BY M ROSHAN
THE Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. 26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1929 when Declaration of Indian Independence was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by British Regime.
As India celebrates 26 January every year as its Republic Day, the Kashmiris in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and in the world over, observe the 26 January as the blackest day, to protest, India’s occupation of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir by violating the partition formula, through an illegal, manipulated and controversial accession instrument, which India had got signed in October 1947, by Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of the State, under duress. Since Maharaja’s forces and the people of Jammu & Kashmir had revolted to Maharaja’s plan to acceding the State to India, to quell the revolt, India landed its military/troops at Srinagar airport in October 1947 and occupied major part of the State. In response, when Pakistan deployed its military, and the Indian forces were pushed back, India immediately referred the matter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The UNSC, through its resolutions of 1948, had called for a ceasefire and holding a plebiscite in the State under its supervision to determine the will of the people of the State, whether they wanted to join Pakistan or India.
The 26 January is also observed as the blackest day because India has compromised its all democratic principles and values by denying the right to self-determination granted to the people of Jammu & Kashmir by the UNSC through its resolutions of 1948. Consequently, since 1948, India has failed all UNSC efforts to hold the plebiscite and later India also rejected the UNSC resolutions by unilaterally declaring the state of Jammu & Kashmir as its integral part, through a resolution passed by the Indian Parliament which is illegal under the international law. Since Pakistan is a party to the dispute, the people of Pakistan also join the people of Jammu & Kashmir in observing 26 January as the blackest day. The people of the state and the Pakistanis highlight that India has no right to become a permanent member of the UNSC unless it withdraws its 700,000 troops from Jammu & Kashmir deployed since 1989, implements the UN resolutions, and resolves the Jammu & Kashmir dispute by holding a plebiscite in the state or through a dialogue. India’s Republic Day on 26 January is observed as a black day by the people of Jammu & Kashmir to also figure out that India’s democratic credentials are doubtful, as the good democracies always resolve their disputes through dialogue, but, apart from denying the right of self determination to the people of Jammu & Kashmir by refusing to implement the UNSC resolutions, India is also refusing to hold a dialogue with Pakistan and the Kashmiri leaders to resolve the Kashmir dispute. The 26 January is observed as the blackest day to draw the world attention towards the fact that the world’s so-called biggest democracy, India, was trampling human rights in Jammu & Kashmir by committing endless atrocities by deploying more than 700,000 security forces personnel in state since 1989 to crush their peaceful freedom struggle.
As reported by the Islamabad Times, dated 16 January 2019, the 26 January 2019, the Indian Republic Day, will be observed as the blackest day by the people of Jammu & Kashmir, including AJK and IoK, by holding rallies and processions, debates and seminars, to invite the attention of international community towards the continued illegal and forcible Indian occupation of Jammu & Kashmir, denial by India of their right to self-determination, and crushing their freedom struggle by use of force and committing endless atrocities and human rights violations since 1989.The observance of the 26 January as the blackest day will also highlight the Human Rights Violations Report 2016-Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir, published by the Kashmir Institute of International Relations, which shows that from January 1989 to 21 December 2016, 100,000 persons have been killed, including 7073 custodial killings, over 137469 civilians were arrested, there are over 8000 to 10000 enforced disappearances, over 22826 women have been widowed, more than 107591 children have become orphans, over 10717 women were gang-raped/molested, and over 107043 structures were destroyed. During their protests on 26 January, the people of Jammu & Kashmir will tell the world that the Indian brutalities in Jammu & Kashmir have also been confirmed in the first ever report, released by the UN Human Rights Office in June 2018. The report says that the Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries. The report adds that the Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 (PSA) have “created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.”