We as a nation have failed Kashmiris

ArticleWe as a nation have failed Kashmiris


We as a nation have failed Kashmiris

Ubaidullah Nasir

We as a nation have failed Kashmiris

Exactly one year before on this date the 5th August 2019 the day when the entire nation, our constitutional democracy, our constitutional and democratic institutions including Supreme Court , media and opposition parties failed their own people the Kashmiris. On this day on the basis of its brute majority in Indian parliament and with the help of other parties except Congress, special constitutional provision for J&K article 370 was abrogated without taking the people of J&K and their elected representatives into confidence. Few months before this BJP suddenly withdraw from coalition government of J&K and put the nation under President rule. Then nobody had got the slightest hint that what was cooking in Delhi. As a second step the peaceful Amarnath yatra was suddenly stopped and the yatris were air lifted to their places. Then too nobody could smell what is in the air. Even J&K governor Satyapal Malik is on record to have said that nothing untoward is going to happen and suddenly the above mentioned bill was moved in the parliament and the members were given very short time to study the bill. Two bills were moved in parliament one abrogating article 370 together with article 35 A and the other one was of slicing J&K into pieces. As per the constitution article 370 could only be abrogated with the consent of constituent assemblies of both J&K and India since there are no more constituent assemblies either in India or in J&K the authority was transferred to Lok Sabha and J&K assembly. Since the J&K assembly was earlier dissolved from whom the union government got the consent is not clear. If union government claims it got the consent of state governor it is illegal unconstitutional as the governors are the representative of President of India not people of their respective states. What has surprised many independent observer is the support government got from regional parties who are otherwise very sensitive to article 356 through which centre could dismiss any stat government. Here in this case the very existence of a state was being finished and the regional parties supported this most blatant misuse of majority in Lok Sabha.

After Parliamentary approval the bill was sent to President of India the custodian of our constitution for sanction and he sanctioned it without raising even his eye brow. It was expected that he will realise the unconstitutionality of the bill and will send it back to Cabinet for reconsideration. Remember how late President Gyani Zail Singh has refused to sign the postal bill and the Rajiv Gandhi government which was having much more strong majority than Modi government dropped the bill. As expected the act was challenged in the Supreme Court but a crystal clear case of unconstitutionality and involving of fundamental and constitutional rights of people of J&K is lying undecided in the court. This dilly delaying by the highest court of the nation which is the protector of fundamental and constitutional rights of every Indian is unexplainable. When the highest court of the land is failing the people of J&K where else they should and could go for relief and restoration of their fundamental rights. The nation specially the people of a definite ideology may be enjoying the abrogation of article 370 and slicing of the state but the government of India and all the constitutional bodies and media have failed to gauge the feelings of people of J&K. It is just like people gathered around a sacrificial goat expressing their happiness and hoping for their pond of flesh without understanding the sentiments of that goat. Agreed that the abrogation of article 370 has been the core of BJP’s ideology but this could have been done in more democratic constitutional and humane path than this “lath maar” style. Majority in legislature doesn’t mean majoritarianism.

With this, all political and social activities in the valley came to a hault. All major political players including ex chief ministers Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Umar Abdullah, Mahbooba Mufti ex union minister Professor Saifuddin Soz and thousand other political & social activists businessmen, journalists etc. were put under arrest. According to a rough estimate there is one security men behind every three Kashmiri one could well imagine the life of a common Kashmiri under these circumstances. There were no newspapers no internet link and no other source to contact with relatives and friends of Kashmiris living outside the valley even 4 G internet service has yet not been restored what to say about other fundamental rights and needs of the Kashmiris. The economic cost of this arrangement is eating into the vitals of our economy. According to the information available from different sources roughly one hundred crore rupees are spent daily on security forces which before this arrangement was just half of this amount or a bit higher.

Supreme Court is the last resort for justice and ensuring constitutional functioning of the government. It is independent and is said to be apart government but unfortunately there have been instances after instances where our higher court has acted as a part of the government. In cases after cases involving peoples fundamental rights the courts have been giving benefit of doubt to government. On abrogation of article 370 its constitutionality was challenged in SC last year in the month of October but the our highest court refused to stay the government decision and since then is giving dates after dates to decide a case which is crystal clear and hardly needs any deep constitutional expertise. The limit was crossed when the SC blindly accepted the governments assertion that ex union Minister Professor Saifuddin Soz and his son Salman Soz a senior Congress leader were under no restriction whereas photos have appeared in news papers and on social media showing Mr Soz speaking to reporters from behind barbed wires and heavy security deployment around his house. It was a clear case of misrepresentation by the state authorities before the highest court a clear case of taking toughest actions against the officers concerned for misinforming the court thus stopping the justice but his lordship said that there is no cause of not trusting the state government.

This illegality unconstitutionality arbitrariness has further alienated the Kashmiris from India and they are not wrong. When the rest of India is not worried about their plights about their fundamental rights about their basic constitutionally guaranteed freedom what hope they should have from us. One year have passed God knows how much time the SC will take in deciding the fate of Kashmiris including about restoration of their fundamental rights and different habeas corpuses appeal pending before it. So far the question of any hope from Modi government is concerned it is foolish to think about this. Sorry Kashmiri brothers sisters and children we have failed you .

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