|Jammu and Kashmir|
|— State of India —|
|Coordinates (Srinagar): Coordinates:|
|• Governor||Narinder Nath Vohra|
|• Chief Minister||Omar Abdullah (NC)|
|• Legislature||Bicameral (89 + 36 seats)|
|• Total||222,236 km2 (85,806 sq mi)|
|Elevation||327 m (1,073 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-JK|
|HDI rank||17th (2005)|
|Official languages||Urdu, Kashmiri, Dogri|
Jammu and Kashmir (Dogri, Hindi: जम्मू और कश्मीर; Urdu: جموں و کشمیر; i// & //; Kashmiri: जोम त कशीर (Devanagari), جوم تِ کشیر (Nastaliq); Ladakhi: ཇ་མུ་དང་ཀ་ཤི་མིར།) is the northernmost state of India. It is situated mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south and internationally with the People's Republic of China to the north and east and the Pakistani territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan, to the west and northwest respectively.
Formerly a part of the erstwhile Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu, which governed the larger historic region of Kashmir, this territory is disputed among China, India and Pakistan. Pakistan, which claims the territory as disputed, refers to it alternatively as Indian-occupied Kashmir or Indian-held Kashmir, while some international agencies such as the United Nations call it Indian-administered Kashmir. The regions under the control of Pakistan are referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK within India and Pakistan-administered Kashmir generally.
Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. While the Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, Jammu's numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as "Little Tibet", is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture.
Hari Singh had ascended the throne of Kashmir in 1925 and was the reigning monarch at the conclusion of British rule in the subcontinent in 1947. One of the conditions of the partition of India imposed by Britain was that the rulers of princely states would have the right to opt for either Pakistan or India or remain independent. In 1947, Kashmir's population was 77% Muslim and it shared a boundary with both Dominion of Pakistan and Union of India. On 20 October 1947, tribesmen backed by Pakistan invaded Kashmir.
The Maharaja initially fought back but appealed for assistance to the Governor-General Louis Mountbatten, who agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India. On 25 October 1947 Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on 26 October 1947 and it was accepted on 27 October 1947 by the Governor General of India. Once the Instrument of Accession was signed, Indian soldiers entered Kashmir with orders to evict the raiders, but they were not able to expel everyone from the state by the time the harsh winter started. India took the matter to the United Nations. The UN resolution asked both India and Pakistan to vacate the areas they had occupied and hold a referendum under UN observation. The holding of this plebiscite, which India initially supported, was dismissed by India because the 1952 elected Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir voted in favour of confirming the Kashmir region's accession to India. Another reason for the abandonment of the referendum is because demographic changes after 1947 have been effected in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, as generations of Pakistani individuals non-native to the region have been allowed to take residence in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Furthermore, in Jammu & Kashmir state of India, the demographics of the Kashmir Valley have also been altered after separatist militants coerced 250,000 Kashmiri Hindus to leave the region. Moreover, Pakistan failed to withdraw its troops from the Kashmir region as was required under the same U.N. resolution of 13 August 1948 which discussed the plebiscite.
Diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan soured for many other reasons, and eventually resulted in three further wars in Kashmir the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 and the Kargil War in 1999. India has control of 60% of the area of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir (Jammu, Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh); Pakistan controls 30% of the region (Gilgit–Baltistan and Azad Kashmir). China occupied 10% (Aksai Chin) of the state in 1962.
The eastern region of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir has also been beset with a boundary dispute. In the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, although some boundary agreements were signed between Great Britain, Tibet, Afghanistan and Russia over the northern borders of Kashmir, China never accepted these agreements, and the official Chinese position did not change with the communist revolution in 1949. By the mid-1950s the Chinese army had entered the northeast portion of Ladakh:
By 1956–57 they had completed a military road through the Aksai Chin area to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet. India's belated discovery of this road led to border clashes between the two countries that culminated in the Sino-Indian war of October 1962. China has occupied Aksai Chin since 1962 and, in addition, an adjoining region, the Trans-Karakoram Tract was ceded by Pakistan to China in 1963.
For intermittent periods between 1957, when the state approved its own Constitution, and the death of Sheikh Abdullah in 1982, the state had alternating spells of stability and discontent. In the late 1980s, however, simmering discontent over the high-handed policies of the Union Government and allegations of the rigging of the 1987 assembly elections triggered a violent uprising which was backed by Pakistan.
