Anaahat Naad

The Unmade Sound

Posts Tagged ‘BJP

An exercise in futility?

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The Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors’ report – “A New Compact with the People of Jammu and Kashmir”, was made public on May 24, 2012 by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). This was despite the report being submitted on October 12, 2011.

The interlocutors widely travelled the state of Jammu and Kashmir, interacted with more than 700 delegations and held three round table conferences while preparing the report. In three mass meetings, thousands of citizens turned up to express their views on wide range of issues.

The J&K state government and the Central government haven’t commented on the interlocutors’ report yet. The main opposition party of India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has rejected the report altogether. So have the Kashmiri separatists even though they didn’t hold a dialogue with the interlocutors. Also, Kashmiri Pandit organisations have severely criticised the report, alleging that their demands hardly find a mention in it.

When the news of the participation of the two interlocutors in seminars organised by ISI-lobbyists Ghulam Nabi Fai and Abdul Majeed Tramboo emerged, I tried not to be cynical. But my cynicism was reinstated after going through the report.

The interlocutors’ report looks paradoxical many a time. The interlocutors haven’t directly confronted the right of the Indian state over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). At the same time, they have termed“Pakistan-occupied Kashmir” as “Pakistan administered Kashmir”. It is a deviation from the official Indian stance on Jammu and Kashmir. It amounts to derision of the Indian Parliament which passed a unanimous resolution on February 22, 1994 declaring that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir (including POK) is and shall be an integral part of India. Moreover, the interlocutors have recommended the harmonisation of relations across the Line of Control (LoC) by setting up joint institutions. This implies giving legitimacy to the illegal control of Pakistan over parts of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir which acceded to India in 1947.

While the interlocutors don’t directly recommend returning to the pre-1953 situation, they do suggest a review of all the Central acts and articles post in the 1952 Delhi Agreement by a constitutional committee. In other words, they are recommendinga return to the pre-1953 status of Jammu and Kashmir. Also, the group of interlocutors have stressed upon the resumption of dialogue between the Indian Government and Hurriyat Conference – as if the Hurriyat Conference is the legitimate representative of the people of the valley.

The report suggests that the diverse aspirations of the three regions – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – must be addressed without giving concrete proposals. There are no proper measures suggested for redressal of grievances of the internally displaced Kashmiri Pandit refugees or West Pakistan/POK refugees. The interlocutors haven’t touched the controversial law passed by the J&K state legislature such as the ban on delimitation till 2026. Further, the suggestion of making Article 370 “special” from the present “temporary”, the gradual reduction of All India services officers in favour of State civil services and the review of Central laws post-1952 is a step towards distancing the state from the nation. The substantial point in the report is the setting up of three regional councils – one each for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (with Ladakh no longer a division of Kashmir).

The interlocutors’ report is far from producing any kind of consensus within the state or at the Centre. There seems to be no takers for the report. Also, it hasn’t been discussed in Parliament. While New Delhi is busy in its “Raisina Hill exercise”, Jammu and Kashmir awaits the redressal of grievances and firm resolution of the problems concerning the state.

(Originally published in Newslaundry)


Politics over Tricolour

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Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah recent warning to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over flag hoisting at Lal Chowk (Srinagar) has created a furore. Omar’s statements have not gone well with nationalists. Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has organized “Rashtriya Ekta Yatra” which begins from Kolkata on 12th January and end up at Kashmir on 26th January. The rally will pass from 11 states covering distance of 3002.54 kilometres. BJP has launched this rally as part of national sovereignty campaign.

Omar Abdullah didn’t issue any warnings when some fundamentalists have hoisted Pakistani flag at Lal Chowk, Srinagar last summer during Intifada. The hoisting of Pakistani flag is not new in Kashmir. The supporters of Independent Kashmir ‘Azaadiwaalahs’ and those who support Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan, have waved Pakistani flag during their protest against Indian State. Nobody has ever questioned such incidents of waving of Pakistani flag. The Indian Government as well as J&K State Government has always kept silence over such anti-nationalistic activities.

