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Muslims are blamed for Partition
RSS for J&K trifurcation

Farooq Abdullah claimed that Home Minister LK Advani has pressurised him to accept the trifurcation of the J&K state (Asian Age, 21 July 2000)

The setback to peace process after the Hizbul Mujahideen’s withdrawal of ceasefire has prompted a section of the Sangh Parivar to think aloud of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into separate states of Jammu and Kashmir and a Union territory of Ladakh. The Sangh Parivar’s stated position is abrogation of Article 370 and ‘total integration’ of the state with the Indian Union.

Though the RSS hasn’t officially expressed its views, its spokesman MG Vaidya has lent support to the idea of the division of the state. He says his personal opinion is ‘trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir is a suggestion worth considering.’

If the people of Jammu and Ladakh want to be fully integrated with India and ‘are satisfied with the quantum of autonomy that is enjoyed by various states in the Union, their wishes must be respected,’ Vaidya said.

A division of Jammu and Kashmir would imply a Muslim Kashmir (Valley), a Hindu Jammu and a Buddhist Ladakh although there is a sizeable Muslim population in both Jammu and Ladakh. But Vaidya says that trifurcation doesn’t mean division of Jammu and Kashmir along communal lines nor does it subscribe to the two-nation theory, since Jammu region has 1.6 million Muslims among a total population of 4.6 million. ‘If the division of Punjab and Haryana or separating Meghalaya and Mizoram from Assam wasn’t communal, why should trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir be communal?’ Vaidya asks forgetting that the reason for the J&K trifurcation is basically communal while the division of other states was a re-organisation on language basis.

Parivar sources say the creation of a separate Kashmir state is largely likely to restrict terrorism to the Valley. In this scheme of things, the people of the Valley could decide the quantum of autonomy – that is, anything short of independence or accession with Pakistan.

Leaders from Ladakh have already sought a Union territory status for their region, and now it is for the Jammu leaders to raise the issue. But the two BJP MPs from Jammu seem not to have got the go-ahead yet.

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