Since then, the region has seen a prolonged, bloody conflict between militants and the Indian Army, both of whom have been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including abductions, massacres, rapes and lootings. The army has officially denied these allegations. However, militancy in the state has been on the decline since 1996, also again in 2004 with the peace process with India and Pakistan. Furthermore the situation has become increasingly peaceful in recent years.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to several valleys such as the Kashmir Valley, Tawi Valley, Chenab Valley, Poonch Valley, Sind Valley and Lidder Valley. The main Kashmir valley is 100 km (62 mi) wide and 15,520.3 km2 (5,992.4 sq mi) in area. The Himalayas divide the Kashmir valley from Ladakh while the Pir Panjal range, which encloses the valley from the west and the south, separates it from the Great Plains of northern India. Along the northeastern flank of the Valley runs the main range of the Himalayas. This densely settled and beautiful valley has an average height of 1,850 metres (6,070 ft) above sea-level but the surrounding Pir Panjal range has an average elevation of 5,000 metres (16,000 ft).
Because of Jammu and Kashmir's wide range of elevations, its biogeography is diverse. Northwestern thorn scrub forests and Himalayan subtropical pine forests are found in the low elevations of the far southwest. These give way to a broad band of western Himalayan broadleaf forests running from northwest-southeast across the Kashmir Valley. Rising into the mountains, the broadleaf forests grade into western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests. Above the tree line are found northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. Much of the northeast of the state is covered by the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe. Around the highest elevations, there is no vegetation, simply rock and ice.
The Jhelum River is the only major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley. The Indus, Tawi, Ravi and Chenab are the major rivers flowing through the state. Jammu and Kashmir is home to several Himalayan glaciers. With an average altitude of 5,753 metres (18,875 ft) above sea-level, the Siachen Glacier is 70 km (43 mi) long making it the longest Himalayan glacier.
The climate of Jammu and Kashmir varies greatly owing to its rugged topography. In the south around Jammu, the climate is typically monsoonal, though the region is sufficiently far west to average 40 to 50 mm (1.6 to 2 inches) of rain per month between January and March. In the hot season, Jammu city is very hot and can reach up to 40 °C (104 °F) whilst in July and August, very heavy though erratic rainfall occurs with monthly extremes of up to 650 millimetres (25.5 inches). In September, rainfall declines, and by October conditions are hot but extremely dry, with minimal rainfall and temperatures of around 29 °C (84 °F).
Across from the Pir Panjal range, the South Asian monsoon is no longer a factor and most precipitation falls in the spring from southwest cloudbands. Because of its closeness to the Arabian Sea, Srinagar receives as much as 635 millimetres (25 in) of rain from this source, with the wettest months being March to May with around 85 millimetres (3.3 inches) per month. Across from the main Himalaya Range, even the southwest cloudbands break up and the climate of Ladakh and Zanskar is extremely dry and cold. Annual precipitation is only around 100 mm (4 inches) per year and humidity is very low. In this region, almost all above 3,000 metres (9,750 ft) above sea level, winters are extremely cold. In Zanskar, the average January temperature is −20 °C (−4 °F) with extremes as low as −40 °C (−40 °F). All the rivers freeze over and locals make river crossings during this period because their high levels from glacier melt in summer inhibits crossing. In summer in Ladakh and Zanskar, days are typically a warm 20°C (68 °F), but with the low humidity and thin air nights can still be cold.
Lake Tso Moriri
Topographic map of J&K (Kashmir valley, Jammu region and Ladakh region are visible by altitude)
Jammu and Kashmir consists of three divisions: Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, and is further divided into 22 districts: The Siachen Glacier, although under Indian military control, does not lie under the administration of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kishtwar, Ramban, Reasi, Samba, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kulgam and Shopian are newly formed districts, and their areas are included with those of the districts from which they were formed.
|Kashmir Valley Division||Srinagar||15,948||5,476,970||6,907,622|
Municipal Boards: 21 Samba, Ranbirsinghpora, Akhnoor, Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Kargil, Duru-Verinag, Bijbehara, Pulwama, Tral, Badgam, Kulgam, Shopian, Ganderbal, Pattan, Sumbal, Kupwara, Handwara}
|Source:Census of India
The 1991 Census could not be held
in Jammu and Kashmir, the 1991
population is interpolated.
