People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took oath as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for the second time in a ceremony that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Amit Shah. While the PDP has eleven Cabinet Ministers, including Mr. Sayeed himself, the BJP has six, including separatist-turned mainstream politician Sajjad Lone. The alliance is like meeting of the North Pole and South Pole. BJP’s present attitude shows that it is a power monger and wants to be in power by hook or by crook, more than any other political parties in India. Hence by this alliance, it is evident that BJP will surrender before any party and sacrifice its principles. Everybody agrees that there is absolute necessity for a popular Government in J&K and in that respect, the alliance between PDP and BJP is justified. However, why BJP had been vouching for abolition of Article 370? It is only for political gain. Actually, BJP has compromised with its principles and lost its morality. BJP and PDP, which have been in dialogue for nearly two months now, have ironed out all the differences over contentious issues including Article 370, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and resettlement of West Pakistan Refugees and holding talks with Pakistan and separatist leaders of the state.
The repeal of Article 370 was the main point in the manifesto of the BJP. In fact, BJP had been accusing the Congress party for not abolishing Article 370. So, this is nothing but a breach of trust of the people who voted for them. When BJP was in opposition, it always argued for abrogation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution which gave special status to J&K. Now, when it is a ruling party at the Centre, and when it gets an opportunity to share power in J&K on the specific condition of continuation of Article 370 put forth by PDP, BJP simply changes the tune and say that the concerned article would stay. Now, the party must have understood that it is not so easy to abrogate that article. Congress and the Constitution makers have put the entire country in such a situation. This is the reality.
A historical erroneous cannot be corrected when the wisdom of many were flushed aside and imposed. There is chaos in the mindset what happens if Article 370 is repealed. It is as same as imposing Hindi as the second language in Tamil Nadu. It is a compromise status for BJP that they form the ministry in J&K, for political necessity than a need. The long term ramifications of succumbing to political groups such as PDP will be no less than NC for the Congress. Even Modi Government gave a sense of lack of political will. In this country, anything and everything is possible for the sake of power.
As the BJP bargained the Common Minimum Programme with the PDP for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir, the RSS “cautioned” it against compromising on issues such as Article 370 and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). However, that ‘cautions’ has not made much difference to BJP and its PM. It is very unfortunate that the abrogation of Article 370 is postponed by power mongers. However, the special armed forces act will continue indefinitely. We are sure that the separatists will not be recognised after the fair elections in J&K. If Pakistan fires on the LoC and provoke us then the Indian army should go after the Pakistani army in hot pursuit and create a new buffer zone. Every time they fire in Indian territory, Indian Army should go inside their territory and make other deep buffer zone. India should implement this warning very seriously, without any fear or pressure from western powers especially from the US. Fanaticism and separatism are not healthy for the country.
In 2014, BJP had demanded the repeal of Article 370 which guarantees special status for J&K. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir. Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370. All the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable for J&K. For example, till 1965, J&K had a Sadr-e-Riyasat for governor and prime minister in place of chief minister. The state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir. Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. During elections, BJP went aggressive on abolishing Article 370, but now they are quite comfortable with it. Looking at the double standards of BJP, I recall the tweet of Omar Abdullah, who said “Mark my words & save this tweet – long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won’t be part of India or Art 370 will still exist.”
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