Monday, 17 October 2016

UNDERSTANDING KASHMIR, Part 3... Pakistan’s attack on Kashmir under the disguise of ‘tribal forces’…


Pakistan’s attack on Kashmir under the disguise of ‘tribal forces’…

Indo-Pakistan War of 1947–1948


(Note; Maps have been taken, as they are on the net and in some books on the subject. They may or may not be authentic. Our stand rightly remains and shall remain that the entire Kashmir, including the areas occupied by Pakistan and China, are an integral part of India)

Stage 1;
October 3-4 to October 26, 1947

The first so-called tribal attack, with active support and participation of Pakistani militia / forces, took place at Thorar on October 3-4, 1947 followed by another on October 22 in the Muzzafarabad sector. State forces were quickly defeated. The aggressors engaged in massive looting and committing crime against civilian population, including women and children.

Stage 2;
October 27th to November 17, 1947

After signing of the Instrument of Accession, Indian forces were air lifted to reinforce the forces of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Despite adverse terrain and climatic conditions, Indian forces fortified their potions. Pushed back the Pakistani militia and tribals from the out skirts of Srinagar, defended Badgam. Successful operation in Badgam, pushed Pakistanis till Baramulla and Uri and these towns were recaptured.

Stage 3;
18 November 1947 – 26 November 1947

After recapturing Uri and Baramulla, forces  moved towards Poonch and Kotli.
Pakistan captured Mirpur on November 25th. Atrocities were perpetrated on Hindu women. Many committed suicide but several were ‘captured’ by Pakistanis and sent to Pakistan.

Stage 4;
25 November 1947 – 6 February 1948

The tribal forces attacked and captured Jhanger. They then attacked Naoshera unsuccessfully and made a series of unsuccessful attacks on Uri. In the South, Indian forces secured Chamb. By this stage of the war the front line began to stabilise as more Indian troops became available.

Stage 5;
Operation Vijay: counterattack on Jhanger 7 February 1948 – 1 May 1948

Indian forces launched a counterattack in the South and recaptured Jhanger and Rajauri. In Kashmir Valley the tribal forces continued attacking the Uri army base.
In the North Skardu brought under siege by the Gilgit scouts.

Stage 6;
Indian Spring Offensive 1 May 1948 – 18 May 1948

India held onto Jhanger despite numerous attacks openly supported by regular Pakistani Forces.
In Kashmir Valley Indian forces recaptured Tithwail
The Gilgit scouts advanced in the High Himalayan sector, infiltrating troops to bring Leh under siege, capturing Kargil and defeating a relief column heading for Skardu.

Stage 7;
Operation Gulab. 19 May 1948 – 14 August 1948

Indian forces continued operations  Kashmir Valley, driving north to capture Keran and Gurais. Repelled a counterattack aimed at Tithwal.
In the Jammu region, the forces besieged in Poonch broke out and temporarily linked up with the outside world again. The Kashmir State army was able to defend Skardu from the Gilgit Scouts impeding their advance down the Indus valley towards Leh.
However in August the Chitral and Pakistani armies besieged and captured Skardu with the help of artillery. They further tried making move into Ladakh.

Stage 8;
Operation Duck 15 August 1948 – 31 October 1948
Operation Bison;

Front began to settle down. The siege of Poonch continued. An unsuccessful attack was launched by 77 para to capture Zoji La pass. Operation Duck, the earlier epithet for this assault, was renamed as Operation Bison by Cariappa. M5 Stuart light tanks of 7 cavalry were moved in dismantled conditions through Srinagar while two field companies of the Madras Sappers converted the mule track across Zoji La into a jeep track. The surprise attack on 1 November by the brigade with armour supported by two regiments of 25 pounders and a regiment of 3.7 inch guns, forced the pass and pushed the tribal and Pakistani forces back to Matayan and later to Dras. The brigade linked up on 24 November at Kargil with Indian troops advancing from Leh while their opponents eventually withdrew northwards toward Skardu. Pakistan again attacked Skardu on 10 February 1948 which was repulsed by the Indian soldiers. Thereafter, Skardu Garrison was subjected to continuous attacks by  Pakistani Army for the next three months and each time, their attack was repulsed by the Indian forces which held the Skardu with hardly 250 men for whole six long months without any reinforcement and replenishment. On 14 August Indian General Sher Jung Thapa had to surrender Skardu to the Pakistani Army.

