JK News Today special commentary
Jammu, June 29:
Ahead of the All-Party Meet convened by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Jammu and Kashmir and the commentary after that has been subjected to a twisted narrative suggesting that this was a “ walk back” moment for the Modi Government . This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the importance of the meet and pragmatism that characterized it.
Two things should be very clear ; the meet offered a platform to exchange ideas on the developing situation in Jammu and Kashmir , and , the ways to end the political deadlock that had defined the landscape following August 5, 2019 decisions – scrapping of special status of J&K under Article 370 and its bifurcation into the two union territories.
Where is the walk back ? The answer these “ experts” have provided is that the BJP leadership that had dubbed the leaders of the leaders of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration as “ Gupkar Gang”, and now the same very set of leaders were among the invitees to the meet . Their argument is that Delhi has reversed its position by doing so . This is illogical to say the least .
J&K is integral part of India
Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India – this article of faith of the Indian union reflects two things that the people of the territory living on it were Indians and post August 5, 2019, if there were any differences in terms of the constitutional barriers that, too, stand removed once and for all. Therefore, talking to the people of the country is no walk back. It was narrowing of differences and that, by any stretch of imagination, is not a U-Turn.
There is no doubt that “ Gupkar Gang” term was used. The context and symbolism of this phrase make it clear why it was used . In the first place , it has to be understood what the Gupkar Declaration which came as a joint statement of six parties, including National Conference, People’s Democratic Party , CPI-M and People’s Conference , on August 22, 2020 , was all about ?
It read : “ We all reiterate our commitment to collectively fight to restore the Special Status of J&K as guaranteed under the Constitution and commitments made from time to time . There is unanimity amongst s that collective institution is the effective way to fight for these rights and tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and the constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away, against our will .”. But more significantly it underlined : “ We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed on August 4, 2019.”
BJP that had fought hard and got the Article 370 could not have tolerated this for two reasons, one, it was against what the party and its government had done on August 5, 2019 , secondly, the Gupkar Declaration that was institutionalized as PAGD in mid-October last year , was trying to give a bad name to the political activities , something like what the Plebiscite Front had done in Kashmir from 1950s to mid 1970s. This was unacceptable to the nation – the plebiscite front was an anti-India grouping , and the PAGD, despite showing its commitment to the constitution , was walking on the same path .
Who walked Back ?
It was the PAGD that could not stick to its commitment and took part in the DDC polls . That was the U-turn from its August 22, 2020 stand . The openings were provided by the PAGD and the national leadership could not have remained oblivious to it . Fighting an election and using the rough language is different from the statecraft .
Again , on June 9, the PAGD had stated that its doors were open for talks and it wanted an invite from the Centre, that was sent to it . There is no walk back, it was listening to own people . It is ironical that when the Government was maintaining tough stand toward these leaders, these elements were pouncing on government for being tough, and now when it has opened the doors for reconciliation it is being accused of walk back.. So, who is walking back .