The leaders of 6 parties in J&K have lost everything
What a development in Kashmir? Those who ruled or misruled J&K and considered themselves hereditary Sultans and Queens of Kashmir for 71 years are today asking: “who we are” and what is our citizenship or what’s our identity?” The case in point is what the leaders of 6 Kashmir-based parties – National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Indian National Congress (INC), People’s Conference (PC), CPIM and Awami National Conference (ANC) – said in their seditious statement on August 22. Actually, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Sajad Lone, MY Tarigami, and Muzaffar Shah issued a lengthy statement on Saturday which could be construed as their divisive and unsettling resolve. They are destined to lose and they will. There should be no doubt about it. PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah are not going to turn the needles of the clock back in the UT of J&K because they feel the pulse of the nation.
They said many things. However, two deserve consideration. One was that “the August 5, 2019 measures attempted to redefine who we are” (The August 5 measures had ended the dual citizenship – Indian citizenship and J&K citizenship – regime and recognized only Indian citizenship). The other was that “there can be nothing about us without us.” The operative part of their statement read: “We all reiterate that we are bound, wholly, by the contents of the (August 4, 2019) Gupkar Declaration and will unwaveringly adhere to it. We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us.”
They have lost the plot. They have also lost their way. They are out of mind. Yes, sweet dreams? It’s their fundamental right.
What did the August 4 Gupkar Declaration say? It said:
- That all the parties would be united in their resolve to protect and defend identity, autonomy, and the special status of the JK State against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever.
- The modification, abrogation of articles 35A, 370, trifurcation of the State, or unconstitutional delimitation would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.
- That the parties participating in the meeting resolved to seek an audience with the President and Prime Minister of India and the leaders of other political parties to apprise them of the current situation and make an appeal to them to safeguard the legitimate interests of the people of State with regard to constitutional guarantees given to the State under the Constitution of our country
Four things were crystal-clear from their statement: They hate and despise Indian citizenship; they consider themselves the sole factor in the political situation in the UT of J&K; they consider the people of Jammu province as their slaves or subjects; and they consider the people of Kashmir professing a particular faith a race apart entitled to a dispensation similar to the one the Muslim League and MA Jinnah fought for and got in August 1947 – A dispensation exclusively of them, for them and by them.
But this should not and must not be surprising. After all, these were their four fundamental lynch-pins ever since October 1947, when J&K acceded to India in terms of the constitutional law on the subject. The statement also suggested one more thing – They considered the J&K Acts duly passed by the supreme law-making body, the Parliament, on August 5-6, 2019 unconstitutional. In other words, they expressed their no-confidence in Parliament. It was also not altogether unexpected. After all, they have all through termed the illegal Article 35A constitutional and temporary Article 370 a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution.
What does all this suggest? The answer is not far to seek. The answer is that the leaders of these 6 parties have lost everything. They have lost Article 35A, Article 370, J&K Constitution, J&K Flag, and residuary powers; control over secretariat, legislature, Universities and financial institutions, including J&K Bank; money; monopoly over job sector; and freedom to allot and loot contracts and land, forest and state lands included. Hence, all these were their desperate fulminations. Who cares? They have lost the plot. They have also lost their way. They are out of mind. Yes, sweet dreams? It’s their fundamental right.
The worst and most horrible aspect of the whole situation that prevailed in J&K for 72 long years was that the ultra-secular New Delhi never asserted its authority.
At the same time, it’s time for the nation and persecuted people of Jammu and Ladakh to rejoice. Far, gone are the days when the concerned citizens in Jammu and Ladakh would repeatedly ask, “who we are and what’s our identity and nationality?” Before August 5 and 6, 2019, the people of the erstwhile J&K State had two citizenships – Indian and J&K – and the Indian citizenship was considered subservient to the J&K citizenship. For, it was the prerogative of the Kashmir-controlled and valley-dominated State Government to declare any Indian a persona-non-grata in J&K or grant or not to grant J&K citizenship to any non-J&K Indian.
J&K was the solitary State in the country which under Article 35A enjoyed absolute and unbridled power to decide the issue of citizenship. Using ruthlessly this power vested in it, the government denied J&K citizenship to the Jammu-based Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan, Gorkhas, and Valmiki Samaj and non-J&K Central Government employees and their families and Hindu-Sikh refugees from PoJK residing in other parts of India since their migration in 1947-1948 and many others. Not just this, the powers-that-be in the state denied equal citizenship rights to the J&K women with J&K “Permanent Male Residents” and reduced them to the status of second-grade citizens. The worst and most horrible aspect of the whole situation that prevailed in J&K for 72 long years was that the ultra-secular New Delhi never asserted its authority. Full credit goes to PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah, who on August 5-6, 2019, displayed the national spirit and snatched everything from Kashmir with one stroke of a pen what J Nehru had given to them sacrificing the paramount national interest to pander to separatists in Kashmir, which was till 1339, 100% Hindu and which today is 99.99% non-Hindu.
It is, however, a matter of concern that neither J&K Police acted against these 6 anti-India Kashmiri separatists or half-separatists nor the PMO or the HMO issued any statement upholding their landmark August 5-6, 2019 decisions. The PMO/ HMO must not overlook what Farooq Abdullah and others said in their atrocious statement.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.