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Jammu and Kashmir’s Monthly Magazine

RNI : JKENG/2007/26070

ISSN 0974-5653

Now Telling The J&K Stories

Epilogue because there is more to know

Jammu, December 1, 2009 / Vol 3 / Issue 12 || Price Rs. 30 || Postal Registration No. JK-350/2009-11 || www.epilogue.in

The Regional Dialogue

Kashmir Ladakh

Jammu

Building Peace Countering Radicalisation An IPCS Initiative

Srinagar-Delhi Relations

Remembrance

The Way Coalitions Make Adjustments

Sanjoy Ghose: Joy and Outrage

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36 ISSUES OF CHANGE

Taking J&K Closer to World Bringing World Closer to

For last three years Epilogue has made constant endeavours for bridging divides between regions and minds. The present issue brings in range of perspectives and pragmatic suggestions from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. An essay by Prof Ashwani K Ray further widens the canvas by involving New Delhi and Islamabad


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Epilogue because there is more to know

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CONTENTS

Editor Zafar Iqbal Choudhary

Contributors to this Issue Essential Entries Letters

Publisher Yogesh Pandoh

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Books/Authors Nyla Ali Khan

Consulting Editor D. Suba Chandran Associate Editors Irm Amin Baig Tsewang Rigzin Volume 3, Issue 12, December 2009

General Manager Kartavya Pandoh

IN FOCUS

Manager Adarsh Rattan Bali (Marketing & Advertisement) Art Editor Keshav Sharma

“I am Completely opposed to the 27 attempts of Indian and Pakistani mainstream historians to underscrore ethnic, religious and regional divides in their explication of the Kashmir Conflict” Column Dignity of Labour in the History of Kashmir

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Prof. Jigar Mohammad

Regional Dialogue

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Research Officer Raman Sharma

Prologue Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh Building Peace Countering Radicalization D Suba Chandran

Features Women in Conflict Why are they Unware of their Rights, Abilities, Strength

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Manisha Shobarjani

The Search for their Missing Men: 34 Kashmiri Women’s Saga Nusrat Ara

Phones & email Office : +91 191 2493136 subscriptions : +91 99060 27136 Editorial: +91 94191 80762 Administration: +91 94191 82518 editor@epilogue.in subscription@epilogue.in

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J&K, India and Pakistan Religion and Politics in the Region Prof Aswini K Ray

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Challenge in Jammu Region Understanding the Amarnath Shrine Land Controversy Sandeep Singh

Printed and Published by Yogesh Pandoh for Epilogue NewsCraft from Ibadat House, Madrasa Lane, Near Graveyard, Bathindi Top, Jammu, J&K - 180012 and Printed at : DEE DEE Reprographix, 3 Aikta Ashram, New Rehari Jammu (J&K) Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction of courts and competitive tribunals in Jammu only.

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Challenges in Kashmir Valley Understanding the Growing Radicalisation Arjimand Hussain Talib

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Challenges in Ladakh Understanding the Political and Religious Polarity

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Rajni

Politics Centre-State Relations The Way Coalitions Make Adjustments

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Tariq Ahmad Rather

Role of Religion Identity Formation in Kashmir

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Viveyata Sharma

Remembrance Sanjoy Ghose : Joy and Outrage

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Shreekant Sambrani

Tashi Morup

RNI : JKENJ/2007/26070 ISN : 00974-5653 Price : Rs 30 www.epilogue.in

Opinion Women : Role beyond Promoting Cosmetics

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J&K In Dates December Timeline

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J&K In Numbers Industries

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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

Ara, Nusrat (Features, P34), is a researcher based in Kashmir. Currently she is working at a research project with Charkha Communication and Development Network Chandran, D Suba (In Focus, P6), is Deputy Director with Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi. He is also Consulting Editor with Epilogue Magazine Marupp, Tashi (In Focus, P23), is a freelance journalist and researcher based at Leh Mohammed, Prof Jigar (History, P31), is professor of History at the University of Jammu. He is also a regular columnist and Editorial Adviser with Epilogue Magazine Rather, Tariq Ahmed (Perspective, P38), is a research scholar with the department of Police Science, University of Kashmir

Sharma, Rajni (Opinion, P35), is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Jammu Sharma, Viveyata (Perspective, P41), is a researcher and teacher of Political Science with a College of the University of Jammu Singh, Sandeep (In Focus, P13), is a researcher and project officer with the University of Jammu Sobhrajani, Manisha (Features, P33), is a Delhi based independent researcher working on the various aspects of Kashmir conflict. She divides her time between Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir Talib, Arjimand Hussain (In Focus, P18), is an acclaimed author and columnist bases at Srinagar. His regular columns on economy, politics and human rights appear in Greater Kashmir besides other media

Ray, Prof Ashwani (In Focus, P8), is former Dean, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Readers' requests for getting in touch with the authors, for feedback, comments and further discussions on their subjects of interest, are welcome. Since all authors/contributors are not interested in taking mails directly, the readers are requested to send us interview requests at editor@epilogue.in for passing on to the authors

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Vol. 3, Issue 12

Epilogue, December 2009


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NO T I C E

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Essential Entries ON RECORD

ON REGISTER APPOINTED: Kashmir born Justice Bilal Nazki of J&K was appointed Chief Justice of Orissa on Nov 13, just four days before his retirement. SWORN IN: Ghulam Hasnain Masoodi was sworn in as Additional Judge of J&K High Court on Nov 13. Oath was administered by Chief Justice Barin Ghosh. MILESTONE: Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine registered highest annual pilgrimage so far on Nov 12 when one Sagar Choudhary of Meerut became 7417620th pilgrim breaking record of 2007 when 7417619 pilgrims had visited. PROFIT: Jammu and Kashmir Bank posted net profit of Rs 134.27 Cr for quarter ended Sept 2009, which was 16% up from Rs 115.92 Cr for the same period last year. ELEVATED: Jammu born Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana Court Justice Tirath Singh Thakur cleared for elevation to Supreme Court. He is son of former J&K Deputy CM DD Thakur.

CHANGE OF GUARD: Lt Gen Naresh Chandra Marwah is named to take over as GoC of Srinagar based 15 Corps replacing Lt Gen Bikram Singh who has been transferred to Army Headquarters at Delhi.

PASSED AWAY: Legendary editor and doyen of Urdu journalism in J&K, Sofi Gh. Mohammad, 77 passed away on Nov 16. He was Chief Editor of Srinagar based popular Urdu Daily Srinagar Times. www.epilogue.in

Agitational terrorism has become new problem in the State. As part of this new form of terrorism, the anti-national elements are first creating situation for people coming on roads and then initiating such steps that people become violent and paralyze the State General Officer Commanding in Chief of Northern Command Lt Gen B S Jaswal at a press briefing at Northern Command headquarters Udhampur on Oct 31

There was nothing like 'agitational terrorism. There is nothing common between the two – terrorism and agitation Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacting to Gen Jaswal's statement on Nov 9 at Jammu

The ban order on prepaid cell phones in Jammu and Kashmir has been issued on imaginary assumptions that pre-paid mobile SIM cards are being issued to the terrorists without proper and adequate verification Prof Bhim Singh, lawyer and Panthers Party leader in his plea before the Supreme Court of India seeking revocation of ban on prepaid cell phones

India has a basket of options (to) use against Pakistan... economic, trade, media, foreign relations, military and covert measures... Stop all imports from Pakistan, ban overflight by Pakistani airlines and significantly restrict travel between the two countries. Pakistan will react but the pain will be asymmetrically more for Pakistan Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in its "Task Force Report on National Security and Terrorism�

It is unfortunate that when the entire world is engaged in lobbying for resumption of talks between India and Pakistan through confidence building measures, including free travel and trade initiatives, FICCI is putting forward irresponsible and immature statements Shakeel Qalandar president Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir

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L E T T E R S

Readers Write One View is Missing Moeed Yusuf's account of Federation of Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Promoting Cross-LoC Trade, Epilogue Nov 2009) is highly informative and educative but it fails to take into account the perspective from Jammu Chamber. He seems to have spoken to representatives of AJK Chamber and Kashmir Chamber and has mostly relied on third party information as far as view point of Jammu Chamber is concerned. He says that the idea of Joint Chamber was decided between AJK representatives with their Kashmir counterparts in Srinagar and was just got okayed by the representatives of Jammu Chamber. This is far from reality. Kashmiri businessmen made strong political statement for Cross-LoC trade but the initiative was actually propelled by Jammu businessmen. In fact the formation of Joint Chamber was primarily an idea and initiative of Jammu Chamber under the leadership of then President Mr Ram Sahai (since died). Representatives of Kashmir Chamber have always been reluctant on the Cross-LoC trade as they are primarily interested in transit trade. As Cross-LoC trade completes one year, figures stand testimony to the fact that Jammu traders have done most of the Cross-LoC business while this trade has almost failed on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad trade. I would say that Mr Moeed Yusuf carried just two of the three views on Cross-LoC trade. RAMAN GUPTA A Businessman in Jammu

Nyla's deal of justice I have gone through Nyla Ali Khan's book Islam ‘Women and Violence in Kashmir and seen a fair deal of justice the author has done to the various identities and issues in Jammu and Kashmir. I think she could have researched and written little more about the Gujjars on this state who have always a historic role. She has made mentions but there was scope for doing more. However, after reading her interview (Epilogue, Nov 2009) I really get to understand that how an author can leave aside his/her own identity to do justice with facts Dr JAVED RAHI Secretary, TRCF Jammu

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Seniority of Engineers: All Monkey Business The government recently ordered posting and transfers of as many as nine Chief Engineers (CEs) and superintending Engineers (SEs) to head various wings of the PDD/PDC. The interesting part of the order was that all the engineers were placed as 'in-charge CEs/SEs. All the engineers who were made 'in-charge' CEs were earlier 'Incharge' SEs. May be some of them were 'in-charge' Executive Engineers only before they were made in-charge SEs. This means they held the substantive rank of only Assistant Executive Engineers (AEE). This ultimately boils down to the fact that some of the CEs/SEs may at present be holding the substantive rank of AEEs/Executive Engineer only. If you ask them, the answer they put forth is that there are many court 'stay orders' on promotion of one against the other incumbents; therefore a firm order of promotion cannot be issued in favor of any engineer. But the fact of the matter is that the administrative Deptt has not fixed the seniority list of the engineers in service for decades together in almost all the engineering wings. No concerned officer at any level in the Civil Secretariat has bothered to get the 'seniority lists' prepared that is so vital, necessary and important for regulating service careers. This, consequently, leaves a vast scope for the officialdom to manipulate service careers of the incumbents and make them fight against each other. While this allows the unscrupulous secretariat officials to play 'Monkey Game' with the incumbents aspiring for promotion, it also leaves open a vast scope for those who wield influence in ruling political circles to manage their promotion.

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Readers Write Expand study on Muslim Rajputs Muslim Rajputs of J&K (A case study of Rajouri district by Dr Muzammil Hussain Malik, Epilogue, Nov 2009) is a pathbreaking study, perhaps first of its kind in public domain. This could have been developed into a full cover focus of the magazine. I hope the Editors take suggestion for expanding this work to rest of the state and consider a full issue on the subject RENU POKHARNA Center for Civil Society New Delhi

II Thanks to Epilogue for bringing out of somebody from Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s family who has the courage to reveal the Jammu and Kashmir strong with seeking interest in power politics your observation that Islam, Women and Violence picks up threads from where Aatish-e-Chinar left is largely valid with a reservation the former is about a person and latter is about person and latter is about peoples. SURINDER KAUR Advocate Jammu/Anantnag

NOVEMBER 2009

So strong is the lobby in the Civil Secretariat that does not want a final 'seniority list' of engineers in service that it has even defied the Supreme Court of India's verdict against Adhoc/Stop-Gap promotions. The SC in the year 2000 in the case Suraj Parkash Gupta and others Vs J&K State issued explicit directions to stop all adhoc/stop-gap promotions and come out with the final Seniority List as per method and criteria as directed by the Court in this case. It is shocking that the state government has not implemented the directions of the Apex Court and the system of Adhoc/stop-gap/Incharge promotions is still in vogue without final and clear seniority list. This puts a serving senior engineer in a piquant situation. Although, working at senior position holding the rank and responsibility of a Head of the Department, he may only be drawing the pay scale of a much junior post. And unfortunately, if he retires as 'in-charge' CE or SE his pension would be fixed at the pay scale of the substantive post that he was holding before retirement. This has happened to many of the engineers who retired years back after 90s, working as CEs/SEs for years together and are still fighting for fixation of their pay/pension as per the post from which they retired. But their case-files are shuttling between Administrative Deptt, civil secretariat and the Accountant General (AG). As it is the Adm Deptt that will promote them to the rank they were holding before retirement and only then the AG will fix their pay/pension to which they are entitled. And thus the 'monkey game' of doing justice to the cats by the clever monkeys sitting in Civil Secretariat continues. This is high time the Chief Minister who though young and energetic as per his age is fast growing old among the old and strong political and bureaucratic surroundings orders immediate framing of proper seniority lists of all officials in the government service on universally accepted norms to get rid of manipulations of service conditions of serving officials in his government. ER VIKRAM GOUR Superintending Engineer (retired) Trikuta Nagar, Jammu

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Regional Dialogue PROLOGUE JAMMU, KASHMIR AND LADAKH

Building Peace Countering Radicalization

D SUBA CHANDRAN

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n the last two years, J&K has witnessed new highs as well as lows. Violence has come down greatly; numerous figures relating to infiltration, militancy and human casualty would prove the positive changes that are being witnessed at the ground level. New infrastructure is being created, in terms of roads and rail network. Kashmir Valley, for the first time in its history, witnessed a rail network and the airport being upgraded into an international one. More importantly, 2008 also witnessed one of the most successful elections for the J&K State legislative assembly since the most controversial elections in the late 1980s. At the cross-LoC level, the interactions are not only continuing, but also expanding at a constant pace. Besides the two bus services - Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, and PoonchRawlakot, for the first time in the last six decades, trucks have also started crossing the LoC, initiating trade between two Kashmirs. Undoubtedly, the above developments are positive ones. But, there have been some negative developments, that needs to be looked into, if one has to consolidate the gains. Despite the recent elections and continuing cross-LOC interactions, the state of J&K has been witnessing an increasing radicalization of three distinct kinds – religious, regional, and ethnic. While there has been much focus on military and human rights issues in the state, the growing divide between

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religious communities, regional antagonisms, and souring relations between various local tribal communities, are trends that have crept into the state almost unnoticed. The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi is undertaking a project to understand the nature of change that has been taking place at various levels, and work towards building peace. This project aims to bringing the younger generation in the different regions together to discuss these emerging issues and reach an understanding on how to prevent further radicalization and build peace among the various communities. First, there has been a slow but steady radicalization taking place between different communities in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, and within the communities themselves. Kashmir Valley has been well known for its practice of Sufi Islam, which plays an important role in what is defined as the Kashmiriyat identity of people in this region. Unfortunately today, both the Kashmiriyat and Sufi Islam are under stress, due to the radical onslaught, which has slowly, but steadily crept into the state, in recent years. A section amongst the younger generation, unlike their elders, does not believe as much in Sufi Islam. Led by some militant groups, there is a deliberate effort to change the nature of Islam in the Kashmir Valley. In Jammu region, certain fundamentalist forces have

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been trying to radicalize the Hindu youth. There have been deliberate attempts to use the Amarnath Yatra and other Hindu religious places of worship such as Vaishno Devi, Ragunath in Jammu and Budda Amarnath in Poonch district, to radicalize the Hindus in the Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch belt. One can see a trend in the sudden expansion of these yatras, under a deliberate patronage from certain groups. Radicalization within the communities has an impact on the relations between different communities, mainly the Hindus and Muslims. The recent communal violence in Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch is part of this trend. Despite the presence of different religious communities, these sub regions and cities have always maintained religious harmony. Though there have been tensions between these communities, they were contained through local dialogues. However, in the recent period, they are recurring at a faster pace and affecting the communal harmony of neighbouring regions/towns. Second, one could also observe the growing radicalization of regional sentiments between Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The violence that followed the Amarnath Shrine Board crisis in Jammu and Kashmir regions, and the growing demand for Union Territory Status for Ladakh are expressions of how divided these three regions are today. Administrative issues such as establishment of educational institutions have the potential to divide the regions further, as one can observe from the ongoing agitation in the Jammu region, relating the setting up of a Central University in Jammu. Third, besides the religious and regional divide, one could also observe

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a growing ethnic divide between the Gujjar and Pahari communities in the Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch belt. Ever since the Gujjars were granted the ST status, the Pahari community, has felt disadvantaged. One could observe parallel processions and counter arguments/articulations of interests by both these comminutes against the other. The recent violence that broke out between the Gujjar and Rajput Muslims in Mendhar is an expression of this coming conflict. With a view to study these perilous developments more closely and devise measures to counter the growing radicalizing tendencies within J&K, the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, in collaboration with the University of Jammu, is undertaking a project titled “Building Peace and Countering Radicalization in J&K”. The primary objective is to find the extent of radicalization and understand its nature. The project also aims to provide a forum, to the different communities and regions to come together and discuss these issues in a cordial atmosphere. The project would conclude by making specific policy recommendations to the governments and civil societies, based on the interactions. The Institute as a part of this project, has been conducting field research by a select research team of the IPCS, across the three regions – J a m m u , K a s h m i r, a n d L a d a k h , specifically in ten towns – Jammu, Rajouri, Doda, Kishtwar, Anantnag, Srinagar, Baramulla, Sopore, Kargil and Leh. Besides, the Institute is also organising a survey, primarily among the youth, to understand their perceptions of religious, regional and tribal differences, and the measures they

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deem necessary for the state and civil society to adopt to prevent an escalation of conflict and violence. The questions will be open-ended, asking for the opinion of the respondents to find what they consider as the causes for radicalization. The survey will also ask for their recommendations on how to address the growing divide between the communities. The Institute, as a part of this project, have also commissioned essays relating to the subject, written by young scholars on the above issues. These essays will be published as Issue Briefs, in the Institute's website – www.ipcs.org. The Institute is grateful to the Epilogue Magazine, for agreeing to reproduce these essays; some of them are discussed in the following pages, in this issue of Epilogue. Besides the field research, surveys and discussion essays, the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, in colloboration with the University of Jammu is organising a three-day conference in Jammu during 2-4 December 2009, with an objective to create a dialogue amongst the young generation towards building peace and countering radicalization. The Workshop will bring together youth belonging to an age group of 20-30 years from varied backgrounds – students, scholars, and media persons, representing various communities of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, to debate these issues in smaller, subgroups and make specific recommendations on how to prevent further radicalization. The Workshop will also invite senior scholars as Resource Persons, to help the young generation understand the current issues in a larger perspective.

