Greater Autonomy - National Conference's Medication For Jammu & Kashmir: How Will It Medicate?
15 December 2007
Srinagar: National Conference nearly shelved the issue of Greater Autonomy during the days of Indira Gandhi. National Conference had revived the issue of Greater Autonomy again through the political resolution adopted in 1994 and there after through the resolution passed unanimously by J&K Legislative Assembly on the report of State Autonomy Committee ( SAC) on 26-06-2000. In simple works as could be understood by a common man the Autonomy Committee Report called for a near return to Pre-1953 August days. The Union Cabinet had out rightly rejected the SAC report. Instead New Delhi had suggested the State Government to come forward with the problems the State is facing for conduct its development and routine functions under the laws that were extended to J&K from Union as well as concurrent list as applicable in other States . Ofcourse the laws had been extended with the endorsements of the J&K State Legislatures- Governments. The issue of Greater Autonomy has turned the people of Jammu Province of J&K State as well as those of Ladakh Region of J&K critical about the intentions of people of Kashmir Region. Surely this is not in the interest of the people of J&K even if it is assumed that one day J&K State will be reorganized under its own Constitution. Common man of J&K has over the years remained occupied with the problems like poor economic growth. J&K has always been depending upon the financial assistance from government of India. But now there is utmost need to educate- inform the common man about concepts behind the issues like Greater Autonomy with particular reference to pre 1953 position. J&K affairs have been casually handled by even those who matter seriously at the National as well as international levels. May it be National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather who discussed the resolution as passed in 2000 on Greater Autonomy by J&K Assembly as possible remedy to J&K Turmoil with Mr. Richard Harbit ( representative of European Union ) in February 2007 or any other leader from J&K who is given any opportunity by any foreigner or foreign institution to share views as regards political scenario of J&K. Any how a lot of damage has been caused to the people of J&K over last two decades. Kashmiri Hindu migrants remaining in exile since last 18 years , has let down New Delhi before the world. Ofcourse the innocent Kashmiri Muslim too have been let down before those in other Indian States. J&K Assembly Resolution for Greater Autonomy to J&K has been contested by its promoters to be in line with the behind the scene commitment made in 1950s by the Government headed by Jawahar Lal Nehru . And ofcourse the Greater Autonomy as drafted in the resolution is claimed to be with in the provisions of Indian Constitution. Government of India needs to spell out very clearly the objections it has to the Greater Autonomy Resolution. And simultaneously the National Conference must also issue some document for the information of the common man of J&K where in the need for such resolution and the advantages those will result to common man of J&K through greater autonomy should be spelled out in very very simple terms. Let us try to settle atleast the issue of Greater Autonomy. As is commonly understood the Greater Autonomy would take the State back to political and administrative set up of local governance as it was in 1953. National Conference leadership has claimed that it is only the Greater Autonomy that can provide a workable solution to undo the turmoil in J&K. For the National Conference leadership here comes a question of Human Rights, if not civil rights. How will the Greater Autonomy (1953 conditions ) make the return of Kashmiri Hindu ( migrant) honourably possible ? National Conference need to explain it to the Kashmiri Migrants. The J&K National Conference Leadershipís Greater Autonomy is surely not the same Autonomy ( internal) that has been suggested in general by some experts for the States- Provinces of Union of India. The issue must be understood neatly and nearly. Those calling for greater Autonomy need to reason its benefits and objectives to those who oppose it . Ofcourse e to those also who are not that much for or against the Greater Autonomy . It was on 15 July 02 that Dr. Farooq Abdullah had said that GOI had agreed and even retained a senior leader for discussing the SAC Resolution of 2000 with the State Government. Dr. Farooq as well as Omar Abdullah also suggested that once the issues are discussed the settlement could be also any where in between. Mr. L.K.Advani announced on the floor of Lok Sabha on 16th July 2002 that former law minister Arun Jaitley will be Centerís point man to discuss with JK Government and political parties there the issue of devolution of more powers to State .Mr. Advani had said that J&K was a special State and the Government has no objection to giving it more powers. But Mr Arun Jaitley neither could carry further nor could tell in simple words the objective of his appointment. What the NC leadership has said after 22 July 02 has been more for the news stories only. It was on 25 July 02 that Jaitley and J&K Government representative Shri Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Shah held their first meeting and they fixed the date for next meeting as 9th August ( 2002). People kept on guessing their agenda for the first meeting. But surely the first meeting appeared to give the subject of Autonomy Resolution a 1953 face lift . It was on 9th August that Sheikh Mohd Abdullah was arrested under the orders of Sadar-e- Riyasat Yuvraj Karan Singh . Sheikh was accused of his having played some thing against the Dominion of India . Although Jawahar Lal Nehru did introduce the action in Lok Sabha the next day as a simple local issue of State government. Maharaja of Jammu Kashmir had acceded to dominion of India in 1947 as per the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947 (passed by British Parliament on 17 June 1947) and Government of India Act 1935. Mr. N. N. Vohra , Centreís official point man, had ( April 2003) taken over the job from Mr. Arun Jaitly. Mr. Vohra too is just in shell on this issue till date. New Delhi appears confused over the issue. Let Dr. Farooq Abdullah spell out in simple words : 1 How Greater Autonomy ( GA) differs from return to pre 1953 days 2. How the rights of common man as well as the J&K government have been encroached upon by the Government of India or the Indian Parliament after 1953 : 3. How will Greater Autonomy benefit J&K after moving out of financial integration with Union of India : 4. How will it benefit at least people of Kashmir Valley, if not to other regions : 5. Will GA put an end to the turmoil in J&K in general and Kashmir Valley in particular ? 6. How will GA check the interference from Pakistan in J&K affairs : 7 What socio economic damage has been allegedly caused due to erosion of Autonomy of J&K after 1953 at the Hands of Governments at New Delhi ?. 8. In the eyes of National Conference what are the aspirations of Kashmiries in particular and people of J&K in general. 9. How will greater autonomy fulfill the aspirations of people of J&K? 10. The J&K time clock when made to turn anti clock even to November 1956 ( what to talk of 8th August 1953 days), a new Constitution will have to be drawn. The use of Indian Constitution Application Order of 1950 shall also not be advisable after having passed through so high over tones against the extension of Acts of Indian Parliament to the State of J&K over the years . No doubt such endorsements had been made by the peoples representatives in the J&K Legislature The State will not be able to transact the business democratically with out a Constitution .. This needs to be answered and explained by Dr. Farooq Abdullah himself to the people for whom Greater Autonomy or 1953 like status is being demanded since other leaders of his party do not appear that much serious about the turmoil. This will also be in the interest of those who are in favour of moving to pre 1953 days administratively as well as politically.