This is how the Kashmir issue can be resolved once and for all

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Puneet Gupta 

It is only Article 370 which has allowed for various mouths in the political and separatist circles to blither about independence. Had Article 370 not existed, thanks to the first PM of India and Sheikh Abdullah’s friendship, there would be no screams, reason or rhyme behind secession. There would not be the Friday protests or burning of the Indian flag, which, anywhere else in India can land one in Jail. The literally patriarchal guideline on females of the state losing state subject if they marry outside the state would not exist .

The November of 2014 saw polar mandates in the election for government formation in Jammu and in Kashmir. An unexpected coalition government was formed because a seasoned leader and former Chief Minister, Mufti Sayeed saw an opportunity in joining hands with an inexperienced local BJP leadership.

The voters of Jammu were content that the party voted for in Jammu was going to be in power. Centre saw a massive opportunity to come to power for the first time in the state responsible for BJP’s origins. But the happiest man was Mufti Sayeed, who knew that it would not be difficult to manage the naive partner and the trend has continued in the second year with PDP running the political circus.

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Modi government at the centre in the two years has not done anything different than what Congress did in conceding to the requirements of the local parties. There have been various allegations for BJP’s soft stance against the separatists in the valley as well. PM Modi himself had spoken how Article 370 was deleterious to the existence of J&K but there was no mention of it in the election manifesto. On the floor of the assembly itself this year, many leaders have gone on record to say that Article 370 would not be touched.

The latest statement of the National party over the addressal of the issue was around the requirement of a 2/3rd majority in the Parliament. Sadly!

If Article 370 has to be abrogated at the Central level, 367 seats in the Lok Sabha and 164 seats in the Rajya Sabha are the first requirement. BJP cannot do this at present considering it does not have the desired numbers in both the houses.

However, during his own run up to Prime Minister campaign, PM Modi had made promises to overturn Article 370. The abrogation may not have been touched, atleast some discussion in the Parliament could have been initiated? That is the first question that can largely answer if India even wants the special status to be revoked.

The current scenario in Kashmir

Before the Burhan Wani encounter, the major issue that took centre-stage was of the transfer of NIT Srinagar that more or less settled. That the infiltration from across the border has reduced is debatable considering the frequent killings of foreign militants. The last two years, infact, have seen heightened foreign activity and this is happening right under the Modi Regime where the out of power BJP had attacked increased militancy as one of the biggest failures of Congress in 2013.

The Solution

Militancy and Kashmir issue would support each other till the time some hard decisions are taken.

The decision to abrogate Article 370 will have repercussions but nothing that will not die down after a period of protests. Handling protests for the administration is not new considering the 26-year history of the most talked about part of the world.

One interesting point to consider here is the fact that most people who furiously debate Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir presenting themselves as champions of the cause have no clear understanding of it. Those in the valley who shout slogans of pandemonium if Article 370 was even touched are merely followers of a handful of people.

Once job opportunities are created due to abrogation, the demographical change would not seem important at all. Everyone, who is educated desires a respectable meal.

It is true that the valley shall see seemingly undying protests if Article 370 is nullified but protests have happened for almost three decades. The protests will eventually die down and in a longer scheme of things, the debate on whether J&K is an integral part of the state or no would no longer remain one.

It is only Article 370 which has allowed for various mouths in the political and separatist circles to blither about independence. Had Article 370 not existed, thanks to the first PM of India and Sheikh Abdullah’s friendship, there would be no screams, reason or rhyme behind secession. There would not be the Friday protests or burning of the Indian flag, which, anywhere else in India can land one in Jail. The literally patriarchal guideline on females of the state losing state subject if they marry outside the state would not exist .

The Money 

Which state does the centre fund with eyes closed? Jammu and Kashmir.

And, funds which would normally rehabilitate most other states in India. Irrespective of this fact that the funds to the state are endless, the state has not been able to setup an industry to support its economy which is driven by agriculture and trading.

No industry, no services mean no work and the reason Kashmir has so many heads gone haywire is because of a high percentage of highly-educated, jobless men and women. The state government can only produce a given number of jobs and that translates to about five percent of all employment options in J&K.

Conclusion

Article 370, was meant to be temporary. It was supposed to be diluted over the years and die its own death but instead it became permanent. The National Conference and the People’s democratic Party talk about first replicating the scenario of 1953 and then talk about Article 370. The hint there is clear, ‘Do not touch Article 370.’

Kashmir can never be free and the local Kashmiri needs to understand that. Pakistan has wanted Kashmir since 1947 and the internal conflicts in Pakistan would replicate in Kashmir too. Also, both the regions speak completely different languages. Where is the marriage between the two possible?

If somehow, magically, Pakistan does not manage to grab Kashmir on its own, then there is another neighbour, China. China has taken Tibet by force and Kashmir would be too easy to take. An independent Kashmir is a bad dream even for the Kashmiris.


The views are the Author’s own and do not reflect U4UVoice’s official policy