JAMMU REGION

Icon

JAMMU’s FEEDBACK www.jammuregion.com

Debate on Article 370

The accession of Jammu and Kashmir State with Indian Union was because of the Instrument of Accession signed by the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir State and not because of article 370. The article 370 was incorporated in the Indian constitution by the Indian Constituent Assembly later to appease the Kashmiri leadership at that time. As stated in the Assembly the article was temporary which should cease to exist with passage of time. The people of Jammu region and that of Ladakh region were not taken into confidence on the issue and their wishes were all together ignored. As a result there were great agitations both in Jammu province and ladakh region against article 370 and separate constitution of Jammu And Kashmir State. If at present the Kashmiri leadership wanted to retain the Article 370, then let the State be trifurcated into separate states of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, and keep this article applicable only to Kashmir and free Jammu and Ladakh region from the Kashmiri domination.

It is a hard realty that only political elite class of Kashmir region is benefitted by the article 370 as they want freedom to behave like autocrats without any checks. The common people are in no way benefitted by the article 370. This political class is exploiting the common masses to serve its own vested interests and to keep the Kashmir issue alive.

It is not Modi but Omar Abdullah who is on wrong footings. Omer Abdullah is also wrong when he says that Narendra Modi is mixing Article 370 with the State’s residency law. It is by virtue of Article 370 the State has its own constitution and residency law is part of the state constitution. The Part III of J&K Constitution lays down that a woman citizen of J&K marrying someone from another state of the Union will not only forfeit her right to be called a ‘daughter of the soil’, but also the right to get a job under the State Government, secure admission in J&K Government-run educational, technical and professional institutions, and acquire and own any immovable property anywhere in the State. It unequivocally says that if a male citizen of J&K marries even a foreigner, the spouse will automatically become a citizen of the State. It is only when some of the social activists and women whose property rights were infringed challenged this part of J&K Constitution in the court.. The Full Bench of the J&K High Court took a holistic view of the problem facing the daughters of the state, and on October 7, 2002 pronounced that a female State Subject will not lose her status as a State Subject on marriage to a non-State Subject. Even after this judgment of Hon’ble Court a woman marrying someone from another state may get property rights but her daughters or sons cannot inherit the rights on her property.

However, the High Court verdict displeased the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party and bill was moved in the Legislative Council to nullify the judgment of Hon’ J&K High Court  and to seek restoration of pre-Oct 7, 2002 position. This was amount to deprive the daughters of J&K of their natural right to marry persons of their choice outside the state, and thereby snatch their right to own immovable property or inherit ancestral property in J&K, or obtain jobs with the State Government in case they marry persons other than State Subjects.

Some people try to confuse the people when they to support the article 370 mention article 371 which is applicable to some north eastern states. Article 371 does not provide for separate constitution and laws other than laid down in Indian constitution.

