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The Historical discriminations!

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Leave aside the privileges sprouting from Article 370, our state lacks even those powers which are available to other states of the union of India. For instance, it has become an unwritten rule here that senior IAS, IPS officers and bureaucrats are usually drawn from outside the state when it comes to heading a department, particularly a sensitive department, and as a result, 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 and was removed from power with much humiliation in 1953 and put behind bars.

Bakhshi  Ghulam Muhammad, who followed the Sheikh as Prime Minister, cemented State’s accession to India and helped New Delhi tighten its grip on the state and let lose repression against anybody daring to speak against tyranny and abrogation of special arrangements. 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 items agreed to by the Maharja i.e defence, foreign affairs and currency, perhaps Kashmir would not have faced the disastrous situation as has been its fate. India has always discredited those who strongly believe in secularism, non-sectarianism and securing State’s accession to the Indian Union. The result has been that India is left with no friends in Kashmir and obviously so for it has backtracked on its commitments and taken recourse to deception? Not only this, but the commitments made on international levels too were, and are being, disregarded.

This is the reason why some mainstream political parties which have  enjoyed majority of seats in the legislative assembly are loath to protest against Delhi authorities for curbing or usurping some of their powers. The reason is that their protest will not be heard or responded and as and when Delhi decides, it will show them the door. Hence they remain silent and the powers of the state were gradually getting squeezed day after day. In Kashmir, it seems, India has not been looking for friends but for agents and spies who would make promises and then make u-turns as well. India, unfortunately, has relied too much on its might to keep the Kashmir question silent.

Scholars of world history know that no people have ever been kept in permanent subjugation through muscle power. Liberation movements do ultimately succeed. We have the example of Algeria under French occupation, Vietnam under American occupation and Central Asia under Russian occupation. In the light of these historical events, how can India or Pakistan militarily maintain their permanent control over the people of the state? Dialogue is the best remedy when it comes to resolving issues as war or confrontations have often left behind a legacy of death and destruction.

Indian intelligentsia needs to revisit the past and see that in 1947 the people of Jammu and Kashmir did not opt for accession with Pakistan despite religious commonality and also resisted the tribal attack on the state even though unarmed. Indian army was invited because the Maharaja had signed the accession document with the Indian government. In the backdrop of such a situation India found an entry in Kashmir and subsequently started a process of power games and fiddling the original accession document.

I want to know from Indian print and electronic media why is it that it avoids uncovering and highlighting the oppression and suppression unleashed by the local regime in our state. We seldom find them taking up a story of corruption, nepotism or abuse of authority with regard to the state. 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 their credibility with the people in Kashmir.

The recent incident that happened in Bandipora, sends jitters down the spine, and even shamed the wildest beast. But unfortunately we didn't notice any political will to accelerate the momentum of investigation in this election season and hardly any political heavyweight turned to condemn the barbarous incident. There are many more human interest issues that have taken a back seat and have never been addressed by the local political elites.

The writer is Organizing member, Kashmir Law Circle and a political columnist (tawfeeqirshad@gmail.com)

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