PM Modi government's move on Article 370 to render it inconsequential is step in the right direction. It is correcting the historical betreyal which will benefit the people of the state and the country.
- Shshank Saurav
5th August 2019 marked a historic event in the Indian history when Indian government decided to scrap the special status given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Government went a step further and portioned J&K into two union territories.
Some liberal voices have raised concern over the dramatic event which unfolded on Monday. However they are conveniently skipping various questions which needs to be answered on behalf of the people of J&K for getting a holistic picture about the state and its problems. There is no second thought that insertion of Article 35A into the Indian constitution was a betrayal at the insistence of Jawaharlal Nehru. Similarly Article 370 was included in the constitution after ignoring the concerns raised by prominent leaders like Dr. Ambedkar and Sardar Patel. These were temporary provisions in the constitution and therefore sooner or later it had to go.
The prominent question is who all benefitted the most due to the special status granted to J&K. Certainly it were not the Kashmiri people because these special provisions created a fake sense of superiority among people from valley which resulted into their alienation. Interest of the people from valley was always given preference over Jammu and Ladakh region. It were the politicians from valley who benefitted and reaped the unlawful & unethical gains at the cost of common man. Kashmiri leaders always got the bounty sent from Delhi.
Hard liners from the valley were living under the illusion that they can bring Delhi on its knees whenever they want. More or less true till now and indecisive attitude of successive governments in Delhi emboldened the separatists.
Article 35A was against the spirit of constitution because it discriminated against minority, SC/ST and women. Hindu community which was a majority in the state was never given the benefits available to minorities in other state due to dishonesty of politicians from valley. Reservation benefits granted to scheduled caste were not applicable in the state of J&K and surprisingly all those parties who give slogan of “Jai Bheem – Jai Meem” never spoke for our SC/ST brethren in a Muslim majority state. Lakhs of people who migrated from Pakistan are still waiting for their Kashmiri citizenship because of local laws. Most of this migrated population consists of people belonging from SC/ST community. A Kashmiri women if married to a non Kashmiri had to lose the right to property but women right activists chided to remain silent over this gross injustice.
The politicians wanted the youth of J&K to remain in silos. They put stones in the hands of youth while their own children were making career outside India. A fight which was started in the name of freedom got converted into a fight of Islam and a common Kashmiri became the victim of Pakistan sponsored terrorism. Such a vicious atmosphere was created in the state that at times it became difficult to differentiate between a separatist and a political voice. Peace process announced by the separatists were used to arm themselves and regain their strength while Delhi appeared helpless due to appeasement politics and vote bank considerations. Politicians kept on blaming Delhi for all their misdeeds but never tried to find out the solutions to the problems faced by aspirational youth of the state. They wanted the constitutional provisions to be sacrosanct without caring for the fact that it is a hinderance to the economic development of the state because no outsider can acquire property there.
A Himalayan blunder committed seven decades ago couldn’t have been handled with a kids glove. Those who talk about Kashmiriyat must remember that it died in the winter of 1990 when Kashmiri Hindus were driven out of the state by militants at the behest of religious fanatics. Now we can expect that all the three regions of J&K will prosper together and people from the state will become part of national mainstream. PM Modi and his team should be praised for taking this courageous step towards unification of the country.