Courtesy: Press release JSM

Advertisements

Filed under: Article 370, Jammu blog, Modi, Womens rights in J&K

J&K-Delhi and Autonomy; let there be open debate

By Daya Sagar

No doubt in Jammu and Kashmir National Conference is the largest political party that can dare standing for India against the anti India and anti accession ideologies . But so far New Delhi has not been true even in listening to National Conference that has so far held so firmly to the 1947 accession of JK with India.
Particularly after 1989 the local Kashmiri has discussed and heard very less about the truthfulness of the October 1947 accession of JK with India. Rather they have heard / read more of statements on alleged injustice to Kashmiries done after 1947, more of conditional 1947 accession, more of some special agreements made by Nehru / Indira Gandhi with Sheikh Mohd Abdullah and commitments made by Delhi leaders with Kashmiries. Similarly there are many youth in thirtees, who have all these years remained at distance from the information and ideologies that prove truthfulness and fairness of the governments that held reins at New Delhi. Write-ups that appear in local press and journals too are wanting in this regards {particularly more since last one decade }.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah had on 11th June, 1999 narrated that an elder person had said to him at Kargil on 10th June, 1999 “Udhar Jana Hai Aur Apni Territory Waapis Laana Hai.” Speaking at “Bahu Plaza Jammu” Farooq Abdullah said “1971 Mein To Main Chhota Tha Par Agarche Mein Kabhi Bhi Bee Yudh Nahin Chahta Par Agar Pakistan Ne Apnae Ko Sudhara Nahin to Yudh Hoga Aur “Iss Baar Koi Haji Peer Wapis Nahin Denge, LoC-LoC-Kush Nahin Rahnewali, Ab Ki Baar Jang Hogi Toe Kuchh Wapis Nahin Denghe”. Similarly while addressing a function of the “Keep Jammu Clean Programme” at Press Club Jammu on 5th Oct, 1999 Dr Farooq Abdullah pointing at Hurriyat leaders had said ,”They can kill me but they can’t take Kashmir. If one Farooq goes another Farooq will come to protect the Mother Land. I will break their back-bone to protect the integrity of the nation”. He had gone to the extent of saying that Hurriyat leaders would not be allowed to exploit the religious sentiments of the people, rather Hurriyat leaders would be sent to the Jodhpur jail. Many would have wondered why so much of change in 2010? The answer did lie in my recent columns where in I have said that some soft statements of Farooq Abdullah are surely made under local political pressures that have endangered even political existence of National Conference particularly in Kashmir Valley.
To me it is not only since 11th June, 2010 that people of Kashmir valley in particular and JK in general are in emotional, psychological, identity, social, political and material turmoil but the agony of people of Jammu and Kashmir due to emotional and psychological stresses dates much back even from late 1980s. No doubt it has grown so more after 1990 due to non serious approach of New Delhi. In my writings over last one decade I have been making attempts to draw the attention of New Delhi towards the ground needs but no heed was paid. The questions, doubts and demands in the minds of the common man have to be attended to, answered, cleared or accepted or dropped with due reasoning and justifications and not by force. And if the mental / information and emotional issues are not settled properly, peace would never return. The information bank of common man of Kashmir valley has been left unattended by New Delhi and has instead been left to be addressed more by those who doubted the trueness of 1947 accession of JK with India.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s outburst in Indian Parliament has not been new. But this time he has been emotionally emotional. He has begged with folded hands for peace, truthfulness and rational approach towards the Jammu and Kashmir affairs from New Delhi There is enough for Indian leaders to take leads, if not from the person of Farooq Abdullah, atleast from what he so vocally said on the floor of Lok Sabha on 26th August. No doubt it is a hard reality that Farooq Abdullah is the tallest pro-India and pro-accession leader that JK has this day.
I would quote some valued links from what Dr. Farooq Abdullah pleaded in Lok Sabha: “Today, I am surprised that nobody has talked about Kashmir under Pakistan occupation which they call Azad Kashmir, nobody talked about Northern Areas of Gilgit Baltistan and Skardu, nobody talked about the territory Pakistan gave away to China,” “it was the time to tell Pakistan “in one voice that it should return to us the part of Kashmir it has occupied and given away to China”. “Kashmir has not acceded to India by force… It chose to become a part of India belonging to Gandhi and Nehru,” ” Jammu and Kashmir had not joined the Indian Union due to threat of bullets or any other force , but the decision was swayed by the principles of Mahatama Gandhi and then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru” if Kashmir has to remain an integral part of India “you will have to open your hearts to us”. .”But today, I regret that when we open our hearts to you, you don’t even recognise us”. Every corner of our heart has India written over it. ” Hindhustan is in our hearts and there is no machine available today that can open our hearts and show that our sentiments are with Hindustan” “When we brought the autonomy resolution, I thought we will join hearts. But you let me down,” “Vajpayee told me he had not even read the autonomy. I pleaded before him to read it as it is all well within the ambit of the constitution,” “You have to win the hearts of Kashmiris…People who have laid down their lives don’t want jobs or money. They want justice,” “Dil Pe Raj Karna Hai Zameen Pe Nahin”. ” Most Kashmiries want to find a solution to the problems within India…not in Pakistan, China or America. We want Jammu and Kashmir of Raja Hari Singh”. ” Those in Kashmir demanding Azadi have not realised the consequences of such a demand ….”
Dr Farooq Abdullah did not end there itself , he even shed the appeasement policy that politicians these days carry towards the media men when he dared to opine that the role of media in the Kashmir Valley was disappointing and some newspapers published from Srinagar were adding fuel to the fire; and pleaded to the journalists sitting in media galleries to be objective and report facts from the Kashmir Valley.
Next day Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani reacted so quickly by challenging Farooq Abeullah to walk in Lal Chowk for just five minutes and suggested New Delhi for holding referendum in case what Farooq has said is to be believed. The reactions from leaders like Chairperson of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yaseen Malik could be no different. I see what Geelani has said not a challenge to Farooq Abdullah but a challenge to Man Mohan Singh and his government. But what impact Dr. Farooq could create on the Indian Parliament has still not come worth quoting here.
Last I had made some suggestions to Dr Farooq on 15th Dec, 2007 as regards NC’s AUTONOMY / Autonomy Resolution of JK Assembly. No “response” did come. Benefits of Autonomy within Indian Constitution need be spelled to those who oppose it .In case National Conference feels that Autonomy Resolution of J and K Assembly (2000) can bring some peace and prosperity to the people of J and K, let him carry the contents of the Autonomy also for discussions at the grass root levels in all the three regions of the State. Let there be Niabat level seminars if not Panchayat level. Otherwise only thing that would be inferred would be that National Conference simply wants to use the slogans of Autonomy to lure the innocent common masses of Kashmir Valley not for common good but for simply fleecing them for securing power reigns. Open objections from Jammu and Ladakh Regions for return to some thing like pre 1953 position are raised and many people from these regions even want total integration into Indian Constitution ( even abrogation of article 370). Such living controversies are surely not in the larger interest of the people of J and K. Otherwise one day J and K State will have to be reorganised under its own Constitution into smaller units.
Government of India too needs to spell out very clearly the objections it has to the 2000 Autonomy Resolution of JK Assembly.
All these years the political leadership in J and K has not suffered that much ( they have both personal security and power cover for them) but common man has badly suffered. (The author is a social activist and leading columnist on J and K Affairs).

Filed under: Jammu blog

JAMMU V/S KASHMIR – THE REALITY SHOW

By Dushyant Choudhary <drdushyant2004@yahoo.co.in>

At last the people of Jammu have woken up to assert their existence and to raise their voice against the domination of ‘separatist Kashmiris ‘ (including mufties, Hurriyats,  and Mujahideens ). This is not a sponsored agitation as is being made out by the agents of separatists .For the  first time in India , it is an agitation by the people , for the people and with the people. It is a reality show on J&K.  watch it and decide yourself.

It is not a fight against muslims , not against genuine Kashmiris , not against Congress, PDP, National Conference  or bjp , it is a fight against 60 years of “anyayas” perpetuated over a peace loving, god fearing people belonging to a martial race which has always shed blood to preserve the integrity of this nation called “Hindustan” hamara that is our INDIA.  It is a fight to the hilt, to expose and get rid of those Pakistan sponsored Kashmiris who want to separate from India and also those who are sitting on the fence to jump to Pakistan at the right moment.

The following facts will make it clear to any sensible, unbiased and secular mind that the Jammu agitation is a  fight for justice , in reality , it is a fight for integrity and freedom of India.

  Jammu Kashmir
Area 26293 skm 15948skm
Contribution to Govt income 75% by way of taxes and  electricy 20% , but not by way of tax  or electr which are  free in the valley for last 60 years
Voters 3059986 (actual figures, this excludes lacs of those who have been denied  voting writes misusing the section 370) ) 2883957 (inflated figures , there are lots of bogus voters)
Assembly seats 37 47
Lok sabha seats  2 3
State cabinet ministers 5 14
Unemployment 70% 30%
Govt Employment 1.2 lacs 3 lacs
Secretariat emloyees 20% 75%
Phe laborers 500K 2100K
Electrification 70 % 99 %
Roads 4571 km 7129 km
Road density/ km 23% 51%
Tourists 80 lacs 4 lacs
Tourism expenditure 10% 85%
Public sector enterprises Nil 3
Agriculture expenditure 30% 70%
Sericulture expenditure 30% 70%
Pet slogan Hindustan zindabad Pakistan zindabad
Favorite flag Tricolor of India Green and white flag of Pakistan
Top priority To protect the borders of independent (azad) India To extract money from Indian central govt by raising bogy of azadi from time to time
Agitations led by People themselves Separatist huriyat and their agents 
Guided by Local By Pakistanis and their agents
Contribution to armed forces of India JAKLI Dogra regiments – guarding the borders of India

Every 4th person who dies at border (60 years) is from Jammu

Boo – boo (jeer) the army contingents placed in shrinagar to protect kashmiris from pakistani extremists.

