Binoo Joshi

JK News Today Commentary

After a brief s stoppage on the narrative of Article 370 , done away with on August 5, 2019 , BJP leadership is back with this issue with greater intensity , especially when Prime Minister Narendra Modi dared Congress and other opposition parties to declare that they would restore this scrapped constitutional provision. That is a fact , Congress or any other party in the Opposition , have fought shy of making any commitment on Article 370, for the consequences of any such announcement would be catastrophic for them across the nation .
The fact of the matter is that this Article, seen as a barrier between the mainstreaming of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country, was revoked by the Modi Government, but the kind of praise that whole of the nation heaped on the Government, in particular , for Prime Minister and Home Minister Amit Shah went beyond change in the Constitution . This was no ordinary amendment nor development .
For the first time in the history of Independent India, the peoples from one end to the other of the nation felt that as if the unfinished task of 1947 has been accomplished . The nation was in celebratory mood . It was a “ paradise regained,” moment for the countrymen . Kashmir, hailed as jewel crown of India , also suffered from a tag of being hub of terrorism , where terrorism and constitutional barrier underlined by Article 370 , made them to flinch at the idea of visiting Kashmir , and there also existed a pain in their hearts that a beautiful part of the country was not in the national mainstream. The nation had been waiting for this moment for decades , and when it came they celebrated no end .
The abrogation of Article 370 , though s signature motif of BJP since its days as Jan Sangh, of its nationalist brand of politics , in which there was no space for parallel symbols of sovereignty , though on a limited scale restricted to a particular geography, but for the nation it was an eyesore . This sore thumb pained the nation but they were helpless as they had to go by the Constitution . Despite the provisi0n being “ temporary”, no government had gathered the courage to do away with it.
Today the abrogation of Article 370 has moved well beyond the constitutional change or delivering a highly powerful message that India was one and Jammu and Kashmir is part of it as an equal part where it has to breathe pure Indian air.
What to talk of Congress or any of its allies or other party talking of restoration of Article 370 , they are not bringing up this issue at all in their narrative. They know that if they do so, the whole of the nation would punish them . And, internationally, India’s act of August 5, 2019 , has been accepted as an everlasting fact of the history , it has also served to them a reminder that they cannot use “ K” issue in their diplomatic or other discourses to embarrass India . Barring Pakistan, China and Turkey , no other country has come close to invoking the Article 370 of yesteryear. The whole concept has changed .
It is because the Modi government did not stop at making changes in the constitution by scrapping Article 370 but did much more than that in its aftermath . It unleashed an all-out war against Pakistan sponsored terrorism and the ecosystem that it had created in Kashmir – it had set up alliance with the traditionally separatist minded people since 1947,. The protagonists of two-nation theory were active alliance partners in expanding Pakistani designs in Kashmir . This ecosystem was encouraged rather than discouraged till the time the Article 370 was scrapped as the governments at the Centre always sought to make separatists as stakeholders, without realizing that such moves only granted credibility to the forces of disruption and instability
Now the abrogation of Article 370 has assumed a multi-dimensional shape Most importantly, as it has surfaced , the August 5, 2019 move has changed the way of life in Kashmir – it has brought changes in the lifestyle, and raised the hopes and belief of the aspirational class in Jammu and Kashmir . Unfortunately, the Central government relied on BJP cadre to expand its idea, but the party failed to a large extent as it could not give it a shape of the people-friendly measure, instead it advanced its arguments as if something has been imposed by the Centre which has delivered unaccounted benefits to the people , not as a natural sequence of the abrogation of Article 370 and the visionary implantation of the projects which touched the lives of the people , made them to think without fear . How can any party dare to bring the fear back to the Valley by even talking of reversing August 5, 2019 decisions.