ER P L KHUSHU
Ameer Khusro, a Great Poet of our Country had said a couplet in Persian, which was later, after two centuries, repeated by Emperor Jahangir about Kashmir, when Jahangir saw beauty of Kashmir. It was ‘Agar Firdaus Bar Roo-E Zameen Ast, Hameen Ast-O Hameen Ast-O Hameen Ast’. Its English translation means that, ‘If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this’, which has direct reference to ‘Kashmir and its abounding natural and unparalleled beauty. Is it caged today by giving it a status of a Union Territory? What a misfortune? Who is responsible?Tracing back the history and Journey of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, we get reminded of the happenings of the past and in this context, when it will be necessary to recall how the undivided State of Jammu and Kashmir was created. The State of Jammu and Kashmir came into being on March 9, 1846, with the signing of the Treaty of Amritsar by Maharaja Gulab Singh with the British. This multi-regional, multi-cultural and multi-religious state continued until 26th October 1947, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India. The half of the state was lost when ceasefire agreement was signed with Pakistan which came into effect on January 1st, 1949. This left the huge area of Gilgit-Baltistan and western Muzaffarabad-Mirpur strip under Pakistan control, involving roughly half the geographical area of the original State and a third of its population getting bifurcated from this state. History is witness to the fact that the original State of Jammu and Kashmir covering 84,000 square miles, one of the largest princely State in British India, was in fact a Dogra empire built up at great efforts and sacrifices by Maharaja Gulab Singh and Maharaja Ranbir Singh, who extended the frontiers of India to the very borders of Tibet and Central Asia. This state was ruled for about 100 years by the Dogras and then for about 70 years by Kashmiris. Should such a historic legacy of J&K be treated like an auxiliary territory, when once upon a time it was a big empire?History was written a fresh for the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, when the State of Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist and transitioned into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, amid tight security arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir divisions.The new UTs of J&K and Ladakh formally came into existence 86 days after Parliament abrogated special status of the State under Article 370 and passed J & K Re-organization Act. The Home Ministry in a notification issued at midnight of 31st October, 2019, replaced the State of Jammu and Kashmir, with the ‘Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir’ and announced omission of ‘permanent residents’ or hereditary state subjects. Jammu and Kashmir functioned as a State since past several years and had long history of special status in the form of Articles 370 and 35-A, besides permit system in the beginning and status of Sadr-e-Riyasat and the Prime Minister in place of the Governor and Chief Minister, which gradually ended. Abrogation of Articles 370, 35A and the like was a constitutional requirement and a strategic political stimulus to ensure that Jammu & Kashmir becomes a democratic state, like any other state of India, with zero inkling of reservation or special status, as was being misused and erroneously applied to it. But did this historical entity, which was once a princely state deserved to be shrunken to the status of a union territory. This part of the reorganization process of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, by converting it into the status of an union territory is a bitter gift to it, which deserves to be rectified, in the interest of its historical and strategic background.This ended the royalty of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, being a composite unit of varied cultures, of course at the cost of the deprivation of cognizable rights of the people of Jammu and Ladakh divisions, by the privileged politicians of Kashmir division. Ladakh managed an escape, though quite painful from the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, yet, Jammu and its people continue to be deprived of its rights and privileges, in regard to its appropriate development and good economic growth, which is still in jeopardy for Jammu people. Jammu is thus paying through its nose for the defaults and arrogance of others, (reference here is to Kashmir division). If by any default the Emperor Jahangir takes a birth again and tries to locate his paradise Kashmir, he may use a different couplet to describe today’s Kashmir, calling it a lost and wailing paradise, defaced and ruined by its own people. He might say, ‘Is Ghar Ko Aag Lagi Ghar Ke Chirag Se’. Probably this gregarious state of Jammu & Kashmir, might not have seen its shrunken size as a union Territory had the people of this paradise Kashmir worshiped it as a symbol of tranquility of peace and Gods sent boon to them, for maintaining its status of a Paradise ( Janat), and seek salvation and