ARTICLE 370 – THE REASONS WHY AND THE SOLUTIONS

Guest post by T.R. Ramaswami

India became independent on 15th. August 1947 and the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession till October 1947. What was Kashmir’s for those two months?  Independent country? Part of British Empire? When the accession took place, Kashmir could only accede to India what it had and not what Pakistan had already occupied.

This brings me to the second point. Let us hold a referendum of all Indian Kashmiris all over the world – the choice being between abolishing Article 370 or complete independence for Kashmir. If 370 goes, let us acknowledge the LoC as the international border and resolve the situation once and for all. If 370 does not go, then let us give full independence to Kashmir. This should be done by not repeating the mistake Nehru (a Kashmiri) made in 1947 during partition, ie allowing Muslims to stay back in India, when their leaders wanted a separate country for Muslims.  We should ask all Kashmiris, Hindus or Muslims or of any religion, to go back. And Kashmir DOES NOT include Jammu and Ladakh.

Those who stay back in India are welcome to do so but they will have no property rights or voting power in India. Let them know what a 370 is. In fact this is what we should have done with Muslims after partition – go to Pakistan or convert back to Hinduism or have no voting and property rights. After Kashmir gets independence let whoever is their leader, and his people fight with Pakistan on PoK and let them also defend themselves against the Chinese in the north.   We always seem to be getting into a fix over 370. Let us reciprocate 370 – no Kashmiri can own property anywhere else in India.

Alternatively, make Kashmir un-special by recasting the Lists in the Constitution, removing all overlaps and formalizing the federal nature of the country. The Centre should keep only a few subjects with itself – like defence, foreign affairs, atomic energy, railways, ports and airports, oil, currency, professional and post-graduate education.  Is Kashmir asking for any of these?  The centre should transfer all other subjects not only to Kashmir, but to all other states, thereby ensuring that Kashmir is nothing special.  Kashmir cannot dictate about what the Centre gives to other states, as long it also gets the same powers.  370 will become a dead duck.

Today an Indians can own property in the USA, UK etc. but unless he is a Kashmiri he cannot buy property in Kashmir. It is more a foreign country than the US, UK etc. and we should let it go. Kashmir is being subsidised by not only hard-earned money from the rest of India – all of which is swindled by politicians in Srinagar and Delhi – but also by the blood of soldiers whose dependents cannot even buy a square inch of the land that their fathers/husbands/brothers etc. unnecessarily fought and died for. This is hypocrisy.

The Kashmir problem arose because Nehru did not know whether he was a Kashmiri first or an Indian. We should have handed over Kashmir along with all the 50 million Muslims to Pakistan and accomplished a true partition. But Nehru was worried that with so many more Muslims Jinnah could have rightly asked for more land and Kashmir would have been the choice. He did not want his Kashmiri Pandits to become refugees and wanted a Pak-contiguous Muslim majority state to stay in India against all logic.

Instead we have a eunuch like situation. That these Pandits are now refugees need not be cried over. They are paying for the blunders of their own leader.  The Kashmir problem will always defy solution as long as the Nehru family is in politics as they will not want the ineptitude of Nehru and his chauvinistic personal intentions to be revealed.

 

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CONSTITUTIONAL ISTRIFICATION OF HISTORY

Guest post by T R Ramaswami
What exactly is the reason for the hullabaloo raised over the cartoon? It is nothing but symbolic hypocrisy like the one on the auction of Gandhi’s possessions. The more important question that no one has the courage to ask is this – If Ambedkar is the so-called “Father” and “Architect” of the Indian Constitution as many would want it to be claimed, did he do a good job? Then let them explain why he was such a poor visionary. We have had 100 amendments in less than 65 years. That‘s a far better strike rate than that of Gayle, Afridi or Sehwag. Contrast this with the less than 30 amendments in 230 years in the US Constitution. It is evident that Ambedkar’s name has been used as a vote gathering technique while his Constitution has been mauled and raped. The question is – when will the Dalits realize that they have been taken for a ride and that their poverty and consequent illiteracy has enabled this? The sucking up to vote bank politics of the Congress compelled that he be given the title of “Father of the Constitution” with a more than deserved share of the credit. If however the contrary is true, then is it not correct that the Congress governments, under whom most of the amendments were enacted, did so only for narrow political gains, thus destroying Ambedkar’s seminal work? It would be interesting to hear the responses of the Congress and the supporters of Dr. Ambedkar. If Ambedkar’s reputation has to be restored then let the Constitution be restored to its 1950 glory and let us run the country on that basis.

Since we have been correcting history/political science text books to suit various ethnic, social and political needs, there is one correction that needs to be made. History books tell us that Nehru, a leader of the Congress “fought” for independence. But there is no information on what dates and which places he did so – and what “fighting” he really did. Making provocative speeches (which every two-bit neta does today) and sending long memorandums to the Viceroy do not count. Could the text books please carry this information? Also if he was such a great freedom fighter, then why was he not sent to the Andamans where the real freedom fighters were sent? Why was he sent to jails with all comforts where he could letters that became books and on which royalty was earned later? I am told that the only fighting that Nehru only indulged in hand-to-hand ‘combat’ – with the Viceroy’s wife on the lawns of the present Rashtrapathi Bhavan. History books also tell us of the great crime Nathuram Godse committed in assassinating Mahatma Gandhi. But they do not tell us that he committed an even greater crime – he shot the wrong man. Who should he have shot – the Great Freedom “Fighter”. History books should also tell us why the Congress that claims to be a Gandhian party did not dissolve itself as desired by the Mahatma. Will the HRD Minister answer all these questions so that our censored knowledge of history is complete? Perhaps the above is the reason why many say ‘istri’ for history. They know that inconvenient facts have been istrified.