Gupkar resolution- One more deceit with the people of Jammu Kashmir
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While plotting together against the Constitution, six mainstream political parties of J&K, NC, PDP, Congress, PC, CPM, and ANC have although cleared off their old differences to join hands to restore the unjustifiable Article 370 and 35A, what they must first understand is the real essence of their own slogan, "Nothing About Us Without Us". Because merely "day-dreaming" to restore Article 370 of the constitution that was only 'amended' and not 'removed', the issuance of any combined statement or a heavy pledge by such leaders can only land them up in a much bigger confusing state of mind.
Before taking the pledge to fight together why these parties essentially need to re-read their slogan, "Nothing about us, without us"?
Those involved in conspiring against the well-being of masses of J&K are mostly driven by their ill-motives and not interests of a common Kashmiri native and thus such a desperate move. Because this slogan denotes that the marginalized, the disabled, ethnic and other groups are kept away from political, social, and economic opportunities and hence demands that no policy should be decided without participation of these sections. However, in case of J&K the situation is exactly the opposite.
For Seven decades the religious minorities, the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Disabled persons, Women (including Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist), Valmikis, Gorkhas, West Pakistan Refugees and many others were kept out of any policy decisions, benefits and opportunities in J&K. In fact, they were denied the fundamental rights also. These along with Gujar, Pahadis, Buddhists, Sheena, Baltis were the marginalized sections of the J&K society. It is astounding to see the perpetrators of these wrongdoings against humanity, crying foul now. For more than seventy years these same political parties and politicians behaved as if the above- mentioned sections of the society were non-existent, the same politicians refused to even acknowledge that there were problems of denial of equality, liberty and justice in J&K, the same politicians did not bother about the empowerment of grass root democracy and denied local self- bodies in J&K. All was done by misusing Article 370 and the myth of Special Status of J&K.
Biggest Myth: Article 370 gave a Special Status to Jammu Kashmir
It is pertinent to note that Article 370 is not abrogated or removed, it is amended, because the main purpose of Article 370 was to facilitate the implementation of Indian Constitution and that has been accomplished with this amendment. It is a myth that Article 370 gave a Special Status to J&K. The fact is that Article 370 is a ‘Temporary provision” (Source- Constitution of India), created for a specific purpose of extending Indian Constitution in J&K, it DOES NOT give any Special Status to J&K. One must read the provision carefully to understand this. The amendment on 5th August 2019, did not take away anything from anyone, instead it gave equal rights to all the people in J&K, including the sections of society, which were denied any rights under Article 35A, a creation of Article 370. It is noteworthy that the rights which are now guaranteed to the people of J&K, were enjoyed by rest of India since 1947.
From the year 1950 till date a number of Articles of Indian Constitution have been extended to Jammu Kashmir. Even during the Chief Ministership of Abdullahs and Muftis a number of provisions of Indian Constitution were implemented in J&K, so why this hue and cry now, when the entire constitution is implemented there? In fact, with the amendment of Article 370 on 5th August 2019, finally the dream of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar has being fulfilled. However, a number of significant provisions aimed at welfare and benefit of the people, be it Hindus or Muslims, were not implemented there due to the politics of vested interest and selfishness. This disempowered the locals. This amendment was important to ensure and to protect rights of the people.
A historical fact, regarding Article 35A is that it was unconstitutional. This Article was inserted through a Presidential Order in 1954 without the approval of the Parliament and was put appendix to the Constitution. Those taking the pledge to bring Article 370 and Article 35 A back seem to be ignorant of the fact that this correction on 5th August 2019 was made by the Parliament, which is the only constitutional body to make changes in the constitution. Statements like these are challenging the constitution and in a way are anti constitution. Any constitutional provision once implemented cannot be done away with by the local politicians as per their whims and fancies. Constitution is the Supreme authority all over India.
By using slogan "Nothing About Us Without Us" these politicians, who from any stretch of imagination are not marginalized, are basically showing their true colors. They may be using the word Jammu Kashmir, but look at the ones lamenting the loudest against this amendment of Article 370, they are not the common populace of Jammu Kashmir. Hence, it is evident that the slogan is not coming from the marginalized sections of J&K, but it is coming from those who marginalized the rest of people in J&K. It is the cry of the political class, which did not bother about the well-being of anyone in the state. Had they being committed to the welfare of people, they would have implemented all the provisions of Indian Constitution, which empowered the lay man, which ensure rights and would bring Equality, Liberty and Justice in the society at large.
Why amendment in Article 370 was welcomed by one and all? Know the people benefitted from it.