penance under its slumberous and serene shades and ecstatic currents and sober waves. Alas we the Kashmiri’s could not retain it. After reorganization of Jammu & Kashmir a strategic Indian pride worth its international name and fame, as also a famous foreign and domestic tourist’s destination, loses its gregarious pride of being a full state and becomes a Union Territory.Well the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A, was the need of the hour, for a full merger of Jammu & Kashmir, with the rest of India, which was a long pending issue when such provisions in the Constitution, were dubiously being misused and misquoted by the chronic dynastic rulers of Jammu and Kashmir for their vote bank politics, to create an atmosphere of political uncertainty about Jammu & Kashmir. So was the case with the pan Islamic secessionist elements in Kashmir with the help of their mentors across the border, who would harp on the issue that Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory, when some of them would ask for ‘Azadi’, the Independence, while others the chronic one’s would directly ask for its merger with Pakistan. All these comicalities were not only absurd but also laughable apart from being wishful aspirations based on international conspiracies and incitements, particularly from Pakistan with its handful of fundamentalist loyalist’s supports around some lean sections of world. Pakistan has still not learnt the lessons from the three or more wars it fought with India over Kashmir. The rogue policies of Pakistan by waging proxy wars against India, by constantly sending its trained terrorist to Kashmir to disturb the peace in Kashmir and thus kill the innocent people for their aimless attempts to keep the issue of so called Kashmir problem boiling are still going on. On the face of it the Abrogation of Article 370 and the like was thus a requirement of time to tell Pakistan that Kashmir is not only an integral part of India , but also it is India in its totality, with no riders and ifs and buts. Same is the case with some political parties of Kashmir, with secessionists bent up mind, who since 1953, tried to create a political hallow that Kashmir’s do not want to be with India and are seeking Independence, which was fathered by a political cum regional party known as plebiscite front some time in 1953. The tall leaders of this party finally got lured by the fascination of power and position, when one of its tall and imminent leaders ultimately accepted the governance of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1975 and started ruling the state with the other members of his party. It was done by him after roaming in oblivion and detention for more than 20 years, thus wasting the most valuable twenty years of the innocent people of Kashmir. It did not end here only. Subsequent to the rule of this party, which turned into a dynasty ruler ship, terrorism took birth in Kashmir because of the inept governance of this dynastic party, which ate and chewed the growth of Jammu & Kashmir on all fronts. Unfortunate to quote here that Jammu and its people suffered and continue to suffer for Kashmir imbroglio, for no fault of theirs.Ultimately the die was cast and J&K becomes an Union Territory, a status it never deserved to be punished with. It is a known paradox and a fact too, that Kashmir was never allowed to be in peace, whatever the reasons, which are more or less aimless and non achievable. Yet the perpetrators of violence and terror across the border will never allow peace to be predominant and prevalent in Kashmir which is their manifesto of governance. India is still on defensive for their peevish actions and childish behaviors as a country, when their own economy is in jeopardy and peril, as they have no other developmental activity as a nation to perform for the welfare of their own people, except for harping on Kashmir.The question arises as to who is paying a heavy price for the problems of Kashmir which are the self created problems of some of the elements in Kashmir. It is Jammu and its people, who have tolerably sustained it so far, in the interest of the nation as a whole. But now enough is enough. Since 1947 they suffered due to the apathies of ruling clan from Kashmir. Now they are made citizens of Union Territory, without any say in the matters of governance and issues of development for Jammu, when such issues are suffering almost for the last fifty years.Union Home Minister is on record to have said that statehood will be given to Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir “at an appropriate time” when the Lok Sabha passed the J-K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. He has said that the development of Jammu and Kashmir is the top priority of the central government. Without any prejudice to the statement of the Home Minister, is the development visible anywhere, particularly in Jammu? Lauding abrogation of Article 370, it is said that ‘decentralization and devolution of power’ have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019. Who is using these decentralized and devolutioned powers for