Bangalore/Mysore June 30: “”The imbroglio and crisis in Jammu and Kashmir is not just related to a state. We need to understand it clearly as ‘It is a national issue of separatism and terrorism in a state of India’. The problem of Jammu and Kashmir is maintained and nurtured in New Delhi, not in Jammu and Kashmir” said Arun Kumar, Director of Jammu-Kashmir Study Centre, in Bangalore this morning.
He was addressing an intellectual gathering at Mythic Society Auditorium at Bangalore, in a programme organised by ‘Manthana’, a forum for intellectual dialogue.
At the evening of Sunday, Arun Kumar addressed in a similar programme at ‘Madhavakrupa’, RSS Headquarters Mysore in a programme organised by Manthana, Mysore Unit.
Abstract of Speech by Sri Arun Kumar on “Jammu Kashmir – Facts, challenges and solutions”:
There is a background for today’s situation in J&K but we must realize that we all have a role to play. It was to facilitate the participation of everyone in the society that J&K Study Centre was established. J&k study center operates from Delhi and Jammu.
Many people ask whether J&K will remain with India and quote plebiscite add a reason for their despondency. I have met everyone from a wide spectrum in the society. Most are either uninformed or are misinformed about J&K. People ask what is the ‘Kashmir problem’. I tell them there is no ‘Kashmir problem’ but a lot of misinformation has been fed to the people which has resulted in wrong actions by the government.
After the incidents of stone pelting in 2010, the central government constituted a interlocutors team. They also had asked the view of Sangh over Kashmir. It was during this meet that I told them that there is no ‘Kashmir problem’ but it’s a ‘Delhi problem’, that has been created , maintained and nurtured by Delhi. I also told them that most of the issues prevalent has been created by the so-called experts of Delhi. It was then that one of the interlocutors told me that the ‘Kashmir problem’, has internal, external, human and other dimensions to it and that it is also a ‘saga of broken promises’!!! It is this kind of lies that has been spread which has resulted in the situation today.
The fact is, there is no condition set for India with regards to Kashmir but as per the UN resolution at the UNCIP, it is Pakistan that had to vacate from J&K. Such confusion on J&K is because people like the interlocutors think it’s a international & internal problem. 86 % of the state is not involved in any kind of separatist movements. Any issue is only in the Kashmir valley which is the smallest part of the state. The separatist movement has been lead and nurtured only by one sect of people and they are the Kashmiri speaking Sunni Muslims. TV channels invite only leaders from this community for discussions. Gujjars Muslims who are nationalistic and other leaders from either Jammu or Ladakh are not invited by anyone. Hassan Khan, who is an MP from Kargil is not invited for his views on the issue. During Amarnath agitation, NDTV invited leaders from Sri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti for its debates on the movement. Sheikh Shakeel was chosen to represent the Sangharsh Samiti. People were flabbergasted to see a Muslim represent SASS. Such is the attitude of TV channels and the government towards any nationalistic forces in the state. Sheikh Shakeel was infact threatened by Omar Abdullah to withdraw from the agitation.
We should be aware that each of the separatist leader is a representative of few of the ‘mohallas’ in the valley. But they have been nurtured and instigated by forces inimical to the interests of India. Despite support from world powers to these minute separatist voices, nationalistic forces have withstood the challenge. We should not say it as a ‘Kashmir problem’, it’s a ‘Indian problem’. As an example, because there is ‘naxal problem’ in Chattisgarh we don’t day it as a ‘Chattisgarh problem’, similarly this too is not a Kashmir problem.
Prior to independence, the British made every effort to separate Kashmir from India. When Kashmir acceded to India there were efforts to try and make J&K independent. They did not suceed due to efforts of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and the Praja Parishad’s agitation. Later, when Taliban spread it’s tentacles in Afghanistan in the 80`s, our government was sleeping. Due to this lackadaisical approach, the Hindus of Kashmir had to suffer a lot and eventually were forced out of the valley. Hindus in Kashmir had to leave the state several times in the last 400 years. Despite such forces against us, we ought to commend our Army, which has played a major role is retaining Kashmir with India.
During independence princely states were given an option to accede to either Pakistan or India through the ‘Instrument of Accession’. There was no option for renaming independent. Article 370 was only a temporary measure to aid in transition. Lord Mountbatten’s letter was written to all princely states. Article 3 of the J&K constitution says the J&K is a integral part of India. J&k is just like any other state in India, and there has been a complete integration with India. There is no dispute here. Even the UN charter on India & Pakistan specifies that Pakistan has to vacate from all occupied territories unconditionally. It would mean that the AJK government and its forces will have to be disbanded. Plebiscite was to be conducted by India itself with UN as a observer. If Pakistan does not satisfy the above conditions, the plebiscite is not binding on India. This is a fact that has been neglected in any public debate. Infact, in the 1964 parliamentary debate, all 27 speakers spoke in favor of abrogating Articlr 370 and this included MP’s from left parties, Jan Sangh and even the Congress.
The Article 370 has been misused to further personal interests and foment anti-national feelings. Choosing to have two flags, a separate constitution, conditions that outsiders cannot buy land in J&K state were enacted using Aritcle 370 as a tool. Even today, the CAG or the Election Commission has no jurisdiction over the state of J&K.
