J K News Today Commentary

The  year 2019 was a tryst with history for Jammu and Kashmir , the state  that had been longing  for freedom from the narrative of negativism. Since 1947 after its independence , its narrative  was seeded in perennial complaint that it has not got its due. On the one hand , there was a never ending discourse of secessionism , that also kept it aloof from the Indianness, and on the other, others who wanted desperately to be seen  and hard as Indians in the complete sense of word and intentions  found themselves relegated to the second clss citizens . Those who wanted to be  counted as specials under the special status under Article 370 and later under Article 35 A of the Indian constitution ,  pointed  out  to the differences that were there owing to the different geography and ethnicity , without  realizing that the Indian nation was an extraordinary example of unity in diversity . One of the falsification  was that being the Muslim-majority state , it had special rights and privileges , whereas the fact  was that these concessions were the outcome  of the  extraordinary circumstances imposed on Jammu and Kashmir by external forces. Pakistan had launched an invasion of the state that was under the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh , the last Dogra king of J&K , and the matter had been taken to the United Nations by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru . It was a strategic blunder , the price of which is being paid the people of J&K till date.

On August 5, Union Home Minister  Amit Shah  corrected this historical wrong , opened the breathing space for the die-hard Indians living in Jammu and  Kashmir and did away not only with its special status but also stemmed the narrative of being different from rest of India once and for all. This was a historic step which the governments in the past had shied from taking for decades. As a result , it was deep-seated in the psyche of the people in some parts of J&K, particularly the Valley that no one could dare to touch their status , which they wrongly associated with their identity  of having dual citizenship – one that of J&K , and also Indian . There was a special love for the J&K citizenship , simply because it promoted their sense of being exclusive and in which Indian values were considered alien, and the Indian citizenship was used to draw the benefits, which , in J&K, were denied to the Indians.

Amit  Shah  charted a new course , or it may be read as the real course that should have been done long ago. A temporary provision in the Indian constitution – Article 370 – was given a permanent status. This did not change the mindset  unless it was done by invoking the Constitution . The whole process of ending the special status was constitutional – it was done with the approval of the Parliament with thumping majority i.

Now J&K has seen the light on the new pathways that will have one identity and one discourse. The clouds of confusion have been lifted once and for all.