An Appeal to the Prime Minister

Brig Anil Gupta
The hue and cry created by the Kashmiri leadership is not at all justifiable when there has been no provocation except the request made by the Attorney General to the Honourable Supreme Court to refer to a Constitutional Bench the case regarding Article 35A. No sensible person will consider it a provocation but the Kashmiri leaders behaved in a manner as if the direction for abrogation of the controversial article has already been given by the honourable Supreme Court. The lead was taken by none other than the Chief Minister of J&K who in a very provocative manner threatened that if the said article is tampered with “there will be no one to give shoulder to the Tri-Colour (meaning the national flag) in Kashmir. Was it a warning to the Central Government or a veiled threat to the nationalists in the Valley? The mind rushed back to the NIT row in Srinagar that had erupted soon after Mehbooba had assumed the reins of Government. Recall the brutal ‘lathi charge’ by the JK Police on patriotic bunch of students who were proudly marching with ‘Tiranga’ in their hands. Was it all pre-planned to teach them a lesson?  But the undying spirit of those brave patriotic students and their respect for the Tiranga motivated them to not to give up even after the Tricolour was snatched from them. Mehbooba, it appears has forgotten the strength of Tiranga or she has been blinded by her love for the so-called ‘special status’?
The argument that it is only the special status accorded to Jammu & Kashmir by the Constitution of India that allows the mainstream political parties to hold their flock together and face the challenge posed by the separatists and other hard core elements operating in the Valley does not hold much water. To my mind it is only an alibi to black mail the Central Government and other nationalist forces who believe in Jammu & Kashmir being an integral part of India and oppose the narrative of ‘only accession and no merger’ with the Union of India. These leaders conveniently forget or tend to ignore the circumstances that forced the Union to accord them a special status, albeit temporarily.  The Constitution of India states this in unambiguous terms. The repeated reference to the Muslim majority status of the state and that special status has been granted to safe guard their distinct culture and identity (implying Kashmiri culture) is far from the truth and unsupported by any constitutional provision. The fact is that Kashmir occupies only 15 percent of the land area of the state and balance 85 percent constitutes the Jammu & Ladakh region. It is a fact that Muslims constitute 67% of the population. But it is also a fact that Kashmiri Muslims are only 30 % of the state’s population who claim to be distinct and want their identity to be preserved. Can the minority, harbouring anti-India feelings and entertaining illusion of Azadi, ignore the wishes of the majority and clamour for special status against the wishes of those who harbour the idea of “One India”? There is sizeable Muslim population in the Jammu and Ladakh regions but there are no anti-India processions or pro-freedom sloganeering. However, the way Kashmiri leaders speak and address the media gives an impression that the entire Muslim population of the state is up in arms against India. The recent “Nautanki” done by these power brokers who have mastered the art of “agitational politics” when GST regime was to be introduced in the state adds strength to my argument.
I am also aghast to hear oft-repeated statements like “We decided to only accede to India and not merge.” “We rejected the two nation theory.” Who are “we”? They not only mislead those who are ignorant of history but also try to score a brownie by appearing to have done favour to the Indian nation. As per Indian Independence Act 1947, the suzerainty of princely states was restored to the ruling Rajas and Maharajas on 01 August 1947. They and only they enjoyed the authority of deciding the future of their respective states by deciding between joining either of the two dominions of India or Pakistan. The subjects had no choice and no role to play in this decision. In case of J&K also the same procedure was followed and the Maharaja took the decision to join the Dominion of India, which on 01 January 1950 became the Union of India. So where is the scope for “we”? The Maharaja took the decision and all subjects Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Buddhists had to accept it. For the Maharaja all the subjects were equal and he never sought any special statusfor any particular set of his subjects. Such blatant misrepresentation of history is done only by the power brokers to guard their own fiefdoms which they have created under the garb of special status. They seek special status to strengthen the monolith identity of Kashmir which they have manipulated through coercion and forcible exodus of the Kashmiri Pandit community and other minorities.
Dear Prime Minister, the tallest politician of Kashmir who once entertained the idea of occupying the highest constitutional post of the country and whose son was a minister in the cabinet of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost no time in blaming the RSS-BJP combine of implementing their agenda of changing the demography of Kashmir. Hearing these words from the leader of a party (National Conference) that has been propagating the politics of exclusion ever since its inception not only shocked me but also motivated me to expose his dual-face. His party right from the days of his father has been following a pan-Islamic agenda and promoting ‘majoritarianism’, ruthlessly pushing aside the interests and rights of the minorities and promoting communal politics in the state. He masterminded the demographic invasion of Jammu region and set in process large scale migration from north of PirPanjal and invited illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in form of Bangladeshis and Rohangiyas duly aided and abetted by the administration and the same agenda was pursued  by his son when he became the state’s Chief Minister.They were not only assisted in grabbing the forest land but also provided soft loans. The illegal immigrants were assisted in obtaining ration cards, driving licences, water and electricity connections, voter identity cards and in some cases Permanent Resident certificates (PRC).
They draw sadistic pleasure in opposing or putting a spoke in any issue or proposal benefitting the minorities.  But when it comes to Kashmir, Abdullah and his cronies, immediately raise the bogey of ‘cultural invasion’ and rouse the sentiments of the locals to make it Kashmiri versus non-Kashmiri issue. When cornered with facts, they lose no time in playing the ‘victim’ card despite the fact that they enjoy monopoly in state’s administration and other organs of the state.They enjoy not only patronage and support of the separatist cum terrorist nexus but also benefit from the nuisance factor mastered by the later.They do not hesitate to use the gun wielding terrorists to intimidate their opponents and the minorities. Frankly speaking they allbelong to same flock but wear different masks to befool the government of India for seeking packages which are unaccountable and mostly find place in their huge pockets. Irrespective of their leanings they all unite when it comes to protecting the special status because they are the sole beneficiary of that. They also have a quid pro quo arrangement and come to each other’s assistance/rescue when needed.The local media plays to their tunes for obvious reasons.
Pradhan Mantri Ji, I have given you the genesis of their thought process and modus operandi to bring to your notice their real intention behind creating this hullabaloo and making an issue when none existed. As a military officer I was taught a principle of war, “Selection and Maintenance of Aim.” It basically implied not to lose focus of the selected mission despite enemy trying the best to distract you through various means. The main intention of these leaders is to force you to divert your focus from the strategy unleashed by you to restore normalcy in Kashmir.
The separatist-terrorist nexus is feeling the heat of your strategy. To save their skins they have invoked the quid pro quo with the so called mainstream politicians. It is all pre-planned. They all have united to put pressure on your Government to go slow as far as the CICT operations and the NIA investigations are concerned. Threats of mass-uprising are part of the same ploy. My request to you Mr Prime Minister is to not to lose the focus and carry on relentlessly to finish the menace of separatist-terrorist nexus from J&K and fulfil the promise made to the nation.
(The author is a Jammu based political commentator, columnist, security and strategic analyst. He can be contacted at


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