Flowers More colourful in Kashmir now
I could not resist myself from expressing my happiness over the historic J&K Reorganisation Bill, 2019. The whole India is celebrating it at every nook and cranny of every village and town. I can say this historic decision was long overdue. In this perspective, one must remember the sacrifice of Rashtra Rishi Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who fought and died for the cause of Kashmir and abrogation of Article 370. Today, Abdullahs and Muftis are shouting from their rooftops that they did not expect this in Bharat. Have they forgotten the history as to how the voice of Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister, was suppressed by the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru? Furthermore, Jammu and Ladakh regions were intentionally not provided any facility or infrastructure for development of agriculture, industry and education. But Abdullahs, Muftis and the secular brigade always maintained a studied silence. Huge amount of money was pumped in from the treasury of India, but all went down the drain. And the separatists enjoyed biriyani all these years and were instrumental in the growth of Pak-sponsored terrorism. Merely shedding crocodile’s tears for separatists and disgruntled politicians is not going to help. This kind of diplomacy in Kashmir has failed for the last over 70 years. Now the secular brigade is beating its chest over the abrogation of Article 370. However, nobody protested when Goa was annexed by sending the army, though without shedding any blood. What about Sikkim? It became part of India in 1975 when Congress was in power. True, August 5 is a sad day for Kashmir apologists–the five-star variety, which appears on TV channels. I am sure, J&K, one of the most backward states in India, will now get big economic boost. One expects now the tulips of Kashmir, the roses of the Valley and the beautiful Dal Lake would be more magnificent. The sounds of guns would be silent slowly in the Valley.
In fact, what was always termed as a “temporary” measure–Article 370–was stealthily included in the Indian Constitution, because Dr B.R. Ambedkar refused to support this and the first Prime Minister of India asked another gentleman N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar to draft this in order to please the then CM of J&K Sheikh Abdullah. Dr Ambedkar differed with Sheikh Abdullah on the very rationale of this Article of the Indian Constitution. Now, those who are opposing the revocation of Article 370, such as Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and others, should not forget that the Governor is the present government of J&K, entrusted with the responsibility of governing and recommending to the Centre what needs to be done in the overall internal security scenario. It should not be anyone’s case that the Governor should helplessly watch with folded hands the goings on, on a daily basis, which adversely affects personal safety and lives of its citizens within the geographical jurisdiction of the state, facilitated by a defective, and temporary Article, which sneaked into the Indian Constitution due to the political expediency of some people at the helm of affairs, after a bitter and bloody Partition in the wake of India’s freedom. Everyone, irrespective of ideological likes and dislikes, who wants a peaceful and developed J&K with no inimical forces from within and outside, tampering the ordinary business of life of our people indefinitely, should welcome the scrapping of the discriminatory Article 370. Against this backdrop, it is heartening to note that many prominent faces of Congress party including Janardhan Dwivedi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Deepender Hooda, Jiten Prasad, Milind Deora have expressed their solidarity with this latest move by the Centre. Having said all this, it is apt to say that if India has to wait for “concurrence”/”consensus” from people of J&K, existence of Article 370 would negate its very basic character of “temporary”/”transient”. It’s already 72 years. Therefore, the Congress must either admit that it didn’t do anything during its regime to politically engage with people to resolve the issue or such engagements proved futile. Under both scenarios, obvious fallout is to scrap the obnoxious provision that runs counter to the fundamental principles of equality and secularism, besides, the compelling need to protect our borders more tightly in the light of annoying developments in our west from the nexus of ISIS/Taliban/Pakis. Hence, the government of the day has rightly put a full stop on speculation on solutions and opened a window of opportunity for infrastructural, agricultural and educational development of J&K and Ladakh.
By Deepak Kumar Rath