Turmoil in J&K

M LGupta
Jammu and Kashmir state founded by  Gulab Singh, the Raja of Jammu on March 16, 1846 was an unethinic  marriage of three different units  geographically, linguistically and historically.   Hari Singh was the last successor of Gulab Singh having succeeded his uncle Pratap Singh in March 1926.His first two acts were making primary education compulsory and  bringing in of Agriculturist Relief Act thereby  relieving his agriculturist from the clutches of money lenders. The  period witnessed freedom movement in India which also projected similar feelings among Kashmiris having witnessed slavery under successive rule since 1346 A.D. Under  foreigners Shah Mir and his successors, Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and Jammu Dogras . Muslim Conference was founded  in Kashmir valley by Sheikh Abdullah  in 1932. Maharaja Gulab Singh had brought  cheap labour  to Jammu forest belts from famine struck Kashmir valley in 1828 onwards much against the interest of Jammu Labour. In order to safeguard  the interests of the descendent of these Kashmirs Sheikh changed the name of  his party on 28 June 1938   to National Conference on the advice of Kashmir labour leaders namely,  Bakshi  Gulam Mohammad and G.M.Sadiq. After the division of India in August 1947 the newly founded Pakistan out of Muslim majority  areas of India sent tribal raiders  under the command of regular army officers  to invade Kashmir. Tribals were also sent to Jammu region. Forced by these invasion of the State  then King Hari Singh on 26 October 1947 acceded to Indian Union.  The Indian Prime Minister Pt. Nehru a Kashmiri by origin forced the king to hand over administration of the State to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah as Prime Minister. Protected by Nehru, Sheikh took many arbitrary decisions frustrating the king who left the state handing  over  king’s power to his son Karan Singh .Sheikh soon promulgated Land Sealing Act depriving mostly Hindu landlords  both in Jammu and Valley of  their lands and handing the same to these migratory Kashmiri  forest labourers in Jammu region. Thus, the first demographic changes in Jammu region were made this way by the  Sheikh.  While Jammu people were still sulking under these changes Nehru and Sheikh entered into Delhi agreement in 1953 abolishing monarchy in the State. There was a long drawn  agitation  in Jammu region against this  agreement led by Pt. Perm Nath Dogra and his party  Praja Prashad. Frustrated by this agitation, Sheikh in his numerous  speeches had referred kings rule as that  of Jammu Dogras,  as such he despised Jammu people. In Kashmir valley Sheikh’s home region, he had   come under severe criticism due to mal administration and  failure of crops in 1949-51 which had led to  famine like situation.He further made position of his friend Nehru  untenable  by resorting  to criticism of Indian Government. Supported by his Cabinet colleagues Sheikh’s deputy Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad took as Prime Minister of the State and put Sheikh and his close confidant Mirza  Afzal Beg into preventive custody at Jammu’s hill resort of  Kud . Bakshi’s era was marked by all round development but his kiths and kins having amassed disproportionate assets brought down Bakshi’s regime. After a brief spell Mr Sadiq took over as   Prime   Minister of the state in Feb 1964. He was the tallest of all leaders in the secular history of Jammu & Kashmir. During his regime, National Conference was merged with Indian Congress thus paving way for renaming the post of Prime Minister of the State to that of Chief Minister at par with other Indian states. He and people of Kashmir stood up with Indian Army during Pakistan’s 2nd Invasion  of State in 1965. He also admitted tensions existing between people of Jammu & Ladakh region with those of Kashmir and appointed Gajendra Gadkar Commission who in its report described the main cause on the feeling of political neglect as descrimination but State Government continued its policy of drift and inaction.  Sadiq in order to eliminate charisma of the Sheikh in the Valley released him from preventive detention in1964. But Sadiq unfortunately breathed his last on December 12, 1971 when third Indo-Pak war was at its peak. He was succeeded by Syeed Mir Qasim a minister in his Cabinet. After Pakistan lost 1971 war , Sheikh’s ardour   for Pakistan or independent Kashmir diminished. On 25th February, 1975  he returned to power through an accord with  the then Indian Prime Minister  Indira Gandhi but soon proved a turncoat by deserting  the Congress at the head of which he had come to power. Sheikh and his successors could not rule the State as it should have been. The State witnessed rise of militancy during  Farooq Abdullah’s rule. Now after 27 years Dr Farooq blames the present disapensation of PDP-BJP for the crisis.
The later got the mandate of Jammu people and in order  to respect their aspiration Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed  rejected the offer of  Abdullah’s support  of their party for forming PDP led Government.  Indians  have always advocated acceptance of diversity and rejected   radicalism of religion .God  is one, therefore, love for humanity, democracy and kashmiryat are the best prayer to the divine . Infact, fast spread of corruption during the Congress rule of sixty years in the country has  tarnished the country . Though Modi came to power on the plank of corruption free India, he has failed to touch the root causes like election system and governance. He should at least constitute a high level committee  which may debate and consider suggestions to eradicate corruption .He may also consider reorganization  of Jammu & Kashmir to give equal opportunities to all the regions and settle back Kashmiris  irrespective of religion and date of migration back in  the valley . He may also deport foreign  nationals like Bangladeshis and  Burmese   have made inroads in Jammu region back to their countries.
(The author is former MD JKML)


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