Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Congress, BJP and Kashmir

The other day I was watching this debate in NDTV organized by Bharka Dutt. Representatives from BJP, the Congress, Jammu (Kashmiri Pandits), Kashmir and (former) Army were present.

BJP and Congress: Two faces of the same coin

The divide looks pretty clear between the Jammu and the Kashmir regions. India has done a great deal since independence and the Kashmir has been a matter of concern (as India still doesn't argue it as a disputed region). The "Azaadi" sentiment has been well contained in the recent past but after the Amarnath issue was handled in such a laid back fashion the sentiments are slowly brewing before it becomes late for India to loose the situation and some International agency (highly unlikely right now) steps in to monitor. Arundhathi Roy might have just overstepped a little bit but one thing that was very clear from the stands taken by the two main parties from India, the Congress and the BJP, J&K is still an integral part of India.

I could actually see that both the BJP and the Congress were pointing fingers to each other for political reasons and when it came to the talk of "Aazad Kashmir" and things like that, they became united and rubbished the claims. The way Sardar Patel envisioned the Union of India plan just went on perfectly. India is country of several local cultures and ethnic races. Managing such a country is no easy task and to live upon the spirit of India. But somehow our political leaders couldn't judge the Kashmir issue well and fortunately for long the North-East regions are well under control.


The fear among the Kashmiri residents is that India is trying to settle its mainstream population in Kashmir. Something akin to what China did in the Tibetan region and the native Tibetan population is in minority now. This is what the Kashmiris dread the most and that's the whole big issue with the "Amarnath Land row". Unfortunately we do not know the ground reality of Kashmir and absolutely no idea about the sentiment in there.

Special status to J&K in article 370 needs a quick attention. Below is an excerpt form the Wiki:

Implications of Article 370

This article specifies that except for Defense, Foreign Affairs and Communications,(matters specified in the instrument of accession) the Indian Parliament needed the State Government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.

Similar protections for unique status exist in tribal areas of India including those in Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland however it is only for the state of Jammu and Kashmir that the accession of the state to India is still a matter of dispute between India and Pakistan still on the agenda of the U.N.Security Council and where the Government of India vide 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord committed itself to keeping the relationship between the Union and Jammu and Kashmir State within the ambit of this article .

The 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord mentions that " The State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of the Union of India, shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India " .

That is why I also say not to divide the states further. Telangana being one thing and even in that region there is a lot of sentiment. Just created by the pseudo-political forces and power hungry mights.

Minority and Majority

India needs to come out of this Minority and Majority thing. Separate laws for every other religion. Within the democratic framework we need to place a new structure. Revamp the current constitution according to Today's needs.

Only the spirit of India needs to be promoted. (Uniform civil code?)

Border Disputes

India has several territorial disputes with its neighbours and the one with China being the most important. China solved all its disputes with Russia recently and has small issues with Taiwan and Japan. It will take time for us but the talks must be progressive and I'm sure in 20 years time frame India might be at peace with most of its neighbours but for Pakistan.

Indian news channels still cannot show J&K (as regards to the map) as is on the ground with one part with India and other with Pakistan. It might amount to sedition. This is where Arundhati Roy crossed the line. The sentiment of India now !

India has a long long way to go before it wants to live in peace. Its all because of land, ain't it ! (The whole Naxal movement started because of this land)

Time for our leaders to be more stringent in their foreign policies and matters related to internal security.

Long live Union of India !

No comments: