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.

 

AFSPA DEBATES

Guest post by T R Ramaswami

Opponents of ASFPA must read the autobiography of an ex-IPS officer, Shri E.N. Ram Mohan, titled Simply Khaki. Mr. Rammohan was last DG of the BSF (1997-2000) and had served for extensive periods in the North-East and J&K. In the book he states that every political party, particularly in the North-East and Kashmir has a militant unit which comes into play when that party is in the opposition. Insurgency is therefore a political issue which ALL political parties are responsible for creating and nurturing.

Instead of asking for the ASFPA to be repealed, why doesn’t anyone, including human rights activists, central/state governments and the media have the guts to ask for withdrawal of the army in toto from internal security duties? Or let us have another alternative – if any state wants the army for insurgency operations, without ASFPA, the Home Secretary and the DG Police of the state will be sent home for incompetency and the army commander will function in both those offices. Or better still, President’s rule will be declared in the state and martial law declared. Done? Every political party wants ASFPA to be repealed when in the opposition but needs the army to hold their pants when they are in power. Will media even have the courage to state openly that using the army internally signifies failure of all politicians, police and bureaucrats? I challenge anyone to counter my views openly. I am of course assuming, but am open to correction, that media has the courage to publish this letter. It is lack of this courage to express true public views, that has led to “hate sites” which are now clownishly attempted to be censored.

 

AFSPA FOR DUMMIES

Guest post by T R Ramaswami

ASFPA opponents may note this story that explains the issue neatly. A human rights NGO worker, a TV journalist and a tough old soldier were captured by terrorists in Kashmir. The leader granted each one last request. The HR NGO worker said, ‘Well, I’d like one last plate of tandoori chicken.’ The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chicken. The HR activist ate it all and said, ‘Now I can die content.’ The TV journalist said, ‘I want to record the scene here and what’s about to happen. Maybe, someday, someone will see it and know that I was on the job till the end.’ The leader handed over a video camera and the journalist filmed as he spoke. He then said ‘Now I can die happy.’

The leader turned to the soldier and asked, ‘ Havaldarji, what is your final wish? ‘Kick me,’ said the soldier. So the leader kicked him. The soldier rolled to his knees, pulled a hidden pistol from inside his vest and shot the leader dead. He emptied his sidearm on the shocked terrorists and with an AK-47, from an already dead terrorist, sprayed the rest. In a flash all of them were dead. The HR NGO worker and the journalist asked him, ‘Why didn’t you just shoot them all in the first place? Why did you ask him to kick you?’ ‘Because’ replied the soldier, ‘if I had shot first, you two would have reported that I was the aggressor and the root cause of all the blood shedding in Kashmir! Now you know why the army needs AFSPA. Go tell this to the world.’

 

Selling the sinking Boat (Kashmir Chapter)

Today I will talk about the ceding of the throne of Jammu & Kashmir after the Tibet disaster.

Firstly a little briefing about the 600 states which were merged into India:

When British left India, the sub-continent was divided into 3 zones. The territory directly under the rule of British India was divided into India / Pakistan on the basis of the demography. However there were more than 800 princely states which were given freedom. By diplomatic efforts of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, all 600 states which lie under India’s jurisdiction were united. The trouble came from 3 regions:

State of Junagadh: The Hindu king wished to be independent. It was rumored that the king there was more interested in dogs than actual citizens.

The Nizam of Hydrabad: The Muslim ruler wished to join Pakistan. It would have been a major security concern for India to have a landlocked independent state in the heart of its territory. So ignoring Nehru’s instructions Patel intervened and marched into the state.

The state of J&K: The Hindu king Raja Hari Singh ruled over the Muslim subjects, because if the distrust for Pakistan, he decided to remain independent. Nehru honored this decision.

Now the crushing defeat of India against China raised Pakistan hopes. They send across the light infantry with a hope that locals will join hands and give it a face of popular revolt against the senile king. The march of Pakistan was unhindered and the king flew immediately to seek India’s support.

Now the interesting developments happen. The home minister (Patel) was not allowed to join in. All the terms which the king wanted (before the onset of the emergency) was accepted to and a few additional concessions were doled out.

1) There shall be a prime minister of J&K instead of the usual CM?
2) The state placed under foreign ministry instead of the home ministry. (Nehru personally looked after the foreign ministry and wanted Patel out of the whole matter)
3) Host of sops. Like free food, development plans, infrastructure projects.
4) Indians from other parts of the country cannot go and buy property. So the rules of the mainland were not applicable. Few of the Jan Sang members who protested this were arrested in Jammu for entering the state of J&K without permission.
5) Usually the area of governance of centre and state are divided into central state and concurrent list. In the concurrent list both centre and the state have powers to enact laws, but in case of a conflict, the centre rules. However it was the reverse for J&K. The state had more power and jurisdiction.
6) In UN India proudly announced that it will do a referendum to know the people’s wish. Even after repeated reminders this promise was never fulfilled and added to India’s long list of foreign affairs disaster.

It makes no common sense to bend over for a state which urgently needed your support.

 

India’s love for peace? ( you can conquer but not rule).. tibet chapter

The Iraq war has clearly validated that you can conquer the country in a matter of hours, but it will take a heavy toll if you wish to establish a rule there.

A thousand Americans lost their life in Iraq not while fighting but while acting as a sentry, guarding the outposts and regular patrol duty. The people strongly condemn the foreign rule and they violently express their opinions.

Well, bringing this to the context of India- China relation opens up a new dimension in the secret wars and foreign policy disaster which I was talking about.

Tibet was a buffer state between the 2 Asian Giants. The presence of a buffer territory is a time tested method of reducing the tension and border incidents between the two super-powers. Chinese acquisition of Tibet did not go very well with India.
1) We condemned the Dragon of being an aggressor.
2) Gave shelter to the spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
3) Questioned the validity of the puppet govt. and the new Dalai Lama which Chinese govt. installed.
Chinese saw it in this way:
1) In order to rule Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s presence has to be quenched.
2) In future, if India gets powerful and it can use absconding leader as a pretense to expand its territories.
3) Over years the British had slowly and steadily expanded their territories into the weak Tibet, the Mac-Mohan line was forced on Tibet kingdom.

The war preparation at that moment was next to nothing. In fact India lost so much ground without even a single fight that Pakistan’s thought of capturing the buffer state of Kashmir could be put into action.

If China would have been an aggressor, it could have simply flag marched into New Delhi and we would be standing and accusing it of back-stabbing. Chanakya esp. said that there is friendship among equals. Humble states may call their alliance friendship, but it is actually submitting and seeking protection. It is a misfortune that the work of such a wonderful manager of diplomatic relations gathers dust.