Kashmir, heaven to hell

By Shahid Shameem

As we all know that there are almost 192 countries in the world and every country is comprised on many states or regions. Kashmir is a valley surrounded by high mountains and hills. It is the only region on the earth which has been given the title ‘THE PAEADISE ON EARTH’. Mughal emperor Jahangeer in his praise once said that if there is heaven on the earth that is here that is here that is here (Kashmir). Kashmir is called the paradise on earth due to many reasons. Here in this article I will try to throw a little bit of light on some of these important reasons.

The beauty of Kashmir lies in  its ambient temperatures which in simple words we can say that “neither too hot, nor too cold”. In summers the temperature rises to a maximum of 37- 40 degrees Celsius and in winter season it comes down  up to -10 degrees at nights. The days are somehow precisely warm in winters. Kashmir’s forests, lakes, snow covered peaks, lush green meadows add to its grandeur. Its dry and fresh fruits (walnut, almond, apple, pear, cherry) are a treat to a visitor. The moderate temperatures becomes attracts tourists from far and wide. Together these virtues make Kashmir to be known as paradise on earth.

But unfortunately this paradise is losing its sheen and shine due two factors viz the phenomenon of  Global Warming with the melting of its glaciers water is going to become scarce and the second is the unending violence . Unfortunately the state of Jammu and Kashmir has become a bone of contention between India and Pakistan  since 1947. When we look at history before seventy years we come to know Kashmir stood as a sovereign state when India and Pakistan did not exist as two independent countries.

The Kashmir dispute dates back to October 1947. The partition of united India on religious lines lead to the formation of two separate countries India and Pakistan. However there remained the problem of over 650 princely states existing within the two newly independent countries. In theory, these princely states had the option of deciding to join any one country or to remain independent. Partition brought havoc to the sub continent. Thousands of people got killed in communal violence and their hatred has not died down even after seven and half decades. Kashmir too got divided in to three territories one occupied by China and remaining two parts are controlled by India and Pakistan respectively. While India took the case to UN which passed several resolutions which remained hitherto unimplemented. And Kashmir continues to bleed till date.

Because of its location, Kashmiri rulers could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari singh, the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu while most his subjects were Muslims. Unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join Hari singh chose to remain neutral.

But his hopes of remaining independent were dashed in October 1947, as Pakistan sent in tribal invaders to annex Kashmir per force. This was a turning point in the history of Kashmir.  Hari singh appealed to the Indian government for military assistance which help came immediately and the tribal warriors were no match to the India’s regular army. The tribals were later backed by Pakistan regulars who annexed a large portion of Kashmir territory. Indian and Pakistani forces thus fought their first war over Kashmir in 1947-48. India’s first prime minister took the dispute to the United Nations Organization on 1st January 1948. In a resolution dated August 13, 1948, the UNO asked Pakistan to remove its troops, after that India will also to withdraw the bulk of its forces as situation becomes normal. Pt Nehru on the other hand promised Kashmiris plebiscite to decide which side they would join. But neither Pakistan withdrew its troops nor did India reduce the number of its troops.

Had the two countries acted on the UN resolutions, there would have been no dispute what-so-ever between the two countries.  We would have been living in peace and prosperity with no divided territory and the people.

Note: The views expressed in the article are that of the author.

The author is a class 11th student of Khansahib Budgam he can be reached at mushtaqshameem47@gmail.com.

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