May 21, 2024

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If not a week, a year is definitely a long time not only in politics but also in the life of a nation. And what a momentous year2019 was? Year2019 will be celebrated pompously and boisterously by those who yearned for shifts and turns that India has taken. It will be recorded by discerning historians, intellectuals, columnists and commentators for the paradigm shifts India as nation witnessed in its policies related to national security, judicial pronouncements, mainstreaming of politics that was questioned, derided, lampooned and rejected by 'intelligentsia' of India merely half a decade back. 

India2019 was an arrival of a confident nation whose policies and ideas are in tune with time and reality and supremely focused on its national interest. In this series, we will focus on major events and their lasting impacts on our national life. Part 3 is focused on abrogation of long temporary article 370 which gave special powers to Jammu Kashmir and more special blackmailing powers to the politicians of the state.

Article 370, along with Article 35A, allowed that the Jammu and Kashmir state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to residents of other Indian states. It granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and restricted India’s Parliament's power to make laws concerning the state. Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.

On 5 August 2019, the Government of India issued a constitutional order that made all the provisions of the Indian constitution applicable to Jammu and Kashmir based on the bill moved and passed in both houses of India's parliament with 2/3 majority.

Article 370 was a originally transient provision which had become eternally existing contradiction in Indian constitution. This provision perpetrated psychology of separation/secession from Hindu India in those who were religious zealots, lovers of Islamic Pakistan. It flickered their dying hopes that under 370, they will be granted unceasing autonomy which will weaken Indian control over the state and ultimately with Islamic Pakistan’s help – ‘Azadi’ will come.

370 kept India perennially wounded and fighting for recovery and control in ethnically troubled hilly state. Even the ‘moral pretence’ that India sought to achieve through this article was not accomplished. The separatist mindset that 370 nurtured did not care for basic tenets of Indian constitution like secularism. It resulted in forced exodus of millions of Kashmiri Hindus from valley, their killings, rapes, discrimination.

The Kashmiri politician feasted on provisions of 370. For them, J&K was a fiefdom of power without accountability. The provisions of 370 and separatist mindset it created made them demagogues of worst kind who capitalized on fear and insecurities of ordinary Kashmiris. The state demonstrably lacked basic infrastructure, development and job opportunities.

The cycle of violence that separatists and terrorists perpetrated with vengeance was violating soul of India every day. 

Thus the abrogation of 370 was indispensible for national security and to deliver a message that era of political appeasement was truly over. The message had to be loud and clear - Article 370 will not be allowed to become an instrument of blackmail and unleash anarchy.  That is why its abrogation was celebrated with ecstasy all over India.

The political belief that 370 shall never abrogated by any government in power was turned upside down by sheer political audacity of Modi and Shah. The communists and secularists believed that sheer number of votes required to pass legislation for 370 abrogation in both houses of parliament will remain unachievable for any party. They also believed that governments will never muster courage to abrogate 370 due to uncontrollable violent protests and consequent anarchy on the street. Thus, abrogation of article 370 was demonstration of Indian democracy’s sheer willpower that India can take boldest corrective steps to sort out its plaguing issues and without shedding a drop of blood on street.




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