Article 370 move may end rule of 2 families in J-K | Analysis

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySunita Aron
Jun 10, 2020 04:58 AM IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution to revoke Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha. It was passed with 125 votes in favour of the move.

The idea for the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir was in the air for quite sometime with some even favouring trifurcation as its three regions- Kashmir Valley, Ladakh and Jammu- were different in culture and complexities.

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and former chief minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti during an all parties meeting, in Srinagar, on Aug. 4, 2019.(PTI)
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah and former chief minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti during an all parties meeting, in Srinagar, on Aug. 4, 2019.(PTI)

Brigadier Arun Bajpai, who is a regular commentator on Kashmir, had outlined specific reasons behind his demand for trifurcation of J&K almost two years back.

Besides him, members of the Kashmiri Samaj, spread across India, had been raising the demand for the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A ever since militancy increased in the 1980s. They stepped up their demand after the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.

Elated by the decision of the Modi government, Brig Bajpai said a valley-centric government led by two families ruled the state for decades. As their vote banks were also restricted to the Valley, they failed to curb insurgency and do justice with the rest of J&K.

WATCH| Article 370 scrapped | Kashmiri pandits rejoice, celebrations in Ladakh


“What is unique for J&K state is that even though it is a Muslim majority state, its population numbering 93 lakh is mainly concentrated in Kashmir valley in an area which is just 32% of the entire area of J&K. The balance 60 lakh population comprising Hindus and Buddhists are in Jammu and Ladakh regions respectively in the remaining 68% area,” the brigadier had said two years back.

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He had then said the answer lies in dividing the state into three regions – Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Ladakh even as many others were rooting for an all-representative government. “Actually only PDP-BJP coalition government had represented the valley and Jammu region. Now that the aspirations of other two regions are also high, it will be difficult for any valley-centric single party to run a democratic government,” the Brigadier said.

Several delegations met PM Modi over the issue.

‘About 1.25 lakh Kashmiris had assembled in Jammu in 1991 and two resolutions were passed demanding abrogation of Article 370 and a union territory for pandits in Kashmir. We were demanding a small area but the government has given us full Kashmir,” said Deepak Kachroo of Punnu Kashmir organisation in the state capital.

Ramesh Kumar Mattoo, head of Kashmiri Samaj in Bangalore, said, “At one stage we had even demanded a centrally sponsored territory in the Valley where they could resettle. The government decision would certainly help in improving the law and order situation in the entire region, besides integrating Kashmir into India. Yes, many would like to return home.”

After spurt in militancy at the fag end of 1980s, four demands were consistently raised: Ladakh should be carved out as union territory, Kashmiri pandits wanted their own union territory in valley, Kashmiri Muslims their azadi while Jammu demanded an independent status as a state.

One thing is sure now, with the government’s move to scrap Article 370, dynastic politics will come to an end in J&K.

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