The Prime Minister and the Home Minister would do well to see through the game plan of those mischievous planting stories and defeat the conspirators busy in hatching conspiracies to negate all the good work done by them in the state after June 18, 2019.
Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh came into being on October 31, 2019. It was a historic day as such a change in the political status of Jammu & Kashmir was a national requirement and need of the time. National requirement and need of the time because the changed political status enabled the Union Government to run the administration in the state. It, in effect, helped the Union Government bring under its control the Home, Law, Revenue, Finance and similar other vital departments we well as the office of the Advocate General, the chief law officer in the state.
The people of Ladakh, barring a few disgruntled elements in Muslim-majority Kargil, welcomed the change in the political status of their region.
These were the departments and the office which the protagonists of Pakistan, greater autonomy, self-rule, Indo-Pak joint control over Jammu & Kashmir within the establishment and outside used as tools to promote separatism and weaken the Indian position in the terror-infested state. These were also the departments which these vested interests used to stab the people of Jammu and Ladakh from the back, bleed and ignore them and change the demography of these two strategic regions. Not just this, these elements used these departments to appease, please, pamper and develop Kashmir and do certain things which were against the territorial integrity of the country. So much so, they would bar the army, paramilitaries and police to conduct anti-terror operations in the manner it should have been to eliminate terrorists. It was no wonder then that the successive Kashmir-dominated governments in the state treated the anti-state actors like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, to mention only a few, like VIPs. As a result, the situation deteriorated in the state to the extent that the Narendra Modi Government had to act on June 19, 2019. That day, the BJP withdrew its support to the Mehbooba Mufti’s coalition government and it fell the same day.
The people of Ladakh, barring a few disgruntled elements in Muslim-majority Kargil, welcomed the change in the political status of their region. It was only natural as it was their age-old demand. They had been demanding separation from Kashmir ever since 1948, saying that they had nothing in common with Kashmir and that their battle-cry and watchword were full integration into India. So much so, they had favoured the merger of Ladakh with Jammu and Himachal Pradesh. The people of Jammu, barring a handful, too welcomed the change in the political status of the state for reasons referred to above. They too had been demanding separation from Kashmir since 1947 on the grounds on which the people of Ladakh demanded separation from Kashmir. The people of Jammu celebrated the change in the political status of the state, notwithstanding the fact that Jammu was not separated from Kashmir. The reasons were obvious and one of the reasons was that they came under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government. The change increased their level of confidence.
However, there were, and are, elements in Kashmir and the Parivar, including BJP national general secretary, in-charge Jammu & Kashmir, who have been again and again suggesting that the UT of Jammu & Kashmir be given the status of a full-fledged state. One can understand the intentions of those in Kashmir, including National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and Congress activists, who have been demanding restoration of the status of statehood. They all want a regime that helps them recreate pre-2019 situation in Jammu & Kashmir. But one fails to comprehend why some in the Parivar has been raking up this issue at regular intervals. They need to review their stand taking into consideration the disturbing history of the state post-1947.
History of Jammu & Kashmir post-1947 was one of separation, communalism of extreme form, deceit, blackmail, loot and plunder, destruction of Jammu and Ladakh, expulsion of about 5 lakhs Hindus, Dogras of Jammu and Sikhs from Kashmir, miserable plight of the Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan, second class status of Jammu & Kashmir daughters, bitter inter-regional relations and division of Jammu and Ladakh on communal basis. It is hardly necessary to further explain this fact as everything is in the public domain. Suffice it to say that PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah took cognizance of what happened in Jammu & Kashmir or what the Kashmiri leaders did in Jammu & Kashmir after October 1947 and thy removed from the Indian statute book divisive Article 370 and discriminatory Article 35A to undo the past wrongs. They brought the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir at par with other states of the Union. The need of the time is to consolidate the gains, and not to negate what the Narendra Modi Government meticulously and boldly did to break the backbone of separatists and half-separatists in Jammu & Kashmir and promote mainstream politics in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Union Home Ministry took no time to tell the nation that the Government of India had no plan to apply Article 371 to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
Earlier, some vested interests had sought to create confusion by planting stories that the Narendra Modi Government had planned to de-link Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts from Jammu province and merge them with Kashmir’s militant-infested 100% Muslim Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian districts to create third division in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. The Union Home Ministry, the MoS in PMO Jitendra Singh and the Jammu & Kashmir BJP took no time to clear the confusion by stating that there was no such proposal. They described it as the brain-child of vested interests as well as misinformation campaign. Similarly, the Union Home Ministry took no time to tell the nation that the Government of India had no plan to apply Article 371 to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. In other words, it overruled the possibility of any political concession to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Reports had appeared in a section of media, both print and electronic, that the Government of India was toying with the idea of applying Article 371 to Jammu & Kashmir.
There are potent reasons to believe that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister would take more steps in the days to come to undo several other wrongs and establish a system that compensates the people of Jammu province for the socio-economic and political losses they suffered for 71 years at the hands of Kashmir’s ruling elite; that treats Jammu and Valley equally at all levels; and that caters to the needs of the internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus, Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Jammu & Kashmir. They would also do well to see through the game plan of those mischievous planting stories and defeat the conspirators busy in hatching conspiracies to negate all the good work done by them in the state after June 18, 2019.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.