Sanjeev K. Sharma
Name of book: Misgoverned Kashmir,
The Indian Bane
Author: Rameshwar Singh Jamwal
Price: $ 11.20
Though many books have been written on Kashmir, its history, politics, physical landscapes, culture etc, yet, the recent work in this regard by Rameshwar Singh Jamwal-a renowned advocate, who also remained Deputy Advocate General in the erstwhile J&K State, has altogether touched different aspects of Kashmir imbroglio.
Released in Jammu on December 4, 2021 by Justice Pramod Kohli, former Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, the very name of the book ‘Misgoverned Kashmir, The Indian Bane’, itself explains the central message contained in it.
Mr. Jamwal has honestly highlighted deficits in governance and its impact on J&K residents as well as on various aspects of the nation.
The book not only talks about reasons of much of the problems being faced by J&K residents, it also offers solutions and this aspect of the book makes it an interesting piece of work which clearly reflects in-depth knowledge of the author on the subject.
Though Mr. Jamwal, son of the soil, is also author of two more books, he attracted the attention of international community on many occasions with his views on terrorism which he frequently voiced at United Nations and shocked the world on startling facts about the reality of the much hyped Kashmir problem.
In preface part of the book, the author has given reasons for his work on Kashmir, as he has mentioned that death of thousands of people, mostly innocents due to terrorism, pushed thousands of families to ruin, left human minds devastated and moved the youth to uncertain future. All this collectively led to another social problem-migration of educated youth to other parts of the country and even abroad leaving behind their old parents in lurch, with nobody to care for them in their twilight years.
The book has eight chapters and initially it opens with events leading to the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A and then poses a fundamental question about the future events post abrogation.
It talks about the present administrative set up in which the bureaucrats have assumed much bigger role in J&K and the author cautions that unless the working style gets changed, not much would be achieved as expected by the Union government and majority of the population of the UT.
Mr. Jamwal discusses the failure of the ruling class in the erstwhile J&K State (now Union Territory) in properly administering the State which resulted in its bifurcation and abrogation of its special status.
He quotes the observation of a former bureaucrat about the administrative rot and then gives number of instances of his own experiences to highlight corruption, maladministration, political arrogance and decline in the stance of the government, which resulted in tremendous trouble to commoners.
To find the reasons of such deterioration in governance, the author takes the readers deep in the history of region, from the time when Kashmir was called Kaikeye Pradesh (as queen Kaikeye of Ramayana hailed from this region), to the Lalitaditya’s great conquests and then travels to Afghan, Mughal, Sikh to Dogra Rule.
The author discusses the great tolerant traditions and then uses biological to psychological reasons to find the cause of deterioration in values today. For this, he takes the readers to physical characteristics of the region and how the great Dogra warriors extended the boundaries of the country to Tibet areas touching Central Asia.
There is lot of confusion about the reasons of delay in the signing of instrument of accession by Maharaja Hari Singh, last Hindu monarch of Dogra clan, and the resultant troubles, which have been attributed to him. Being from a family which was close to Maharaja Hari Singh, the author narrates some interesting aspects for the reasons behind such delay and quotes his personal sources in this regard, as is depicted in the book.
Being an Advocate, Mr. Jamwal has dealt with the issue from a legal angle as well and cites the latest judgments of International Court of Justice, which justified Indian stance on Kashmir and Pak occupied Kashmir, as well.
Chapter four of the book deals with the political history of J&K right from 1947 to onwards and discusses in brief the role of prominent political players and the factors which resulted in the passing of Article 370 (abrogation) Bill in Indian parliament.
Chapter five deals with articulation of views of the author from past few decades wherein he penned down several write-ups on steps required to improve the governance level in J&K.
Being a Criminologist, the author has a flavour for looking at things from such a perspective and has come up with many unheard of reasons, responsible for deaths and destructions in J&K. This type of explanation requires serious consideration. The author talks about the possibility of biological factors responsible for some types of berserk behaviour as is mostly witnessed in Kashmir and says that such factors should have been considered by the policy makers.
He even tried to dissect and vivify the anatomy of violence in Kashmir, which can have relevance for studying similar violence in Naxal violence affected areas of the country as well. He gives the reasons as why we have faltered in Kashmir and what can be the remedial measures to retrieve the situation. Of course, he discusses the role of Pakistan and has tried to visualize the thing from a strategic perspective as well.
The most important essay pertains to the demolition of the entire plank of Self Rule, which was being propagated by political party PDP. The author has given several examples of the decoy of self rule being used to gain independence and then goes on to say that the demilitarization, as was being talked about in the political vision of some Kashmir based political parties, was fraught with dangers and serious consequences for the country.
The author has also written extensively about other important issues like the Police Reforms, which were required to be given urgency, about the concept of Restorative Justice, about the decline of Justice Delivery System, the need for establishing Rule of Law in J&K and many other similar legal issues.
The book has 299 pages and contains very few photographs but still is a must read for those who honestly look for some solution to much politicised Kashmir problem as it offers many out of the box solutions for that. However, since this book is available only on Amazon platform, there are difficulties for commoners to purchase this and this issue needs to be addressed.
Sanjeev K. Sharma