Sunday, July 22, 2018
 News Details
Mehbooba ‘ Fulminates ‘

By B L Saraf

While defending Article 35 A of the Indian Constitution , CM Mehbooba Mufti warned in a seminar “ Understanding Kashmir “ , organized in New Delhi by the Bureau of Research on Industry & Economic Fundamentals ( BRIEF ) : “ Any tinkering with Article 35 A won’t be acceptable . I won’t hesitate in saying that no body will even carry corpse of National Flag in Kashmir if Article 35A is scrapped . Let one make it very clear .”

Desirably , the statement should have been couched in a better phraseology . Nonetheless , in spirit , it sounds unexceptional . She is right in saying that abrogation of Article will not affect the separatist because they never believed in the Indian Constitution . “ It will weaken the nationalist forces in Kashmir like her who have accepted India”.

Undoubtedly , Kashmir has acceded to India, in 1947 , as other states did . But it is the burden of history that J&K’s de-facto relation with the Union was founded on a principle that State will enjoy certain degree of autonomy within the Indian Union . Articles 370 and 35 A are indicative of that arrangement . Of late , they have come under a renewed judicial challenge , though political assault on them had never abated . It is moot whether the latest judicial challenge would survive , given the fact that Constitutionality of these special provisions has received Judicial imprimatur from the highest Court of the land long back , with latest reiteration thereof in the SARFASI case .

What Mebooba Mufti has said is statement of the fact . Agenda of Alliance - corner stone of PDP / BJP sate government - should support her contention . There is impending need to guard whatever is left of the State’s autonomy . More federating States demand some amount of autonomy and devolution of powers to run their affairs . In face of Article 371 ( guaranteeing certain special consideration to the North –Eastern States ) how come the preceding Art 370 has turned a villain . ‘ Super integrationist ‘ argue that J &K has derived no tangible benefit from this special provision . The must know that in political arena everything is not weighed in tangible terms . This Constitutional provision is aimed at emotional and psychological feelings of a large section of the State’s population and cares for their sensitivities . It acts as solemn guarantee that J&K is not totally lost in the vast Indian landscape . Well , the point can be debated another time . But one thing is certain that given the geopolitical nature of the issue and circumstances in which J &K acceded to India merit in having this Article in the Union Constitution far outweigh its deletion .

We hope the issue is will be debated in the Court in its entirety , shorn off emotional and hyper – nationalistic ranting.

We wonder what the “ hyper – nationalist “ have to say to the Karnataka Chief Minister who is on rampage to erase all signs of Indian nationhood visible , in the shape of Hindi language , on the Central Government institutions in his state . Sidaramaiah wants a separate Flag for Karnataka . He didn’t stop at there : he is on a pernicious path to vivisect Hindu religion by instigating the dominant Lingayat – Veershiav community to break away from the its fold .

Observers feel this is ploy employed by the Congress to retain Karnataka in the coming Assembly elections . Why is BJP silent on this ‘ blasphemy ‘ which otherwise jumps to denounce even an innocuous statement from a person whom they call as anti-nationalist ? Is this Party also in election mode and is busy in permutation and calculation game . Has election calculus become more important to the Party than the love for nation. ? There is a lesson for the foot soldiers of B JP in Kashmir .
It must be made clear to everyone - more so to the Kashmiri Pandits some of whom seem to have sold soul to the Party - that BJP ,like any other political party , is inalienably wedded to the desire of state power . If fulfillment of the desire dictates opportunism it will not hesitate to indulge in . We have seen it in the period 1998 to 2004 when , in order to have power and retain it , BJP , conveniently , forgot Art 370 , Ram Janam Bhumi and everything that once constituted its ‘ core agenda ‘ . So no one should take BJP’s rant seriously that “ Special status of J&K is not a holy cow which can not to be touched .”

No one can fault Pandit community for having love and preferences for the Indian nation . Understandably , it has an unbreakable cord with country’s civilization and the spiritual past . Make no mistake , without Indian presence it will be unthinkable for the miniscule minority like Kashmiri Hindus to live in the Valley . But that should not make the Community a pall – bearer of Indian state’s follies or excesses committed in the State . It will be highly inappropriate for the KP’s to turn apologists of so called nationalists in the mainland .

Congress Party took Pandits on a ride in Kashmir till 1989 , exploiting their preferences for India . While as the Party could manage a toe-hold for itself in the Valley , Pandits became politically poorer . After 1990 , BJP has replaced Congress to take Pandits on a garden path , with no improvement to the Community’s political fortune . Its aspirations remain unfulfilled . Rather than being used as a tool by the political parties , Pandits should remain alive to the duty they owe to their land of birth and the people residing there . Most of the issues that confront Kashmir can be sorted out if there is a unified inter – community initiative.

Being appreciative of each other’s sensitivities, often, works as a balm and helps reconciliation.

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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