Leave aside the privileges accruing from Article 370, our state has not even the powers as are available to other states of the union under its constitution. Senior IAS, IPS officers and bureaucrats are usually drawn from outside the state. We have a host of non-state senior officers here. This policy creates an impression among the local bureaucrats, police officers and civil society that Indian authorities do not trust Kashmiris. History confirms it. Indian rulers did not trust Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who had endorsed the accession of the state to the Indian Union. He was removed from power with much humiliation in 1953 and put behind bars.
Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad, who followed the Sheikh Abdullah as Prime Minister, cemented States accession to India and helped New Delhi tighten its grip on the state. He let lose repression against anybody daring to speak against tyranny and New Delhis machinations to strengthen its hold over the state. But he too was sidelined ignominiously through Kamaraj Plan.
If the accession of the state to the Indian Union had remained strictly restricted to three areas as agreed to by the last Maharaja Hari Singh, namely defence, foreign affairs and currency, perhaps Kashmir would not have to face the disastrous situation as we are faced with now. New Delhi has always discredited those who strongly believe in secularism, non-sectarianism and who believe in Idea of India and thus support States accession to the Indian Union. Stories of betraying these segments are many. The result has been that India is left with no friends in Kashmir. How can one become friends with them when they go back on their commitments and take recourse to deception? Not only that commitments made on international level, too, are disregarded. This is in-fact this powerful sense of betrayal that has driven Kashmiri generations to revolt against the state of India.
This explains why some mainstream political parties who have had a majority of seats in the legislative assembly have been loath to protest against curbing or usurping some of their powers by the successive regimes ruling from Delhi. Their earlier protests yielded no fruit and evoked only a harsh response. Because whenever they resisted, they were shown the door. Hence they have chosen to remain silent against onslaughts on Kashmir autonomy and enjoy the whatever little power they were vested with. But this eroded there popular base and squeezed their constituency. They are now considered vassals of New Delhi in Kashmir. There is a general perception that in Kashmir, India has not been looking for friends but for agents and spies. Hence if the State of Jammu and Kashmir is geographically part of Indian Union, this is solely because of the massive presence of Indian army and security forces.
Scholars of world history know that no people have ever been kept in permanent subjugation through muscle power. Liberation movements do ultimately succeed and liberate the enslaved nations. We have the example of Algeria under French, Vietnam under Americans and Central Asia under Russians. In the light of these historical events how can India or Pakistan militarily maintain their permanent control over the people of the state?
We need to remind Indian intelligentsia that in 1947 the people of Jammu and Kashmir did not opt for accession with Pakistan despite religious commonality. Not only that, they resisted the armed tribal raid on the state with bare hands. Indian army was invited because the Maharaja had signed the accession document with the Indian government. In the background of this situation what is the reason that today Kashmiris consider Indian army an alien army?
I wonder why Indian print and electronic media avoids telling the truth to the nation? Why dont they uncover and highlight the oppression and suppression unleashed upon the population of the state. We seldom find them even taking up a story of corruption, nepotism or abuse of authority in Jammu and Kashmir. Why is it that the Indian media links the protest of Kashmiris against an incident of rape and murder of innocent women to separatism? They should understand that by doing so, they lose whatever little credibility they have in Kashmir. Again the general perception here is that Indian media is an instrument of state and not free enough to report objectively when it comes to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The recent incident in Bandipore that shook Kashmir, sent jitters down the spine of every sane person but unfortunately we did not notice any bureaucratic and political will to accelerate the momentum of investigation. In this election season, hardly any political heavyweight condemned the barbarous incident. This only strengthened the notion that for mainstream politicians elections means playing to gallery and that is New Delhi. For past 70 years there is no evident social mobilisation in Kashmir.
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