ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Rekha ChowdharySubscribe to Rekha Chowdhary

On All-party Meeting

For Kashmir-based parties, restoration of political process is tagged with restoration of statehood.

Reorganisation of J&K and Anxiety in Jammu

The response of the people of the Jammu region to the abrupt changes made in Jammu and Kashmir, both related to revocation of the special constitutional status of the state and its reorganisation, is explored. Historically tracing the response of the region towards Article 370 and locating it in its relationship with Kashmir, the anxieties being felt in the region after the changes in August 2019 are discussed.

Formation of the Union Territory of Ladakh

The response of people of Ladakh to the formation of the union territory, as it has manifested one year later, is analysed. After an initial sense of satisfaction to their long-pending demand for UT status, people in Leh have become as restless as the people in Kargil to the changes resulting from their UT status, and there are a lot of anxieties related to lack of representation and concerns related to jobs, land, environment and heritage.

KASHMIR: Changing Dimensions of Electoral Politics

One of the most notable accomplishments of Mufti Mohammed Syed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti had been to steer the Congress towards providing a healthy democratic opposition to the National Conference. Their resignation from the party affects the Congress adversely and has ramifications for politics in Kashmir

BJP's Unprecedented Victory in Jammu

A detailed look at the Bharatiya Janata Party's electoral sweep of the Jammu region unpacks the victory and provides clues to understanding its political roots.

The Second Uprising

Signs of simmering discontent have been visible in Kashmir since early 2007 after a series of civilian killings in fake encounters by security forces and in the Amarnath land row agitation of 2008. Contrary to what New Delhi may have been led to believe, separatist politics has acquired a more intense and aggressive form in the Valley by the participation of youth. Exploring the manner in which assertions of separatist politics have changed since 1989-90, this article argues that separatism is now driven by street responses of the youth and is witnessing a shrinking space for moderation.

Identity Politics and Regional Polarisation in J&K

Recently, two issues have generated much heat in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. One is the bill to disqualify women who married men outside the state from the status of permanent residents and the other is the demand to curb scheduled caste and tribe reservations in the Kashmir districts. Both these issues pitted assertion of regional and communal identities against the rights of the marginalised. This article discusses the dangers inherent in this for the future of the state.

Separatist Sentiments and Deepening of Democracy

The energetic and high voter turnout in the recently held elections in Jammu and Kashmir defied popular scepticism after the widespread Amarnath land protests and the vociferous demand in Kashmir for azaadi. The elections should be seen as a process of democratising the political mainstream in the Kashmir Valley. It would however be a folly to suggest that the high degree of participation in the elections has signalled a rejection of separatism. The "problem" of separatism can only be addressed through greater dialogue, which has been facilitated now by the people's yearning for a honourable solution.

Electioneering in Kashmir: Overlap between Separatist and Mainstream Political Space

The impending assembly elections in 2008 in Jammu and Kashmir mark a break in electioneering in the state in recent times, particularly in the Kashmir valley. Heightened political activity by the mainstream political parties and internalisation of separatist demands have characterised this break.

Jammu and Kashmir: Changed Political Scenario

The high voter turnout in the recent by-elections in Jammu and Kashmir indicates the increasing acceptance of democratic politics on the part of the citizenry. Mainstream parties who participated in these elections also took up issues that have long been considered separatist themes, i e, human rights violations, opening up of links with Pakistan, etc. At the same time, the dichotomy between elections for purposes of governance and those to resolve wider political grievances still remains.

Jammu and Kashmir : Electoral Politics in a Separatist Context

The 2004 parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir reaffirmed trends already in evidence since the 2002 assembly elections in the state. Despite the continued threat of militancy and the politics of separatism running a course parallel to electoral politics, the improved showing of the People's Democratic Party in the Kashmir Valley and the resurgence of the Congress in Jammu establishes two things. First, that issues relating to a Kashmiri identity have now found a space in the electoral agenda beyond an exclusive, separatist platform and, second, the politics of division in Jammu, either of religion, caste or tribe, as encouraged by the BJP and the National Conference, has been firmly rejected. It remains to be seen whether the centre, in an atmosphere of renewed optimism in the electoral process as several election surveys also revealed, will now attempt to seek some resolution of the long-standing Kashmir issue by involving more groups in the process.

National Conference of Jammu and Kashmir

The transformation of the role of the National Conference (NC) from a hegemonic actor to the single largest party of the state has to be located in the larger political context of the state in the last 15 years. This political context, defined by the contestation of legitimacy of mainstream politics on the one hand and the situation of armed militancy and separatism on the other had constricted the very nature of democratic politics. The relevance of the NC today extends beyond competitive regional politics. Its claim as the initiator of the tradition of the political movement in Kashmir and its contribution to the evolution of Kashmiri identity politics, assume importance in the contemporary situation of the state.

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