News Desk |
Jammu and Kashmir’s recent reorganization bill have left many stunned. Some claim it is a new beginning for the ignored child of India that had been stuck for the past 70 odd years, but others consider the ‘smart move’ a demotion for the people and a threat to India’s current legal architecture.
The Bills pertaining to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will ensure integration and empowerment. These steps will bring the youth into the mainstream and give them innumerable opportunities to showcase their skills and talents. Local infrastructure will significantly improve.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 6, 2019
For starters, this episode began whence Bharatiya Janta Party passed a bill to revoke Article 370 out of the Indian constitution on the 6th of August; which essentially allowed all the provisions of the Indian Constitution to be applicable to Jammu and Kashmir – that is, annulled its ‘special status’, took away its administrative autonomy and brought it under the central parliament instead of the elected state government.
This then further led to breaking Jammu and Kashmir from one state into two Union Territories: one to be called Jammu and Kashmir, and the other Ladakh.
Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party argue that Jammu and Kashmir’s state status needed to be scrapped to integrate Kashmir and put it on the same footing as the rest of India. However, many Kashmiris believe that the BJP ultimately wants to change the demographic character of the Muslim-majority region by allowing non-Kashmiris to buy land in the area.
According to Palaniappan Chidambaram, if Modi’s government found the audacity to take away the autonomy of large state like Jammu and Kashmir to turn it into an amalgamation of union territories by trampling the Indian constitutional territories through flawed interpretations and manipulation of the laws, then the government can potentially attack and break open any state.
After calling it a ‘dark day for democracy’ in one of his interviews, Chidambram explained how it is astonishing the way Modi found loopholes and creeped through the system.
He set an example – a first of its kind – by getting rid of the state government, brought direct rule through a governor, gave power in the hands of the central parliament and conveniently approved propositions in his favor through his parliamentarian puppets.
Such a move puts the civilian rights in danger. If Kashmir has been failed today, the rest of India can be failed tomorrow.
Complete transcript of P Chidambaram’s media address
What the government has done is unprecedented. We anticipated that they would embark upon this adventure, but in our wildest dreams we did not expect them to take such a catastrophic step. What have we done? We have not just simply gotten rid of article 370, but we have dismembered the state of Jammu and Kashmir by mischievously misinterpreting both Article 3 and 370 of the constitution.
If this can be done to Jammu and Kashmir, let me caution you – it can be done to every other state in India. All they have to do is, dismiss the elected government; impose the president’s rule; dissolve the elected assembly; the parliament takes the power of the assembly; the government moves a resolution; the parliament approves it and the state can be dismembered.
Every state can be broken up into 2,3 or more; union territories can be created out of a state by the mischievous misinterpretation of Article 3 and 370 in the constitution – it will not stop them. What they have done is a constitutional monstrosity. People in India and all its state should wake up to the grave danger that has been set as an example today by these completely unconstitutional and illegal resolutions.
I want to warn every party, every state and every citizen of India that the idea of India as a union of states is in great danger; they can dismember every state and break it up. This is the beginning of the disintegration of India. I am very sorry to use such strong words but this is the worst day in the constitutional history of India.