It’s unfortunate that the parties like the Congress have been hiding the truth and not telling the nation that Jammu and Ladakh are 100% normal and that these parties are trying to create a false narrative that Kashmir means the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Vested interests in Kashmir and votaries of Article 35A and Article 370 and unity and integrity of the unnatural State of Jammu and Kashmir in and outside India, including Pakistan, have unleashed a no-holds-barred propaganda blitz to tarnish the image of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Home Minister, Amit Shah. They have been using all kinds of invectives and epithets against them. So much so, they have been comparing Prime Minister Modi with Hitler of Germany and using filthy language against Amit Shah.
The whole objective of these vested interests and votaries of Article 370, Article 35A and unity and integrity of the state, which came into being by a quirk of history in March 1846, has been to mislead the Indian public opinion and tell the international community that the situation prevailing in the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been extremely bad following the August 5, 2019 Union Government’s “arbitrary and unilateral” decision to amend Article 370, scrap Article 370, do away with the state’s special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories – UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh. Another objective of theirs is to create an impression that the Narendra Modi Government has no respect for federal polity and that its whole approach towards the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been communal or it is anti-Muslim.
Is the situation in the whole of Jammu and Kashmir State, which will be divided into two UTs on the birthday of Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel, on October 31, really bad?
The upshot of their whole vilification campaign against Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah has been that they have imposed virtually wartime restrictions on the people of the state. Internet and mobile services have been suspended and there are restrictions on the people’s movements, they have been claiming. They have also been claiming that the people are not being allowed to do their normal activities, that the schools have been shut and that the media has been gagged. So much so, they have been claiming that the people have not been able to avail the healthcare facilities due to the imposition of restrictions. But more than that, these vested interests in Kashmir and outside Kashmir have been trying their level best to create an impression that the whole of State has been adversely impacted by what they call the “undemocratic decisions” of the Union Government and that the whole of State has been suffering from what they call “complete lockdown”.
The worst aspect of the whole situation has been that the parties like the Congress, the CPI-M, the CPI, the NCP, the TMC, the SP, the DMK and the JDS, which claim that they are the mainstream parties, have been the part of this ongoing misinformation and vilification campaign. Congress is at the forefront. Its political behavior has been mind-boggling. It has become impossible to distinguish between what the Congress leaders have been saying and what the Pakistani leaders, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, have been emphasizing. They are speaking almost in the same language. And, it is very unfortunate. How else should one describe the use of the Congress’ controversial statements, coupled with a wild and unsubstantiated allegation, by the Pakistani Prime Minister, Pakistani Foreign Office, Pakistani media and who not at Islamabad?
Is the situation in the whole of Jammu and Kashmir State, which will be divided into two UTs on the birthday of Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel, on October 31, really bad? Only the elements hostile to India will say that. The truth is that Kashmir doesn’t constitute the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The State consists of three geographically, historically, ethnically, linguistically, culturally and economically distinct regions – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Kashmir is just a dot on the political map of India. The total land area of India is 3,287,263 square kilometers. As for the land area of Kashmir, which became part of the Dogra Kingdom in March 1846 under the Treaty of Amritsar, signed between Raja of Jammu Gulab Singh and British Government, it is just 15,953 square kilometers. Kashmir region is also a tiny part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This can be seen from the fact that while the total land area of Ladakh is 59,146 square kilometers (58.3%) and that of Jammu’s 26,293 square kilometers (25.93%), the total area of Kashmir is just 15.73%. In other words, the provinces of Jammu and Ladakh constitute 84.27% of the state’s land area.
The situation in the whole of the state is more than peaceful could be seen from the fact that the Army, the CRPF and the J&K police have not fired a single bullet after August 5, 2019, some very unusual.
Jammu and Ladakh have been peaceful. People in both these provinces are doing their normal activities. There is no complaint from anybody against the powers-that-be in the state and at the center. Hardly anybody in these two regions has complained against the suspension of internet services. On the contrary, they have welcomed this restriction. They share the official view that restoration of internet service will only help Pakistan and other anti-India forces foment anti-India troubles in the Kashmir Valley, the hotbed of break-India activities. The truth is that they have been celebrating August 5 as a day of thanksgiving and a day of deliverance. It would also not be out of place to mention here that the government offices are functioning across the state; that schools have been opened; and that the Government has not imposed curfew in any part of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The short point is that schools, colleges, markets, hospitals and government and private offices are all 100% functional. The situation in Kashmir is also no different. The people are coming out of their houses in large numbers. Vehicles are plying as before. Schools are also opened. Government and private healthcare centers are fully functional. The Kashmiris have also been opening their shops twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Yes, it’s true that some main markets in Srinagar and other major towns in Kashmir remain shut. But it’s not because of the official restrictions but because of fear of terrorists. That the situation in the whole of the state is more than peaceful could be seen from the fact that the Army, the CRPF and the J&K police have not fired a single bullet after August 5, 2019, some very unusual.
It’s unfortunate that the parties like the Congress have been hiding the truth and not telling the nation that Jammu and Ladakh are 100% normal and that these parties are trying to create a false narrative that Kashmir means the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s heartening to note that our Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the ground situation in the state and told leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad that “balance has to be maintained between liberty and national security”.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.