(Hardly any….. negligible participation in Indian forces)

Contribution to the history of kashmir Mahraja Gulab Singh and his armed forces Commander Zorawer Singh of duggar united entire J&K, extending its frontiers beyond Leh and Ladakh and Aksai Chin, 200 years ago.

(Let a proud nation acknowledge their contribution to these great nation warriors and pay its debts)

Separatists devided Kashmir 60 years ago. – and continue to try to do so today.
The culture of India and heritage of Hindus Meticulously preserved by the people of this region from centuries despite the onslaught of invaders from across the western asia Meticulously destroyed by successive muslim rulers of valley since 1100 AD TILL TODAY
Independence day

Demographic changes

15th August

Accommodated all including Kashmiri Muslims in last 60 years.

14th August

Annihilation Hindus, completed planned ethnic cleansing by throwing out 5lakhs Non-Muslims with their terror tactics .

Political visits To India To Pakistan to confirm their loyalties, to India get the regular ransom for the continued blackmail. 
Occupied

Forest lands

  Bhatindi and Siddara,

Forest land in Batindi along the Jammu Hills overlooking Gandhi Nagar, Jammu occupied by 3000 odd powerful Kashmir families and militants, and converted into a fortressed colony of powerful and mighty from Kashmir.

River bed of Tawi converted in another colony by illegal occupation and colonization as Siddra colony.

Attitude / action

Against terrorism

Fight Harbour, support and contribute
Terrorist attacks Innumerable on temples, civilian targets and army areas during 10 years Nil on civilian targets in valley. All attacks on Indian armed forces, any local deaths only logistic.
Attacks on religion places Many Nil

Call to all Indian:

Now please decide whether you wish to unite for the cause of Jammu and Kashmir, and for India or join agents or a hostile country that has launched a war by proxy against our country.

 

Support for Jammu will no way weaken India’s position on Jammu and Kashmir, but would take India to a position of Strength in the comity of powerful progressive countries rather than Banana Republic timidly submitting to the dictates of terrorist machine.

Filed under: Current Affairs, Hypothesis on Kashmir Solution, Jammu blog, Jammu Emotions

Blooming flowers

Cinerarias bloom in a Jammu Garden

A Gerbera & Cinerarias bloom in a Jammu Garden

Cinerarias bloom in a Jammu Garden

Filed under: Jammu blog

5th Working group report in a way demonstrates regional bias

BY DAYA SAGAR

Report of  the Working  Group headed by Retd Justice S Saghir Ahmad ( constituted by Indian Prime Minister in May 2006 ) that was presented to JK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah  at Jammu on 23 rd December last year demonstrated the confusions that Justice Saghir Ahmed carried. Ofcourse  the WG report does not have much useful text on the subjects that related to Centre State relations . Kashmiri over ground separatists did not participate in any of the working group meeting as well as three Round Table Conferences chaired by Prime Minister. Chief Minister  Omar Abdullah presented the report to Prime Minister on 30 December. Omar Abdullah has still  suggested that Centre should hold dialogue with political parties on the issue of Autonomy and other issues. But  the report has failed to even settle the questions being raised by  mainstream groups like NC, PDP, BJP, JKNPP, BSP, etc. After having spent over two and half years the Chairman of the WG has in a way still  asked the J&K Chief Minister to study the prime referral  issues, work out road maps for the State Assembly and the Government of India  for consideration where ever deemed fit or practicable. In case the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had to do this, then , what was the Working Group doing. This way the process of constituting committees and groups would go on  till when, no one can tell this day.. 5th Working group report has in a way demonstrated that regional bias exists.

The report is full of regional divides. A separate university has been recommended for Ladakh. A Dogri TV Channel  on the lines of Kashir Channel in Kashmir Valley has been recommended for Jammu region. Upgradation of Government College of Engineering Jammu to the level of IIT  has been recommended . Simultaneously upgradation of NIT  Srinagar to the level of IIT has been recommended.

Have not regional considerations influenced Saghir Ahmed decisions concerning J&K? If so, then from Saghir Ahmed report atleast  message should go to Delhi that J&K needs some architecture keeping in view distinct regional needs of J&K. Before 1947 also Maharaja had managed State on similar lines.

Any how the summary of the text of the report as was disclosed through sources did demonstrate the pressures the ruling coalition government in J&K  is facing from the 3 regions of J&K in addition to the separatists.

The report has  made just passing references to  Greater Autonomy of NC, Autonomy Resolution 2000 of J&K Assembly, Self Rule of PDP and  Article 370 .There is nothing new in the report about these subjects. Only thing that could emerge is that National Conference  and PDP could use some passing references  to keep the people of Kashmir Region in illusions as regards future of centre state  relations .In view of the non serious approach of the GOI regarding the questions raised on the accession of J&K with India  or the  talks of some conditional accession, it has to be accepted that for a common man of J&K ( particularly Kashmir  valley ) there is some thing still pending as regards deciding the relations between Indian and Kashmir ( J&K State of Hari Singh ). So, it was only the reference to Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370 that did matter as regards  Kashmir Valley to those in power seat. No objections have been made from the leaders from Kashmir Valley  to the text of the report concerning  subjects like Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370 . Just reference of these subjects  for consideration has been satisfying for the Valley leaders including NC and PDP ( even Congress leaders of Valley ). Where as  even  non conclusive and half references have attracted objections from the leadership belonging to Jammu Region, Ladakh region and Kashmiri migrant Hindu. This shows that the affairs of J&K have regional orientations and Saghir Ahmed working group report too could not escape the divisive shades. Both NC and PDP well know that neither Self Rule nor greater autonomy would be endorsed by New Delhi . But to secure some footing against the separatists  and anti 1947 Accession ideologists they have to keep  accusing  New Delhi for not being FAIR towards “THE KASHMIR”. Those who call J&K a matter of political dispute of extra territorial dimensions  and hold  separatist ideologies negating the 1947 accession of J&K  had no interest in working group agenda and the report. The references on Autonomy / Self Rule / Article 370 have been totally rejected by the leaders from Jammu and Ladakh regions.

