated to confess that —– While there is no denying that certain vested interests are using the Yatra as a show of Hindu strength.
But she added it is wrong to attribute the growing numbers of Amarnath Yatris to the political games being played by Government of India or the Sangh Parivar. She appealed to Geelani Sahib to resist the temptation of politicizing this issue to settle other scores with the Government of India. This is the surest way to lose the environmental battle.
This appeal to Geelani Sahib is very positive. She also hoped, that Geelani sahib will also extend his concern to the pathetic plight of rivers, lakes and the fast depleting forest cover in Kashmir. The land that was once celebrated as a virtual paradise on earth has become an ecological disaster. ——
But her interpretation or clarification of Government Of India, and Sangh Parvar on this issue , is no doubt debatable.which this limited column cannot accommodate .But for a cursory reference, this writer wants to convey her , on the basis of my 4-years research, that , soft ad Hard Hinduvata swooped down on Kashmir with imposing —-economic Blockade — a war crime against Kashmir, in the name Land Row, in 2008. —-Its detail is very long, and dreadful. The fact is that the restoration of the land to Board, that too exclusively on the dictation of Jammu Sang rash Semite,——–and that too after the revocation of original land transfer order , by the elected Government is one sided, illegal, immoral, and comparative, as declared by the renowned constitution expert A. G Noorani. This too is an open secret and a naked reality that 800 kanals of forest land was transferred to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board , , illegally , clandestinely, and in a consparative way—— with one mission of Shrine Board with communal minded S k Sinha as its Chairman to make the yatra bigger and bigger with every year, ignoring law of the land, the Kashmir ethos , environment, and other drawbacks Because the mission is all political but in the name of religious yatra. Kashmir has enough to prove the bigger and larger yatra as a political conspiracy—— One simple question in this regard is, which helps to understand the use of majority might , and colonial attitude with kashmir i————– Why the criminal double standard in Uttrakhand and Kashmir. ?
Tahir Muztar has served as Media Advisor to former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah.
He can be reached at :[email protected],
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.