‘On People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’
10th Nov, 2020
More than a year after the abrogation of the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and its reorganisation, a number of mainstream political parties of
More than a year after the abrogation of the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and its reorganisation, a number of mainstream political parties of Kashmir have come up with a joint response in the form of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).
- The formation of the alliance follows the spirit of the Gupkar Declaration that was adopted on 4 August 2019, a day before the changes in the structure of the state were announced in Parliament.
- Amidst the rumours that the Government of India was going to take some unprecedented steps in relation to J&K, the representatives of six mainstream parties of Kashmir had resolved that modification, abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370, or unconstitutional delimitation, or trifurcation of the state would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. It was therefore resolved that all parties be united to protect and defend identity, autonomy and the special status of J&K.
Why was the declaration signed?
- On August 4, 2019, the first Gupkar declaration was signed after an all-party meeting at the Gupkar Road residence of NC supremo Farooq Abdullah.
- The signatories were reportedly members of the NC, PDP, CPI(M), Congress, J&K Peoples Conference and Awami National Conference.
- The resolution had parties unanimously agreeing to unify in their efforts to protect and defend the identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Just a day after this, on 5 August 2019 however, the central government revoked the special status under Article 370 and split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
- The Article 35A, which guaranteed specific rights to permanent residents of the former state was also repealed.
- What followed was a complete lockdown in J&K, with communications within the then state blocked out.
- Senior political leaders from most parties were placed under house arrest.
- With most political leaders now released from detention, efforts are on to renew the movement by signing the Gupkar Declaration 2.0.
What is the Gupkar Declaration II?
- On 22 August 2020, leaders from the six political parties once again held a meeting and signed the Gupkar II Declaration to renew their resolve to adhere to the 2019 declaration that was signed.
- The coming together of six mainline parties is unprecedented in Kashmir politics. Key Kashmir watchers describe the stand taken by the Kashmir-based parties as “political resistance”, but hesitate to call it the “people’s alliance”.