Stage 9;
Operation Easy. Poonch link-up 1 November 1948 – 26 November 1948

Indian Army started to get upper hand in all sectors leading to massive uproar by Pakistant and escalation of massive international pressure on India to halt. Poonch was finally relieved after a siege of over a year. The Gilgit forces in the High Himalayas, who had previously made good progress, were finally defeated. Indian army persued them as far as Kargil before being forced to halt due to supply problems. The Zoji La pass was forced by using tanks (which had not been thought possible at that altitude) and Dras was recaptured.

Stage 10;
Moves up to cease-fire. 27 November 1948 – 31 December 1948

Under heavy international pressure on India and protracted negotiations, a cease-fire was enforced on 1st January 1949. Terms of the cease-fire as laid out in a United Nations resolution of 13 August 1948, were adopted by the UN on 5 January 1949. This required Pakistan to withdraw its forces, both regular and irregular, while allowing India to maintain minimum strength of its forces in the state to preserve law and order. On compliance of these conditions a plebiscite was to be held to determine the future of the territory. Pakistan, however, did not withdraw its forces from the Line of Control, as it was on that day.  

Indian losses were 1,500 killed and 3,500 wounded.
Pakistani losses were 6,000 killed and 14,000 wounded.

Saturday, 15 October 2016



Pakistan’s attack on Kashmir under the disguise of ‘tribal forces’…

Indo-Pakistan War of 1947–1948

‘Indian Independence Act 1947’ led to the creation of India and Pakistan with effect from the mid night of August 14/15. This act also terminated British paramountcy over the princely states of British India giving them right to accede either to India or to Pakistan or even to remain out of either of the newly created dominions. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir initially tried to avoid merger with either of the countries.  His indecision and ‘partition frenzy’ led to a ‘revolt’ by Muslim population of Poonch and Mirpur in Jammu area.  Communal frenzy created havoc like elsewhere in India and Pakistan, both of which were smouldering. Taking benefit of this communal tension and indecision of Maharaja Hari Singh, Pakistani forces along with and in the guise of ‘tribals’ of the North West Frontier, particularly Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attacked Kashmir. They were armed with  weaponry and equipment which had come to the share, subsequent to partition, of the Pakistani army. These tribal militias and irregular / regular Pakistani forces moved to take Srinagar, but on reaching Uri, they encountered resistance. The war was initially fought by the J&K State Forces led by Major-General Scot. 

Hari Singh sought assistance from India and signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26th 1947. Indian army along with its British officers moved in. Pakistan refused to recognise the accession of Kashmir to India, alleging that it was obtained ‘fraudulently’. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Governor General of Pakistan, ordered his army chief general Douglas Gracey to openly move in the Pakistani troops. However the joint commander of the Indian and Pakistani forces Field Marshall Auchinleck intervened to prevent an open confrontation for the time being. The Pakistan’s proxy war, however, continued and later in May 1948,  Pakistani army officially and openly entered the conflict, ostensibly to defend its borders.  It tried to move towards Jammu to cut the lines of communications of the Indian forces in the Mehndar Valley.

In the meantime, Gilgit, a far of region of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir, was lost when Gilgit Scouts led by a British officer Major William Brown mutinied, overthrew the Governor and got the area merged with Pakistan with active help of Pakistani forces and Chitral, a former princely state which had acceded to Pakistan on 6, October 1947. 

Gradually both the armies solidified their positions along what came to be known as the Line of Control. And a formal cease-fire was declared at 23:59 on the night of 1st January 1949.Though the result of the war was inconclusive; however, India was able to defend about two-third of the Kashmir including the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh.

