Kashmir Faces Discrimination
By: Tawfeeq Irshad Mir
Leave aside the privileges accruing from Article 370, our state has not even such powers as are available to other states of the union under its constitution. Senior IAS, IPS officers and bureaucrats are usually drawn from outside the state. We have a host of non-state senior officers here. This policy creates an impression among the local bureaucrats, police officers and civil society that Indian authorities do not trust Kashmiris. History confirms it. Indian rulers did nottrust Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah who had endorsed the accession of the state to the Indian Union. He was removed from power with much humiliation in 1953 and put behind bars.
Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad, who followed the Sheikh as Prime Minister,cemented State’s accession to India and helped New Delhi tighten its grip on the state. He let lose repression against anybody daring to speak against tyranny and Indian occupation. But he too was sidelined ignominiously through Kamaraj Plan.
If the accession of the state to the Indian Union had remained strictly restricted to three items agreed to by the Maharja, namely defence, foreign affairs and currency, perhaps Kashmir would not have to face the disastrous situation as we find now. India has always discredited those who strongly believe in secularism, non-sectarianism and securing State’s accession to the Indian Union. Stories of betraying these segments are many. The result has been that India is left with no friends in Kashmir. How can one become friends with them when they go back on their commitments and take recourse to deception?Not only that commitments made on international level, too, are disregarded.
This is the reason why some mainstream political parties who have a majority of seats in the legislative assembly are loath to protest to Delhi authorities against curbing or usurping some of their powers. The reason is that their protest will not be heard or responded. And if they insist, they will be shown the door. Hence they remain silent and the powers of the state were gradually getting squeezed day after day. In Kashmir, India has not been looking for friends but for agents and spies. Hence if the State of Jammu and Kashmir is geographically part of Indian Union, this is only because of heavy presence of Indian army and security forces.
Scholars of world history know that no people have ever been kept in permanent subjugation through muscle power. Liberation movements do ultimately succeed and liberate the enslaved nations. We have the example of Algeria under French occupation, Viet Nam under American occupation and Central Asia under Russian occupation. In the light ofthese historical events how can India or Pakistan militarily maintain their permanent control over the people of the state?
We need to remind Indian intelligentsia that in 1947 the people of Jammu and Kashmir did not opt for accession with Pakistan despite religious commonality. Not only that, they resisted the tribal attack on the state even though unarmed. Indian army was invited because the Maharaja had signed the accession document with the Indian government. In the background of this situation what is the reason that today Kashmiris consider Indian army an occupational and an alien army?
I want to know from Indian print and electronic media why is it that it avoids uncovering and highlighting the oppression and suppression unleashed by the local regime in our state. We seldom find them taking up a story of corruption, nepotism or abuse of authority in regard to the state. Why is it that the Indian media links the protest of Kashmiris against an incident of rape and murder of innocent women to separatism? They should understand that by doing so, they lose their credibility with the people in Kashmir.
The recent incident that happened in Bandipora, sends jitters down the spine, and even shackles the wildest beast in the jungle, but unfortunately we didn’t noticed any beurocratic and political will to accelerate the momentum of investigation In this election season, hardly any political heavyweight turned to condemn the barbarous incident. It feels that elections mean everything to them. From past 70 years there isn’t any evident social mobilisation in kashmir.
Discrimination on caste levels, has dwindled the architecture and psychology of Kashmir, certain caste enjoy more privileges. “HOW is it that a child of a defence personal is given certain privileges, while the child of a farmer is denied the same”. This level of discrimination at elementary level, will debunk the deserving candidates and at the same time will uplift the non_deserving ones. This will render the administrative departments deficient of quality as well.
The year 2018 and now the first quarter of 2019, witnessed many fallouts of health structure in kashmir, whether it be deliveries outside the hospital, or medical negligencies on record. It feels that the politicians are encroaching the health structure of kashmir. People of personal choice and of relative influence, are deputed at official positions in health departments. The most worrying concern is the blank eye of media, especially national media has never picked up such issues, to enlighten the masses.
Tawfeeq Irshad Mir is a Political columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]