Skip to main content

Plebiscite in J&K? Delhi meet demands implementation of UN 'commitment'

Counterview Desk
A citizens’ protest, organised on October 19 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, to protest against the 75 days of “oppression” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) saw over 200 activists, academics, intellectuals, prominent citizens, students, citizens from a large number of groups controversially appeared to suggest holding plebiscite in order to decide the future of the state.
In a statement endorsed at the meeting, in which several Left politicians and activists particularly made their presence felt, they not only suggested “restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 situation with regard to Article 370 and 35A”, but also “implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations”.
While the statement did not mention which commitment it was talking about, it may be recalled, during Pakistan foreign minister Liaquat Ali Khan's visit to Delhi for a Joint Defence Council meeting on November 26-27, 1947, India and Pakistan reached an agreement on Kashmir was reached, in which it was agreed to approach UN for holding a plebiscite.
While Mohammad Ali Jinnah back out on this, the issue was discussed in December 1947 by the Indian Cabinet in the presence of Lord Mountbatten, BR Ambedkar, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Baldev Singh (Defense Minister). This was followed by India referring the matter to the UN Security Council on December 31, which was considered by it on January 1, 1948.
On January 15, 1948, India and Pakistan made presentations to the UN Security Council, where India reiterated its demands in the original referral, following which the Security Council passed Resolution 47, which called for a three-step process for the resolution of the dispute: Pakistani withdrawal of its nationals, India to reduce its troops to minimum level, and arrangements for a plebiscite.
While the plebiscite was never held, Nehru is on record warning Pakistan in September 1953, following reports of a US-Pakistan alliance, that it had to choose between winning Kashmir through plebiscite and forming a military alliance with the United States.
The Delhi protest meet statement seeking “implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations”, says a communique, forwarded to Counterview, the meeting was addressed by 30 representatives of “various organisations, intellectuals, activists, artists.”
These included Annie Raja, general secretary, National Federation of Indian Women, NFIW; Maimoona Mollah, president, All-India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA); Revati Laul, independent journalist; Naveed, a youth leader from J&K Right to Information; CPI leader D Raja, CPI(M) leader Tikendra Panwar, social activist Shabnam Hashmi, others.
The Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), Jawaharlal Nehru Univerity, performed a play during the protest, while Gauhar Raza and Nandini recited poems. A troupe, Raag, sang protest songs. A film by Shafqat Raina was released during the protest about forced labour in Kashmir from 1990- 2003.
  In may be recalled that so far only one leader, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who has not just sought plebiscite in Kashmir but also criticized the Congress for betraying the people of Kashmir not not holding it.

Text of the statement at the Delhi meet:

Recognising that the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir are facing a repressive onslaught, and that their lives and liberty are at risk, we, concerned citizens of India on this 75th day of the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A and lockdown of Kashmir, register our protest through poetry, songs of resistance and solidarity with the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir, at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
We affirm that we recognise the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir as the most important stakeholders of their lives and land.
Consequently, we demand, immediately, that:
1. No steps about the future of Jammu & Kashmir are taken without the consent of the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir. This implies the following:
  • Restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 situation with regard to Article 370 and 35A and implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations.
  • The reversal of the bifurcation of the territory, as well as a reversal of its downgrading to the status of a ‘Union Territory’ 
2. We demand an immediate scaling back of the troops (armed forces and paramilitaries) deployed in Jammu & Kashmir. Specifically, we call for the withdrawal of CRPF, BSF, ITBP and Indian Army troops deployed in all civilian areas. We call for the dismantling of interrogation centres, which we know are torture cells, and demand the immediate end to the practice of detaining people for any length of time in military and paramilitary camps.
3. We demand to end intimidation and harassment of children and their parents, by police, paramilitary and military personnel. We demand an immediate end to the practice of forcing children to report to police stations, and security barracks. We recognise that the detention of children is being used as an excuse for extortion, and demand immediate action against those in the armed forces, police and paramilitary personnel indulging in this illegal practice.
4. We demand an end to the illegal practice of torture (physical as well as psychological) being committed under the cover of ‘interrogation’ by the armed forces. We demand an end to the usage of pellet guns and tear gas, and the destruction of property by all armed forces personnel.
5. We demand an immediate restoration of communication infrastructure, all forms of mobile telephony (not just the token restoration of Post Paid connections) and the internet. We demand an end to censorship and restriction on the freedom of the press. We call for an end to the harassment and intimidation of journalists, doctors, lawyers and human rights activists.
6. We call for an immediate lifting of restrictions on civil society, and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all detenus, and demand that no further arrests be made. We demand a repeal of draconian measures like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act.
7. We appeal to the Supreme Court of India to cease delaying the application of its judicial power to intervene, especially in Habeas Corpus and Preventive Detention Matters.
8. We appeal to the Supreme Court of India to deal with a sense of urgency and seriousness with the several petitions that address the constitutional crisis occasioned by the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A.
We appeal to all sections of society, political parties, trade unions, student organizations and individuals to stand with Kashmiris, especially young people and students from Jammu & Kashmir who are in workplaces, neighbourhoods and educational institutions everywhere in India.
We express our solidarity with the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir, and wish to assure them that we stand by them in the quest for justice, freedom and peace.
Finally, we assert our categorical opposition to the attempts being made in both India and Pakistan to stoke war-hysteria. Kashmir must not be made an excuse for another subcontinental war. We call for an immediate end to it war-mongering and the initiation of dialogue involving India, Pakistan and the peoples of Jammu & Kashmir with a view to the establishment of a lasting peace in South Asia.

Comments

inaturalscience said…
Same Vivekananda wrote thay caste is not determined on the basis of birth. This article quotes out of context as a part of a well planned agenda?
Editor said…
There is no reference to Vivekananda in this article

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.