DEMOCRATIC MURDER FOR NATION

 

Tyranny is not a simple preposition of theft and violence but of wholesale plunder of sacred and profane major and minor. A shepherd from Lydia a part of nowadays Turkey called Gyges is supposed to have acquired a magical ring that rendered its wearer invisible. Armed with it he enters the royal palace seduces the queen, kills the king, usurps the throne. This is highly satisfactory outcome from Gyges’ point of view, so who would not do the same? The claim that emerges from it is that morality is nothing more than the advantage of the stronger party.

To all intents and purposes, Indian establishment made a series of blunders from the viewpoint of relationship with Kashmir, the Himalayan one the unceremonious dismissal of sheikh Abdullah in august 1953 engendering a climate of treason. In his opening address to constituent assembly in November 1951 for example, he showered the petals of praise for democratic and secular credential of india and derided the Pakistan as a landlord ridden country bereft of written constitution and dismissed the full independence for Kashmir as a utopian idea .’ On 10 august Bakshi Gulam Mohammad who stepped in to fill the void of treacherous fall of sheikh Abdullah at helm of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir denounced sheikh as a oppressive leader who had become a tool of foreign conspirators designed to undermine states ties with india. In September 1953 Pt. Nehru the prime minister of india justified sheikhs dismissal from office before Indian parliament on the basis that he has lost the confidence of cabinet and by his actions caused distress to the people. Since neither the Indian constitution was applicable nor was Jammu and Kashmir own constitution made. It is quite flummoxing that Indian prime minister pt Nehru had agreed with Pakistani government in august 1953 to set up a joint india Pakistan committee consisting of civil and military experts to hold preliminary discussions on organizing the plebiscite same month he was removed for resurrecting the plebiscite demand.

 
It is indeed irony. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad government was purged of all Abdullah’s loyalists. It send out a message that only those who unequivocally agreed to follow the Indian states agenda in Kashmir could aspire to hold office or could play any role in the institutional set up .successive governments in capital and state of Jammu and Kashmir in collusion adopted anti democratic authoritarian policies thereby muzzling the voice of people. Before the time of his dismissal mistrust was let developed between sheik Abdullah and Indian establishment as sheikh has been consorting with representatives of us embassy without seeking the government acquiescence. Did Indian government felt incensed with Abdullah’s meeting with Adlai Stevenson in Srinagar the defeated American democratic presidential candidate. 

Stevenson himself as well as American regime denied any such conspiracy. It is unsophisticated ever to think that a defeated candidate would have given cast iron guarantees to Abdullah about the independence of Jammu and Kashmir who would not run for second time in the presidential race.

Pending the holding of plebiscite Abdullah and his colleagues went nonetheless ahead to elect 75 deputies. The constituent assembly was to consist 43 representatives from Kashmir valley, 30 from Jammu and rest 2 from Ladakh. The mockery of any pretence of democratic process becomes evident even if the elections are held on adult suffrage in autumn 1951. In Kashmir 43 of the candidates were returned un opposed one weak prior to elections rest two non national conference candidate withdrew under pressure to use the words of Joseph Korbel of UNCIP. As opposition to NC a regional party has died in Jammu following the ouster of Muslim conference from Jammu. The opposition in Hindu dominated south and southeast districts of Jammu region were led by officials who had amassed wealth under Dogra dynasty supported by Hindu landlords who lost all the vestiges of wealth as land was appropriated by state san providing compensation which precipitated into a political party called Praja Parashid. It put its hat in the election ring by contesting 28 out of 30 seats given to Jammu region. 13 candidates were arbitrarily disqualified before election . In anticipation of completely rigged elections it was pointless to contest it withdrew all its candidates nominees, non NC candidates also held back giving NC chance to take all the marbles home before the votes were to be casted. A clear anti democratic stance opposed to liberal democratic polity. 

Denied institutional representation Praja Parishad took to streets and demanded full integration with rest of India to secure rights for its sheikh people. To counter it Sheikh choose Ranbir Singhpora the Hindu heartland situated on the border to deliver his speech where he attacked what he called insidious influence of Hindu majoritarian ideas in congress party and referred full integration as childish and savoring of lunacy. To put the crisis situation an end negotiations were held in Delhi in June and July 1952 between Sheikh and cabinet minister Afzal and Nehru. The agreement was hammered out called Delhi agreement which maintained the modus vivendi on the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir. Sheikh made only one major concession that was extending the original jurisdiction of Indian Supreme Court resolving dispute between union and state and state against state. The extension of fundamental rights and financial integration was vehemently resented by Jammu and Kashmir delegation.

 
The residuary powers were to rest in state. It led the extinction of anti democratic, fascist force called Dogra dynasty. What Abdullah conceded was nothing tangible. In August a minor rift surfaced within the top NC leadership, it divided the cabinet with Abdullah and loyalist Afzal Beg outnumbered by dissident faction compromising Shamlal Saraf, Girdarilal Dogra and the Machiavellian Bakshi Gulam Mohammad the deputy prime minister supported by pro communist bloc within NC (to counter pro independence hoax of Abdullah) led by G.M Sadiq and D.P Dhar who were opiate by the piece of news published in New Times which had hailed Abdullah as a progressive and democratic mass movement and condemned the alleged interference of Indian reactionaries in Kashmir, a time when india was looked upon in Moscow through rose colored spectacles. Pt Nehru failed to achieve much political space and through political gimmick put Ghulam Mohammad Bakshi in his place through purely contractual relationship that was not only unrepresentative facilitating integration with india on term dictated by new Delhi. The major spirit of article 370 was taken away during his decade long regime. The democratic institutions were not allowed to take roots and democratic earth was let to remain parched for the parties in itself were feudal.

Writer is lecturer political science and can be mailed at ahmadzaboor@gmail.com

 

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