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May 27, 2010

Kashmir, India and my thoughts on them

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:18 PM

As some of you know my Mom is a member of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and yesterday (rather today morning) she came back home after a week long trip to Kashmir via several different cities/states.

This trip was made specifically with the aim of flying the Indian national flag at Lal Chowk and the yatra was named ‘Sadbhavana Yatra’ which roughly translates to Peace trip. The trip was envisioned because on 26th Jan 2010 there was no unfurling of the Indian flag at Lal Chowk in Kashmir. Which is sad and embarrassing. To make things even better at no point in time before this trip has the Indian flag flown alone in Kashmir. It is always accompanied by the Kashmir flag at the same height which as you might know is unconstitutional. So this was the first time that the Indian Flag was flown alone in Kashmir.

According to mom, as soon as they entered Kashmir their convoy was harassed in increasingly belligerent tones to take the flag down (All their cars were flying the Indian flag) and it got to the point that they were worried about attacks to their caravan and even a mid-night police raid to arrest them at their hotel. The initial plan was for them to fly the flag at Lal Chowk at 10am but when they saw the amount of anti-nationalism and the threat of attack they unfurled the flag at 5am instead and then left soon thereafter. Even then a lot of the people who saw the unfurling opposed it with one person who tried snatching the flag to prevent it from being unfurled.

Now you might be wondering why this is a case, how can a state act against the country and not fear retaliation by the rest of the country. I am wondering the same thing. How can our Prime Minister, President and the MP’s allow this state to so consistently insult India?

A lot of it is because Kashmir only joined India when it was invaded by Pakistan and the only way it could secure aid from India was to agree to become part of India. But that was 60 years ago, their king made the decision and now they have to live with it. Pakistan poking their noses into it every few years haven’t helped either… along with all the other aid that is being provided to the militant factor in Kashmir to prevent the ‘repression’ of the Muslims in the area by the Hindu’s.

I think its past time that the Indian government grew a backbone and sorted out this problem once and for all.. The loss of life and property in Kashmir is appalling and the situation won’t change unless those in power take a decision and then back it up by force if required.

- Suramya

4 Comments »

4 Responses to " Kashmir, India and my thoughts on them "

  1. It seems a fabricated story, one that is used to befool the people and of course to get appreciation and rewards for whipping up nationalism.
    There are many loopholes in the story. Police never cares for who carries Indian flag or not.
    Usually any such incident gets tremendous media attention in Kashmir.
    How come your mom’s adventure never got a single column of newspaper space.
    There would have been huge commotion, media, curfew and lot of attention, if ever your Mom
    would have tried to hoist a flag. Seems like a dream…do you have any date when that flag
    was hoisted…
    One more important thing Under Article 370 of India constitution Indian flag can be accompanied b
    by Kashmiri flag on equal height..it is not unconstitutional…
    come to reality dear…

    Comment by Parvez — May 28, 2010 @ 9:54 AM

  2. Ok, let me answer your questions one by one:

    1. It seems a fabricated story, one that is used to befool the people and of course to get appreciation and rewards for whipping up nationalism.

    Nope, its a real story. One change though, the yatra was not by BJP but rather by RSS. I was mistaken about that.
    Why is it that any time there is a story in the paper or TV about oppressing of the Kashmiries or any minority group in Kashmir it is taken as fact but when any news comes out that promotes nationalism it is automatically classified as being fabricated?

    2. There are many loopholes in the story. Police never cares for who carries Indian flag or not.

    Yes, they might not care about who flies the flag. But they wouldn’t have arrested the people for flying the flag. The charge against them would have been ‘Disturbing the peace’ which they were doing by flying the flag in Kashmir alone.

    3. Usually any such incident gets tremendous media attention in Kashmir. How come your mom’s adventure never got a single column of newspaper space. There would have been huge commotion, media, curfew and lot of attention, if ever your Mom

    Well, from what I have been told there was media coverage of the event by both papers and TV. It was covered by Dainik Jagaran, Rastriya Ujala, Aaj Tak and A2Z TV Channel. Mom is supposed to receive copies of all the papers and video clips of the coverage in a couple of days. I will post it here when I get the CD.

    3. would have tried to hoist a flag. Seems like a dream…do you have any date when that flag was hoisted…

    The date was 25th May 2010.

    4. One more important thing Under Article 370 of India constitution Indian flag can be accompanied by Kashmiri flag on equal height..it is not unconstitutional… come to reality dear…

    Hmm… I just checked it out. According to the rules:

    * No flag or emblem should be placed either above the National Flag or to its right.
    * All other flags to be placed to the left of the National Flag if they are hung in a line.

    So I guess I misremembered the quote. But you have to agree that on days like the Republic Day or Independence Day the flag is usually flown alone and is normally the highest flag.

    This Republic day the Tri-color wasn’t flown in Kashmir. Where were you at that time? Did you protest it at the time?

    I realize that my post above doesn’t have a lot of details about the story because this was written based on my conversation with Mom and my thoughts about the incident. It was in no way supposed to be an official press release or anything like that. I wrote about it because I found it interesting.

    But still, I am planning on making another post later on with more detailed information about the trip and photo’s once I have the photos available. Which will be sometime next week because I will be out of town till the 3rd on a trip.

    - Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — May 28, 2010 @ 9:16 PM

  3. I am still doubting the story. I tried to check on the newspapers but couldn’t find anything.
    I will wait for you to post the newspapers clippings which according to you have carried the news.

    regarding Tri color hoisting at Lal Chowk. It was an unofficial custom established by troopers stationed at the area. The government function happens at big Bakshi stadium couple of kilometers away. So it hardly matters that flag is hoisted at Lal Chowk or not. BTW people r not interested in such nationalism, they even boycott all such events.

    I kashmir everywhere you will find state flag at par with Indian flag, and till date nobody has taken any offence. I dont think it is any illegal. Even Prime Minister enters such buildings.
    The constitution of Kashmir has such a provision for allowing such practice.

    Comment by Parvez — June 11, 2010 @ 10:11 AM

  4. Not to be rude or anything, but I don’t really care about the fact that you doubt the story, that’s your prerogative.
    I was planning on posting the pictures but since I posted this entry I have moved to another city and joined a new company so I have other matters that have a higher priority going on in my life.

    This is not to say that I won’t post them, just that they will be posted when I go back to Delhi and get access to the materials again.

    - Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — June 20, 2010 @ 9:05 PM

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