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The BJP and PDP came out as two major political parties after they got popular mandate against each other in Jammu and Kashmir respectively as both have polarized the people of two regions and Hindus and Muslims and were being considered the parties with opposite ideologies. Nobody could have thought that two parties, the BJP which was being considered as evil for their Hindutva politics and their attitude on Article 370 and labeled as anti-Muslim and Anti-Kashmir and PDP which was talking of double currency in J&K was subjected to extreme criticism by BJP and labeled as anti-Hindu and anti-Jammu party, will one day come to share a platform for Coalition Government in J&K.

As no party got clear majority to form a government so different parties approached PDP and offered support to form a Secular Party Government in J&K in order to keep the BJP (non-Secular party) out of government. PDP clearly rejected the support from NC-15 terming them as villains for J&K and proceeded many talks with BJP High-Common and described this coalition as stable and good government for J&K’s development. During different level of talks between the two it was decided to form a common agenda or common ‘minimum programme’ that will suit both the regions as their pre-election manifesto and policy was different in order to get the vote bank. More than two months passed in holding the talks between PDP, BJP & RSS while dealing with some key, unfluctuating and contentious matters and to decide the future of J&K in Delhi and Nagpur. Ultimately all the proposals and agendas were settled and Mufti was opted to be a CM for full six years.

The PDP who at once was blathering and chattering of not only sideling BJP but keeping it far away from J&K now became the hinge and pivotal figure in making  RSS as the key and kingpin of deciding the fate of Kashmir who (people of Kashmir) always voted against BJP.  This coalition subjected PDP to severe criticism and in its defense and fortification PDP came with different elucidations as this Government would be the only stable government for development and prosperity of J&K and could generate more and more funds and some best packages for flood hit Kashmir. Can BJP-PDP coalition really get more funds from union Government, could only that government would be stable whose one coalition partner is BJP? Then how Delhi’s AAP government would fulfill all such demands for which they got such a popular mandate from Delhi? As we saw on Wednesday Arvind Kejriwal”s AAP government is moving to fulfill his poll promises after cutting the power tariffs by 50% up to 400 units tariffs on water will be charged only after consuming more than 2000litre and this way he really challenged that regional party government or Non-BJP government could fulfill the promises and needs of their citizens.

Ultimately, Mufti has got what he cherished for a very long time-the six years tenure in CM’S office, he would be in office but power will be exercised by somebody else and not from Kashmir rather from Delhi and Nagpur and he will be a bubble in few hands. And it would not be a government that the people had voted for rather will be the evil installation of Delhi, and will be like all other evils setup by Delhi government in Kashmir. He could not be able to stop BJP to give WPRs as citizenship status in J&K and could do nothing to save and preserve the topography of J&K and couldn’t be the one who can challenge the communal politics of BJP which PDP is also doing here in Kashmir province by polarizing Muslim community against Jammu province.

 

 

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Though it may sound new name in the public domain of Jammu and Kashmir particularly among the new generation that came up in the past three decades, however, Nyla Ali Khan a daughter of Kashmir is a known figure not only in the literary circles of her parental state even at abroad. Genius  in her talent, Dr Nyla is a respectable name in the academic and literary circles in US .   She is again in discussion among the literary circles for her new book titled “ Islam ,Women and Violence In Kashmir”. The book mainly revolving around the main character Begum Akbar Jahan, her grand mother and wife of once tallest leader of Kashmir,Sheikh Muhammad  Abdullah is also a good source of correcting history of Jammu and Kashmir . There are many myths about the Kashmir history, particularly relating to the period of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah . 

Even his own biography “Aatish-e-Chinaar” is viewed as doubtful and is missing many important events or have been deliberately distorted for certain political reasons and implications . Now it is a golden opportunity for historians and students of history in Kashmir to correct their history particularly related to Sheikh family and the events related to their era as  the daughter of the historical family of Kashmir namely Nyla Ali Khan has perhaps decided to reveal some untold stories which is evident from her latest book in which she has demolished many myths. Naseer A Ganai a senior journalist based in Srinagar says in his analysis “ when Prof Nyla Ali Khan, a US based Kashmiri academic and granddaughter of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, writes about her grandmother Begum Akbar Jehan, she demolishes “ many a myth”.  

Naseer says that in an interview, Prof Nyla told him that “ the biorgraphy of Akbar Jehan provides an insight in to the history, politics and society of Kashmir in the major part of 20th centrury.” Born in 1974, Prof Nyala Ali Khan is daughter of Behum Suriya Mattoo who is younger daughter of late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. Prof Nyla Ali Khan,  is a faculty member at the university of Oklahoma in the US and member of Scholars Strategy Network. She is also author of Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism  and editor of parchment of Kashmir. Apart from this, Prof Nyla Ali has dozens of scholarly papers in her credit she presented at different international conferences on various topics .  Though the book has been written as a biography of Begum Akbar Jehan wife of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah but it contains most of the historical events of the state of which Begum Jehan was an  eye witness .