Stages of war;
Stages of attack by the so-called Pakistani tribals, which were groups of Pashtun tribals of the North West Frontier, Federally Administered tribal areas with a  high percentage of Pakistani forces in the garb of tribals, indicates that this conglomeration had indeed taken the forces of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, by surprise and continued making good progress till the time Indian forces came in. Initially India took time while waiting for the Instrument of Accession to be signed and then mustering and airlifting its forces. Adverse territorial locale of the mountainous region was a big handicap for India. Facilities for the armed forces were almost primitive. By the time India could fully muster its resources and complete its operation, international pressure had mounted and it was diplomatically forced to halt its operations. Had this ‘war’ continued for some more days, India could have regained the entire ‘lost territory. It is the very first instance of the international forces which have been at work against Indian interests in Kashmir. A passing reference can also be made of the subsequent Indo-Pak wars when India was every time 'forced to give up’, on account of international pressure, the gained Pakistani territory back to that country

... to continue

Chitta Rawan Controversy of Punjab…

Chitta Rawan Controversy…

This forenoon I went towards the house of Punjab Chief Minister for the first time since 2011. No, I had not gone there to meet the Chief Minister. Neither I have any wish to meet him nor will he ever want to meet me. Perhaps for the first time, we have identical views on any single issue. Anyhow the heavy metallic electronically operated bulletproofed main gate of his house was securely closed. The Chief Minister, I was told was on his luxurious farm house in Balasar, Haryana. I had gone there at the askance of Charanjit Singh Channi MLA, leader of Congress Legislative party.  Punjab Congress MLAs have been on dharna demanding action against some ‘complacent’ Punjab police officer and  some activists of the ruling elite who had on Dussehra day attacked Congress workers in Ludhiana when they tried to burn the effigy of ‘Chitta Rawan’. When the initial controversy broke out I could not fathom the reason there for. Later, however I came to know that ‘Chitta Rawan’ had some political connotations.

At the site of the dharna, I was asked to join in to which I politely refused. I am an anti-drug activist but I do not belong to any political party. I am ready to support anyone taking anti-drug stand but I do not want my anti drug movement to get politicised.


Let me get back to the  caption of my blog post. For me the ‘Chitta Rawan’ has different connotations. I interpret it as ‘drugs per-se’, drugs as such; the entire spectrum thereof included. It starts from the drug lords , the Pablo Escobars and El Chapos of Punjab who include, at the top rung, a number of politicians assisted by a simple yet secret ‘multi levelled / layered / tiered ‘distribution system, which is secured by a private army of gangsters and several goons from amongst the police and a few from other security forces, most of them from lower and middle segments and few from the higher echelons thereof. Most of such guys had figured in the ‘infamous’ list of drug dons and smugglers which was prepared by intelligence wing of the Punjab police way back in 2007 and which the incumbent Punjab government is vary of letting out. While the former category is often both into drug running and receiving drug money, the latter is primarily the recipient of such money. One recent interaction with some of my sources in the underworld had revealed the shocking extent to which a certain police official had got into. He is alleged to have used a chopper to fly the drugs out, in not too distant a past.  

The involvement of security personnel reminds me of the daring escape of the world’s most powerful drug don, the Sinaloa cartel kingpin ‘El Chapo’ aka ‘Shorty’ Guzman Leora. Way back in February 2014, he had managed to escape through an elaborate tunnel underneath his prison cell’s shower located in the Altiplano Federal Prison in Mexico. The entrance to his labyrinth was an 11/2 by 11/2 feet gap in shower floor which led to a 32 feet ladder into a mile long tunnel which was 5.5 feet high and 2’7” wide. Taller only by about one inch than his height, it was illuminated and had a ventilation system. To top it all, a motor cycle was also built onto the rails of this secret passage to facilitate a quick exit. The end of this tunnel opened into a non-descript home about half a mile away from any other nearby building. Thank god, as on date, involvement of ‘facilitators’ from amongst the security and police forces of Punjab is not even a distant fraction of the involvement that could possibly have been of the Mexican officials in the said case.

Coming back to Punjab, let’s talk about the real ‘Chitta Rawan’ and the Punjab police which has not been able to control this demon. Ever since the war hysteria created by a section of electronic media at the behest of certain powers that be the army has been moved up on the Indian borders with Pakistan there have been created ‘grave problems in the safe passage’ of drugs from across the international borders falling in Punjab. This has led to a ‘scarcity’ leading to a massive hike in the prices of opiates that is heroin / smack, leading again to a greater market and demand for homegrown pharmaceutical and synthetic drugs, besides of course the opium and poppy husk as also all types of liquor, ‘desi’, country made and cheaper variety of IMFL. High grade heroin, synthetic drugs, cocaine and imported liquor are no problem, anyway, for the ‘elite gentry’.

