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

Articles By Rekha Chowdhary

Ladakhi Politics since the Formation of Union Territory

In just three and a half years after the formation of the union territory, the political class of Ladakh has given a new direction to its identity politics. From being fragmented on subregional and sectarian lines, it has become inclusive and seeks to represent the whole of Ladakh. The framing of demands has also taken a pronounced federal turn.

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.

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.