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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

TALE OF TWO STATES---BALUCHISTAN (PAKISTAN) AND JAMMU AND KASHMIR ( INDIA) !


Many things and events remind one about the history ! Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently raised the issue of human rights violation in Baluchistan, a so called state of Pakistan , even going to the extent of referring to the Baluch freedom struggle. But Modi forgot to mention such barbarism in Jammu and Kashmir in India. A recent book--A PRINCELY AFFAIRS-The Accession and Integration of the Princely states of Pakistan,1947-1955---, authored by Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Oxford University Press, Karachi, has vividly scripted Pakistan's excesses in suppressing Balooch separatists. And at the same time, separatists continue to find support in Kashmir in India.

Significantly both of these areas--Baluchistan (now in Pakistan) and Jammu and Kashmir (now in India) were parts of princely states before their integration into Pakistan and India respectively. A columnist Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed has written in The Frontline "thus,it is useful to understand the nature and the process of accession of these states to find long-term solutions to the situation there in both India and Pakistan. The story of princely states of India, including Jammu and Kashmir, is fairly well documented, Barbara N Ramusack's The Indian Princes and Their states (2004) is a comprehensive work that discusses the nature of the princely states in India."

The book-A PRINCELY AFFAIRS-The Accession and Integration of Princely states of Pakistan, 1947-1955, has moreover, same tale to tell. The book looks at the events surrounding the accession of Kalat (that forms the large parts of Baluchistan province) apart from several other states, including large entities such as Bahawalpur that bordered  India.Bangash's research identifies the flowing states: Kalat (now part of the province of Baluchistan): Bahawalpur (now part of Punjab); Khairpur (now part of Sind); Chitrral , Dir, Swat and Amb (now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province); and Hiunza and Nagar (now part of the disputed Gilgit-Balistan region) in Pakistan. After the formation of Pakistan, all the princely states, mentioned above did accede to it but not before Bahawalpur and Kalat seriously considered the idea of independence.

Bangash, in the detailed chapter in the book, explains the circumstances under which the state of Kalat (Baluchistan) became part of Pakistan. There was a nascent democratic nationalist movement in Kalat before it became part of Pakistan. The Kalat  State Nationalist Party (KSNP) even joined the All -India State People's Conference in 1945 when Jawaharlal Nehru was its president. On the other hand Muslim League could never gain a lot of support in Baluchistan. Bangesh writes, " The democratic ideals of the Khan (of Kalat) and the KSNP was not eager to join a Pakistan-led by the Muslim League and preferred either a relationship with India or, in agreement with the objective of the Khan, complete independence". Support of a democratic movement, led by Khan  gained momentum in Kalat even led the formation of Parliament. Kalat's parliament even felt that the state should not accede to Pakistan just because Balochis are Muslims". This resistance was broken by Pakistan government  forcibly, which sent its forces to overrun Baluchistan and ensured succession. Later Pakistan enacted ESTABLISHMENT OF WEST PAKISTAN ACT 1955 to include Kalat as state of Pakistan.

Just on that pattern there was a similar  Act in India-States Reorganisation Act of 1956. Significantly, govt of India , after independence, also usurped Jammu and Kashmir, which was a princely state. Despite serious objection of even the then National conference Leader and political stalwart of J&K Shiekh Abdullah, people of J&K and King of J&K himself had also vehemently objected the forcible occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and got instrument of accession signed by King of J&K Raja Hari Singh. India has  had also sent military to capture Jammu and Kashmir to merge the state with India. Sardar Patel and Pundit Jawaharlal played nasty games to capture the Jammu and Kashmir. Much hue and cry was raised at international forum and India had accepted UN resolution to hold plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir to decide the fate of Kashmir and its people. In the process, a war with Pakistan also broke out over Jammu and Kashmir accession and a huge portion of Kashmir became 'Azad Kashmir' still being controlled by Pakistan.People of J&K wanted to remain an independent state. Now the situation has completely changed in Kashmir and the state is sitting on volcano. People of state demand 'azadi' from India. Since the so called accession of J&K in India, Government of India had sent huge forces to the state in the name of tackling the situation. But the situation became graver and graver gradually and now on the flash point. Rape, loot , murder in encounter have become order of the day in Jammu and Kashmir by Indian security forces. Over 50,000 people have been killed by security forces of India in Jammu and Kashmir since its accession to India

Similar situation is prevailing in Baluchistan state of Pakistan. Pakistan's security forces are maiming Balochas. Baluchistan is also sitting on volcano and Balochas are demanding 'azadi' from Pakistan. The author of the book, in his concluding  chapter, uses his research on the princely states in Pakistan to ponder the idea of Pakistan state. He quotes from Mohanned Ali Jinnah, famous  August 11, 1947, speech in which he articulated a universal idea of Pakistan of  Pakistan citizenship rather a than a state based only on religious identity. In this speech , Jinnah had articulated," You are free, you are free to go your temples, you are free to go your mosques or to any other places w of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion of caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the state." Jinnah died the next  year, and the Pakistan state took an Islamic turn with the objective resolution being adopted by the Constituent assembly in March 1949.  By the time Pakistan's first Constitution came in effect in 1956, the bureaucracy and the military had a  stranglehold on the princely states. Although geographical integration into Pakistan was complete, social integration was yet to happen. In Kkalat, especially, with the lack of space for political activities, much of the underground Balochis discourse turned against Pakistan.Bangesh, in his book, concludes, ""Therefore, by the time of the much-lauded inauguration of one unit in October 1955, Pakistan has achieved only 'notional' sovereignty in the states, no national discourse had been developed, national identity remained uncontested, and the state and society remained in a constant state of flux. These issues still haunt Pakistan."

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