Kashmir in Lockdown: Modi government scraps Article 370

The entire state is under lockdown and the BJP government decides the future of the State without reading the hearts and minds of Kashmiris.
Kulgam gunfight
Picture Credit @TheKashmirPress

August 5: The Narendra Modi led NDA government, through a presidential decree, has scrapped Article 370, which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, after imposing massive security restrictions. The elected government acted in an irresponsible manner by scrapping Article 370 without consulting the constituent assembly and the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, masterminded by Home Minister Amit Shah has been implemented forcefully in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday proposed to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir ceases to exist, as now the Jammu and Kashmir will be regarded as a Union Territory with Legislature. On the other hand, Ladakh – which was a part of the J&K state – will now be a Union Territory without Legislature. Rajya Sabha passed Bill to reogranise Jammu and Kashmir. 125 votes in favour, 61 against and 1 member abstained.

Government brings a bill and pass in a few hours to change the status of a State to a Union Territory, The BJP is boasting about achieving a historical thing. Is degrading the status of State to a UT is considered an historic achievement?

Trouble is taking up Reorganization Bill without consulting assembly.The hasty and ill-conceived decision may have far reaching implications. As the decision has been militarily imposed and implemented on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The architect of the entire programme is self indicated and it was performed secretly and announced suddenly after keeping the stakeholders (political leaders, the people of the state and India at large) under control, with a sole objective of changing the demography of the state.

When there were talks about assembly elections schedule for Jammu and Kashmir  to be declared, Modi government  was aware that the people of the state are not in favour of saffron party as since 2015 they have created mayhem in the state and for the first time in the history of India, 2% voting was recorded in Panchayat elections.

This is the reason the Modi-Shah duo acted in a secret manner and the exercise started since long back as the ground was being readied with statements from different institutions.

The People of the state will lose their land and employment as the special status is abrogated.

The special status still applies to eight states of India including those in Nagaland, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Mizoram.

Why Modi and Amit Shah selected the sensitive state of Jammu and Kashmir.

To Change the very demographics: Saabka Saath is a hollow slogan, entire India has been witnessing the lynchings of Dalits, Muslims and minorities on the pretext of cow slaughter, child lifting etc.

The Modi led government has been claiming of integration of India, which in fact has seen the most communally divided society in the country since 2014 under Modi’s rule as Dalits, Muslims and Christians are being targeted.

Home Minister Amit Shah told parliament that president Ram Math Kovind has signed a decree abolishing Article 370 of the constitution that gave special autonomy to the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

Shah said the government also decided to split the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be ruled directly by the central government without a legislature of its own.

  • Major changes in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Centre Laws will be applied in Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • No separate laws for J&K.
  • Indian citizens from other states can buy land and property.
  • No two flags.
  • Centre can declare financial emergency.
  • The Kashmiris poor asking for more autonomy, are now stripped of the little autonomy they enjoyed.
  • For bypassing the constituent assembly.

Ram Nath Kovind today issued a proclamation that since constituent assembly no longer remains, so Jammu and Kashmir Assembly would mean same. Since there is no Jammu and Kashmir Assembly as of today, hence all powers of the state assembly reside in two Houses of Parliament. Hence, annulling Article 370 can be done with concurrence of simple majority of both houses of Parliament.

Political parties questioned the government of creating another Palestine as the people of Jammu and Kashmir were not consulted and therefore the Indian Constitution has not been followed. 

Historian Ramachandra Guha likened the current President’s move to one of his predecessor’s — that of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. “President Kovind does a Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed,” Guha tweeted.

Since 2015, the violence in the state increased and pellet guns blinded stone pelters. The protesters were tackled militarily and the Kashmiri youth have been alienated by the masculine policy of the BJP.

The ground was laid much before:

The BJP ruled the state of Jammu and Kashmir in coalition with PDP and the government collapsed with the BJP pulled out of its alliance to install the governor’s rule. The BJP won 25 seats and the PDP 28 in the 87-member assembly and came together in alliance, two months after the December 2014 elections. The NC has 15 seats, the Congress 12 and others seven.

After winning the 2019 Lok Sabha elections  through EVM, BJP passed three bills — the RTI (Amendment) Bill 2019, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019 and amendments to Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that will label an individual as terrorist.

The main objective of the government is to contain violence and for the communication grid has been shut down, internet closed and heavy security has been deployed and no news of terrorist killed or how many persons taken into custody is being reported. 

Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt General K.J.S. Dhillon said on August 2, that eighty-three percent of local youth who picked up weapons in the Kashmir Valley had a history of stone-pelting.

Time will tell how the decision of dismembering the state into two will unfold but the internal conflicts should be resolved with negotiations (stakeholders) or lending a hand of friendship and not by masculine method.  The entire state is under lockdown and the BJP government decides the future of the State without reading the hearts and minds of Kashmiris.

By Arti Bali

Sr Jounalist 

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