Given the communal blackmail of Sheikh Abdullah after independence, Article 370 was inserted in the Constitution of India. Later through a Presidential Order of 1954 issued under Article
370, a new Article 35-A was clandestinely inserted in the Constitution. Article 370/35-A constitutionally created a Non-Secular, Theocratic Muslim State within the Secular territory of India. Article 370/35-A coupled with a variety of administrative measures would ensure that the character of J&K’s Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council shall remain Islamic in character for all times to come. The movement for Pakistan didn’t end in 1947. A Pakistan was constitutionally created within India. it was disguised as State of J&K. The Jihadi political actors of J&K continued the movement for further balkanization of India exploiting the legal protection of the Constitution of India which of course also came with the political backing of the State of India.
Articles 367 and 370 of the Constitution of India were amended. The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954 was superseded and the Constitution of India was fully extended to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The erstwhile State of J&K was reorganized by an Act of the Parliament. Two Union Territories namely Jammu &Kashmir and Ladakh were created. This happened on August 5th and 6th; 2019. This practically meant annulment or abrogation of Article 370.
Did this abrogation meant that the Non-Secular Theocratic Islamic State of J&K was dismantled? The answer is No. The abrogation could dismantle only the De-Jure Islamic State. The De-Facto Islamic State is still in existence which continues to undermine ‘National Interest’ in the UT of J&K. Abrogation was just a step taken in right direction. It was a necessary step but it was not sufficient. The State of India was required to undertake a series of measures at all levels viz Political, Administrative and Legal to dismantle the De-Facto Islamic State of J&K and consequentially converting J&K into a Secular domain. Unfortunately, the Indian State took one step ahead and two steps back in this regard. In dismantling the remnant De-Facto Islamic State of J&K, one important measure was doing away with the concept of permanent resident or the domiciliary.
Article 370/35-A enabled the State of J&K to define its Permanent Residents, legislate laws in their favour, and legislate laws against Indian Citizens. This Permanent Resident business always played as a major tool in the hands of the Islamists to maintain the Muslim majority character of the state. Using this tool they had successfully excised out Lakhs of West Pakistani Refugees (Hindus), Members of the Scheduled Caste Valmiki Community (Hindus), Gorkhas (Hindus), and a host of Indian citizens living in J&K since independence from the polity of the state. A large number of females married outside J&K (99% Hindus) were similarly excised out. These categories of people couldn’t cast their votes either in Assembly of Panchayat/Municipality elections. Empowered under Article 35-A, the State of J&K could legislate laws which can violate the fundamental rights of the Indian Citizens (80% Hindus). Under the aegis of Article 370/35-A coupled with above measures/legislations, they ensured that power shall always remain in the hands of the Islamist. This is how they ensured that the character of the J&K’s State Assembly and Council for all times to come shall remain Islamic in character. The second-class treatment and discrimination that Non-Muslims in J&K faced or are facing is only because of this constitutional and political reality.
Following the abrogation of Articles 370/35-A, the concept of “Permanent Resident” had become otiose and redundant. But here came the Union Home Ministry’s Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020 for the Union Territory of J&K. The Order, among other things, amended the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010 (“the Recruitment Act”), and introduced the requirement of “Domicile” for the purposes of recruitment to Level 4 public posts. Level 4 posts are the posts carrying a pay scale of not more than Rs 25,500. Partially, the concept of “Permanent Residents” was resurrected. But the Islamists in J&K started exerting pressure on the Government of India and within 48 hours, the Domicile Law was amended as demanded by them to now reserve “All Posts” for its permanent residents now redefined as “Domiciles”. This in simple terms mean that the Domiciliary requirement has been extended to all posts and not merely to Level 4 posts. This amendment almost entirely resurrects Article 35-A and paves way for the protection of Kashmiri and Muslim hegemony in the new UT of J&K as was the case earlier. The amendment goes against all the ostensible goals set out on behalf of the Union government on the floor of the Parliament on 5 August 2019, when amendments to Articles 367 and 370 were proposed.
What was required to done was to take steps in increasing Hindu foothold in J&K by doing away with domicile or permanent resident requirements for the reasons detailed above. That would have led to the end of separatism and terrorism in J&K. There is a minuscule segment of people in Jammu who are concerned about Jammu’s Dogra Identity in the absence of domiciliary or protectionism. I want them to understand that a Hindu majority polity/demography is inclusive and there is automatic protection to different flavors of Hindu identities in it. Dogras, Punjabis, Himachalis, Haryanvis, Marathas and all other flavors of Hinduism can co-exist and flourish only in an inclusive Hindu polity/demography. They do not flourish in a hegemonic and totalitarian polity/demography like we already have in the UT of J&K as on date. Needless to say that Kashmir was cleansed of Hindus in 1990’s. Jammu has already been destabilized through a Demographic Assault against it since 1990’s. Jammu’s share in public employment is minuscule. This domiciliary resurrects and paves way for the perpetuation of the same exclusive hegemonic authority thus reassuring continuous enslavement and colonization of Jammu. To put it bluntly, it is an act of war against Jammu. It is also an act of war against the Indian Citizens who supported the Union government’s move last year since the expectation was that the Centre would facilitate greater integration of the region and its people with the rest of the Union.
What is baffling is that why should the Government of India continue to pander, please and appease Islamists and Separatists in J&K. The answer is not simple. But I will try to answer it in a simple way. Let’s understand that the ‘Grand Strategic Victory of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Against India’ is Indian State’s own “Strategic Paradigm Since Independence”. The consequence of this paradigm is that the “State” of India is always at War against the “Nation” of India.
