December 22, 2020

Significance of 13th July, 5th Dec: Non- celebration akin to denying the facts, history

The Historical figures, landmarks, revolutionary decisions, and epoch-making events are collective embodiment of the aspirations of societies concerned and hence perennial. The contrived endeavours to obliterate them is wishful thinking bound to end in tatters but needlessly the proponents at the helm of affairs responsible for the invidious decisions might have earned the notoriety for distorting the history in the process. Non-commemoration of 13th July as Martyrs day is an aberration perpetrated by pygmies of the Hindutva brigade and their cohorts in the UT Administration based on their myopic orientation about political movements in J&K, and hopefully with self-governance restored the undemocratic and non-transparent measure afoot shall be rolled back & so shall be the case with 5th December as birth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah (SMA) who ascended to the position of the Prime Minister on 05.03.1948 which development in itself was momentous one as it was return of a native mass leader as head of the Govtt after 628 years from 1320 to 1948 but should Rinchin & Dogra rulers from Ambaran Akhnoor be deemed as natives being residents of territories falling in Greater Kashmir the gap reduces to 507 years as against 628 years. With the dawn of independence & thereafter hundreds of protagonists of Nawab in rural areas of Hyderabad State were lynched/killed in cold blood by people fighting to get rid of despotic rule and during uprising against Pakistan in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) the migrants from Bihar and the Bengali Constitutionalists bore the macabrely of violence unleashed by Bengali ultra – nationalists, but the same including destruction of properties and mass plunder did not diminish the sacrosance of the occasions, meriting celebration/commemoration in Telangana and Bangladesh respectively even as 26% of voters in East Pakistan had rejected the 05 point programme of Awami League during general elections in 1970-71 held across Pakistan. This 05 point programme tantamount to conversion of envisaged federation of Pakistan into a loose confederation. The relief & rehabilitation reports, following the assumption of office of Prime Minister by Sheikh Mujib u Rehman , suggest the no of casualties to the extent of 70000 persons in the population of 165 million people whose Next of kin got ex-gratia relief from the Govtt while as in Hyderabad State about two lakh people lost their lives from 15th August 1947 to 09/ 1948 from out of the 15% population which was supposed to be loyal to the Nizam. (The Destruction of Hyderabad by A.G. Noorani) However following the invasion of Hyderabad State by Indian Army under Maj Gen JN Choudhury in operation polo the Govt claimed to have lost 10 soldiers against 1373 Raza Kars + 807 State soldiers. An excerpt from Noorani’s Book is herein below:-
“ Prof Cantwell, a critic of Jinnah, in The Middle Eastern Journal 1950’’ inter-alia says “ The only careful report on what happened in this period was made a few months later by investigators- including a Congress Muslim & a sympathetic & admired Hindu (Professor Sunderlal )- commissioned by the Indian Government .The report was submitted but has not been published & presumably it makes unpleasant reading. It is widely held that the figure mentioned therein for the number of Muslims massacred is 50,000. Other estimates by responsible observers run as high as 200,000.” A lower but still horrific estimate comes from UCLA Professor Perry Anderson “when Indian Army took over Hyderabad massive Hindu pogroms against the Muslim population broke out aided & abetted by its regulars”. The isolated incidents of stone-pelting on pro Maharaja and anti people characters in certain parts of Srinagar and elsewhere immediately after the uncalled for brute action /highly disproportionate use of force on 13th July in 1931 outside Central Srinagar is hardly a comparison with the two places described above and yet there is no rancour in aggrieved sections of the two polities about celebration of events associated with political movements/developments of 1947 to 1948 & 1971. Telugu and the Bengali masses celebrate the two developments regardless of the substantial component of the population in the two territories having had contrary positions about the future.
The detractors of the epoch making occasion in JK have bred communalism by not participating in the struggle initially for ushering in a responsible Government and later on the freedom from the yoke of Despots during quit Jammu Kashmir movement. The protests following 13th July carnage spread across the State and continued for months together but while chronicling the sad incident, the death and destruction that followed, has not been linked with the main event till date. In Anantnag, 23 people got martyred in Malakhnag area on September 23, 1931 in late evening when people returning to their homes from congregation organized in Eid Gah (old) as part of series of demonstrations. In Shopian, Pulwama and Handwara dozens offered their own lives while protesting the gory blood bath enacted in Srinagar by the State forces. The incidents are galore but not documented by successive Govts’ for various reasons including the one about lack of determination in confronting the votaries of royalty who have mortgaged their respective conscience with agent provocateurs under the guise of nationalism. This is also the main cause attributable for schism between a particular Segment of chauvinist Dogras and the remaining ethnic and linguistic components of the erstwhile State population. Secularism, social- democracy & social- justice are the hallmarks of political history of JK but associated with the birth day of Great Helmsman whose official celebration alone could have provided an occasion for appraisal of ideals; he stood for, by the younger generations. Celebrities need not be commemorated by declaring holidays on their birth days but reaching out to the people in general and younger generations in particular with requisite material for reiteration of the ideals of the great leaders is called for & partisan approach in the task is bound to be counter productive. If SMA the tallest leader from JK is not worth for commemoration officially what is the relevance for celebrating in JK the two Gujarati, another two one each from UP & west Bengal and host of other icons of freedom struggle? At least the ultra- nationalists have common perceptions with the secessionists/ claimants of 2nd & 3rd options in demonizing the political legacy of SMA.
(The author is IAS (Retd) and former Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir Public Service Commission. Views are exclusively his own) aaluzdeva_221256

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