Look how her literary work  is being viewed at abroad . Linda Van Ingen, Associate Professor of History and Director of Women's & Gender Studies, University of Nebraska, Kearney, USA says in his review on her book,”Nyla Ali Khan places her maternal grandmother, Akbar Jehan Abdullah, at the center of a historical inquiry into the unsuccessful, mid-twentieth century independence movement in Kashmir and, in doing so, deconstructs traditional frameworks of understanding about women's agency in social change and the recent history of a politically contentious region located in India near Pakistan. Effectively combining personal memoir, archival research, oral history, and feminist theory, Khan produces a richly textured history of a time and place both beautiful and desperate in its struggle for autonomy from the 1950s to the 1970s.

The book is important for its contribution to a collective historical memory of the region and for its deeply honest assessment of what is gained and lost not only by those intimately involved in Kashmir but by all who struggle with the politics of identity.  Natana J. DeLong-Bas, Visiting Assistant Professor of the Theology Department & Islamic Civilization and Societies Program, Boston College, USA while commenting on her book says,"Khan's The Life of a Kashmiri Woman personal memories that unpacks the legacy of Kashmiri nationalist and social and political activist, Akbar Jehan. For the first time, we hear the story of the woman next to the man in power, former Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, highlighting Jehan's agency, voice and determination to make her own contributions to Kashmir's quest for independence and the creation of a secular, pluralist society. Written by her granddaughter, it provides insight into Jehan's character and family dynamics in the midst of contentious politics and intrigues, telling the inside story and challenging the dominant narratives of both hagiographers and critics alike. Unique in its vantage point and poetically written, it is a story of both triumph and heartache that is a tribute to the spirit of love and partnership."

While commenting on her latest book, Huma Ahmed-Ghosh, Professor of Women's Studies, San Diego State University, USA  saya, "This is a personal, political and devotional biography of a woman to whom the author pays homage while also recording the history of Kashmir through the various political quagmires.Through the biography of her grandmother, Begum Akbar Jahan Abdullah, the author traces the political history of Kashmir and the traumas of the political process. The author through lyrical prose and cultural sensitivity deconstructs the life of her grandmother and other women in her family to situate them as women with agency through a feminist lens.”

My point is not here to comment on the literary works and contributions of Prof Nyla Ali Khan  in the field of literature. My point is only that she is an important first hand information of many of the historical events which took place in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which mainly are connected with the Sheikh family and it is an opportunity for the Kashmir historians to contact her and get the history corrected . Even Sheikh Abdullah’s own biogarpgy has been alleged of being concealing many facts keeping in view the political implications of the truth if revealed . To my opinion, Prof Khan being an academician and an outspoken woman would like to place the things in right perspective.

( The author is a senior journalist and columnist . He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 09419170 570 )

 

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Article 370 has remained a bone of discard right since its insertion in the domain of Constitution of India. Two schools of thought have been exploiting this provision to suit their political ends and the people of J&K are the principal victims of this controversy. What I found embracing is that wherever I go, I attend any political or social seminar or get-together, J&K is the only issue that I face anywhere, may it be Press Club of India, Supreme Court Library, India International Centre or any other social or political gathering. I find myself reduced to a corner of India i.e. so-called issue J&K. The fact is none, may be intellectuals, thinkers, jurists or judges or politicians are prepared to go through the brief contents of Article 370. One school of thought is not prepared to accept its existence whereas the opposite school of thought consider it as a holy and is not prepared even to discuss the subject and find its pluses and minuses.

This Article was introduced, no doubt, in the Constitution of India with a purpose to contain the authority of the then ruler of J&K, namely, Maharaja Hari Singh, living in exile in Bombay and his son Yuvraj Karan Singh was the Regent of the State. The first question that needs answer is why Monarchy in J&K was not terminated during the framing of the Indian Constitution. This is a matter of record that two states namely, Hyderabad and Junagarh never signed the Instruments of Accession with the Dominion of India in 1947 or even later. Both of them were merged into the dominion by the Constituent Assembly of India.