The President has the power to do away with the article 370. But its the political will that is lacking. In the 1950’s, seeing a threat to his personal ambitions, the seats won by Praja Parishad was invalidated by Sheikh Abdullah. He was the leader only in Kashmir and not for the entire state. Praja Parishad agitation was huge and went on for several months. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee called for abrogation of Article 370 in his speech in the parliament and backed it with all legal documents. Nehru had no answers and resorted to absurd arguments. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee tried to enter J&K without permit and was arrested and later died under mysterious circumstances. When Sheikh Abdullah did not agree to extend entire constitution of India, Nehru saw his true colors. Eventually, Sheikh was forsaken by his own party. We need to realize that Artcle 370 never gave any special status to J&K, it was few people who misused it to further their selfish agendas.
The Discourse on j&k has to change. Real victims have to be brought to the forefront. West-Pak refugees still live in camps, since 1947. The refugees from Pak Occupied Jammu-Kashmir(POJK), who are about 2 lakhs in number, too are suffering without settling and are still languishing in camps. Kashmiri Pandits were attacked and sent out forcefully from the Kashmir valley. Issues of these people is never raised by any political parties in their manifestos. There are packages for ‘stone-pelters’ and for the terrorists who have surrendered. But the real victims and there human rights have been neglected.
Areas occupied by China & Pakistan have to be recovered. Chushul treaty between Tibet and China and treaty between China and J&K should be deemed final as it is entirely legal. China wanted the Shaksgam valley and Aksai Chin to further its geo-political interests and influence. India needs to recover these areas to become a super power. Many cities of Russia and Central Asia are approachable by road from Gilgit. It is an area that is rich in minerals and is also an alternate source of water to the entire continent.
In conclusion, we need to understand that the frauds committed in the name of 370 have to be exposed. Real victims have to be discussed. It’s a issue of national integration and not a Hindu-Muslim or Congress-BJP issue. Each of us has to educate oneself and write about it, teach about J&K to others and try and strengthen the nationalistic forces in Kashmir. We also need to visit Jammu and Kashmir to witness the Hindu Kashmir and not just a few famous tourist places. Going forward, what we need is a proactive agenda.”
Shri.Arun Kumar took a few question’s from the enthusiastic audience.
Following are the excerpts from the Q&A session (Sevaral related questions and their answers have been clubbed).
- What can common man do with regard to J&K? What measures can be taken to enhance integration of the state with rest of India? What are the ways we can engage with J&K Study Centre and enhance our knowledge about the state.
Arun Kumar: First each has to increase the individual’s awareness about J&K. We can arrange for celebrating J&K day in schools and in our Resident Welfare Association’s near our homes. We can also ask our friends and relatives to read more about J&K which will help in forming public opinion.
We should also plan to visit the interiors and remote places of J&K and villages like Demchok, that lie at the border. We can impress upon NGO’s to involve people from J&K in their projects. We can resolve to contribute 5% of our income to causes in J&K. It has to be a people’s movement. Business involvement can also be done in J&K. J&k study center will help such initiatives.
A Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JammuKashmirNow and a website http://www.jammukashmirnow.com/ are already up and running with regular updates. But it also needs more bloggers and more websites to add to the cause.
- What can be done to bring about a political solution to the Jammu-Kashmir issue? Should we depend on only one party to deliver on the Kashmir issue? How to bring all parties together on this?
Awareness should be brought in politicians, irrespective of party, about J&K first. Legal issues, conditions of SC’s, ST’s in the state should be taught to them. Since delimitation has not happened in J&K, a consessus has to be built among all parties to enact the same. For this we need to involved people from all parties. A simple presidential order can remove 370. But political parties have to be impressed upon to take a decision and impress the president.
- What is the conditions of Hindus in Jammu-Kashmir? What about the Hindu-Muslim divide in Kashmir, issue of conversion, destruction of temples,etc.
We need to give the Hindus there a hope of victory. We need to help them to build temples. Even several Muslims are ready to help in this nationalistic cause.
- What was the role of America and other western forces in the Kashmir issue?
British and US diplomacy had indeed played a large role in the Kashmir issue. They saw Kashmir as a buffer to contain communist Russia. But even we were not serious about our approach. It was due to the lack of strategic thinking from our governments too.
- Is the tribal council of Ladakh still valid? Why do women in Jammu and Ladakh don’t speak against women’s issues?
Women from Jammu and Ladakh too have raised their voices for women’s issues and partial laws. They have been part of several agitations, legal cases and have been part of several refugee’s agitations too.
Details of essay competition was given by Shri.Arun Kumar ji. More writings, legal awareness are required about j&k. He concluded saying that public opinion has to be created about Jammu-Kashmir
In Bangalore, senior educationist Prof Kru Narahari, Senior Social workers YK Raghavendra Rao, Santhosh BL, Dr Giridhar Upadhyaya along with select intellectuals, students and academicians attended the programme.
In Mysore RSS Pranth Sanghachalak M Venkataramu, Mysore Vibhag Sanghachalak Dr Vaman Rao Bapat, Senior Scientist KS Ramesh, Nagaraj of Manthana Mysore, RSS functionaries Chandrashekar Jahagirdar, Narayan Shevire, Vadiraj, NarayanSwamy and nearly 200 intellectuals attended the event.
If anyone interested to study more on Jammu and Kashmir issues at socio-academic level, please contact Sri Radhakrishna Holla, Convenor of Jammu Kashmir Study Centre, Bangalore. ( Email to radhakrishnaholla