Demystifying Kashmir

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The Pakistan Resolution gained the backing of Muslim leadership in the districts of Muzaffarabad, Poonch and Mirpur and these leaders finally separated from the National Conference in , reviving the Muslim Conference. Muslim leaders from Poonch, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad districts supported the Pakistan resolution and in formally broke away and revived the Muslim Conference , with Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas. The group's objective was the establishment of a Muslim state under Islamic law and although it had little support in the Kashmir Valley, it had large support from Muslims in the districts of Bhaderwah, Jammu, Mirpur, Poonch and Rajouri.

The National Conference retained its popularity in the Kashmir Valley and coordinated its struggle closely with that of the Indian National Congress. Sheikh Abdullah struggled against the authority of the Dogra rule be ended, demanding the cancellation of the Treaty of Amritsar. Sheikh Abdullah related Kashmir's struggle as a "logical extension" of the Indian independence movement.

In the National Conference adopted a New Kashmir manifesto whereby it extended its demands from Muslim welfare to political and economic restructuring of the state. In the National Conference's annual session in it espoused a resolution embracing Indian unity, Indian independence and self-determination for India's cultural nationalities.

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In the Quit Kashmir Movement, the National Conference turned to using demonstrations after the Maharajah Hari Singh moved to forcefully quell the struggle. These demonstrations were met with mass incarcerations and firing.


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Despite Jawaharlal Nehru 's support, the poor organisational planning of the National Conference as well as the Dogra regime's use of force led to the Quit Kashmir movement dwindling. Despite the religious and secular factions of the National Conference having formally split earlier, the remaining National Conference was still left in turmoil between its Muslim and Hindu members. The Dogra government used divide and rule policies; banning all subjects except members of the Dogra Rajput community from holding firearms, and this brought to the fore tensions between Hindu and Muslim members of the National Conference.

The tensions between the Hindu and Muslim members of the National Conference increased when in October , Sheikh Abdullah entered into secret talks with Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim Conference without taking Sardar Budh Singh, the party's president, into confidence. Jinnah's speech in Kashmir in which he encouraged Muslim unity caused deep fissures in the National Conference's memberships.

The party did not break again, minly due to the realisation of the Hindu and Sikh members about its political potential.

Demystifying Kashmir

The National Conference did not agree to Jinnah's proposals that Abdullah accept Abbas' leadership and come under the Muslim League's wing. Rejecting the domination of the Hindu minority the Muslim Conference demanded a transfer of power from the Dogra monarchy to themselves. In its manifesto the Muslim Conference declared in favour of Jinnah and his movement for an independent Muslim homeland, pledging the state's Muslims to the movement.

The Muslim Conference undertook Direct Action, a civil disobedience program. But there was a pause in party activism when the Dogra state arrested most of the Muslim Conference's leadership. Abbas desperately appealed to revive the civil disobedience program while incarcerated, but Chowdhary Hamidullah convinced Jinnah to discard the program. Although the main members of both the National Conference and Muslim Conference were imprisoned, the state administration held elections in January for the state assembly Praja Sabha. The electorate was limited. The Muslim Conference, under duress at the time, gained victory in 16 of the 21 seats which in the Assembly were reserved for Muslims.

The National Conference cited the low voter turnout as evidence that their boycott appeal had been heeded.

Demystifying the RSS/Mohan Bhagwat

The Muslim Conference's argument was that the boycott call had gone unheeded and that the low turnout of voters was because of snowfall. The main parties on the state were divided on the question of the state's future after the independence of India and Pakistan. The National Conference mused on the question of joining either of the two countries or seeking independence. Its priority, however, was ending the Maharajah's rule and replacing it with self-government. We can consider the question of joining one or the other Dominion only when we have attained our objective.

The Maharajah himself was interested in preserving the state's independence and in this decision he had the support of the Jammu and Kashmir Rajya Hindu Sabha and the Muslim Conference. The Muslim Conference favored the accession of the state to Pakistan but had temporarily adopted a ruse by championing independence for the State and further cautioned Hari Singh from joining India.

Acting Muslim Conference President, Chaudhry Hamidullah, claimed that the Muslim Conference still wanted to join Pakistan but would 'sacrifice' this desire to 'allay the fears of Hindu and Sikh minorities in the state'. It cannot be seen through the same lens. The suicide attacker, Adil Ahmad Dar, is neither a Pakistani nor a trained terrorist operator, instead he is a resident of the Indian side of Kashmir.

In a recorded video released after the bombing, he described his feeling of constant humiliation by Indian forces in Kashmir, which radicalised him to a point of suicide attack. The Indian government response under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, has been to blame Pakistan outright for the attack, without even an investigation into the tragedy. The attack in Kashmir has thus been further reduced to an electoral and political issue in India that has a destabilising effect on the region. By blaming the attack on Pakistan, the Indian government is also able to conveniently misappropriate Kashmir away from being seen as a human rights and political issue to become one about security and terrorism.

This is why Kashmir has been boiling up over the past decade, as locals have grown frustrated at the intense militarisation of the region at the hands of Indian security forces. Essentially, the Indian political establishment has continued to shove the grievances of Kashmiri people aside by playing the Pakistani card.

Demystifying Kashmir | The Interpreter

This has only compounded the situation on ground. No one can deny the role of Pakistan for housing Kashmiri separatist groups. Yet the situation has long evolved in the region and issue of terrorism in Kashmir has become more localised, both at an operational and tactical level. While the ruling elite in India and Pakistan find it convenient to beat the war drums and consolidate power under the hyper-nationalistic fervour, the reality is that both countries have a dismal record on human rights and human development and need to look inward.

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Conclusion focuses on the parameters, players, politics, and prognosis of the ongoing peace process in Kashmir"--Provided by publisher. Find a copy online Links to this item Table of contents Table of contents. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Demystifying Kashmir. Washington, D. The Kashmir issue is typically cast as a ""territorial dispute"" between two belligerent neighbors in South Asia.

But there is much more to the story than that.