In the sixty odd years of their turbulent existence, India and Pakistan have fought three bloody wars and countless border encounters, some so serious that they pushed both countries almost to the brink of war, over a disputed piece of rugged land, notched up in the Himalayas, called 'Kashmir'. With national pride tied to the issue, and governments hostage to the popular sentiment on both sides of the border, the least expected of politicians, irrespective of their political philosophy, is to declare the former Himalyan Kingdom as part and parcel of their whole being. Just like the opposition to the Palestinian nationhood is an integral part of any Israeli leadership, the 'claim to Kashmir' is a holy ritual every aspiring leader in the Subcontinent must perform. With such a conflicting stand on an inflammable issue, and no hope of breaking away from the conventional thinking by either party, the road to Kashmir problem looks as bumpy as ever before. With the continuance of the present stalemate and the obstinacy of the Indian stand on the issue, it seems almost inevitable that this never ending dilemma will be left over as a legacy for the future generations to wrestle with. Scary scenario India and Pakistan inherited the Kashmir issue as a sidekick from their British masters after the division of the Subcontinent into the two belligerent nations came into effect in August 1947. With their characteristic 'divide and rule' tactics, the British left Kashmir as a bleeding wound in the battered body of the Subcontinent. Notwithstanding the silent mass misinformation campaign launched by the more vibrant Indian propaganda machine behind diplomatic closed doors, to mask the blatant injustice and sway the public opinion to their side, here are some of the facts about the case for the seeker of the truth. The division of the Subcontinent took place on the basis of religion. The 'thumb rule' agreed upon by the Muslim and Hindu leadership of the time under British tutelage was, that Muslim majority areas would become Pakistan and the Hindu majority areas would form India. An overwhelming 90% of the population of Kashmir was Muslim, ruled by a Hindu Raja, and wanted to join Pakistan, but was given away to India defying all norms of justice and fair play. Hyderabad Deccan was a Hindu majority state ruled by a Muslim Nawab (a princely title given to a ruler). Though the population divide was only 65% to 35% in favour of the Hindus, which was not as clear-cut as in the case of Kashmir, where the demographics were 90% to 10% in favour of the Muslims, but the thumb rule of division was judiciously applied in this instance and Hyderabad was declared part of India. The twin Muslim states of Junagarh and Manavadar having predominantly Muslim population and a Muslim ruler were simply annexed by force by the Indian Army while the British Viceroy conveniently looked the other way. The weak physical opposition put up by the ruler of the tiny states was easily crushed by the advancing Indian tanks, never to be heard again. It is difficult to believe that all this would happen under the aegis of a man of the calibre of Lord Mountbatten. In this backdrop, life began in the two newly independent, extremely poor, enormously overpopulated, feverishly religious, insanely illiterate and dangerously belligerent nations of South Asia. To comprehend the underlying bellicosity between these neighbours it is absolutely imperative to understand their historical background in brief. Hindu rule in the Subcontinent came to an end with the passing away of the Gupta Dynasty from 320 A.D. to 540 A.D. This was followed by a period of political instability extending from 540 A.D. to 1001 A.D., during which no particular group exerted full dominance over the other. At best it was a period of turmoil with short- term military and political alliances forged between local warlords in the absence of a central authority. The Subcontinent was then to pass on to a succession of Muslim rulers from Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey, whose armies stormed into India through the fabled Khyber Pass, starting with Mahmud of Ghazni from 1001AD all the way to the imprisonment of Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1857 A.D., which saw the end of the Mughal Dynasty and the passing of India to the British Crown as a result of some high intrigue and war by the British, a game in which they have no peers. Therefore, for almost 856 years (from 1001 to 1857AD) a handful of Muslim minority ruled a predominantly Hindu majority of the undivided India. Thus, generation after generation, Hindu nation grew up in an atmosphere of Muslim dominance and awe. This factor was to have a very deep-rooted impact on the psyche of the Hindu population, who remained serfs to their more talented and warlike rulers. Thus, self-rule returned to 'Hindu India' after a lapse of almost a thousand years from 1001to 1947, when India and Pakistan gained their independence from Great Britain. By now a question may instigate the mind of the reader as to why on earth Kashmir was given away to India when its population was overwhelmingly Muslim? Let us see how moral turpitude and infidelity on the part of a leader can change the very course of history, and bring upon a nation untold suffering, which unfortunately continues to this day. At the core of the Kashmir episode is rooted a high drama and a historical tryst between Lord Louis Mountbatten and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and somehow, soon after his arrival in India the dashing Admiral struck a very personal chord with the larger Nehru family. Let this be clearly understood that Pandit Nehru his father Pandit Motilal Nehru were Kashmiri Brahmans who were born in Srinagar and had strong emotional ties to Kashmir, as the land of their ancestors. Lord Louis Mountbatten was a handsome Admiral in his mid forties, with an open tendency to flirt and an unhappy marriage when he descended on the Subcontinent in the capacity of its last Viceroy, with the envious responsibility of division of India thrust upon his shoulders by a sheer stroke of destiny. From the events that followed, this was to prove a deadly combination. As the tumultuous events of the division of India started in right earnest under the scrutiny of the international media, a more subtle and rarely known and discreetly mentioned phenomenon developed between the Mountbattens and Nehrus whose families developed a very cosy relationship, so much so that important state matters were decided in the comfort of their living rooms. I would like to apologize to a section of my audience, if these lines may hurt their sentiments, but you know truth is always bitter. On the other hand, the Muslims lost British favour as early as 1857 when they rose in revolt to their British masters to regain control of India, which failed, resulting in earning a deep distrust from the British. They knew that if somebody would challenge their authority, it would be the Muslims, whereas, they had nothing to fear from the docile Hindu population who had lived as serfs for the last eight and a half centuries under the Muslims. Hindu docility and cunning, coupled with the Muslim rebellion and disunity proved as the other decisive factors in the posture adopted by Lord Mountbatten. Incidentally, Lord Mountbatten and Indira Gandhi both were to die tragically. The former dying of suspected IRA bomb blast in his yacht while vacationing and the later gunned down by her own security guards right in the Prime Minister's residence. The famous idiom 'what goes around comes around' comes to mind. With the passage of six decades, three bloody wars, martyrdom of quarter million Kashmiri freedom fighters at the hands of the Indian occupation forces, passing of dozens of United Nations resolutions asking India to honour its promise of holding a plebiscite in Kashmir and holding innumerable international conferences and debates, the saga of Kashmir continues unabated. If all this is not good enough to awaken the conscience of the civilized world, then suffering of Kashmir must continue indefinitely. It is ironic that the U.N. gives the look of a teething child in the company of thugs when it is confronted with a Muslim tragedy, but looks like a thug itself when it is time to satisfy the will of the strong and the ruthless. Time and again United Nations has proved to be a lame body standing helplessly as an onlooker to tragedies like Bosnia, Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq and now Afghanistan. Let it be clearly understood by the strong and the ruthless alike, that there will be no peace.... if there is no justice.