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Regional Dialogue

J&K, India and Pakistan Religion and Politics in the Region PROF ASWINI K RAY

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here are so many puzzles and paradoxes in the inter-face between religion and politics in the IndoPakistan sub-continent, both before and after its partition, that it is deceptively easy to mystify both while explaining the bilateral relations between the Islamic state of Pakistan and India with its Hindu majority, after their separation. For a start, created as a “homeland for the muslims” of the subcontinent, after much bloodshed, more muslims opted to live in secular India than in the Islamic state of Pakistan; and since then, while the non-muslim population of Pakistan has steadily declined, muslim population of India has continued to increase, both numerically and proportionate to its Hindu majority. Now with about 123 million, India has the second largest muslim population after Indonesia, and not Pakistan. Equally striking has been the historical trajectory of the emergence of theocratic Pakistan from the wombs of colonial India, from the shared heritage of its composite culture, its evolution as a military dictatorship in sharp contrast to India's secular, democratic, consolidation ; and the secession of its more populous wing, initially as a secular democracy of the sovereign state of Bangladesh, and not long thereafter relapsing to become another military theocracy, like its parent-state flanking the other side of India's International border. This story is worth recapitulat-

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ing, albeit pithily, to underscore the role of religion in the politics of the region. For example,in undivided India in 1905, when the British colonial regime, ostensibly for administrative reasons, divided the province of Bengal broadly along its subsequent communal divide, both Hindus and Muslims in the region, led by the Congress Party, successfully agitated to “unsettle” the “settled fact” as the government described the partition. But in 1947, the Muslim League in the same Bengal successfully launched its “direct action” – an euphemism for orchestrating communal violence – to trigger off one of the bloodiest communal riots in the history of the sub-continent to force the creation of Pakistan broadly on the earlier lines.Yet, as already stated, fewer muslims opted to live in the new Islamic “homeland” than in India, despite its overwhelming Hindu majority. More than that, almost immediately after its bloody creation based on religion, Pakistan's exclusively religious identity came to be contested by its many ethnic groups , and paradoxically most stridently again in East Bengal itself , to culminate in its secession to emerge as Bangladesh, initially as a secular state and later as another military theocracy in India's immediate border. This historical process in the region has also transformed IndiaPakistan relations, not simply between two adversarial neighbours, but also

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between a democracy and military dictatorship, and between a secular state with a large muslim minority within a multicultural society and a theocracy, and also through the long and bizarre politics of the global cold war, between nonaligned India and a close military ally of the United States in the region;in many ways, the beginning of the global cold war almost simultaneously with the emergence of Pakistan in South Asia, has had important bearing on the history of the region, particularly Indo-Pakistan relation. In fact, all these factors, along with religion, have continued to influence Indo-Pakistan relations, as we would underscore in this narrative some argueably more than others; the precise role of religion within this complex interweaving of factors within the two sovereign states with their respective blends of tradition and modernity is difficult to pinpoint, despite the continuing influence of religion in the politics and social life of people in both parts of the divided sub-continent, possibly more than in many western states. Coinciding temporally with some of the aforementioned aspects of Pakistan's historical evolution, neighbouring India's project of nationbuilding launched by its constitutionally enshrined secularism, in the midst of the most massive communal upsurge within the civil society spawned by the riots and refugee influx is as puzzling as the uninterrupted continuity of its democratic structure with universal adult

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franchise, and liberal institutions of governance, in a social base sharply asymm e tri c a l from w e ste rn l i b e ra l democracies.It is quite striking, because, since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, there have been two full-scale wars between India and Pakistan, two near wars, continuous arms race leading to both emerging as nuclear powers in more recent times, and the only such case among adversarial neighbours; besides, periodic communal violence in both countries, and in Bangladesh after its emergence. India's secular, democratic, consolidation in this phase is as striking as its continued commitment to the liberal norms – despite its many operational inadequacies – in more recent times of the global proliferation of Islamic militancy, and terrorism, and its targets in many of India's urban centers, Hindu temples and festivals, and the audacious attack on the Indian Parliamant. It is not without its significance that Pakistan(now even Bangladesh) is referred to as the “cradle” of “Islamic fundamentalism” and recruiting hub of global terrorism, no significant instance of Indian muslims' involvement in AlQuaida type global terrorist network have been alleged. Kashmiri terrorism in India, and cross-border terrorism in the region, no less lethal, constitute a different category of terrorism with different goals.In fact, as we would argue, India's secular-democratic institutions of governance – despite their increasing operational deficits – in sharp contrast to Pakistan's military dictatorship, and unstable politics, rather than religion per-se, seem to be the more causally related dividing line between the options available to the regimes in the two countries to deal with each other, and the tensions in their mutual bilateral relations. This point could be most sharply underscored in case of the unresolved Kashmir dispute, which is

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unlikely to be easily resolved within the present political asymmetry between the two rivals locked in the battle for the hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people. Or, if, by a miracle, it was resolved, a new bone-ofcontention would not be invented between the two historical adversaries; so that it is debatable if Kashmir is the cause of Indo-Pakistan tensions, as repeatedly claimed by Pakistan, or its consequence , as implied by India . Initially inherited as a legacy of colonial rule, Pakistan's attempt to militarily annex this muslim-majority, but Hindu-ruled , “Princely State” of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K;which also includes Buddhist-majority Ladakh) of colonial India in 1947, followed by the Indian Army's successful drive against the “invaders” after a formal request from its legitimate ruler, transformed the problem to an Indo-Pakistani dispute; and India's reference of it to the UN Security Council after stopping its victorious army catapulted it to become a cold war issue between a close US military ally in the region and India among the most strident critic of the US global policy of “military containment”. Consequently, repeated Soviet veto in the Security Council against many USsponsored resolutions on Kashmir, along with Soviet endorsement of J&K's constitutional integration with India as among the constituent states within its federal structure in 1954, enabled India to cut its losses by stopping its victorious army short of complete victory to refer the dispute to the Security Council, where it has remained unresolved till now; and the Line-of-Control of 1947 remains as the Indo-Pakistan International border in the region. Since then, except for the war of 1971 which was rooted proximately in Pakistan's domestic politics vis-à-vis its Eastern wing , followed by Indian intervention,all the other Indo-Pakistan

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wars and near-wars( 1947,1964,1965, 1999,2002) , and arms race, have been around J&K; more specifically around Pakistan's attempts to force the issue militarily to its advantage having failed to wrest it diplomatically in the Security Council and politically within the J&K. Pakistan's claims to J&K is almost entirely based on the muslim-majority of the region, while India refuses to accept religion to be the basis of any further territorial redistribution of the region in view of its experience of the earlier partition ,and also its own large muslim population in the secular state.In this zero-sum-game between the two sovereign states in the region, and the global power politics of the cold war era, the concerns of the people of J&K had remained secondary for long, till almost the mid-seventies. Through this phase, while the small Pakistani part of the region predictably replicated the politics of the Islamic military theocracy, it is the much larger and more numerous Indian part which, through its democratic politics, has transformed the regional politics and the erstwhile Indo-Pakistani dispute closer to the concerns of the people in the region ; paradoxically, this broad democratic trend of regional politics in the J&K, spawned by its exposure with India's secular democracy has been increasingly at India's cost, caused by the operational inadequacies of the same democratic institutions of governance leading to corruption, misrule, political instability and violence, and most unfortunately for India, communalism, more to Pakistan's advantage than necessarily at its behest at least to begin with, as we would describe; but its subsequent manifestation through militant terrorism has had obvious cross-border support-base. In fact, Islamic Pakistan's attempts to communalise the politics of J&K to its advantage had largely been unsuccess-

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ful till the mid-seventies, and was to the advantage of secular India in this only muslim state of the federal structure. This story is worth recapitulating to analyse the role of religion in the interstate, and intra-state, politics of the region with its multi-cultural, including multi-religious, diversities. In many ways, the communal transformation of the impeccably secular politics of J&K, and the secularization of the politics of East Pakistan leading to its secession to emerge as the secular state of Bangladesh – with some help from across the border from India – and, its subsequent relapse as an Islamic state are all comparable examples of the use of religion as an instrument of protest of alienated communities against mainstream politics, and policies of regimes within sovereign states with or without some crossborder support in a region where the post-colonial territorial borders of state sovereignty do not constitute insurmountable cultural barriers as in the Indian sub-continent. The case of J&K in this context is central to our present concerns. Historically, the liberation struggle in the region was directed both against British colonial rule, as also against its local feudal underpinning consisting of its king, the Pandit coterie of civil servants, and Dogra landowners, all Hindus in the Muslim-majority “Princely State”. Sheikh Abdullah, the region's only charismatic mass leader has had impeccable secular credentials who, despite his overwhelming muslim political base, opposed the partition of the sub-continent to create Pakistan,never allowed a communal clash in the valley when the rest of the country was in flames before the partition; did not allow the Muslim League or invited Jinnah to Kashmir, but invited Gandhi and Nehru to forge links with the Congress Party to pursue their shared

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anti-colonial and anti-feudal political agenda; dropped the “muslim” prefix from his political party of the Muslim National Conference in this muslimmajority state, at the cost of some resentment in the party; and, above all, launched his radical land reform programme based on his “Naya Kashmir” manifesto whose beneficiaries later spawned a new secular muslim middle-class in the valley. While his secular politics alienated Sheikh Abdullah from the Pakistani leadership, his anti-feudal agenda was despised by the king, his Pandit courtiers, and Dogra landowners largely located in Jammu. Paradoxically, it was the Hindu king who initially vacillated about joining India and went to Karachi to meet Jinnah who neither trusted the Hindu king nor the muslim mass leader of the region because of his secular politics and earlier opposition to the creation of Pakistan which, together, explains his decision attempting to militarily clinch the issue in 1947. Paradoxically again, it was Pakistan's military invasion that united the Hindu king, and its muslim mass leadership in favour of India. In this sense, the region's secular politics, in tandem with the contemporary Indian mainstream politics, that proved to be the major constraint against Pakistan's attempt to communalise the issue to its advantage. Again, in 1965, when Pakistan under Ayub Khan launched its “Operation Gibraltor” by para-dropping troops in civilian clothes before launching the actual war, it was the Kashmiri people –mostly Muslims – who identified the infiltrators and handed them over to the Indian Army. It was at this time that the first ever communal violence also suddenly emerged in the valley, allegedly, sparked off by the “theft” of some Prophet's relic which was later discovered. One of the heroes of the 1965 war who won the highest gallantry award of

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the Indian government was a Kashmiri Muslim.Later, while Jammu &Kashmir remained largely unaffected by the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, from all reports, sympathies of the Kashmiri Muslims lay with the East Bengalis' struggle for regional autonomy than with the Pakistani military rulers.This should not be surprising, since the people of J&K had the same aspiration for greater regional autonomy within the Indian federation. Yet, since then, much water has flown down the river Jhellum -- in which, according to Sheikh Abdullah, Muslims were not allowed to wash themselves – to transform the politics of J&K to a communal cauldron well before, and unrelated to, the global assertion of radical “Islamic Fundamentalism” and “global terrorism”; that is the sense in which the two are different, both in terms of their source and aspirations. Proximately, the communal transformation of the politics of J&K had more to do with the contemporary trends in Indian politics, particularly in the era after the National Emergency of 197577, marked by the political assertion of a wide ranging social revivalism, including Hindu nationalism,a quantum-leap in the level of criminalisation and corruption and, above all, a phenomenal escalation in the level of social and political violence along with increased state-repression. Predictably, as an integral part of the Indian federation, these phenomena also manifested themselves in the politics of the J&K. But, cumulatively, they provided the political base in the region increasingly receptive to Pakistan's persistent attempts to communalise its politics, to its advantage. It was only in the general elections of 1977 after the National Emergency that for the first time in the J&K five Jamaate-Islami candidates were elected to

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the Assembly, along with the resurgence of the Akalis in Punjab, and the Hindu nationalist Jan Sangh, also the Muslim League, and a number of caste-based political parties asserted themselves in Indian politics. By then, even the National Conference in J&K, still asserting its secular political tradition, was under increasing local pressure to stridently assert the demand for regional autonomy, in tandem with similar demands from the various parts of India as a backlash from the repressive and centralised Emergency regime; in fact, the electoral resurgence of the communal parties in the country in 1977 was also in some ways related to the perception within the electorate of these groups having been the major victims of the repressive Emergency regime flaunting its secular masthead. This was the flip-side of the same phenomena in undivided Pakistan in 1971, when East Pakistani defiance against its Islamic military theocracy asserted itself through its secular state. The repeated arrests, and prolonged incarceration, of the charismatic regional leader, Sheikh Abdullah on unsubstantiated charges -- longer than in colonial rule -- beginning in 1953, shortly before J&K's integration with India, was the first cause of uneasy relationship between his party, the National Conference, and the Indian leadership under Nehru; the political drift between these two mainstream political parties within the J&K and the national level, respectively, have continued to be both mystified and magnified by the various vested interests – with predictable help from across the border -- and also, widened the rift between the regional aspirations of the various section of people in the valley, and the perceptions of India's national leadership. While the former has expressed itself through increasingly

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strident demand for regional autonomy, the national leadership has perceived such a demand as threat to its 'national security'; and, having failed to contain it politically, including electoral malpractices as in some other parts of the country, have added fuel to the incipient embers of fire in the J&K by increasing repression through a ham-handed coercive machinery. Consequently, while the people of the three regions of J&K have largely been polarized around their religious identities, the Muslims of the Kashmir valley have asserted their demand for regional autonomy increasingly through Islamic identity and communal politics, thus making it a happy hunting-ground for Pakistan, and at India's cost, for the hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people. In this process of alienation of the Kashmiri people from the mainstream of secular nationalism in India, and the region's long tradition, the two successive elections of 1986 and 1989 constitute important landmarks in the transformation of the demand for regional autonomy towards more radical separatist directions and, its assertion through Islamic metaphors; also, driven by repression, towards militant terrorism by crossing the porous borders into Pakistan and its open arms. In a macabre replication of another similar version of East Pakistan earlier in the region, the militant activists of cross-border terrorism came to be celebrated since then as 'freedom fighters', thus providing Pakistan a righteous opportunity to avenge the earlier defeat. In this sense, the communalization of the politics of J&K has been more to Pakistan's advantage than at its behest; for Pakistan's attempt failed for long till the conjuncture of Indian politics facilitated it. As in the case of East Pakistan, the interface of religion and politics is both rooted in, and impacts, the domestic politics of

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the states in the region than its interstate relations; and despite the present conjunctural congruence of interests between a section of J&K's domestic politics, and one of Pakistan's obsessive foreign policy goals, in the long run, its experience is unlikely to be very different from India's experience of support to East Pakistan's liberation struggle, or the various ethnic groups' experience in Pakistan for a separate “homeland” in the name of religion. But through this entire phase of the evolution of Pakistan, and the Kashmir problem, Indo-Pakistan relations have had a roller-coaster trajectory of ebbs and tides in a jig-saw puzzle, often insulated from the level of communal politics in the various parts of the region. For example, wars, nearwars, eye-ball confrontations, periodic exchange of firing, reciprocal expulsions of diplomats, refuge to criminals, asylum to terrorists have been accompanied by periodic meetings at various levels up to the summit, 'Track-II diplomacy' at various levels of the civil society, pilgrimages to each others' place of worship cutting across religious divides, exchange of gifts across the border at various levels during each others' religious festivals, meetings of “old tie” networks across the border, including the officers after battle-field encounters, not to mention the most important icing on the cake in the form of cricket-diplomacy, medical tourism, and Bollywood bonhomies. There are daily reports of the hospitality accorded to guests from across each others' borders. And, talking of borders, there was few more enchanting sights than the border guards of the two countries every afternoon performing their comic opera of competitive boot-thumping accompanying the delightful banter of appreciative crowds on both sides of the border, a long tradition which for some

