The New Kashmir Initiative
It has been reasonably long period of 2 yrs for the Union Govt to show results on the J&K reforms and initiatives. The J&K reforms were brought on 09 Aug 19 through the much talked J&K Reorganisation act 2019. The Gazette of India was issued that contained XIV sections and 102 paragraphs. The Reorganisation was not only a document but contained the aspirations of the people of the two newly created Union Territories J&K and Laddakh. Now it is going to be 2 yrs, a small period of time though, that many may like to know as to how the reforms are showing effect on the ground. The article will like to review how the reorganisation act has been able to change or rather facilitate the erstwhile state of the J&K. The problems in the erstwhile state had been manifold as mentioned below:-
- The Development of the State was very poor.
- The people of Jammu & Laddakh have been feeling of being ignored in its Development.
- A substantial population of the state who had fled from the PoK, had no citizenship rights.
- The laws passed by the Indian Parliament did not apply to the state unless adopted by J&K assembly.
- No outside agency could acquire land to start a business that could bring employment & prosperity in the state.
- The local J&K constitution had many discriminatory provisions against the women, SC & ST.
- Many sympathisers of Pakistani interest apparently were on their pay-roll but Art 370 protected them.
- Islamic terrorism grew up in the valley duly coordinated supported and controlled by Pakistan.
Jammu Kashmir became the hot bed of Islamic radicalism where some nefarious designs plotted by the Islamists compelled their brethren Hindu Pandits to flee under the fear of life and family honour…and on the hindsight as it looks that plotters were the same on whose shoulders rested their safety. It was no other than Farooq Abdullah Govt who colluded with JKLF to commit the genocide against the Pandits. The Muslims of the Kashmir valley grabbed the properties of the fled-Pandits either for free or at throwaway price. This helped Pakistani designs of their ‘Operation Topaz’ to extend their hold on essentially Muslim Srinagar valley. Beyond the valley also, the Buddhists in Laddakh always felt oppressed in the hands of the Muslim leadership of J&K. On one hand, a substantial revenue came from the tourism but on the other, the huge areas remained undeveloped. The leadership never wanted the Buddists to flourish as religion. Since the ‘so-called temporary provisions of constitutional Art 370’ permitted them to run own agenda, India was unable to have a direct hold. Hence, it was a composite purpose of abrogating this article essentially to prevent the Islamists from furthering the Pak agenda of ‘Op Topaz’…something that were not elaborated at the floor of the Parliament during discussion…but equally important were the Developmental and rights issue for the fruits of development to go to all alike…Muslim, Hindu, Buddhists…original natives as well as the >70-odd years old largely Hindu and the shepherd Muslim migrants from PoK…and surely, economic development will take place only if the private business houses are permitted to come-up after land is made available to them.
Hence, it was essential to take many pre-emptive measures to prevent any untoward happenings in the state of J&K before the reorganisation bill was tabled in the parliament. PDP chief had already cautioned that hands will be burnt whoever touched the article 370 and that the Indian Tricolour will cease to remain in the valley. Hence, there were enough reasons to put all those evil characters behind the bars who threatened the peace. Around those period it became amply evident that all party Hurryat were the recipient of Pakistan money for furthering their agenda…and we Indian paid for their safety and security by putting our security forces in their services. For the first time, the perpetrators of genocide of the Pandits were charged for their crimes. For the first time, the migrants from PoK received the certificate of Indian citizenship and were eligible for govt jobs and employment for all posts at par with the others. Till now, they were entitled for only 4th grade jobs that made them 4th grade citizen.
Congress party of India was at pains as if they wanted the temporary article 370 to remain for ever. Rahul Gandhi committed treachery when he said that Indian security forces were killing the Kashmiri civilians…a total lie…as no shots had been fired in the aftermath of the J&K reorganisation act. For this utterance of him, India was dragged by the Paki Human Rights minister Shireen Mazari to the UNSC. He ought to have apologised the nation for his lies but did not.
Slowly, all precautionary restraints were eased in the valley. Many moderate voices in the valley welcomed the reorganisation. Tourism returned…internet restored…based on the intelligence recommendations, various people under precautionary arrests were released. District Development Council (DDC) elections were organised peacefully in Nov 2020 for the first time after the J&K reorganisation that also mandated ‘Delimitation Process’ for the electoral constituencies after the bifurcation of the state…a process already started in March 2020 by the Election Commission of India. Hence, the recent meeting of the PM Modi with all political leadership of the UT could be seen in the background of all these developments.
It was encouraging that all the political parties invited, attended the meeting. Of course, some rhetoric were sounded on the predicted lines by the ‘Gupkar Gang’. However, in the meeting they did observe some rationale in sounding their views. They all expressed satisfaction that their view points were heard by PM Modi patiently. All of them were keen to hold elections in the UT and restore its statehood… something that Home Minister Amit Shah had indicated in his address in the parliament itself while introducing the state reorganisation bill in 2019. It was a worthy noticing that ‘Gupkar Gang’ was silent on the rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits. Only Mr Gulam Nabi of Congress, who is known to be having opinions different from the party leadership, spoke of it. Spokesperson of Modi govt clarified after the meeting that the first priority is to hold elections after the CEC exercise of Delimitation of Electoral constituencies are completed.
All Indians will hope and pray that the new initiative by the PM brings renewed hope of peaceful political and economic developments in the newly formed UT of J&K…to fulfil the aspirations of all…Hindu & Muslims…men & women…old and young.