By Nyla Ali Khan

Nyla Ali Khan, the granddaughter of the 1st major Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, provides an insider's research at the political and social turmoil that has eroded the ethos and upholstery of Kasmiri tradition. She screens the results of nationalist, militant, and spiritual discourses and praxes on a gender-based hierarchy.

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Extra resources for Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan

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But the movement did not garner the support he had hoped for. On the contrary, he was accused of having vested interests and of having started the agitation for the purpose of regaining the immense popularity he had enjoyed, which had diminished due to his political and personal alliance with the first prime minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru (Korbel 2002: 22). The “Quit Kashmir” movement did not bolster Abdullah’s position among the Muslims of Kashmir, and it antagonized the Hindus and Sikhs of the state who venerated the maharaja because they owed him their political, economic, and religious privileges in the predominantly Muslim Kashmir Valley (Bazaz 1950: 4–5).

For example, the maharaja’s government had passed a special ordinance introducing two scripts, Devanagari and Persian, in Kashmir’s government schools, and, under the Jammu and Kashmir Arms Act of 1940, had prohibited all communities except Dogra Rajputs from owning arms and ammunition. Such communally oriented policies created a rift between the Muslim leadership of the NC and their Hindu colleagues. The rift within the organization was further widened by Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s insistence that Abdullah extend his support to the Muslim League and thereby disavow every principle he had fought for.

If the forty lakhs of people living in Jammu and Kashmir are by-passed and the State declares its accession to India or Pakistan, I shall raise the banner of revolt and we face a struggle. Of course, we will naturally opt to go to the Dominion where our own demand for freedom receives recognition and support. We cannot desire to join those who say that the people must have no voice in the matter. We shall be cut to pieces before we allow alliance between this State and people of this type. In this time of national crisis Kashmir must hold the beacon light.

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