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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

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Joint Memorandum submitted by Cabinet Members of the Sheikh Abdullah Ministry to the Sadar-i-Riyasat
8th August, 1953

Legal Document No 131

You will kindly recall that in the course of tile meeting of the Cabinet, held on August 7, 1953, and on many other occasions previously, we brought to your notice that certain pronounced tendencies indicating a very sharp divergence of opinion had become manifest in our approach to the broad policies which from the basis of the Government and the administration. Contrary to the normal practice of a uniform policy in the conduct of the administration, it has become increasingly clear that Mr. Beg and you, in utter disregard of the opinion of your colleagues and without their consultation make public pronouncements which flout to principle of joint responsibility. Since the formation of the present Government, in spite of the constant endeavour of your colleagues to secure maximum agreement and unity in the formation and execution of essential policies in accordance with the mandate given by the people, you have frequently adopted certain arbitrary measures complete denial of the right of expression of opinion of even your own colleagues in the handling both of external and internal affairs of the State.

Most of these measures and policies have been self-contradictory and inconsistent, leading to serious complications. After the establishment of the Legislative Assembly, we have expected that our joint responsibility and collective functioning as a Cabinet would be governed by well-established parliamentary practices. But we regret to observe that you have not only disregarded the wishes of your colleagues in the Cabinet but have acted in the Legislative Assembly also in a manner which denied the right of freely expressing their opinions to the representatives of the people in regard to the basic policies

pursued by the Government. In the past, even though occasions have arisen when we seriously opposed certain measures which affected the efficient and smooth functioning of the administration we refrained from bringing matter to a head by making concession to y our views in the interests of securing harmony and concord in the working of the Government. Unfortunately, however, this spirit of accommodation has been misconstrued by you and you have consequently adopted an attitude which is far from democratic and indicates a tendency towards making arbitrary use of power and position. Your attitude with regard to the political and economic policies of the Government has given rise to a great deal of confusion in the public mind and serious dislocation in economic life of large sections of the people. For quite some time, now, a factional tendency has been evident in the Cabinet, which has been responsible for a progressive deterioration in the administration. Consequently, various ameliorative measures propos-ed by the members of the Cabinet in good faith have not been implemented honestly. Above all, there has been a singular failure to exercise vigilance and proper supervision in the day to day functioning of the administration which has produced corruption, nepotism, inefficiency and wanton wastage of public resources in most sphere of Government activity. All these facts of omission and commission have inevitably created large-scale discontent in various part of the State.

All along the Government has lacked a sense of uniformity and direction in its plans and programme. Time and again, we have brought to your notice the imperative need of arresting this process of deterioration in the administration. We attempted to represent the feelings of various sections of the people and urgent necessity of undertaking immediate measures for the amelioration of these conditions. But we regret to say that you not only disregarded all our opinions in this respect, but have been ignored the recommendations of the Wazir Committee, which had been set up by the Government to inquire into a number of grievances of the people.

Consequently, the political uncertainty has been accentuated with the result that our economy has been thrown Into stagnation, which has impoverished large masses of people, when the tourist traffic showed healthy improvement last year and this year, you destroyed public confidence though your irresponsible utterances.

The events of the last few months have, in particular, thrown the state in the midst of a severe crisis. The repercussions of this crisis are bound to be serious and far-reaching. We regret to state that yore, as the head of the Government, have not only failed to take note of the situation but have, by your words and deeds. accentuated the tension. you have consistently refused to acknowledge responsibilities that devolve on you as the Prime Minister of the State by not following the declared policies that form the basis of the Government. You have tended to act in a manner that 1las generated uncertainty, suspense and doubt in the minds of the people of the State in general and of those in Jammu and Ladakh in particular. All these factors have combined to strengthen the disruptionist forces seeking the disintegration of the State,

As is well known, the unprovoked aggression from Pakis-tan had put our very national existence at stake. In that critical hour of crisis, all of us jointly approached India for help and requested her to accept the accession of the State and assist us in repelling the aggression and restoring peaceful conditions in the State. The united will of the people stood solidly behind this act of Kashmir's accession to India. While accepting our request, the Government of India assured us of the right of self-determination for our people. After the convening of the Constituent Assembly, certain inescapable elaborations of the State's relationship with India were defined in the Delhi Agreement, of which you were the Chief Architect on our behalf. Your stand was unanimously endorsed by the Government, the National Conference, the Indian Parliament and the Constituent Assembly of the State. But you have not only deliberately delayed implementation of the agreements on these matters which form the sheet-anchor of our policy, but have purposefully and openly denounced these in public. You have thus arbitrarily sought to precipitate a rupture in the relationship of the State with India. Though it is true that the people of the State have the ultimate right to decide their future, the conditions of chaos and confusion which are being engineered today by you are bound to be fatal for the exercise of the right of self-determination by our people. Under these circumstances what seems inevitable is that interested foreign powers may well take advantage of and exploit the situation for their own selfish purpose. Mr. M.A. Beg has persistently been following policies of narrow sectarianism, and communalism, which have seriously undermined the the oneness of the State. Unfortunately, you have been lending your support to his policies in the Cabinet and his activities in public. This has generated bitter feelings of suspicion and doubt in the minds of the people of various constituent units of the State. You have connived at all these unfortunate happenings and thus strengthened and encouraged the forces of disruption. The result is that unity and the secular character, the two fundamental aspects of our State, stand threatened today.

We have been constantly urging upon you to put an end to these unhealthy tendencies and to under take unitedly measures for restoring the moral of the people. In spite of our best intentions, we have failed in our efforts.

It is, therefore, with great pain that we have to inform you of our conclusion that the Cabinet, constituted as it is at present and lacking as it does the unity of purpose and action, has lost the confidence of the people in its ability to give them a clean, efficient and healthy administration.

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