On 26 October 1947, the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir formally became a Part of the Indian Union. Pakistan never accepted the decision of Maharaja Hari Singh, who was legally empowered to sign the instrument of accession, as final. It has repeatedly tried to use force and terrorism to change the status quo, in the process muddying the issue.
Whenever the issues of J&K’s accession to India and Article 370 are raised, emotions run high. Information is cherry picked, arguments are aggressive and thus, a meaningful discussion becomes impossible.
For easy reading essay is split into ten parts. Matter covered in each Part is given below.
Part 1 deals with Accession of J&K to answer the following questions: Can Maharaja Hari Singh be accused of procrastinating on whether to join India or Pakistan? Why has India not held a plebiscite in J&K? Did the British provide tacit support to Pakistan in POJK and Gilgit / Baltisthan? Why was J&K important to Pakistan? What is the importance of Aksai Chin (Part of undivided J&K) to China? Can the Accession of J&K to India be reversed?
Part 2 focuses on answers to questions on article 370: Was J&K the only State to draft its own Constitution? Was Article 370 promised at the time of signing IOA? If Article 370 is repealed, would J&K cease to be Part of India, as the National Conference and some separatist groups are claiming today? Could Nehru have forced the State to merge with the Constitution of India like other States? Could Nehru’s Government have cleared J&K of Pakistan occupation? Is Article 370 a temporary provision? What are the provisions of Article 370 in brief?Isit correct to justify Article 370 by referring to exclusive provisions of Article 371?
Part three seeks to answer questions on the first elections in J&K and Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest in 1953: Was any Census conducted in 1951 before deciding the Electoral Districts? What was the basis for allocating seats between Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions? What were the results of the 1951 Election?What about the 1952 Agreement and Sheikh Abdullah’s arrest? Why was Sheikh Abdullah and 25 others arrested in 1953? What about the new Constitution and 1957 elections?
Part 4 tells us about the order of 1954. It asks which parts of the Indian Constitution apply to J&K and raises an important question on whether Article 35A forms Part of the Constitution.
Part 5 talks about which laws not applicable in J&K. Does Article 370 prevent anyone from buying property in the State? What about women’s rights in J&K?
Part 6 focuses on who is a Permanent Resident of J&K? What are benefits conferred to Permanent Residents and implications thereof?
Part 7 talks of the population and delimitation of constituencies. What is the region wise population since 1951? What are the comparisons of population and Census numbers post 2001?
Have assembly seats been manipulated to give Kashmir valley control of the legislature?
Part 8 looks at lopsided development of Jammu and Ladakh. We also ask, why are some separatist leaders against return of Pandits to the Valley? Why are Kashmiri Pandits reluctant to return to the Valley? It also gives details of how residents of Jammu and Ladakh regions are discriminated against.
Part 9 looks at State Finances. We can look at questions like these: is the state of J&K discriminated against by the Centre? What do the state’s budget numbers for the years 2009-10 to 2014-15 suggest? What is the breakup of Revenue Expenditure for the years 2009-10 to 2014-15?
Part 10 is a summary and conclusion and seeks to answer the question: Is there a solution to Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan would not be satisfied?
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