Even in 2014 it still appears that it is “very difficult” for Govt of India to draw a clear line between the mainstream and separatist ideologies.
People of J&K have not seen stability after 1947. Position this day is so agonising that even those who talked of nationhood only in Indian nationality too have been at contributing for addition to confusions/controversies. Right since 1947 the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir have remained in one or another controversy. The controversies have been out of mishandling of the affairs by the people who mattered and or due to likes and dislikes of some individuals. More particularly after 1950 the conditions have never stabilised. There were some constitutional controversies, personality clashes and to all this were added extra territorial interferences from players like Pakistan.
It will be worthwhile to briefly name here the events. From Oct 1947 to August 1953 J&K remained under unstable government headed by Sheikh Mohd Abdullah, from Aug 1953 till Oct 1963 Bakshi Ghulam Mohd headed the local government as Prime Minister though he did earn appreciations from all the regions but all those years he had to deal with pro-Sheikh Abdullah and some anti-accession elements like Plebiscite Front (1955) in Kashmir Valley. Bakshi Ghulam Mohd additionally had to deal with internal intrigues of his own colleagues and he was also in a way made to resign from the position of Prime Minister of J&K under the pretext of the then Congress president Kamaraj’s Plan (after May 1963) and then followed brief period (October 12,1963 to February 29,1964) of Khwaja Shams-ud-Din who was allegedly made to face some tailored agitations like that after the theft of “Moi-e-Muqqadas” (Holy Relic of Prophet Mohammad S.A.W) from the Hazratbal Shrine. Ghulam Mohd Sadiq took over from Khwaja Shams-ud-Din and it was during his time that the designation of Prime Minister was changed to Chief Minister (substituted for “Prime Minister” by the” Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1965, S. 2) and that of Sadar-e-Riyasat to Governor (by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1965, S. 4). Questions have been raised on Jammu and Kashmir (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1965 to by even those who ruled thereafter. All these years nothing was done by Central leadership to remove the misconceptions that were cultivated in Kashmir Valley about J&K even after the state had acceded to India on 26th October 1947 and more particularly after the arrest/dismissal of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah on 8th August 1953.
After the death of G.M Sadiq in 1971 Sayeed Mir Qasim became the Chief Minister who faced local elections in 1972 but was asked by Indira Gandhi to make way for Sheikh Mohd Abdullah with support of Congress in 1975. Congress lost national elections in 1977 and at State level withdrew support from Sheikh Abdullah. Fresh elections were held in J&K in 1977 Sheikh’s revived National Conference won with majority and formed Government. It was in 1982 that Sheikh Mohd Abdullah died (08-09-1982) and Dr. Farooq Abdullah took over as Chief Minister. Unstable environment continued, June 1983 fresh elections to legislature were held. Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah’s own brother in-law Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Shah defected (July 1984) to cause a split in NC and with Congress support became the Chief Minister who was also dismissed in March 1986 (Governor Jagmohan from 26 April 1984 – 11 July 1989). Elections were held in 1987 and Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference could then form government only in alliance with Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress. It was hereafter that open insurgency started. Conditions deteriorated, mass migration from Kashmir Valley started in 1989, Jagmohan was sent as Governor (19 January 1990 – 26 May 1990) and Farooq resigned in protest, Governor Rule was imposed.
Thereafter Assembly Elections could be held only in 1996 and Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference won the elections almost with a two-third majority. But militancy continued and Kashmir Valley migrants still could not return. The same National Conference that got a resolution accepting the 1999 State Autonomy Committee Report on 26 June 2000 passed and even brought 29th amendment to J&K Constitution in 2002 (that in a way put a seal on the unfair Valley-centric Delimitation of Assembly segments done in 1994 for another 30 years) faced humiliating defeat in 2002 elections and Mufti Mohd Sayeed’s PDP joined the Congress to form Government. In 2008 elections National Conference did make some recovery but could form Government only in alliance with Congress. Since then although Omar Abdullah headed Government has lasted full term but the way National Conference and Congress have been holding the coalition together more to only stay in government than to conduct effective governance speaks a lot about the deteriorating socio political conditions in J&K where in 2014 it still appears very difficult for GOI to draw a clear line between even the mainstream and separatist ideologies.
(Daya Sagar is a Sr Coloumnist and a social activist can be reached at dayasagr45@ yahoo.com).
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