Er P L Khushu
One of the Congress leader’s comments in a clubhouse conversation, somewhere, that the revocation of Article 370 and stripping Jammu and Kashmir of Statehood was an ‘extremely sad statement’ and his party will have a ‘relook’ at the issue have triggered a row, with the BJP accusing him of speaking against India, when it can be construed the he was speaking for our enemy country Pakistan. This being a statement in utter frustration, by the aforesaid leader, as Congress faces a countrywide identity crisis with the party not having come up with enough numbers to even qualify as an opposition party in the polls. They are reduced to just almost fifties in the parliament. Congress has this time an interim Congress President, as the party is in turmoil due to internal bickering and not able to find a full-fledged President.Six years after the party’s electoral rout pushed it into a continuing downward spiral, 23 senior leaders of Congress, including five former Chief Ministers, many Congress Working Committee members, sitting MPs, and several former Union Ministers, have, in an unprecedented pushback, sent a letter to party Chief calling for sweeping changes, from top to bottom. The letter, learnt to have been sent a fortnight ago, details a reforms agenda that is, in effect, a stinging indictment of the current leadership. This letter of dissent mentions that revival of Congress is ‘a national imperative’ fundamental to the health of democracy. The letter, sources said, underlines how the party’s steady decline comes when the country faces its ‘gravest political, social and economic challenges since Independence.’ It is now a situation of leadership crisis in the Congress, which is now manifesting in a farcical battle of the generations. Their letter calls for a sweeping range of reforms, decentralization of power, empowerment of state units, elections to the Congress organization at all levels, from the block to the CWC and the urgent constitution of a Central parliamentary board. The leaders, it is learnt, have pointed out that the ‘uncertainty’ over the leadership and ‘drift’ in the party had demoralized workers and weakened the party. Importantly, they are learnt to have said that the CWC is not ‘effectively guiding’ the party anymore in mobilizing public opinion. The leaders, it is learnt, said that even over a year after the Lok Sabha election defeat, the party has not undertaken any ‘honest introspection’ to find out reasons for its continued ‘decline’.They have argued that it was time to establish an ‘institutional leadership mechanism’ to collectively guide the party’s revival. While calling for collective leadership, the letter interestingly said that Nehru-Gandhi family will always remain an ‘integral part’ of it. (That is dynastic rule). While the Congress constitution has a provision for CWC to set up a Parliamentary Board consisting of the Congress President and nine other members, the practice has been discontinued long ago. The letter also talks about the need to unite the Opposition and rallying parties, headed by those who had left the Congress in the past. Identifying areas of concern, the letter, sources said, has pointed out that key appointments of state Congress presidents and office bearers are unduly delayed and leaders who command respect and acceptability in the State are not appointed in time. Besides, state Congress presidents are not given freedom to take organizational decisions.Does the so called leader of the congress party, who has spoken for the revival of Article 370, in J&K, know all about his almost defunct party before giving sermons and that too in the presence of a correspondent from Pakistan. Does he know that his party is on the path of extinction because of anti people policies for the last 50 years? Was he speaking for Pakistan, or trying to gain some sympathy for vote bank politics. By this statement he has in fact done a lot of harm to his party. With murky base and swollen legs such leaders should go for self introspection and that of the party such persons owe allegiance to, before making such utterances which are not only antinational, but speak of double standards in their political sphere.Is congress party trying to regain its lost base before the masses of this country, by resorting to saying that once in power it will revoke the Article 370? It is a dream cum true for such people and party. Abrogation of Article 370 is a national decision, through an enactment of Parliament passed by a majority vote, represented by a majority of members of parliament, elected by the majority of Indians.Answering a query on relations between India and Pakistan, this leader of congress is supposed to have said, that Democracy was not there in Kashmir, when the centre revoked article 370. Insaniyat (humanity) was not there because everybody was put behind bars, and Kashmiriyat is something which is basically the fundamentals of secularism.What a vague and irrelevant statement of such an ill advised congress politician who should reply and explain as to where had his ‘Insaniyat’ (humanity) or that of his party gone, when the Kashmiri pundits were crucified, killed and tortured and subsequently made to run away from Kashmir in the shape of a mass exodus, in the year 1990, to which the congress party is an evinced live partner and an abettor. Had Insaniyat of the congress party including that of the present congress commentator turned in to ‘Haiwaniyat’ (inhumanity). Does this congress man know that, what he calls as Kashmiriyat as the secular cult of Kashmir is actually ‘Islamiyat’ under which the Kashmiri pundits of Kashmir suffered for decades? Jammu and Ladakh were refused its due for its development in all respects. Yes, this congress man is a product of the so called vote bank politics, which is not only symbolic in the congress party, but is its manifesto as well. Congress has been exploiting the sentiments of the minorities of India, for their votes for decades, which has almost come to an end now to a greater extent.Narendra Modi got a massive second mandate and his subsequent expressed voicing views on the abrogation of the Articles 370 and 35A, and how these ‘special’ Constitutional provisions have been an impediment to the progress of the Kashmiri people. Ultimately that ‘Inevitable’ has happened. Modi through his ‘iron-willed’ Home-Minister, Amit Shah steered it through and played the master stroke by scrapping the Article 370 and 35A, thus merging the state of Jammu & Kashmir with rest of India. The special status is gone for the state of Jammu & Kashmir and it is a Union Territory now. Another landmark decision accomplished is to declare Ladakh as a separate Union Territory, which was a long aspiration of people of Ladakh. The dream of Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee of Ek Vidhaan, Ek Nishaan, Ek Pradhan, turns into reality now, for which he sacrificed his life. A new chapter has been written in the Indian history, when it seems that India is now fully integrated and a country of comprehensive population of all sects and colours, with secular characteristics and aims. Maharaja Hari Singh’s soul must now rest in peace with this step, as his humiliation at the hands of Nehru and Sheikh Stands rectified and repaid with interest, when his illustrious son, Dr Karan Singh has hailed this move. Such a historic decision has made all the dynastic politicians and rulers of proxy of the J&K quite irrelevant now in the Jammu and Kashmir politics once for all. The history of Jammu & Kashmir is witness to the fact that when the reigns of governance of the state were handed over to Sheikh Abdullah, he started his own game plan to fulfill his dreams with the blind support of Nehru and that’s how Articles 370 and 35 A got slipped into the constitution just to please one person who had nothing else except a dream to rule the state of Jammu & Kashmir as a Nawab. The ultimate result was that Kashmir despite being a small territory both area wise and population wise, was still granted more assembly seats, not allowing Praja Parishad of Jammu to contest polls and ultimately getting his candidates elected unopposed for ‘constituent assembly’, through this backdoor alliance between Nehru and Sheikh. Jammu and Ladakh continued to face humiliation and discrimination for last seventy two years since independence, when the delimitation of assembly seats was time and again managed in favour of Kashmir province.With the changed political scenario in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, when the special status through Article 370 is abrogated, followed by the annulling of Article 35A, when the Jammu and Kashmir state is a Union Territory now, with Ladakh being separated as another union Territory, the governance will be now free from all these dynastic politicians and rulers of proxy. Let them cool their heels as they had enough time to rule the erstwhile state. Equally a word of wisdom for the congress man, who spoke about the revoking of the Article 370, is that ‘Charity becomes at Home’. Let him set his own house in order first and then send sermons of political misadventures. It will rebound on the congress party very badly, as the mood of the people of India is very cheerful, knowing that J&K is a full-fledged part of India.(The author is a chartered consultant & civil engineer, who loves his mother land, the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir).
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