8 th LBM Lecture on 17/01/2014 on J&K -Myths & Realities
At the outset, the audience was informed about the recent launching of ANVIKSHA-VAK’s portal, a communication link to the world for enabling anyone to access India-centric view of world affairs & for cherishing the concept of VASUDHAIV KUTUMBKAM worldwide.
S Parasuraman, Director TISS who was the Chief Guest at the function stated that believing that a region in conflict needs development & that any conflict is a disaster, the plan of TISS was aimed at skill development to youth & providing psychological support to children & women so that the conducive environment will lead to harmony in the people
The keynote speaker Arunkumar of J&K Study Center,New Delhi deliberated his views on understanding the J & K problems for its possible solution through historical & legal aspects. He gave several instances on myths & realities about Kashmir issue. To start with, he said that although everyone believe that it was due to the delayed act of greedy ,despotic & ambitious Raja Hari Singh, the genesis of problem lies in the unfinished agenda of partition owing to strategic location of J & K vis-à-vis Britan’s vital interests in South Asia to safeguard any threat from Russia & Chiana & that Lord Mountbaitan was instrumental in the decision against India in the aftermath of 40 months long (from Oct 26,1947 to December 31,1948) first war with Pakistan & unfortunately the then Indian leaders ignored every India-centric input on the issue but went carried away by Westerner’s diplomacy until Mr Shaikh Abdulla was sufficiently poisoned against India. The audience was aback to learn from Mr Kumar that pro-separatists are confined to very few districts of Kashmir region, whereas Gujjar, Pahadis & Shiya Muslims of the same region together with almost entire Jammu & Ladakh regions donot subscribe to separation but have never been invited by Govt. of India for any debate, despite the facts that Pak has never ever challenged accession of J & K to India in any forum & that relevance of any UN resolution becomes invalid once bilateral agenda gets ratified by both the countries.
With facts & figures, he narrated the sad state of affairs that prevails in the fateful State as a fallout of the wrong policies that about 2 lacs refugees of West Pakistan overstaying since partition in filthy camps in Jammu region have no right to vote /property , the Ladakh region has been discriminated with very primitive infrastructural development, about 3.5 lacs Hindus who left Kashmir in 1990 cannot return, as their properties , including homes are destroyed, & the 1971-war affected people (or those who fought with terrorists) from the buffer region of Jammu were compensated with mere Rs 8000, whereas undue facilities are graciously given to the ex-terrorist-rehabilitants.
The controversial Article 370 had actually came, he emphatically told, as a temporary provision or was a simple/providential order for extension of Union Constitution in the State & could be removed with simple Presidential Order in terms of Article 35 A of the Constitution but the misuse of Article 370 has not only divided Indian citizens in 2 categories but also deprived the people of the State of progressive laws of India, like reservations to backward communities & women, right of education-in fact it has been used as a tool to only safeguard or nourish the vested interests of few families, like that of Mufti Mohd or Shaikh Abdulla, although post inter-marriages, the siblings of the very family i.e.Sara & Oomar were not legally treated at par.
He finally appealed that we should not look at Kashmir as a Hindu-Muslim or Congress –BJP problem but should create due awareness about the realities against all the deliberately generated myths, undertake border tourism, strengthen the victims-who are actually in majority in order to develop sense of integrity among locals- in short , we should change the discourse to the problem. Besides, India should fight for POK, he added, not merely because the natives of Gilgit think they are forgotten people of India but mainly for its strategic location-the gateway (by road) to London, Dubai & Moscow -for India’s futuristic sovereignty & trade, as ancient history tells us that all invaders came from this route.