The Strategic Paradigm of the State of India since Independence is that it Shall Empower and Invest in Islamists to handle Islamism; Separatists to handle Separatism; Terrorists to handle Terrorism; Muslims to handle Muslim Sub Nationalism; Islamic Fundamentalists to handle Islamic Fundamentalism. It shall invest in Communal Institutions and not Secular Institutions. In fact it shall invest in Communalism to attain Secularism.
It shall not Empower and Shall Not Invest in Nationalists; Patriots; Counter Insurgents; Pro India Voices; Indic Ideological Warriors.Therefore, Nationalists don’t find the State apparatus standing with them even at critical times. The rationalization by the Indian State for this Madness is that given this Paradigm, Muslims won’t move towards Pakistan. The Indian State believes that Muslim Separatism or Muslim Communalism is the bait to make Muslims Secular. The Indian State wants us to believe that Abdication is a Strategy, handing over the Body to the Disease itself is a Strategy.
This paradigm/policy has already failed in the last 70 years. Investment in communalism has not brought secularism. The continuation of this failed Paradigm by the State of India even as on date is Pakistan’s “Grand Strategic Victory” against India. Its further continuation will lead to Balkanization of India. The major impediment is doing away with this paradigm are the Policies/Formulations & Individuals planted in the Indian State Apparatus. They are the best bets for its perpetuation. Governments change, but the paradigm stays.
Let’s see its application in J&K. Here, this Strategic Paradigm is manifested as investments in Half Separatism and Muslim Sub Nationalism. The argument of the State of India here is that through Half Separatism/Muslim Sub Nationalism, we will attain Nationalism, Integration and Secularism. The Half Separatist and peddlers of Muslim Sub Nationalism in J&K are Apni Party which is GoI’s Initiative and its investment, NC; PDP; again GoI’s initiative and its earlier investment, Kashmir Unit of Congress; JKPC; and all other so called mainstream political parties headquartered in Kashmir Valley.
So, in J&K, the Indian State invests in Half Separatists. So, what are Half separatist? Half Separatists are those who will accept Accession only for public consumption and not as an ideological belief. They won’t challenge Accession. But for them, JK has to be a separate domain, a No Secular Theocratic “Muslim State” with a special status.These half separatist/Communal forces patronised by India are patronised by Pakistan also. So, they kept Pakistan’s politics also alive resulting into State Sponsored Separatism.
This Half Separatism became Pakistani foothold and Indian State believes that it as an anti-dote to Pakistan. So, the Indian State believes that in J&K; Handing over “Victim” to the “Perpetrator” is a great “Strategy”. Handing over the “Diseased Body” to the “Disease” is a great “Strategy”. Investing in “Communalism” (Separatism/Half Separatism) will bring “Secularism”.
The fact of the matter is that Indian State has been taken over from within. Ironically, we are not aware. It is under a “Geopolitical Stranglehold” where, All Political Players on the Chess Board have to play a premeditated and pre-determined game. As a consequence despite Government changes in the centre, we witness permanent inferiorization of Non Muslims of Jammu Province. Muslims are empowered everywhere. The State apparatus always stands by them even while they are aggressors.
Strengthening of Clergy or Fundamentalist Muslims and not moderate or pro India Muslims. Investment in Communal Fraud Census. Investment in Gerrymandering favoring Muslims. Investment in Demographic Change of Hindu areas. Some of the suicidal investments of the Indian State in J&K are patronization/investment in JKLF, investments in Jamaat-e-Islami with an understanding to control NC. It is only Jamaat which later created Hizbul Mujahideen and which is fighting a Jihadi War against India. Jamaat is an indoctrination machine and hence Kashmiri Youth is all times Radical.
Another anti-India category of investment of the state of Indian is its investment in Kathwari Plan, Dixon Formula, Greater Autonomy Plan and Vajpayee-Musharraf Plan. From a Geopolitical and Military point of view, all these plans were destined to consolidate Muslim Hegemony and the result would be Handing over of Kashmir to Pakistan over a period of time by presenting it as a Fait Accompli to the Indian Nation. The Indian State insists that Non Muslims’ especially Hindus’ role under this paradigm is only to legitimize a Muslim Communal Experiment executed none else but by the State of India itself. This explains the climb down of the Indian State by first creating a domiciliary and thereafter under separatists’ pressure protecting all posts for domiciles. Who will get lions’ share in these posts in Jammu or Kashmir?
The State of India has an unwritten contract with the half separatist Kashmiri Sunni Islamic establishment. The contract is that power shall always vest in Sunni Islamic establishment of Kashmir. Such an arrangement is be marketed as India’s grand victory of Secularism and Democracy. It is so because in a Hindu majority country we have a Muslim majority state which chose India in 1947 and where Muslims are champions of Secularism and Democracy. Of course, for this arrangement to continue the power should remain in the hands of Islamist. Alas, in this arrangement Jammu and the entire nationalist block is just a colony with its inhabitants suffering second class treatment in all spheres.
Seen in this light, we should now be able to understand series of climb downs of the Government of India in J&K post 370 abrogation. The amendment in the domicile laws favoring Islamists and assuring them that their hegemony remains also stands explained. Let’s unite ourselves ignorer to collectively fight this “Ideological Subversion of the Indian Polity”
Writer is Chairman IkkJutt Jammu