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Saleem The Saviour

In India, violent death seems to be the only constant and uniting factor that binds the nation together...

Saleem The Saviour
Saleem The Saviour
outlookindia.com
2017-07-15T10:44:22+05:30

Amarnath to Tiruchirappalli is not as alliterative a phrase as Kashmir to Kanyakumari, but it means the same. Kashmir is an integral part of India and we are one. This basic fact of Indian life is not born out of camaraderie or compassion, but violence. We kill each other like animals (no, animals don’t kill for ideas). At Amarnath, militants or terrorists, in the name of ­Islam, killed seven people simply because these strangers whom they had never met in their lives were Hindus. Kashmir shone the path for religious separatism almost three decades ago when Islamic separatists (who want to be ruled by Punjabi Muslims across the border) forced their Hindu neighbours out of the Valley.

The story of Kashmir is strange. Unlike in any other part of the country, the upper-­caste Muslims and Hindus share the same surnames: Pandit, Bhat or Dhar. The language is the same and so is their love for mutton. But religion divides them and they kill for Islam, shouting slogans in favour of Pakistan, draping their dead in the Pakistani national flag and desperatel­y wanting to merge their unique, centuries-old Kashmiriyat into the Pakistani Muslim identity.  

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