Four-way split of J&K is the only viable solution

Karan Singh, in conversation with Francois Gautier agrees that J&K is an artificially constructed entity

Quoting Dr. Karan Singh, the author makes a nuanced argument
Quoting Dr. Karan Singh, the author makes a nuanced argument

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]enior Congress leader and former Sadar-e-Riyasat Karan Singh agrees with the suggestion that Jammu & Kashmir is essentially an artificially-constructed entity. He tells renowned author Francois Gautier that “It (Jammu & Kashmir) is the exact replica of what was Tito’s Yugoslavia before it was broken in parts, or the Austrian empire, which was an amalgam of different States. All empires are artificial. Look at the one Alexander created, or Ashoka’s empire, or Charlemagne’s… Often, they are also governed by non-local rulers. Even my family was non-Kashmiri”.

…Jammu & Kashmir came into being by a quirk of history in March 1846 and there is nothing whatever that is common between the three regions of the state.

To make his point clear, Karan Singh said: “By treaty, conquest, or inter-marriages, they created a State comprised five major units, which are fundamentally very different from each other in terms of geography and ethnicity. The territory around Gilgit, which belongs basically to Central Asia; Ladakh, which is an extension of Tibet; what is today under Pakistan’s control around Muzaffarabad, which is Punjabi Muslim; Jammu, which in essence belongs to Himachal Pradesh; and finally the Valley of Kashmir, of course, which is Indian Muslim at 95 per cent and also belongs to the Kashmir Pandits before they had to flee”.

As for the internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus, Karan Singh tells Francois Gautier that the miniscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus never tried to capture political power in the Valley. “They were only the babus, the secretaries, the teachers; there might have been some exploitation, but on the whole they lived peacefully with the Muslims,” he said.

Karan Singh is right when suggests that Jammu & Kashmir is essentially an artificial-constructed entity. Indeed, Jammu & Kashmir came into being by a quirk of history in March 1846 and there is nothing whatever that is common between the three regions of the state. Had the Lahore Kingdom not suffered a defeat at the hands of the British imperialists, there would not have been the March 9, 1846 Treaty of Lahore between the victorious British and the defeated Sikhs. Similarly, had there been no Treaty of Lahore there would have been no Treaty of Amritsar on March 16, 1846 between the British and Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu under which Kashmir became part of the Dogra Kingdom of Jammu. And had there been no Treaty of Amritsar there would not have been any Kashmir problem. By Kashmir problem, this scribe means a serious sectarian problem in the Valley – problem created by the protagonists of the pernicious two-nation concept and those who have been at the helm in the state since October 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh exercised his constitutional authority and linked the fate of the state with India.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]K[/dropcap]aran Singh also hits the nail on the head when he says that the hard-line Sunnis of Pakistan have been playing mischief with a view to vitiating the socio-religious and political environment in Kashmir, but he refuses to acknowledge that they have succeeded in their game plan to an extent. “Kashmir has always been inclusive of all religions… Vashnavism was born there, Sufism flourished there, the hard-line Sunnis of Pakistan have tried to change all this, I don’t think they have succeeded, as today the Kashmiri Muslim is still more tolerant than his Saudi or Pakistani brother”.

Indeed, the reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir is a national requirement and exigency of the time.

It is difficult to appreciate the formulation that “Kashmiri Muslim (belonging to a particular religious sect–Sunni) is still more tolerant than his Saudi or Pakistani brother”, but one can understand his compulsion. After all, he himself claims that he is an “elderly statesman” and everyone knows that statesmen have their own way of expressing things. In the instant case, he, however, hardly minces words when he talks about the “hard-line Sunnis” of Pakistan. The only difference is that he expresses his view in a highly sophisticated manner.

Karan Singh also has a solution for Jammu & Kashmir. He, according to Francois Gautier, said: “Since 1947… Pakistan has fought four wars to regain Indian Kashmir, five, if you include the proxy war they are waging on us today. In my opinion, I don’t think they will ever succeed. The only solution is a European type of Union in the sub-continent. Look at France and Germany. They fought three wars over two centuries; France even fought a 100 years war with England and they are still bickering at each other over the European Union, or the Euro! We only have been at it for 60 years. A Europe-style union is a logical thing today. We could have a single rupee in South Asia, no borders, free trade… And a united Jammu & Kashmir”. Earlier, Karan Singh had suggested merger of Jammu with Himachal Pradesh, but he didn’t work for it.

The solution as he puts forth is not workable. India and Pakistan are not Germany and France. Nor are India and Pakistan England and France. India believes and practices an ideology Pakistan hates and Pakistan advocates an ideology that is regressive, exclusivist and sectarian. Karan Singh would do well to rethink taking into consideration the irreconcilable contradictions between the two philosophies – Indian liberal and all-accommodating philosophy and Pakistani exclusivist philosophy. The solution to the communal problem in Kashmir lies in the reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir State on regional, as opposed to religious, lines. Since internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus are the original inhabitants of the land of Vitasta and Rishi Kashyap; they too have a say. They need to be given a dispensation that, on the one hand, secures their lives, and, on the other, manage their own affairs themselves in a meaningful manner.

Even otherwise, Jammu & Kashmir cannot be maintained as a single political unit considering the fact that all or nearly all Kashmiri leaders have been describing Pakistan a factor in the Kashmir’s political situation and endorsing “Azadi for their nation” one way or the other. And some of them include Syed Ali Geelani (Tehrik-e-Hurriyat), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Abdul Gani Bhat (APHC), Yasin Malik (JKLF), Shabir Shah (JKDFP), Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah (NC), Ghulam Ahmad Mir and Saif-ud-Din Soz (Congress), Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami (CPI-M) and Syed Salahuddin (Hizbul Mujahideen).

