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Political lynching of Jammu and Kashmir

Abrogation of article 370 and 35 A is nothing but gangsterisation of the ruling party against the much reserved minority community. Also, what Indians are celebrating is not the rebirth or the so-called “unification”, but a calculated political lynching of Jammu and Kashmir.

I am not surprised how certain people endlessly eulogised the ruling party’s stripping and bullying of the locals’ rights. As it very much echoes their chant of Kashmir being the “integral part of India”. Truth be told, the celebration is more owing to egotistical pride– supposed victory over the decades old tension against Pakistan, suppression against the voiceless and grasped over the piece of heaven, which mainlanders had been eyeing for decades now.

Reality check: we don’t care a tad bit about the woes and cries of the Kashmiris. We don’t understand the constant fear of being labelled as terrorist for raising ones concerns. Worst, they are not even allowed to express their anger openly. We are indifferent toward the daily struggle living under the brutality of the army personnel posted in the region. This “democratic and secular” nation taunts and crushes their shrouded dignity– belittles them for being different. Now their fears have increased manifolds.

We failed to empathise with them in every level.

Adding fuel to the fire, the ruling political party, BJP has mastered the art of imposing or forcing their beliefs and values on others. It makes us wonder if the BJP even know the meaning of “consent”. Or despite knowing the consequences, they are confident of public support for their every action or non-action.

Apparently, the future is uncertain for them and us too. The ruling party used “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions” written in the Article 370 of the constitution to defend their actions. There is no disagreement in that. But, what is questionable is why the standard procedure was not followed to execute it?

What we need to know about Article 370:

  • The constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 along with Article 35A says that the J&K state’s residents live under a separate set of laws: ownership of property, and fundamental rights, with respect to other Indian states. Owing to this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The clause 7 of the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh declared that the State could not be compelled to accept any future Constitution of India. The State was within its rights to draft its own Constitution and to decide for itself what additional powers to extend to the Central Government (via Wikipedia)
  • It is true that Article 370 (3) allows President to make modifications and public announcement declaring it’s discontinuity. But, it also says that there should be recommendations from the state legislature and opinions of the peoples’ representatives. In this case, there was no exchange of whatsoever.

Instead, the govt cancelled the Amarnath Yatra claiming a possible terror attack, leading to evacuation of tourists, non-Kashmiris from the state. Later the opposition leaders were detained, the city has been virtually locked down by thousands of paramilitary forces. There’s been no communication with the outside world. And the overwhelming fear of the denizens of being branded as “terrorists”. It is possibly the dawn of new oppression– indefinitely.

Failure in execution:

  • Gravely affected the basic human rights of the residents
  • Detention of the opposition leaders. It is a reminder of what Indira Gandhi did to India during her regime, the same is being done by the BJP in J & K.
  • Scrapping of Article 370 was not enough; it has also demoted a state into two union territories via the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill of 2019. Not to mention overnight.
  • Once again, this, without any dialogue or discussion with the state legislature or the people’s representative.

Also, it reminds us a similar technique of oppression used against some of the NE states during the unification of states post Independence. How it forced the Manipur’s prince under house arrest to sign a pact on gun point. How it burned down the villages, raped the women, brought bloodshed in Nagaland? How it bombed a town in Mizoram?

How would you feel if someone kicked you out of your own house?

Why this event is a reason to fear for the Northeastern:

  • We are bound to be skeptical. We don’t have the Hindu privilege to defend our land, culture and tribal identity. Extreme hate emanating from people is suffocating. Just recently our state burned for few days consecutively, when the ruling BJP led state govt tried to table granting of permanent resident certificate (PRC) to non-natives of Arunachal Pradesh in the state assembly.
  • Not to forget: impending danger to Article 371, which provides special provisions and status for Northeastern states to preserve our tribal culture and identity. Article 371 (H) implies to Arunachal Pradesh.

We are well aware how miniscule our population and how easily it can be crushed. If the ruling party BJP shows impunity regarding Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, then it has no guarantee other minority communities are safe under this regime. I’m sure people will cheer even then.

And, when it comes to history, it is proof that law has always sided with the powerful.

With regard to Jammu and Kashmir, regardless of how beautiful a cage is, it is still a cage.

Note: I am not a Pakistani, anti-national, leftist, congress . Just a concerned citizen with different view points.

#Kashmirissue #Article370

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Taw Nana's picture

Taw Nana is a journalist and a social activist based in Itanagar. She blogs at thewhisperingvoices.wordpress.com

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