Making J&K the precious state

The beleaguered past
Making  J&K the precious  state
Representational Image

The  beleaguered  past                                                                                    

Since mid 16th century  the Vale of Kashmir remained  open to  Economic and Cultural influence from its Neighborhood in Central Asia and Indian Subcontinent. The Mughals had their own version of Feudal System and War Policy (not withstanding Hindu, Buddhist, Revivalist Hindu and Muslim periods before that). With  gradual decline of Delhi-based Mughal Empire  and rise of Kabul Regime, Kashmir  slipped into a different era. Historians have labeled later period  of Mughal Governors and all of Pathan rule as dark chapter in History of Kashmir. More  misery befell when Kashmir witnessed an Armed invasion by  Lahore Kingdom under Maharaja Ranjit Singh(19th Century). The 'Sikh Rule'  lasted only a few decades. Fall of Lahore Kingdom to English was probably  the Big Bang  and  Punjabi domination that had  left some indelible marks on  Socio –economic, Political and Cultural ethos  of Kashmir  vanished into thin air. English Rulers, due to some strategic reasons, were unwilling to govern Kashmir directly. Moreover, Kashmir, primarily,  had ceased to be a war like nation ( gradually since late 16th century). No Martial leader was available to  English for any worthwhile alliance. Bhombas and Khokas would be a spent force (unorganised  Recalcitrant war like people). An ally from Kashmir, therefore, was not an option for English strategists. So they found an ideal  ally in erstwhile  Ist Maharaja of J&K – the then Raja Ghulab Singh who  apart from being Martial had proved to be  a trusted ally of English in Lahore campaign!! This culminated  into the historical event resulting in a blue print for a  unique new state J&K.

J&K – Creation of Destiny.

                                       Thus commenced in mid 19th century,  Integration of Jammu  regions' small time feudatories  with Kashmir Valley, indicated in Agreement-Sale Deeds, not by Latitudes and longitudes  but  territories within the great river courses . The para-mountntcy of English  India was  to continue . Strategic campaign of  Ladakh  was  accomplished  sending  shrill echoes to Russian Tsar!! Warrior  Zorawar Singh's death in battle field  brought the campaign to a halt and Tibet remained untouched!! The English had their cup of tea to their liking, hardly foreseeing that newly carved out  State would  throw up new challenges before the world. And  the  citizenry  of this multi cultural, multilingual and multi regional princely state would get stuck up in time zone !? Harsh and ruthless Governance at the hands of Later Mughal, Pathan, Sikh and Dogra Rulers for over 300 years  had a catastrophic effect on the Psyche of Kashmiri people which is bound to unleash itself in different manifestations for a long time to come! Imagine the  scenario, when in  1947 English transferred power to two Dominions, instead of one, thereafter  pushing J&K  into a  dilemma. Mr Radcliffe had the  mandate to draw the 'Radcliffe- line'  through the bosom  of Indian subcontinent , but just short of J&K .This 'Princely  State' with fair amount of  Internal Autonomy   was reason enough for English to respect  its semi- independence . For J&K it was status quo. 

The  Contemporary Crisis 

                                              The conglomerate of three  distinct and diverse Cultural,  Religious and ethnic regions identify J&K , for over 170 years now. Destiny has brought us together and it is the duty of all citizens to enter into dialogue for finding  a common ground for taking this state out of morass  through 21st century.  It is imperative that our diverse cultures, distinct variation in political thought, deep rooted  histories and our peculiar lifestyles might have a tendency to pull us apart. But this should not be allowed to pulverize into  hatred, abhorrence and  vengeance. Nobody can erase  the historic events. The memories do remain and haunt. But still finding common ground for life to go, a  lot of work remains to be done. Aristocratic rule was suffocating. Yet in reality it is gone. In the democratic set up, deceit and  dictatorial dread cannot convince the rising masses to accept hegemony as their destiny. No longer now. People's desire to catch up with the contemporary world need not be construed as their weakness. Involved  in the race are the people -the masses – who want to shape their destiny  in this age of  'Economic emancipation' and 'Religious  Identity' but not as  Political   have-nots. 

                                                            Dumping the Socio-Political Aspirations of citizenry is no option. The political and economic aspirations  always go hand in hand. Each complements the other. The pursuit of   economic amelioration  must rest on a strong foundation of  'Political Comfort'. Myopic theories and practices will not lead us to our cherished goal. But magnanimity, far sighted approach and  prudence  can . This needs reconciliation on multiple planes which is a yeoman's task. But it can be possible only when these multiple planes of our Socio-political complexities are debated and understood  in a context devoid of  deceit, falsehood and  intrigue. We must now think a century ahead and think transparently. The regional, cultural  and economic  exploitation  should not  be resorted to.  Polarization of  people through  deceitful Political thought, oppressive policies and myopic vengeance is no solution. Communal  Politics  in its negative avatar will not lead to a solution  as well. Instead  religious  beliefs need to be revered and respected. But simultaneously 'unifying  parameters' between  religious and ethnic entities  to generate  goodwill based on selfless initiatives is need of the hour. These need to be highlighted, debated and understood in right perspective .

                                             To sum up, the establishment versus anti-establishment  battles  cannot  culminate into a solution.  The solution will come up when masses integrate and  interact on long term basis  to  generate 'Intrinsic  Agreement'  for resolving the core issues. Discovering  the common ground between the masses is inevitable. Thereafter, crystal cut  solutions will begin to appear and address the contemporary crisis in our 170 year old  'Socio-political and religio-cultural unending sojourn'. This  will  mature  into a full blown  solution that satisfies the 'Aspirations of all citizens of J&K' . Therefore, a fresh approach  for  convergent 'Political Thought'   seems  inevitable  for the citizens of the state for  a long lasting solution to the Contemporary  Issues that will  create the Bridge of Reconciliation between bigger powers  that be. 

suhailbedar@gmail.com
(The Author is an Engineering Graduate)

Related Stories

No stories found.