The logical corollary of the abrogation is to rehabilitate the Kashmiri Hindus who were forcibly expelled from the valley.

 

The abrogation of the temporary Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, 67 years after its enactment is a most welcome development in Jammu and Kashmir. It should have happened long ago. Both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah deserve kudos for this historic step.

People like Professor Bal Raj Madhok had been raising the demand for its abrogation from the day it came into force. A lecturer in History in DAV College, Srinagar, he was the first Hindu to be externed from J&K by Sheikh Abdullah in 1948. After apprising Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru about Sheikh Abdullah’s role in J&K in March 1948, he raised the demand for its reorganisation into separate states of Jammu and Kashmir with Ladakh as a Union Territory.

The logical corollary of the abrogation is to rehabilitate the Kashmiri Hindus who were forcibly expelled from the valley, and who, given the Muslim character of the problem and unlike Rohingyas, could not find a place for themselves in their native land. This situation must change at the earliest.

This should be accompanied by granting separate statehood to Jammu. Since November 1947, Jammuites have been articulating this demand through Jammu Praja Parishad, Bharatiya Jan Sangh and Jammu Rajya Morcha. Even now there is a lot of unrest amongst them.

Meanwhile, the intransigence of the people in Kashmir valley proves that they are out to malign the Central government and thwart it from carrying out the post-abrogation administrative programme. First and foremost is the resettlement of Hindus, who were forcibly expelled from the valley by these very people who are now pretending to be living in abnormal conditions. After all, what is abnormal? The presence of force is not abnormal. If Government of India (GOI) wants, it is free to take harsh measures against this pampered lot who has no sensitivity towards their Hindu brethren.

The continued pretension about lack of normalcy in the valley—not reaching offices, not sending children to schools, not opening markets and trading activity—is nothing but a display of truant behaviour towards GOI. On the face of it, there is no rationale for this so-called lack of normalcy when there is total security and Pakistani agents are no longer roaming free. Then what is the issue? Their non-cooperation shows that they all are supporters of nabbed Pakistani agents or sympathisers of ISIS and its overground silent activists or jihadists. After all, what is preventing them from leading a normal life?

In this situation, Opposition, like the Left parties, particularly the CPM is adding fuel to the fire. Let us not forget that it was the CPI which had supported the demand for Partition. It is the Left that supports and promotes Naxals in the country. So what does it want in Kashmir? Does it want the jihadists to take control of the valley and the adjoining areas and don’t let anybody survive. Have they forgotten what their communist masters did or are doing in Chechnya and Xinjiang? So what is it that they are crying hoarse about?

And why is judiciary supporting them? About a decade ago, Prof Madhok had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court to revoke Article 370, calling it anti-national. The judge concerned had refused even to entertain the petition and did not allow him to make a plea. The same court is now serving notice to GOI to check if the abrogation is unconstitutional. In fact, adding such an Article to the Constitution for a state whose princely ruler had made a “full, final and irrevocable merger with the Union of India” was unconstitutional. Dr Ambedkar had himself told Prof Madhok that he had refused to add such an Article but later Krishnaswamy Ayyangar had interpolated this into the Constitution. In fact its continuation for 67 years from 1952 to 5 August 2019 was unconstitutional. Its abrogation by Parliament through a Presidential order is well within the Constitution of India. Prof Madhok had been repeatedly writing about this method of its abrogation in his book and articles on Kashmir.

After all, Constitution is meant for upholding the unity and integrity of the nation. Abraham Lincoln fought a civil war to uphold the unity of the US against the Constitutional right of the southern American states to secede. He believed that Constitution is for the nation and not the nation for the Constitution. We Indians have been fighting a three-decade-long proxy war perpetrated by Pakistan along the LOC. Today the entire Indian nation is standing for the human rights of peace loving communities who are victims of terrorism and are at a demographic loss. Against their plight, the rights of local politicians supporting anti-India elements in the valley and now detained in palatial guest houses have no meaning. They must first answer as to why there were no human rights considerations for Dr Syama Prasad Mookerji who was medically murdered in Sheikh Abdullah’s custody?

Special packages for Jammu and Kashmir only pamper the Kashmiri Muslims from the valley and make them all the more truant. These packages must be accompanied with a well-defined code of conduct for citizens of India in Kashmir valley. They should either return to normalcy at the earliest or face some administrative reprimand for acting against the will of the people of India. People in the valley must know that annoyance of the entire nation is towards them as they have forfeited any right to express annoyance with the government. Only responsible citizens have that right, not irresponsible ones like them.