Jammu and Kashmir has a Muslim majority population. Though Islam is practiced by about 67% of the population of the state and by 97% of the population of the Kashmir valley, the state has large communities of Buddhists, Hindus (inclusive of Megh Bhagats) and Sikhs.
In Jammu, Hindus constitute 65% of the population, Muslims 31% and Sikhs, 4%; In Ladakh, Buddhists constitute about 46% of the population, the remaining being Muslims. The people of Ladakh are of Indo-Tibetan origin, while the southern area of Jammu includes many communities tracing their ancestry to the nearby Indian states of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the city of Delhi. In totality, the Muslims constitute 67% of the population, the Hindus about 30%, the Buddhists 1%, and the Sikhs 2% of the population.
According to political scientist Alexander Evans, approximately 95% of the total population of 160,000–170,000 of Kashmiri Brahmins, also called Kashmiri Pandits, (i.e. approximately 150,000 to 160,000) left the Kashmir Valley in 1990 as militancy engulfed the state. According to an estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits from the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir have been internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.
|Division||Population||% Muslim||% Hindu||% Sikh||% Buddhist and other|
|Jammu and Kashmir||10,143,700||66.97%||29.63%||2.03%||1.36%|
|Statistics calculated from the 2001 Census India District Profiles
There are roughly 1.5 million refugees from Indian Administered Kashmir in Pakistan Administered Kashmir and other parts of Pakistan. An estimated 50–100,000 Kashmiri Muslims and 150–300,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been internally displaced due to militancy.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the principal spoken languages are Kashmiri, Urdu, Dogri, Pahari, Balti, Ladakhi, Gojri, Shina and Pashto. However, Urdu written in the Persian script is the official language of the state. Many speakers of these languages use Hindi or English as a second language.
The Kashmir Valley is dominated by ethnic Kashmiris, who have largely driven the Azadi campaign. Non-Kashmiri Muslim ethnic groups (Paharis, Sheenas, Gujjars and Bakarwalas), who dominate areas along the Line of Control, have remained indifferent to the separatist campaign. Jammu province region has a 70:30 Hindu-Muslim ratio. Parts of the region were hit by militants, but violence has ebbed there, along with the Valley, after India and Pakistan started a peace process in 2004.
Dogras (67%) are the single largest group in the multi-ethnic region of Punjabis, Paharis, Bakerwals and Gujjars. Statehood is demanded in Hindu-dominated districts. Ladakh is the largest region in the state with over two hundred thousand people. Its two districts are Leh (77% Buddhist) and Kargil (80% Muslim population). Union territory status has been the key demand of Leh Buddhists for many years.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India which enjoys special autonomy under Article 370 of the Constitution of India, according to which no law enacted by the Parliament of India, except for those in the field of defence, communication and foreign policy, will be extendable in Jammu and Kashmir unless it is ratified by the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequently, jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India over Jammu and Kashmir has been extended.
Jammu and Kashmir is also the only Indian state that has its own official flag and constitution, and Indians from other states cannot purchase land or property in the state. Designed by the then ruling National Conference, the flag of Jammu and Kashmir features a plough on a red background symbolizing labour; it replaced the Maharaja's state flag. The three stripes represent the three distinct administrative divisions of the state, namely Jammu, Valley of Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Since 1990, the Armed Forces Act, which gives special powers to the Indian security forces, has been enforced in Jammu and Kashmir. The decision to invoke this act was criticized by the Human Rights Watch.
Like all the states of India, Jammu and Kashmir has a multi-party democratic system of governance with a bicameral legislature. At the time of drafting the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, 100 seats were earmarked for direct elections from territorial constituencies. Of these, 25 seats were reserved for the areas of Jammu and Kashmir State that came under Pakistani occupation; this was reduced to 24 after the 12th amendment of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir:
"The territory of the State shall comprise all the territories which on the fifteenth day of August 1947, were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the State" and Section 48 therein states that, "Notwithstanding anything contained in section 47, until the area of the State under the occupations of Pakistan ceases to so occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives (a) twenty-five seats in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total member-ship of the Assembly; and the said area shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial Constituencies Under Section 47".