In Punjab, elections to a great extent are all about drugs and drug money. Shortage of the adulterated heroin, which is generally provided to drug habituated segment of electorate, right from several months in advance, has already become a grave issue in view of impending 2017 assembly elections. This distribution gains momentum as the elections close in. Rise in the prices of various categories of intoxicants, cheap liquor included has created the first of the problem for them. The second problem is the extremely slow yet welcome onset of a realisation amongst the ‘awakened youth’ who are opposed to drugs and use of intoxicants in the elections. This realisation has led to at least three deaths. We are not really aware of the innumerable such cases where youth are being threatened into silence by the ‘mob’.

Failure of even otherwise complacent Punjab police to control the crime wave and drugs is giving them red, if not black faces. Every force looks at some of the top ‘generals’ and emulates them. I personally know that most of the guys in higher echelons of Punjab police are good, damn good. But a few of them have unfortunately become ‘expert yoga practitioners’, capable of bending backwards to lick the feet of some of their political bosses. That is the beginning of the mad race and consequent longevity of the real ‘Chitta Rawan’, implying  the drugs.

May god give wisdom to the Punjab Police.

May god bless Punjab and Punjabis…

Thursday, 13 October 2016




It is already mid October and Punjab is fast heading for the electoral deadline of January 2017, but still the political scene is hazy. The question 'who will form the next government in 2017' remains a big question mark only. Though the seasonal market of pre-poll surveys is still to catch up, but as a former bureaucrat (apologies for using this title reserved for my friends in the IAS), police and intelligence man, all in one, I hardly have any faith in such surveys because most of them have since become exclusive marketing and image building tools. 

The very first indication, for me, comes from the bureaucratic race (all services included but Punjab police officials being at the very top) that starts much before every assembly election. Police has always been the strong arm of the Punjab government (of course this is the scene everywhere else as well in the country called 'India, that is Bharat'). Tyranny is either let loose or ‘maintained’ through them. As the marked tool of oppression they are the most worried lot as to who is going to be in power. Of course whatever party comes in power, is soon 'placated' by them by becoming the very tool in their hands (apologies for the pun, my old friends turned foes, in Punjab police. I know that you have nothing personal against me and that it is just one of the easy ways out to keep some of the powers that be, placated. It costs nothing. Only a bit of tongue wagging is required). 

Apologies my readers, for having digressed from the topic. I am not getting younger day by day. So for me this bureaucratic rat race is the very first indicator about the identity of the possible victor at the hustling. Officialdom is one class which remains at the cutting edge and they are often aware of the pulse of the people. Now I have no answer to your possible question as to why they don't try to come up to the expectations of the people whose pulse they are aware of. To sum up the matter in one line, this rat race has not yet commenced so I can not give you any clues as to who may form next government in Punjab. Please keep watching them and their rat race.

The next indicator, for me, comes from the illegal you yet prevalent 'satta bazar'. ‘Satorias’ (those playing satta) keep a very close watch on the ground reality because who wants to lose his money? Satta is played on almost each and every issue and they are one of the best gauges.

Somehow the 'gaffe baji' (boasting) market is also still to pick up. Various political leaders are still to start claiming victory and brag with their mouths wide open. Mild claims have started but the real electoral fever is still about a month or so away.

Anyhow, this ‘literary’ part notwithstanding, election mania is subdued as on date in Punjab. AAP which was almost sure, till about some months back, to form the next government, is fast losing ground particularly in urban centres. The first ‘Indian Chief Minister without portfolio’ has not been able to regain the lost ground. Congress, still has to start its campaign in an aggressive manner (my apologies PK, you are doing good but Punjab needs somewhat an aggressive approach). From the side of SAD, older Badal can often be seen having darshans of the sangats in company of one particular IAS officer and doling out government grants both in cash and kind. Younger Badal is spending more time in his war room planning electoral strategy and mustering resources, keeping an eye on emergence of new political groups which will be his best bet because division of votes is what is going to benefit him the most. Believe me, he is one of the best political strategists and makes no bones about. BJP is nowhere to be seen except in some press news, here and there, trying to arm-twist its alliance mate in a bid to get higher ‘quota’. 

