RSS Resolution: Kurukshetra disappoints Jammu
by Hari Om on 04 Apr 2010 3 Comments

RSS’ Pratinidhi Sabha met at Kurukshetra for three days from March 26 to 28, and adopted a number of resolutions on issues facing the nation. Resolution number 2 was on Jammu & Kashmir and it dealt with almost all issues confronting the nation in the state, as also the non-Muslim minorities, including Hindus and Buddhists.


On the face of it, the RSS resolution on Jammu & Kashmir was comprehensive, in the sense that it took into consideration almost all issues facing the nation in the state, as also the Hindu minority, Scheduled Caste Hindus, women, and refugees of all varieties inhabiting Jammu province. It reflected on the ongoing separatist movement in Kashmir and the official attitude towards it, the rise in infiltration bids from across the border, the stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir, the issue of greater autonomy, the lowering of guard in Kashmir, India-Pakistan relations and the February 22, 1994 Parliamentary Resolution on Jammu and Kashmir that contemplated re-integration of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan into India.


The RSS resolution could also be considered as comprehensive in the light of its adverse views on Article 370 and the manner in which the Congress-led UPA Government has been dealing with an expansionist and terrorist Pakistan, and its deep concern over the miserable plight of non-Muslim minorities in the state.


However, the Resolution was extremely vague in two respects. One, it had no action plan ready to translate its otherwise pious words into action. It only urged its own cadres to spread across the country to educate Indian public opinion regarding the prevailing state of affairs in Jammu & Kashmir. It should have suggested a clear-cut line to achieve what it suggested and demanded. It should have directed its political organ, the BJP, to launch a full-scale campaign in order to achieve the stated goals.


The hope that mobilization of RSS cadres with a view to educating Indian public opinion would produce the desired results is simply not going to materialize. The Indian nation is already wide awake. It wants concrete action on the ground. In fact, it wants the RSS and other like-minded organizations to launch a nation-wide movement of the type Jammu witnessed during June-August 2008 – a movement that resulted in the fall of the Congress-led coalition government in the state and transfer of the Baltal land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on a permanent basis, free of cost. This movement defeated the Kashmiri communalists and inspired the entire Indian nation, with some of keen political commentators suggesting “To save India, follow Jammu”.


One can only hope and pray that the RSS does finally take the plunge. It must also first rein in certain controversial elements within the organization who have brought a bad name to the RSS by flirting with undesirable forces for reasons best known to them. RSS must also issue clear instructions to its cadres and the BJP that they have no other option but to unleash forthwith a relentless campaign in the state. If it fails to do so, it would be perceived as an organization that only speaks, believes in meetings and indulges in rabble-rousing, but does nothing on the ground.


Another serious drawback from which the RSS resolution suffers is its vague stand on Jammu, which has been rendered unreal and ineffective for all purposes by the Kashmiri Muslim leadership and New Delhi. The resolution acknowledges in unambiguous terms that the people of Jammu and Ladakh have been suffering on account of the discriminatory policies being ruthlessly pursued by the Kashmir-centric government; yet RSS has not suggested any concrete model to solve the problem of these two neglected and marginalized regions on a permanent basis. RSS didn’t recommend even statutory councils for these regions. It only talked of “statutory provisions for the development” of these two regions (see operative part of resolution); it’s just not good enough.


The RSS, which on the eve of the 2002 Assembly elections floated the Jammu State Morcha (JSM) for achieving the status of statehood for Jammu province and fielded candidates in several constituencies, is, it appears, being guided more by the directionless, ambivalent, confused and ideologically bankrupt BJP that opposes tooth and nail the idea of Jammu province getting the status of statehood, than by the interests of the state’s minorities, especially the Hindu minorities whose population is no less than 40 lakh.


It is significant to note that RSS in 2008, just on the eve of elections, abandoned the statehood agenda and disbanded the JSM and directed all its cadres to support the BJP candidates who entered the electoral arena with no Jammu-specific agenda. Remember, the 2008 BJP election manifesto did not contain any reference to any model whatever aimed at ensuring the empowerment of the people of Jammu and Ladakh provinces. Earlier, the BJP used to contest elections on the plank of reorganization of the state. It had on more than two occasions even demanded statehood for Jammu province.


It is important to note that RSS abandoned a rational and national agenda at the best of BJP stalwarts like L K Advani and Arun Jaitley, who have all along held the view that separation of Jammu from Kashmir would mean handing over Kashmir to Pakistan on a platter. A ridiculous formulation indeed! It is all the more absurd because BJP, like RSS, advocates Union Territory status for Ladakh, but opposes statehood for Jammu, notwithstanding the fact that the political implications of Union Territory status to Ladakh are the same.  


RSS needs to review its stand on Jammu in view of the fact that the problem facing the people of Jammu province is political. It can be solved only if the people of Jammu province get the power to legislate, which is possible only with statehood. Hence, it would be better if the RSS keeps the likes of Advani and Jaitley at bay and revives the JSM and strengthens it. The people of Jammu province are fed up with their association with the discriminatory, separatist and communal Kashmiri Muslim leadership and New Delhi’s negative attitude towards them.


RSS must remember that only a strong Jammu can help New Delhi and the nation retain control over unruly Kashmir; a weak Jammu would only help Islamabad to annex not only Kashmir but also Jammu province. RSS would do well to support the demand of Kashmiri Hindus for a separate homeland in the Valley. The creation of a homeland out of Kashmir will puncture the ongoing separatist and communal movement in Kashmir, and that is a national imperative.


The author is Chair Professor, Gulab Singh Chair, Jammu University, Jammu

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