Art 370 & Plight of Kashmiri Hindus @ House of Commons, Mar '11


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Slides from a talk I gave @ House of Commons to a small group of MPs, Councillors, prominent members of the Indian community and of the Kahsmiri Hindu diaspora in London. 30th March '11

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  • Arvind Lavakare The indeterminate life of Article 370, I *** . And clause 7 of the Instrument of Accession itself did not bind the J&K state to accept any future Constitution of India. The result of that clause 7 was the separate constitution of J&K enacted on November 17, 1956 through an elected State Constituent Assembly. And the outcome of the above mentioned Schedule was Article 370 which,
  • What you are going to do may lead to Balkanization of India, may strengthening the hands of those who do not believe that India is a nation but combination of separate nationalities – Dr S P Mookerjee Dr.B.R.Ambekar,chairman of drafting committee: I can't be a party to such a betrayal of national interest Maulana Hasrat Mohani member of constituent assembly: The grant of a special status would enable Kashmir to assume independence afterwards“ QUOTES ARE UNSUBSTANTIATED http:// =859 The indeterminate life of Article 370 Author: Arvind Lavakare  Publication: Rediff on Net  Date: May 29, 2002  URL:
  • Pg 21, Arvind Lavakare Also confirmed here: Brief History - Article 370 Author:  Publication: Indpride.Com  Date:  URL:
  • Interestingly, the very article that preceded 370, Article 369 was specified as being limited to five years* /// The 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord mentions that " The State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of the Union of India, shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India "
  • except for Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Communications (matters specified in the instrument of accession) the Indian Parliament needs the State Government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to Indians. Although similar protections for unique status exists in certain tribal areas of India*, they do not extend to a state in entirety The President of India cannot dare to issue any order under Article 356 to Jammu and Kashmir. The President has no right to suspend his Constitution in the State. The National emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution can be extended to Jammu and Kashmir to a limited extent and the financial emergency under Article 360 cannot be enforced in Jammu and Kashmir. It is because of this Article that the Government of India cannot enforce any law connected with Jammu and Kashmir without the approval or concurrence of the State Government. Only defence, external affairs and communications fall in the central list
  • The indeterminate life of Article 370 Author: Arvind Lavakare  Publication: Rediff on Net  Date: May 29, 2002  URL:
  • Syed Salahudeen http://
  • From
  • Also here: To forget would be to forgive Kanchan Gupta AGENDA   |  Sunday, January 24, 201
  • Kanchan Gupta in “The Bushfire of Hindu Rage”
  • The Two-step world
  • From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 47, Dated Nov 29, 2008, In Exile At Home The election is underway in the state, but the Pandits, driven from Kashmir 18 years ago, do not get even a mention in the political battle, reports  VIJAY SIMHA . Photographs by  UZMA MOHSIN
  • 24 th March news-report Unfortunately, this is not new Slamming the conduct of an Amnesty International team during its visit to Kashmir, two organisations of displaced Kashmiri Pandits today
  • http://
  • We have to ensure that the Pandits are not forgotten - that their stories are not lost and that they are not wiped out from public consciousness
  • Art 370 & Plight of Kashmiri Hindus @ House of Commons, Mar '11

    1. 1. Article 370 The plight of Kashmiri Hindus Shantanu Bhagwat 30 th March 2011
    2. 2. Article 370 The genesis and implications
    3. 3. The “birth” of Article 370 <ul><li>Article 370 was born out of a “Schedule” annexed to the Instrument of Accession </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Note that the Instrument of Accession was identical to those signed by other rulers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The “Schedule” provided that the Dominion of India would be empowered to make laws for J&K only on matters pertaining to defence, external affairs and communications </li></ul>Source: Arvind Lavakare, “The indeterminate life of Article 370”, 29 May 2002
    4. 4. The “birth” of Article 370 <ul><li>Although all other princely states signed the same Instrument of Accession, “ none chose to live by it ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In fact by Nov ‘49, all the states – with the exception of J&K – had issued Proclamations making the Constitution of India operative in their states </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For J&K though, “ in view of the special problem ” (armed incursions; enemy combatants; restive population) a special provision was made </li></ul>Source: Arvind Lavakare, “The Truth about Article 370”, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini 2005
    5. 5. The “birth” of Article 370 <ul><li>The article (draft) was widely opposed even at the time of its formulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within the Congress party as well as by the Chairman of the Constituent Drafting Committee, Dr B R Ambedkar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fears were raised by Cabinet Ministers and senior political leaders that such a move would lead to a Balkanization of India… </li></ul><ul><li>… and calls for “independence” at a later date </li></ul>Source: Arvind Lavakare, “The Truth about Article 370”, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini 2005