Recently mushroomed, as also other minor parties stand no chance except indirectly helping the ruling alliance by proxy. They will only lead to division of votes thereby paving way for the return of the SAD guys.

It may be too early to predict anything but it appears that Punjab is heading for a hung assembly. And in such a scenario only a party with massive assets can come into power. It appears that as on date only SAD has the ‘power’. Ideal situation could be an alliance between Congress and AAP or Navjot throwing in his weight with either of them but again as on date it is just a hypothesis without any legs.

So better wait and watch.

In a nut shell, it is a hung assembly as on date with an advantage for the SAD and Sukhbir could be the next Chief Minister…

Wednesday, 12 October 2016



Sometime back I had written a ‘travelogue’ penning my experiences during my recent visit to Agra. I am just updating…

I have a bad habit and my wife hates me for this. I don’t mind talking to strangers. If conversation goes on fine, then it is good and if it does not then I don’t give a damn and move on shrugging off my shoulders. I don’t have anything to lose. I often only get some new insight in to the human psychology, at least the behavioural aspect thereof. My recent visit to Agra was interesting from this perspective.

I went to Agra by an overnight train from Chandigarh. Starting at 7 p.m. I reached Agra by 2.45 a.m. In the train I met with some interesting persons who were on nearby berths. There was one Mr. Yadav, a gentleman from some top defence equipment manufacturing company of USA. Very talkative guy; he neither slept, nor let me sleep all along. We remained engrossed in very interesting discussion about new technological advances in the field of international defence production. It enriched my knowledge tremendously. There was another gentleman from NFL, Panipat, a very well organised individual indeed, who first got his berth rightly vacated from some occupant, then locked up each of his luggage with iron chains, securing them with compartmental fixtures clarifying that even higher class air-conditioned bogies have thieves sitting there in, then he took out a ‘multi-pin socket’ and plugged in to the lone single pin electrical socket installed in the compartment and put his phone on the charge. Then he asked each of us to systematically rearrange our luggage. After getting everything neatened up and nicely arranged, he settled into his berth snoring away to glory. Then there was a young man named Neeraj, who was recently selected as a Probationary Officer in a bank, was not liking the job and planning to join insurance sector, where also he stood selected. His eyes twinkled talking about his future plans and getting settled with his future wife and still more distant children to come.

I had been in love with Agra, a city which always reminded me of its ancient grandeur and romanticism which reached its zenith during the reigns of Akbar and Shahjahan, greatest of Mughal emperors. The city, as also the world, is thankful to Shahjahan who bestowed upon it the Taj Mahal, ultimate epitome of love. I always yearned to be here, to go and sit under the shaded trees planted with in the premises of this monument of love and to keep gazing at the Crown jewel, the Taj.


I was not to know that this time, this city of love was to crumble down; crumble down for me, a hitherto incurable romanticist who could decipher love even in the ruins of historic monuments, someone who could sit there under shade and let the past of that place play slowly down in flashes. Decades ago, Amrita Pritam, the doyen of Punjabi poetry, had once asked me about my perception of Taj Mahal; whether I saw it as an epitome of love, pure love or as a ghastly monument exhibiting abhorring and horrendous display of royal wealth which negated and destroyed the very foundation of love; love which every human heart cherishes and yearns for irrespective of one’s financial status. She had then talked about the contradiction between innumerable verses written in honour of Taj as the ultimate symbol of love and one written by Sahir Ludhianvi, the celebrated socialist Urdu poet who had penned a painfully realistic verse,

"Mere Mehboob Kahiin Aur Milaa Kar Mujh Se”.

It is a beautiful verse;
ये चमनज़ार ये जमुना का किनारा ये महल
ये मुनक़्क़श दर--दीवारये महराब ये ताक़
इक शहंशाह ने दौलत का सहारा ले कर
हम ग़रीबों की मुहब्बत का उड़ाया है मज़ाक़
मेरी महबूब कहीं और मिला कर मुझ से!”

