Why Kashmiris want Article 370: Kashmir had a different identity, even its own flag. Now, it has nothing left

Article 370 was given by India's founding fathers. Were they wrong? The minute curfew is lifted, there will be protests in Kashmir until Article 370 is brought back.

 |  3-minute read |   05-08-2019
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Article 370 has been scrapped — but this has been done at the cost of the people living in the Valley.

Our ancestors had kept this provision for us and the BJP should note that this provision was not given to us by Pakistan but by our own leaders.

In my view, today they have played around with the Constitution and made it weak. Jammu and Kashmir has been separated into two parts, there is nothing substantial left in it now. Article 370 came into place when Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi themselves had formulated it — they were not kids. The state needed some special provisions and that’s why this was given to it.

These were the founders of our nation and they brought in this Article only after much thought. I can't understand why this fact has not been given much regard.

nehru_patel_lallanto_080519025707.jpgArticle 370 was approved of by them: Were they wrong? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

With Article 370, the people of Kashmir had a different identity, we had our own flag — now, we have nothing left. Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir had integrated the state with India on the clause that the state will be given all of these special provisions.

This was accepted by all the governments which came and went through time — so, what was the problem with them?

Our identity is gone now with Article 370 going. I can't reiterate enough how the BJP has weakened the Constitution by scrapping this Article.

I also think it is absolutely wrong to say that the scrapping of Article 370 will enable people from mainland India to buy land in the state. Who will actually buy land in the Valley?

Kashmir will not be the same with the removal of Article 370 — and yes, even in our darkest moment, we are determined to go amongst the people and tell them what they have lost. The best part is that the government apparently didn’t even consult their own party members before scrapping this huge historical provision, leave aside the opposition parties.

Since the last one week, they were building up the army and police force in the state, everyone knew that the central government is upto something, but no one in truth thought they would really touch Article 370, this being an integral part of our history, our political agreement and our state's culture.

But this government's modus operandi clearly is to do everything most quietly and not let even the opposition parties or anyone in administration know anything about it.

There are ways such political crossroads are to be navigated. Ideally, an all-party meeting should have been called beforehand. We would have at least had an opportunity to put forth our points on why scrapping Article 370 would be disastrous for the people of our state.

party-ani.jpeg-insid_080519030054.jpgWhy not hear them? Ideally, all democratic parties in the state should have been consulted before Article 370 was removed. (Photo: ANI)

Presently, curfew has been imposed in Kashmir — it is an unreal situation where not even a dog is being allowed to roam around, leave aside human beings.

The whole state has been turned into a fortress. Mehbooba Mufti, along with all other leaders in the state, has been put under house arrest. Why this huge crackdown? What are they afraid of? The answer is clear.

The common people.

The only thing left for us to do is to protest this move made by the central government. Every Kashmiri will come out and oppose this move. We will take this matter up in court and give our viewpoint. Before the announcement of the removal of Article 370, we were not given time and furthermore, all political leaders in the state were put under house arrest.

Is this how the voice of the people can be heard?

The PDP will certainly seek support from political experts, we will take their views on the matter and then we will see what the next move should be.

The moment curfew is lifted, there will be widespread protests in the Valley — and it will not die down till Article 370 is brought back again.

(As Told To: Rohit E David)

Also read: Goodbye, Article 370: Twitter is flooded with reactions on this historic move


Nazir Ahmad Laway Nazir Ahmad Laway @nazir_laway

The writer is PDP Rajya Sabha member.

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