By Ankit Shah
With shouts of *propaganda* from anti-India forces regarding rights to fast internet speed being impeded, the supreme Right to Life being restored is obviously brushed under the carpet. One year on from the removal of the special provisions of the articles 370 & 35A, let’s review what has changed.
For India, the People of the State and especially Muslims –
- About 150 plus terrorists and countless infiltrators from across the borders were gunned down in swift action by the armed forces. This is an exemplary reversal from the thousands of citizens being killed till August 2019 for decades at the hands of terrorists. The local Muslims now question their handlers as to why they should pelt stones and riot instead of joining jobs, setting up businesses and living respectable lives.
- The last year has been the most peaceful period in Jammu & Kashmir’s entire violent history since 1980. The paid stone pelters reduced to one or two districts are no longer able to hinder the security operations. The articles and special provisions were the weapons Pakistan was using to prop up violent jihad in the valley. The very umbilical cord was removed. And now the rule “One Country, One Constitution” is upheld.
- A host of investments, education and employment opportunities are knocking the doors of the state which can become a tourist, education and business hub. The State is readying for forthcoming Global business and investment summits. The special provisions not just alienated the local citizens from the other parts of the country, but became an impediment for the economic progress of a rich land which can turn into a formidable financial engine of growth for the nation.
- The violence and killings which were routine on the streets have come to a complete halt. The terror recruitment and brain-washing of youth is massively curbed. A brighter life waits for the people of the state as the past corrupt leaders can no more incite hate and violence to keep eating their cakes from the central budget. It’s true that political and social stability makes for a welcoming scene for investments to arrive. Locals in huge numbers are joining Indian armed and security forces against the terrorists and infiltrators. The locals of the State are themselves standing strong in guarding the new, rock-solid infiltration grid.
- The difference in the environment of the entire state is clearly visible. The once ignored Ladakh and Jammu regions, Hindus and Dalits citizens now have equal democratic and citizenship rights. The funding for development of their areas now goes straight to the most remote pockets directly in their hands. The old, demolished temples and sensitive religious spots are recovering back to life as the region springs back to normalcy. The religious freedom under the principle of secularism stands restored.
- Entire jihad network and Pakistan sponsored terror funding apparatus is being sorted and struck down by the administration successfully. The corrupt middlemen and politicians who had a cartel with clerics are made redundant. A local leadership format is being raised from the base for the forthcoming elections and governance. Massive developments funds are now directly going towards Kashmiri Muslims who are yearning for modern infrastructure like roads, hospitals, schools, colleges, bridges and libraries.
- Post-pandemic, the children are eager to join the schools and colleges back for serious studies. India is preparing the grounds, toiling hard to give back the ‘State status’ as the people are eager to elect their government at the earliest. The local Kashmiri Muslims are standing strong united with the country in this process as they want to live a respectable life away from the evil practices forced upon them like halala, polygamy and triple talak.
- The focus on radical identity of exclusivity stands withdrawn from the state which was an erstwhile Hindu majority region for centuries. The extremists now fear that they will have to hand over the looted properties when the persecuted population comes back home to the state in such a secured environment. The new Domicile law will soon make way for persecuted Kashmiri pandits to participate in voting their choice of government and hopefully be settled with respect back home in the state.
Pakistan was using the liberal articles of 370 & 35A to create chaos and terror. The special provisions were misused to keep the region backwards and prop up radicals to create secessionist movement in the region. The failed state of Pakistan itself demands money by pointing the dangers of its own collapse to the world powers. That’s exactly what it propagated as a format for the state of Jammu & Kashmir all these decades. The state sucked huge funds from the Indian government, all going down the drain in the pockets of few politicians instead of development of the local Kashmiri population, by showcasing the chaos and mob-rioting capability around the region.
The state was literally locked up from the rest of India by misuse of these special articles. How can a secular country, stop the rest of its people from entering and exiting one of its states? This went against the norms of democratic values and freedoms enshrined in the constitution. The mere introduction of these articles way back after independence was a temporary measure to ease the internal conflicts and frictions at that time. Articles 370 & 35A were specifically categorized as “temporary” provisions. Over the years, politicians made it a tool to suck funds of the central government by illicit means. So, they had a vested interest in keeping the chaos ongoing in the state by maintaining these tools of distinct identity narrative. The current Central Government has reversed the scenario. The corrupt local leaders have sunk into oblivion as the citizens of the state now see a ray of hope, development and progress for a sustained future of the Muslim community like rest of other citizens.
Ultimately, the state is snatched back from the global Islamist radicalization agenda. The radicals are known to have entered non-Islamic lands masquerading as refugees-victims throughout history before taking over the geography with violence.
The hypocrisy is exposed when a community which entered the Hindu-majority state of Jammu & Kashmir as refugees, took over with violence of several centuries, threw others out of their home-state are now crying so-called “demographic change” when the residents are expected to come back home to a secured environment. Taking a cue from the state of Jammu & Kashmir of India, the World will have to adopt the template of how to live with a radical next door. The West, especially Europe is soon to face the music of the mistake of having allowed radicals inside under the garb of harmless, innocent refugees. The flow of illegal migrants inside is a prime national security threat as leaders fall for vote-bank imports from outside for minor political gains at the cost of security of the entire nation.
By any measure, a secular, democratic, republic country cannot stop free movement and flow of any of its citizens’ residencies, marital relations or businesses to any its states. Hence, the unconstitutional, undemocratic provisions of articles 370 & 35A had no sanctity on any grounds – legal, administrative, psychological or moral. In all prospects and estimates, the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir is now moving towards becoming an international destination of leisure, sports and business summits in few years, resurrecting the past glory much to the pain of anti-India forces.
The author is a CA & CS by qualification, Consultant, Faculty, PhD scholar, South-Asia Expert & has served as Academic & Research Associate at IIM Ahmedabad. Follow him on @ankitatiima for his predictions-analysis of China- Pak issues. He can be reached at [email protected]