I was really at a loss of words as to how should I explain my emotive feelings to Amrita Pritam. My strong socialistic convictions notwithstanding, I was in love with Taj and it's saga of love. To look at the Taj from any other angle was blasphemy for me.

But during this visit to Agra, I realise that Sahir Ludhianvi's interpretation of the legacy of Taj was indeed meaningful. This time I happened to meet Azhar, a young ‘research scholar of medieval history’ and a city native. Interaction with him threw up a new Agra, a perspective which though well known, was yet hidden under the layers of dust, for no one wanted to talk about that reality. Agra was the city where legendary Anarkali was incarcerated alive within stone walls, where the harems of successive Great Mughals saw innumerable young beauties being molested by them every night, where hundreds of youth were romped by elephants in full public gaze, their only fault being that they dared either to raise a voice against the powerful Mughal tyrants or they had dared to fall in love with  hapless and poor girls who were unfortunate to ‘prostitute’ themselves within the precincts of impregnable harem walls.

Ramparts of Agra fort


Akbar’s Fatehpur Sikri; Diwan e aam;Eexecution by Elephant, The Stone with witch victims are said to be have been tied before elephant romping

Stairs to nowhere…


He informed me about the buried rooms on the riverside of the Taj where workers lived in misery and whose hands were allegedly chopped off at the orders of Shahjahan so that ‘they could not build another Taj, anywhere else.

Basement rooms on the riverside of the Taj where workers are said to have lived in misery

He took me to the ruins of several princely buildings and told me horrific stories about them. He also told me about the exploitation of youth by visiting Gora Sahibs. Stories of these so-called historic places where sex tourism is in vogue, is the same, he rightly told me. And this time Agra really stank.                            

Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Emperor of India had written many beautiful verses. They all had their genesis in pain, in agony; remembrances and yearning for his lost love, his lost home, lost country. Then I just can’t help remembering his verse, 'Baat Karni Mujhe Mushkil Kabhi Aisi To Na Thi'. I am at a loss for words. My world woven around history and its romanticism has come shattering down and I don't know how to proceed ahead.

I hate Agra…

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


Part 1...

The recent misplaced and misguided publicity campaign at the behest of the Modi government has once again brought Kashmir issue on the front burner. Surgical strikes have been carried out by the Indian forces almost continuously ever since independence in 1947 but none of the successive governments were fool enough to publicise them to this extent thereby deliberately putting its hand in fire without any legitimate reason and itself creating grave problems for the country both from the view points of international diplomacy and internal security. The media publicity, what they call 'expose', in their lingo was nothing short of mindless fingering of the Pakistani terrorists and provoking them. Ideally, the government should have carried on such 'surgical strikes', but silently and stealthily. There is no point provoking insane people. The Modi government might have, however, earned some points from the political angle. Anyhow, even that is not worth it until and unless they make some more such ‘surgical strikes’, to 'create the atmosphere', before the scheduled assembly  elections in some states.

Kashmir has been boiling ever since independence of the country and partly it has been because of 'wrong' steps by successive governments. Looking back it appears that none of the Indian governments were really keen to take any politically correct steps, in the national interests', to control the situation. International diplomacy and Pakistan’s blatantly open and shameless support to militants and terrorists have only worsened the situation. My recent interactions with some ‘sane’ journalists  returning from Kashmir as also with some intellectuals and ‘Kashmir watchers’ besides my Kashmiri friends and contacts, indicates that the situation there has only been worsening and, god forbid one appears to be fast heading towards a point of no return. further, according to my such friends, it appears that there is no government worth its name in Kashmir and to make the matter worse, perhaps no one wants it to be resolved. 

Like a habitual offender, I have become habituated of seeing  things from my own 'independent and unbiased' point of view and this is something which has made me unpopular amongst the powers that be. But I am incorrigible. For some time now, I am trying to see and analyse Kashmir from my own independent point of view and I propose to writes some special blogs here, on this issue. My aim is not to try to impress anyone with my thought process, howsoever coloured that might be. I love talking to the walls and that is what I am going to do. Talk to the walls of my blog. Take it or leave it.

