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From State to UT, a long journey for JK

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Rayees Ahmad Kumar

Every year on 31st October National Unity Day is celebrated all over India. This year also it was celebrated with more enthusiasm. With the abrogation of article 370 and 35-A last year, Jammu & Kashmir was transformed into two union territories.
On 31st October 2019 J&K was bifurcated into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh. G C Murmu and R K Mathur were appointed the first two lieutenant Governors of JK and Ladakh respectively.
J&K was the largest princely state of British India among all the 565 states. When India and Pakistan emerged the two separate countries on world political map in 1947 due to partition, J&K was under the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh. He was the son of Maharaja Pratap Singh and grandson of Maharaja Gulab Singh. In 1846 Maharaja Gulab Singh had purchased the whole JK for 75 lakh Nanak Shahi coins. With the treaty of Amritsar J&Ks full control came directly under a Dogra family.
Hundred years later in 1947 when India got freedom from British, turmoil in the region forced the Maharaja Hari Singh to accede to India despite the fact that upto 26th October 1947 Hari Singh wasn’t interested in signing the instrument of accession with Lord Mountbatien the first governor general of India. However, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the documents of accession which was restricted to only three subjects of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Telecommunication. In rest of the subjects J&K had the full autonomy.
In 1948 Maharaja Hari Singh’s son Dr Karan singh was appointed the first Sadri Riasat of J&K when he was only seventeen years old. In 1948 Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was appointed the first administrator of state who later took oath as prime minister of J&K under Maharaja Hari Singh.
In 1952 Delhi Agreement was signed between Sheikh Abdullah and Pt JL Nehru. In 1953 founding father of Jan Sangh Shyama Prasad Mukherji died naturally in Srinagar’s Nishat Jail. Only few days later on 09 August 1953 Sheikh Abdullah’s government was dismissed and he was sent to jail.
After sheikh Abdullah, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was appointed as the prime minister of state who served it upto 1964.
In 1964 first attempt to downgrade the state came in the form of changing the nomenclature of Sadri Riasat and prime minister. Which were replaced by governor and chief minister. It was the time when congress ruled the state under G M Sadiq.
In 1975 Indira-Abdullah accord was signed and Sheikh Abdullah with the support of congress was made the chief minister of the state. He however, was earlier dismissed from prime minister ship and imprisoned.
In 1984 G M Shah, brother in law of Dr Farooq Abdullah toppled the government of Dr Farooq and with congress’s support Shah was appointed the chief minister of J&K.
In 1987 Dr Farooq Abdullah was again appointed as the chief minister of state with congress support who later in 1990 with the outbreak of militancy resigned from the post.
In 1996 after a prolonged eight years presidential rule, elections were conducted. National Conference got two thirds majority and Dr Farooq Abdullah was appointed as the chief minister of state.
In 2002 newly crafted political party People’s Democratic Party of Mufti Mohammed Saeed won 16 seats. With the support of congress and few independent candidates, Mufti Saeed took over as chief minister of JK.
In November 2005 Ghulam Nabi Azad took over as chief minister and in 2008 Omar Abdullah became the youngest chief minister of state who served it for full six years.
In March 2015 Mufti Saeed took over as chief minister of state 2nd time in his political tenure with the support of BJP but in December 2015 he passed away. Two months later in March 2016 Mehbooba Mufti took oath as chief minister of state. Thus became the first lady chief minister of JK.
After ruling for continuous two years BJP surprisingly withdrew the support to Mehbooba Mufti and it was the 12th time in its history J&K came under governor’s rule.
On 05 August 2019 Narinder Modi led union government abrogated the article granting special status to J&K thus bifurcated the state into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
(The author is columnist and teacher)



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