Saturday, May 9, 2020

Copland mistake and fallout





More on the malicious propaganda and lies against Kashmiri Pandits produced in elite Indian universities. Or rather the mediocrity of the work peddled out on the subject. Above is an extract from a paper titled "The Caste of Migrants: Affirmative Action and the Case of Kashmiri Pandits" (2018) by Pushpendra Johar, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi. The paper sets out to prove how "reservations" for "Kashmiri Migrants" are against the notion of reservation laid out on India constitution and such. How does the paper go about it? By talking about KP supposed affluence and influence hundred years ago. And even here, to make the argument, the paper relies on secondary sources that themselves are part of deliberate lies. Where it cannot lie, it just creates a smoke screen in which reader is unable to read the data without bias. For the above passage it relies on "Islam and Political Mobilization in Kashmir, 1931-34, Ian Copland (1981). Copland is much cited in such studies and now considered an authority. As we shall see, it has flaws. A flaw an outsider can easily or deliberately make, and no one will question it as 'KPs as exploiters of Kashmir" is a settled theme in public discourse on Kashmir.  

The paper by DU guy claims 78% gazetted post were held by Hindus and Sikhs. Then in next line, instead of Hindus, he mentions Kashmiri Pandits, to imply this 78% was Kashmiri Pandits and Sikh that held "all the job". The writer makes the basic mistake of assuming that all Hindus in the state were KPs. 

Fact:
In 1931, according to census data, there were 13133 total people in Public Administration and 12265 in State service

According to census, for every 1000 employees in State Service, about 305.9 were KP men and for every 100 woman employees in State Service, only 1 Female was KP woman. Overall, we can say 70% of State service comprised of other communities.

Next, quoting Copland, he makes the oft repeated claim that in 1931: "in Mirpur tehsil 94 % patwaris were Kashmiri Brahmin". Ian Copland indeed mentions it, and this claim has found its way into many scholarly works including the "Hindu rulers, Muslim subjects" by Mridu Rai (2004), a work much loved by Tahreekis for providing them the excuse for their violence on minorities of the state and for claiming the whole J&K as a Muslim territory. Copland mentions his source as "Report by Major General R.G. Finlayson on the visit of Inspection and Enquiry into Mirpur Tehsil" (1932). The "secret" report was result of riots of January 1932 in Mirpur in which Muslim majority killed and displaced the Hindu and Sikh minority. There were "Jathas" moving in from Punjab, hearing rumors about the scale of killings, they were rushing to kill Muslims. The situation was brought under control, but migration did happen. The British believed economic grievances to be the real reason for communal flare-up. Copland forwards the same argument. All fine. But, what are Kashmiri Pandits doing there in the quote of Copland? Were 94% patwaris in Mirpur tehsil Kashmiri Pandits or Kashmiri Hindus?

No. 

The actual wording of Finlayson in the report (attached) mentions just "Hindus" and not Kashmiri Pandits. 




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