Changes in Jammu Kashmir status violate Democracy and Constitution: Popular Front

Popular Front of India chairman E Abubacker has stated that the decision of Central Government to change the status of Jammu & Kashmir State and the way it was brought in violate the spirit of democracy and Indian constitution. He said that the decision to abrogate Articles 370 and 35A pertaining to Jammu & Kashmir state is not in the best interest of our nation and its people.

Along with the some other recent laws passed by the parliament such as NIA, UAPA, RTI etc the present move to downgrade the status of J&K which was a state with special constitutional status, now as two Union Territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh heralds the dark days to come for democracy and civil rights.

An act of taking away the special constitutional status provided by Article 370 and Article 35A for J&K, enjoyed by the state ever since the dawn our republic, is not something that can be done without discussing the stakeholders. A calculated political decision, it looks very strange that the BJP government is not even bothered about adequate discussion and scrutiny at parliament level. The government should have tabled the bill at the beginning of the session, made it public and listened to all voices. Instead, it was issued as a presidential order in a created dramatic atmosphere, with least respect for democracy.

BJP can boast that they had gone in the way of fulfilling the promise in their 2014 and 2019 Election Manifestos. But keeping the stake holders in Kashmir away from the process and detaining the democratically elected previous chief ministers before the announcement show political arrogance and vendetta, something unheard in the history of our country. This also amounts to betraying those political forces and leaders including former BJP alliance partners who always stood with the Indian government. And the large scale military deployment and creation of a terror situation throughout the state will only further alienate the Kashmir people from rest of India.

The claim in the government notification that it is being issued in concurrence with the government of Jammu & Kashmir is nothing more than a joke. J&K is now under President’s rule and the assembly election was not deliberately held along with the Lok Sabha election though it was then due. If the consent of a state governor appointed by the central government is taken as that of state government for even changing the constitutional position of the concerned state, this fate of federalism can fall at any time on other Indian states also. It is also noteworthy that Kashmir is not the only state in Indian Union which enjoys special constitutional status under Article 370. In future such radical changes would be brought in other states also without even attempting discussion, debate and consensus.

E Abubacker stated that the new tragic turn in Kashmir strategy is enough to satisfy the communally frenzied mob psych influenced by Sangh Parivar ideology of hate. But peace in Kashmir can be achieved only through dialogue, taking the Kashmir people in confidence. He requested the civil society to undertake the responsibility of saving the secular and democratic space in the country, which is shrinking day by day due to the arrogance of ruling party and opportunism of most opposition parties.