The introduction of ‘Sankalp’ by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha this morning to repeal the Article 370 and 35A from Jammu & Kashmir will go down as a historic moment for the entire country. With this the country has taken a big stride forward for “Akhand Bharat”.
The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1948 endorsing the total and unconditional merger of the state in the Indian Union to save it from the invasion of Pakistani army. It was after this merger, the Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar to save the state from the Pakistan supported Kabaili attack.
Maharaja Hari Singh’s reign came to an end with the power shifting hands with Sheikh Abdullah, who was very much liked by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It was Nehru who batted strongly for giving special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and introduced the Article 370 in the constitution notwithstanding the stiff opposition from none other than Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Maulana Hasrat Mohani and others.
By this Article, Pt Nehru conceded to the demand for separate constitution, separate flag and separate prime minister for the state of J & K. Sheikh Abdullah wanted to make J & K as an independent country which he was very much interested in leading as its ‘Sadar-e-Riyasat’.
Since then, repealing Article 370 and 35A has become the most prestigious issue for the Jan Sangh then and now BJP. It took them70 years to undo this historic wrong done by Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah.
Not only this, they also encouraged the terrorists and separatists from across the border and worked in tandem with them fomenting the anti-India sentiments and slogans. All their activities are now put on hold permanently. The State of Jammu and Kashmir is free in the real sense of the term from the clutches of these few political dynasties.
The country is celebrating this historic moment thanking the central government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for this decision to repeal the Article 370 and 35A. This is the victory not only of those who subscribed to the BJP ideology but a victory of the entire country, victory of 130 crore Indian People. And the people are welcoming this victory by distributing sweets, bursting crackers and singing and dancing.
The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has raised this issue since its inception in 2002. It has organized campaign under the title “Hum Hindustani Jammu-Kashmir Hindustan Ka” way back in 2007-8 and carried a nationwide signature campaign in 2010-12 in support of the repeal of these discriminatory statutory provisions. It evoked a massive response from the Muslims of India including J & K who gathered in thousands in biting cold of December in Delhi to voice their support for repeal of these articles. Nearly 8.5 crore Muslims have signed the petition to the President of India for removal of these articles. When the memorandum with so many signatures of Muslims was submitted to the then President Pranab Mukherjee he was astonished and immediately wrote to the Home Ministry to take the opinion of MRM into consideration before taking any policy decision on J & K. And mind you, it was the UPA II government was at the helm of the affairs then!
Therefore, it was but natural for the MRM leaders and activists to celebrate this moment with joy and satisfaction.
A group of Muslim intellectuals “Freelance Muslim Intellectual and Legal Professionals” conducted a special campaign to educate the Muslim intellectuals in various parts of the country about the ill effects of the Article 370 and 35A. The campaign was led by a Supreme Court Lawyer Advocate Siraj Qureshi of Gwalior and Dr Imran Chaudhary of Delhi. They toured the entire country, visited important places, held interactions with Muslim intellectuals and prepared a White Paper on these issues and submitted it to the government.
The RSS appealed to the people to welcome this move forgetting our political, vested interests as it is in the interest of the nation and people of J & K. This was needed for the development of J & K and entire nation, the RSS said.
MRM Patron Indresh Kumar, National Conveners Mohd Afzal, Dr Shahid Akhtar, Abu Bakar Naqvi, Dr Tahir, Raza Rizvi, Reshma Hussain and others have also congratulated the Prime Minister and Home Minister for taking this bold and much needed initiative. This will surely end the discrimination wrought in by the Article 370 and 35A and take the state on the path of progress and development, they said.
After 1947, it was Sardar Patel the first Home Minister of India who integrated all the princely states into Indian Union but for the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. This was specially taken over by Pt Nehru who wanted to solve this issue. But instead of solving he made it more complicated by conceding to the demand of Sheikh Abdullah for separate constitution, flag and prime minister. No law passed by the Indian parliament would be made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir unless it is ratified by the J & K Assembly by a requisite majority. Now this will not be required. With this one move the Modi government has removed this special barrier hindering the application of laws passed by Indian Parliament to the state of J & K despite of its being an integral part of India.
Ironically, it is Amit Shah who comes from Patel’s Gujarat and who adores the same position as Home Minister has fulfilled the unfinished agenda of Sardar Patel to abrogate Article 370 and 35A.
It was told that the Article 370 would be temporary one; it will facilitate the merger of J & K with India, and will fizzle out with the passage of time. But this did not happen for seven decades, thus making it almost sacrosanct and volatile at the same time that no government dared touch it. But this government has shown the courage and political will to do away with it and they did it.