WRESTLING since the past 65 years with various kinds of caste, local and political problems, the people of Jammu & Kashmir are a sorrowful lot. Problems arising due to Partition of the country since the past 63 years have only multiplied further instead of being solved.
The state’s complete incorporation into India, the dubious Article 370, the issue of citizenship for lakhs of Pakistanis who entered the state since India’s Partition, the rehabilitation of refugees who have been victims of the past three to four wars, hijacking of the local rights of Jammu and Ladakh, poverty in Ladakh as a curse, terrorism in the entire state, return of the Pandit community who have been rendered homeless and inter-religious problems continue to remain unsolved. On the one hand, the national flag is unfurled on every Independence Day in the country, the rite of burning this flag at Lal Chowk in the state capital, Srinagar, is carried out year after year.
In reality most of the problems that the country is facing on account of Partition have had a large impact on Jammu & Kashmir state. While the other states in the country are marching ahead in growth and development through state reorganisation, Jammu & Kashmir has not been included in this move. As a result, all the problems in the state have become more and more serious. No amendment or solution has been found to bring Jammu & Kashmir state on par with the other Indian states. As a result, the desire for secession from the country has taken a dangerous turn and terrorism has reared its ugly head to crush which the government has been forced to spend crores of rupees and deploy the services of the Army.
Furthermore, despite the completion of six decades, a question mark hangs on the constitutional identity of the state. What could be a greater misfortune for the state that the leaders of the country have to proclaim every now and then, “Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India.” It is through this announcement that the world feels that something is seriously wrong somewhere. It is an interesting yet shocking state of affairs that despite such announcements, the rulers of the country keep on harping that the state is an unquestionable part of India. Is it not an irony that the Indian Constitution has not yet become fully operable in Jammu & Kashmir state?
In this state, the Indians are not granted freedom of becoming Kashmiri citizens or to buy any property, or vote, of take up a government job and now the situation is so volatile that Indians cannot move around without support of security in the state. The author points out that the Hindus who came from Pakistan to settle down in Kashmir in 1947 have not been given any land while those who had gone and settled in Pakistan often return to Kashmir to sell their property they hold in Kashmir and go back to Pakistan.
The book talks of the glorious past of the state, incidents from the lives of leading national personalities, hidden facts about the state’s historical past, how India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru committed a serious blunder of taking the Kashmir issue to the UN, the role played by Guruji (MS Golwalkar) in persuading Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir to agree to join the Indian Union and the sacrifice made by Dr Syama Prasad Mookherjee and many RSS workers to save Kashmir from the clutches of Pakistani infiltrators.
This is quite a comprehensive study of the past and present situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
(Surya Bharati Prakashan, 2596 Nai Sarak, Delhi-110006.)