Indeed, the reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir is a national requirement and exigency of the time. If it was not done, the best opportunity for any action in Kashmir would be lost for ever and Jammu and Ladakh would also turn Kashmir. And if it happens, the very unity of India would be at stake.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.


  1. It is the Nehrus and Karan singhs of India that have perpetuated the strife in Regina like Kashmir! KASHMIR IS INDIAN TERRITORY PARTLY OCCUPIED BY PAKIS AND CHINESE! WHEN WE ARE READY, WE WILL TAKE BACK AND EXPELL THE SQUATTERS!

  2. When suggesting that “A Europe-style union is a logical thing today. We could have a single rupee in South Asia, no borders, free trade… And a united Jammu & Kashmir”, Karan Singh is alking nothing short of bull shit, and signalling to the rest of India that he has lost his marbles because of his age.Tragically and shamefully, he forgets that J&K has a legitimate, internationally valid State Constitution and that Section 3 of that very Constitution assers that “The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India. Further, Section 147 of that same Constitution states that no Bill to amend the said Section 3 shll be introduced in either House of the State Legislature. So how can the present J&K, with or without Pak Occupied Kashmir be converted into an image of the European Union? By creating a new Constitution of the State of J&K? And how will the Constitution of India be changed to shame the whole nation by breaking itself into a carbon of Yugoslavia or Austria? Ironically, Karan Singh was the one who, in 1951, issued universal franchise elections in the whole of J&K for the formation of a State ConstituenT Assembly to frame and enact a separate Constitution for J&K. Has then Yuvraj of J&K now become senile and affected by dementia? More importantly, he has forgotten totally that India once comprised 52 Princely States, apart from British India Provinces, whi have remained united democratically despite various differences of religion, language, cultural heritage etc. and demonstrated to the world that India is perhaps the bes example of a nation which exemplifies unity with diversity. In contrast to Karan Singh’s irrationl and naive view on the solution of the K problem, the one suggested by Hari Om is the best viz. reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir. He does not spell out the reorganisation, but it’s long been a demand from the people concerned that Jammu. Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh should be made into Union Territores like Goa and Puduchery. And, accordingly, carry out some of the the measures suggested in the Comments posted by Brahma, Nathan, Shiv and Ramamurthy. As forv getting back POK (which, under Section 5 of the J&K Constitution, is a part of J&K State, that is a matter — the only matter— for discussion between India and Pakistan to finally resolve the K word problem. Should we be willing to give it away for a price which Pak must pay in billions of US $ ? Or should we just snatch what is ours with a humongous version the surgical strike of last September? Comments are welcome on this most vital issue before the nation called Bharat Mata by 1.3 billion people known as Indians by the world.

    • Brilliant,,felt the same way but controlled meself that karan has turned out to be first rate tinpot.Hari Om did well to bring this fact to my attention, otherwise I would have continued high opinion of this man from the past deeds.I think this article has merit.Why not declare 4 states out of J&K – Jammu,Kashmir,Ladak-Aksaichin and Gilgit -Baltistan? Infact bringing in Gilgit -Baltistan, we are putting 2 nations on caution – China as well as Pakistan.Strike off Art.370 which anyway is a private treaty of nehru ready to throw it into dust bin.Make necessary administrative changes ,funding and take the vested interests in K head on.Can readers point out negative consequences that will arise out of my suggestions?

  3. The soldiers and retired soldiers should be allowed to settle along the borfers of Kashmir.The funds alloted by central govt should be clearly marked regionwise. Anti nationals should be arrested and kept in jails situated in South.Army should be empowered to take any action to maintain peace and anti media should be kept away.

  4. Religion,Ethnicity, Power and Corruption are at the core of the problem. While this is more applicable to J & K it is equally applicable to the rest of India.It is common to India as applicable to Malayalees, Tamilians, Telugus, Marathis, Gujaratis, Oriyans, Bengalies, Biharis, Marwaris, Punjabis, UP bhaiya’s etc . Touch your heart and say if each one in India does not think that way.
    Events will change the course,i.e, events instituted/orchestrated by politicians. And events accompanied by the overhanging global financial problems will exacerbate these problems. We have troubled times ahead.

  5. I don’t think J&K is an easy issue to solve.Actually the issue is K .They are influenced by the international brotherhood of islam and on our side from nehru times onwards we have been devious and crooked in handling the affair.When we took over J&K from Hari singh knowing very well that the K is dominated by international brotherhood, we either should have given them an option of going paki way or if they choose to merge with us, our way.That would have addressed the issue correctly from the beginning.Instead we became part of the machinations,took over with the consent of ruler and immediately went about messing up the issue.Nehru did blunders after blunders on this issue and we the nation is still trying to find a way out after 70 years.Karan singh is part of the problem and his thoughts can be listened to but nothing constructive will emerge out of it.We need to rethink on this issue.Since K cannot cut off, how do we manage K?Obviously art.370 has to go, restrictive laws and supposedly K parliament will have to go, separate flag has to go,pampering of K with excessive funds have to go.We know Hindus can live with any other religion and even in majority we will not convert,coerce but desert religions when in majority finds it difficult to live in peace with anyone other than their way.There in lies the rub.Kashmiri pundits are perfect examples of intolerant attitude .


  6. No , it may the start other problems. The “demography ” in Kahmir has changed drastically after 1947, courtesy unpragmatic approach of the Nehru Govt and the successive govts. Grant of special status ,Article 370, has complicated the matter, not solved as expected. Article 370 should e revoked, J&K should join the main stream of the nation. Allow any Bharatia to settle in J&K, to bring it’s “demography ” to pre 1947 levels.


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