JAMMU AND KASHMIR INTERLOCUTORS’ REPORT
It is not a very radical report. The interlocutors tried to placate the separatists, main stream political parties of the valley and also tried to keep the peaceniks of the PM inclination on the right side by addressing Pak Occupied Kashmir as a Pakistan administered Kashmir. But at the same time, they could not totally offend the national sentiments in the country. So while suggesting the review of the central Laws extended to the state of J&K after 1953, they had to say that “We believe that retaining many of the Central laws made applicable to the State over the past six decades should not give rise to any strong objections and that the clock can not be set back” Again while recommending the setting up of the Constitutional Committee, they suggest that its members should enjoy the confidence of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the people of India as a whole and that “The Constitutional Committee should be future-oriented in that it should conduct its review solely on the basis of the powers the State needs to address the political, economic, social and cultural interests, concerns, grievances and aspirations of the people in all the three regions of the State – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – and all its sub-regions and communities”
However we should oppose:
- Replacing the word ‘temporary’ with ‘Special’ under the article 370.
- Continuity of the dual character of the people of J&K ie State Subject and the Indian Citizen.
- Setting up of constitutional Committee to review all the laws extended to the state post 1953
- Reduction of the quota of All India Services.
- Review of AFSPA
As the Interlocutors have strongly supported the continuation of J&K as one entity, and we are not in a position to get the separate state for the people of Jammu and the Union territory status for the people of Leh and Ladakh and I am not hopeful that we will get it ever, we should support its recommendation of setting up the elected Regional councils separately for Jammu and Ladakh but with adequate financial and legal powers and the required administrative infrastructure. There must be adequate delegation of financial powers and reasonable share of the revenues of the state. We should also insist that the central grants should be proportionately sent direct to the Regional Councils by the Govt. Of India and that the regional Councils should be elected bodies with its Ministers having a proper constitutional status. In this respect, the recommendations of the Gajendragadkar Commission (1967) should be followed in toto. Its observations need a recall that “there would still be a measure of discontent unless the political aspirations of the different regions of the State were satisfied” and that “In fact… the main cause of irritations and tensions is the feeling of political neglect and discrimination, real or imagined, from which certain regions of the State suffer
There is an imperative need for launching the campaign for the abrogation of Article 370. Once RSS takes a firm view, we should go all out on the All India basis for the revocation of Article 370.