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inexplicable reasons is reported to have been discontinued. Even in more recent times of the general escalation of communal politics across the region have been accompanied by new 'confidence-building measures' around military exercises and arms–deployment. The Hindu nationalist BJP-led NDA–regime under Vajpai took considerable initiatives to improve Indo-Pakistan relations through its Lahore 'Bus diplomacy' followed by the Agra summit. Paradoxically, in secular India, the BJP leader Advani faced considerable criticism, and lost his partyleadership, for having described Jinnah as “secular”, while almost simultaneously, General Musharaff in Islamic Pakistan got away without raising any hackles by asserting that it was Muslim deprivation, rather than religion, which spawned the demand for Pakistan. The puzzling part in these two public pronouncements of the leaders is not so much their historical accuracy or otherwise, but their decision to pronounce views which were so obviously contrary to the political logic of their respective constituencies. At any rate, neither of these pronouncements affected IndoPakistan relations in any way. This tends to reinforce our arguments around the role of religion in the regions' politics, and its impact on inter-state relations. While in Islamic Pakistan, the prolonged misuse of religion to legitimize its successive military regimes has spawned a subterranean secular backlash within a section of its civil society; while in India's electoral politics, the populist rhetoric around secularism has created a backlash among a section of people that is becoming increasingly cynical of the secular label to some obvious aspects of electoral politics. These two events also suggest that Musharaff's project of leading Pakistan to become a “moderate” Islamic state and “mod-

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ernizing” its Madrassas, with predictable US support, has now a domestic constituency receptive to economic rationality explaining the role of religion in politics; while India's relatively new Hindu conservative backlash is much less tolerant of liberal cosmopolitanism in its political discourse, but the country's secular-democratic constitutional structure restricts its operational sphere strictly within its permissible limits. Besides, democratic India's civil society is now more pro-actively assertive against many majoritarian excesses, either in the religious or the electoral sense. This makes bridgebuilding across the secular-communal divide between the ideologies of India and Pakistan, and the religious divide within them, as much of a realistic possibility as the present confidencebuilding measures between the two sovereign states. ut, empirically, more than religion, the political asymmetry between Pakistan's military dictatorship and India's democracy is more proximately rooted to the periodic tensions between the two countries. This theoretical generalization needs further qualifications, because there have been military regimes in Pakistan who have not always been hawkish on India, like, for example, the Zia-regime (1977-1991); nor all civilian regimes less hawkish, like, for example, the brief Nawaz Shariff era which plotted Kargil (1999) after receiving Prime Minister Vajpayee in Lahore and reciprocating his peaceinitiatives. But the problem with military regimes in inter-state relations is the periodic instability endemic in it, as in Pakistan affecting Indo-Pakistan relations. All politically contested regimes in Pakistan have tended to be more hawkish both against India, and on Islam : like Ayub Khan in his “ Basic Democracy” when accused of “sell off”

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vis-à-vis India, plotting “Operation Gibraltor” and the 1965 war, and finally capitulating after Tashkent; or Bhutto after the Shimla Conference (1972) drafting the “Islamic Constitution” of an “Islamic Republic”, and simultaneously announcing the projects for an “Islamic Bomb” and a “Thousand Year War” against India , and more recently Nawaz Shariff, and even General Musharaff till the windfall of 9&11 which suddenly transformed him from a pariah in US diplomacy to a valuable strategic ally against “Islamic Fundamentalism” to enable him to consolidate against his rivals at home. In sharp contrast to Pakistan, India's democracy , and its constitutional institutions have historically provided relative political stability to pursue its secular nation-building agenda,inclusive of its large muslim minority in a multicultural society, as part of its national security. Consequently, the Indian state, unlike its Pakistani counterpart, has had fewer domestic compulsions to be hawkish either against any of its Islamic neighbours , or generally about religion as a basis of its national identity. Such pressures emerging from the resurgent Hindu nationalism in more recent times, partly from its domestic politics and reinforced by the globalisation process of the large Hindu diaspora , is considerably mitigated by the legitimacy of its constitutional structure and the civil society pro-activist response against majoritarian excesses. Pakistan's political system is still far from being modernized or democratized to ensure abidingly stable relations between the historical adversaries as neighbours, within their inter-state, and intra-state religious divides. Till this happens, the trajectory of Indo-Pakistan relations is unlikely to be very different from its present ups and down, but both inspite of their religious divide than because of it.

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Regional Dialogue CHALLENGES IN JAMMU REGION

Understanding the Amarnath Shrine Land Controversy SANDIP SINGH

Jammu witnessed an agitation in the summer of 2008 which was unprecedented in term of its duration, quantum and amount of passion. In both the provinces, the agitation was directed against the state, one for the cancellation of order and another for the imposition of the order concerning allotment 800 canals of land to Shri Amaranth Shrine board (SASB) .The agitation has polarized both the region and religion. There are different versions about the nature of the agitation.

Background Discontent in the Jammu region has been deep rooted; New Delhi's concern with the Kashmir problem with least or negligible mentioning of the Jammu has only aggravated this. Rekha Choudhary (2008) argues that the political discontent within Jammu and Kashmir, is all pervasive and extends beyond the Kashmir Valley. In the Jammu region, a feeling of political neglect has persisted since the early fifties. This feeling emanates from the context of power politics which has remained Kashmir-centric, allowing only token involvement of the political elite of Jammu. There is a feeling that in all political negotiations undertaken to address the Kashmir problem, Jammu is taken for granted and that the political arrangements are imposed on Jammu. Internal dynamics of the Jammu and Kashmir is much more complex. It also indicates that the ethno- religious composition has much to do with the history and future of the state, like the Jammu-Muslims were opposed to the separation from the Valley and did not favor the idea of regional autonomy for the Jammu.(Memorandum by some Muslims in Jammu.)

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It is also interesting to examine the political choices of this community, which has not mobilized itself politically and tends to be ignored in any discussion on Jammu politics. The Jammu Muslims do not support the BJP's Hindu politics and a separate state of Jammu, nor are they willing to be assimilated completely into the Kashmir Muslim identity. At the same time, they don't form a separate and cohesive political grouping, partly because they remain divided along ethnic (Dogra Muslims, Kashmiri Muslims, Pahari Muslim, Gujjar and Bakerwal), linguistic (Pahari Dogra, Gujjars and Kashmiri), and caste lines, and partly no political leader of a stature after independence who can mobilize them as an independent political force in the state politics. (Navnita Chadha Behera,). In this situation of the complexity and dependency, Muslims of Jammu has been thrown to a new political landscape where they are and they have to face a practical problem of negotiating and realigning with both the Kashmir Muslim and Jammu Hindu by maintaining the tricky mix of linkage and distance. The political divergence between Jammu and Kashmir has

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become more perceptible in the last two decades of conflict. The separatist politics that emerged as a dominant response of the valley had little impact in Jammu, though militancy did take roots in certain parts of the region. However, the conflict impacted the Jammu region in a number of ways. Apart from the militant violence, there were situations of selective killings of minorities aimed at provoking the communal backlash (Rekha choudhary, 2008) At the backdrop of these incidents there was also an attempt to communalize the Jammu province through the state as well by manufacturing the sub-regional identity on the basis of Hindu-Muslim fault-lines. In the Jammu region, the supporter of the NC 窶田ouched in ethno-linguistic terms-first demanded an autonomous hill development council for Pahari region comprising Poonch and Rajouri districts and Chenab valley region in the erstwhile Doda district. But these demand lack popular support base in the sub region; in Rajouri and Poonch the Gujjar community opposed it and same demand not liked enthusiastically by the minority in the Doda sub-region. When government failed in this, the top to bottom approach was followed by granting pro-

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vincial status to both the region as pir panjal and Chenab valley province for the poonch –roujori and the doda distt. Respectively along the Hindu-Muslim fault line.(Navnita Chadha Behera, State, Identity and Violence) . The role of the centre and the state forced this simmering resentment to burst out due to skepticism. It seems that the political discontent is there and just waiting for the moment to burst out and in June 2008 it became the ultimate point to resent where it became easy for the rightist to raise the region against the Kashmir on the name of Shiva to which every Hindu can easily associate. In other words, land row become the pretext to show the decades old simmering resentment of neglect and discrimination towards the local administration on the one hand and the Indian state on the other. The government order to divert 800 canals of land to the SASB (Shri Amarnath Shrine Board) was not only seen as a government plan to permanently hand over forest land to 'Outsiders' but also as a conspiracy to change the religious demography of the only Muslims state (Rekha Choudhary, 2008). It also seems that there is a sense of neglect by all the religio-ethnic groups against each other and few against Indian state (Kashmiri Muslims) though with different shades, nature, intensity and form. The coincidence of election at the national level and at the local assembly level also play a crucial role in the extension of the agitation as according to Praful Bidwai, L K Advani just can't wait to become prime minister. His speeches have become shrill, and his body language has changed. This is no longer the Advani who wanted to inherit the “moderate” Vajpayee legacy. This is the Advani of many past Rathyatras—aggressive, warlike, spewing communal venom, and leaving a trail of blood. Advani will now stoop to any level to collect political brownie

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points, regardless of the issue. The other day, the issue was the UPA government's alleged weakness in the face of terrorism. Then, it was the India-US nuclear deal, the culmination of a long process the BJP itself initiated, and which its urban-middle-class core constituency supports.

However, in the absence of a regional party (comparable to the National Conference as a regional party of Kashmir) the politics of regional neglect has often been appropriated by the Hindu Right Organizations and thus communalized in the process – this despite the fact that the politics of regional divide is as widespread in Muslimmajority sub-regions of Jammu like Doda, Poonch and Rajouri, as in the Hindu majority areas. Now, Advani is drumming up Hinduchauvinist hysteria over 100 acres of land, laying claim to it on the specious ground that the Hindus must have the first claim to land anywhere in India by virtue of their numerical majority—and hence primacy (Praful Bidwai, 2008) The role of confidence- vote on nuclear issue and its effect on agitation cannot be ignored as the BJP was badly checkmated during the confidence vote. It lost it—despite trying every trick in the book. Worse, Advani was eclipsed by Mayawati's dramatic emergence as an alternative. The BJP's plans went awry.

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The victorious and now aggressive Manmohan Singh couldn't be convincingly depicted as “India's weakest-ever prime minister.” The BJP botched up its in manipulative political act, where it's s u p p o s e d l y u n m a t c h e d ( Pr a f u l Bidwai,2008). State politics was also changing its contours, instead of religion regionalism dominated the scene in the 2002 assembly election where congress swept the poll by projecting its Jammu based Muslim leader as chief ministerial candidate, conceding only one seat to the BJP out 37 constituencies.(Balraj Puri, 2008) It also seems that the government took the situation of land row casually whereas the drop in violence, infiltration down to a trickle, the decimation of the Hizbul Mujahedeen, an increase in political activity, Kashmiris agitating about civic issues like water and power —that was mistake on part of the government and it made a critical error. It mistook surface calm for normalcy. It placed J&K at par with Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, or any other state. When the state Cabinet passed the land transfer order, it took the Valley for granted, and when in, a knee-jerk reaction, it revoked the order, it took Jammu for g r a n t e d . ' ' ( B a w e j a H . , Te h e l k a Magazine, 2008). Due to the agitation the mainstream ruling parties has been pushed to the wall and that gap sudden created by the agitation is being filled by the separatist while in Jammu BJP always take the advantage because of the absence of any substantial regional political party in the region It is around this feeling, deeprooted in the political consciousness of the people of this region that Jammu has erupted from time to time. However, in the absence of a regional party (comparable to the National Conference as a regional party of Kashmir) the politics of regional neglect has often been appropriated by the Hindu Right Organizations and thus

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communalized in the process – this despite the fact that the politics of regional divide is as widespread in Muslim-majority sub-regions of Jammu like Doda, Poonch and Rajouri, as in the Hindu majority areas. The base for the feeling of discrimination is

mostly fought under the following points raised by the RSS and other Jammu based parties as given below besides this, there are few sociopolitical and students organizations though not affiliated with the RSS agitate on the same line as the RSS

Agitation In Jammu The entire issue initially revolved around a government order diverting forest land to the SASB, and subsequently around the revocation of the order. The order gave the SASB the right to erect pre-fabricated temporary structures for housing the yatris during the period of the Amarnath yatra. However, more than the order, it was the assertion of the CEO of the SASB representing the ex-officio chairman, the Governor, General S.K. Sinha, that the land had been given permanently to the Board to build permanent structures that generated a massive response in Kashmir (Rekha Choudhary, 2008). Moreover the functioning of the SASB raises so many questions .( Navlakha, 2008) The SASB 'runs a virtually parallel administration and acts as a 'sovereign body' ostensibly promoting Hindu interests. It has been instrumental, he argues, in rapidly increasing the number of pilgrims to Amarnath, which has risen sharply from 12,000 in 1989 to over 4,00,000 in 2007. In order to facilitate this, it has extended the period of the pilgrimage from 15 days to two and half months. The Board has 'virtually taken over the functioning of the Pahalgam Development Authority, laying claims to forest lands and constructing shelters and structures even on the Pahalgam Golf Course.' It has also staked claims to set up an 'independent' Amarnath Development Authority, Sikand (2008). Gen. Sinha had already played a proactive and revivalist role and this had already reflected his saffron bent of mind. He had a self-proclaimed agenda

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of changing the 'mindset' in Kashmir which he set about doing by redefining 'Kashmiri-yat' based essentially on its Hindu past. It was against this background that the separatists used the issue of diversion of land to SASB to invoke suspicion among many Kashmiris that there was a grand design behind the order aimed at altering the Muslimmajority character of the state. The fear of 'demographic change', therefore, became the basis of mass mobilization in Kashmir (Rekha Choudhary, 2008) The situation has been invoked in the context of a sense of siege and fearful of their cultural, religious and ethnic identity being under grave threat, many Kashmiri Muslims saw the SASB as an instrument of the Indian or 'Hindu' state. In such a context, the state's decision to hand over the land to the Board (the SASB is said to have actually asked for a chunk of land four times the size of what it was allotted) to facilitate the government's patronage of a Hindu pilgrimage in the heart of Kashmir, in a portion of the Valley inhabited almost wholly by Muslims, was seen as further evidence of what many Kashmiris feared—the gradual, state-sponsored Hinduisation of their homeland. And the second it can be taken as unwarranted over-reaction as one might argue, the granting a patch of land for a Hindu pilgrimage might have no such consequences. On the contrary, it could have been projected as an important symbolic gesture on the part of Kashmiri Muslims to Hindus in an effort to

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their affiliates do on the issues of discrimination. The RSS resolution of June 2002 demanding separate statehood for Jammu region supported by other organization make it clear that the intention of the rightist in the state. improve the severely strained intercommunity relations in the war-torn state. By reacting in the violent way that they did to the granting of the land to the SASB, Kashmiri Muslim leaders have only helped further exacerbate the already tense relations between Muslims and Hindus and are, like their Hindu counterparts, cynically using the issue to whip up support for themselves, Sikand (2008). Moreover in order to quell the agitation which had assumed dangerous proportions in Kashmir, the order was revoked but this only generated another kind of politics in Jammu. The BJP and like-minded organizations termed the revocation of the order as an assault on 'Hindu sentiments' and demanded that the original order be restored. These organizations succeeded in mobilizing enormous support from the Hindu-dominated areas of Jammu region, not only on the ground of religious sentiment but also by invoking regional and national sentiments. The revocation of the order was portrayed as an anti-national and anti-Jammu decision taken under the pressure of separatists to appease the 'Muslims of Kashmir' without taking into consideration the sentiments of the 'Hindus of Jammu'. It was for the first time in the history of this state (Rekha Choudhary, 2008) that political turmoil brought the two regions of Jammu and Kashmir to the brink of direct confrontation. To a large extent the problem was accentuated by the government in power, especially the conflicting interests of the coalition partners, the PDP and

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Congress. Both parties acted more out of electoral consideration in their respective constituencies, rather than work responsibly to resolve the problem at hand. Viewing the turmoil in Kashmir both as a danger signal of losing out to the Hurriyat as well as an opportunity to gain from the radicalization of politics of Kashmiri identity, the PDP accentuated the crisis by disowning its role in passing the order and demanded its revocation. It later withdrew from the government, leading to its fall. On the other hand, The SASS composition and its moves help to or in tune with the hardliner Hurriyat agenda. The Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti, a 28group network, is basically a Sangh Parivar enterprise. Its three top leaders—Leelakaran Sharma, Mahant Dinesh Bharti and Brig (Retd.) Suchet Singh—has RSS backgrounds and are closely linked with the J&K National Front, which demands the state's trifurcation: Jammu and Kashmir as separate states, and Ladakh a Union Territory. The demand is despicably communal. No wonder the RSS national council backed it in 2001. In the 2002 Assembly elections, the RSS supported the Jammu State Morcha, which demands statehood for Jammu. Any division of Jammu and Kashmir along religious lines is a recipe for the separation of the Kashmir Valley from India. It will harden and freeze two opposing identities—a “Muslim Kashmir,” and a “Hindu Jammu.” Nothing could better help the Valley's discredited pro-Pakistan Islamic separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who oppose a pluralist, secular identity for Kashmir. The demand for trifurcating J&K will play straight into the hands of Pakistani hardliners who want to erase whatever progress has been made in informal talks seeking a solution to the Kashmir problem without redrawing

