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History of Jammu and Kashmir

Jagatheesh is interested in reading Political science with History around the world.

Jammu and Kashmir is an Indian state that gained international attention after the Indian government repealed Article 370 of the Indian constitution. During the state's annexation to India, the article offered some benefits. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been reorganized by the Indian government into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir as a single territory and Ladakh as a distinct region. Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, China-occupied Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir territory, and Ladakh are the four regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir M\map. Green shaded region occupied by Pakistan, yellow shaded region under Chinese occupation.

Jammu and Kashmir M\map. Green shaded region occupied by Pakistan, yellow shaded region under Chinese occupation.

History of Jammu and Kashmir

Ptolemy referred to Kashmir as Kaspeiria, an area that included provinces from Punjab and the North-Western Provinces. Jammu was founded by King Jambu Lochan in the 14th century, according to legend. During his hunting expedition, the King witnessed a goat and a tiger sharing a brook near the Tawi river. The King was so moved by this act that he decided to establish a town in his honor there. Jamboo, which ultimately became Jammu, was his name for the area.

Kashmir formed a part of the Mauryan empire and was influenced by Buddhism during Emperor Ashoka's reign. Several dynasties ruled Kashmir at various times throughout history. Kashmir was conquered by the Mughals under Emperor Akbar. Punjab's ruler, Ranjit Singh, took control of the province. The Dogras became the rulers of Kashmir after the Anglo-Sikh war. They controlled the region till 1947 when India gained independence.

I've never seen anywhere in the world as beautiful as Kashmir.

— Salman Rushdie

Jammu and Kashmir During Partition of British India

The states were given a choice by the British Indian government during independence. They had the option of joining either India or Pakistan, or they could choose to stay independent. Initially, Maharaja Hari Singh, the monarch of Dogra, intended to maintain his kingdom separate from the rest of India. However, with the backing of the Pakistan army, Poonch rebels entered Kashmir under the name of Azad Kashmir in June 1947.

The Maharaja sought help from the Indian government to safeguard his kingdom. With the Indian government, Maharaja signed an instrument of accession. The Indian army successfully defended the majority of Kashmir after a bloody struggle. However, Pakistan gained control of a small piece of the territory. That region is now known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and it has its prime minister. The eastern section of Kashmir, Akshai Chin, is under Chinese sovereignty.

Jammu and Kashmir is the major reason behind three Indo Pakistan Wars. The province has the potential to determine the peace and stability of Southeast Asia.

India's Promise to Kashmir

The Indian government made special concessions to Jammu and Kashmir at the time of accession. The people of Kashmir can decide on the state's internal constitution as well as the nature and scope of the Indian government's jurisdiction over the state. Article 370 was added to the Indian constitution by presidential order to fulfill this commitment.

The article makes it clear that the provisions about Kashmir are only temporary. Jammu and Kashmir's constituent assembly accepted the state's accession to India in 1954. Jammu and Kashmir's constituent assembly enacted the state's constitution in 1957.

Sheikh Abdullah receiving Nehru in Srinagar, 1947

Sheikh Abdullah receiving Nehru in Srinagar, 1947

Special Privileges to Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir was the Indian union's only state with unique privileges. The state was granted autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. Except in the fields of defense, communication, and foreign policy, no law passed by the Indian Parliament will apply to the state. The state legislature has to ratify the bill for its applicability in the state.

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The Supreme Court of India's jurisdiction has been extended to the state. Apart from the national flag and constitution, Jammu and Kashmir was India's only state with their own flag and constitution. Article 35A of the state constitution prohibits Indians from other states from purchasing a property.

Without resolving the Kashmir dispute, lasting peace cannot be maintained in the region.

— Shehbaz Sharif

U.S. President's Offer

U.S. President Donald Trump and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held a bilateral meeting in July 2019. Following their discussion, Trump offered to help India and Pakistan resolve their Kashmir dispute. The offer was turned down by India. On the Kashmir problem, India's conventional policy is to eschew third-party mediation.

Both the Shimla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999 aided both countries in reaching an agreement to resolve their differences through bilateral negotiations. Morgan Ortagus, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, clarified the U.S. position on the Kashmir dispute. He reaffirmed the U.S. policy of avoiding intervening in India-bilateral Pakistan's dispute.

Bilateral discussion between Pakistan Prime Minister and U.S President in July 2019

Bilateral discussion between Pakistan Prime Minister and U.S President in July 2019

Amendments to the Article 370

In August 2019, the Indian Government removed the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 was removed by a Parliamentary amendment. The Indian Parliament also removed Article 35A of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. With this amendment, every law made in the Indian Parliament is now applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Parliament bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir. The Ladakh region was separated as a union territory without a legislature. The rest of Jammu and Kashmir is converted as a separate union territory with legislative power. Now the Indian government has more control over the state. Even before bifurcation, the people of Ladakh demanded to have a separate state, citing their unique culture and language.

Economy of Jammu and Kashmir

Agriculture and related activities are the mainstays of Jammu and Kashmir's economy. Saffron from Kashmir is in high demand all around the world. It generates a significant quantity of foreign exchange. Kashmir willow is a type of wood that is used to produce popular cricket bats. Tourism is another important source of revenue for Kashmir's economy. Due to its visual grandeur and natural beauty, Kashmir is often renowned as a paradise on Earth.

Tourism contributes around 50% of Ladakh's GDP. Adventure sports are popular in the area. The majority of the population in Ladakh are nomads who mostly raise sheep for a living.

The Indian government believes that removing privileges will enhance the state's economy. The administration also hopes that the modifications will allow Kashmiri products to enter the market. It will also increase the number of job options available to the younger generation.

Bottomline

Kashmir has always been a source of contention between India and Pakistan. In the past, the land was the main cause of the Indo-Pakistani conflict. It has the power to influence the peace of Southeast Asia. The Indian government had no choice but to act in light of recent events in neighboring countries. The Indian government expects that the people's well-being will improve as a result of the recent modifications. However, it is too early to draw any conclusions about the government's actions. With more positivity, let us hope for the betterment of the people of the region.

Reference

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jagatheesh Aruchami

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