‘A dispute between two sets of communalists’

Ramachandra Guha in The Telegraph:

“In a letter he wrote to the prime minister, the BJP leader, L.K. Advani, described the ongoing conflict in Kashmir as one between the ‘nationalists’ and the ‘separatists’. In truth, this was a dispute between two sets of communalists, one Hindu, the other Muslim.

“Ever since the expulsion of the Pandits in the early nineties, it has become difficult to see the popular movement in Kashmir in purely nationalist terms—at the very least, it must be termed ‘national-communal’. It took 15 years after their expulsion for Mirwaiz Maulvi Umer Farooq to visit a Pandit camp in Jammu. Meanwhile, the other leaders of the Hurriyat also wear their religion on their sleeve….

“The current movement in Jammu is no less communal. Its central focus has been around a pilgrimage sacred to Hindus alone. It has consistently and explicitly used Hindu idioms and symbols. It has been peopled and on occasion led by cadres of Hindu chauvinist organizations. It has encouraged attacks on innocent Muslims in the Jammu region.”

Read the full column: The fruit of taking sides

Also read: Eight reasons why we should just let Kashmir go

CHURUMURI POLL: Is an ‘economic blockade’ OK?

‘What Pakistan didn’t in 60 years, BJP has in six weeks’

CHANDAN MITRA: ‘Advocates of Azadi should be tried for treason’

PRATAP BHANU MEHTA: ‘Amarnath is about communalism not nationalism