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boundaries, and who want to retrogress to the perspective of securing Kashmir's accession to Pakistan—as part of “the unfinished agendas of Partition.” (Thekashmir.worldpress.com) According to the far-from-hostile state government, Jammu has witnessed 10,513 protests and 359 “serious incidents of violence” on the Amarnath issue, in which 28 government buildings, 15 police vehicles and 118 private vehicles were damaged. Eighty cases of communal violence were registered, in which 20 persons were injured and 72 Gujjar homes were burnt. As many as 117 police personnel and 78 civilians were injured in the Jammu violence, and 129 cases were registered and 1,171 arrests made. Schools, colleges, government offices and hospitals were paralyzed, Bidwai (2008) Despite of the communal overtone and stark antagonism among both the region on the name of religion, there was also the failure of the ruling coalition where the Congress aggravated the situation in Jammu by failing to take a clear position on the issue and defending the revocation of the order. Paralyzed by the response generated by the BJP, VHP and other similar organizations, it withdrew from the political scene, leaving the space fully open for these organizations to not only articulate the political sentiments in a communal and regionally chauvinistic manner, but also to homogenize the responses by invoking the sentiment of 'loyalty to Jammu'. Any dissenting voice was termed as 'anti-Jammu'. On the whole, (Rekha Choudhary, 2008) it was the failure of the ruling coalition and other mainstream political parties to place the issues in perspective and provide a secular direction to the political responses at the ground level. Both in Kashmir as well as in Jammu, it was a case of the mob setting the political agenda and the political

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parties and organizations trying at best to meekly follow. The political space in Kashmir was captured by the separatists and in Jammu by the BJP and other Hindu fundamentalist organizations. The other part of this agitation (Tehelka, 2008) is that there was almost indistinguishable demand by both separatist and mainstream actor in the valley as it has become difficult to distinguish the demands of the mainstream parties from those of the Hurriyat Conference who have no problem with being called separatists. The mainstream parties were always considered the bridge between Srinagar and Delhi; today they are part of the Muzaffarabad Chalo call. Somewhere this move of the PDP and then NC has forced mainstream political parties of Jammu region to be part of the agitation. On another front the media played a very crucial role in exaggerating and sensationalizing the agitation (August 2008, Kashmir Times), the role of media has also fuelled the agitation. There is a tendency to appear more lethal than one's enemy is fuelled by the temptation to hog the limelight in the spate of the political reality shows being staged by the hungry television channels. The body language of some of the anchor persons more than matches the combative mood of their invited talent. Instead of caring to elicit information and opinion of participants in order to let the viewers make their own assessment, biased anchors brazenly take sides in the mistaken notion of generating controversies. The spate of such shows has done precious little so far in either clarifying the issues involved in the situation or seeking a possible way –out of the mess. The insensitivity and lack of professionalism was more pervasive in the local media.

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Post Agitation Scenario The initiation and the culmination of the agitation have really far-reaching implications, changing the very nature and the course of politics. Right from the agitation, the separatists have somehow kept their space intact . However, it is a different kind of separatism where moderates have lost their preeminence and the leadership has passed on to the hardliners. It is Syed Ali Shah Geelani, known for his inflexible views both on self-determination as well on the religious nature of the movement, who is currently giving a direction to separatist politics with others falling in line. “The muzafrabad challo” call has really put India on the back seat and associate the agitation with trade, LOC and thus with the Pakistan. It also hints at the desirability of the future negotiation of the problem around these contexts as well. Whereas on other hand, the Kashmiri pandit Diaspora did the same in different motives while highlighting the grievances against the Kashmiri Muslim intention concerning land row. The most serious impact of the agitation is on the already fragile regional relationship, despite the political divergence, had at no point of time earlier become discordant. The unmusical politics has now gone beyond the issues of regional discrimination to incorporate issues of economy and trade. Note that while during the Jammu agitation, a call for a 'economic blockade' of Kashmir was raised, after the agitation, Kashmiri traders have given a call for boycotting trade through Jammu (Rekha Choudhary). According to Syed Ali Salvi, 2008) , it too seems that the agitation over the land issue was primarily focused on the re-establishing the separatist in the lost space in the Kashmir politics. For Gilani, the fight is no longer over the land row, but for the final settlement of the Kashmir issue. Now, people want freedom from Indian occupation. The land issue is a thing of the past. He comments, “Nei-

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ther is there any need to talk about this issue nor would I ever talk on the subject to the shri amaranth sangarsh samiti” . The antagonism between the two regions has serious implications for the unity of the state on the one hand, and its plural and secular character on the other. The communal direction that the agitation took has already put a strain on the plural and secular character of the state. The very initiation of the agitation on the issue of 'demographic change', and the fear of loss of 'Muslim majority character' of the state, has brought religion to the centre of the political agenda. The agitation in Jammu, moreover, had clear communal overtones. Significantly, this region had survived all kinds of provocations to communalize politics during the past two decades of conflict. But it now seems to have fallen prey to communal politics, even experiencing two severe cases of communal clashes in Kishtwar and Poonch. and burning of gujjar bastis near vijaypur and jourian. The agitation has given space to the Hurriyat to search and create a new constituency in the Jammu region as according to Rekha Choudhary (2008) communalizing the politics of Jammu has the potential of reorganizing the politics of the state on communal rather than regional lines. Already, the Kashmiri separatists have started identifying with the Muslims of Jammu and voicing their concerns. So far the Muslims of Jammu have refused to be identified with the Muslims of Kashmir and maintained their distinct regional identity. But the possibility of carving out a 'Muslim constituency' across the regional divide cannot be discounted. This will have the most serious implications of communally polarizing the politics of the state and giving a boost to all those who have been clamoring for the division of the state along communal lines. After giving glance to the problem underlying in this sudden upsurgement of the agitation in both the province, a wiser strategy to satisfy the popular urges for the self- governance lies in a

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through restructuring of the state's relationship with the Indian State and in creating new federal relationships within Jammu and Kashmir (Navnita, State, Identity and Violence).

Conclusion Communal violence is precipitated as part of political strategy. All political parties indulge in this policy. No party is innocent in this game, including the secular ones. (Nandy, 2004) Moreover the agitation (Sikand, 2008) also starkly indicates that the religion and communal identities defined essentially in the religious terms have everything to do with the basic issue of Jammu and Kashmir and its still unsettled political status. Both the separatist in Kashmir and the rightist in Jammu dismiss this point, may be finding it embarrassing, afraid of being levelled as communal but no longer we deny the crucial role of religion in shaping the contours of the ongoing conflict in and over Kashmir. Moreover the impact of the agitation on election is quite different than the prediction. The result at the national level points that the impact of the agitation in term of result as expected by the BJP is negligible or it can also be the reason that people rejected the communal politics. The local assembly election in J&K is quite visible. Here, the BJP stood first time jumped into double digit by securing 11 seats. The polarization also helps the PDP and despite of being loaded with Kashmir centric voices the penetrated into Poonch-Rajouri sub- region and secured two seats one from Darhal and other from Mender. The way congress and NC performed it reflect the following that people of Jammu and Kashmir are less than their political parties. A person can play the crucial role (Ghulam Nabi Azad) and it proved when congress swept 5 out of 6 seats from the erstwhile Doda district. The other parties like NC and Panther Party sustained and survived their tradition stronghold. It seems that baring BJP, no other political party either lost or gained drastically.

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Regional Dialogue CHALLENGES IN KASHMIR VALLEY

Understanding the Growing Radicalisation ARJIMAND HUSSAIN TALIB

at the first place. Such neutralisation has happened as a natural consequence and because of certain deliberate State actions as well. Today, greater levels of education among Kashmiris are working both ways. At one plane they are creating a critical mass of people who are more willing to understand, respect and co-exist with people of other faiths. At another plane, greater exposure to global political developments, mainly in places like the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan, evokes sentiments of radicalisation and aversion to peaceful coexistence with other religions. For another section of the population, religion remains a key instrument in furthering the political agenda, seeking restoration of Kashmir's political rights.

For this segment, secular democratic politics has failed in the realisation of the greater political goals. There are two facets of the debate on religious radicalisation in Kashmir. At one level, the trends of organised radicalisation are on a clear decline. The decimation of the structures and cadre of organisations like the once-influential Jamaat-i-Islami and its off shoot organisations during the last twenty years has seen a systematic decline in the trend of organised radicalisation. On the other hand, events like the Amarnath Land Controversy of 2008 have served to radicalise vast sections of Kashmir's youth, who see such developments as a clear manifestation of furthering the 'Hindu India's religious domination of Kashmir' and 'dilution of its overwhelmingly Muslim character'.

bound by a common culture, language and religion, got divided into several 'nation-states'. The Indian subcontinent's reorgani-sation was far from a perfect project. Much of the Far East lost its original shape once the western colonizers left. History, like in most of the postcolonial world, has given birth to a political and geographical entity in the shape of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) state which is far from perfect. The State's present geographical and political make up is a reflection of the same historical

accidents, rooted in colonial imagination of the post-colonial borders. The Treaty of Amritsar compounded that historical accident. And then during the subsequent decades of autocratic Dogra Maharaha rule over the majority Muslim population and the division of the State gave birth to a complex and chaotic polity. Demographic Change' and Religious Radicalisation: The debate on religious demography has been a major issue in J&K State, which has been strengthening the notion of an 'engineered demographic change' being carried out to change

Background Kashmir Valley has often been celebrated as one of the living ideals of syncretic traditions, where various religious beliefs have peacefully co-existed and flourished side by side since centuries. However, the Valley's history has also witnessed periods when all major religions have competed for political and social supremacy. Religion has also been employed as an instrument for political domination, both by political and religious leaders and institutions. The political turmoil in the post-1930s' period has often witnessed periods of religious radicalisation, seeking to redefine and set Kashmir's political agenda. However, this period has also witnessed neutralisation of the forces that have spearheaded radicalisation movements

Causes of Radicalisation Post-colonial political entities and religious make-up: The age of colonisation changed the face of the world in many ways. The adventures of drawing boundaries on maps – creating political entities in disregard to ethnic, national, religious and geographical considerations – has created a world often based on unnatural political and identity considerations. In the post-colonial period, Africa got countries, dividing tribes and ethnicities, which even to this day do not recognise country-boundaries. The Arab world,

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Kashmir's majority Muslim character. This issue is a highly emotive one – something which, in the first place, fuelled the agitation against the Amarnath Land Transfer in Kashmir in 2008. This issue continues to breed religious radicalism in Kashmir. Certain official statistical data reinforce this perception. As per the 1941 census, the total Muslim population of J&K State was of 72.41 per cent of the total population, while as the Hindus comprised of 25.01 per cent (Out of a total population of 2946728). The Muslim composition was reported reduced in 1961 Census at 68.30 per cent as against an increased 28.45 per cent that of Hindus (of the reported total population of 3560976). The trend has been continuing: in 1971 census (of a total population of 4616632), Muslim population was again reported to be on a decline at 65.85 per cent while as Hindu population had grown to 30.42 per cent. In 1981 Census, for the total population of 5987389, the Hindu population was again reported to have risen to 32.24 per cent, while the Muslim population was reported to have reduced to 64.19 per cent. This trend has been found to fuel a sense of insecurity and siege among Kashmiri Muslims. According to Census figures, quoted in an article in Frontline newsmagazine in October, 2000, by Praveen Swami, in Doda district the Hindu population had grown by 47.23 per cent between 1971 and 1981 but that of Muslims by only 11.97 per cent. In Udhampur, the figures for the same period were 45 per cent against 6.35 per cent. In Rajouri Hindu population grew by 47.72 per cent against 33.01 per cent of Muslims. The Hindu population of Kathua was reported to have grown by 39.31 per cent while the Muslim population had “fallen” by 14.57 per cent. In Jammu district Hindu population was reported to have “grown” by 36.14 per cent while the Muslim population had

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“fallen” by 29.98 per cent. This trend in religious demography remains the principal reason for the isolated trends of radicalisation among Muslim in Kashmir. Political and economic 'discrimination': Fuelling religious radicalisation:

The three regions of the Jammu & Kashmir State – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – continue to nurse their own feelings of neglect and discrimination by one another. This feeling and perception have served to sharpen both regional and religious divides. One of the spin offs of this feeling has been religious radicalisation, creation of political and religious platforms which are exclusive in nature and share a common aversion to accommodation and inclusiveness.

The three regions of the Jammu & Kashmir State – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – continue to nurse their own feelings of neglect and discrimination by one another. This feeling and perception have served to sharpen both regional and religious divides. One of the spin offs of this feeling has been religious radicalisation, creation of political and religious platforms which are exclusive in nature and share a common aversion to accommodation and inclusiveness. The pattern of political repre-

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sentation in the State Assembly and local municipal bodies in the cities of Srinagar, Jammu and Leh symbolises this divide and pattern. Some of the recruitment results of the State Selection Recruitment Board (SSRB) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) in 2009 to government services in the state are some key examples. In Kashmir, there is a growing feeling that disproportionate representation of the Jammu region in the government administrative recruitments is in line with the Kashmir region's political disempowerment. All such feelings breed religious radicalisation. The contention of regional imbalances in J&K State goes back to several decades. It was way back in 1961 that the G. M. Sadiq government was advised by New Delhi to appoint a commission to look into Jammu's grievances of discrimination. What followed was P. B. Gajendragadkar Commission. There is no secret in that the commission's recommendations were politically influenced. One of its core recommendations was the creation of special administrative structures like Regional Development Boards. In Srinagar, most of the recommendations were received with alarm, but New Delhi used its influence to ensure they were taken seriously. In 1965, Dr. Karan Singh, went a step further by proposing that J&K be 'reorganized' on linguistic (communal) lines, and Jammu be merged with Himachal Pradesh. Then, this demand was viewed as an extreme thought both in New Delhi and Srinagar. The idea died down on its own. In 1978, Jammu's sense of discrimination took a violent turn when riots broke out in Jammu and Poonch cities. That was the time when certain government recruitments were seen to be unevenly in favour of the Kashmir region. Soon the violence got little

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nasty, targeting a particular ethnic group. In the preventive police action, about eighteen people were killed. The then chief minister, Sheikh Abdullah, felt the political heat unbearable and announced setting up of yet another commission to inquire the grievances of discrimination. This time round the commission was headed by a retired Chief Justice, S.M. Sikri. The Sikri Commission, among other things, recommended creation of a State Development Board chaired by the Chief Minister. That never happened. Since the 80s, almost all State government departments and agencies have been bifurcated or trifurcated. State-level posts were replaced by division and province-level posts. The reservation for socially backward classes and ethnic groups created further social and political divisions. Ladakh region, for all practical reasons, became a state within a state. But it is important to recognise that the region's separatist tendencies have their roots in early 1949 when its rulers proposed Ladakh's direct incorporation into the Indian Union. It is true that some rulers from the Kashmir region in the past have not acted too sensitively to the needs and aspirations of some of the people of Jammu and Ladakh. However, it is also true that Jammu and Ladakh regions always have had New Delhi's political and administrative favours on their side. Among Kashmir's civil society and political leadership, New Delhi's such proximity and special favours to Jammu and Ladakh have bred feelings of psychological and political siege. That feeling is reinforced with each passing day. Delimitation of Assembly Constituencies: Since many years, delimitation of the existing Assembly constituencies is being vociferously advocated by parties like the Congress, BJP, Jammu State Morcha and the Panthers Party in

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Jammu. They argue that Jammu region is “under-represented” in the State Assembly – with Kashmir having 46 Assembly constituencies and Jammu 37. In April 2002 that the J&K Legislative Assembly adopted an amendment to the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution freezing any delimitation exercise till 2026. The Election Commission in 2008 also made it clear that there will be no delimitation of electoral constituencies in J&K before 2026. Sadly, most of the political parties in J&K see the delimitation issue from narrow political prisms, rather than identity and rights. When the Congress Party fought the 2001 Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir, its election manifesto promised a Delimitation Commission – meaning a commission would be set up in the State through a constitutional amendment to hammer out new electoral constituencies based on the 2001 census. For demystifying the delimitation debate, it is important to analyse the demographic data of the State. As per the 2001 census figures, the population in Kashmir province is 54.76 lakh and that in Jammu is 44.3 lakh. Jammu's population includes around 1.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits, who are enrolled as voters in Kashmir, not in Jammu. As such Kashmir has around 1.3 million people more than Jammu if we include Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley population. There are ample examples to substantiate this argument. Jammu and Kashmir's chief electoral officer B.R. Sharma recently made a significant statement when he said that the latest revised electoral rolls show that the number of voters in Kashmir is 32 lakh and that in Jammu around 30 lakh. In 11 Assembly segments in Jammu, 94,000 bogus voters were found and deleted. It was, however, not explained why Kashmir, despite having nearly 1.3 million people more than Jammu, had only about 2 lakh more voters.

