LOOKING BACK AT SELF-DETERMINATION: TO APPLY OR NOT TO APPLY IN KASHMIR

AuthorAnupama Ghosal,Shouvik Kr. Guha
Publication Date01 June 2012
DOI10.1177/0973598412110002
Date01 June 2012
SubjectArticle
LOOKING
BACK AT
SELF-DETERMINATION:
To
APPLY
OR
NOT
TO
APPLY
IN
KAsHMIR
ANUPAMA
GHOSAL
Assistaut
Professor
of
Political
Science
and
Intemationnl
Relatio
ns
,
School
of
Socinl
Sci
ences,
W
est
Bettgal
National
University of
Juridical
Sciences,
Kolkata
e.1nail:
anupama
ghosal
anupama151@gmail.com
SHouviK
KR.
GuHA
Research
Assistmrt
West
Be
ngal
National
Utziver
s
itt;
of
Juridical
Sci
e1ues,
Kolka
fa
Introduction
'The
more
I think about
the
President's declaration
as
to
th
e right of
"self-determination, "the
more
convinced I
am
of
the
danger
of ...
such
ideas
...
The
phrase
is
simply
loaded
with dynamite.
It
will
raise
hop
es
which
can
never
be
realized.
It
will, I
fea
r,
cost thousands of lives
....
What a calamity that
the
phrase
was
ever uttered!
What misery it will cause!'1
The origin of s If-determination as a decisive concept
within
the
skeleton
of
global politics
can
be
traced
to the religious
philos
ophies
widespread
during
the
Enlightenment
period
and
were
subsequently
carried
forward
by
the
Jacobin
group
in
the
eighteenth
and
nineteenth
centuries
as a
code
for
worldwide
consumption.
Almost
instantaneously
it
was
translated into
th
e
political
dominion
as
it
had
happened
to become the raison d'etre
of
th
e
dictum
which envisioned the political
and
the
national
unit
as perfectly
harmonized
(Koskenneimi 199
4:
242). The
same
prov
ed to
be
the
bulwark
and,
in the
st
rict sense of the term,
the foundational pillar for the legal theory of self determination,
as recognised by the United
Nations
and
almost
unanimously
1 Robert Lansing, The Former Secretary of State USA, procl
aimed
his
fears
on December 30, 1918 in a r
es
pon
se
to Pres
ident
Wi
lson's articu lation of the
principl e of self-determination. C.f. Porter 2003: 345 .
12
}ADAVPUR
JouRNAL
OF
lN1ERNATIONAL
RELATIONS
applied
by
nation
states
across
the
·v.rorld. Originally,
the
concept
was
intended
to
provide
a
launching
pad
from
which
minority
groups
could
begin
their
struggle
for
continuing
diversity,
sometimes
in
conjunction
with
the
unified
state
within
which
they
reside
and
at
other
times
independent
of
such
state.
Nonetheless
it
is
significant
to
point
out
that
from
its
very
commencement
the
notion
was
shrouded
in
ambiguity
and
cloaked
in
indecision.
Perhaps
that
remains
one
of
the
chief
reasons
why
any
modern
state
is
yet
to
acknowledge
the
right
to
self-determination
for
a
recognized
group
within
its
own
domain,
despite
all
the
prevailing
rhetoric
(Halberstam
1994: 575).
On
occasions,
fingers
have
been
pointed
towards
the
principled
rationale
behind
the
concept,
whereas
on
other
occasions,
several
implementation
-
related
questions
were
posed
and
did
not
obtain
agreeable
vindications
either.
Su~h
was
the
cynicism
and
disparagement
contiguous
to
it
that, critics
even
went
to
the
level
of
posing
the
question
as
to
whether
self-determination
was
at
all a
right
granted
to a
cogent
group
of
minorities
or
people
hailing
from
an
indigenous
heritage
that
would
enable
them
to
shape
their
own
fate,
or
whether
the
concept
had
simply
been
abridged
to
the
plane
of
meagre
doublespeak.
The
right
. to
self-determination
of
the
Kashmiri
people
has
for
long
been
a
thorny
issue
in
international
politics.
Not
only
is
it
a
concern
where
self-detern\ination
can
be
examined
on
principle
but
it
also
goes
a
long
way
towards
providing
a
disquieting
insight
into
the
international
implications
which
.
self-determination
by
a
parti'cular
commune
may
have
and
the
ripples
which
it
may
create
as
far
as
international
and
intra-national
relations
are
concerned.
The
latter
assumes
particular
significance
considering
that
the
dynamics
of
problems
involving
self-determination
are
often
inextricably
linked
with
the
complexities
of
international
relations
and
not
merely
confined
within
the
realms
of
the
black
letters
of
international
law. Geo-political,
strategic
and
cross-
border
relations
therefore
often
play
pivotarroles
in
undoing
the
Gordian
knots
that
such
problems
tend
to '
present.
An
analysis
of
The
Principle
of
Self-Determination
and
various
interpretations
thereof
The
right
to
self-determination
has
had
a
checkered
history.

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