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Kashmir

Attack on Indian Federation by Removing Art 370

Radhakanta Barik

RSS and Constitution do not go together. In the first five years they tried to play tricks by making non-financial bill as finance bill. Today they want to experiment with by going for heart surgery by removing a key feature Article 370. This is negation of our constitutional philosophy which is the basic feature of Indian Constitution according to the Supreme Court. Next will be the removal of the preamble of Constitution which comes in direct conflict with Manushastra. It believes in We the people of India a contract between state and people. By removing Art 370 the present government has violated the contract with people of Kashmir. By removing this they will not bother about equality, justice and fraternity. For them these are foreign words. Indigenous system is going to be created by obeying high castes and their dictates. Manushastra is going to replace Indian Constitution.

Indian federation is constitutional and institutional. In Indian constitution there is a central list and state list allocating powers to different states and powers to the centre. There is an institutional arrangement for settling conflicts between states and centre. Specifically, the Supreme Court of India has the power to look into the conflicts between states and centre. The present government is overriding the powers demarcated to states. That Indian federation is asymmetrical as some states have got special powers such as Jammu and Kashmir under Art 370 and North Eastern States under Art 371 and there are some powers to Tamilnadu where imposition of Hindi cannot be done. With the working of the RSS ideology in political practice today we have come back to their old slogan 'Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan' which is a dangerous move. A single language, a single religion and single nation which is the basis of ideology of Hindutva. Indian constitution where various cultural linguistic groups join hands together in creating a federation which got recognized during the British rule getting overruled by the Modi-Shah government. Once federation is removed from constitution then it will be easy to remove the Preamble of Indian constitution which is a part of contract theory. This will lead to a theocratic state where it will be an easier task for declaration of Hindu rashtra.

There are 25 thousand castes which create federation of faiths and deities make an agreement with the Indian state for allowing them to have freedom to practice each religious faith. In such a society each religious group and ethnic group has the same freedom to uphold their religious faiths. They make an agreement with the state for upholding their religious cultural values. There are so many linguistic groups who speak their dialects and write in their languages. All get freedom to express their cultural identities. This is the preamble of Indian constitution where each group has come into agreement with the Indian state which is contractual and legal. By attacking on a cultural community of Kashmiris the government of India has violated the rules of the game where state must step in to protect the small or big community. Judiciary as the institution of state must step in to warn the government to withdraw this brutal attack on Kashmir.

Democracy demands a logic of action by which one can discuss and debate and reach at a conclusion. Logic of politics always brings dialogues leading to compromise. Diverse interest groups reach at a conclusion through a constant communication. The present regime ignores the democratic politics and goes for direct action. In economic policy they went for demonetization without consulting the stake holders such as the RBI, Finance minister or experts. He went for an action which made 90 percentage of circulation of currency out of the market. The same thing happened in the case of Kashmir and in one day he decides to go for direct action and Art 370 is withdrawn and a cultural community under the siege and state of J and K has been reduced to an Union territory. On the street people talk this as ' hangama' for which they voted. But in democracy there is no place for 'hangama' as argumentation leading to policy making and political decision. But Modi acts in a different direction without following the rules of the game in democracy.

The BJP as a political party does not respect people's sentiment. The moment the President of India declared an ordinance for withdrawing the Constitutional provision of Art 370 on a condition that made people of Kashmir to go for a merger with the Indian Republic, forgetting his oath as a defender of Indian Constitution. There was a gloomy scene hanging from a cloudy sky over its citizenry but they took a procession of a dozen students from the city to Utkal University where ordinary students did look the other side. I remember the same thing happened in Ravenshaw university on the occasion of fake video on JNU organized by a small number of students against "anti - nationalism" of JNU. These people have not learned of respecting Constitution after ruling more than five years.

Public opinion is against the central government's occupation over Kashmir. In the morning at a tea shop, twenty retired civil servants, Professors, journalists are of the same opinion in Bhubaneswar. The government is not respecting these people all over India. The RSS's old declared policy to forcibly occupy Kasmir by disrespecting basic philosophy of Indian federation. This will bring an occupation of tribal lands as there is restriction on the part of tribals to sell their lands. India's multi-cultural federation is disintegrating under the Hindutva forces.

Attack on Kashmir has a close relationship with the dismal state of economy in India. A leading journalist a supporter of Modi economics has expressed her anguish over the present economic situation that economy is not supporting the present regime. She is shy not elaborating the reasons. She looks at God's hands in not helping economy to grow. These people believe in fate and their fatalism has pushed the economy to such deep precipice. Abandoned by the experts and caricatured by Modi as Harvard School is the part of problem. Rational understanding of the problem requires experts understanding in giving their inputs. The same situation is prevailing in Kashmir. The RSS can mobilize their support but they lack any understanding of history, economy and politics. Their fatalitistic beliefs have led to difficulties for people of India.

Modi-II is busy in creating volumes of legislations in proportion to the decline of economy. In all key sectors of economy India is down and down. There is a gloomy economic scene waiting for all of us. The rulers are in a holiday mood. Industry is speaking out loudly. Youth is in a desperate to get a job but unemployment is growing. It is a party of traders who want to make money by selling goods. Industry is worried of investment and demand. A political party who understands the problems of industry needs to rule India.

Why does the BJP government think in this direction? It is taking a RSS line of thinking in the case of Kashmiri. They are showing teeth at people who know how to break the teeth. In the past they showed their strength but failed. They stopped food supply which did not keep them hungry as every family has a piece of land. They refused to provide them employment but they depended on their handicraft activities. As a cultural group they have tenacity to survive in a better manner. Only way allow them to live in a democracy with their rights and with their dignity. You are not Israel they are not Palestinians. But the present government at the centre is behaving like the Israel government by going on forcibly occupying the land of Palestine. The way they have removed the state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two parts and Ladakh has removed from the state of J & K. Kashmir has been reduced to a centrally ruled state which is contrary to democratic spirit of   Indian constitution.

It is interesting to note here that a leading developmental economist Dreze has shown a poster in comparing the human development indicators of Kashmir with Gujarat. Be it average income level of an ordinary citizen or longevity of person, or child mortality or women mortality in all these indicators Kashmir is ahead of Gujarat. The state of J and K has gone for implementing the land reforms by allotting land to an ordinary citizen. This brings income and food security to each. Each child is going to school. Literacy rate is above 90 percentages of people. Access to health services is much better than Gujarat. Gujaratis have no place in their business map of Kashmir which have made them anger to occupy the state which will help them to enter into their territory. This is the muscular nationalism which has come into full blown form. A MLA belonging to BJP has spoken out that they are interested to marry women of Kashmir. He should have removed from the Party but no action has been taken against such sexist words of the MLA.

[radhakantab@gmail.com]

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Frontier
Vol. 52, No. 9, Sep 1 - 7, 2019