To understand the Kashmir issue which has since become so volatile, one needs to dwell into its history. In broader territorial sense Kashmir, that is, the Kashmir as it existed in 1947, is spread over specific areas of Central, South and East Asia, which as on date includes, Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan occupied so called ‘Azad’ Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan and Chinese occupied Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram areas.

Kashmir and its people have for centuries seen nothing but havoc. This has been one of the routes of invasion and its plunder by foreign powers. Kashmir, as we see it today, has also seen assimilation of distinctive cultures and it has been suitably adjusting itself to all of them thereby producing a unique synthesis.  The history of Kashmir dates back to about 3000 B.C. In the first half of the first millennium, this region was one of the most important centres of Hinduism. Then starting with the reign of Asoka in 304- 232 B.C. it gave way to Buddhism. Starting 875 A.D., the region saw decline of Buddhism and rise of Shaivism which later began to be called Kashmir-Shaivism which culturally influenced the Shaivism even in the Southern India. 

Islamisation of Kashmir started in the 13th century when Shah Mir, some call him Sayyed Shah Mir, became its first Muslim ruler. Shah Mir is said to have come to Kashmir from Swat Valley. Joanaraja, a Kashmiri historian of the medieval period has recorded that Shah Mir's forefathers had converted to Islam and were Kshatriya. There are references by Abu'l Fzal in Akbarnama. Joanaraja recorded that during the reign of a Hindu king Sehadeva (1301-?), a Tatar chief named Dulucha had invaded and ravaged Kashmir. King Sehadeva fled the country and in subsequent political turmoil one Rinchan, a Ladakhi prince captured the throne (reigned 1320–23). Subsequently under the influence of his trusted minister Shah Mir, he embraced Islam and took the name of Sultan Sadruddin. Later in 1339, Shah Mir, himself usurped the Kashmiri throne. This ended about three hundred years old Lohara dynasty which is said to have been instituted in year 1000AD. Islamisation of Kashmir, brought with it, several schools of religious, cultural, social and ethnicity. Of all of them, the most predominant was 'Sufism'.

Shah Mir was followed by Mughals and then Afghan Durranies who ruled till 1819. In fact, prior to 1815, the entire ‘united’ Jammu and Kashmir area comprised of 22 small, yet independent states. Of them, 16 were controlled by Hindu and 6 by Muslim rulers. Collectively known as ‘Punjab Hill States’, they were carved out of the territories which were once controlled by the Amir of Afghanistan. All these states; different in composition, religion and ethnicity; were under the subjugation of the Mughals as well and were known as their ‘vassals’. From the point of view of religion and ethnicity of these areas, Ladakh consisted of Buddhists. People of this region have had distinctive features akin to Tibetans.  Jammu had a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims.  Kashmir valley was overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim along with a sprinkling of Shias and Hindus.  Baltistan had Ladakhi ethnicity but was mostly inhabited by the Shia Muslims. Gilgit was also Shia. Most of these areas were later captured by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the greatest of Sikh rulers. After the defeat of Sikhs in the first Anglo-Sikh war in 1846, Kashmir region was purchased by Gulab Singh, the Raja of Jammu. 

‘Rule’ (under British ‘supervision’) of his descendent lasted till the signing of ‘Instrument of Accession’ on October 26th 1947, which was executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of this princely state, agreeing to accede to the Dominion of India following the independence of India and formation of Pakistan. This was also the commencement of the 'Kashmir Issue'...


Thursday, 6 October 2016



Yesterday (October 5, 2016) the Bar Association of Punjab & Haryana High Court and Progressive Lawyers Forum, a group of young lawyers, had jointly organised a seminar in the Judicial Academy Chandigarh. It was presided over by a bright and reputed, yet comparatively younger judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and addressed, amongst others, by a prominent and upright former top cop from U.P., an iconic senior advocate of the High Court, representatives of the organisers and some police officers from Punjab and Haryana. It was amusing to see a few of such participating top police guys, particularly from Punjab trotting behind sticking their necks out like ostriches.

