Kashmir became part of India in very weird situations. Post independence the Maharajah Hari Singh of this region wanted to stay alone, completely ignorant of the geopolitics around him. Pakistan forcefully tried to take control of his independent nation and without any option left he chose to join India in October 1947.
In order to make them a part of the country Constituent Assembly gave them Article 370 with which they get a li’l special status. The key sticking point which creates controversy is that the citizens from others parts of India cannot easily migrate to Kashmir nor acquire land in the state. Only “Permanent Residents” of the state can acquire property and other Indians cannot become permanent residents.
The state prides in being unique this way and there is a claim that such “uniqueness” breeds further separatism. We took the country in but never accepted them just like what we did with North-East. They are Kashmiri first and then Indians. So when people say it creates separatism we are not correct as we never fully accepted them on the first thought.
Now as per Article 370, army was deployed to protect the borders of Kashmir from attacks but conditions worsened and Army was deployed on the streets. There were separatists who reacted to army in negative ways and I accept that army has also done several heinous crimes in Valley. The traction has been mutual and more wrong from our part. Army was there to protect them and not torture and harm them in any way.
I hear people often say they want to be part of Pakistan, I say “NO” not even in a zillion year. They hate pakistan way more than that, they are in this situation primarily because of Pak. We have to understand that if they do not support India in an India-Pak match then it is because they want to get back at India for crimes done against them. If India was playing against Nederlands they would support Nederland, it is as simple as that.
Now how people get bad picture, the answer is simple our brainless media. No surprises here, right?
Media only tells that there was a strife in valley and doesn’t tell that it happened because a 10 year old kid was shot dead and in protest the youth of Kashmir came on roads. Now only strife lead to a picture of people creating chaos for no reason however the story is different altogether. It was much like when people came out on streets to protest against the crime against Nirbhaya. But that is covered in a different fashion by media.
Kashmiris can’t forget what happened to their families, the lost lives of their loved ones and neither they can’t forgive it. That is why they do not want to be part of India as well and want to be an autonomous state. It is not separatist, it is rather a right thought.
What India can do or rather must do?
India promised to work for progress of the state, better road, railways, healthcare facilities. But did they get it, well partially yes. They have roads but not they way it should be healthcare there is not in its best shape and neither is communication which was promised in order to make it a part of the nation. First we need to take this as a priority and make an effort to prove that they have not been abandoned.
Did you know Kashmir produces a large amount of electricity and yet it is not available to the natives themselves. Even now there is a system of “vayr” in Kashmir, where one either gets electricity from 9 to 1 or 6 to 10. So you see the injustice right in the basic call of repealing it.
Repealing 370 straightaway will only mean pushing them in a darker age. Instead if we get them up to speed and help the valley grow let them use their full potential. Provide opportunity of growth to the youth there, involve them in policy making, create better infrastructure over there, we can expect to see it happening in future. But right now it will only do more bad than goods.
Valley is right now in its most peaceful time since late 80s. It will not be right to put this peace in danger for some political mileage.
I am hopeful things will change but not all of a sudden or overnight. Events will take the time they would, no hurry can lead to better result.