Greater Kashmir is a daily English newspaper published in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It first appeared in 1987 as a weekly paper, but in 1989 expanded to a daily publication. In the past, it has featured stories about the disputed region and political developments in the region.
Anantnag joined with Rajouri and Poonch
The recent merger of Anantnag, Rajouri, and Poonch into one Lok Sabha constituency in J&K has many people talking. It will form a seamless Muslim belt, extending Jammu into Kashmir. The merger also paves the way for a better future for the region.
The proposed merger has been met with criticism from mainstream Kashmir political parties. Despite this, the BJP’s public welcome of the proposal has been positive. The new Lok Sabha constituency will include Anantnag, Rajouri, Poonch, and Kulgam.
As a result of the merger, Jammu and Kashmir will have 87 Assembly constituencies. This is an increase of one seat over the previous number. The reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir will also include nine Assembly constituencies for Scheduled Tribes.
BJP’s own idea of resolving Kashmir
A majority Muslim region in northern India and Pakistan, Kashmir is a hot spot for conflict. Since 1947, it has been disputed between India and Pakistan and has sparked two deadly wars. The dispute is centered around the control of the region.
In 2014, the BJP won elections in India and quickly pushed its own idea of resolving Kashmir. The party supported Hindutva policies and strongly supported the union of Kashmir with India. Eventually, a unity government was formed between the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party, which supported the self-rule option in Kashmir. The alliance’s political strategy and the BJP’s own idea of resolving Kashmir stoked the fears of the largely Muslim population.
The BJP’s own idea of redressing the conflict in Kashmir has been the same as the current Indian administration’s approach. The current union government is dominated by the BJP and has asserted increased control over the state while cracking down on militants. After the BJP withdrew from the coalition government in late 2018, it began direct rule over the state.
BJP’s plan to divide J&K along religious lines
The BJP’s plan to divide Jammu and Kashmir along religious lines will not be tolerated. The state is a jewel of India, and it has suffered from decades of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. With India losing the proxy war with Pakistan, the region is increasingly being divided along religious lines. The BJP leader’s comment was in response to a question about the recent communal tension in the Chenab Valley, which led to a curfew in the region.
Since the Indian government gained control over the state in late 2017, the BJP has increased its military presence in the region and cracked down on militants. The BJP is now the majority party in the union government, which dissolved the government of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in late 2018. The BJP left the coalition in late 2018, and the state’s new government has taken direct control of the state.
BJP’s plan to link Anantnag with Rajouri and Poonch
A common parliamentary seat for Anantnag and Rajouri would link Muslims living in Poonch and Rajouri to the people of Anantnag and Rajouri. The two districts are currently part of the Jammu division. They are home to large numbers of Gujjar and Bakerwal Muslims. While neither are considered Kashmiri, they are both classified as Scheduled Tribes. In theory, the move would improve racial and ethnic cohesion within the Jammu region.
The BJP’s plan to connect Anantnag with Rajouri and Poonch could boost their party’s popularity in these constituencies. Although Poonch and Rajouri are not part of the Kashmir Valley, they are close to it. In fact, some of the population there live on the border fence. Although Rajouri-Poonch and Anantnag are relatively similar, they are very different in terms of ethnicity.
Rana’s stray Dixon Plan remark hurtled back into popular discourse
Earlier this month, BJP national vice-president Devendra Singh Rana drew attention to the Dixon Plan, a political stunt that has resurfaced amid an ongoing political stalemate. The plan, formulated by Sir Owen Dixon in 1953, recommends the separation of Kashmir into two countries and a plebiscite in the valley.
It would create a parliamentary seat in Anantnag for Muslims living in Rajouri and Poonch. The idea of uniting the Muslims of Rajouri and Poonch into a single region makes a curious sense. The BJP has said it does not recognize the Kashmir conflict and does not want to unilaterally divide the state along religious lines.