Kashmir on cross roads

By Teja Singh. Dated: 9/20/2019 11:27:31 PM

Bhartiya Janta party succeeded in capturing political power in India which is the world's largest democracy. The major role in bringing this establishment in power was played by Rashtriya Sawayamsewak Sangh. Right from the beginning abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A was on the agenda of both the BJP it and RSS.
As the entire country and world at large has witnessed, within two months and few days of its second term in power, the present government imposed its agenda (and especially the agenda of RSS) by bulldozing the structure of Articles 370 and 35-A. In addition to the states demotion and its bifurcation into two union territories, every principle and constitutional protection given to the people of Jammu And Kashmir state at the time of its accession to India stands violated. By doing so, central government has made people of J&K State powerless in their own land. This has affected their psyche and they are under great shock.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was the foundation of the relationship of the people of the state with rest of the country. It has been abrogated without taking the people of the state into confidence and also by sidelining leadership of mainstream political parties with whom the ruling party in the centre has shared power in state and also in the Centre. It was well known that these political groups will not agree to the revocation of these articles and also never accepted to the proposal of its demotion and bifurcation.
On the other hand, the celebration of the demotion and bifurcation of the state by the ruling class at the national and international forums, at a time when the people are under virtual lockdown and do not have access to phones or information will certainly widen the gap between the people of Kashmir and rest of the nation.
It is worth mentioning that prior to accession with India, the State of Jammu & Kashmir was an Independent Muslim majority state ruled by a Hindu Ruler. The people of the State rejected the two-nation theory and consented to accession with secular and democratic India under the popular leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who is a signatory to the instrument of Accession. The people of India by and large are temperamentally secular, as they had been living since centuries in an atmosphere of tolerance despite different languages, cultures, regions and religions are living in communal harmony. It was this image of the secular India which attracted the people of J&K state to join Indian Union.
It is unfortunate to concede that there is no unity within the secular and democratic forces which is the need of the hour due to which our constitutional pledge of secular democracy is being damaged by communal forces.
I will not hesitate to mention that entire opposition has badly failed to play their role of Opposition. As in a democratic set up, it is the duty of the opposition to raise their voice against any kind of discrimination and injustice. Lastly, the attempt of various opposition leaders to visit Kashmir was a welcome step but unfortunately that too was aborted by government by pushing them back from Srinagar Airport. The official narrative is that normalcy is returning to the valley, but since last one month Section 144 and communication lockdown is still in place and near about one lakh troops are patrolling the streets, towns and villages. All the mainstream leaders are arrested or placed under house arrest.
Under these circumstances, it is necessary for the government to take immediate steps for bringing normalcy in the valley and also release the mainstream political leaders and also implement the developmental and other programs with regard to which an assurance was given to the people of the country on the floor of the house on 5 of Aug.
(The author is Advocate, J&K High Court Jammu.)



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