Most of the other issues that the Working Group Report has referred  to ( even beyond the scope of terms of reference ) too have only regional implications . Rather the report as it pertains to  some important issues  has gone against  all the aspirations and demands of two regions of J&K ( Jammu and Ladakh regions). So it were the people from Jammu and Ladakh Regions who had some thing to react. It also appeared from the report that the local and economic issues  demanding consideration in J&K  pertained to areas that fell outside Kashmir Valley ( Jammu and Ladakh Regions ). For Kashmir Valley the Kashmiri leaders had to discuss only center state relations and nothing else.

Democratic uniformity subjects like  modifying the term of JK LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY from 6  years to 5 years,(ii) issue of REPRESENTATION/RESERVATION FOR ST,(iii) WOMEN IN ASSEMBLY, (iv) increasing the number of seats in the Legislative ASSEMBLY, (iv)conducting regular elections to democratic bodies including Panchayats and Municipalities where ever due immediately, (v) return of Kashmiri migrants/ the relief / rehabilitation packages/facilitating admission of children of returning migrants in educational and training institutions in Kashmir Valley / providing  security to such families, (vi) payment of relief to Migrants from the militancy affected areas of Jammu Region,(vii) relief/ rehabilitation / local employment  of 1947 refugees from Pakistan who mostly  settled in Jammu region , (viii) implementing the Wadhwa Committee Report, (ix) registration  of properties and payment of claims there of ( along with compensation for the delay over 6 decades)  of POK DPs of 1947,  (xi)compensation to border migrants displaced as a result of conflict at international border/LOC/ Kargil , (xii) alleged under representation in Legislature to Jammu Region  and demand for a fresh Delimitation  by amending 29th Constitutional Amendment ,  (xiii ) undoing the unfair treatment meted to the backward and remote area people of J&K ( Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Bhaderwah, Poonch, Rajouri, Kathua, Udhampur , Kupwara belts ) who  are unfairly represented in the Legislative Assembly in defiance to  the Representation of the People Act 1957 that lays down the parameters for  fair Delimitation of Assembly Seats, (xvi) providing reservation in services / education by State Government  to the residents of areas adjoining international border like those near  LOC, (xvii) references to Gajendragadkar  and Sikri Commissions  and the like issues pertained to the people living in Jammu Region only. These questions have nearly got no favourable recommendations/ deliberations  in the report and have caused irritation to the people more  in the Jammu Region. So one could say that the demands that were more of socio economic nature pertained more to Jammu Region and have not found  acknowledging reference in the WG report. The demand for  Union territory status  from Ladakh has been out rightly negated in the report. Not even recommended for some more deliberations. Report says that  the unity and integrity of the State of Jammu and Kashmir can not be compromised and the Union Territory Status for Ladakh is not recommended. This was also a regional demand and has not found favours even for consideration where as Autonomy has found. Why did not Saghir Ahmed suggest same approach for examining  the Ladakh Union Territory Demand , could be asked.

(*Daya Sagar is a senior  coloumnist on Jammu &Kashmir Affairs, dayasagr45 @yahoo.com )

Filed under: Articles by Daya Sagar, Discriminations with Jammu, Jammu blog, Jammu Emotions