    6. 6. <ul><li>Notably, this measure was meant to be temporary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In fact right from the tim e it was drafted, it has been labelled as “Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is important to bear this in mind since there is an impression that the provisions under this Article are “special provisions” and therefore “permanent”. </li></ul>The “birth” of Article 370 Source: Arvind Lavakare, “The Truth about Article 370”, Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini 2005
    7. 7. Article 370 <ul><li>Unfortunately, unlike other “temporary” measures – which were time-bound – this “temporary” measure got cemented over the years… </li></ul><ul><li>Even though the accession is no longer in dispute and the self-determination has been thorough and complete </li></ul><ul><li>And the integration of the state into India has been formalised in the Preamble to the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Constitution unanimously* approved by the Constituent Assembly elected directly by the citizens of the state in ‘51 </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Article 370 <ul><li>We believe this provision, this artificial creation of a feeling of “separateness”, this vestigial appendage, this “Article of Separateness” is one of the biggest roadblocks to enduring peace in Jammu & Kashmir </li></ul>
    9. 9. Article 370 <ul><li>It prevents Indian Parliament from applying any laws to the State with the exception of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications </li></ul><ul><li>It bars Indian citizens from settling down in the State and buying property </li></ul><ul><li>It provides for a separate citizenship to the residents of the State </li></ul><ul><li>It prevents the President of India from declaring and enforcing a financial emergency in the State </li></ul>
    10. 10. Article 370 <ul><li>As a consequence of Article 370, some important laws of India are not in force in J&K. These include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the Indian Penal Code </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the Prevention of Corruption Act </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It also prevents amendments to the Indian Constitution from being applicable to J&K </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thus, the Constitution of J&K does not contain the words “secular” and “socialist” in the preamble </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Article 370 <ul><li>Much like Britain’s failed experiment with “multi-culturalism”, it is time to abandon this “Article of Separateness” </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of integrating the community and the population it has further alienated them </li></ul><ul><li>This feeling of alienation has been aggravated by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>poor political leadership and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>long-standing and continuing support from a hostile neighbour to an armed, low-intensity conflict in J&K </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Kashmiri Hindus The abandoned, the forgotten
    13. 14. The Beginning <ul><li>1987: Complaints from political parties that elections have been rigged </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the candidates who was put in jail following the elections was Mohammed Yusuf Shah aka Syed Salahuddin, head of Hizb-il Mujahideen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One of his polling agents was Yasin Malik </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1989: Beginning of terrorist movement, armed, funded and supported by Pakistan </li></ul>Source: BBC report on “Kashmir Insurgency”, Timeline 1989
    14. 15. The Beginning <ul><li>1990s: Formation of radical Islamic terrorist groups </li></ul><ul><li>The movement for “Azaadi” acquires overt and unambiguous Islamic overtones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Partly driven by the arrival in the valley of Kashmir of large numbers of Islamic &quot;Jihadi&quot; fighters who had fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in the 1980s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>..and support by Pakistan’s newly elected PM, Benazir Bhutto </li></ul></ul>Source: BBC report on “Kashmir Insurgency”, Timeline 1989
    15. 16. The Beginning <ul><li>Late 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Reports of targeted killings of Kashmiri Hindus start coming in with increasing frequency </li></ul><ul><li>Several prominent community leaders are murdered, amongst them Tak Lal Taploo and Neel Kanth Ganjoo </li></ul><ul><li>Kashmiri Pandits receive threatening letters asking them to quit the Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Mass attacks against Pandits are reported </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ On December 15 in 1989, men, children and old women from the minority community were mercilessly attacked and womenfolk molested in Shopian in Pulwama district in South Kashmir” </li></ul></ul>Source: Ch 4, “Kashmiri Pandits: An endangered community”, Kashmir News Network
    16. 17. The Exodus <ul><li>Srinagar, January 4, 1990  </li></ul><ul><li>“ Aftab”, a local Urdu newspaper, publishes a “press release” issued by Hizb-ul Mujahideen.. </li></ul><ul><li>… asking all Hindus to pack up and leave </li></ul><ul><li>This is repeated in another newspaper, Al Safa </li></ul>Source: Kanchan Gupta’s report in The Pioneer, “To forget would be to forgive”, 24 th January 2010
