Separate State for Jammu

Col J P Singh
Kashmir has been an issue of international interference since partition. We have heard political big-bigs in Kashmir and Delhi blaming each-other for the Kashmir issue. After the revocation of Article 370 last year, political murmuring over Kashmir has gone too far. Alarm bells are ringing ever since the Home Minister Amit Shah declared that the ‘Gupkar Gang’ is trying to invite foreign powers to interfere in Kashmir affairs. Similar was the row when Farooq and Mehbooba threw their lot with the Islamic fundamentalists and the jihadi elements who collaborated to carry out ethnic cleansing in the Valley 30 years ago akin to the partition outpouring. Mehbooba says that the Indian flag would only be allowed in Kashmir when ‘we get our own flag back’. Farooq Abdullah went on to invite China to restore Art 370 and both raised it in Jammu also in aggressive pitch trying to make it ‘One Voice’ of ‘Hate India’. Amazingly, Congress, without understanding the consequences of such move, joined the separatist gang. Amit Shah had no option but to question Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, “do you support Gupkar Gang, to demand the external help for restoration of the Article 370”. He stated that Congress and ‘Gupkar Gang’ want to take J&K back to the era of terror and turmoil and they want to take away rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere. The Gupkar Gang also insults India’s Tricolour. Soon after these remarks, in one coincidence/ 4 JeM terrorists were gunned down on the national highway with large quantity of weapons and ammunition heading for the valley allegedly to carry out Pulwama type terror attack. Seeing the seriousness of such threats from within and across the border, PM held a high level security review meeting which indicates that Kashmir is still a nation’s Achilles’-heel. All this rigmarole must be understood by Dogras of Jammu and taken seriously. United Voice and separatist agenda needs to be demolished for the good of the nation and J&K and more importantly for Jammu. Since abrogation of Art 370 and bifurcation has not served the purpose, new alternatives need to discovered to resolve the serious issue. What comes to my mind as layman is given below for the readership’s concerns.
J&K, as we know, was bifurcated and downgraded on 5th August 2019. Trifurcation of J&K, with Ladakh as Union Territory (UT) as a strategic necessity was generally understood. I saw three things happening during Modi 2.0 to address K-imbroglio. (i) Revocation of discriminatory Article 35 A, (ii) Ladakh as UT; both by a Presidential order. (iii) Nullification of Article 370, later through a sympathetic elected State Assembly/govt. But sudden suspension of Shri Amarnath Yatra, followed by security forces build was confusing. And then the social media aired trifurcation of J&K with Ladakh and Kashmir as UTs and Jammu a separate State. That brightened Jammu’s hopes. Being a proponent of separation of Jammu, I wishfully trusted media. What happened was bifurcation and down gradation. This wasn’t seen even in the wildest dreams. Bifurcation left Kashmir nonplussed and Jammu amazed. Pakistan and China were also taken aback. They threatened India and rushed to UNSC to vent their anger. Hence at the face of it, the bifurcation did not meet neither Jammu nor Kashmir’s aspirations. It rather complicated it, brought in China and internationalised J&K. While India was grappling with deadly Wuhan Virus, PLA ingressed in Ladakh creating a war like situation supposedly because of re-organization of J&K. That however has been aptly hailed by Delhi.
In reorganization, Jammu was kept with Kashmir. That kept the balance of power with majority Kashmir but that too doesn’t address Kashmir problem. Gupkar Gang continues threatening Delhi as mentioned above. Jammu stands where it was; sulking.
Well done so far as abrogation of 370 & 35 A are concerned. They violated equality, endorsed gender discrimination, promoted hatred and jeopardized security. Kashmiriyat undermined other regional and ethnic identities and endorsed that Kashmiris were superior to Christians, Sikhs, Punjabis, Jains and Dogras. Jammu hatred is visible because of; (i) ruthless suppression of 1952-53 Jammu agitation, (ii) hate Jammu mentality prompting Sheikh Abdullah, while addressing public meeting at R S Pura in 1952, to angrily retort, “take two and half districts and part-with”. (iii) framing J&K Constitution ensuring political domination over Jammu forever. (iv) land reforms against Jammu farming community. (v) just about 10% Jammu employees in the Secretariat and about 20 % in the rest of the govt jobs, (vi) ‘Greater Autonomy’ and ‘Self Rule’ mentality and its unilateral pursuit. Hate India, hate Jammu has to change, if India has to maintain its credibility as a social, secular and democratic republic that guarantees identity, liberty, equality and security to its citizens.
Coming to global murmuring over Kashmir, first the militancy and then the separatism must end there. For that balance of power must be maintained justly. One way is to make Southern Kashmir, where militancy is thriving, a UT and name it ‘Srinagar UT’ and the rest as Jammu & Kashmir separate States. That will break the so called united voice for global indulgence and reduce majority domination over minority allaying Jammu’s fears. Reversal to J&K Statehood will not be to Jammu’s liking because of majority-minority syndrome. Jammu can be a separate state as it existed under the then Raja Gulab Singh. Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pehalgam, world known tourist places with an International Airport at Srinagar, can be a centrally controlled UT. Since the Gupkar Gang is born in Srinagar, its separation will dilute their agenda. And once Srinagar develops like Switzerland/Vancouver encompassing Hollywood and Bollywood film world and business hubs as envisioned by the Modi, it will be a world class tourist centre. Advantages of such re-organisation:- (i) United voice of separatism will be weakened. (ii) end of militancy since the perpetually disturbed areas will be detached and centrally administered. (iii) flux of global tourists will make it so prosperous and happy that the very idea of separatism and militancy will vanish, (iv) meets demand of displaced Pandits as protected Homeland. (v) Secularism will flourish and newly elected Vice President of US Kamala Harris will look at human rights issues differently.
Under the circumstances, Jammu needs the focus lest it crumbles under Gupkar Gangs foot prints. Manipulative and coercive forces emerging from Kashmir and demographic invasion coming from all the directions after new land laws is bound to vanish Jammu identity. Time for Jammu to stand on its own and retain its identity.
Reorganisation as I put across, with South Kashmir as ‘Srinagar UT’, may justly restore the political power and undo the indignities of past seven decades. While separate Kashmir and Jammu States are in public mind, the proposed alternative, which I am sharing, is expected to catch public imagination. Someone will pick up a thread from it to stitch a new map of J&K by which everlasting peace comes in Kashmir. I reiterate it, even at the cost of contradictions, that ultimate solution to J&K imbroglio lies in its division, not only of land-mass but the voice of hatred as well. Therefore Jammu has a great responsibility to shoulder at this important moment of history. It is to keep the Kashmiri Conglomerate (Gupkar Gang) far away for Jammu. Time is ideal to express their rejection in DDC election. Jammu should show a ‘red card’ to this hate India gang by voting against them.