Saghir Ahmed Report would not settle PDP flares what to talk of Seperatists

BY DAYA SAGAR

Five working groups were constituted as decided by Man Mohan Singh in the 2nd multi party Round Table Conference held at Srinagar on 24 and 25 May 2006. Reports of 4 working groups on J&K were presented in the 3rd Round Table Conference with Prime Minister of India Dr Man Mohan Singh in Chair on 24th April 2007 at New Delhi. The First RTC was held on February 25, 2006 .Looking at the requirements of turmoil hit State of J&K the most important of the working groups was the one that included the Center State relations ( Fifth Working Group headed by Rtd Justice Saghir Ahmed with sensitive had on agenda NC’s autonomy, self rule, article 370, issues of refugees and problems of backward areas etc ) . In one of my articles in November 2008 I had stressed the immediate need for the Justice Saghir Ahmed working group to complete its report . At last the much talked pending report of the Working Group headed by Justice S Saghir Ahmad was reportedly presented to JK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at Jammu on 23 rd December last year. On behalf of Saghir Ahmed Mr. Ajit Kumar Secretary of the working group presented the report .Law & Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and the Political Advisor to CM Davider Singh Rana were also present..The WG headed by Justice Saghir Ahmed had last met on September 3, 2007 but could not come up with any report till Dec 2009. In a way this was the only working group that needed priority action keeping in view the J&K affairs as they had shaped after 1990 .This working group had to particularly address to relationship between the Government of J& K and the Government at Delhi ( Union Government ).Kashmiri over ground separatists did not participate in any of the working group meeting as well as the RTC. But still great expectations were there from this Working Group as regards the demands of political parties and individuals who wanted some considerations / resettlements as regards Center State relations (duly holding firmly to the 1947 accession of J & K with Indian dominion ). Although Strengthening Relations Across LoC , Confidence Building Measures across different Segments of Society in J&K, economic development of J&K and ensuring Good Governance too are important but inview of the growing confusions in mind of common man of J&K ( Kashmir Valley in particular ) the terms of reference of the Working Group on Centre State relations matter the most. The report , as presented, is being seen by many as having recommended the Greater Autonomy as proposed by National Conference for Jammu and Kashmir. Some see the Greater Autonomy as return to pre 1953 constitutional position of J&K. Some have seen the report as against interests of Jammu Region and Ladakh Region. But what ever may be the quality of the report , what ever may be reaction of different groups to presentation of the report, one thing is sure that the presentation of the report and reactions to report have brought in some political benefits to goodwill of NC amongst some segments in Kashmir. Valley .Signals have gone that NC has succeeded in securing recommendations in favour of its Greater Autonomy. Where as the contents do not appear to be like that. Does the report carry endorsement of all members of WG, is another question. No any clear recommendations have been made even regarding Autonomy Resolution of JK Assembly / National Conference as well as PDP’s Self Rule. It appears that the “working group” was caught in confusions and a way has been found to just get rid of the noose. So what to talk of successfully working for tackling the over ground separatists , the report would not even pull National Conference out of the sludge. The political WAR of words would continue between NC and PDP. The contents of the Justice Saghir Ahmed report and the manner in which report has been submitted would not do any thing good to settle the confusions . Rather it could be feared that confusions may grow further. The report would not even settle PDP flares , what to talk of separatist flares. Still Govt must make the text of this report ( though not complete ) public in the interest peace in J&K. The prime issues that were before the Working Group could be listed in priority order as ( I ) National Conference party Autonomy Resolution of 1994/ J&K Assembly Resolution on Autonomy of June 2000, (II) JK PDP’s Self Rule Demand, (III) Reorganisation of the State of J&K into State extending over Province of Jammu and that extending over Province of Kashmir, (IV) Union Territory status for Ladakh region and (V) even the voices like home land for Kashmiri Pundits .The other items referred in the report submitted did not have much political implications as regards center state relations.The reference to demands of AUTONOMY has been made in a very vague manner. Rather Justice Saghir report has not been able to even justify what it has been doing for over 42 months at the cost of public exchequer. When would the follow up on recommendations like (i) the question of ‘Autonomy’ and its demand can be examined in the light of the ‘Kashmir Accord’ or in some other manner or on the basis of some other formula as the Prime Minister may deem fit and appropriate so as to restore the ‘Autonomy’ to the extent possible and (ii)the question of appointment of the Governor and dismissal of the popular Government by the Governor may be considered and resolved , is surely a bg question for any wise thinking mind. How funny as per the report no concept paper was provided by JK PDP to Justice Saghi Ahmed on its Self Rule. Mr. M. H. Baig is said to have explained orally the concept of “Self Rule” but its detailed documented aspects were not provided to the Working Group although promised by PDP. The report adds that PDP Self Rule appears to relate to ‘Autonomy’ in a wider context. The report further recommends that PDP proposal requires to be considered by the Central Government if and when approached with documents containing specific proposals of the “Self Rule”. This style of report also confirms that the chapters on 5th Working Group references have been forcedly closed. Strangely the working group could not even obtain the Self Rule Proposals or wait for self rule document from PDP. How could the reference ( even inconclusive ) made regarding Autonomy / Greater Autonomy could serve any workable purpose in the absence of having even examined PDP Self Rule is a question that only Saghir Ahmed can answer. The report would not even settle PDP flares , what to talk of separatist flares. Omar Abdullah is reported to have advised his Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister to go through the recommendations and prepare an action plan in consultation with Central Government for its implementation. What would the Law Minister do under the circumstances would be a big question. As regards Article 370 report has in a way reproduced the text spirit of the article itself and there is nothing in the report to work with. The report has referred to some more issues that are not particularly center state relations / subjects. Here too the report has disposed the issues in a casual manner . Rather it is the technical text of the issues that has been quoted as final recommendation rather than commenting on the genuineness of the demand. TERM OF JK LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ( “Any change in the term of the Assembly will require political consensus among the various political parties in the State” ), REPRESENTATION/RESERVATION FOR ST, WOMEN IN ASSEMBLY ( “the national pattern may be a good guide subject to political consensus” ), INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF ASSEMBLY SEATS ( “since the Constitutional provisions do not allow any change upto the year 2026, the present position may be maintained till then”. Where as the working group should have recommended consideration for Constitutional amendment in case it had found the demand to be genuine ), Relief to refugees from West Pakistan ( “State Government may consider providing relief to the Refugees from West Pakistan as permissible under the Constitution. Otherwise an alternative package providing cash relief as one-time settlement be considered” ) and UNDER REPRESENTATION OF JAMMU Region in Legislative Assembly ( “since there is Constitutional constraint to make any changes till the year 2026, as a new Delimitation Commission can be set up only thereafter, the present position may continue”. Inference that can be drawn from such like recommendation is that though undue treatment has been given to areas falling in Jammu region by earlier delimitation commissions , let the ill treatment continue for another min 21 years. In case the Group Chairman did feel that farflung areas of Doda, Udhampur, Rajouri, Kupwara, Kathua need more MLAs the Group could have recommended amendment to 29th Constitutional amendment so that a new Delimitation Commission could be appointed to make the correction). No doubt the working group has made very clear observations as regards. Ladakh Region. The report has said that the Union Territory Status for Ladakh is not recommended but has recommended a separate university for Ladakh for consideration. (Daya Sagar is a social activist and a columnist on Kashmir affairs) Feed back at: dayasagr@yahoo.co.uk

Filed under: Jammu blog

VOICE OF SILENCE

Prof. Virender Gupta

President, Jammu State Morcha

Silence also has a voice. It is the voice of the common masses. But it is unfortunate that the people at the helm of the affairs generally ignore this and give more importance to those who beat the drums, cry loudly and violently about the issues concerning them or create nuisance and violate all the constitutional norms. It is also painful that in a democratic system which India has, the political class gives priority to those who can benefit it in the elections and create favourable political equations, even at the cost of the national interests.

Mrs. Indira Gandhi listened to this Voice of Silence while dealing with the Punjab Problem and separatist movement of Khalistan. The majority of the people of Punjabi were against the Khalistan movement and wanted peace & normalcy; though on certain occasions large section of Sikh community got alienated because of some wrong decisions on sensitive matters. Listening to this silent voice and facing the terrorism boldly and with all means at the states command saved the Punjabi people and integrity of the country.

In the sixties there was an agitation in Tamil Nadu against the domination of north and against the imposition of Hindi on them. The Dravidian parties wanted to overthrow this domination of north on them and asked for the liberation of Tamil Nadu. The common masses of Tamil Nadu who were one with the nation in fighting against the British imperialism were against the separatist movement, though they wanted their equitable share in the Indian polity and were concerned about their cultural and political identity. Those at the helm of the affairs understood the pulse of the common people and showed political maturity in tackling the problem. At present there is no political party or group that is pursuing any separatist agenda in Tamil Nadu state.

