Azadi to radical Islamists, Slavery for Patriots

  • By Hari Om
  • 25 December 2009

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Sageer hits nation below the belt
On December 23, Justice (Retd) Sageer Ahmed, chairman of the Working Group on Centre-State Relations (WGCSR), quietly submitted his out-and-out pro-radical Islamists, anti-India and anti-minorities summary of the report to Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

This was an extraordinary step, because the Prime Minister had constituted the WGCSR while concluding the Second Round Table Conference in Srinagar on May 25, 2006. Propriety demanded submission of the report to the Prime Minister, not to the Chief Minister. Should this extraordinary step be taken to mean that Justice Sageer Ahmed did so at the behest of the Prime Minister?   

Justice Ahmed sprang a big surprise, indeed, he dumb-founded the entire nation, because he did not discuss the contents of the summary with those who had participated in the Working Group meeting on September 2 and 3, 2007. These, among others, included Arun Jaitley (BJP), Dr Ajay Chrungoo (Panun Kashmir), Aswini Sharma (Jammu State Morcha), Harshdev Singh (Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party), Thupstan Chhewang (Ladakh Union Territory Front), and none is aware of the circumstances under which Justice Ahmed took this extreme step and sought to put the entire Jammu & Kashmir State on fire in the manner in which Jinnah put India on fire in 1946-1947.

It is pertinent that Justice Sageer Ahmed made a solemn commitment to members at the very first meeting of the Working Group that he would submit only a unanimous report to the government. Further, on September 3, 2007 he averred that he would meet the members of the Working Group again to discuss the final shape of the report and recommendations, before submitting the same. He has reneged on both commitments and cheated the members of the Working Group by surreptitiously finalizing the submitting his report; one hopes he would have been or would be duly rewarded for this deceit.    

It can be said with some degree of confidence that Justice Sageer Ahmed has perpetrated an injustice and attacked the very unity and integrity of India and subverted all the cardinal principles of secularism and democracy by taking the votaries of Greater Autonomy (read semi-independence – a step short of complete independence) into confidence. Indeed, his is a lop-sided report.        

Justice Ahmed has submitted his summary of recommendations at a time when the people of Ladakh are up in arms against the Kashmiri ultras and those demanding greater autonomy, self-rule, India-Pakistan joint-control over Jammu & Kashmir, economic independence for the state, dual currency and supra-state measures.

The Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF) is holding protest demonstrations in the cold desert to demand Union Territory status for the region in order to achieve respite from Kashmir. There is also a broad consensus among the patriots in Jammu province that they would not accept anything short of complete merger with New Delhi, that they do not want any truck with Kashmiri ultras and those demanding a dispensation outside the secular and democratic constitutional organization of India, and that they want a political system that empowers them to manage their own political, administrative, economic and social matters in a meaningful manner.

It is in the backdrop of these developments that the chairman of the WGCSR has submitted the summary of his recommendations - a time when the people of Jammu province have already exhibited their anger against those in Kashmir and New Delhi who painted the 2008 unprecedented movement in Jammu over the Amarnath land issue as “communal” and “divisive”.

The chivalrous people of Jammu, who participated in the epoch-making movement with great zeal and enthusiasm and made supreme sacrifices to achieve their stated goal, had then made it loud and clear that they would resist with full might all attempts aimed at outraging their nationalist sentiments and regional, secular and democratic urges. They made the Prime Minister, or for that matter everyone in New Delhi, concede their popular, rational and national demand, and established that none could take them for a ride.

The attitude of the people of Jammu province, like the attitude of the agitating people of Ladakh and displaced Kashmiri Hindus, has not undergone any change in these decades. They continue to assert their nationalist psyche. They continue to make it amply clear that any attempt on the part of anyone to tinker with Indian sovereignty in Kashmir or to throw in their lot with Kashmir-based radical Islamists shall be resisted with full might.

They continue to assert that any move on the part of anyone in New Delhi to grant more political autonomy to the State at the behest of Kashmiri extremists and separatists, and on the ground of religion, shall only provoke them to re-create the 2008-like situation – a situation, it may be recalled, under which no Kashmiri leader and his henchmen in Jammu dared to venture out of his/her house for months together.

Justice Sageer Ahmed has submitted his summary of recommendations at a time when the internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus and their organizations, including Panun Kashmir (PK), have vehemently opposed the ongoing “quiet talks” with Kashmiri ultras and separatists, and reiterated their demand for a separate homeland in Kashmir Valley, on the ground that such a homeland alone could enable them to lead a dignified and secure life in Kashmir under the Indian Constitution, minus the separatist and communal Article 370. The judge has done this at a time when displaced Kashmiri Hindus are organizing debates and discussions on the implications of the “quiet talks” and “quiet diplomacy” on the future status of Jammu & Kashmir.

It is obvious that Justice Sageer Ahmed and his men have not taken cognizance of the intelligence reports and reports of the Army, the Rapid Action Force and the CID, which had cautioned the authorities in New Delhi against any ill-will against the agitating people of Jammu province, asserting that the people of Jammu province could sustain the movement for any number of months and that to ignore this aspect would be to play with fire.

It is clear that the ‘jinnah’ in Justice Sageer has overlooked the ground realities in the State and come out with his summary recommendations which are reactionary and fundamentally bad, and which could be legitimately described as an onslaught on the unity and integrity of India, and as an attempt designed to help the Kashmiri ultras achieve their sinister goal – segregation of Jammu & Kashmir from New Delhi and establishment of a theocratic state  - and further strengthen their stranglehold over the patriotic minorities in the State, who constitute no less 40 percent of the State’s population.

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