Jammu and Kashmir – Article 370 and the future

Posted on August 26, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, religion |

Sometime ago, I was asked by a reader as to what were my concrete suggestions about the “Kashmir problem” given my insistence on winning the “cultural war” on Islam in the Valley and combine this with economic measures. Having been forced to trawl through my source material for the “How Islam came to India…” series, and my recent rather reluctant outburst about Article 370, I think it is time to spell out a bit more of what I think should be an appropriate strategy for Kashmir. All this is in the hope of a future leadership, out of th current upcoming generations, and who hopefully look beyond what their “political elders” are promoting as the “next generation of leadership” – for it is worthwhile to remember that any “future leader” the current established older generation of “party bosses” project is someone who has been able to reassure them that nothing in reality is going to change, and things will remain pretty much the same as the “elders” want to be. It is also most unlikely, that a really innovative leadership would be allowed to come up through the various party ranks, as the elders would feel threatened by such upcoming leadership – and most of the current crop of elders are the generational dregs and rotting leftovers of the great and brilliant minds that rose through the freedom struggle.

The younger generation of Indians should look beyond what the parties are offering to them as “young faces”, and stay away from the sycophancy and courtiership that hails these “leaders of the future”. If the people consciously refuse to accept such projections and treat such projection rather as a disqualification, then it would start the change of political ethics in the country.

For Jammu and Kashmir, the first thing that needs to go is Article 370. This is one outdated and temporary administrative compromise that has been purposefully kept alive beyond its intended lifetime, by a dishonest Congress government that ruled India at the centre for better part of the 20th century Republican India. The BJP cannot escape its role either as to why it also failed to push through the abrogation of this article when it was in power at the centre. The first Legislative step towards the eventual “solution” of the Kashmir problem is abrogation of Article 370. There could be spurious detractors both inside India and outside as well as to why the Indian government waited so long to take this rather minor legislative step. A terse statement that just because it was not done before does not mean that a lapse or an error has to be continued indefinitely, and that the parliament of India, the supreme legislative authority invested in the people of India does not have to answer to anyone as to why it decided to correct a n error committed in the past, should suffice. This will most likely almost immediately create a furore in the Valley and panic reaction in the pan-Islamic consolidation movement in the subcontinent. The government has to be fully prepared for such an eventuality militarily.

Since a referendum or plebiscite in a state that has formally acceded to one of the two dominions of India and Pakistan, is only pseudo-legally justified on the principle of right of self-determination of peoples, (for example even though not a princely state, the Eastern Bengal portion of Pakistan used this principle to break away from Pakistan), India cannot entirely avoid the question of a referendum or plebiscite since it was personally ensured by emperor Nehru I installed by the British on the throne of India. But this also opens the question of right of self determination for peoples of other regions which acceded to Pakistan
– such as the Balochs and the Hindu majority area (at the time of the partition) of Sind – for the right of self determination cannot only be applied exclusively to Kashmir. I see no difficulty in India facing the referendum on Kashmir after Article 370 is abrogated and due time such as 10 years given to ensure unbiased and free and fair referendums not under pressure from religious leaders, organizations, and armed Islamic militants. Due provision should be made also for the non-Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh to choose to be part of India even if the Muslim part wants to accede to Kashmir. I am sure a correct Indian leadership as chosen correctly by the Indian people will know how to guarantee that the results of the referendum reflect the pre-Islamic and essentially non-Islamic Indic cultural basis of the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir. However the plebiscite in a region that formally acceded to the Indian dominion should only be accepted if a plebiscite is also held in Balochistan and Sind.

Meanwhile, after the abrogation of article 370, the fruit producing areas of Kashmir should be encouraged to integrate with the economically deprived Jammu which has better potential to establish processing industries meant for export of valued added products. The economic future of Kashmir as well as most areas of Pakistan lies in being part of the Indian economy. It is only the ideological limitation of fanatical Islam as encouraged by petro-dollar that will try to disrupt this economic integration. Meanwhile, the most important cultural war that openly discusses and exposes into the public domain the insidious lies and misrepresentations or reconstructions of Indian cultural history, role of Islam on the subcontinent, and the pre-Islamic cultural roots of the people of the entire Indian subcontinent propagated by the Thaparite School of Indian History, should be taken up. The evidence and source is out there, even if the Thaparite establishment has done its best through Government methods of educational control such as the NCERT, to edit out anything that reveals the true nature of Islam and its role on the subcontinent. The younger generation is no longer restricted by the Thaparite school texts for sources of history, and they should look, find out, investigate, explore, and reason out on their own about all available sources and decide for themselves. I have tried to give as much as possible source quotations for readers to decide on this blog, and people of India should independently verify, read and analyze these sources, and not restrict themselves by what the Thaparite school wants them to think. Whatever and however the Islamic theologians try and resist, the role of Islam in India, and particularly in the context of Kashmir should be openly, unflinchingly discussed with surgical precision and detachment. What Islam has represented as the history and culture of the people of the Kashmir Valley, should be immediately challenged and the Islamic theologians defeated.

These are tasks that the current crop of “elders” of India will hesitate and procrastinate to carry out so that the whole issue ripens to a point where it becomes impossible to solve. Out of all the Presidents of the USA only a few remain in the public discourse for their politics centuries after they passed away – over the last 150 years only two – “Abe” Lincoln, and “FDR”, for they could risk their popularity, power bases, and almost everything that had propelled them to power, for the sake of long term future prosperity and benefit of their nation – and did not flinch from short term immense pain and danger. India perhaps can boast of only three, M.K.Gandhi, Bose, and Sardar – their errors only showed their humanity but their intentions and actions mark them out as the only statesmen India has produced in the modern period – (perhaps to a certain extent even Indira Gandhi but not emperor Nehru I!). These are points I hope some in the future generations of India will consider.

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