India, Islam, Musharraf and Vajpayee
For over 50 years the problem of Kashmir sputters on like the fuse of a time bomb, a weapon of mass destruction. Fine points and split hair debates about the legality of the Maharajah of Kashmir's accession to India are at this point irrelevant and the bigger problem and awaiting catastrophe deserve more immediate concern and attention.
Pakistan, a failed state has used its hatred of India to cement a disintegrating nation without rule of law or civilized behavior. The stringing together of two disparate peoples of East and West Pakistan failed when the larger population of East Pakistan obtained more seats in the parliament as a result of population and elected Mujibur Rahman as the Prime Minister of this unnatural country patched together by the shoddy stupidity of Jinnah. The West Pakistani mafia bosses could not brook the rule of law. Since that time the Mohajirs, migrant Muslims from India's UP, Bihar and Gujarat have been ostracized and discriminated against. The Baluch, Pakhtoon and Sindh Muslims have had their share of marginalization in the interim years, and the Shias and Ahmediyas have been lumped with infidels. Health and education are neglected to increase defense expenditures and every major city has displays of borrowed Chinese and Korean nuclear warheads and missiles given the names of foreign conquerors, who raped, murdered or pillaged the bodies or homes of some forbears of the current population seeking desperate unity in Islam by fomenting hatred towards India.
Islam by its very nature and philosophy talks of transnational unity of the Ummah and unachievable pipe dream ever since the death of Mohammed and barely achieved by him by force and no noble means. This dangerous appeal to generally illiterate, ignorant and backward minds has a past history in the old united India, when the foolish Muslims of India agitated on behalf of the Khilafat after WW One, while Ataturk and the inhabitants of Turkey were trying to abolish the Caliph! This same appeal leads to terrorism by the poor, uneducated and brainwashed youth subjected to inflammatory preaching of fanatic Mullahs. Western nations are already cognizant and taking steps to reduce the threat from their Islamic citizens, immigrants and their children. Muslim residents are now perceived as detrimental to a civic society and potential terrorists. In India they are perceived as potential criminals, terrorists and even worse, fifth columnists. If Muslim communities are permitted to secede or join Pakistan, every Muslim enclave becomes detrimental to the unity and integrity of the nation.
Musharraf is either incapable of understanding this, because of his obsession with Kashmir or knowingly walks the path like Saddam, due to desperation or hubris. In any case there is no hope of solving the problem of Kashmir, without Pakistan taking all the Muslims of India and if he is a true well-wisher of fellow Muslims, he should forget Kashmir for the sake of their acceptance, integration and well-being in the open democracy of India, where a numerically larger Ummah resides.
No leader of India can give up Kashmir. Repeal of Article 370 and following the China policy for Tibet
and Sinkiang would have solved the problem long ago. It is true that other prior Prime ministers with
delusions of grandeur and a weakness for self-glory have committed such follies and the nation or they themselves have paid an unfortunate price. Anyway they were all from the same mold. It is unclear whether the repeated restraint and sheepish peace gestures which the current Prime minister periodically puts forth, stem from natural meekness, fear of the economic, political and military intimidation by America, a sordidly selfish desire to get the Nobel peace prize or a shrewd strategy of winning American and international favor while giving away nothing. His valet or his therapist may know. More likely to paraphrase the translation of a famous verse from the Rig Veda about the creator and his universe, 'Perhaps He alone knows, perchance even He does not know'. Anyway TIME has judged him before and time will judge him again. The only question is will the judgment be the same, better or worse?
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Gaurang Bhatt, MD
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