Sometime back, the BJP leader from Jammu, Chaman Lal Gupta had said that the Kashmiris did not enter into Mutta marriage with India in 1947 but it was a genuine and pucca marriage with a proper deed. This reminds one of the famous Kashmiri proverb sometimes used in connection with marriages. The Kashmiri language has innumerable proverbs connected with various daily activities. These proverbs not only provide immense humour in the dullness of the daily life but are also very intelligently crafted. The proverb, “Mahi Adji te Tsari Dodh” translates into, “the bones of a mosquito and the milk of a sparrow”. Both the things are impossible to procure. It is said that in earlier times, at the time of writing a marriage deed, the bride’s people would put this condition for annulling the deed! This would be considered something impossible to procure and thus the marriage could never be annulled. The proverb aptly describes Kashmir’s relationship with India especially in the present context.
Kashmir has always been compared to a beautiful bride decorated by Nature itself. All the outside travellers have been fascinated by its beauty. Unfortunately, this beauty has also been the undoing for its inhabitants. They have been in the bondage of one after the other foreign rulers for centuries. In fact, Kashmir has been a bride in chains for last more than four centuries. In 1947 when the whole sub-continent of India was in turmoil due to its partition by the fleeing British colonialists supposed to be past masters in divide and rule policy, the bride of Kashmir was wooed by the two emerging bridegrooms each promising her the moon! One of the bridegrooms, a Kashmiri migrant of the past, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was madly in love with the Kashmiri bride. He describes the beauty in his book, “….Like some supremely beautiful women, whose beauty is almost impersonal and above human desire, such was Kashmir in all its feminine beauty of river and valley and lake and graceful trees.” And then, “….Kashmir calls back, its pull is stronger than ever; it whispers its magic to the ears, and its memory disturbs the mind. How can they who have fallen under its spell release themselves from this enchantment?”
It was this mad love for the bride Kashmir which has been Kashmiris’ undoing. Pandit Nehru’s obsession with Kashmir did bring it into the lap of India but ultimately resulted in the virtual exodus of all his co-religionists in 1990. Sometimes one ponders if Nehru had not been a Kashmiri, what would have been the fate of Kashmir? It was his mad love which made him to hurriedly enter into a marriage deed in 1947 overlooking the fact that the bride had changed her religion and may not be in the long run comfortable with him. He realised this after sometime but before he could make some amends, the angel of death snatched him away leaving Kashmiris in the lurch on a marriage deed with impossible conditions to fulfil for their ultimate release! The conditions described in the Kashmiri proverb about securing the “Bones of a mosquito and the milk of a Sparrow” usually put in by the bride’s people had been metaphorically put in the reverse by the obsessive lover.
The marriage deed was not a pucca one but only temporary which fact was certified even by the World Body, the United Nations Security Council which declared that the final marriage will take place only with the full consent of the bride to be obtained through a plebiscite. However, till the survival of the groom, Pandit Nehru, one heard reaffirmation after reaffirmation that the final consent had yet to be obtained. After his death, the Indians flatly and blatantly refused to honour the fact of the temporary marriage. They have, in fact, been taking step after step to strengthen the relationship, consent or no consent, making it starkly appear as a forced marriage. Kashmir is now under the total stranglehold of India. Security wise, over seven hundred thousand Army personnel, hundreds of thousands of paramilitary and police spread in every nook and corner not sparing even civilian residential areas make it the most militarised area of the world. Economically for all its needs Kashmir is totally dependent on imports from outside the state. Even it does not generate enough revenue to pay for a colossal colonial type administrative set up created over last few decades! The most important resource, the hydro-electric power generation has already been usurped by NHPC by manipulation and connivance of local politicians. In these circumstances, Kashmiris may not be able to secure their release from this political as well as economic bondage even after procuring the proverbial “Mosquito bones and Sparrow’s milk”! Only some divine intervention may get them the salvation and emancipation they have been pinning for centuries. However, this too can happen only if they change their basic character which is the biggest hurdle for them in moving on a straight path ahead! The starkest example of this lack of character is their inability due to stubbornness to even assemble on a same platform for the cherished common goal! The attainment of even this noble goal appears to be a task more difficult than securing the “Mosquito bones and Sparrow’s milk!”