JAMMU, Aug 17: On August 14 and 15, no Kashmiri hailed the decision of Maharaja Hari Singh to accede his State of Jammu & Kashmir to the Indian Dominion. They should have, but they didn’t do so. They should have hailed the decision because it was the state’s accession to India that enabled Kashmiri leadership to exercise extraordinary legislative, executive and financial powers; and establish its hegemony not only over Kashmir but also over Jammu and Ladakh and exploit them socially, economically and politically. How ungrateful is the Kashmiri leadership!
It did not hail the decision for obvious reasons. One of the reasons is that it doesn’t consider India their country in the real sense of the term. The other reason is that it considers the Indian constitutional framework as anti-Kashmir as well as alien. It believes that Kashmir is inhabited by people who are a distinct nation which cannot live under one unified politico-administrative and constitutional system. In fact, it believes in what Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and Mohammad Ali Jinnah believed in and advocated all through their life. Both advocated the two-nation theory and both made their co-religionists believe that they would always remain a minority in India and that the Congress was a Hindu organization. Sir Syed had even termed the Congress as a civil war without arms, a seditious organization and a Bengali movement. He had even told his followers in Lucknow in December 1887 that “if you wish that the country should groan under the yoke of Bengali rule and its people lick the Bengali shoes, then in the name of Allah jump into the train and be off to Madras, be off to Madras”. The Congress was then holding its third session in Madras (now called Chennai). Both had said that the Hindus and Muslims belonged to two different cultures and civilizations; that their victories and defeats overlap; that they could not live together; and so on.
The attitude of the Kashmiri leadership is no different. And its demands which range from merger with Pakistan to independence from India and Pakistan to greater autonomy (read semi-independence) to self-rule (read quasi-independence) to economic independence and to what not need to be viewed in this context. It would not be out of place to mention here that a vast majority of people of Jammu and Ladakh also interprets negatively the decision of Maharaja Hari Singh, notwithstanding the fact that several organizations in Jammu celebrate the accession day with great pomp and show. It says that the accession of the state to India resulted in the slavery of these two regions. It does make a point. Remember, it was Jammu which ruled Kashmir for one hundred one years from March 1846 onwards. Also remember, with the accession of the state to India political power got transferred from Jammu to the Kashmiri leadership which had consistently fought against the Dogras, and even launched Quit Kashmir Movement. The Kashmiri leadership, in collaboration with the Congress, even snatched from Jammu the status of state capital.
It would be no exaggeration to say that the state’s accession to India has threatened the very existence of Jammu Pradesh with the concerned citizens expressing their grave concerns over the impact of Kashmiri leadership on this region and demanding forth with the state’s reorganization. There are cogent reasons to believe that things will assume alarming proportions in this part of the country in the event of the Kashmiri leadership not reforming itself and New Delhi not adopting a holistic approach to the issues facing different people inhabiting different regions. The people of Jammu are seething with anger and their patience is ending and ending very fast. Statesmanship demands a radical change in the system – change that ends Kashmiri domination and gives full opportunity to Jammu and Ladakh to prosper unhindered, preferably independent of Kashmir.