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Restore the Constitutional relationship

Restore the Constitutional relationship
Highlights

The top leadership of the Indian political class will converge today to discuss the emerging situation in Kashmir. The precarious turn of events in Kashmir requires an urgent and enduring solution. In fact, situation in Kashmir is much graver than what is reported in media. It’s an unprecedented human tragedy for Kashmir. 

The top leadership of the Indian political class will converge today to discuss the emerging situation in Kashmir. The precarious turn of events in Kashmir requires an urgent and enduring solution. In fact, situation in Kashmir is much graver than what is reported in media. It’s an unprecedented human tragedy for Kashmir.

It has geo-political implications for the entire South Asia. The Indo-Pak relations saw a new nadir with the eruption of fresh cycle of violence in the trouble-torn valley. But, sinister machinations of hostile neighbour are only one facet of the problem.

The internal dynamics that throw up such violence need to be probed to find a lasting solution. The enemy across the border is always ready to derive strategic advantage. The wisdom lies in not giving an opportunity to Pakistan rather than being obsessed with its evil designs.

Describing the killing of Burhan Muzaffar Wani as elimination of terrorist does not lead us to solution. The kind of response his death evoked, especially from Kashmiri youth, reflects the magnitude of simmering discontent in the Kashmiri society. Prime Minister was right when he said that Kashmir youths should have laptops, not stones, in their hands.

Violence is nothing new to Kashmir. But, the latest spiral of violence which saw larger participation of young Kashmiris has a political context. The violence is more widespread in parts of Kashmir, especially where the youth rallied behind PDP in 2014 elections that projected itself during the campaign to be the only political force that can resist the onslaught of BJP.

But, the post-poll arithmetic saw the convergence of a PDP, which stands for full autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir and even more, and BJP, which aggressively campaigns for abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India that grants autonomy to the State.

This special constitutional recognition for the State is an appreciation of historical circumstance in which Kashmir’s accession to India took place. The post-independence Indian political process vehemently eroded the Article 370, resulting in a deep sense of alienation among ordinary Kashmiris.

The separatist forces within the country and their active sponsorers across the border have been capitalising on this accumulated anger. The strange alliance of PDP and BJP in the State and the BJP‘s formidable strength in the national polity have further strengthened the fear among Kashmiris over the possible repeal of this special Constitutional status.

The political class, especially the ruling party and the Government of India that convened the all-party meeting today, should restore the confidence of Kashmiri people that the Article 370 would not only remain but would be restored to its original essence .

This is a democratic solution possible within the parameters of unity, integrity and sovereignty of India. The true spirit of federalism in fact demands greater autonomy for States in general, not just for Kashmir.

The pumping of more and more guns and forces cannot solve the problem. The problem is essentially political in nature and the solution should be political. The political solution is precisely restoring the true spirit of constitutional relationship between Indian Union and the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

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