Participating in ‘Behas with Barkha’, former IAS Officer, Mr Shah Faesal compared the scrapping of Article 370 with dropping of a nuclear bomb. He said that earlier, people like him used to argue that Kashmiris can become part of Indian democracy and secularism without sacrificing their identity and culture. However, scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of State not only resulted in the loss of identity but also reduced the status of Jammu and Kashmir State to Union Territory.
When asked the rationale behind comparing the scraping of the article with dropping of a nuclear bomb, Mr Faesal said ‘when a nuclear attack happens somewhere, people get nervous, they get frozen wherever they are and the scale of devastation is very hard to measure at the time when it happens’.
The current situation in Kashmir
Talking about the current situation prevailing in the valley, Mr Faesal said that people of Kashmir is yet to understand what has happened. ‘People will react when they come to know what really happened’, he added.
In response to Mr Faesal’s claim, Ms Barkha said that the article was weakened on many occasion by the earlier governments. She further said that today, 260 of 395 articles of constitution of India are already applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
Quoting the statistics presented by Ms Barkha, Mr Faesal questioned, ‘when so many articles of the constitution are already applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, what was an urgency to scarp Article 370?’. He further claimed that the performance of Jammu and Kashmir on many indicators including, GDP per capita, Total Fertility Rate is better than any other States including Gujarat.
Responding to Mr Faesal’s claims, Ms Bharkha said that the performance of the State was due to Central funds.
Changes in the article should have been through Assembly
Mr Faesal said that there was a need for debate on issues likely gender rights, West Pakistan Refugees, however, the decision is done unilaterally.
He alleged that it is an attempt to change the demographics of the state under the pretext of development.
Justify his statement, ‘unprecedented horror’, Mr Faesal question, “Who is going to say that the decision of Central Govt. was right or wrong?”.
Faesal compared the situation in Kashmir with ‘wartime situation’.
Dismissing the claim that the situation in Kashmir is peaceful, Mr Faesal question, “If it is true, what was the need for deploying huge security forces in the valley?”
He compared the situation in Kashmir with ‘wartime situation’.
He rejected the claim that with the removal of Article 370, investments will come in the State.
Reacting on statements, “now one can marry ‘Gori’ Kashmiri girl”, Mr Faesal said that by scrapping an article, the differences cannot be bridged.
At the end of the debate, Mr Faesal predicted that the intention behind the removal of the article will not be fulfilled.
Parliament passed Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019
It may be mentioned that Parliament had passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 and approved the resolution to abrogate the Constitution’s Article 370.