Democracy is waiting in Jammu and Kashmir

Democracy is waiting in Jammu and Kashmir

Why in news?

Three years have elapsed since the orders were passed separating the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories in accordance with Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

Reasons behind the bifurcation of state:

  • Both security and militancy would be eliminated.
  • The inhabitants of the erstwhile State would benefit as it integrated with the Indian economy.
  • Pandits from Kashmir who have lived as internal refugees for more than 30 years would be allowed to go home.
  • It would usher in a new era of non-dynastic politics.

What harsh measures were implemented after the bifurcation?

  • Arrests without a trial—Several hundreds of people were detained without being brought to trial in 2019.
  • Media repression—Despite criticism from the Supreme Court in the Mohammed Zubair case, the media is nonetheless restrained, and journalists are frequently detained.
  • Elections that were delayed despite the delimitation commission’s exercise being finished have not yet been notified.
  • Imposition of President’s Rule: For the past four years, Jammu and Kashmir has been governed by both the President and the Lieutenant-Governor.
  • Deaths of civilians: The Home Ministry reports that between 2019 and 2021, there were more civilian deaths than during Mr. Modi’s first term (2014-19).
  • Alienation and insurgency: The Valley is so hostile toward the Indian Union that public support for insurrection is at an all-time high.
  • The South Asia Terrorism Portal reports that between 2019 and 2021, 437 Kashmiri youngsters joined the ranks of the insurgency.
  • Economic decline: According to the NITI Aayog, Jammu and Kashmir dropped from being one of the best-performing States in the Indian Union to being among the worst last year.
  • Attacks by militants: Just like in the 1990s, Kashmiri Pandits are once again the focus of terrorist violence.
  • Report of the Delimitation Commission: Under general observations on methodology, the crucial point of why Jammu has gained 6 Assembly seats and the Valley only 1, has been glossed over.

What next ?

The first action that needs to be taken right away is holding assembly elections.

It would be in the spirit of “cooperative federalism” if they could be held under the earlier delimitation and the current report of the commission presented to the new Assembly for discussion.

The restoration of statehood has been regularly promised by Home Minister Shah, but three years is a long time to keep that pledge without carrying it out.

Plutus ias current affairs  6 August 2022