Time to address
IF YOU WILL NOT ACT TODAY, YOU HAVE TO CRY AND REPENT TOMORROW WRITES DR. TARIQ AHMAD BHAT
Jammu and Kashmir in its present form came into existence with the treaty of Lahore on 9th of March 1846. The approximately one century rule of Maharaja dynasty which started with Maharaja Gulab Singh and ended with Maharaja Hari Singh, though the period of autocratic rule, can’t be ignored historically in terms of many developments in the state.
Maharaja Hari Singh became the ruler on Maharaja Pratab Singh’s death in 1925. His religion was ‘justice’ announced the new Maharaja at his coronation in Jammu in March 1926. He attended the Idd prayers of the Muslims at Srinagar. These popular gestures turned to be short lived as the Maharaja came under the influence of court favorites, losing contact with the people. The state borders were sealed to prevent infiltration of political ideas from the rest of India. On 13 July 1931 the Muslim population of Srinagar rose against the excesses of the state forces. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah led the movement for the right of democratic self-rule. It did not assume a communal character, which would have been inconsistent with the cultural traditions of the valley. On 8 May 1936 Sheikh Abdullah appealed to the Hindus and Sikhs to participate in the meetings demanding responsible Government for the people. As was to be expected, the nomenclature of the Muslim Conference was changed to National Conference in June 1938. The struggle for democratic rights thus became broad based.
The Quit India by the Indian National congress in 1942 evoked a similar response in Jammu and Kashmir in may 1946 against the Dogra hegemony. Jawaharlal Nehru, then president of the Indian National Congress, rushed to Kashmir, Where he was arrested by the authorities. Another landmark was the visit of Mahatama Gandhi to Kashmir in July 1947.
The people looked up to the national conference and its leader, Sheikh Mohmmad Abdullah, to give them a lead in the matter of accession of the state to India or Pakistan, on which the Maharaja was dragging his feet. The secular ideals of the National Conference had being nurtured under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.. The British Government announced the scheme of the partition of India on 3 June, 1947. The Maharaja of Kashmir, affirmed his belief in independence, entered in to a standstill agreement with Pakistan, who honored it more in the breach than in the observance, and engineered a massive raid in to Kashmir by her tribal people on 22 October, 1947. The National Conference, the premier political organization of the state, under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, opposed joining the Muslim dominion of Pakistan and accepted the accession of the state to India under certain special circumstances, subject to the consequent ratification of the act by plebiscite on 1 January, 1948. India submitted a formal compliant to the Security Council under chapter VI of the UN charter “as India was anxious to avoid a direct conflict with Pakistan” Nehru affirmed the plebiscite in J&K passed by General assembly of UNO.
Nehru described on the floor of the parliament. “The matter of Kashmir could be affirmed or cancelled by the people of Kashmir according to their wishes.” Accession was a bargain in exchange for self-Governance with the centers powers limited to items falling under three subjects listed in the instrument of accession –foreign affairs, defense and communication. The new constitution came into force on 28 January 1957, and in the assembly Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah declared that. The government of India has never tried to interfere in our internal autonomy during the last four years.’’ This experience has further strengthened our confidence in them as a democratic state.
The Delhi agreement clearly defined the Centre - State relations which India started violating in 1953, when elected prime Minister of J&K was dismissed and arrested under PSA. In 1958 the jurisdiction of C&AG was extended to the state and Kashmir conspiracy case launched against Sheikh Abdullah and other PF leaders. Later in 1959 under conspiracy and compulsion the Jurisdiction of the election Commission and Supreme Court of India was extended over the J&K State. In 1964 Art. 356 was applied to the state by which president’s rule can be imposed in the event of the failure of state constitution. Meanwhile in 1965 the nomenclature of Sadr-e-Riyasat and PM was replaced by governor and CM respectively.
In 1974 Kashmir accord was signed. Meanwhile the NC, Plebiscite Front, Al-Fatah, Kashmir Political Conference raised hue and cry for encroaching on the autonomy of state. Many incidents of high jacking, murders, kidnappings and demonstrations occurred in Kashmir. The manipulation of Election results in 1987 further deteriorated the situation until in 1989 armed struggle for independence broke out. It resulted in the death of thousands of innocent Kashmiris. Schools and hospitals were burnt. Kashmiri Pandits migrated to Jammu and other parts of India which widened the gap between two communities. The government of India from time to time has initiated dialogue with all stake holders of Kashmir dispute including Pakistan and signed some agreements such as Tashkant Declaration, Agra Summit, Shimla agreement and Lahore Declaration but of no use so for as aspirations of Kashmiris are concerned.
What India did with the people of J&K: promised for plebiscite, abrogated its autonomy, deceived its loyal leadership, and manipulated its elected governments. So India has much to answer morally, politically and constitutionally for its various omissions and commissions, so far as its commitments and role in Kashmir is concerned.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah in his historic speech in legislative assembly said that problem of jammu and Kashmir is not any law and order problem, it is not an issue of development or the issue of governance but an issue between the two countries in which the people of Jammu and Kashmir are being crushed. The issue can not be resolved by the developmental processes or by providing employment to the people.
The accession of Jammu and Kashmir has taken place with India but state has not merged with the country. The accession of J&K to India has occurred under an agreement. The agreement is always binding on both the parties. The Union Home Minister P. Chitambarium has rightly stated on the floor of parliament that accession of J&K has been in unique circumstances and settlement of K-issue requires unique action. In the 2010 turmoil we heard the slogans of ‘Quit Kashmir’ and ‘Go India Go Back’ which clearly reflect that people demand solution of Kashmir issue. The K-issue is a political issue which is lingering on for a long time and which has been kept bleeding by the 20 years of militancy. We have lost countless precious lives since 1931 and have lost 118 precious lives in 2010 turmoil.
It is the need of the hour to assess the gravity of the situation. Both the countries have to work for universal values. It is their moral duty to give world a message of harmony, peace, tolerance and dignity but for this they have to address the Kashmir problem as it is the barrier and cause for enmity. India must acknowledge the sacrifices given by the people of J&K since 1931 and must adopt realistic approach to restore its autonomy to its widest extent.
So it will be wise step to address the Kashmir problem to end the enmity and create friendship between the two countries.
[The author works as lecturer in department of Education, at Pahalgam.Feedback at dr.tariqbotany@ gmail.com ]
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 27 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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