    17. 18. The Exodus <ul><li>“ Reports of killing of Kashmiri Pandits begin to trickle in; there are explosions.. </li></ul><ul><li>Inflammatory speeches are made from the pulpits of mosques, using public address systems meant for calling the faithful to prayers” </li></ul>Source: Kanchan Gupta’s report in The Pioneer, “To forget would be to forgive”, 24 th January 2010
    18. 19. <ul><li>Srinagar, January 19, 1990  </li></ul><ul><li>Curfew is imposed ..but it fails to have a deterrent effect. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Throughout the day, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hizb-ul Mujahideen terrorists use public address systems at mosques to exhort people to defy curfew and take to the streets…” </li></ul>The Exodus Source: Kanchan Gupta’s report in The Pioneer, “To forget would be to forgive”, 24 th January 2010
    19. 20. <ul><li>“ Three taped slogans are repeatedly played the whole night from mosques: </li></ul><ul><li>Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-ho-Akbar kehna hai </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you want to stay in Kashmir, you have to say Allah-ho-Akbar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yahan kya chalega, Nizam-e-Mustafa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we want here? Rule of Sharia’h </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Asi gachchi Pakistan, Batao roas te Batanev san </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We want Pakistan along with Hindu women but without their men </li></ul></ul>The Exodus Source: Kanchan Gupta’s report in The Pioneer, “To forget would be to forgive”, 24 th January 2010
    20. 21. <ul><li>“ As the night of January 19, 1990, wears itself out, despondency gives way to desperation.  </li></ul><ul><li>And tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits across the Valley take a painful decision: To flee their homeland to save their lives. Thus takes place a 20th century Exodus.” </li></ul>The Exodus Source: Kanchan Gupta’s report in The Pioneer, “To forget would be to forgive”, 24 th January 2010
    21. 22. The Exodus <ul><li>“ Hardly anyone in Kashmir slept on the night of January 21. The sound of commotion and hysterical screaming spewed out of hundreds of mosques. </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-India slogans rant the air coupled with Allah-o-Akbar and Nizam-e-Mustafa. The noise hammered incessantly on the eardrums.” </li></ul>Source: Khem Lata Wakhlu quoted in Ch 4, “Kashmiri Pandits: An endangered community”, Kashmir News Network
    22. 23. The Exodus <ul><li>Over the next several weeks and months, Pandits begin to flee from the Valley </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of it, hundreds of thousands of families had been displaced </li></ul><ul><li>An entire community was uprooted from its ancestral land </li></ul><ul><li>Sadly this tragic tale rarely finds a mention in public memory </li></ul>
    23. 24. The abandoned… <ul><li>In the ghettos that house the unflagging Pandits, called migrants by everybody else, life is mostly two steps… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… two steps to empty bowels, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>two steps to food, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>two steps to the gods on the walls, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>two steps to the television and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>two steps to the wife. </li></ul></ul>Source: Vijay Simha’s report in Tehelka, “In Exile At Home”, Nov 29, 2008
    24. 25. …and the forgotten For most of the day, Anita Pandit sits outside her tenement.. to offer privacy to her sons and daughters-in-law. Like her, many elders watch the world go by… Photographs by Uzma Mohsin, courtesy Tehelka; Copyright Tehelka
    25. 26. …and the forgotten Babita watches as a neighbour cooks rotis. All activity in the tenements is at arm’s length: cooking, sleeping, watching television, or praying Photographs by Uzma Mohsin, courtesy Tehelka; Copyright Tehelka
    26. 27. …and the forgotten Two daughters, Goldy and Ruchi, share the tenement with their parents and their grandparents. Their sense of space and privacy has been conditioned so since birth Photographs by Uzma Mohsin, courtesy Tehelka; Copyright Tehelka
    27. 28. <ul><li>Last week a team from Amnesty International visited Srinagar to look into allegations of human rights violations </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know how many such teams have ever visited the camps of Kashmiri refugees - ever </li></ul><ul><li>… and I don’t how many reports have been written on their plight by these groups </li></ul>…and the forgotten
    28. 29. The Misery More than 5000 persons have died in camps and elsewhere after their forced exodus from the valley. Sunstrokes alone have killed 1000 And then there are heart attacks, accidents mainly attributed to extreme mental & psychological trauma etc Source: Kashmir News Network
    29. 30. In the meantime… <ul><li>An entire generation in Kashmir has grown up not knowing what happened </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are youngsters who do not know what Kashmiri Pandits were like, what their habits were; they have seen empty temples, they don't know what was recited in the temples, for them the Pandits are aliens, ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr Farooq Abdullah, ex Chief Minister, J&K </li></ul></ul>
    30. 31. Questions, Comments? Jai Hind, Jai Bharat! Shantanu @