I have been distressed by the fierce controversy that has broken out in the press and electronic media with regard to Article 370, flowing from an avoidable statement by the Minister of State (MoS) in the Prime Minister's office (PMO). The whole question is extremely sensitive and must be handled coolly and in a mature fashion. The sort of statements issued from both sides will only create further turmoil and tension in the Jammu & Kashmir state.
Let it be recalled that my father Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1947 under unusual circumstances when a full scale war was raging due to the Pakistani based tribal invasion. It is true that that Instrument was exactly the same as the document signed by all the other former provincial States. However, whereas the other States later signed merger agreements, the relationship of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of the country was governed by a special set of circumstances, and hence given a special position. The Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir, which I signed into law in 1957, is still in force.
Certainly J&K is an ‘integral part’ of India, but that does not necessarily mean that it has to be treated exactly on par with other States. Hong Kong is an ‘integral part’ of China but has been given a special dispensation. There are in fact numerous examples around the world in which, due to special circumstances, certain areas or regions have been given a special dispensation. Though all talk of secession is totally unacceptable and uncalled for, the steam-roller approach is also not appropriate.
Let us not forget that 50 percent of the area of my father’s 84,000 sq miles State is in fact not in our possession. It has been under Pakistan control since the UN’s brokered ceasefire on 1 January 1949, and Pakistan has leased a considerable portion of this land to China. An interesting point also is that in the three regions of the State that are with us—Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh—the bulk of public opinion differs sharply on this issue.
My appeal to all concerned is to kindly tone down the rhetoric and not let the Minister’s statement plunge the new government almost immediately into a complex and difficult situation. The whole question of Jammu & Kashmir has to be looked at in an integral fashion, including the international dimension, the constitutional position, the legal aspects as well as the political aspects. Such an integral review is overdue, but it has to be done in a cooperative rather than a confrontational manner.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Can we just ask Omar to come out of his nightmare and see light? High time talibs/anwar/Omar etc. to wake up.
Vow! Ram lala ji, Jacka*s Lal Nehru? Any connection to JNU (also popularly known Jawahar Marx Univ.) in Delhi? Thanks a lot.
Thanks for your wise words!
"Mountbatten was a decorated naval officer and was promoted over the heads of several of his seniors to become the Supreme Commander South East Asia Command during WW II in the acting rank of Admiral. After the war he was reverted to his substantive rank of Rear Admiral before rising to be the Chief of Defence staff. Being a distant member of the royal family was not the reason for his career success." Bonita
I'll spare you the jokes about "rear admiral" but you need to read up on your history. Here is a recent article about Mountbottom's legendary incompetence and recklessness throughout his career.
"...Partly thanks to Dieppe, there has been a major shift in the perception of Mountbatten’s character in recent years. Historian Andrew Roberts has dealt the hardest hammer blow to his reputation.
He has convincingly depicted “Dickie” Mountbatten as a psychopathically ambitious, vain, disingenuous, manipulative adrenaline junkie and a man who was utterly careless of other people’s lives.
Whether this view is fully justified is debatable but even at the time of Dieppe many military people were wary of Dickie’s cronyism and mad gung-ho schemes.
At the Admiralty he was known as the “Master of Disaster”.
One eminent biographer who admired Mountbatten became so sickened by his subject’s disrespect for the truth that he put a sign on his writing desk: “Remember, in spite of it all, he was a great man.” Mountbatten was certainly great at public relations and the art of making sure no mud stuck to him."
"A man who was utterly careless of other people's lives" - this is why he made such a shambles of the Partition, without giving people time to cross borders to safety.
He owed everything to his powerful connections and his charm. A lot like Jackass Lal Nehru, which is why these two incompetent buggers got along so well.
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