It would be interesting to know from Chidambaram whether Article 370 was incorporated only because Jammu and Kashmir was a Muslim majority state.
One can’t hide a secret for long, especially when one’s survival is threatened. And, the Truth has a nasty habit of coming out of darkest closets at the most inconvenient time. Thus the circumstances forced Chidambaram, the man who wanted to follow the footsteps of Dr Manmohan Singh to become Prime Minister in the unlikely event of Congress returning to power, had vented out his frustration.
He said “If Jammu and Kashmir was a Hindu dominated state, the BJP would not have done this. They did it only because the region is dominated by Muslims”. Not surprisingly none of the regular media found it as “controversial” the adjective used for all statements made by fourth rung leaders of BJP. Still, prima facie, the comment made by Chidambaram was controversial indeed.
Congress can’t think of any issue without the Hindu-Muslim angle. Chidambaram’s statement may help DMK to consolidate the Muslim vote bank.
His statement exposes many repercussions. First of these was despite the repeated lessons taught by Indians, Congress still vies every issue through a religious prism. One can understand Mehbooba Mufti saying that BJP did diluted provisions of Article 370 because J&K is a Muslim majority state. Of course, her family is threatened with losing their livelihood. But, what makes Chidambaram say so. Because very few Congress leaders can think of abrogating A370 beyond Hindu-Muslim angle. Well, as Chidambaram raised the communal angle, it would only be appropriate to seek a clarification from him that Article 370 was put in place only because Jammu and Kashmir was a Muslim majority state? If Jammu and Kashmir had been a Hindu majority state, would Congress have considered Article 370 in the first place?
Consider the example of Hyderabad, which is quite opposite to the case of Jammu and Kashmir. The Nizam didn’t accept the request to accede the state to Indian Dominion. And, the state was ruled by a Muslim ruler while the majority population was Hindu. Unlike the Pakistani tribals backed by Pakistani Army who entered into the territory of Kashmir and take it, it was the very ruler of the state and his supporters (Razakars) who committed atrocities over their subjects.
Can anyone in Congress explain why both states were treated in totally opposite manner? Am I wrong if I say, Congress considered Police Action for Hyderabad and integrated it fully only because Muslims were in minority? If Hyderabad too was a state with a Muslim majority, Congress might have extended Article 370 to Hyderabad also. Can Chidambaram deny this line of argument, even if it is just for the sake?
Perhaps not. Reeling from the election loss, Congress was too shocked by the Union Government’s move to nullify Article 370 to respond in a proper way. With their prince abrogating his “right to rule”, Congress really looks like a gathering of Baboons. With each and every Congress leader, sworn by greediness, no wonder they can’t trust one another and chose Mother Gandhi as their leader, lest the party may implode.
Even after testing his intelligence and witnessing his “coming of Age”, many times Congress choose to support the stance of Rahul Gandhi in the J&K issue, ignoring some of their own leaders who could see the writing on the wall. If Gulam Nabi Azad disagrees with the decision of the government, it may be as a Muslim leader he was playing to his supporters back in Kashmir. But, what compulsions do Chidambaram have? Nothing. Chidambaram, like many Congress leaders of present times, was not a mass leader. The last mass leader of the considerable image was late chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh Rajasekhara Reddy.
Anyways, in Tamilnadu, Congress piggy rides on the back of one or the other Dravidian party. Even then, Chidambaram had to manage the counting process to get elected. In such a situation, it is really puzzling why Chidambaram made such a statement questioning the government’s move on religious lines.
The answer is clear. Congress can’t think of any issue without the Hindu-Muslim angle. Moreover, Chidambaram doesn’t have a great following of masses in Tamilnadu. But, his statement may help DMK to consolidate the Muslim vote bank. But, what Chidambaram and other Congress leaders forget while making such statements is they are indirectly helping BJP to consolidate its supporters. This is the problem with petty politicians without any mass base. Not even Lalu Prasad Yadav would have committed such mistake. Even Nitish Kumar who initially opposed the government immediately backtracked after reading signs from the society.
Even if it was his intuition to consider abrogation of Article 370 as an act against Muslims, it would be interesting if Chidambaram tries to explain whether Article 370 was incorporated only because Jammu and Kashmir was a Muslim majority state.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.