In certain situations, as a student of history, it is important to understand the sequence of events and decisions. If the sequence is lost, the essence of history is lost. Some people do it unknowingly others do it deliberately to further their agenda.
The history of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh goes back to more than 5000 years of Sanatan Dharama, Kashmir Shaivism, Bhuddism and Islam. The aboriginal Kashmiri Hindus and Buddhists have been going through simmering genocide, induced displacement and migration since the religious fundamentalists have adopted violent ways of killing and converting people from other faiths. The language used in Kashmir till 1300’s was Sanskrit with Devnagri and Shaarda script. It was changed to Persian because of the invading rulers. After the beginning of Dogra rule the official language was changed to Urdu.
Before Anglo-Sikh war, Raja Gulab Singh was heading Jammu region for Lahore government. In this war, the Lahore government was defeated by the British and was supposed to pay an indemnity of one-and-a-half crore rupees to the British. Since Lahore government was not in a position to pay full amount and the British were not in a position to go for another war with Dogra ruler, an amount of 75,0000 Nanakshahis was paid by Raja Gulab Singh, where after British ceded the region of Jammu and Kashmir to Gulab Singh. Some people are hell bent to suggest Kashmir was sold to Maharaja whereas fact of the matter is – the State of Jammu and Kashmir was ceded to Maharaja Gulab Singh by virtue of Treaty of Lahore in 1846.
Maharaja Hari Singh did not wish to join either Pakistan or India, although he ultimately acceded with India; it was to protect his subjects and the state from invasion led by Pakistan in violation of the Standstill Agreement signed between state of J&K and Pakistan before August 15, 1947. As a consequence of his wish, he probably wanted to have some kind of autonomy to govern his state Jammu and Kashmir. The Article 370 in some ways could have been a consequence of Maharaja’s wishes, but the governance after accession was rapidly moving out of his hands to National Conference. In 1932, Muslim Conference was established which was later renamed as National Conference and was led by Sheikh Abdullah. In 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru realised his mistake of supporting and promoting Sheikh Abdullah and ultimately he detained Sheikh Abdullah for 11 years.
The Partition of British India happened on the basis of religion – two nation theory. As an extension of this concept, founders of Pakistan desired to have as many Pakistans within the geographical boundary of Indian Dominion, which for obvious reasons was not allowed by Sardar Patel. Everything that Pakistan has been trying since August 15, 1947, has been in pursuance of their desire to illegally annex Kashmir. As a consequence, Pakistan has always considered India as its enemy no.1.
Pakistan in violation of standstill agreement with J&K -a land locked state- stopped its trade routes, which were till then historically used for movement of essential commodities like fuel, wheat, cloth ammunition etc. to the state, it also blocked posts and telegraph links to J&K.
Over and above, Pakistan attacked and killed thousands of Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians to annex J&K.
The Article 370 was a mechanism of allowing a separatist state by not allowing many fundamental rights to millions of people – Kashmiri Hindus, Dalits, refugees from Pakistan, Valmikis, Gorkhas, women who married outside the state of J&K and was also damaging India from within.
In a secular democratic republic of India, the Constitution of India is very liberal towards minorities and hence there was no need to actually have a separate Constitution for a state adjoining Pakistan. But J&K was allowed to have a separate Constitution which did not allow unconditional free flow of laws for the subjects of J&K, even though they were applicable for the remaining states of India. Over and above, the Article 35A was inducted via presidential order without approval of Indian Parliament, which allowed government of J&K to define citizens of the state – effectively we had citizens of India who were not citizens of J&K and the constitution of J&K was biased against citizens of India.
In the meantime, Punjabis from West Pakistan which dominated the military establishment of Pakistan started discriminatory tactics with the people of East Pakistan mostly Bengalis, who were culturally different. East Pakistan revolted against West Pakistan which culminated in formation of Bangladesh as a separate country after 1971 Indo-Pak war even though both parts of Pakistan had been established on the policy of same religion.
After defeat in the war of 1971, former military head of Pakistan Zia ul Haq in 80s devised a strategy known as operation TOPAC. Basic objective of this strategy was to annex Kashmir with Pakistan and to destabilise India. Even today this is the foundational strategy used in one or the other form. Due to lack of political will, the parties heading J&K and Indian government till now were knowingly or unknowingly allowing Pakistan to make deeper inroads in Kashmiri and Indian civil society. The effects of this prolonged self-imposed servitude shown by then governments of J&K and India has now necessitated an unprecedented Government lock down in Jammu and Kashmir, even though unofficial continuous lock downs have lasted at least 13 days in past which were called as hartal or Civil Curfew; effectively making the paradise of Kashmir a living hell for common masses living across the province.
The fact that whole J&K including PoJK, Laddakh and Gilgit Baltistan acceded with India. The territory which is in control of countries other than India is the disputed territory not the area within the current geographical boundaries of India.
The misconception created by vested interests to suggest a freedom movement by some people gets defeated by the fact that genocide and massacre of Hindus and Sikhs was being perpetrated in the name of religious fundamentalism as driven by Pakistani agenda to annex J&K.
My frozen turbulences in Kashmir- Sh.Jagmohan
A History of Kashmir-Sh.PNK Bamzai