Prof Hari Om
JAMMU: Gone are those bad days when the perverted ruling elite in New Delhi would hand-over the vital state power to the too-well-known secessionist Kashmiri leadership in the name of “national interest” endangering national security, undermining Indian sovereignty, throwing to the wind all cardinal principles of democracy and forcing the people of Jammu and Ladakh to groan under the yoke of oppressive and fundamentally communal and sectarian leadership. Gone are those bad days when the rulers in Kashmir would ride roughshod, promote separatism, subvert and misuse democratic institutions and exploit to the hilt the common citizenry. Gone are those bad days when they would threaten, bully, blackmail and fleece the nation with the ruling elite in New Delhi taking no time in kneeling and bypassing parliament to empower the Kashmiri ruling elite to decide who and who not would be considered a citizen of J&K. Gone are those bad days when the ruling elite in New Delhi would declare Kashmir and the people belonging to a particular community in Kashmir as the chief determinant and the chief factor.
Gone are those bad days when the ruling elite in New Delhi would happily and in a most brazen manner promote the line that would tell the international community that J&K was a special category of state that deserved a separate constitution, separate flag, residuary powers, special financial and political packages and a dispensation almost semi-independent. Gone are those bad days when New Delhi would refuse to take cognizance of the crimes being committed in Kashmir on a daily basis against the nation and allow the state to drift away from India. Gone are those bad days when the ruling elite in New Delhi would sign and reach agreement after agreement with the Kashmiri leadership over the heads of the nation and her Jammu and Ladakh.
Gone are those bad days when particular ruler would steal Rs 1.13 crore in just two months from the CM’s fund for making payments towards Golf Club and tailors’ bills, milk supplies and Cable TVs; loot almost Rs one crore every month and misappropriate from the CM’s fund Rs 7 to 8 crores and deposit the aforesaid amount in the accounts of mother, sister and brother.
Things have changed and changed radically. Times have changed and opening a new chapter full of hope and promise for the future. The institution of State has started acting, asserting and establishing the nation’s authority. Article 370 and J&K Constitution have been dumped in the archives. State flag is not considered fit even for a display in any museum. Article 35A has become a story of the past. Residuary powers have gone like the wind. The obnoxious state subject concept has been discarded and the concept of one nation and one constitution has been applied. Now, the Hindu-Sikh refugees and many others are equal citizens. Dual citizenship has gone. Domicile regime has replaced the outdated, archaic and discriminatory state subject regime.
The State of J&K itself has ceased to exist. Ladakh has gone out and enjoying UT status. Jammu will also go out of the leftover UT sooner than later. It is destined to happen because the situation is such.
The former rulers are in a state of shock. One politician in Kashmir, who misruled the state for six years, has been saying that he could quit politics as nothing has been left in the state after the abrogation of special status; as New Delhi has snatched everything from Kashmir. Many, including former rulers, are on the radar of the National Investigating Agency, Central Bureau of Intelligence and Anti-Corruption Bureau. It’s not necessary to name them as the whole nation knows their names.
Those who used to roar that “they would set on fire J&K if any attempt was made to tinker even slightly with special status and there will be none to give shoulder to the tricolour in the state” are in a state of gloom. Today, the national flag is flying high across the UT in all the government and semi-government offices and establishments and the heads of the departments and other officials know that stringent action would be taken against them if they dared to flout the government orders on the national flag. Not one person has dared to raise even his/her little finger against the new tricolour directions, not even in any of three Kashmir-based Universities, Dal Lake, Char Chinar, Anantnag, to mention only a few. Those who used to term J&K a “bridge between India and Pakistan” are in a state of shock. Now, J&K is an integral part like other states of the Union.
The situation has climaxed to the point that the application of former CM (Mehbooba Mufti) seeking Indian passport has been rejected citing “an adverse CID’s report against her”. The IFO said, “Her departure would be detrimental to the national security”. The adverse report was filed by none other than that CID/Home Department which she headed for more than two years. Department which was used to create Kashmir-like situation in Jammu’s Kathua district in 2008 by defaming the Hindus of Jammu, by painting them “murderers, rapists and supporters of rapists and anti-nationals” and by framing the innocents in false cases. Department she used in February 2018 to enable members of a particular community to occupy state/forest land in Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur and Reasi districts with impunity and also to promote bovine smuggling and killing of animals considered holy by the Hindus.
In short, it can be said that things have started moving in the right direction. It’s hoped that New Delhi would continue to pursue the line it has been since August 5, 2019 and take care of those in the administrative apparatus, who still refuse to appreciate the new times.