On the other hand State of Baroda (now Vadodara) acceded to the Union of India by Maharaja Gaekwad in 1948. That state was also included in the Union of India without any reservation. It is tragedy and shows bankruptcy on the part of the Indian leadership and the intellectuals that none dared probe into this tragedy in the history of India vis-à-vis J&K. The question is important today, that why the Maharaja of J&K who was hated most by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah both was allowed to be the Monarch of the State at the time of the promulgation of the Constitution on January 26, 1950? Another question that needs to be answered by the present leadership, as the past leadership is no more there to answer these questions, that why and under what circumstances/compulsions the so-called Constituent Assembly of J&K (J&K had constituted a separate Constituent Assembly for J&K to redraft the existing Constitution framed by the Monarch in 1939) terminated/ abolished the existing Monarchy without the consent of the Parliament of India on August 20, 1952.

Was that Sheikh Abdullah intended to step into the shoes of the Monarch? Was it that Sheikh Abdullah wanted the implementation of the Dixon Plan to carve out an Islamic Republic of J&K by dissecting the Muslim majority districts of Poonch (Rajouri) and Doda? The third question which is equally relevant what was the cause that let to convince Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the dismissal and arrest of his oldest and trustworthy political friend on August 9, 1953 within a year of the removal of the Monarchy?

 

I would like to draw the attention of the so-called defenders of Article 370 in the present form about the validity of the provisions of this Article after the Monarchy was abolished? I strongly feel that in the opinion of international jurisprudence and law the provisions of Article 370, a temporary one, became in fructuous after the termination Monarchy. Which is evident from the explanation given in clause (b), (ii) of Article 370 (1) on which made the intention of the Constituent Assembly cleared that Article 370 was meant to tame the Maharaja of J&K and keep him under control of the government he had formed on March 5, 1948 fixing Sheikh Abdullah as the head of the government (Prime Minister). This explanation is set in the following lines;

 

“Explanation:---For the purposes of this Article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognized by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948.” The entire explanation as reproduced above became in fructuous on August 20, 1952 with the termination of Monarchy in the state. Then with dismissal of Sheikh Abdullah as Prime Minister of J&K on August 9, 1952 brought the entire essence of Article 370 down to the grave of the history. With this Jammu and Kashmir became unquestionable part of the Indian Union which has been admitted in Section 3 of the Constitution of J&K which boldly admitted, “J&K is and shall be an integral part of India” so where is the existence of the stipulation/provisions of Article 370.

This Article should have been declared dead and gone/omitted as was done in case of Article 238 of the Constitution. If the Parliament could amend Article 238 or even amend Article 31 of the Constitution of India, why not Article 370 of the Constitution. Article 31 had guaranteed property right as a fundamental right yet it was abrogated by ‘pro-capitalist Janata Party Govt. headed by Shri Morarji Desai’. What stop the Parliament to amend Article 370 which has been instigating disintegration and creating friction and threatening security of the state?

 

          Another dangerous and unacceptable proposition in Article 370 (3) provides that;

 

“Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this Article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and form such date as he may specify:

 

Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a satisfaction.”

 

          This proviso has also turned in fructuous after the Constituent Assembly ceased to exist in December, 1956. The Constituent Assembly became dead the day J&K Constitution was born on January 26, 1957. The jurists and the historians have ignored this situation that emerged in the history of J&K. There is no Constituent Assembly in J&K nor even a single member is alive today. There is no provision to reorganize the Constituent Assembly after the insertion of Section 3 in the Constitution of J&K. The President is empowered to act under the scope and mandate of 370 (3) because proviso in Section 3 of this Article has gone in fructuous and non-existent.

 

          Since a political section in the country and a particular leadership has been exploiting the people in favour of Article 370 whereas another section, political hawks, just for electoral gains have been blackmailing the provisions in Article 370. The need and necessity of the hour is to amend this Article as the Parliament is sovereign body in this regard and enjoys sovereign power to amend any provision of the Constitution. This authority in the Parliament is vested in Article 368 of the Constitution of India. What needs to be done that proviso in sub-section 3 of Article 370 should be substituted with another proviso that;

 

“Provided further that the Parliament shall exercise its legislative and constituent powers, which relate to matters other than those referred to in the last preceding provision listed in List-I (including matters relating to Defence, Foreign Affairs, Communication, Currency and allied matters). The matters covered under List-II & III may be dealt by the State Legislature.”

 

This is the amendment which is important for the security, integrity and sovereignty of Union of India. I had an occasion to discuss this matter with several Prime Ministers from Mrs. Indira Gandhi to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Shri Vajpayee did not disagree with this proposition but, what I feel that time is not in his favour. This matter should go straight to the entire nation from the floors of the Parliament that Parliament is supreme and sovereign to amend any provision in the Constitution of India. Let the entire world understand that and none shall be allowed to play with the sentiments of the people is one way or the other. The unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation is supreme and non-negotiable.