‘Kashmir - Heaven on Earth, only if you remember Louisiana and Alaska’ (Attorney Ravi Batra)

Once upon a time, far, far away was a magical Kingdom lovingly ruled by a great Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh, with happy Muslim-Majority citizens. The Kingdom was deemed by many as heaven on earth; and it was vast, as it encompassed Jammu & Kashmir, Ladkah, and Norther Areas. Then Mahatma Gandhi won his battle to free "India," a collection of princely states that had not been aggregated for several hundred years before the British Raj; days of the Hindu King or Emperor controlling vast amount of land spanning a continent or more, was many, many centuries ago.

It is often said, be careful what you wish for. 1947 came and none were ready. Nation building requires special care; not malpractice by having way too many obstetricians delivering twins at-the-same-time. Long sought out and yearned-for Freedom, as a result, became a chapter of Human Suffering entitled, The Partition. Ouch. Estimates say that as many as ten to twenty (10 -20) million people died, were killed, butchered or fried-to-death. Records were not kept for an accurate number. A colossal number of Refugees were created, unlike anything seen before; bigger in number than when Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt. The soil was soaked in blood. And, worse of all, previously citizens of every faith - Jewish, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Sikhs - who had lived happily together, unless Divide & Rule was practiced, were fearful and angry. Both emotions stoked and stroked by miscreants who sought to enslave them by both fear, and worse, anger. That was then.

The great Ali Jinnah insisted upon creating a secular state of Pakistan, and "Pak" means pure. The great Pandit Nehru, whose family was from the Kashmir Pandits, promised India to have a tryst with destiny to reach American Exceptionalism-type success. Today, Pakistan has abandoned Jinnah's secularism, and India's Freedoms - which find their roots in the Indian experience several thousand years old - before Thomas Jefferson - but relied upon the American Constitution and Bill of Rights to craft India's Constitution.

10 weeks after the flames of 1947 Independence burnt and shook the human soul, Maharaja Hari Singh signed his deed of Accession in favor of India - essentially a Lot-Merger instrument (between nations), which real estate developer use when developing multiple lots as one. We - thanks to POTUS Thomas Jefferson - for $15 million bought Louisiana in 1803 from Napoleon. Folks living in Louisiana had the choice of staying or leaving, but couldn't revoke the American purchase and inclusion into our sovereignty. In 1867 we bought Alaska from the Czar of Russia for 7.2 Million. and again, the citizens of Alaska had the same choice to accept or leave, but couldn't revoke American Sovereignty to include Alaska.

In violation of clear law, opportunists who didn't own J&K, Ladakh and Northern Areas got involved to make trouble, or wanted it to become part of Pakistan merely because it was Muslim-majority in Jinnah's secular nation. Lord Louis Mountbatten played a "Kissinger," but not well. Ali Jinnah - a good and decent man - in clear legal error, but to quell his local politics, wanted India to hold a vote/plebiscite. Mountbatten, incredulously, charmed Pandit Nehru to put it into UNSC's lap, which Nehru did on January 1, 1948. Nobody said - hey, why should I? The very idea that a community would only vote for their own is not a merit-based idea, but promotes racism with the the chains of identity - be it racial or religious. Both, a damnation, and undemocratic to the core.

Land was grabbed by Pakistan in a free-for-all rioting, albeit, Gilgit-Baltistan was maneuvered to Pakistan, in a breach-of-Colonial-fiduciary duty by Major Brown (unless, it was with Mountbatten's knowledge and approval). Pakistan, in turn gave a large chunk - Gilgit-Baltistan (aka GB) - to China via the secret Kashmir Agreement, purportedly signed in 1949, but disclosed in court for the first time in 1990. That GB is a critical part of China's today OBOR. Question: Can you sell or transfer something you merely took possession of, but never acquired legal title to? Well, such legal requirements, binding upon all nations seem to be suspended, given the steady diet of hate.

Wars have been fought between India & Pakistan, and China warring with India took a bunch of her land; and still has it. A de facto border exists - known as the Line of Control - between India and Pakistan. A state of suspended animation existed on the Indian side of the LOC. Along came Modi, who understood that Sardar Patel was a better lawyer and nation-builder than he is credited. On August 5, 2019, 73 years late, Narendra Modi, in compliance with India's Constitution, as lawfully amended, removed the semi-autonomous status from J&K, and split the area into Union Territories, including, by freeing Ladakh. That Modi did this lawfully is beyond question. What ails us all is the issue of Human Rights.

Why Modi did this in the first place, is rooted in the clear need and desire to rid the Sub-Continent of Terror; cross-border Terror, and domestically Fermented Terror. As a New Yorker, who has tasted the 9/11 WTC "dust," I know that eradicating Terror globally is our - American - Job #1. That includes, not allowing a deranged "mental patient" to commit a sacrilegious act of a "Mosque Massacre" in Christchurch (New Zealand) ever again. And, it surely means not permitting Billionaires, who made loads of money within democratic and freedom-of-religion societies, as in Sri Lanka, to start a Holy War on Easter Sunday! The first act was horrible and deranged; the Holy War was calculated by brilliantly successful and well-loved Muslims in Buddhist-Majority Sri Lanka.

To address the burning need of Liberal-Lunatics - who fight for Human Rights of Terrorists: that's okay for the courts, whose job it is to fashion justice one person at a time. Nations' leaders have to provide Public Safety for all. None other than Abraham Lincoln suspended the Courts during our great Civil War - fought to cure our Original sin of fractional-humans, in a land that cherishes Equality, and Freedoms. So, Prime Minister Modi is spot on - and deserves a lot of credit as he put sufficient troops on the ground to prevent Terrorists from doing their worst, and he imposed Public Safety first, and will restore Law & Order. Once, that is done anyone who claims a Human Rights violation will have the courts ready to remedy and punish. That, is the proper sequence of rights and freedoms. We, in America, know that to be a "self-evident" Truth. What Pandit Nehru wished with his "Tryst with Destiny" on the Midnight hour on August 15, 1947 at the banks of the River Ravi, Narendra Modi has delivered with his pledge of being "Indivisible Allies" to the Joint Address to Congress, and restoring the benefits of legal liberty and freedoms, in "full measure" as Abarham Lincoln acknowledged at Gettysburg. Its time for Terror to die and disappear, and leave us all alone to face the fruits of our labor, under law. God bless America, and every nation that dares to follow us to be that "Shining City on the Hill." Kashmir is well positioned.

(Ravi Batra is Chair, National Advisory Council for South Asian Affairs)

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