The Jammu and Kashmir Issue

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

History of Jammu and Kashmir

  • Kashmir and adjoining areas were part of the different empires at different times.
  • Before 1000 AD, the Kashmir was an important centre of Hinduism and Buddhism. 
  • Hindu dynasty rules the state until 1339, which was replaced by Muslim rule by Shah Mir. He became the first Muslim ruler of the Kashmir. After few centuries Shah Mir Dynasty was replaced by the Mugul Dynasty by emperor Akbar the Great.
  • After conquering Kashmir in 1587, Akbar included it as a part of the Mughal Empire. 
  • Later in 1752, Kashmir was occupied by the Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdali who ruled the state until 1819 when Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh seized the state and ended the Muslim rule.
  • The Sikhs ruled the state until they were defeated by the British in the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1846.
  • From 1846 to 1947, the Kashmir remained a princely state of the British Empire ruled by Jamwal Rajput Dogra Dynasty.

Important Facts

  • At the time of partition, J&K was a Princely State and had the option of either to join India or to join Pakistan or to remain independent.
  • Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of J&K, did not exercise the option immediately and proposed a standstill agreement to both Pakistan and India and Pakistan.
  • Meanwhile, in Oct 1947, Pakistan interred into the Kashmir with an army of soldiers and tribesmen who were carrying modern weapons. 
  • Maharaja Hari Singh sought help from India and on 26th October 1947, signed an ‘Instrument of Accession’ of J&K with India according to which Indian Jurisdiction would extend to communications, external affairs and defence. After signing of ‘Instrument of Accession,’ Indian troops were airlifted into the state of J&K and fought with the Pakistani invaders and returned them.
  • On 5th March 1948, a popular interim government was formed with Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah as the Prime Minister.
  • In 1951, the state constituent assembly was formed. A special position was granted to the state of J&K by signing the Delhi Agreement was between the Prime Ministers of India and Jammu & Kashmir under Indian Constitutional framework.
  • The J&K constituent assembly ratified the accession of the state to the Union of India in 1954, and subsequently, the President issued the constitution order under the provisions of Article 370 extending the Union Constitution India to the state of J&K with some modification and exceptions.
  • Thus, Jammu & Kashmir became an integral part of the Union of India. However, the provisions of Article 370 became a bone of contention in later years.
  • Under Article 370, which was included in the Indian constitution as a temporary provision granted special status to J&K in all other matters except defence, finance, foreign affairs, and communications.
  • Parliament of India needs the approval of the state government for applying all other laws.

J&K after Accession

  • At the time of accession, Kashmir got divided into two parts. One part was with India, and Pakistan occupied as the other one. 
  • Pakistan supplied fund, arms and ammunition to terrorists to destabilize the J&K. It put every effort to intensify the anti-India protests due to which the Valley faced curfew many times.
  • Due to Political Instability and disturbance in the area, there was a rapid increase in militant activities and the violence spread throughout the Valley.
  • Many communities, including Hindus, were attacked and were forced to leave to the state.
  • Many steps were taken by various governments for the maintenance of peace in the state. However, due to separatism, political instability and Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the state continued to be disturbed until recent times.

The J&K Reorganization Act, 2019

  • To stabilize the state and provide a better administration to the people of J&K, the Government of India passed the J&K Reorganization Bill, 2019, which became an Act after passing in both the houses of the Parliament and ratification of the President.  
  • The Act provides for the reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territory, one as the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and other as the Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • The Union Territory of Ladakh will be comprised of Kargil and Leh districts, and the Union Territory of J&K will have the remaining territories of the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • They make provisions for a legislator for the Union Territory of J&K. However, it did not make any provision of the legislator for Union Territory of Ladakh due to its low population.
    • The Union Territory of J&K and the Union Territory of Ladakh will be administered directly by the President, through an administrator appointed called as the Lieutenant Governor. 
    • The Union Territory of J&K will have a Council of Ministers of not more than 10% of the total number of members in the assembly.
    • The Council will advise the Lieutenant Governor on all matters on which the assembly has powers to make laws. The Chief Minister of the state of J&K will communicate all decisions of the Council to the Lieutenant Governor. 
    • The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be the common High Court for the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

Present issues of the J&K 

  • Restoration of the basic rights of the people of J&K – At present, the people of J&K are under continuous supervision for controlling any unusual incident in the Valley. However, the basic rights of the citizens should be restored as soon as possible. 
  • Lack of communication facility – The government is yet to restore the communication facility of Valley. The government should restore the same at the earliest.
  • Division of resources – Dividing the manpower and material resources between the UT of J&K and Ladakh is an important issue. 
  • Law and order issues – The Valley is still facing the law and order issues due to various separatist leaders in the region. 
  • Lack of good education and health – The Union Territory of J&K still does not have adequate health and education facilities for its population.
  • Lack of provisions for democratic elections – Recent Block Development Council elections in the region have shown that creating a new leadership will not be an easy task for the government. 
  • The issue of separatist leaders – The Union Territory of J&K has a long list of separatist leaders who are more alien to Pakistan. They always try to disturb the region. 
  • The government’s plans to bring people of J&K in the mainstream are not yet known.

Way forward 

  • The basic rights of the citizens should be restored as soon as possible.
  • The government should restore the communication facility in the Valley at the earliest.
  • Adequate resources should be provided for the proper functioning of the government machinery and for the welfare of the people of the region.
  • Law and order issues should be dealt with strictly, and every effort needs to be put up for restoring normalcy in the Union Territory of J&K. 
  • Separatist leaders need to be kept under custody and make them understand that the democratic values of the country. 
  • The government should make every effort to make the people aware of the benefits they are going to get in the recent future year. 
  • The government should make every effort for holding the election to the local bodies. 
  • All efforts need to be made by the government, NGOs and people of the country to include the people of J&K in the mainstream development.    

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