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[Baljinder Sharma] Kashmir Files: Truth, Propaganda, Art, Politics?

Rédigé par Baljinder Sharma le Dimanche 20 Mars 2022

"The problem is NOT with Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims, We have lived together for years peacefully. It’s POLITICIANS, my friend" Anupam Kher Sept 2011

Imagine if you were to put 100 Indians in a large room and asked them to kill each other on the basis of their religion until they are all dead, the final number should look, roughly, as follows : Hindus - 80. Muslims -14 . Christian and other religions - 6 

The numbers would not be different if a Pakistani terrorist would shoot at a random Indian crowd. They would, however, change drastically if the shootings were targeted - for instance, bombing a temple or a mosque. Given that the population of India is roughly divided along the above lines, it Is easy to use the laws of statistics to estimate the figures. Yet, what is inexplicable is that more Muslims end up dying in every riot or massacre (as per data released by the Government and by independent agencies such as Human Rights Watch) than their proportion of the population (14%) justify.

Let us analyze some major massacres/riots and terrorist attacks over the last 75 years.

1947 Jammu massacres - Hindus 20,000+/Muslims 20,000 to 100,000+
1966 Anti-cow agitation - 375 to 5,000 Hindus - killed by government
1969 Gujarat riots - 26 Hindus/430 Muslims
1983 Assam Massacres - 2,000 Muslims
1984 Sikh Riots - 4,000 Sikhs
1989 Bhagalpur Riots - 900 Muslims/100 Hindus
1990 Kashmir Militancy - 399 Hindus/2,000 Muslims
1992 Mumbai riots - 575 Muslims, 275 Hindus
2002 Gujarat riots - 790 Muslims, 254 Hindus
2013 Muzaffarpur riots - 42 Muslims/20 Hindus

Specifically, in the case of Kashmir, a Hindustan Times report claimed that of the 41,000 people who died due to disturbances between 1990 and March 2017 about 14,000 were civilians, 5,000 were security personnel and 22,000 were militants. Even if you assume all 5,000 security personnel were Hindus, the number of Muslim civilian deaths was about 3 times as high.

What does the above data tell you?

Either the image of an ordinary Hindu as a law-abiding, non-violent, peace-loving, and tolerant citizen is false or the killings were carried out by a) police b)criminals or c)state-sponsored criminals such as in the case of 1984 Sikh riots where the Congress party leaders paid criminal gangs to butcher innocent Sikhs or 200 Gujarat riots when the state looked the other way as anti-social elements hacked Muslims to death.

Sometimes justified as revenge killings, it is not important whether the Sikhs were right in their implicit support of militancy that led to the shooting of Indira Gandhi or the Muslims justified in setting fire to innocent Hindus at the Godhra station, in retaliation for the demolition of Babri Masjid, what is important is that the Indian state could not prevent the deaths of ordinary citizens who may have nothing to do with religion, politics and militancy.

It is also eminently clear that spontaneous riots or massacres are generally small and short-lived, the ones that are deadly and prolonged are generally politically motivated.

Kashmir Files appear to promote three ideas.

1. That an average Muslim is untrustworthy and deeply communal
2. That an average Hindu is non-violent and peace-loving
3. That the media is biased against the Hindus and the interest of the Indian state.

None of the above is true, as is evidenced by the data. 

The film shines brightly in portraying the pain and plight of Kashmiri Pandits. Yet, somehow instead of blaming militancy and cross-border terrorism and the failure of the Indian state ( whether Congress or BJP-supported), it seeks to place the blame on Kashmiri Muslims. 

This is where it faults. Unless, of course, it is propaganda couched as art meant to divide the population along religious lines. Or crass Hindu activism. India is overwhelmingly Hindu. It is the minorities who should be afraid, if at all - as the data plainly reveals. Not of ordinary Hindus who are actually congenial, non-violent, and peace-loving but the politicians who commit unspeakable crimes and massacres in their name.

A propos de l'auteur :

Originaire de Kota, ville de l’État du Rajasthan, en Inde, Baljinder Sharma détient une licence en ingénierie du Malviya National Institute of Technology et un Master in Business Administration de l’Université de Maurice. À ces distinctions académiques s’ajoutent la Harvard Business School (M&A and Corporate Restructuring), Indian School of Business (Private Equity Program) et Indian School of Business/NorthWestern University – Kellogg Business School (Advanced Management Program).

Dimanche 20 Mars 2022

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