The root cause of Kashmir problem
From Virag Pachpore in Nagpur
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh believes that the root cause of the present imbroglio in Jammu & Kashmir is the blatant neglect of Kashmir and Kashmiri people by the rulers in Delhi coupled with the perpetration of four myths by anti-Bharat elements over the years.
Former RSS Jammu & Kashmir Prant Pracharak and special invitee to RSS ABKM, Shri Arun Kumar, who also heads the Jammu-Kashmir Study Centre, said that the problem in Kashmir was further aggravated by distortion of facts and misinformation campaign within J & K and lack of proper information regarding J & K in rest of India. The government machinery, bureaucrats, politicians and now the interlocutors are creating confusion by issuing statements in support of plebiscite, autonomy, referendum, independence etc. At the same time there is a lack of nationalist point of view on J & K.
Shri Kumar was interacting with a selected group of journalists in Nagpur during his visit to the city in connection with a two-day national workshop on Kashmir organised by Jammu Kashmir Study Centre at Reshambagh Smriti Mandir. The two-day national workshop attended by 140 participants from 27 states deliberated on the ongoing crisis in J & K.
The four myths: Shri Arun Kumar said are: myth of dispute, myth of plebiscite, Myth of autonomy and myth of alienation. These myths are accepted by the anti-India forces which want Kashmir to be separated from India over the past six decades.
Explaining the reality about each myth the RSS functionary said that there was no dispute as regards merger of J & K in India. “From all the technical angels, Maharaja Hari Singh had unconditionally signed the Instrument of Accession acceding to dominion of India on October 26, 1947. Under the India Independence Act, Hari Singh was the only designate authority to decide on accession”, Arun Kumar said. But the leadership in Delhi allowed this misinformation and misconception that the merger was conditional. A miniscule Sunni community comprising some 100 influential Kashmiri families also helped them in this endeavour. As a result the situation has gone from bad to worse as the time passed.
The same is the case with myth of plebiscite. At no point of time the Government of India had ever promised the Kashmiri leaders and international community about conducting plebiscite in J & K over the merger issue. Referring to the historic 8-hour speech by Krishna Menon in the United Nations on Kashmir issue Arun Kumar said that even Menon had categorically denied any such commitment on behalf of the GoI.
He said that PoK was not a Pak territory. The Azad J & K (AJK) High Court gave a decision that northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan are not Pakistani territories. The Pak Supreme Court supported the HC saying that they are the areas of J & K. The AJK Supreme Court had given a verdict that Pakistan Supreme Court does not have authority over AJK HC in regard to Sino-Pak treaty by which Pakistan had allowed China to construct roads etc. in Laddakh’s occupied area.
As regards autonomy, Arun Kumar said that the Article 370 does not give autonomy to J&K. In fact, it was the first step initiated to introduce the Constitution of India in J&K and that was a temporary step for extension of Constitution there.
Same is the case with myth of alienation. Arun Kuamr said that of the 1.1 lakh sq km area of J&K the Kashmir Valley occupies only 15,000 sq km and consists of only 15 per cent of the total population of the State. Of the total geographical area 59,000 sq km is in Kaddakh while 27,000 sq km in Jammu region, But the perception had gained ground that Kashmir does not want to stay in India. Far from this when the entire State is taken into consideration there is not even a single demonstration held against India. If the State is considered in its entirety there is overwhelming support for India. In fact, the recent Amarnath agitation, for the first time, changed this perception when over 10 lakh people, all patriotic Indians from all the communities, participated in that agitation.
He said that anti-India agitations are witnessed in Baramullah, Sopore, Srinagar down town, Shopian etc. Rest of the J & K does not see any anti-India demonstration. It is only the Sunni sections within the Kashmiri Muslims who are controlling the facilities in J &K are behind these anti-India demonstrations. Rest of the Muslims do not want to get separated from India. Therefore, J&K Muslims are anti-India is a myth.
There is a necessity to have a country-wide debate on Article 370 which is anti-democracy. Because of this the OBCs, STs are not given reservations in J&K. The Harijans are deprived of their constitutional reservations for the past 60 years. Those refugees who had come from PoK do not have voting right. They can vote for electing Parliament representative but are not allowed to vote to elect Assembly representatives. He said that more in-depth study and scrutiny of Article 370 was expected to have been conducted but it did not happen. Nationalist elements do not visit Kashmir frequently, he added. The members of the Sharir Ahmed Committee had demanded revocation of Article 370, he informed.
The RSS leader proclaimed that the Kashmir problem was created by the rulers in Delhi, nurtured by Delhi and continued by Delhi.