Since the Lok Sabha elections campaign, the debate about Article 370 is on conflagration especially after Narendra Modi’s rally in Jammu. During one of his rallies, he sought ‘at least a debate’ on Article 370 (that grants special status to J&K) and assured the people that his party would transform the ‘separate state’ into a ‘super state’.
Why J&K has Article 370?
Kashmiris have been living with sense of fear of foreign invasion since the Mughal Emperor. Kashmiri culture is limited to this bantam valley and it’s not spread across the length-breadth of India like Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi etc. Because of atrocities on them by the Mughals, Kashmiri cultural & linguistic identity was under constant threat. When Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India in 1947 so as to protect his people’s linguistic and cultural identity, which was not in large number, Article 370 was taken into consideration. This gave J&K a special state and thus a tool to protect their cultural and linguistic identity.
Is Article 370 relevant in today’s scenario?
As I explained earlier, Article 370 is to protect linguistic and cultural identity. Now it is rather confusing to understand who could be the future foreign invaders. If prominent Kashmiri Muslim journalists think of the invasion of Kashmir by the Mughals “again”, may be that is the reason why they want to retain Article 370. If this is true, then I would like to hail them for their journalism degree and their cerebral power. If they want to protect Kashmiri culture, why should we not protect other cultures? Punjabis, who are large in numbers, should also be protected by us and we need to help them to grow exponentially. Same for others also, isn’t it?
In short, Article 370 is an impediment to J&K’s economic and social integration not only with the rest of India but the entire world. It must abrogate.
What is the politics behind Article 370?
J&K is the only Muslim majority state in India. So, to secure the Muslim vote bank, political parties with the help of their stooges, the so called “senior journalists” have been trying to convolute the topic though their pernicious lies via TV debates and articles. They publish their articles as gospels without writing even once a tangible fact about Article 370 in it. They always try to give an “emotional” and “azadi” angle to it; especially the Kashmiri Muslims journalists. What kind of azadi? I am still unable to understand the word “azadi”.
What if we completely abrogate it? Nothing will happen. In fact, J&K would be much safer and secure. Article 370 is in place since Independence and how much economic growth J&K has attained? We should ask this question to all those who are molly-coddling with Article 370.
These fringe elements in the valley are crystal clear with their mission and they never hesitate to hide it. Their anti-India activities are quite evident. Earlier, they used to get the support of National Conference and now of PDP. One MLA, Er Rashid even demanded apologies for asking Kashmiri Pandits to leave the valley under worst circumstances. But I haven’t seen similar admonition for Er Rashid as they showed for Sanjay Raut’s statement (where he demanded revocation of voting rights of Muslims). I am against Raut’s statement too but why to dredge up only his statement and highlight a one-sided story? Reticence of media about Er Rashid has bolstered the confidence of such fringe elements in the valley.
I agree, Masarat Alam got national coverage but what about those politicians, like of Er Rashid, who are doing their ground work for the next ‘Masarat Alam’. Will media show them in limelight or their indignation demur to only one side of fringe elements?
Again, I want to go back to Article 370. The Prominent leader Dr Ambedkar was also against it. He said: “To give the consent to this proposal, would be a treacherous thing against the interests of India and I, as Law Minister of India will never do it.”
And Jagmohan who was Governor of J&K during the peak terrorism, was very veracious and quite familiar with J&K, wrote an open letter to Rajiv Gandhi: “Article 370 is nothing but a breeding ground for the parasites at the heart of the paradise. It skins the poor. It deceives them with its mirage. It lines the pockets of the “power elites.”
But as I said, “senior journalists” ramble with the topic through their articles; in the same vein Mani Shankar Ayer wrote an article in which he tried his best to portray Jagmohan as anti-Muslim and blamed him for Kashmiri Pandits’ exile. He wrote anarticle as a gospel without mentioning even once about Jagmohan’s open letter, where Jagmohan wrote about Rajiv Gandhi’s failure and his ignorance about the constant perils of warning and reminder, given by Jagmohan about the situation of Kashmir in 1990.
Read here: An open letter to Rajiv Gandhi
In one of my articles I wrote a rejoinder to Mani Shankar Ayer’s brother Swaminathan S Anklesaria Ayer’s blog. His brother’s blog was again a one-sided story.
I have tried to cover the recent one-sided story of journalists about Kashmir. There are many such stories, articles, blogs and TV reports.
So it’s the blend of Separatists’ propaganda, some sections of the media and politicians. They never publish the facts and always highlight one-side of stories about J&K. This is really a sad state of affair about the valley which once famous for Bollywood and cinematic amalgamation of emotions was swayed by its beauty and now it is swayed by sheer propaganda.