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

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The Kashmir Solution

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In the comment “Is Kashmir beyond Repair?” by Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal (EPW, 12 May 2018), the author’s opinion, apposite to the current unilateral ceasefire by the centre, warrants a cursory glance at the state of flux that caused the socio-political milieu in Kashmir to be fraught with tribulations and animosity. Taking the discourse back to 26 October 1947—when the Instrument of Accession was signed in the wake of the invasion by the tribesmen from Pakistan braced by the Pakistani army—makes one realise that Kashmir’s accession to the Union of India was unlike that of the other princely states, with India getting to control only the defence, foreign affairs and telecommunications. Kashmir was to have its own constitution and a special status under Article 370 of the Constitution of India. In January 1949, the United Nations endorsed a plebiscite for Kashmiris to decide to which country they wanted to belong.

Howbeit, the autonomy conferred upon Kashmir by the Instrument of Accession started dissipating gradually with the incarceration of Sheikh Abdullah, the then Kashmir Prime Minister or “Wazir-e-Azam”—the nomenclature being agreed upon in the original Kashmiri Constitution itself—by the central government in 1953, after he implemented radical land reforms and gave a speech alluding to the possibility of an independent Kashmir. In the ensuing years, the subsequent governments at the centre installed stooges as rulers who eroded Kashmir’s autonomy brick by brick.

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Updated On : 25th May, 2018
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