With the same maturity and farsightedness most of the problems of the north east part of the country were solved. The country did not break. Identities of the various communities and their political aspirations were recognized and the Assam State was re-organized and was divided into seven states with each state having its own assembly, enjoying the political, administrative powers under the Indian constitution. Similarly all over the world Great Statesman listened to this Silent Voice of the masses in taking decisions affecting the world as it is today.

In Jammu & Kashmir the majority is silent; it is watching the recent developments with shock and surprise as those at the helm of affairs are listening to those who were either in power for last about sixty years and responsible for the present state of affairs or those who have vitiated the peaceful atmosphere of the state by supporting the secessionism, indulged in terrorism and working on the behest of the foreign forces to destabilize the state and the country. Both of these elements coming out with their own propositions asking for Azadi, Kashmiri Sovereignty (Greater Autonomy) and the so called Self Rule under the control of not one but two masters, India and Pakistan. The Government of India is holding parleys and negotiations with these elements to find the solution. Would the Government of India listen to the silent voice of the majority which wants the Constitution of India to prevail and J&K continues to remain as an integral part of the country?

Kashmir Valley constitutes about 50% of the state population and it has and area of about 16000 Sq. Km which is about 16% of J&K state area, excluding the area which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. Vast majority of the Valley population is either least concerned or confused about the exercise of negotiations by the Government of India. People in general, even those shouting the slogans of Azadi, do not understand the meanings and implications of Azadi, Self Rule or Greater Autonomy. They are being emotionally sensitized and lured by false promises and assurances. As per the population scenario of the Valley there are about 25% Shia  Muslims,  about 20% Gujjars and 5% Kashmiri Pandits and other minorities ( substantial population of these has migrated from the Valley after 1990 with a majority settling in Jammu region). The Sunni Muslims (excluding Gujjars) constitute rest of the population (about 50%). Leaders of this community have enjoyed power since accession of J&K State and dominated the state polity. They are mostly responsible for the present turmoil and alienation of the Kashmiri Muslims from the national mainstream. More or less a section of this community (which is only about 25 % of the J&K state population) is waging a war against the national integrity and support secessionism in the Valley.  It is very clear that the vast silent majority of J&K State is not engaged in secessionist activities & does not support the Self Rule or Greater Autonomy. In fact, it wants to remain as a part of India and enjoy the fruits of Indian democracy that is based on the principles of humanity, social justice and secularism.

The participation of the people in the last held parliamentary and assembly elections exhibits the peoples’ faith in Indian democracy and their earnest desire  to come out of the situation that was prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir State for the last about two decades. They ignored the boycott calls of the pro- Azadi and pro- Pakistan elements in spite of the threats from the militants. Their participation in the elections should not be misunderstood, as being claimed by National Conference and the People Democratic Party; as a support for the Greater Autonomy or Self Rule. The People voted for the individuals whom they thought as capable of serving them and delivering the goods and also to the parties which had prospective and capability to come to power. The masses in general thought of their own benefit in the power struggle & voted for the people who could better their living conditions. Otherwise, they would have voted for Sajjad Lone or other leaders who had the support of the separatist elements and the militant groups. The victory of National Conference in Jammu province, particularly in the assembly constituency like Vijaypur cannot be considered as a vote from Jammu region for the demand of Greater Autonomy as is being portrayed by the National Conference.

Therefore the Government of India should be mindful of these facts and should not yield to any pressure, internal or external and compromise on the national integrity and national interests. The exceptional autonomy enjoyed by the Jammu and Kashmir state has culminated to the present situation and grant of any further autonomy or the so called self rule to the state would have dangerous consequences and implications. The present turmoil in the state is not because of the so called erosion of the article 370 but it is because of Autonomy granted under the article 370 and also because of the bad governance provided by the successive governments which directly or indirectly also encouraged and supported the secessionist elements in the valley. Passing of Resettlement Bill and Greater Autonomy Bills by the National Conference Government; the role of so called main stream parties like NC and PDP during Shri Amarnath Yatra last year; the on & off anti-India provocative statements of the leaders of these parties and also some times of Congress leaders of Kashmir; clearly reflect the mindset of the Kashmiri leadership, that is responsible for the present situation. The indecisive policy, wrong decisions at the crucial moments which lacked farsightedness by the Central Govt. also contributed to the present situation.

It is, therefore imperative that the voice of the silent majority of the J&K State must be heard. The opinion of the people of Jammu & Ladakh regions and the other Nationalists elements, which always stood for the cause of the country, even at the cost of their own interests; needs to be given due importance. Their aspirations and interests have to be watched and given priority over the separatist elements. The leadership of the country has to distinguish between nationalist elements and the secessionist forces. This nationalism has to be protected and promoted at all cost, if secessionism and anti –India forces are to be defeated in Jammu and Kashmir State.

Filed under: Articles by Prof Virender Gupta, Hypothesis on Kashmir Solution, Jammu blog, Trifurcation

Jammu and Kashmir – A Political Solution

BY PROF. VIRENDER GUPTA

Apart from tackling terrorism and enforcing defeat on the secessionist forces the issue involved in J&K is also a political and as such a political solution has to found to end the present turmoil. But, before that the Government of India and the political leadership of the country have to look into the causes those led to the present situation. They have to take note of the blunders and the follies committed by the Centre that is responsible for the failure to bring the Kashmiri into the national mainstream and to rectify those mistakes. The mistakes were: imposing Kashmiri rule on the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions without seeking their consent, there by subjecting them to Kashmiri domination and discrimination, not reorganizing the state by dividing it into three independent political units on the basis of cultural, linguistic and geographical identities as was done in the rest of the country after independence, taking the issue of J&K to the United Nation, granting autonomy to the state under article 370 thus giving space to raise doubts about the integration of state with India and indirectly accepting the Two Nation Theory, and following appeasement policy towards the Kashmiri Muslims as a part of vote bank policy.