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It is common knowledge that an unspecified number of eligible voters in Kashmir are not registered. It happens either due to their disinterest in the democratic process or due to administrative lethargy. Be whatever, by a modest estimate no less than a million voters of Kashmir are missing from the electoral rolls, even if one takes 2001 census figures as the base line data. There is no doubt in that all primary data is collected by the local members of local government administration but there are many missing links between the Census Department and government man power in terms of coordination, training, geographical coverage, logistics and data consolidation. After data collection, all compilation and analysis takes place at the central level. B a s i c a l l y, a s p e r J & K ' s Constitution, census should have been a State subject. It is quite surprising that there is not a single Muslim member in the Task Force on Quality Assurance, which is responsible for the final clearance of census data of J&K. Even more surprisingly, J&K census department has almost no role in the analysis and validation part. The problem is that data processing includes what the Census Department calls the process of "internal consistency, comparison with similar data in the past and also validation with likewise data." And it is here where the problem lies. The trend of demographics having been established during the past census operations in J&K is reflected in almost every new census. Decimation of the Jamaat-i-Islami: The decimation of one of Kashmir's main religious political parties - the Jamaat-i-Islami – during the insurgency era has worked the ways. On the one hand, some of its cadres' embrace of insurgency, and eventual neutralisation saw a significant erosion of its political structure. On the other hand, the erosion of its cadre base and grassroots

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presence gave a fillip to the emergence of other religious groups like the Jamiat-i-Ahlihadees. All this has two ramifications for Kashmir. There is a thought which sees the political ideology of groups like the Jamaat-i-Islami more accommodative than the groups like the Jamiat-i-Ahlihadees. To another thought the decimation of Jamaat-iIslami has sealed its capacity to create another grassroots base and student mobilisation in a near future. Post 9/11, most of the cross-LoC radical political affiliations and insurgent networks have got snapped. Many of such networks like mainly consisting of Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Muhammad and other such organisations and their over ground offshoots had started importing ideologies which were mostly alien to Kashmir in the past. The Kashmiri Pandit factor: Generally, Kashmiri Pandit community has been as a tolerant and accommodative community. However, over the last few decades the emergence of radical Kashmiri Pandit groups, like Panun Kashmir, which espouses radical political and religious ideologies, has changed the perception of the community. The group's political ambition of creating an isolated and separate homeland within Kashmir Valley remains a radical agenda, which has the potential of stirring reactionary radical responses from Islamist groups in Kashmir. This agenda also serves to draw parallels with the Palestinian issue, making the Kashmir's political question attain increasingly religious overtures. Any further delay in honourable and respectable return of the Kashmiri Pandits to their original homes and their assimilation with the majority Muslim community holds the potential for further radicalisation among both the communities, fuelled by reactions and counter reactions. The Sangh Parivar factor: The patronage that certain religious communities in Jammu & Kashmir

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have enjoyed from radical religious groups like the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) etc. has also served to radicalise certain sec-

The contention of regional imbalances in J&K State goes back to several decades. It was way back in 1961 that the G. M. Sadiq government was advised by New Delhi to appoint a commission to look into Jammu's grievances of discrimination. What followed was P. B. Gajendragadkar Commission. There is no secret in that the commission's recommendations were politically influenced. One of its core recommendations was the creation of special administrative structures like Regional Development Boards. In Srinagar, most of the recommendations were received with alarm, but New Delhi used its influence to ensure they were taken seriously. tions among the Hindu community. This patronage has also created reactionary forces among Muslims in the Kashmir Valley. Fluelling of regional separatist tendencies has automatically served religious radicalisation.

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In March 2001, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha of the RSS at Delhi has already resolved to support the agitations in Jammu and Ladakh for separate statehood and union territory status. The RSS Resolution on J&K, passed at Kukukshetra on June 30, 2002, apart from expressing solidarity with all nonMuslim and non-Kashmiri speaking ethnic groups' “struggles of assertion”, also states, “This resolution is the best way to abolish the divisive article 370, separate citizenship for State subjects, separate flag, and separate constitution for J&K. It is also the best way to stop lakhs of Pakistanis from settling in J&K through the Resettlement Act.” RSS' Uttar Kshetra Sangha, Jitender Veer Gupta's blue print for the “or-organisation” offers another interesting insight into this. Growth of Wahabi Ideology: With the increasing unpopularity of certain practices of Kashmiri Muslims who identify themselves with the Hanafi school of thought, mainly the practices around the Sufi shrines, Wahabi ideology is gaining ground in Kashmir. Mosques which would traditionally be run by people of Hanafi thought, highly influenced by the Sufi ways of religious practices, are increasingly being overtaken by Wahabi ideologues. This is happening not only in Kashmir's countryside but in Srinagar city as well, including the Old city – considered a strong bastion of Hanafi Islamic thought. Although this transition does not necessarily mean outright religious radicalisation, however, it leaves scope for transformation which over a period of time attains a degree of radicalisation – both social and political. On the other hand, the Jamiat-iAhlihadees's plan of establishing an Islamic University in Srinagar is seen as a direct response to the Mata Vaishno Devi University established in Jammu by a particular school of Hindu thought. The Madrasa Phenomenon: Although there is a clear growth in

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the number and influence of Islamic Madrasas in Kashmir, yet the fact remains that they are mostly politically passive. The emphasis of the educational curriculum in these madrasas is mostly on the teachings of the Quran and Hadith (The traditions of the Prophet of Islam). Examination of the sample trends in these madrasas suggests that their proliferation does not necessarily translate into religious radicalisation, given the nature of their curriculum that generally focuses on individual reformation rather than political Islam seeking political domination. Extra constitutional laws and curbing peaceful political dissent: Excessive reliance on law and order instruments in containing political dissent has also contributed in the growth of religious radicalisation in Kashmir. The use of extra constitutional laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Public Safety Act (PSA), the Disturbed Areas Act, etc. only fuel political discontent – which often strays into religious radicalisation. The ramifications of New Delhi's failure of meaningful political engagement with secular political groups like the JKLF are well known. Despite renunciation of the armed struggle, groups like the JKLF could not translate their bargaining power into any political achievement strengthened the forces which exhort religious radicalisation as the only means in achieving Kashmir's political objectives. As generally the Kashmiri youth have renounced the armed path in achieving their political goals, there is a greater emphasis on street and Internet mobilisation. A cursory observation of the Internet networking sites makes it clear that this generation sees juxtaposition of militarisation, political domination with religiosity as an attack on Kashmir distinct political identity and religious character. Imposition of the Section 144, forbidding right to assembly, has become a

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part of Kashmir's life. Illegal undeclared curfews are a routine now. Use of heavy force against peaceful marches has become a standard practice. It is common sense when all avenues of peaceful dissent and protest are chocked, more radical forms of resistance crop up, including religious radicalisation. Misunderstanding Kashmiri Muslim monolith: In the debate on the regional and religious radicalisation of Jammu & Kashmir, the Kashmiri Muslim monolith pitted against Jammu and Ladakh is often misunderstood. This approach often ignores other realities as well. The fact is that the three regions of J&K today stand divided for all practical purposes, except for an official map showing them so. The grand Kashmiri political monolith of a secular and inclusive nature already stands defeated. Between and within the three regions, deep divisions exist today, which are fashioned not only on the basis of regional identities but radical religious standpoints as well. Some of these divisions reinforce religious divides. Some serve to neutralise them as well. The fact is that Jammu's Dogra ethnic group and Ladakh's Buddists are pitted against the Kashmiri-speaking Muslims. Muslim Pahari ethnic group is at odds with Muslim Gujjars and Bakerwals for political and economic considerations. There are divisions between Sunni Muslims against Shia Muslims. There is a certain gulf between Jammu's Hindu Dogra against Hindu Rajput communities. There are political and ideological differences between Hindu Jammu-Kathua belt and the Muslim Rajouri-Poonch-Doda. Buddhist Leh district and Muslim Kargil district do not share a common Ladakhi vision. Kashmiri-speaking Muslim residents of Doda-Baderwah-Rajouri-Poonch do not necessarily share a common political vision with the Pahari-speaking Muslims of the same areas. Within Kashmir, another divide has evolved over the years: that is the divide between 'well-

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developed', 'ever-complaining' urban Srinagar and rest of the rural Kashmir. Amarnath Land Controversy: The Amarnath Land Controversy in 2008 was a watershed in the state's history. It has created divisions which are hard to reverse. It has also given birth to a new wave of radicalisation. Those who were against the land transfer argued that as per government figures alone, in 2008, the number of Hindu pilgrims to the Amarnath cave has been record high – 536,000 until Ist August, 2008. They also say that Kashmiri Muslims are publicly committed to host the pilgrims and facilitate the logistical needs for the same. J&K government is legally committed as ever to make available the best possible arrangements for the Yatra. At the same time Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) remains legally empowered as before by virtue of the SASB Act, 2002 to autonomously conduct the Yatra. However, exponential increase in the number of pilgrims beyond the area's carrying capacity, contamination of fresh water sources which feed 80 per cent of Kashmir's drinking water system and hijacking of the yatra by Hindu right wing elements have been serious matters of concern.

Conclusion From the above narrative it is clear that religious radicalization in Kashmir has local, regional and international political dimensions as well. The most important factor which fuels religious radicalization is the political disempowerment felt by the Kashmiris. Controversial acts like the 2008 Amarnath Land Transfer also fuel radical tendencies. However, as seen from the above narrative, there has been a decline in systematic and organised radicalization over the last two decades. An inclusive and syncretic Kashmir requires a political settlement of the Kashmir dispute, reversing the state policies that fuel communal divisions rather than regional and ethnic empowerment.

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Regional Dialogue CHALLENGES IN LADAKH

Understanding the Political and Religious Polarity TASHI MORUP

Introduction Local populace, especially Buddhists, have raised voices of dissent against successive governments of the State from time to time and sought direct central administration. This dissent exacerbated into a full scale agitation with communal flare ups in 1989, following which, with Govt. of India's intervention, State Govt. agreed to grant a semi-autonomous body called Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council in 1993 to the Leh district, which came into effect in 1995. However, there was little awareness in Kargil about its functions; hence it took 10 years for people of Kargil to feel the need to replicate this model of governance in their district. With the inception of the Hill Councils, new roads and buildings sprung up, accountability in developmental works improved, rural infrastructure got better, and people actively took part in the initiatives taken at Hill Council level. At the same time these institutes also took centrestage of politics in both the districts. Politics in Kargil is deeply entrenched in a social debate about reconciling Shi'te religiosity with the changes brought about by modernity. The two powerful religious factions Islamia School and Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (IKMT), divided over this issue, have sustained their overwhelming clout over society through politics in playing out the local democracy. Agha,

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Sheikh, Kacho, Munshi are religious heads and families respectively predominant names in the local power struggle. Miniscule Buddhist population from Zanskar and some other parts of Kargil have found expression in the Council through reserved seats among the 26 elected and four nominated seats of Councillors on the pattern of Leh Hill Council where minority population of Muslims has reserved seats. Azghar Ali Karbalai leader of the opposition and also founder member of the IKMT is among the key leaders of Kargil, who is known for his dynamism, however, as the Chief Executive Councillor his take on overhauling the system cost his party (supported by INC) losing power in the Hill Council to NC party led by Kamar Ali Akhon (presently, J&K Cabinet Minister). Hassan Khan, a proven leader of NC party, won the MP election to represent Ladakh in the Parliament defeating his nearest rival P Namgyal of INC from Leh. In this way Ladakh saw a legacy of Congress and NC party rules with former having its stronghold in Buddhist dominated Leh and later has established its base in Kargil with majority Shi'te Muslims. The two districts sharing one MP seat has always brought Leh and Kargil up against each other during the contest for this coveted seat, and wherein religious sentiment play a major role and trump card for the political parties in fray. Coalition politics at State and Centre had ripple effects in Ladakh as

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well and power struggles within each district provided for a strong multiparty assertions. The contest for sole MP seat, for the first time after bifurcation of Ladakh into two districts, was no more purely between Leh and Kargil, but between INC and Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF) in Leh and the major Kargil vote was divided between NC and Karbalai led independent party. In Leh politics by and large revolve around the popular demand for Union Territory status, and most significant manifestation in the recent times was Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF) formed under the leadership of erstwhile Congress leader Thupstan Chhewang. His attempt to call for disbanding political parties to be united under LUTF banner - it gave an emphatic victory in MP elections then to him over Hassan Khan from Kargil - got a major jolt soon after its launch in 2002 with BJP and Congress reviving their parties. This development had helped LUTF sweep Hill Council election in 2004; the win was considered to be on the grounds of sympathy votes in the favour of LUTF, which faced - as voters were convinced on to believe - stark betrayal from dissidents causing split in the UT Front. The defeats, however, in the hands of INC in the subsequent Hill Council by-elections and later in the contest for MLA (between Congress candidate Nawang Rigzin Jora and Thupstan Chhewang) in Leh came as a major setback to LUTF, which is now struggling to keep the remaining members together.

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Politics of Personality Clashes What has emerged from these recent developments is that there is essentially no ideological differences, with both factions calling for UT status for Ladakh, among prominent leaders of the Leh district who are now engaged in a bitter blame game, and into this feud almost the entire population has been drawn into as almost everybody of the small population of Leh is aligned to either Congress or LUTF. Both Congress and LUTF claim and counter claim that it is their party which has always stood for UT. While the Congress party boast of its legacy from the time of late Kushok Bakula, considered as doyen of Ladakh, LUTF reassert as the true regional level representation in view of alleged discriminative stances adopted by Governments irrespective of any party and at any level. However, what seems to be inherent in these often bitter exchanges is the clash of personal egos, more than anything else, among the top leadership in their power struggle. The political rallies at the Leh Polo ground by both the parties' exhibit in full public display the degree of their clash of interests. Some dissidents on both sides were even seen doing unabashed blatant personal attacks/counterattacks in their respective public gatherings setting up a bad precedent for younger lot to follow. This trend of exhuming political bitterness in public started after the controversial exit of Congress leaders - to revive their party - from one-party-forall LUTF, which was formed by disbanding all major parties including NC, INC and BJP in a brisk developments during the 2002 MLA elections. Congress party had given their mandates for two MLA seats in Leh and

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Nubra to Tsering Dorjey, current CEC of LAHDC Leh, and P Namgyal, former Union Minister. Meanwhile, LBA led by its President Tsering Samphel, currently Member of ST Commission GOI, was carrying out a series of public campaigns for UT status and around the time when Round Table Conferences were being held LBA felt the need to conglomerate

Coalition politics at State and Centre had ripple effects in Ladakh as well and power struggles within each district provided for a strong multiparty assertions. The contest for sole MP seat, for the first time after bifurcation of Ladakh into two districts, was no more purely between Leh and Kargil, but between INC and Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF) in Leh and the major Kargil vote was divided between NC and Karbalai led independent party.

all parties to exert pressure on Centre over this demand in one voice. In the ensuing meetings at Chokhang Vihara, however, there was a call from the NC party to disband the parties altogether to which then Congress President Shri Thupstan Chhewang readily agreed and with other party members complying Ladakh Union Territory Front was formed to strive for UT status under one banner.

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Later on, LUTF decided to field Nawang Rigzin Jora and Pintoo Narboo as MLAs from Leh and Nubra instead of Mr. Namgyal and Mr. Dorjay on account of sending more articulate representatives to raise UT at state level. In absence of any opposition both the candidates were elected uncontested from the respective constituencies. Such unprecedented development did manage to draw lot of media attention at the national level towards the local UT struggle, however, soon internal frictions started developing among the erstwhile members from different political backgrounds, and its President Thupstan Chhewang was having tough times to keep them together. Meanwhile, by virtue of united Leh under LUTF banner Mr. Chhewang got his victory over Hassan Khan of Kargil in the 2002 MP elections; the Leh Polo ground witnessed perhaps the largest crowd gathered with their leaders to celebrate this crucial win. Common people were perhaps unaware of the fact that this unity was not there to last long. In the midst of increasing internal frictions the infamous split in the LUTF occurred with some Congress members announcing revival of their party. BJP had already been formed much earlier. Congress-PDP government after the fresh Assembly elections at the State gave cabinet berth to Shri Nawang Rigzin Jora, who had showed his allegiance to Azad-led Congress party. The PDP-Congress coalition govt. took some significant steps in empowering Hill Council including cabinet status to CEC with disbursing power up to five crore rupees and to the ECs status equivalent to State's deputy Ministers and increased perks. This move did not help much in filling the wounds left by the split and in earning public favour in the ensued Hill Council elections swept by LUTF party.

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Of 26 elected seats Congress regained only two seats from Chushot and SkyuMarkha constituencies. Congress leaders blamed LUTF of using three Ms 'Money, Muscle and Monks' to snatch this victory from their hands, and the rift between the two parties deepened resulting into an era of great political turmoil that also brought under its garb Ladakh Buddhist Association, that witnessed violent clashes among two rival groups before the peaceful settlement of issues such as election of its President. Repercussions of such animosity had significant toll on development as well. This feud at many times put at stake the operation of smooth developmental activities. With the two parties at loggerhead, evidences of bureaucratic highhandedness superseding Hill Council started appearing. The controversial ouster of LUTF councillor Tsewang Rigzin from the party and EC Education post under the pressure from Education Department staff and leveling charges against SECMOL, an NGO that brought considerable reforms in education system, as 'anti-national' by DC Leh were all unfortunate incidents took place around the time when Congress and LUTF were up against each other. Former DC Leh Mr. M K Dwivedi had also issued unceremonious order against all NGOs to produce their complete documents in his office, which led to stalling of the projects such as Watershed Scheme these NGOs had undertaken in various parts of Ladakh. A councillor from Sakti constituency Gyal Wangyal along with his associates during the Council by-elections was thrashed in police lock up in a very harsh and uncivilized manner for allegedly extorting donations from non-local traders.

