Resurrecting Article 370 to its Pristine Infamy?

via H Balakrishnan published on December 3, 2009

Dear Sir,

Reference Seema Mustafa’s ” PDP sees no role for Pak “  – (TNIE- 03 DEC) .

Seema Mustafa’s ‘ P.R. offensive ‘ – ‘ for,of & by ‘ the PDP is clear as crystal. That apart, a seminar on J&K was conducted by the Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies, on November 7,2009, in New Delhi. It was attended by a wide cross-section of stakeholders from J&K,and the Delhi intelligentsia and members of the Fourth Estate.

Columnist Tavleen Singh was an invitee to the meet and wrote a column in the Assam Sentinel of 16 Nov 2009, entitled ” Times have Changed, Issues are Different “. On the very same ‘articulate and sober politician, Baig has impressed many with his reasoned and substantive presentations”, here is what Tavleen Singh wrote: ” He said that Kashmir’s borders needed to be made irrelevant as Dr Manmohan Singh has himself often promised. Instead of redrawing maps there should be a softening of the borders so that Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians could come and go freely and there should be ‘‘dual currency’’. In view of what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, this suggestion seemed so naively oblivious of geo-political realities that I went up to him when he finished speaking and asked if he had heard of the Taliban. Was he aware that this group of Islamist jihadis was close to threatening the existence of Pakistan and Afghanistan? How long would it take the Taliban to conquer Kashmir if Indian troops were withdrawn? He laughed sheepishly “!!

However, the point in the Article that caught my eye was – ” and it will also bring Article 370 in its original form “.  No doubt, a fairly large number of Parliamentary Laws and provisions of our Constitution have been gradually extended to J&K, over the last five decades. Especially in relation to the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, the Election Commission and the imposition of President’s Rule under Article 356. Be that as it may, as of date, the writ of our Constitution does not extend to J&K in its totality !! The lay Indian citizen has to offer his / her profound gratitude to Shri Arvind Lavakare for his excellent treatise:
“The Truth about Article 370” (2003).

Thus, with respect to Laws of Parliament on matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List can be made for J&K only after ‘consultation’ with the State Govt. or after ‘concurrence’ of the State Govt. depending on the subject matter of the law. As Lavakare puts it : ” Under Article 1(b)(i) of Article 370, Parliamentary Laws on the subjects mentioned in the Union & Concurrent Lists conforming to Defence, External Affairs and Communications – the matters conceded to India by the Instrument of Accession – need ‘consultation’ with the State Govt; under 1(b)(ii), Parliamentary Laws on all other subjects will require the State’s ‘concurrence’ before they are applied to the State”. (pp-25)

Lavakare then enlightens the Indian citizen that the following Laws of Parliament do not extend to J&k: (a) Indian Penal Code 1860; (b) The Prevention of Corruption ACT, 1988; (C) The Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988; (d) The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 – The legal powers of the CBI are drawn from this Act.  (pp-32)

Then there are some Parliamentary Acts that are applicable to J&K ONLY PARTLY: (a) The Commissions of Inquiry ACT, 1952; (b) The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993; (c) The Unlawful (Prevention) Act, 1967; (d) The Representation of the People Act, 1950; (d) The Representation of the People Act, 1951. (pp 32-33)

Lastly, there are whole host of modifications and exemptions in our Constitution as applicable to J&K, not available to the other States of the Union!! All on account of the provisions of Article 370!! Thus any Indian citizen working in J&K, but not a citizen of the State as defined by thier Constitution, can VOTE in the Lok Sabha elections, BUT NOT IN THE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS!! This 62 YEARS AFTER INDEPENDENCE !! And, the PDP desires Article 370 be restored to its pristine infamy !!

Thus the State of J&K already is the ‘MOST AUTONOMOUS’ State in the Union. And the weekly India Today, in its edition of 14 OCT 2002, had journalist V.Shankar Aiyar writing a no-nonsense Article on J&K entitled: “The Great Sop Story”. In simple terms, the State of J&K gets 14 times more of Central per capita assistance than Bihar; 11 times more than Tamil Nadu and 16 times more than Assam!! Any wonder Shankar Aiyar dubbed J&K as ” The Most Pampered State in India “.

Thus J&K is NOT ONLY ” The Most Autonomous State” it is also “The Most Pampered State” of the Union. And, the Valley Muslims desire  ‘ YEH DIL MANGE MORE’ !! Avarice, evidently knows no bounds !!

Seema Mustafa’s P.R. exercise for the PDP and J&K reminded me of the words of Babasaheb Ambedkar to Sheikh Abdullah in a different era: ” Mr. Abdullah you want India should defend Kashmir, India should develop Kashmir and Kashmiris should have equal rights as the citizens of India, but you don’t want India and any citizen of India to have any rights in Kashmir. I am the Law Minister in India. I cannot betray the interests of my country”.

India, in the New Millennium, LONGS FOR SUCH A LEADER, who will tell the Kashmir Valley Muslims to ‘ take a walk ‘ .

I have a query for the Editor-in-Chief of TNIE – with all due respects and apologies, Sir. Is Seema Mustafa an ‘Indian’ or does she hail from some location ‘ West of Attari ‘ ?

VANDE MATARAM

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