The Kashmiri leadership mind set wants at present to get Azadi and form an independent Islamic State, outside the preview of the Indian State and Indian Constitution. The proposal of Self Rule of People Democratic Party which is the replica of Mushraf’s formula is deceptive and basically is inconformity with Abdul Shah Geelani demand of making whole of Jammu & Kashmir as part of Pakistan. By demanding the Greater Autonomy, National Conference wants the withdrawal of Indian Constitution though agreeing to keep the State under the territorial jurisdiction of Indian State, for the time being. Unfortunate part is that they want Ladakh and Jammu regions be dragged along the path proposed by them against their wishes and aspirations. Can India afford to agree to any form of the solutions being proposed? Would any of the solutions save the integrity of the country and keep Jammu & Kashmir as a part of the Indian State with democratic and secular traditions? Can any of the solutions guarantee that peace would be restored in Jammu & Kashmir and in the Indian sub- continent and the separatist and fundamentalist forces acting in the Valley and in the country on the behest of Pakistan would end the insurgency and the so called Jehad

The Government of India should take lesson from the past and rectify the mistakes at the earliest without wasting any further time. Govt. of India must forcefully stakes its claim on the Pakistan occupied territory of Jammu & Kashmir and adopt offensive policy in the world fora for its vacation. The policy of unduly pampering, patronizing and favouring only one section of the population of  Kashmir Valley at the cost of other Kashmir based communities and Jammu and Ladakh regions needs to be changed as this policy instead of bringing Kashmiri people in the national mainstream provided an opportunity to the political mafias operating in the valley to exploit the situation for their own benefit and further distance the people from the national mainstream. The so called alienation of the people of Kashmir Valley is because of this political mafia that created a wall between them and the centre and blamed the Government of India for all their misdeeds. The voice of Gujjars, Shias, Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and other minorities which are or were part of the Valley must be heard and given due weight age. The aspirations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions should be fulfilled and discrimination against them, political, economic and administrative must end. The issues pertaining to refugees and displaced persons of 1947, 1965 and 1971 both from POK and West Pakistan be addressed and be resolved as per their satisfaction.

The policy adopted by the Government of India to create states for the development of the people while safe guarding and promoting their culture and identities be also applied in Jammu and Kashmir.The demand of the time is to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir State and divide it into four political units with Jammu region and Kashmir constituting separate states, granting Ladakh a union territory status and carving out a piece of land from Kashmir Valley for the settlement of Kashmiri Pandits and other minorities which is also to be administered by the centre. Then the wishes of the people of these politically independent units be ascertained and provided a political structure and compensations as per their wishes within the Indian constitution. The political leadership and those at the helm of the affairs must realize that people of Jammu and Kashmir do not have single culture and one identity of Kashmiriat as being propagated by the Kashmiri leaders time and again. In the Kashmir Valley itself which constitute merely 15% area of the state   there are Gujjars, Kashmiri Pandits and Panjabi speaking ethnic groups which constitute more than 30% of the Valley population. Jammu region and Ladakh region have distinct cultural, historic, linguistic and identities different from each other and that of the Valley.

Giving extra importance to Kashmiri leaders and the separatists groups operating in the Valley and finding the solution that suits them would be a suicidal for the integrity of the country. Such a solution would be resisted by the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions and other nationalists in the state and in the rest of the country. Instead of going for such a solution it would be better to hold referendum with each province/region forming a unit to seek the opinion on the solutions under the considerations of the Indian Government. The opinions of the POK migrants, Kashmiri Pandits and of the West Pakistan refugees have also to be ascertained on the issues.

Filed under: Articles by Prof Virender Gupta, Hypothesis on Kashmir Solution, Jammu blog

Jammu countryside in pictures

Pictures by Mahesh Sharma

The Jammu country side is just beautiful, see for yourself…

HPIM6065

HPIM6135bHPIM7236b

March 2009 047bTemple

Filed under: Jammu blog

Government should come with a white paper on sanction of Central University for J&K

BY DAYA SAGAR

Senior NC leader Ajay Sadotra has been quoted as having  said that  no decision for the site  of  the Central University in J&K has been taken yet  and no team from MHRD has visited J&K for selection of land. J&K State Cabinet also  resolved on 31st July  to approach GOI  for sanctioning two Central Universities for the two regions. May be GOI agrees for two Universities but still  the need is to remove the misunderstandings  like shifting the University to Kashmir that was sanctioned  for Jammu .The inter regional divides amongst the YOUTH of J&K must be checked. Rather Omar Abdullah, the youthful CM , must come out with a white paper on the actual status on  (i) the proposals and sanctions already issued for Central University  for Jammu & Kashmir  and (ii ) the reasons  for setting up the temporary  office of the Vice Chancellor of Central University at Srinagar. Let Kashmir Region too get the Institutions that are needed there but Government should not become party to any regional competition ( with bitterness} between the people as regards demands.

Those who claim that a Central University was sanctioned for locating in Jammu Region and land was selected in Samba  area ( district) must  too immediately come out with any documentary evidence that they have. The Divisional Commissioner Jammu has been quoted earlier by media as having denied this.

The student community of Jammu region  is very much disturbed and is on the roads. Their protests are genuine. The youth of Jammu region has  always demonstrated  courage and concernedness for securing their future when ever some discrimination / neglect  has been sensed by them or has been disclosed to them . They have even  sacrificed  academics and worked for the objectives for which  local leaders of Jammu should have otherwise  worked. Elders must ensure that the valuable period of career building is not used for non academic purposes. Over the years the political leadership has not much worked for the ultimate cause. May it be development, employment, education or tourism.

As regard setting up Central University in J and K  daily some statements and disclosures are being made by the leaders including those from within the present Government and those who have remained in the Government   on the issue of setting up Central University . To check the confusions and distrust growing  Government should come with a white paper on  sanction of Central University for J&K so that the issues could be targeted to a solution and the youth in particular is saved from divisive ideologies.

It was during the first quarter of 2008  that Ghulam Nabi Azad discussed the issues regarding Central University, IIM,  Tribal University and like with the HRD and other ministries. The leadership from Jammu should have held the threads right from that time instead of raising the issue much after   even when The Voce Chancellor of the Central university started operating from his office in Srinagar. Rather , if serious,  the  leadership should immediately come out shedding all political reservations to impress upon the Government that the backward and distanced areas of Jammu Region do need  a Tribal University, IIM , IIT ( IIIT )  and a Central University . Udhampur, Doda , Poonch / Rajouri Districts have genuine claims.

