Concerns in Kashmir – Journal – DAWN.COM
The KASHMIR is on fire today. It is not a characterization of the violence that has gripped her since 1989. It is much deeper than that. Kashmir is concerned that the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to impose a Hindu chief minister on Jammu and Kashmir for the first time since 1947. They are not wrong.
The door was opened wide by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in 1999, when, rejecting the offer of a coalition with the National Conference of Omar Abdullah, he formed a coalition with the BJP. Narendra Modi traveled to Srinagar for the mufti swearing in and grossly snubbed it publicly when in his speech the mufti suggested reconciliation with Pakistan. Mufti’s closest advisor, former J&K Bank chairman and then finance minister, concocted the deal in a lengthy document, written in the language of American academia, which gave Kashmir a rich dose of verbiage but not even a symbolic concession.
Haseeb Drabu, a man for all seasons, had a Ram Madhav as a partner in the protracted talks, among others, in Mumbai, which has its own charms to offer, especially to the gullible. Ram Madhav was an RSS activist seconded to the BJP. Under the agreement, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly was to belong to the BJP. The mufti’s daughter, Mehbooba, stuck to the deal even after her father died. It was canceled much later.
The BJP wants a Hindu CM in Kashmir.
By then, the BJP government in New Delhi had done its calculations and presented its results to parliament on August 5, 2019, shortly after Modi won a second term as prime minister in May 2019.
On August 5 came the constitutional tsunami. Some drastic laws and policies have been implemented. July 13, the day of the Kashmir martyrs, and December 5, the anniversary of the birth of Sheikh Abdullah, have been removed from the official calendar. Urdu has ceased to be the official language.
There were three cruel, dishonest and blatantly unconstitutional rulings announced to parliament on August 5, 2019. These were 1) the repeal of Article 370 of India’s constitution, which sought to ensure identity and the autonomy of Kashmir. Under the constitution, India cannot make any decision on the âfinal dispositionâ of Kashmir without its consent. Its popular leader Sheikh Abdullah expressed his protest in 1972 in preparation for the Indira Gandhi-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto summit in Shimla. Kashmir was not even consulted, he said angrily.
The chief minister of Kashmir was then a certain Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq, a false leftist at heart. It was he who brought the Congress Party to Kashmir and became a member of Congress. In 1975, Cheikh Sahib, now Chief Minister, relaunched his National Conference to Indira Gandhi’s dismay. Since 2014, Narendra Modi has set out to realize the BJP’s dream of “repealing” Section 370, which was also Sadiq’s dream. But Article 370 was by its very terms not amendable by the Parliament of India. It was constitutional hooliganism, which played on India’s growing Hindu nationalist fervor.
Read: Why Kashmir matters
Then Ladakh was cut to be ruled directly from New Delhi. Kashmir has continued to build a partnership with Jammu. This involved the central amendment of Kashmir’s constitution, which parliament had no legal power to do. Kashmir is governed at the central level.
In February 2021, the separate J&K executives of the Indian civil service were abolished. There are 58 officials and very few are Muslims. Of the eight outside officials, only three are Muslims. Of the top 11 bureaucrats, only one is Muslim.
But the worst blow of August 5, 2019, was the law on the delimitation of constituencies. He set up a delimitation commission. The government has appointed a retired Bombay High Court judge as president. On December 20, 2021, he revealed a draft proposal recommending that the number of assembly seats in Jammu be increased from 37 to 43 and in Kashmir from 46 to 47.
Major political parties in the region believe the draft proposal favors Jammu over predominantly Muslim Kashmir in terms of electoral balance. As reporter Tariq Bhat reported, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration believes that the commission acted at the request of the BJP and ignored the greater number of Kashmir compared to Jammu according to the 2011 census; a census-based calculation would have resulted in 51 seats for Kashmir and 39 for Jammu, he said. “There are 15 Muslim majority seats in Jammu and if their borders have been redrawn so that they cease to be Muslim majority, it will reduce the representation of Jammu Muslims in the assembly.”
This serves the purpose of the BJP. He is well on his way to achieving his goal of reducing Kashmir’s political clout through demarcation, and as Bhat, and many others fear, he could put in place the Hindu Chief Prime Minister in Jammu-et- Kashmir with the help of some allies. in Kashmir.
The writer is an author and lawyer based in Mumbai.
Posted in Dawn, January 8, 2022