Subject matter of the seminar was,’ POLICING in INDIA and THE CHALLENGES AHEAD. Though I had stood by my friendly organisers, but I was requested not to speak in the seminar because the organisers felt that if I speak therein, then it may turn out to be their ‘very first and the very last' of seminars, on the subject matter, which they ever will be able to organise; so I was happy doing errands for the organisers and then call it a day.

When I was a young police officer in the very first rank of an Assistant Superintendent of Police, I was asked to conduct inspection of a police station located at Lalru in Patiala district of Punjab. Somehow old monuments, manuscripts and things historical (excluding 'history sheeters', of course) fascinate me. During the inspection, I started rummaging through old records of British time, which was unceremoniously dumped in one of the damp semi collapsed room, its roof supported by bamboo poles, located in an obscure corner of the ramshackle building of the police station. In the heap of dust, filth and moist papers I found several interesting documents. One register marked confidential caught my attention. It was one of the mandatory confidential police records in which visiting senior police officers are supposed to record their impressions about the work and conduct of police officials posted in the police station. This document helps the successors and successive officers, visiting the police station, in understanding the staff till such time they forms their own impressions about them.

The register had an interesting entry there in by some British officer of pre-partition days. He had written, 'A BLOODY ROUGE', against the name of some police officer who was then posted in that police station, summarising his assessment about him. The next entry was of a couple of years later. The successor to that British officer, another Britisher had amended the observation of his predecessor and recorded, "YES, HE IS A BLOODY USEFUL ROUGE'. Finding it witty, I had a good laugh. But later, in the coming years I was to find the correct import of these two distinctive phrases. I realised that by joining the I.P.S., I had indeed joined a ROGUE service and a partly ROUGE force. One’s success as a police officer depends on his capacity of turning this BLOODY ROUGE group into a BLOODY USEFUL ROUGE group.

Ever since we became a sovereign nation; innumerable seminars, studies, symposiums, commissions, groups and all have been created to bring about the required change in police behaviour, but all in vain. More or less it still remains and will remain a rogue force. Police has always been, and shall remain, strong arm of the governance. It is what it was during the British time and it is so even today in the raj of ‘kurta pyjamas and head gears of different shapes and sizes’, primary reason being that our political masters don't want it to change. Most of the officials commanding this force also do not make any sincere effort to convert in to a 'bloody useful force'. Such officials, at various ranks, often consist of the feet or even butt licker variety and retain this distinctive character to remain on the right side of such goons of politicians. Yes, over the time period, fantastic investigative and law and order techniques have been introduced but more often than not, age old methods of third degree and of ‘lathi’ still remain the favourite. This also satisfies the sadistic whims of those of the politicians who love being rimmed and  reward such of the butt licking officials with cushy and plum top jobs. Both, the rimmer and the rimmed are happy, ‘hisaab barabar’. Khallas.

Orders and stipulations of commissions and of courts, the Supreme Court included, on the issue of police reforms, are disobeyed, sidelined and dumped with impunity, making mockery thereof. Because of space crunch, I can not go into details but some examples are here. The stipulation about the fixed tenure of ‘cutting edge’ officials is circumvented either by creating a situation whereby the concerned official is ‘forced’ to either to 'voluntarily' proceed on leave or seek a posting out. Legal stipulations about the ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ police personnel boards, entrusted with the task of postings, transfers and promotions etc, is also often practically dispensed with. Orders emanate from the office of Chief Minister and ‘formal file’ is circulated by hand to obtain the signatures of official members, on the dotted line. Members of such ‘prestigious boards’ have no damn option but to sign or proceed on leave, to join back at some ‘sidelined’ post. More often than not such police officials remain consigned to the ‘training quota’.

A lot of lickers, who clean the butts to glory, are also nominated for such of the otherwise useful courses abroad which are mostly attended by Sergeant rank officials of foreign countries but only Indian participants come from the higher echelons and make no contribution thereafter to the training of the force.

The only way of reforming the police is to provide them with statutory provisions and then to hold them indivudially accountable. Individual accountability for any of the lapses is the only way to keep the force in rein and to force them to become, ‘bloody useful rouges. This accountability has to be both public and judicial.

Independent and upright Judicial scrutiny is the ultimate must…

Or forget police reforms...