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Party feuds at such a scale stem from certain issues predominantly personality clashes among political stalwarts, and party level comprehension that there are elements behind the scene active in propagating division to wrest power in their favour. One of the

Former DC Leh Mr. M K Dwivedi had also issued unceremonious order against all NGOs to produce their complete documents in his office, which led to stalling of the projects such as Watershed Scheme these NGOs had undertaken in various parts of Ladakh. A councillor from Sakti constituency Gyal Wangyal along with his associates during the Council by-elections was thrashed in police lock up in a very harsh and uncivilized manner for allegedly extorting donations from non-local traders. interesting things observed during the recent political developments was expressions of entrenched class struggle, between two higher classes Skutags (royal) and Tongpa (common families) of Ladakh society, being used openly in political forum as Congress leaders led

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by Rigzin Jora accusing Mr. Chhewang of harbouring intentions to subjugate commoners by regaining the traditional prowess of Skutags. The vehement campaign by Congress party on such lines, coupled with what they call 'inefficient' Hill Council under LUTF, did prove effective in the Council by-election of lower Leh that went in favour of INC. Mr. Chewang also had to face defeat in the MLA elections and the majority vote going in favour of Mr. Rigzin Jora indicated the resurgence of Congress party after an interlude spanning over three to four years since 2002. After all the high voltage drama of creating one political brand of UT Front for all and in no time causing split in it, close allies turning into arch rivals, has definitely left people in quandary over who should be trusted or distrusted. Even greater concern is the danger of real issue of development getting sidelined at the cost of bitter politics for personal gains. It is important to note that suddenly Ladakh is facing all sorts of problems and perils which was once unknown to this land of a great cultural heritage. Stories about burglary, murder, suicides have become a common phenomena in recent years; rise in unemployment despite having tourism and other business potentials has not prompted anyone to react on this burgeoning puzzle. Another concern is migration from villages to Leh city, which is facing onslaught of population influx meandering in the streets of shrinking and stinking town. More and more abandoned agricultural lands, irrigation channels, streams and springs are drying up the problems are endless for leaders and policy makers to think upon and act.

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Where Lies the Rub ? In the midst of myriad of complexes created over Kashmir issue the real, basic concerns have somehow faded into oblivion leaving common people in a fix and vulnerable to temptations. Radicalization in younger generations seen in different parts of the J&K State, I believe, could be a sign of 'chronic' deprival of creative opportunities for personal achievements that deviates young minds into an agitated state and grow distrust for other communities. In fact J&K state, given to the continuous political turmoil right from the beginning, is marred with corruption and nepotism. It is the failure on the successive Governments irrespective of any party affiliation to deliver effectively with transparency and accountability. Genesis of the problem may be the whole issue of dispute over the prescribed status Kashmir sans people's support, that provided a nurturing ground for political parties to exploit public sentiments on regional and religious lines. It would not be exaggeration to say that the whole issue of Kashmir is a Governance issue, and all the three regions Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh of the J&K State fell victim to this - from extremist stance of militancy in the valley to radicalization and communal flare ups in other two regions. As far as Ladakh, and particularly Leh, is concerned the journey on the road to development infested with disarrayed progress, since Independence and wresting the administrative control to Kashmir division, can be described in simple terms as: Ø Journey from dignified, self sustained society to a highly dependent population on subsidized ration supply.

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Ø Journey

from all-engaging cooperative society to groups of jobless people wandering aimlessly. Ø Journey from a peaceful, harmonious society to increasingly radicalized groups. Ø Journey from clean environment to a garbage dump. Ø Journey from beautiful and practical mud buildings to mushrooming clusters of concrete cement structures. What has happened in the name of development? Ask every concerned citizen of Ladakh today. People had great hope when the Hill Council status was granted. Even as with the coming in of this decentralized governing body at the district brought about significant changes, however, it failed to address the larger issue of planning with a broad vision - to which no one seems to have given a serious thought. The Council continued to follow the blueprint of development in place, being implemented under a rigid administrative system for decades, without doing or undoing changes needed as per suited to the local topography. The rub lies in development planning.

The Road Ahead Development Planning in Leh and Kargil Trends like alienation of youth from the land based economy, coexistence of youth unemployment with import of labour from outside, increasing demand for government jobs, dependence on a variety of finished products from outside compared to export of the bulk of the limited range of local produces (like Pashmina from Ladakh) as 'raw materials', etc. point at the inadequacy of the policy locally as well as at the State level. If we look at the District Budgets of Leh and Kargil, the bulk of the yearly

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allocation and allocations under 11th Five-Year-Plan are being spent on infrastructure development while economy and social themes seem to have remained always neglected with meager funds under the relevant sectors. In addition funding under Centrally Sponsored Schemes (like IAY, BADP, WDP, PMGSY, NREGA, etc.) and other sources (e.g. grants from State Plan, Untied Grants, 12 th FC grants, transfers by SFC, Externally Supported Schemes, Loans, etc.), estimated to be around 30-40 crores per annum, are primarily invested in infrastructure development. Little over 10 percent of the annual budget is spent in 12 sectors of Economy including Agriculture, Horticulture, Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Tourism, Industries, Handlooms, Handicrafts, Employment, SGSY and Cooperatives. Linked with this is the strikingly low level of investment in higher/ technical/vocational educations, a little above 1%, with yearly allocations. Even more pathetic is just about 1% share of budget going for Arts and Culture, Social Welfare, Labour Welfare, Planning/Evaluations and Statistics, Information and Information Technology with no external support. On overview of the District Plan document laid out for 58 developmental sectors categorized under different themes clearly indicates the glaring pitfalls in the existing planning and highlight the complete of lack of practicality and visioning. Ironically, it seems that every year perhaps from the last 50 years same pattern of development have been followed unmindful of the fact that local demands, needs keep and other dynamics are varying in nature from time to time and from region to region.

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Conversation

I am completely opposed to the attempts of Indian and Pakistani mainstream historians to underscore ethnic, religious, and regional divides in their explications of the Kashmir conflict

Nyla Ali Khan's book Islam, Women and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan is being described in academic and political circles as one of the most authentic and indigenous account of the making of Kashmir conflict. In second part of this interview to ZAFAR CHOUDHARY (first part appeared in November 2009 issue), the author explains her motivation to embark on such a work of high academic value and path she followed to uncover the truths without biases and prejudices. Excerpts:

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Q

While working at such an important project on Kashmir, I find, you have missed to deal in detail with Sheikh Sahib's lately troubled relations with Nehru and the latter's betrayal of commitment on Kashmir. Isn't it? On the contrary, I have delved into the disastrous ramifications of Nehru's volte face in 1953, which bolstered the courage of the then sadr-e-riyasat Karan Singh to unconstitutionally oust Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah from office and install Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad as head of government in his stead. Abdullah's pro-independence stance received a severe blow when the dissident faction within the NC was joined by the Constituent Assembly speaker G.M. Sadiq and D.P. Dhar, a Pandit deputy minister of interior. The Soviet stance on the Kashmir issue seems to have had an influence on this group. The fall-out of this rift was the dismissal of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah as prime minister by the titular head of state, Karan Singh, and his arrest under a law called the Public Security Act. Abdullah would be shuttled from one jail to the next for the next twenty-two years, until 1975. This coup was authorized by Nehru. Subsequent to his arrest, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was installed as prime minister. A few days later, Abdullah loyalists including Mirza Afzal Beg, were also arrested under the Public Security Act. Bakshi's de facto regime was given some

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semblance of legitimacy by being formally ratified by members of the NC general council and Constituent Assembly delegates in specially convened sessions. In September 1953, Nehru, who earlier had underscored Abdullah's importance to the resolution of the Kashmir issue, did a political volte face: he justified Abdullah's undemocratic eviction from office before the Indian parliament by asserting that the latter had “autocratic� methods which resulted in the loss of the majority of his cabinet and had caused trauma to the electorate. Despite his political maneuvers, Nehru and his ilk were unable to provide democratic justification for Abdullah's shoddy removal from office. The well-planned coup in Kashmir that led to Abdullah's prolonged detention, mass arrests of his loyalists, and fabricated shows of loyalty to the new regime, unveiled the strategies deployed by New Delhi as manipulative measures that lacked political and ethical legitimacy. I met with the former Sadr-iRiyasat, Karan Singh, at his quasi-regal home in New Delhi in the summer of 2007. Fortunately, he was willing to answer the questions I had regarding the 1953 coup. He was also gracious enough to give me a copy of his autobiography in which he has unapologetically written about his role in that hideous manifestation of political wiliness and despotism. When I asked Karan Singh whether his office had entailed work of political import, he averred that subsequent to the 1953 coup, his was the only office that enjoyed constitutional legitimacy. Contrary to what Karan Singh would have one believe, the dismissal of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah's de jure regime and installation of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad's plunged the

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Valley into moral and political turpitude, which reverberated in later years. I have quoted the current General Secretary of the National Conference, Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, in my book, according to whom the events of 1953 drastically altered the political landscape of Indian administered J & K. Abdullah's dismissal and subsequent incarceration engendered an irreparable distrust between the populace of the state and the government of India. I reiterate that Nehru had been cast in the mold of the deceiver.

Q

There is quite informative and analytical approach (in your book) to the story of elections in Kashmir and hints on New Delhi's deals in fixing up governments in Srinagar. Statistics are there but such analysis is missing in case of 2002 elections when regime was changed through elections billed as the fairest in history of J&K. Would you like to explain that here! I have written about the complicity of the Farooq Abdullah led National Conference with the Congress as well as with the BJP, which led to the erosion of the mass base of the NC and also to the alienation of grass roots level workers of the NC. I have been very clear about the deleterious effects of the disconnect between the NC top brass and marginalized workers, which led to the routing of the NC and the rise of a previously obscure political organization, the PDP, in the 2002 elections. I was in the Kashmir valley a couple of months before that election in which the NC suffered a miserable and humiliating defeat.

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As far as the claim about the 2002 elections being the fairest in the history of J & K goes, I have my doubts because by then the Centre had very carefully made fissures not just in the mass base of the NC but also in the autonomy of the election process. National and local Newspapers reported despicable attempts at intimidation and coercion by Indian paramilitary troops. According to a rather dubious claim by Indian authorities, the voter turnout in Baramullah district had been forty percent and fifty-five percent in Kupwara district. These figures, however, include voters who were coerced to exercise their franchise. Interestingly, almost a million and a half citizens entitled to vote are just not registered and are, therefore, not included when estimating these figures. Apparently, women didn't participate either in large numbers or enthusiastically in these elections. There were districts, however, in which the voting was impartially carried out. The politicization that was palpable in Kashmiri-speaking areas hadn't occurred either in predominantly Gujjar or Ladakhi constituencies, which did not harbor the antipathy toward the Indian State and its institutions as a large section of the Kashmiri Muslim population did.

Q

You have laid huge emphasis on the dangers associated with the ideas of (any) division of Jammu and Kashmir on ethnic, regional or religious lines. This is what every saner soul says but entire talk ends up in Kashmir valley alone. Jammu and Ladakh are already feeling not only alienated but also

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Q

suffocated in these two regions' power negotiations with Kashmir. 'Stakeholders' and opinionated experts often say problem is all about Kashmir because sufferings are centered in valley alone. Any one making a case of Jammu and Ladakh is seen as somebody lacking sense of history and may be regional chauvinist. Despite strongly advocating unity of regions, your book also refuses to go much beyond boundaries of the valley. I am asking this lengthy question because your book has not been taken as yet another book as Kashmir. You may like to answer the regional questions. Sir Owen Dixon, the United Nations representative for India and Pakistan, noted in 1950 that the Kashmir issue was so tumultuous because Kashmir was not a holistic geographic, economic, or demographic entity but, on the contrary, was an aggregate of diverse territories brought under the rule of one Maharajah. Sir Owen Dixon propounded the trifurcation of the state along communal or regional lines or facilitating the secession of parts of the Jhelum Valley to Pakistan. Despite the bombastic statements and blustering of the governments of India and Pakistan, the Indian government has all along perceived the inclusion of Pakistani administered Jammu and Kashmir and the Northern Areas in India as unfeasible. Likewise, the government of Pakistan has all along either implicitly or explicitly acknowledged the impracticality of including predominantly Buddisht Ladakh and predominantly Hindu Jammu as part of Pakistan. The

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When I asked Karan Singh whether his office had entailed work of political import, he averred that subsequent to the 1953 coup, his was the only office that enjoyed constitutional legitimacy.

coveted area that continues to generate irreconcilable differences between the two governments is the valley of Kashmir. Despite such obstructions, Sir Owen Dixon remained determined to formulate a viable solution to the Kashmir issue and suggested the a plebiscite be held only in the Kashmir valley subsequent to its demilitarization, which would be conducted by an administrative body of United Nations officials. Although, separatist movements have been surfacing and resurfacing in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir and parts of Pakistani administered Kashmir since the accession of the state to India in 1947, the attempt to create a unitary cultural identity

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bolstered by nationalist politics has been subverted by regional political forces. The culturally, linguistically, and religiously diverse population of Indian and Pakistani administered Jammu and Kashmir has been unable to reach a consensus on the future of the land and the heterogeneous peoples of the state. The revolutionary act of demanding the right of self-determination and autonomy for Indian administered Jammu & Kashmir has not been able to nurture a unity amongst all regional groups and socioeconomic classes. Due to the regional sentiments that are so well entrenched in the psyche of the people, the attempt to create a

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unitary identity is still in a volatile stage. The symbols of nationhood in the former princely state, flag, anthem, and constitution, have thus far been unable to forge the process of nationalist self-imagining. My book, Islam, Women, and the Violence in Kashmir, is about the militarization of Jammu and Kashmir which has undermined the syncretic ethos of the State, not just the Valley. I am completely opposed to the attempts of Indian and Pakistani mainstream historians to underscore ethnic, religious, and regional divides in their explications of the Kashmir conflict. For this particular project I conducted field work only in the Valley but hope to expand my work by conducting field work in Jammu and Ladakh as well.

Q

Any differences one could have marked in the book if author were not the granddaughter of first prime minister of Kashmir. Islam, Women, and the Violence in Kashmir has been written by a Kashmiri Muslim woman academic who teaches at an American university and has a deep emotional investment in Kashmir. I am a writer who wants the recognition of the right to my opinion; the right to stand up for myself and be taken seriously; the right to express my anger without being labeled an 'Islamic militant;' the right to legitimately question things I don't understand; the right to peace of mind; the right to dream and to go after my dreams; the right to seek more spiritual awareness without being labeled a 'heretic;' to feel confident, secure, and peaceful. I just happen to be the granddaughter of the first Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Q

There has always been curiosity among readers to know about the authors. Would you like to tell us about the choice of your career, route to Amar Singh College, the journey to University of Nebraska and what is ahead? After completing my schooling in Kashmir, I joined the English Honours Program at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. My three years at LSR, 1990-1993, are memorable because of the enriching opportunities I got to interact and learn from erudite educators. I was an avid reader and a responsive student, but an unfocused examinee. I had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and the courses at LSR whetted my appetite for the idyllic and ornate world of canonical English literature. After completing my B.A. at LSR, I went on to pursue my Masters in English Literature at the University of Delhi, South Campus. The two years at DU were uneventful, rather banal, and not as growth oriented as I would have liked them to be. Most students just went through the motions and learned by rote, which did nothing for one's creativity or critical thinking. Subsequently, I taught at Maulana Azad women's College, Srinagar, as an ad hoc lecturer for about a year and a half. The pedagogical experience afforded to me at the women's college enabled me to work on pedagogical skills, collegiality, communicating with students, and made all the reading that I had done seem useful. I realized that I wanted to establish myself in academia and that motivated me to move to the U.S., unfamiliar territory, in order to pursue a Masters and a Ph.D. in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. I realized my full potential at

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the University of Oklahoma, where I worked with some wonderful scholars and experts in their respectable fields. While working on my Masters and Doctorate, I taught two full-fledged classes giving me hands-on training as an educator. My work became a lot more purposeful, goal-oriented, and politically motivated. I came into my own as a writer, scholar, and teacher. It was incredible to discover that literature and politics were inextricably intertwined. My Ph.D. dissertation, The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, was published as a book by Routledge in 2005. I was hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney soon after I completed my Doctorate in 2004. I teach courses on non-western literature and World literature at UNK, where I am now an Associate Professor. I will teach at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, which is a research university, in spring 2010 (Inshallah!).

Q

You have said this book is first in the series. Can you give is some ideas about what is pipeline and when do we expect that. Working on Islam, Women, and the Violence in Kashmir was emotionally exhausting, physically grueling, and required a lot of soul searching, but it was extremely rewarding. Currently, I am teaching three courses at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, which doesn't leave much time for research. But my book is going to be reprinted in the U.S. by Palgrave Macmillan (Inshallah!), for which I need to make some revisions. I hope to begin work on a cross-disciplinary anthology on Jammu and Kashmir to which I have requested academics from the State to contribute.

