By Dr C I Issac
The Hindu broke the dawn of 28 November 2010 with the new gospel of Arundhati Roy, one of the opportunist-cum-popularity hunters of contemporary India. She came into the limelight with “God of Small Things” which won the prestigious Booker Prize. The book is flavoured with anti-communism, maybe the main reason behind this game of chance.
Now the same author is functioning as the apostle of Maoism. It is clear in the wake of her present Maoist stand, the illegal occupation of forest land meant exclusively for the tribes in Bariam Village near Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh. Hence one cannot refute the possibilities of the influence or allure of terrorist money behind her unusual love towards Kashmir separatists. Anyhow, let us come to the centre of her gospel as published in the newspaper which carries the misnomer label “The Hindu”.
Roy’s gospel contained 14 points. It recalls to memory the painful days of the 14 points of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The purpose of Jinnah’s document was to shatter even the last hope of nationalists to resurrect Mother India from the ashes of seven centuries of bondage and disdain. Jinnah’s designs were clear. But Arundhati’s are masqueraded in bogus arguments of secularism and democracy.
She justifies the cause of Pakistan-sponsored Kashmiri terrorists who are employed in the valley by Pan-Islamic organizations for a daily wage of Rs. 475/-. The messiah of human rights, Arundhati conveniently circumvents the rights of natural-born Hindu Kashmiris who seem destined to be refugees in their motherland. She ignores the civil rights of major sections of the Valley who constitute the core of the corpus of peace-loving civil society. No doubt her endeavour is to destabilize the nation which is rising in the international comity. She likes to see an India with begging bowl in one hand and walking stick in the other. Arundhati used the newspaper space to rebuild her shattered image with a lame comparison with Nehru’s folly. She demands that prior to prosecuting her, Nehru should be brought before the law posthumously!
Arundhati or Susanna was born and raised as a Christian. Thus her rationality usually operates in a Christian way. In the recent past, the Papacy acquitted several innocents’ souls including Galileo, posthumously, who stood for truth and lost their lives to fabricated charges of heresy by the Church [Court of Inquisition]. Thus her lame excuse of the posthumous trial of Nehru is un-Hindu and unethical. Following Nehru’s idiocy, she is trying to mislead the hypocritical Indian intelligentsia and international community in an age in which the international community has realized the truth that the Kashmir drama has been staged by anti-Indian elements since the days of our freedom. The present day Indian Union is the outcome of the determination of its patriotic citizens. People from more than 500 princely states of India came together in one mind and Sardar Patel became instrumental in the cause of this vibrant Hindutva aspiration.
Amidst her ‘sermon on mount’ Roy conveniently ignores the still extant Hindu influences and Hindu population of Kashmir. Until 1339 CE, Kashmir was a Hindu kingdom, till it fell in the hands of Muslims through usurpation. After 480 years, Maharaja Ranjit Singh recaptured Kashmir in 1819. French traveller Victor Jacquemont, who visited his court, describes him as “Bonaparte in miniature”. But before this political change, the civil society was subjected to massive conversion, though most converts retained their Hindu clan names.
Between Kashmir and the rest of India one can see an emotional and cultural attachment from time immemorial. The name Kashmir is associated with the celebrated Manu and the flood, and means dried-out land. Several place names are associated with Hindu legends. For instance, Baramulla derives from Varaha-mula.
Kashmir has been an integral part of major Indian dynasties. It has deep-rooted connections to the Vedas, Mahabharata, Mauryan rulers; the Mahabharata hero Arjun’s descendants settled in the region. Panini, the Sanskrit grammarian, hailed from Kashmir. So did major classical poets and intellectuals of ancient India – Kalidasa, Kalhana, Bilhana, Ananda Vardhana, Abhinav Gupta. Thus Kashmir and Hinduism are an integral part of our history.
The first historically viable book on history in Sanskrit is the Rajatarangini of Kalhana. The Kashmiri language is a form of the Vedic language. Kashmir was the centre of Hindu religion and education; it is not a mere geographical appendix but an integral part of the nation. Hindu influence waned under Muslim oppression from the 12th century CE. Massive killings and forced conversions brought Kashmir’s Hindu population down to 11 families in 200 years after the first Muslim invasion. When Pakistan occupied a portion of Kashmir, this area’s Hindu population was 10 percent. Now it is zero.
Strategically, the importance of Kashmir has risen after partition. Arundhati doubtless understands nothing of this. Nehru was a self-promoter, a man of straw. He advertised himself as a “philosopher king” but showed only diplomatic and administrative inefficiency from prime-minister-ship to his demise. His response to the Chinese occupation of Aksai Chin in October 1962 was that “Aksai Chin is a place where not a blade of grass grows”.
His ghost still haunts the nation. The price we paid for his idiocy Nehru was heavy. Really Nehru is the only person responsible for the present day Kashmir impediment. His perverted domestic and foreign polices dragged India into padmaviewham [present difficult situation]. Yet Arundhati deliberately caught hold of Nehru to save face.
Let us see the remarks of Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border”. This is our tradition.
But Arundhati subscribes to an Hindu-phobic stance while making contentious statements over Kashmir, ignoring the above quoted well-attested character of this nation. She conveniently ignores the cause of Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, in Kashmir, who are doomed to live as refugees in their motherland.
The accession of Kashmir to the Indian Union was on the basis of the Instrument of Accession resolved by the people’s representative institution of then Kashmir. The state merely followed the path other princely states of India. The only exceptions were Hyderabad and Goa. Why she is not barking for Hyderabad and Goa? Answer is simple – no terrorist money is available for Hyderabad and Goa now. The accession of all the princely states including Hyderabad and Kashmir was the realization of the people’s longstanding and vibrant national aspiration. The present day Kashmiri militancy is the outcome of Islam’s intolerance towards democracy and modernity. Arundhati Roy’s greed for money and fame is behind her treasonable intervention in the Kashmir issue. She has thus mislaid her eligibility to live as an Indian citizen.
The author is a retired Professor of History, and lives in Trivandrum
Also read: Arundhati Roy is a Damn Nuisance