The state is vested with unsurpassed power only to protect and defend the territorial integrity of the nation and its nationhood. Kautilya more than two thousand years ago pronounced that the nation or rashtra is both territory and the people inhabiting the territory. The primary responsibility of the state is therefore, not only to protect the territory by defending national borders, but also to keep a watch over the people inhabiting the territory who may pose a threat to the sense of nationhood which binds the people into a nation.
By seeking to resolve the threat posed by Muslims to the territory and nationhood in J&K through the agency of seminar-hoppers, bleeding-heart human rights activists and Track II diplomats, the Indian state and the political class across the ideological spectrum can be charged with contempt of rashtradharma; they have rendered the authority and power of the state to eliminate national security threats null and void, and even dysfunctional.
Conflict-resolution-through-dialogue and the soft power-hard power dichotomy are neo-colonial devices promoted by erstwhile colonial countries using big and small agents (like the UN, western or west-funded think-tanks, human rights organizations, Track II diplomats and other busybodies), and intended to emasculate national governments from dealing effectively with forces which had been created and left behind as thorns in the polity of countries from where the colonial regimes were forced to retreat.
The new world order has reserved use of force only for countries professing the Abrahamic religions. Former colonies are permitted use of soft power only and even that may be used only to the extent that they do not challenge or subvert neo-colonial intentions. The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies’ Multi party dialogue on future of J & K on 7 November 2009 is the latest in a long series of this meaningless endeavour.*
The Indian State’s inability to end the threat posed by the Muslims in J&K, even sixty years after 1947, is a Gandhian legacy going back to the Gandhi-Nehru duo’s criminal unilateralism with regard to J&K, and their warped sense of nationhood compounded by the Indian state’s acquiescence to the code of conduct imposed on it by the new world order.
Muslims had made their intentions abundantly clear from as early as 1905 when Bengal was partitioned, that they were working to return Islamic rule over India; failing which they were ready to use violence to create an Islamic state from the body of the Hindu nation. As demonstrated in the writer’s book Eclipse of the Hindu Nation, Gandhi’s INC set political freedom as its goal only in 1942. Even after 1942, Gandhi’s INC wanted political freedom only from British rule; rather than mobilizing the Hindus against Muslim intention to vivisect the nation, Gandhi’s bizarre sense of nationhood and his criminal unilateralism in deciding the fate of the Hindu nation drove him to consent to the return of Muslim rule over India if that would avert partition.
The greatest coercion is British coercion. And the Congress is impatient to get out of that coercion. My hope in desiring a Constituent Assembly is that whether the Muslims are represented by the Muslim League mentality or any other, the representatives when they are face to face with the reality will not think of cutting up India according to religions but will regard India as an indivisible whole and discover a national, i.e. Indian solution of even specially Muslim questions. But if the hope is frustrated, the Congress cannot forcibly resist the express will of the Muslims of India. Needless to say the Congress can never seek the assistance of British forces to resist the vivisection. It is the Muslims who will impose their will by force singly or with British assistance on an unresisting India. If I can carry the Congress with me, I would not put the Muslims to the trouble of using force. I would be ruled by them for it would still be Indian rule. In other words, the Congress will have only a non-violent approach to every question and difficulty arising. (March 17, 1940, CWMG Vol. 78, page 66)
That there was another choice – that there would be neither partition of the Hindu nation nor return of Islamic rule after ending colonial rule, was not even envisaged by Gandhi or other luminaries of the INC. Sheikh Abdullah, who saw the ease with which Jinnah’s Muslim League walked away with territory, began to dream his own dream of converting J&K into his own grand fiefdom.
He had observed how Gandhi from the 1930s decade had destabilized several princely states with his campaigns for democratic constitutions and temple entry programmes. In the year between 1938 and 1939, the Congress was stirring trouble in Mysore, Jaipur, Rajkot, Travancore and Cochin. Sheikh Abdullah had also observed how dismissively and even contemptuously both Gandhi and Nehru had dealt with the Deccan princes and other rulers of the princely states when they approached Gandhi to express their concerns about their fate when British paramountcy would end with end of colonial rule.
Sheikh Abdullah began to utilize the critical years after 1942 to realize his own manic ambitions. Sheikh Abdullah was another Jinnah already in the making, but typically, neither Gandhi nor Nehru or even Patel read the danger signals emanating from J&K in 1946. “Even as the INC was in the midst of the make or break negotiations with the Cabinet Delegation, trouble erupted in Jammu and Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah, a commoner from the Valley saw a great opportunity in the generally troubled times, to realize his own towering Muslim ambitions in the turbulent years preceding 1947. Playing out the drama for civil liberties and ‘freedom’ that the INC had staged in Rajkot, Jaipur and other Hindu kingdoms, Sheikh Abdullah launched in May 1946, the ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign. Abdullah was promptly arrested and incarcerated. Nehru, playing the Great Democrat to the hilt, attempted to enter Kashmir and was also speedily detained by Ramachandra Kak, the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Gandhi jumped into the fray and in a passionate letter to Jawaharlal Nehru, pleaded with Nehru to return to Delhi with the promise that the Congress would make Nehru’s cause in Kashmir its own cause, and Nehru’s honour, its honour. The draft reply, drafted by Gandhi contained the ill-concealed threat to the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir that Nehru would return to retrieve his honour and fulfill his mission, a threat which however does not find mention in the official Congress Resolution.
I and all are of opinion that your presence here is essential above everything else. Remember that you are under an organization which you have adorned so long. Its needs must be paramount for you and me. Remember also that your honour is ours and your obedience to the Congress call automatically transfers to it the duty of guarding your honour. The Committee is also solicitous equally with you about Sheikh Abdullah’s case and the welfare of the Kashmir people. Therefore I expect you to return in answer to this. You will tell Maharaja Saheb that as soon as you are freed by the Congress you will return to Kashmir to retrieve your honour and fulfill your mission.
(Draft reply to Jawaharlal Nehru, June 21, 1946, Mahatma Gandhi—The Last Phase, Vol. II, p. 346, CWMG Vol. 91 pp 180-81)
(Radha Rajan, Vigil Plainspeak, In J&K Sri Sri does a Gandhi, 15 August 2008)
Thus by 1946, not only had Gandhi declared that he would not be averse to Muslim rule over Hindu India, but had also signalled to the INC that Nehru and Nehru alone would deal with the affairs of J&K. Gandhi’s unilateralism gifted Nehru with J&K on a platter to do with it as he pleased.
(To be continued…)
The author is Editor, www.vigilonline.com
* Conflict-resolution-through-dialogue is the instrument of engagement with jihadi Islam, while inter-faith-dialogue is the permitted instrument of engagement with the cancerous church