Regional divides have grown over the years between Jammu Region and Kashmir Region. The political leadership has  rather more actively taken part in  broadening the gulf  after 1995. Some one may say it after   1990 but I shall not agree since at time local leaders were too weak to prepare  a strong political working ground in J&K. The Militants and anti India insurgents had in 1990  materially and psychologically over powered the main stream leadership of J&K. I would rather say , the leadership of Kashmir Valley, since it was only Kashmiri leaders who were till then more recognized by New Delhi to represent J&K.

After 1995 political fields were prepared under the security cover and  with moral & economic support from New Delhi. But still under the circumstances the  Kashmir based leaders had ( were rather compelled } to behave more Kashmir specific . Valley specific social, economic and administrative issues  appeared better tools to the political leaders in Kashmir Valley to gain some grounds over separatist forces and growing pressures of separatist ideology. 29th Constitutional amendment bill of 2002 was a step in this direction .Sanction of 4 new districts in 2006 for   Kashmir Valley as against just one recommended by Wazir Commission (1984) too was one such action .

Kashmir Hindu had totally deserted the Kashmir Valley under the pressures of the pro Pakistan / anti Hindu  elements in 1990. Migrants appeared having lost hopes of return to  Valley . Since after 1990 over 98 % of  local population in Valley comprised of muslims  any questions raised by people or parties  for the cause of Jammu  was named by some leaders from Valley  as even anti Muslim. Inter regional issues  between Jammu & Kashmir hence were given  some communal face lift as well by some leaders. Very less has been done to check it.

At the same time the political  competition for votes  grew  more in Kashmir valley amongst  NC, PDP, Congress , others. Kashmiri leaderships  looked for some new fields and strategies to expand their  base out side Kashmir valley on regular basis. The Kashmir centric leadership had for over  50 years totally neglected  far flung / distant /backward / poorly connected areas of Jammu region as regards education, employment, industry, local crafts  , agriculture, horticulture and services .They started using the religious brotherhood tools in  Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and adjoining areas. They sensed   some soft targets in the muslim majority areas of Jammu region. The people of poor backward areas of Jammu region  were too innocent and simple to know  level of neglect . No doubt the leadership in Jammu Region was more near to centers of information and power  was based in  Jammu district and they too did not move out near to areas Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, etc. Masses from Poonch/ Rajouri/ Doda  who were otherwise the worst sufferers  did not go with the protests / projects to undo the  neglect of Jammu Region. So in general when ever some major neglect was pointed out against Jammu region it was given the colour of protests by Hindu majority areas .Any how some  local politicians did reap benefits on the side lines. The Shri Amarnath Yatra land agitation of June 2008  and half hearted delimitation commission demands could be quoted in this regard.

But it  would be unfair to  only blame the Kashmiri leadership. The leaders from Jammu too have not lagged behind to cultivate their  “ own crops” in the fields of the common man of Jammu region. They have at occasion raised some issues on regional basis in the name of discrimination. But firstly their agitation were half hearted and after obtaining some political mileage for their self or their  parties they  left the issues half way. It was during the NDA Government times that upgradation of Jammu Medical College Hospital to the level of a Hospital as of AIMS was sanctioned. Shushma Swaraj laid the foundation stone of the Hospital in the CDS Hospital Complex GMC Jammu.  During the same period 6 Regional Centers of AIMS were also sanctioned by GOI. Sh. Lal Singh Ji was Health Minister of J&K and Sh Chaman Lal Jee was MOS in NDA Government. Earlier Mr. APJ Kalam,  had suggested  during AIMS Convocation that AIMS like super specialist health services need be taken near to  atleast suburban areas if not rural areas. Sushma Swaraj  , the then Union Health Minister announced at the  same venue that Union Government had decided to established 6 Regional Centers of AIMS in different States. She did not name the states. Immediately after this was made known through media  suggestions were made that J&K Government should stake claims for one the Regional Centers  of AIMS. I had even called on Lal Singh Jee through one of my coloumns that without  any prejudice to people of Kashmir Region  JK Government could  demand a Regional AIMS Center instead of upgradation of Jammu Medical College Hospital .Upgraded hospital  had only one time grant where as for a Regional AIMS center  the expenditure would be born by GOI on recurring basis. The Regional Center of AIMS  could be located any where in Udhampur or Doda Districts of J&K in line with the suggestion of then President. Kashmir already had SKIMS and more over the connectivity and nearness level in Kashmir region was much better than that in areas like Doda or Udhampur Districts . But no heed was paid nor any sound case was prepared and agitated by other Jammu leaders. Sh. Lal Singh Jee and Sh Chaman Lal jee would correct me in case they had contested for obtaining REGIONAL  Center of  AIMS as against a simple upgradation of the hospital but could not muster that much scope.  It is now nearly  6 years since Sushma laid the foundation stone of  the AIMS like Hospital ( not an Institution like AIMS) but what to talk of Regional Center of AIMS  even the  hospital is no where in sight ( simple  bricks and cements  can not treat patients }. Even the existing CT Scan facility and Dialysis  facility is not so readily available in the  GMC where as the so called understaffed private centers are rarely non functional. It was  during the times of Gulam Nabi Azad that work could pick some pace and that too after  Kashmiri leaders succeeded in getting  grant from GOI for upgradation of a hospital also in Kashmir. It has to be appreciated that Kashmiri leaders have  more firm concern  for their region.

The tourism of Jammu region  has  remained most neglected . It is not that Jammu region tourism potential has been neglected only after 1947, it was not given due attention even during the days of Maharaja. One would argue that in Maharaja’s times no sufficient money was available to develop new  road network and new tourist resorts. But after independence  funds should not have been problem. For name sake all talked of Bhaderwah as mini Kashmir but no one could find the name of Bhaderwah and Kishtwar saffron in J&K tourism promotion literature. It would be wrong to accuse a Kashmiri for this. Rather the leaders from Jammu region have rarely come up with forceful proposals and demands for development of tourism potential of Jammu Region. It was  again only after Ghulam Nabi Azad who had to contest from Bhaderwah that  some measurable work has started around Bhaderwah, but infrastructure around it ( including even road to Sanasar ) is still neglected.

*( Daya Sagar is social activist and leading scribe on Kashmir affairs    dayasagr@yahoo.co.uk)

Filed under: Articles by Daya Sagar, Central Universities in India, Current Affairs, Discriminations with Jammu, Jammu blog, Jammu Emotions