26, జనవరి 2011, బుధవారం

Is Kashmir integral part of India ?-Bhandaru Srinivasrao

Is Kashmir integral part of India ?-Bhandaru Srinivasrao

The on-going 'war of nerves' between the BJP and the Congress over hoisting Indian tri-color flag at Lal Chowk in Kashmir, in fact, brings the question "Can Kashmir rightfully considered an integral part of India ?"

That too, when the Chinese staple visa issue is alive and kicking! Its maps apparently show separating Kashmir . Recent reports suggest that part of J&K had been shown as part of China in their maps. Well, the dispute over J&K between India and Pakistan are well known. The Kashmir conflict is a now territorial dispute over the Kashmir region, the northwestern most region of South Asia.

India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and as of 2011, administers approximately 43% of the region, including most of Jammu , the Kashmir valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India 's claim is contested by Pakistan , which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir , namely Azad kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan.. China controls 20% of Kashmir, including Aksai Chin, which it occupied following the1962 brief war, and the Trans-Karkoram Tract (also known as the Shaksam Valley), which was ceded by Pakistan in 1963.

India has officially stated that it believes that Kashmir is an integral part of India . Pakistan says that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir . China states that Aksai Chin is a part of Tibet , which is a part of China . Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir , including the Indo-Pakistan wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999. India and Pakistan have also been involved in several skirmishes over the Siachen Glacier. Indian government's heavy expenditure on its army to protect this disputed territories also quite often come under sharp criticism in some quarters. The recent criticism has come from none other than social activist and writer Arundhati Roy against whom huge and cry was raised. The demand for her prosecution over her statement that Kashmir historically cannot be an integral part of India also reached flash point not so long ago.

Even before the Chinese staple-visa and Arudhathi's alleged anti-national statement could die down, the rightist Bharateeya Janata Party kicked up a row on 62 anniversary celebrations of country's Republic Day. The BJP voed to hoist the tri-color national flag at Lal Bagh, which was foiled by the National Conference headed Omar Abdullah government. The Omar government claims that the BJP move to hoist Indian flag at Lal Bagh may create law and order problem. But, the BJP claims as Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India , why have such fears. It accuses the Omar's government for bowing down to separatists and terrorists pressures. No day passed in the valley without a terrorist attack either on civilians or security establishments. Some local parties, wedded to the demand for separate entity, also making parties in power life miserable.

The pertinent question here is that while India fighting over the dispute with neighboring Pakistan on one hand and the China on the other, over its territorial claim on Jammu and Kashmir , now shirks its responsibility in supporting the BJP move to hoist the tri-color flag at Lal Bagh. Well, the move to hoist tri-color flag at Lal Bagh in Kashmir by the BJP may be part of its strategy to derive some political mileage, yet its failure to deny the right to hoist national flag on its 'soils' is what makes many wonder how far our claim over Jammu and Kashmir is 'genuine' and 'true', if not 'real.' But, BJP has to reply some questions like 'how come the same BJP when it was heading a coalition government at the center, failed to hoist a tri colour flag at Lal Chowk? This is also a debatable point. (26-01-2011)