Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kashmir imbroglio Integration diluted by Article 370

Kashmir imbroglio Integration diluted by Article 370: "

By Atul Sehgal


Article 370 became lame and partially invalid after 1957 when the basic framework on which its continuation depended was dismantled. Post 1957, the Republic of India through its President needed to invoke Article 368 and settle the fate of Article 370 after consultation with the Government of J&K State. This action is still pending on the part of Government of India and brooks no further delay.

It is a pity that China lays claim on Aksai Chin which forms 19 per cent of the J&K State and Pakistan has occupied 34 per cent of the J&K State thus leaving only 47 per cent of the territory in India’s control. China built-up roads, water barrages, railway tracks, bunkers and other infrastructure over the years in the above territory while India watched silently and helplessly. Pakistan runs an official state government in the portion under its control and India does not bat an eyelid.

JAMMU and Kashmir has been culturally, geographically and historically an integral part of India. It has been home to sages and seers who chose to settle in the picturesque and serene surroundings of the Valley to meditate upon the Supreme Divinity and realise Him. These ancient ‘rishis’ are the people who populated the geographical territory called Kashmir. Our ancient social order divided human community into four categories or ‘varnas’ on the basis of avocation. The Brahmins form the category who indoctrinated people with the right knowledge drawn from the primordial scriptures-the Vedas. The present breed of Kashmiri Pandits comes from the community of above ‘rishis’. They are the progeny of sages and savants who through hard penance had realised the supreme Divinity and gave the unique aura to the region.

With the inception of Islam, the followers of Prophet Mohammad undertook missions for proselytization of people spread and settled in all directions. They were following the injunctions of their ‘holy book’ but in the process, a huge population of the State was detached or alienated from their cultural moorings. Many thousands of persons settled in the Valley were converted to Islam by the means of cajoling, coaxing, alluring or forcing. The result of this action is there for us to see even today. The culturally alienated people of the Valley are confused about their true roots and suffer from a crisis of identity.

The Indian Constitution at the present time is secular in character but it has to be recognised that the Indian nation is a historical, cultural entity and historical acts which diluted or obfuscated this culture are anti national. Promulgation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is one such act.

In the light of the above statements, it can be logically concluded that the people who want merger of Kashmir with the ‘Islamic’ state of Pakistan or those who advocate autonomy for Kashmir are inimical to the India