Majority of Jammuites are of the opinion that abrogation of Article 370 is not being taken to its logical conclusion. In this framework, Jammu is still a slave and hostage to the hegemony of Kashmir. BJP Government’s much boasted step was nothing less than political sloganeering otherwise also we lost much and gained less.
Advocate Sushant Samnotra, former Treasurer, J&K High Court Bar Association: On August 5, 2019, the BJP led NDA Government scrapped Article 370 and Article 35-A with much fanfair without creating congenial atmosphere involving different sections of the society through debates and discussions much-less the political leadership of the erstwhile State in the process. They claimed from the house-tops that all problems including terrorism, unemployment, nepotism, corruption, separatism and favouritism will wither away with the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35-A, what they described as unprecedented step purportedly mentioned in BJP’s election manifesto claiming that the slogan of ‘Ek Vidhan, Ek Pradhan, Ek Nishan’.As far as Article 370 of the Constitution of India is concerned, it was there purportedly to protect the Special Status as well as autonomy of the erstwhile State.It is pertinent to mention here that with the passage of time Article 370 was losing its teeth. The then Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s words are too clear an indication towards the potency of Article 370. He in an unambiguous terms announced many years back that Article 370 ‘Ghiste Ghiste Ghis Jayega’.In this scenario, BJP Government’s much boasted step was nothing less than political sloganeering, otherwise also we lost much and gained less.What was left in the Article 370 after the abolition of institution of Sadr-e-Riyasat and Prime Minister and their replacement by Governor and Chief Minister and the extension of the jurisdiction of the Election Commission and the Supreme Court in the context of India. Moreover, Article 370 virtually lost its identity when permit system of arrival was abolished.Pertinently all these steps were taken when the Congress and not the BJP was holding the reins of power in the Centre and National Conference in the J&K State.Especially when all this happened neither the popular government was dismissed, assembly was dissolved nor for that purpose entire political leadership including 3 former CMs were put behind the bars under draconian Preventive Detention Laws nor political process was banned nor people were confined within their houses under undeclared curfew and undeclared suspension of Fundamental Rights including the Right of Speech & Expression.
Advocate Ankur Sharma, Chairman IkkJutt Jammu: Articles 370 and 35A legally ensured that Indian Constitution would not apply to a Muslim Majority State. The idea behind the Article was communal. Its abrogation is something Jammu fought for and 5th August, 2019 was a day of victory for all Indians who believe in the Constitution of India.However, post abrogation, the Union Government is ironically following the same Nehruvian Policy Paradigm of the last 70 years. Consequentially, the abrogation is not being taken to its logical conclusion. In the paradigmal policy framework, Jammu is still a slave and hostage to the hegemony of Kashmir.Discrimination with Jammu in matters of Public Employment and Development is still a reality. Demographic Invasion of Jammu is going on unabated. Effective steps are being taken by the Government for further disempowering Jammu Politically.Conducting delimitation on the basis of fraud, fudged and anti-Jammu Census 2011 is a case in point. The ongoing Delimitation will enslave Jammu again for the next at least fifteen years.
Vijay Koul, a retired J&K government employee said, “Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A was a strong and historic step taken with a hope that a new era of development will usher in J&K Union Territory and it was welcomed by one and all. But as time passed, it became imminent that people of Jammu Province were at the same place where they were before 5th August, 2019. On ground level, the changes and development is zero. People feel befooled and believe they have been given broken promises, false hopes, unemployment, financial mess and it seems that they may lose their identity and culture in near future if the situation and attitude of leaders and centre remains same. We are feeling helpless as our demands and issues are not even being considered. There is no benefit to Jammuites after August 5, 2019. It’s another failure.”
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