ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kashmir and India

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Mohandas Moses (February 9) quotes a verse from Kalhana’s Rajtarangani, which according to him reads: “The real battle for Kashmir has to be fought not with the swords, but with the spirit”. This verse, also quoted by D D Kosambi in his well known essay on the origin of feudalism in India, as per Aurel Stein, Kalhana’s distinguished translator and commentator, actually reads: “Kashmir can be conquered by the force of spiritual merit, and not by the force of arms”. Hypothetically, if Moses had quoted this verse in the beginning of his diatribe against Farooq Abdullah, instead of towards the end, the entire perspective of his article would have changed. Then he would have had to explain whether the Indians, with their over half a million security forces, have conquered Kashmir by the force of their spiritual merit or failed to conquer it by the force of their arms. Incidentally, this is the first pronouncement in print by a bureaucrat against the chief minister of a duly elected state government that I have ever come across. If Moses had done this in case of, say, S M Krishna or any other chief minister, he would have been chargesheeted, and perhaps eventually removed from service. But Moses knows that no such thing will happen to him because what he has written has been written against a Muslim chief minister representing an enemy territory. Moreover, considering the conduct of Indians in Kashmir over the years, particularly since 1990, they are free to say or do anything they like in Kashmir. It is also worth noting that Moses has not said a word about India’s culpability in Kashmir when its control over Kashmir is so total and complete that even police stations are manned by Indian paramilitary forces.

Tarun Sapru

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