After a delimitation in 1988, the total number of seats increased to 111, of which 87 were within Indian-administered territory. The Jammu & Kashmir Assembly is the only state in India to have a 6-year term, in contrast to the norm of a 5-year term followed in every other state's Assembly. There was indication from the previous INC Government to bring parity with the other states, but this does not seem to have received the required support to pass into law.
Influential political parties include the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (NC), the Indian National Congress (INC), the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other smaller regional parties. After dominating Kashmir's politics for years, the National Conference's influence waned in 2002, when INC and PDP formed a political alliance and rose to power. Under the power-sharing agreement, INC leader Ghulam Nabi Azad replaced PDP's Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in late 2005. However, in 2008, PDP withdrew its support from the government on the issue of temporary diversion of nearly 40 acres (16 ha) of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board. In the 2008 Kashmir Elections that were held from 17 November to 24 December, the National Conference party and the Congress party together won enough seats in the state assembly to form a ruling alliance.
Some Kashmiris, especially those residing in the Kashmir Valley, demand greater autonomy, sovereignty and even independence from India. Due to the economic integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India, separatist movements across the Kashmir Valley declined. However, following the unrest in 2008, which included more than 500,000 protesters at a rally on 18 August, secessionist movements gained a boost. A survey conducted by Chatham House found the majority of Kashmiri people were against independence, and support for independence was concentrated solely in the Kashmir Valley, with very little support in Jammu or Ladakh.
The 2009 edition of the Freedom in the World (report) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees rated Jammu and Kashmir as partly free, while in comparison Pakistan-administered Kashmir was rated to be not free.
Jammu and Kashmir's economy is predominantly dependent on agriculture and allied activities. The Kashmir valley is also known for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries. Wood from Kashmir is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow. Kashmiri saffron is also very famous and brings the state a handsome amount of foreign exchange. Agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, barley, cherries, corn, millet, oranges, rice, peaches, pears, saffron, sorghum, vegetables, and wheat, while manufactured exports include handicrafts, rugs, and shawls.
Horticulture plays a vital role in the economic development of the state. With an annual turnover of over Rs. 300 crore, apart from foreign exchange of over Rs. 80 crore, this sector is the next biggest source of income in the state’s economy. The region of Kashmir is known for its horticulture industry and is the wealthiest region in the state. Horticultural produce from the state includes apples, apricots, cherries, pears, plums, almonds and walnuts.
The Doda district has deposits of high-grade sapphire. Though small, the manufacturing and services sector is growing rapidly, especially in the Jammu division. In recent years, several consumer goods companies have opened manufacturing units in the region. The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has identified several industrial sectors which can attract investment in the state, and accordingly, it is working with the union and the state government to set up industrial parks and special economic zones. In the fiscal year 2005–06, exports from the state amounted to Rs. 1,150 crore. However, industrial development in the state faces several major constraints including extreme mountainous landscape and power shortage. The Jammu & Kashmir Bank, which is listed as a S&P CNX 500 conglomerate, is based in the state. It reported a net profit of Rs. 598 million in 2008.
The Government of India has been keen to economically integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. The state is one of the largest recipients of grants from New Delhi, totaling US$812 million per year. It also has a mere 4% incidence of poverty, one of the lowest in the country.
In an attempt to improve the infrastructure in the state, Indian Railways is constructing the ambitious Kashmir Railway project at a cost of more than US$2.5 billion. Trains run on the 119 km Baramula-Qazigund section. The 17.5 km Qazigund-Banihal section through the 11 km long Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel has been constructed. Udhampur-Katra section may be ready in 2013. The Katra-Banihal section is under construction. The route crosses major earthquake zones, and is subjected to extreme temperatures of cold and heat, as well as inhospitable terrain, making it an extremely challenging engineering project. It is expected to increase tourism and travel to Kashmir. Three other railway lines, the Bilaspur–Mandi–Leh railway, Srinagar-Kargil-Leh railway and the Jammu-Poonch railway have been proposed.
