Ravinder JalaliRecent abrogation of redundant laws like Article 370 and Article 35 A, which had given special status to J&K , has not only opened the numerous vistas of possibilities in Indian politics but has also shown the world that India is in the category of superpower where it can shape its future and make correction over its past. Although the delay in the revocation of these Articles 370 and 35 A made things difficult but the present government did it, which proves once again that if there is political will and national resolve, nothing is impossible. For the last over more than three decades, Kashmir was becoming more and more vulnerable due to vehement propaganda by separatists as well as mainstream politicians in favour of separatist ideology. ISI as well as terrorists belonging to various ideologies were taking advantage of such articles as to make people believe in J&K particularly in Kashmir that Kashmir is different from India. This thought and ideas had been nurtured throughout the years by all the mainstream political parties and separatists which have helped them in making and strengthening its base in the valley. It was often not realised that, Article 370 had played no less a part in preventing J&K from becoming an integral part of the Indian Union. Not many people are aware as how and why this Article was formulated and included in the Indian Constitution despite grave misgivings of Sardar Patel and a large number of the members of Congress Working Committee and Constituent Assembly. Article 370 was worked out between Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of J&K by the Maharaja and Nehru, who kept the Kashmir portfolio with himself. It had been the biggest impediment to integration of J&K State into Indian Union. For the last 70 years, the issues of Kashmir consumed a good amount of Indian political energy. Now onwards India will not sort but develop the territory with oneness and more ever the Ladakh being now a Union Territory and a frontier will be directly under the control of Centre and can take decision at centre level without any hitch or hindrance from the J&K govt. Prime Minster made it clear from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day that if the Article 370 was more important, then why it was kept temporary for the last 70 years? The Government could have made amendments to constitution. It shows that Government was not interesting in solving the problem rather made it complex and complicated. The support from other political parties cutting across party lines was worth notable except Congress who, I think, stood too low just for the sake of opposition, which is detrimental to the congress in near future across India. The leader of opposition in Rajya Sbha virtually became an ordinary local leader from valley just to appease certain sections of society in Kashmir. Each political party in Pakistan was surviving on the basis of the Kashmir issue. Prime Minister of Pakistan in his Independence speech concentrated on Kashmir issue and India as if it was not Pakistan’s Independence Day. Obviously it is argued and wisely said that had the Kashmir affairs been handled by Sardar Patel there would have been no problem in Kashmir. Sardar Patel ,the Iron Man of India rightly credited with creating a unified India by integrating 565 princely states in it.- he would have included Kashmir also in it if allowed to do so. Unfortunately Sardar left this world in 1950 and the result is the present Kashmir imbroglio. Since then no sincere effort has been made to solve the problem, rather it has been manipulated and exploited to the hilt by the political parties with vested interests, successive governments at the centre as well as in the state has only taken shelter under the special provision and used and abused it. When ever it suited them they modified as per their choice and when ever they had to face the electorate they kept this special provision alive. With the present Government coming to power second time consecutively after keeping abrogation of article 370 on the top of agenda along with Article 35A, with in 70 days of formation of Government at the centre, these obsolete articles were repudiated. Otherwise also article 370 was a basic agenda of BJP ever since it came into existence. Although Article 370, included in the Constitution on a temporary provision should have been gradually abrogated but this has not happened in seventy years. In fact whenever someone mentions this, vested interests raise an outcry that legitimate rights of Kashmiri`s are being trampled upon. Under the garb of these laws, National Conference is wanted to return to pre-1953 status and of PDP it was self -rule. Others want independence from republic of India. When ever elections to state assembly or Lok Sabha takes place article 370 comes to life otherwise it is dead issue, rather it is a redundant issue. As a common man, people of J&K do not care much for this article and also it does not matter. It is only during election time it is making rounds and rounds and is made an emotional issue, other wise it has been milked and left now dry. First to use and abuse was NC and three generations of Abdullah’s are thriving on it. Then Muftis also discovered this instrument and started milking it. Mufti Sayed was a congress leader earlier and has been holding various important portfolios in the centre and did not discuss there but when it comes to state level as well as local politics, article 370 comes to a central stage. Article 370 had become a tag of emotional separatism that was deftly used by the regional parties in J&K for their own narrow ends. All the Kashmir-centric leaders across party lines have emotionally blackmailed people of Kashmir in the name of article 370. They have used it to create hatred among Kashmiri against India and Indians where as they have inched close to India and Indians. It’s a big move by the Indian government and India is ready to move ahead in this world with new status and dignity where India will not require any help to sort out its internal issues from the international body. India is changing for the better future. Home Minster Amit Shah has proved himself a new SARDAR who fitted into the realms of first Home Minster Sardaar Vallab Bhai Patel, Iron man of India, who was responsible for the total integration of our nation and whatever discrepancy and discrimination that had been prevaling since 1947 has been regularised and streamlined by Amit Shah.
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