development? It is the bureaucracy which is ruling the roost. Democratic forums represented by the people like legislative assembly are nonexistent. May be Kashmir is a big bottleneck in this regard for better development due to terrorism. In that case what is the fault of Jammu and its people? Where are the developmental schemes visible in Jammu which can be lauded as good developmental schemes? During the recent unfortunate onslaught of COVID-19, pandemic what was the position of the hospitals and other medical facilities in Jammu which might have improved now due to the personal efforts of Lt Governor? The conditions were pathetic and weepy.Jammu has always been discriminated in all respects of its development. By an approximate estimation the region of Jammu got only 30 percent share in the administrative set up of the state, when Kashmir got about 70 percent representation in such services. At the level of the civil secretariat manning the whole administration of the state, hardly 30 to 40 percent officers of the levels of secretaries and below could find a place, when the rest would come from Kashmir only. So was the case with the cabinet ministers. The major chunk of ministries were given to the legislators from Kashmir division, on the plea that Kashmir division has more population and thus deserved more share in the ministerial cabinet. The cabinet births allocated to the Jammu legislators were allotted port folios of lesser importance. A glaring example of discrimination in this behalf can be cited by referring to the Kashmir Administrative Service. This elite administrative service ranking second after IAS was given the name as KAS, ignoring Jammu completely through its nomenclature itself. It shows the apathy towards Jammu.The same attitude of discrimination was adopted in all the development sectors like the road sector, irrigation facility sector, urban and rural electrification sector, power generation sectors, education sector both technical and non technical, public health sectors, medical services sectors, agriculture and horticulture sectors, housing and urban development sector,etc. Regional imbalances in all these sectors are still visible between Kashmir and Jammu, if a true and an honest study is made in this regard.The apportionment of funds received from the government of India for development schemes and projects were the sole legacies and priorities of the Kashmir alone, with a brazen neglect of Jammu in this behalf. Same has been the case with the tourism sector. Jammu has a tremendous potential for tourism development and has abundant charming tourist’s spots which could be exploited for the development of the tourism sector in Jammu. Just a max factor was added to Jammu in this regard like Patnitop tourist spot, when huge funds under central government schemes for tourism were utilized only in Kashmir. There are numerous such portraits of discriminations against Jammu and its people, when all such incidents cannot be mentioned here for want of space. A famous axiom of law, justice is not only to be done, but justice should appear to have been done. Similarly where is the development in Jammu being done, as is being claimed? It should appear to be done on ground.Should still the people of Jammu remain calm and continue to suffer. Probably they will not. Let the ruling political powers in Delhi feel the pulse of the people of Jammu now and rectify all previous acts of hypocritical discriminations against them and ensure that Jammu is declared a separate full-fledged state and the union territory tag removed from it. This is the right time to do so, as Jammu & Kashmir cannot remain as a perpetual union territory and today or tomorrow its statehood stature has to be restored in any case. In that case Jammu will probably refuse to be a part of the Jammu & Kashmir state for obvious reasons of discrimination, which Jammu has been facing so for. Once bitten twice shy. Why shouldn’t Jammu be a separate state and suffer for the problems of Kashmir, which can be geo – political and strategically loaded with other security considerations?(The author of this article is a chartered consultant civil engineer, who loves his mother land the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir)
Ladakh reports 33 new Covid cases
Anti-inflammation drug may effectively treat COVID-19 complications in children: Study
Apple previews new software for iPhone, other gadgets
World No Tobacco Day : Quit smoking to lead a healthy life
Gold down Rs 123, silver falls Rs 206
Rupee inches 7 paise higher to 74.35 against US dollar in early trade
Rupee slips 4 paise to 74.44 against US dollar in early trade
President inaugurates SBI’s first branch within Rashtrapati Bhavan
Sebi consent not mandatory for compounding of offences under section 24A of Act: SC
Download 10Cric Casino app, and enjoy Indias most popular casino games, directly on your mobile!
Gamble with real money online! Play Indias favourite casino games at 7Jackpots.com, Indias most trusted online casino site.
© 2020 State Times Daily Newspaper | Powered by Ideogram Technology Solutions [P] Ltd.