With the Presidential Order to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha on August 5, the House also passed Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019. Congress party opposed the move but to no avail. In the process of discussion, its leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chidambaram put forward some arguments. But Home Minister Amit Shah replied to these arguments with facts and in a language that can be understood by common people, in what may go down as one of the most articulate speeches in the Parliament.
Here is how the Home Minister countered all the reservations expressed from the opposition against the revoking of Article 370.
Government is doing this for securing the interest of BJP’s vote bank.
We don’t believe in politics of religion. What does Congress mean when it says vote bank politics in Jammu and Kashmir? Only Muslims live in Jammu and Kashmir? Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists all live there. If 370 is good it is good for all, if it is bad then it is bad for all.
Article 370 and 35A have helped to preserve the identity of Jammu and Kashmir.
Someone tell me specifically what good did these provisions bring to Jammu and Kashmir? Ayushman Bharat scheme is there but where are the hospitals? Where are the doctors and nurses? Those supporting 35A please tell me which famous doctor will go, live there and practice? He can’t own a land or a house nor can his children vote.
Revoking Article 370 is a murder of democracy.
I want to tell the people of J&K what damage 370 & 35A did to the state. It’s because of these sections that democracy was never fully implemented, corruption increased in the state, that no development could take place.
Refugees from Pakistan such as IK Gujral and Manmohan Singh became PM. But West Pakistan refugees in J&K couldn’t even become councillors. Article 370 did not allow democracy to grow instead helped corruption to flourish and poverty to increase. Even education took a backseat because of Article 370.
Many big companies want to set up their office in Jammu and Kashmir and that would increase employment. But, because of Article 370, no big company can enter the state.
Many have given their life for Article 370. There are widows in the state because they fought for the provision.
More number of people died because of Article 370 and this provision turned many women into widows. 41,894 people died due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. What has article 370 and 35 A given other than death and destruction? Those who are saying there will be bloodshed in Kashmir, they have sent their children to London & other countries to study.
We can understand that revoking Article 370 and 35A were part of your promises. But why are you making Jammu and Kashmir a union territory?
This decision is taken to respond to the prevailing situation.
Several MPs have asked how long will J&K remain a Union Territory. I want to assure them when situation gets normal & the right time comes, we’re ready to make J&K a state again.
Other Interesting Points the Home Minister Said
Pakistan’s Operation Tupac: As per the now revealed documents, Operation Tupac is the code name given to the intelligence operations of Pakistan to nurture the separatist elements in Jammu and Kashmir. They also said in their document that as long as Article 370 remains, they don’t need to worry because it will not let the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to integrate with India.
Political Reservation: There is no political reservation for the SC/STs because of Article 370. Interests of the OBCs also side lined because of the provision.
The Leaders on Article 370: Ram Manohar Lohia had said that as long as Article 370 remains, the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India is not possible. Congress leaders like Gulzarilal Nanda and many others had opposed Article 370. Jawaharlal Nehru also said “370 ghiste-ghiste ghis jaayegi”(It will go eventually). But even after 70 years it stayed. When will it go?
Constitutionality of this Order: I know that the opposition has its way through NGOs who may challenge this through petitions. But we have followed such a method after rigorous research, in a thoroughly legal way, such that it does not get struck down by any court.
This simple, logical explanation of Home Minister Amit Shah over the abrogation of Article 370 has left no room for naysayers.