|Year||State's Gross Domestic Product (in million INR)|
Before the insurgency intensified in 1989, tourism formed an important part of the Kashmiri economy. The tourism economy in the Kashmir valley was worst hit. However, the holy shrines of Jammu and the Buddhist monasteries of Ladakh continue to remain popular pilgrimage and tourism destinations. Every year, thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrines of Vaishno Devi and Amarnath, which has had significant impact on the state's economy. It was estimated in 2007 that the Vaishno Devi yatra contributed Rs.4.75 billion to the local economy annually a few years ago. The contribution would be much more now as the numbers of visitors have increased considerably. Foreign tourists have been slower to return. The British government still advises against all travel to Jammu and Kashmir with the exception of the cities of Jammu and Srinagar, travel between these two cities on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, and the region of Ladakh.
Tourism in the Kashmir valley has rebounded in recent years, and in 2009, the state became one of the top tourist destinations of India. Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is also home to the world's highest green golf course. However, the decrease in violence in the state has boosted the state's economy and tourism. It was reported that more than a million tourists visited Kashmir in 2011.
Ladakh is famous for its unique Indo-Tibetan culture. Chanting in Sanskrit and Tibetan language forms an integral part of Ladakh's Buddhist lifestyle. Annual masked dance festivals, weaving and archery are an important part of traditional life in Ladakh. Ladakhi food has much in common with Tibetan food, the most prominent foods being thukpa, noodle soup; and tsampa, known in Ladakhi as Ngampe, roasted barley flour. Typical garb includes gonchas of velvet, elaborately embroidered waistcoats and boots, and gonads or hats. People adorned with gold and silver ornaments and turquoise headgears throng the streets during various Ladakhi festivals.
The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir Valley, performed by men of the Wattal region. The women perform the Rouff, another traditional folk dance. Kashmir has been noted for its fine arts for centuries, including poetry and handicrafts. Shikaras, traditional small wooden boats, and houseboats are a common feature in various lakes and rivers across the Valley.
The Constitution of India does not allow people from regions other than Jammu and Kashmir to purchase land in the state. As a consequence, houseboats became popular among those who were unable to purchase land in the Valley and has now become an integral part of the Kashmiri lifestyle.
Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is consumed all through the day in the chilly winter climate of Kashmir. Most of the buildings in the Valley and Ladakh are made from softwood and are influenced by Indian, Tibetan, and Islamic architecture.
Jammu's Dogra culture and tradition is very similar to that of neighbouring Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Traditional Punjabi festivals such as Lohri and Vaisakhi are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm throughout the region, along with Accession Day, an annual holiday which commemorates the accession of Jammu & Kashmir to the Dominion of India. After Dogras, Gujjars form the second-largest ethnic group in Jammu. Known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle, Gujjars are also found in large numbers in the Kashmir Valley. Similar to Gujjars, Gaddis are primarily herdsmen who hail from the Chamba region in Himachal Pradesh. Gaddis are generally associated with emotive music played on the flute. The Bakkarwalas found both in Jammu and the Vale of Kashmir are wholly nomadic pastoral people who move along the Himalayan slopes in search for pastures for their huge flocks of goats and sheep.
In 1970, the state government of Jammu and Kashmir established its own education board and university. Education in the state is divided into primary, middle, high secondary, college and university level. Jammu and Kashmir follows the 10+2 pattern for education of children. This is handled by Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education (abbreviated as JKBOSE). Various private and public schools are recognized by the board to impart education to students. Board examinations are conducted for students in class VIII, X and XII. In addition there are various Kendriya Vidyalayas (run by the Government of India) and Indian Army schools that also impart secondary school education. These schools follow the Central Board of Secondary Education pattern.
Notable higher education or research institutes in Jammu and Kashmir include Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Soura Srinagar, National Institute of Technology Srinagar, Government College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu and the Government Medical College of Jammu. University-level education is provided by University of Jammu, University of Kashmir, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Islamic University of Science & Technology, Baba Ghulam Shah Badhshah University, Institution of Technicians and Engineers (Kashmir), and Government Degree College Kathua.
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jammu and Kashmir|
|Azad Kashmir||Aksai Chin|
| Punjab (Pakistan)
|Himachal Pradesh||Tibet Autonomous Region, China|
Here you can share your comments or contribute with more information, content, resources or links about this topic.