We can’t ignore BJP’s political motive behind such rally. BJP is using nationalism as a political tool to evolve as strong political party at the central level. Same is the case with Omar Abdullah who is heading coalition government of National Conference & Indian National Congress. The basis behind Omar Abdullah’s remarks may be to keep the vote-bank intact in the Kashmir valley. The reason of security concerns is an excuse made by Omar.

The hoisting of national tricolour at historic Lal Chowk will give strong message to communal separatist forces in the valley that are always busy in keeping Kashmir on edge. If Omar Abdullah wants to defeat separatist elements, he must ensure that Indian flag be hoisted at Lal Chowk, Srinagar. Also, J&K Government must provide security cover to all those people who are coming to hoist the flag so as to prevent any unwanted activity.

It seems that majority people of Kashmir have some problem with national tricolour or maybe they are scared of it. This ‘tricolour phobia’ needs to be removed in Kashmir.
And irony is that hoisting of flag has now become an issue in India. Our national flag is caught in between dirty politics.

I wish national tricolour is hoisted in every hook and corner of Kashmir Valley on 61st Republic Day!

Written by Varad Sharma

January 7, 2011 at 1:00 am

Blend of Politics and Poetry: Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25th December, 1924 at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. Vajpayee studied at Victoria (now Laxmibai) College, Gwalior and DAV College, Kanpur. He holds a master’s degree in political science. Vajpayee is a well known poet, orator, eminent journalist and social worker.

Vajpayee’s entry into Indian Politics can be dated back to time when he was arrested during Quit India Movement in 1942. He then became a follower of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the founder member of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He was the President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh from 1968 to 1973. Vajpayee was detained during emergency period (1975-77). Vajpayee was became the External Affairs Minister (1977-1979) in Janata Party Government headed by Morarji Desai. After fragmentation of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Vajpayee, with his close associates Lal Krishan Advani and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, founded Bharatiya Janata Party. Vajpayee served as first President of BJP from 1980 to 1986. Atal Bihari has occupied a number of distinguished positions during his long and illustrious political career. Vajpayee was conferred ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 1992 in recognition of his services to the nation.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India from May 16-31, 1996 and a second time from March 19, 1998 to May 13, 2004. National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government was the biggest coalition government in India. NDA comprised of 24 political parties. The man behind the coalition was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atal Bihari Vajpayee introduced the concept of ‘Coalition Dharma’ in Indian Politics. Atal Bihari Vajpayee took retirement from politics in 2005. The retirement of Vajpayee created a void in Indian Politics and BJP in particular.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a great Hindi poet and journalist as well. He edited ‘Rashtradharma’ (a Hindi monthly), ‘Panchjanya’ (a Hindi weekly) and the dailies ‘Swadesh’ and ‘Veer Arjun’. His published works include “Meri Sansadiya Yatra” (in four volumes), “Meri Ikkyavan Kavitayen”, “Sankalp Kaal”, “Shakti-se-Shanti”, “Four Decades in Parliament” (speeches in three volumes 1957-1995), “Lok Sabha Mein Atalji” (a collection of speeches), “Mrityu Ya Hatya”, “Amar Balidan”, “Kaidi Kaviraj Ki Kundalian” (a collection of poems written in jail during Emergency), “New Dimensions of India’s Foreign Policy” (a collection of speeches delivered as External Affairs Minister during 1977-79), “Jan Sangh Aur Mussalman”, “Sansad Mein Teen Dashak” (speeches in three volumes 1957-1992) and “Amar Aag Hai” (a collection of poems). Vajpayee’s poetry reflects human values and nationalistic fervour.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee turns 87 on Christmas 2010. May God give him good health!

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the living legend of Indian Politics. To take forward Bharat, I yearn to follow up his couplet: “Aag Lagakar Jalna Hoga, Kadam Milakar Chalna Hoga.”.

Written by Varad Sharma

December 25, 2010 at 11:00 am