Demographic changes in Kashmir

Indian policy ethincally cleansing Muslims
Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Shaikh Tajammul ul-Islam

Sha'ban 04, 1438 2017-05-01

Special Reports

by Shaikh Tajammul ul-Islam (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 3, Sha'ban, 1438)

On the advise of the Zionists, the Hindu Nazis are busy changing the demographic composition of Kashmir.

There are numerous United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions stipulating that the final status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people. This will be done through the democratic process of a free and impartial plebiscite (referendum) conducted under UN auspices.

India’s denial of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination is a clear violation of these resolutions. Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir and its use of brute force to kill, maim, and blind people with impunity raises serious questions about the role of the UN.

To defeat the purpose of UN resolutions as well as of the Kashmiris’ liberation struggle, India has resorted to different tactics. Changing the demographic composition of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a key tactic to reduce the Muslim majority there. This is what Shimon Peres, at the time foreign minister of Israel, suggested to India during his visit on May 18, 1993. He said, “India should not be afraid or hesitate to populate Kashmir with people from all over India. Only a demographic change in Kashmir can help India to claim it. The idea of a Muslim majority state living peacefully with a Hindu majority community is idiotic and this idea is nothing but anathema.”

In 1947 when the subcontinent was divided into two sovereign states, Pakistan and India, Jammu and Kashmir was a Muslim majority princely state. The Muslims at that time constituted 72.40% of the population and as per 2011 census they are 68.27%. The total population of Indian occupied Kashmir, at present, is 12,548,926.

Indian occupied Kashmir has three regions: Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. The first demographic change was made during August to November in 1947 when the Muslims of Jammu were massacred under a premeditated plan devised jointly by the then Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, fanatic Hindu groups, and leaders of the Indian National Congress. There are no official figures, so one has to go by reports in the British press of that period. Horace Alexander’s article on January 16, 1948 in The Spectator is extensively quoted. He put the number killed at 200,000. Ian Stephens claims that half a million people were killed and another 200,000 went missing. It was a clear case of genocide and crimes against humanity but the international community remained a mute spectator. Due to this massacre and largescale displacement of Muslims, the community went from a majority of 61% to a minority of 30%.

The demography of Jammu was once again changed after the enactment of the Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976. The Act gave ownership rights to tillers of the land. Thousands of non-Kashmiris were shown as tillers after the tampering of records and were given ownership status.

Another intrigue can be noticed by the fact that during the years 2001–2011, the number of Hindus has grown considerably in both Leh and Kargil districts of Ladakh region. In Ladakh as a whole, the proportion of Hindus has risen from 6.2% in 2001 to 12.1% in 2011. Experts say that such massive growth, 100%, in the population of Hindus in Ladakh in a period of ten years is unimaginable.

Now, after the BJP, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, assumed power in New Delhi in 2014, India has intensified its plans to change the demographic composition of Jammu and Kashmir and convert the Muslim majority into a minority. In its manifesto and official statements, the BJP has openly announced that the special status to Jammu and Kashmir mandated by Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution besides Article 6 of Indian Occupied Kashmir constitution would be done away with. The BJP says, albeit through several constitutional and legal frauds, India has already made Kashmir’s separate status just a facade.

In its 183-page report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in India recommended in 2014 that West Pakistani Refugees (non-Muslims) living in the Jammu region should be given permanent resident certificates and voting rights in the state elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

These refugees who migrated from Pakistan to India at the time of partition (1947) and settled in Jammu region are not permanent residents as defined in Article 6 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. Rather, their settlement in occupied Kashmir is unconstitutional as per Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. The number of these non-Kashmiri Hindus described as refugees is said to be 600,000 while others say it is 1.2 million.

The occupation authorities have already started giving domicile certificates to these refugees and there is a clear direction of Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh to the occupation authorities that necessary amendments in the state constitution should be made so that these refugees get not only permanent State Subject Certificates but also create eight more assembly constituencies for Jammu region.

The question is why these refugees were pushed to Jammu in 1947 and not to any other part of India. The ensuing events made it clear that it was aimed at changing the demography of the territory. It is noteworthy that the Muslim population in Jammu district today is merely 5% compared to 39% in 1947. Similarly in Kathua district, it has been reduced from 30% to 8% now.

Another relevant fact is that in 1947, Kashmiri Muslims in the hundreds of thousands migrated to Pakistan and the liberated part of Kashmir, leaving behind properties worth billions of rupees. The state assembly of the occupied territory passed the Resettlement Bill with a two-third majority in April 1982 allowing these migrants to return but under a well-designed plan it was taken to the Supreme Court of India, where it has been collecting dust for decades. The Supreme Court has stayed its implementation order so far.

The fact is that Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu fundamentalist party of India, has already arranged through fraudulent means State Subject Certificates for thousands of Biharis, Punjabis, and people from other states of India to reside in Jammu. In the aftermath of Operation Blue Star against the Sikhs in Punjab in June 1984, Hindus were allowed to settle in Jammu; they were also granted citizenship rights.

Granting citizenship rights to these refugees will undoubtedly change the demography of Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory. While successive Indian governments despite parroting the line that it is its “integral part” may be forced by circumstances to hold a plebiscite one day. The vote of these refugees will naturally tilt the result in India’s favor.

To change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir, other plans are also underway especially in the Kashmir Valley, where Muslims constitute more than 97% of the population. These include separate colonies for non-Kashmiri retired Indian Army officers and composite townships for Kashmiri Hindus. On the pretext of these Israeli type settlements India intends to settle non-Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Under the industrial policy announced for the period 2016–2026, an outsider can get land on lease in occupied Kashmir for a period of 40 years. This can then be extended to a maximum of 90 years. This is a replica of the business establishments of the East India Company prior to its occupation of the Indian subcontinent. In its latest judgment, the Indian Supreme Court legalized seizure of the Kashmiris’ properties and their transfer to non-state subjects, all of whom are expected to be non-Muslims.

In its resolution of March 30, 1951, the UN has settled the matter. It implies that no constituent or legislative assembly, law or any enactment can make any changes that would affect the results of the plebiscite. Therefore all acts or steps taken by the Indian Government to change the demography of the internationally recognized territory are a clear violation of UN resolutions.

The people of Kashmir are in the streets offering their blood to resist India’s nefarious designs. The world body (UN) has a legal and moral responsibility to step forward and stop India from altering the status of Jammu and Kashmir that it had at the time of partition in 1947.

Shaikh Tajammul ul-Islam is the Executive Director of Kashmir Media Service. He presented this paper at the International Seminar on Kashmir held in Islamabad on January 5–6, 2017.

Related Articles

Why publicity hog Modi missed the UN session

Shahid Alam
Dhu al-Hijjah 29, 1437 2016-10-01

The Trouble with India - II

Kurshid Alam
Sha'ban 25, 1440 2019-05-01

What drives Modi’s anti-Pakistan policy?

Shahid Alam
Rabi' al-Awwal 01, 1438 2016-12-01
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use
Copyrights © 1436 AH
Sign In
Forgot Password?
Not a Member? Subscribe