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C O L UMN

History

Dignity of Labour in the History of Kashmir PROF. JIGAR MOHAMMED

K

ashmir is famous for its craftsmanship all over the world. The Kashmiri artisans in Shawl manufacturing, papier mache, wood crafts, carpet making and sericulture obtained distinction from medieval period onwards. In the expansion of the crafts industries both the state and society worked together. It is important to mention that the ruling class of the 14th century respected and appreciated the contribution of the working class to the political stability of Kashmir through the introduction of the new crafts, tools and techniques in Kashmir. It is understood that Sultan Zainul Abidin (1420-70), introduced shawl manufacturing, fire-works, carpet manufacturing, papier-mache and book binding etc. Building industries were very much patronized and promoted by the Sultan Zainul Abidin. State patronage of the artisans had become one of the dominant political trends of medieval Kashmir. In Kashmir a large number of bridges, called kadals, were constructed during medieval period. They were built on cantilever principle. The use of piers in these bridges were based on indigenous technology. Most of these bridges were made of the wood. Besides, other structures such as palaces, shrines and mosques were also made of wood. Patterned ceiling panel , known as khatumband, was a popular and unique wood craft of medieval Kashmir. It was made with joinery and

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designing. Moreover, lattice work was also based on wood craft. The Mughal emperors such as Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-27) and Shah Jahan (1628-58) constructed a large number of gardens in Kashmir. Some of the famous Mugahl gardens of Kashmir are Hari Parbat, Nasim Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Virnag, Shalimar and Pari Mahal. The technology used for the construction of these gardens shows the synthesis between Central Asian and Indian cultures. Stone works were beautifully executed in the construction of forts and mosques. When Akbar started the construction of Hari Parbat fort he employed two hundred Indian artisans expert in stone works. Generally, gray lime stones were used because of their easy availability at local level. There are some brick masonry structures. However, in all structures the indigenous wood, stone and brick crafts remained the dominant despite a large political and economic influence of the Central Asians. Kashmir was first region of India where sericulture was introduced during medieval period. Though the exact period of the introduction of sericulture is not known, it is said that it was introduced during the sultan Zainul Abidin's period. Mirza Haider Dughlat (1540-50), a Mughal ruler of Kashmir, found the use of mulberry trees for rearing silk worms as an important occupation of the people of Kashmir.

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According to him, “Among the wonders of Kashmir are the quantities of mulberry trees (cultivated) for their leaves (from which) silk is obtained.” The Mughal emperor Jahangir (1605-27) gives a very vivid description of the mulberry trees in his Memoirs. According to him, “There are Shahtut (some kind of large mulberry), but there are other mulberries (tut) everywhere. From the foot of every mulberry tree a wine creaper grows up. In fact the mulberries of Kashmir are not fit to eat, with the exception of some on trees in gardens, but leaves are used to feed the silk worm. They bring the silk worms eggs from Gilgit and Tibet.” However, it seems that sericulture came to Kashmir from Bokhara. Carpet weaving was another wonder of Kashmir, which provided huge employment and became one of the sources of Kashmir's relations with different parts of India. Its tools and implements were simple. The hand knotted carpet was first introduced in Kashmir in the fifteenth century. Like other important crafts of Kashmir, it was also introduced by the Sultan Zainul Abidin. He invited carpet weavers from Persia and Central Asia to Kashmir to train the local artisans in this crafts. For the expansion of the carpet manufacturing he established Karkhanas or factories for the carpet weavers. But after him carpet industries started to decline because of the lack of the royal patronage of the

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craft under his successors. But this craft did not disappear in Kashmir for ever. The Mughal emperor Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir (1605-27) revived the carpet weaving. It is known tha one Akhun Mulla Rahnuma reorganised the carpet weaving with help of Ahmad Beg Khan, the governor of Kashmir, between 1614-18. According to the contemporary sources, when Ahmed Beg Khan was returning from his pilgrimage (Mecca) he came to Andijan and learnt the various techniques of carpet weaving. He also brought some important tools of carpet manufacturing. When Jahangir came to the potentialities of the expansion of the carpet industries in Kashmir, he extended royal patronage to the craft and established Karkhanas for the manufacturing of the carpets. The craftsmen, called Kalbaf, were paid into cash. For the manufacturing of the carpet the craftsmen used wooden loom, a knife to cut the woolen yarn hanging from above after the knot had been tied, a comb to beat in the weft and pile tufts and pair of scissors to smoothen the pile level. It is important to mention that the Mughal emperors were very fond of the Kashmiri carpets. Moreover, Kashmiri carpets were an important item of both internal and

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external trade during the Mughal period. The Kashmiri were famous for the manufacturing of the wooden materials. B e r n i e r, a F r e n c h traveler of 17th century India, was very much impressed from the expertise of the Kashmiri artisans in wooden crafts. According to him, “The workmanship and beauty of their(artisans) palkeys(palanquins), bedsteads, trunks, inkstands, boxes, spoons and various other things are quite remarkable and articles of their manufacture are in use in every part of the Indies.� It is important to mention that Kashmir possessed huge forest wealth. One of the most durable woods deodar was available on large scale in Kashmir. The history of the construction of the wooden houses in Kashmir goes back to the ancient period. Zainul Abidin period is known to be the golden age of wooden architecture and crafts in Kashmir. He built wooden palace, known for its beauty and techniques. Woods were not only used for making houses, boats, utensils and decorative objects, but more importantly specific methods of using wood for the different purposes were known to the artisans of Kashmir. Patterned ceiling panel, known as Khatumband, was an unique wood craft of Kashmir. This was an excellent technique of the joining of the wood pieces, cut into geometric shapes. The ceiling of the shrine of Nuruddin Rishi, a famous sufi saint of Kashmir, is the best example of the Khatamband style. Latice-work was another important wood craft of Kashmir. It was known as acchidar or jali-pinjra. For

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latice-work, generally the carpenters used the deodar wood. Flat bottom boats were manufactured in Kashmir on large scale. The most commonly used boat was called dunga, which was 20 metres in length and 2 metres in width. It was consisted of two cabins, one for the boatman ahd his family and another for the passangers. The wooden spining wheels, decorated sandals (kharv), children toys and child walkers were manufactured. Wooden bridges and boad bridges were the most popular means of the transport. Rope bridge was very important means of the journey of the people of the hilly areas. Through the construction of the rope bridges in the hilly areas the journey was made easier. Rope bridges were very popular in Kishtwar. Rope bridge was called Zampa. According to the Mughal emperor Jahangir, Kishtwaris used rope bridges for defence purposes very effectively. Whenever, any external attack was led against the Kishtwaris they destroyed their rope bridges to check the advancement of the invaders. Thus rope bridge worked a special technology for transport and defense purposes. The above-mentioned specialised crafts technologies and techniques in woven works, paper, sericulture, wooden works and means of transport and journey not only retained large potentialities of the generation of the employment of the Kashmiris, but they also led to the establishment of the Kashmiri identity in different parts of India and other parts of the world. The dignity of labour is one of the popular trends of the social life of Kashmir. People used and use their professional titles or castes with pride. The shawls, papier mache items, wooden works and embroidery of Kashmir speak very effectively of the respect to the work culture.

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F EATURE S

Life Stories WOMEN IN CONFLICT

Why are they Unaware of their Rights, Abilities, Strengths MANISHA SOBHRAJANI

I

had the privilege of interacting with a group of women from Jammu & Kashmir, and this group included women from Jammu, Srinagar and Ladakh. The diversity and variation within this group was startling, not just for me, but also for most of the women in the group. The 'divide' between the three regions of J&K is rather wellknown, and not something that needs any introduction. The group is involved in a humble attempt to document 'women's issues' across the state, and their coming together to share their opinions and disagreements, as much as their hopes and aspirations, was the first baby-step in that direction. The idea of documenting the kinds of issues Kashmiri women face in their day-to-day lives crept up in my thoughts while organising a travelling exhibition of posters from the women's movement, aptly titled 'Poster Women', in the Valley towards the end of 2007. Initiated by the Delhi-based feminist press Zubaan, the Poster Women project began with the idea of locating and archiving posters from across India from the early Seventies, a period that is characterised as having given rise to the Women's Movement in India. This exhibition travelled to many cities within the country with the aim of highlighting the Indian woman's fight against a patriarchal society. It put together a selection of posters created for various campaigns, with the vision of

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making the posters available to as many people as possible. The idea was for people -- men and women -- to be aware of the different issues faced by women in general. The exhibition aimed at inspiring them by introducing the history of Indian women's struggle for equal rights, family planning, reproductive rights, the banning of invasive contraceptives, access to health facilities, literacy, environment, political participation and also the tirade against domestic violence, communalism and marginalisation. While the posters were exhibited in the Valley, I tried to locate women's groups in Kashmir who might want to contribute to the existing collection of posters. Predictably, I found none. While there are numerous issues that women in J&K face – issues which have arisen out of the Kashmir conflict, and issues which women face anyway because they are women – there is no documentation or even acknowledgment of these. Perhaps we need to initiate this process at the women's level itself, to begin with. Most women in J&K – the difference amongst the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh not withstanding – have come to accept their state of lives as something which can't be helped, and needs to be accepted. It is here that we need to introduce the concept of the UN Resolution 1325. Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR1325) was passed unanimously on

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31 October 2000. It is the first resolution ever passed by the Security Council that specifically addresses the disproportionate and unique impact of war on women, and women's under-valued and under-utilized contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. It urges women's equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. It stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The unanimous adoption of SCR1325 was a watershed in the evolution of international women's rights and peace and security issues. It was the first formal and legal document from the United Nations Security Council that requires parties in a conflict to respect women's rights and to support their participation in peace negotiations and in post conflict reconstruction.1 In a broader sense of the term 'civil society', the regions of Jammu, Srinagar

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F EATURE S Life Stories

and Ladakh have very distinct women's groups. In the Buddhist-majority Leh of Ladakh, organisations such as the Women's Alliance, Women's Action Committee, Women's Centre, Mahila Mandal etc. deal with issues of women's rights after marriage, their representation in local bodies, and their status within the family. The Muslim-majority Kargil has women's bodies fighting for women's education, health and political representation. In Jammu, where women have been politically very passive, there are some groups that work in the Kashmiri migrant camps on the outskirts of the city. Some other groups engage in imparting stitching and embroidery techniques to women in an effort to make them financially independent. The Valley – which is the 'hub' of the Kashmir conflict – has groups ranging from the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, HELP (Human Effort for Love and Peace) Foundation, and again some groups which are involved in making women financially stable by taking up tailoring etc. No doubt, the work taken up these organisations, no matter how miniscule the level of intervention is, has certainly had an impact on women's lives in J&K. But sadly, the common thread amongst all these organisations in all the three regions is the lack of a politically motivated will to speak up and fight for their rights, both personal as well as political. Of course this is not an easy task in a place like J&K where for more than half the population – especially women – the most challenging task of the day is to organize the next meal for their families. However, my question remains: in a place like Kashmir -- where the National Conference encouraged the formulation of a so-called 'women's militia' as early as in 1947–48, to supposedly fight against the tribal invaders of that time -- why are women in Kashmir in the 21st century unaware of their rights, abilities and strengths?

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THE SEARCH FOR THEIR MISSING MEN:

Kashmiri Women’s Saga NUSRAT ARA

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n aspect of the two-decade long conflict in J&K are the disappearances of men allegedly picked up by security agencies. A struggle led mainly by women of Kashmir to trace the whereabouts of their loved ones has taken the form of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (ADPD). Women from different areas of Kashmir gather at a park in Srinagar every month to protest against what they say is a non-responsive government. Each of their lives speak of an anguish but also a hope, if not for recovery of their missing sons and husbands but information about them which is their basic entitlement Every month Hajra, 70 year old, travels 70 kilometers from her village in Bandipora to Srinagar to spend few hours in a park. Despite her age, frail frame, and diminishing hopes, she makes it to the park on the 10th of every month to sit in protest along with dozens of other people. People like her, people who have known loss of a kind that is perhaps worse than death. Hajra is a member of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons Kashmir (APDP), a body borne out of the shared tragedies of people whose relatives went missing after being picked up by security agencies. Hajra has lost four sons to the conflict in Kashmir. Three dead, one missing. She seems to have reconciled with the death of three sons, but the unknown fate of her fourth son haunts her and brings her to Srinagar every month. Keeping hope alive after a decade of striving is not easy. “What I had is gone. What can I get now from all this” says Hajra in a moment of despair. Her son Bashir Ahmad Sofi, a baker was picked up by Army in front of her from his shop in early nineties. They told him that he has to carry shoes to their camp. That is the moment that she last saw him. Ten years later all she wants to know is what happened to her son. “I want to meet my son if he is alive or have his body if he is dead. What did my other boys take from this world? I want to give him a proper burial the way I did it for others,” says Hajra. In her search so far she has visited police stations, army camps, courts, and the Human Rights Commission. The whereabouts of her son are elusive, like they are for thousands of other Kashmir's disappeared. Other women gather around. Almost all cradle a photograph in their laps. Pictures are also lined up on a large banner in the background. A woman touches a picture in the banner as if reaching out to the person frozen in time. A wail follows . Someone asks about Mughali, a woman who fainted during the last sit in. She is still in bed rest, another replies. These are the people, mostly women, who form the APDP. Braving all

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OP I N I ON

Gender Balance odds varying from poverty to social pressures, or police pressures, they gather here each month, turning their tragedy into a struggle . A struggle against the system , that refuses to meet their simple demand - information about their missing kin. “They (government agencies ) killed so many people. Who could take them to account. Why don't they acknowledge they killed our kin too,” says Parveena Ahanger, founder chairperson of the APDP. Parveena's son Javed Ahanger was picked up from his uncle's house in their neighborhood in 1990. And Parveena's struggle began that night itself, a valiant effort by a mother to find her son. It has been a long journey since then . “It is no longer the fight for my son. It is the fight for all the disappeared. They are all my sons,” says Parveena. She founded the APDP in 1994. For Zooni who has traveled from Hathmul village in Kupwara district, 100 km from Srinagar, whose son, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, a driver, was picked by unknown masked gunmen in 90's , the tragedy has compounded. Mir had been married for three months and his daughter, born after his disappearance. She says her husband has lost his senses and gets into a fit of rage the moment he sees a military vehicle. “He runs after them hurling abuses and demanding his son back,” she says. Zooni says she has lost hope with the passing years, yet on 10th of every month she takes this journey, something pulls her to it. Amidst the despair, Hafeeza of Monghama Kulgam is sure her son, Javeed Ahmad Matoo, is alive. If so, he would be 28. For the last 15 years she clutches to a picture of a 13-year-old. Matoo was picked by army “on the behest of an informer due to a personal

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grudge”. His family ran pillar to post. They filed an FIR. She went to court where the army bailed itself out by saying that Matoo ran away. “I ask if he ran away where did he go? Why did he not come back home?”. “I want my son. I have full faith he is alive, give me my son back. That is all I ask”. Tragedy has followed Hafeeza and her family like a shadow. Four years after Matoo's disappearance his sister died. “She was very attached to him. His loss consumed her too,” said Hafeeza. “If the politicians can go mohalla to mohalla seeking votes why can't they go to army camps and jails seeking our children?” she demands. Seeking a closure to her agony, three years ago Tasleema, a woman from Duksum Kokernag would sit along with these women protesting the disappearance of her husband Nazir Ahmad Dekka who had gone missing for a few months after the police reportedly picked him up in Srinagar. In 2007, a senior police officer and his associates were booked after a fake encounter scandal was exposed in Kashmir. The officer would pick up c i vi l i a n s , k i l l th e m i n s ta g e d encounters, and pass them off as foreign militants, to get handsome reward money. Dekka's body was exhumed from a Ganderbal graveyard, where he had been buried as a foreign militant. Four bodies of civilians passed off as foreign militants were exhumed. Tasleema's search for her husband ended. For others it has not. The anguish of these individual women, which has led to a collective struggle continues to hold out a hope. Even if they have not been able to retrieve their kin or get their information about them, according to Ahanger, the struggle has been a deterrent to further enforced disappearances in the state.

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Women: Role Beyond Promoting Cosmetics RAJNI

It was indeed a moment of great pride on November 25, when President Pratiba Devisingh Patil flew in a Sukhoi-30MK1 air dominance fighter but, unfortunately, India Air Force has very conservative plans to induct women as fighter pilots. Is the Indian women empowerment story misleading ?

