This morning when we all wake up, people will be seen rushing in India to participate in the Republic Day celebrations. However, J&K will again be an exception, especially Kashmir would be looking like a desert with just men in uniform visible in the streets. Leaving Kashmir dispute aside, New Delhi needs to introspect and answer why it has failed to protect and sustain its constituency in Jammu & Kashmir, and has to issue circulars for its employees to participate in the state sponsored functions. Governor Mr. Satpal Malik, while defending the order, has reveled half the truth by saying that this order was being issued since 2008. As such Omer Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti making hue and cry over this order makes no sense. But his claim that politicians are dividing people on communal lines over the circular is shocking, and desperate attempt to hide the real failure.
New Delhi must sincerely try to find reasons why India miserably failed in Kashmir. Being a matured politician Mr. Malik should know that New Delhi has bulldozed the constitutional guarantees given to Kashmiris, and even the mortal remains of special status are being dragged to Supreme Court. While on the eve of Republic day every Indian should take a pledge to strengthen the faith in constitution adopted on this day in 1950, but in J&K every citizen is worried about New Delhi’s efforts at tampering with Article 35-A and 370. How can Kashmiris be part of republic day celebrations if their rights guaranteed under Indian constitution stand unofficially suspended. Why should even those Kashmiris who don’t have much issues with being part of India feel frustrated. While Governor Mr. Malik has sometimes made fair observations but his charges that politicians are creating communal divide in the state shocked everyone. May we ask, why three out of his four advisors are non-Muslims. Would it be possible in states like UP and Assam where the percentage of Muslim population is more than that of non-Muslim population in J&K, to have a Muslim Chief Secretary, Muslim DGP, Muslim State Intelligence Chief, Muslim Home Secretary, and everyone else who matters a Muslim.
The fact is that New Delhi never trusted Muslims of the state and doubted even late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and people like Mufti Sahab who were more Indians than the Indians themselves. New Delhi never allowed the state institutions to grow. It often indulged in spying every politician and a bureaucrat who would ever try to have a divergent view point over some vital issue. While Indians are proud of their constitution by virtue of which they enjoy freedom of speech, right to pray and choose a government, J&K is an exception. Snatching constitutional guarantees from state of J&K by taking illegal routs has diluted not only the relationship between New Delhi and Srinagar but also the significance of the republic day itself. The draconian laws like PSA and AFSPA are in contrast with the fundamental rights guaranteed under Indian constitution. If New Delhi has disappointed its own constituency in J&K by disrespecting the instrument of accession and murdering democracy in J&K time and again, it should not be difficult for Indians to realize that what could be the feelings, and sentiments of the huge majority who are not ready to accept any resolution to J&K dispute within Indian constitution.