The real marginalized of J&K welcomed this amendment, because it empowered them. Due to Article 370, SC, STs, OBCs, Disabled persons were denied rights. Even the common man in the state, did not raise objections, nor did they protest when some of the politicians were kept under house arrest or detention. This is proof enough to show who is actually objecting to this positive change and who is welcoming it. The amendment on 5th August 2019 instilled hope in those who suffered complete denial of rights for decades. Radhika Gill, a Dalit/ Valmiki girl who, as per the rules of J&K, despite being educated was left with only one option, that was to become a sweeper as she was from Valmiki community. Thousands from the Valmiki community had the same fate. The daily struggle faced by the physically challenged persons like Sandhya Dhar, who in spite of central laws was not extended any benefits is beyond our imagination. Thousands of West Pakistan Refugees, languished for more than seven decades, forced to live a life of obscurity, subjugation and deprivation because of Article 35A.
The case of displaced persons from Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir, who were attacked by Pakistan is exceptionally ruthless because they were deprived of rights in their own state. After escaping the massacre by Pakistan army, what they got was indifferent attitude of the govt of J&K and rejection. The miseries of the weaker section, the refugees, the displaced persons, women are beyond imagination. With a single amendment of Article 370 all the people form above communities got relief and equal rights. Reinstating Article 370 and Article 35A will bring back torture and despair for these lakhs of people.
All of them and lakhs of such other victims of Article 35A and Article 370, are finally enjoying freedom and equal rights now. All the 890 Central Acts have been applied to J&K earlier after removing the ill effects of article 370. These laws benefit all sections of society from benefits to Scheduled Tribes and SC & ST and OBC, the ‘West Pakistani Refugees’, Healthcare, Tourism, Panchayati Raj, Educational Institutions, End Gender Discrimination, provide a Boost to Tourism, help in Development of Youth, promote Transparency and accountability and a lot more. The biggest contribution these laws have provided is that now there is ‘No Threat to Unique Culture and Language of Kashmir and Kashmiri’ or to any religious group and community. The Panchayati Raj system is strengthened, 23,660 Panch and 3,650 Sarpanch got their official powers which they officially deserved but were never granted to them. The Entry Tax has been abolished. Reservation is extended to all deserving sections of the society.
The most obnoxious statement made by the group is that the amendment has ‘Unrecognizably changed the relationship between J&K and New Delhi.’ Either the members of this group have not read the constitution of India or they want to project that they are ignorant of the fact that the relation between the state of J&K and India is established by Article 1, clause 1 of Indian Constitution, stating J&K as the 15th State of Union of India, defining the territory of India. There is nothing in Article 370 or in Article 35 A, which establishes or describes or defines the relationship between India and J&K. This is another tactic to misguide the masses.
Why such a desperate attempt to restore Article 370? Time to publicly expose hidden motives of such leaders.
One of the major reasons for this desperation to reinstate Article 370 is that the politicians from J&K got a freehand by abusing this provision. By hindering the implementation of entire Constitution of India, these politicians could use their whims and fancies to govern the state. Nepotism and corruption were the accepted norms in J&K. There was anarchy and dishonesty at every level in the govt. One of the major reasons of terrorism and separatism getting deep roots in J&K is Article 370 and its misuse by the politicians. The selfish politicians did nothing for the development of the state and for the wellbeing of the common man of J&K. The funds allocated for welfare projects were syphoned by the corrupt politicians. They just kept harping the tune of Special Status, and convinced the innocent people of the state about something which never existed.
What could be the reason for not allowing industries, infrastructural development, advanced education, better healthcare and multispecialty hospitals, setting up of Multi-National Companies and their offices in J&K? What stopped the politicians from making J&K a developed state? Why did the assembly pass a resolution that No Delimitation till the year 2031? Which progressive state prevents its population from fair political representation?
The state has abundance of natural resources, mineral wealth, all the possibilities of growth and small population. Imagine the population of J&K and Mumbai city is more or less the same. Why did the state not make any growth and advancement? The answer is simple, the political leadership of J&K did not want it. They wanted to keep the people under control and it is not possible to brainwash and control a population which is educated, empowered and self -reliant. Hence, the planned obstruction and regression. With the amendment of Article 370 the process of correction has begun. The creation of two separate Union Territories has helped in expediting the process of administrative correction and infrastructural development. All the funds are utilized for the public and the infrastructure is developing rapidly. The delimitation will be done soon to bring democracy to J&K in real sense. People are happy with the new positive changes and hence they are not out on the streets opposing these decisions. This is obviously not going down well with these political parties and hence the lamenting and slogans.
Despite all such failed attempts by these self-driven and self-centred politicians, the road to immense growth and development of Jammu & Kashmir is finally open, and this indeed is the beginning of a new era.