I

think IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal P. K Barbora is ignorant of the fact that two third of the work done in the world is by the women alone. Barbora seems to be approving the gender biased male preference and traditional socialization of the females in their homes only to produce children. They must be restricted in the four walls of their household. Barbora, there are financial, operational and cultural constraints in having women fighter pilots. "It, after all, takes as much as Rs 11.66 crore to train a fighter pilot," he said. According to him, after spending so much, IAF does not want any disruption in its tight fighter flying schedules, which it feels is inevitable after a woman pilot gets married and has children. If a woman gets pregnant, it will "not be fruitful" for either the force or her. "Anyone can fly a fighter. But the issue is that after spending so much and then not being able to utilise women operationally

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OP I N I ON Gender Balance

would not be a prudent thing," said Air Marshal Barbora. "We are looking at it. If we do induct women as fighter pilots, there could be some pre-conditions (like them not having children for some specified time)," said the IAF vice-chief, adding that it took 13-14 years of active flying by fighter pilots for the government to recover the huge investments made on them. Moreover, with "all the respect" women get in Indian culture, the dominant "feeling" as things stand now is that they should not be exposed to direct or close combat situations, where there is also the possibility of them being taken PoWs (prisoners of war). "Even the Israelis do not allow their women fighter pilots in direct conflict roles," he added. It seems so ridiculous for a country where women make nearly half of the population and 50% of the agricultural laborers and maximum of the construction labourers are women, the person in such an esteemed position has such conservative and dogmatic thinking for women in his mind. Even today when our democratic government acclaimed for India to be a nuclear power and shining towards prosperity women are still seen with denudation and with less potential, inefficient and only the representations of the beauty. It is no doubt that in this effort, advertising companies are notoriously using women as objects to purvey their products. Half of the population constitutes women so half of the jobs to be given to the women. They are provided the opportunities in the jobs easily as nurses, doctors, teachers the caring and nurturing sectors, secretaries or in assembling jobs-the routine submissive sectors. But even if well qualified women engineers or managers or geologists are available, preference will be given to a male of equal qualification. These jobs are only

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the continuation of their domestic work. The dual relationship with women, as objects to be used in selling goods, and as a huge potential market for goods, creates a peculiar process whereby women are encouraged and persuaded to participate actively in their own objectification. The huge media attention given to beauty contests, "successful" models, and the like, all feed into the rapidly expanding beauty industry, which includes not only cosmetics and beauty aids, but slimming agents, beauty parlours and weight loss clinics. Many of these contribute to the most undesirable and backward attitudes to both women and their appearance, such as the advertisements for fairness cream that emphasise that it is necessary to be fair for a good job to make a "good" marriage, which is in turn seen as the basic goal of a woman. This attitude which considers women fit for certain jobs and not others also colors those who recruit employees and those who are in authority to them. A gender bias creates an obstacle at the recruitment stage itself. When it comes to remuneration the law proclaims equality but it is seldom put into practice. Social attitude to the role of women lags much behind the law. The inbuilt conviction that women are capable of less work than men or less efficient than men governs this injustice of unequal salaries and wages for the same job. The age old belief of male superiority over women creates several hurdles for women at their place of work. Women on the way up the corporate ladder discover that they must be much better than their male colleagues to reach the top. Once at the top male colleagues and subordinates often expect much greater expertise and efficiency from a woman boss than

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from a male boss. Conditioned by social and psychological tradition women colleagues too don't lend support to their own sex. Working in such conditions inevitably put much greater strain on women than what men experience. These problems tend to make women less eager to progress in their careers. Indeed many of them choose less demanding jobs for which they may even be over-qualified. A woman's work is not merely confined to paid employment. She has to almost always shoulder the burden of household chores as well. A woman could still bear up with these problems if she had control over the money she earns. But in most families even now her salary is handed over to father, husband or in-laws. So the basic motive for seeking employment of getting independence is nullified in many women's case. Problems of gender bias beset women in the industrial sector. Te c h n o l o g i c a l a d v a n c e m e n t results in retrenchment of women employees. No one thinks of upgrading their skills. Maternity leave is seldom given. It is much easier to terminate the woman's employment and hire someone else. Their pregnancy is seen as a hurdle. In some of the jobs the bonds are being signed by the women workers to remain unmarried or not to get pregnant for a certain period of time. The unique feature of the nature to reproduce provided to women should be taken as much superior work in the world. But their reproduction is taken as stigma to them in providing jobs to women. Trade Unions do little to ameliorate the lot of women workers. Women's issues do not occur on the priority list of most of the trade unions. Women going to work are often subject to sexual harassment. Public transport system is over crowded and men take advantage of the circumstances to

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OP I N I ON Gender Balance

physically harass women. Colleagues offer unwanted attention which can still be shaken off but a woman is placed in a difficult situation if the higher officer demands sexual favours, if refused the boss can easily take it out on the woman in other ways to make life miserable for her. There have been several cases of sexual harassment recently involving even the senior women officials. On the other hand if a woman is praised for her work or promoted on merit, her colleagues do not hesitate to attribute it to sexual favours. The psychological pressure of all this can easily lead to a woman quitting her job. Most of the problems that beset working women are in reality rooted in the social perspective of the position of women. Traditionally men are seen as the bread winner and women as the housekeepers, child bearers and rearers. This typecast role model continues to put obstacles before the working women. A fundamental change is required in the attitudes of the employers, policy makers, family members and other relatives and the public at large. Not getting equal pay, being denied opportunities for growth and promotion are some examples of the kind of economic exploitation that women are subjected to in certain sectors. In spite of legislation in place (Equal Remuneration Act, 1976) it is widely observed that women are usually underpaid as compared to their male counterparts performing the same job. Delhi High Court in 2005 in its ruling in The Cooperative Store Ltd. (Super Bazar) v. Bimla Devi and other laid down that unequal pay is not only a violation of the said act but also, of Article 14 of the Constitution, Right to Equality. Furthermore, India is a signatory to the International Labour Organisation Convention for the Elimination of All

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Forms of Discrimination Against Women, to which India is a signatory, specifically to Article 11 that deals with the elimination of discrimination in the field of employment. Moreover, in spite of allegiance to an International Convention, having a specific legislation in force and a High Court ruling declaring equal pay to be incorporated in fundamental rights, the stark reality of the situation is different. Women still get underpaid. However, this problem in the organized specialized sector is guised and more subtle. Women are discriminated when it comes to promotion opportunities and not the blatant discrimination on the basis of pay for equal work. It is well established in the minds even today that in a family it is the husband who engages in social production, and brings home the wage that is just sufficient to feed and clothe him, his wife and his children. But the job of transforming the wage into consumable substances of returning the fed, washed, rested and sexually satisfied worker to the factory everyday, and of bringing up the children who will form the next generation of workers, is carried out by the housewife. It is propagated in a way that this is indeed the natural function of the women and makes sure that the opportunities made available to work for a wage on her own are restricted in number, and as far as possible, to those jobs which are a socialized version of her domestic function. Thus instead of bringing increasing number of women into social production, modern society has institutionalized the subjugation of women in its own way and defined her work even outside the domestic sphere, by low status and dependence on men. In an increasingly commercialized economy, women are becoming further

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marginalized, due to the very limited job options permitted to them both by their own families and by the ways in which labour markets are structured. Women's access to both education and paid employment has remained far less than men's–even though the gaps between the sexes are slowly narrowing. Thus the positive indications noted are rather misleading, because improvement in the relative access of women to education and jobscompared to men has been very limited. Comparing male and female indicators reveals that huge sex based disparities remain. For socio-cultural reasons, most women's families restrict or obstruct their equal access to education and choice of jobs, resulting in the vast majority of Indian women reaching adulthood severely handicapped in relation to the male dominated labour market. Very little has been done to reduce women's traditional disadvantages in the labour market, with the consequence that most women remain confined to the lower rungs of the labour hierarchy. Even India's switch over to the policies of globalization, liberalization and privatization under the shield of development has done little to expand women's job opportunities. This is because of the women's socialization as mother, housewives. With the spread of global market economy in India there has been a strengthening of male biased (patriarchal) norms and values. It is suggested to the IAF Vice chief Marshal and other recruiting agencies to augment their dogmatic, conservative, traditional and patriarchal engrossed judgements. Women are the claimers of half of the opportunities. Women should be provided equal opportunities in respect of the jobs, promotions, status and reverence.

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POL I T CS

Delhi-Srinagar Relations CENTRE-STATE RELATIONS

The Way Coalitions Make Adjustments TARIQ AHMAD RATHER

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elations between the centre and states have always been a live issue in the country’s politics, rendered all the more so with the rise to power of regional parties in a number of states and their growing prominence at national level politics as well. Today in India, the political system is moving towards greater federalism that is towards enlarging the area of the state's functional autonomy. The need for a less centralized system of economic decision making and development planning is accepted largely. An important feature of 1990s has been the emergence of the Indian states as significant players on the political scene. At independence, although the constitution established a federal structure, the absence of strong regional force in the constituent assembly, a single written constitution, the overreaching position occupied by the dominant Congress etc. led to the states playing a peripheral role. However, the 1967 Fourth General election radically changed the political situation in India. In it, the dominant position of the Congress in Indian politics suffered a great setback. Since then certain changes are underway making India more federal. Today the states enjoy much greater autonomy from the centre. Regional parties are partners in national governance. Politically the process of centralization has seen eventual replacement of government by coalition governments in

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partnership with regional parties at the centre. In view of the growing pressure for greater autonomy, central government had appointed Sarkaria Commission and Inter-State Council to review the question of centre -state relations. The relations; legislative, administrative and financial between the centre and the states are dealt with under chapters I, II, and III, of Part XII of the Indian constitution. Whereas the constitution distributes the powers between the centre and the states through three lists, viz., the Union List, the State List and the Concurrent List, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was kept out of the general scheme which governs the relations between the centre and the rest of the states. This departure is naturally due to the special status which the state enjoys since it acceded to India. The state's relations with the centre have been arranged in the light of Article 370 and in accordance with the terms of the Instrument of Accession. Thus, the object of maximum autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir was guaranteed at the time the state was placed on the constitutional map of India. Under the arrangement, matters surrendered to the Union government by the Instrument of Accession were defense, foreign affairs and communication along with other related matters which due to their importance would naturally fall within the jurisdiction of the central

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government. All other undefined or what may be called as residuary powers were left with the state. On this basis, the state of Jammu and Kashmir in its constitutional relationship with Union government was not bound to accept any future constitutional relationship with the government under the conditions as laid down in the Instrument of Accession. The treatment accorded to Jammu and Kashmir, thus, is not a departure made in the case of that state in the distribution of power and therefore, not a violation of the principal of equality before law. The present arrangement of relationship between the centre and Jammu and Kashmir is, however based on the provisions of Article 370 and the provisions of constitutional (application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 1954, issued by the president of India. However, it was the Delhi Agreement of 1952, which essentially ratified Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. The Delhi Agreement could not be translated into actual operation. From 1948 to August, 1953, National Conference headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah ruled the state. But soon unhappy developments took place which created strained relations between the government of India and Sheikh Abdullah. The central government was reluctant to consider more autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir leading to tension and finally to the dismissal, of Sheikh Mohammad

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Abdullah's government in 1953. Sheikh was arrested and put into detention and then extorted and imprisoned. Right from January 1974, a series of discussions began between Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and his associate Mirza Afzal Beg on the one hand and various members of the Indian government, including Indra Gandhi on the other, over the terms on which the administration to the state of Jammu and Kashmir might be entrusted to a government headed by Sheikh Abdullah. Finally Indira-Shiekh Accord or Kashmir Accord was signed on 24th October 1975. The terms of the Kashmir Accord considered much disappointment in Kashmir, particularly in a section of its youth for it offered much less autonomy to the state than it enjoyed in 1953. Certain activities of Sheikh Abdullah's government such as the reorganization of some assembly constituencies in 1979 on communal lines, withdrawal of cases against the ' Al Fateh' men, denial of state citizenship to the 1947 refugees and adoption of the Resettlement Bill (1982) made serious dents in the body politic of the state. The year of 1986 was a period of coalition between a regional party (National Conference) and a national party (Congress), which despite having historical differences in their political ideology made a first coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir by entering into an accord known as RajivFarooq accord on 7th November, 1986. The accord was defended by the two parties mainly on the ground that it would ensure a larger inflow of central funds to the state. The argument implied that central aid was given on narrow political considerations. It was as if the party in power at the Centre had a right to buy a share in the political power of a state by promising aid. This

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coalition government was a coalition of compulsion that gave rise to communal elements which paved the way of instability in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Rajiv-Farooq Accord failed to prove as effective as expected. The Accord also played havoc in Kashmir as it was denounced as unholy, unjust and un-politic. It was not based on principle. The opposition parties in the

The year of 1986 was a period of coalition between a regional party (National Conference) and a national party (Congress), which despite had historical differences in their political ideology made a first coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir by entered into an accord known as Rajiv-Farooq accord on 7th November, 1986.

state described the Accord as another sell out of the state to Delhi and also called Dr. Farooq a puppet in the hands of the Centre. The accord once again pushed Jammu and Kashmir outside the framework of federal democracy in India. More importantly, it blocked secular outlets of protest against governments both at the centre and the states. Before the accord was signed, the National Conference provided an outlet for the first and the Congress an outlet for the second kind of protest.

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The accord destroyed the raison d'être of both the parties and forced all types of discontent to seek fundamentalist or secessionist outlets, which consolidated in the form of the Muslim United Front. Rajiv- Farooq alliance was perceived to be in the category of the Rajiv- Longwall accord, the Assam Accord and the Mizoram accord. The common features of these accords were an agreement between the regional leaders and the Prime Minister of India over disputes regarding the status or problems of the respective regions. There was no such dispute in Jammu and Kashmir which Rajiv-Farooq accord resolved. It was an agreement between them as presidents of two parties. But the way it was perceived, interpreted and projected, it implied a new agreement over centre-state relations. One of the important conditions of the accord was to call fresh elections which were held on 23rd March, 1987, but the entire electoral politics gave rise to a new political syndrome characterized by radicalism and aggressive propaganda against the existing setup and a threat of violence. Thus 1987 elections undoubtedly revived the spirit of separation in Jammu & Kashmir. The sanctity of electoral process and the trust of Kashmiri's in Indian democracy that was already declining due to erosion of special status and toppling of elected governments by the centre collapsed after these elections. The successive rulers imposed by the centre, the arbitrary dismissal of Dr. Farooq Abdullah's government and subsequent arm twisting to share power with Congress and the blatant manipulation of the electoral process in 1987 led Kashmiris’ to believe that they would remain permanently marginalized under the current political dispensation. Hence rose the demand for secession .

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The second coalition government formed after 2002 elections between Congress and a newly emergent regional party PDP was the result of fractured verdict. It replaced the one party dominance system of National Conference. The coalition thus formed operated under the common minimum programme. The coalition government under a system of rotation of Chief Minister's post between Congress and PDP alternatively worked within the broad policy framework of 'healing touch' and Khushal Kashmir. The PDP led coalition government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the first thee years was largely guided by peace, development and rehabilitation objectives. In other words Healing Touch remained basic to the programme and ideology of PDP-led government. PDP's ultimate goal was to restore peace but it realized that the real peace can not be won by suppressing the political urges of the people and torturing them to silence. In its opinion, the restoration of peace is possible by rectifying the wrongs done to the state by the Indian government, by seriously opening channels of communication with alienated Kashmiri leadership as well as with Pakistan, by immediately stopping the reign of terror unleashed by renegades and various police and security agencies, by respecting the human rights, by releasing the prisoners who are not involved in serious crimes, by giving the people a feel of democracy. After Mufti, Ghulam Nabi Azad took the reins of administration, making the transfer of power from the PDP to the Congress in the state after three years, framed policies and programmes within the broad policy framework of Khushal Kashmir. The broad contours of this policy were corruption free administration, transparency, accountability and all round development of the state.

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Further no human rights violation was stressed by Azad government corresponding to Prime Minister's assurance of Zero tolerance in Jammu and Kashmir. Azad led government also had the agenda of restoring peace, the central government tried to address the problem in a holistic way and thus held many Round Table Conferences and constituted many working groups to evaluate and emphasize on Confidence Building Measures (CBMS) with Pakistan including cross-border and cross-LOC relations, Centre-State relations, good governance, infrastructure and economic development and CBM's with Jammu and Kashmir. Crisis hits the working of coalition government as the PDP's demands for withdrawal of troops, self-rule, dual currency, created irritants in Centre-State relations in Jammu and Kashmir. PDP had withdrawn its support from the government as a protest against the transfer of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The controversy put the Congress and the PDP on the back foot, since the two parties were involved in the transfer of nearly 40 hectares of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board in the valley on May 26, 2008. The conflict over the piece of land pitted Kashmiri Muslims and Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir against each other while threatening the division of the state on religious lines. The mainstream parties like National Conference and PDP have been thrown in the backstage by the resurgence of the separatist leaders and are struggling to end their increasing alienation in the wake of Amarnath controversy. These parties had taken a U-turn by announcing their participation in the recently held 2008 elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The present coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir is again a partnership between a regional party the National Conference and the Congress. Since

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both parties entered into a ruling arrangement January this year, there were wide apprehensions of the repeat of 1986-87 experience when NCCongress made first coalition government in J&K NC-Congress’ nearly one year in office has hardly made any significant political statement at the home turf while the relations between state and center appear to be running smooth enough for strong reasons. It was the Greater Autotomy proposal of National Conference which could led to confrontation between state and center. The NC seems to have burried its core political manifesto for a smooth relation with center as long as it is in ruling alliance with Congress. Stands of both parties on key issue suggest that they are more interested in completing their full six year term with stability rather than enter into confrontation on key issues.

Epilogue Available at Jawahar Book Center Jawahar Lal Nehru University NEW DELHI

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EPILOGUE