SECTION I UNDERSTANDING SEPARATISM & ITS BACKGROUND IN INDIA 1.1 WHAT IS SEPARATISM?
Cambridge Dictionary defines “Separatism” as
The belief held by a racial, religious or other group within a country that they should be independent and have their own government or in some way live apart from other people. Oxford Dictionary defines “Separatism” as
“The advocacy or practice of separation of a certain group of people from a larger body on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or gender” Webster Dictionary defines it as
“The character or act of a separatist; disposition to withdraw from a church; the practice of so withdrawing” The term “Separatism” is usually used to describe the attitudes or motivation or inspiration or enthusiasm of those seeking independence or separation of their land or region or area from the country that governs them. However, it may also refer to social isolation or “involvement in cliques or factions”. As far as the term separatist movement is concerned, it is regarded as that movement which aspires to achieve autonomy for a particular group of people from a dominant group under which they suffer. The grounds for separation can be regional, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious, or even gender — or a combination of these factors. Separatist movements often operate using strictly constitutional and peaceful methods, while some other movements resort to violent & aggressive methods to achieve their goal of national liberation. 1.2) SEPARATIST MOVEMENTS IN INDIA
Separatist movements in India can broadly be divided in to four categories on the basis of various factors like geographical locations of area, historical backgrounds, ethnicity, language & religion, etc. These are:- i) - Separatist movement in Indian held Kashmir;
ii) - Khalistan movement (Movement in Indian Punjab);
iii) - Separatist movements of North-East India;
iv) - Separatist movements in other parts of Country
1.3) SEPARATIST MOVEMENT IN KASHMIR
At the time of partition of sub-continent in 1947, the state of Jammu & Kashmir was one of the 564 princely states which were given the choice of either joining India or Pakistan in accordance with two guiding principles:- i) - the geographic contiguity of the princely state to either India or Pakistan, & ii) - whether the princely state had either a majority Hindu or Muslim population Although in case of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan was fulfilling the above-mentioned two principles set by the British administration for princely states, yet the then ruler Maharaja Hari Singh rejected the option of joining either India or Pakistan, & instead declared his intention of having an independent Jammu & Kashmir. This created an alarming situation & potential political crisis for all stakeholders. When the Muslims of Poonch felt that the Maharaja is desirous of continuing his brutal rule, they revolted against him in June 1947 under the leadership of Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim & Captain Hussein Khan from Rawalakot, which also spread to the other parts of Jammu & Kashmir. To stabilize the situation, the Maharaja immediately signed a standstill agreement with the newly created of Pakistan. But despite signing agreement, he appealed to the outgoing British authorities and the newly- created government of India for military assistance. The Indians refused to assist Maharaja Hari Singh & showed their willingness to help him provided he signed an instrument of accession agreeing to merge Jammu & Kashmir with India. According to S.Jugdep Chima, the legality of the Instrument of Accession merging Jammu & Kashmir with India is questionable. He says that this “instrument was signed in haste by Maharaja Hari Singh and was not in accordance with the accepted principle of Muslim-majority areas going to Pakistan”. The decision of the Hindu Raja of the princely state was immediately accepted by the British viceroy. Although “an agreement of non-intervention in Kashmir had been signed between Maharaja...
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