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Updated: December 2, 2013 10:54 IST

Modi seeks debate on Article 370

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
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BJP president Rajnath Singh and the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during a rally in Jammu on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
The Hindu
BJP president Rajnath Singh and the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during a rally in Jammu on Sunday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Has it benefited the common man, asks the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate

Addressing his first rally in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, Gujarat Chief Minister and the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi sought ‘at least a debate’ on Article 370 (that grants special status to J&K) and assured the people that the party would transform the ‘separate State’ into a ‘super State,’ even as he laid stress on development and integration. He avoided references to terrorism, border killings and the communal riots in Kishtwar.

“Irrespective of whether it remains a part of the Indian Constitution or not, the time has come for at least a debate to find whether Article 370 has benefited the common man in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the need of the hour. The Congress has unfortunately obfuscated this issue with the rhetoric of secularism to the extent where it is hard to count its merits and demerits,” he said.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has lately scolded us, saying the BJP leaders were uselessly referring to the big names and they had no will to act. We would just remind him one thing about Nehru: He [Nehru] had said that Article 370 would get worn out with the passage of time and die. We ask Manmohan Singhji, why doesn’t his government act on Nehru’s wish [to repeal the law],” Mr Modi said.

Significantly, Mr. Modi did not push the BJP’s trademark demand for the repeal of Article 370. He did not make sharp attacks on Pakistan, terrorism and Kashmir’s separatist leadership. His 40-minute speech made no mention of this year’s killing of the Indian troops on the International Border and the LoC, ceasefire violations, the fidayeen attacks at Hiranagar and Samba or the communal riots of Kishtwar. Mr. Modi, nevertheless, paid rich tributes to the Army and paramilitary forces who sacrificed their lives while fighting terrorism and protecting the country.

The BJP claimed that around one lakh people, including a few thousand Muslims, participated in the ‘Lalkaar Rally’ that could mark beginning of a fiery campaigning for the coming Lok Sabha elections in the State.

Mr. Modi, accompanied by party president Rajnath Singh, spoke at length about the need for ‘transformation’ in Jammu and Kashmir. The Congress, he alleged, had sown the seeds of a ‘separate State’. “I assure you that the BJP’s government will transform Jammu and Kashmir into the country’s super State,” he asserted.

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Article 370 has definately benefitted Kashmir. Had there been no article 370 so called developmentwadi's like Modi would have converted our beautifull landscape into concrete jungle & air full of smoke & smog. The world famous Shalimar bagh, Nishat bagh etc would have become Shalimar Mall with a Shalimar SLUM sitting cheek & jowl to it.

from:  Shaleen Mathur
Posted on: Dec 4, 2013 at 12:17 IST

Article 370 requires concurrence of state of Jammu and Kashmir by Indian
Parliament, but dividing Andhra Pradesh doesn't require the approval of
the state Assembly! Why not ask the people of Jammu and the Ladakh
regions about their opinion? Why only the "Kashmiris" alone count?

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Dec 4, 2013 at 12:03 IST

Its hard to imagine the uproar over a call to debate on Article 370. Modi correctly pointed out the discrimination of women in Kashmir. How many people knew about this discrimination before him raising this issue? Also found out that Right to Education cannot be extended to J&K and The J&K Govt also doesn't have give details of monies flowing in and out under Article 370.
Can somebody explain why the reluctance to debate on its own merit ? Regardless of your opinion of Modi, attempts to quash debate is very sad and inexcusable in a democracy.

from:  Meg
Posted on: Dec 4, 2013 at 06:51 IST

Guys, before jumping up and supporting everything Mr Modi says, please take a moment to consider this. J&K's accession to India was a special case, and it was under specific agreements and safeguards. The people of the state should have a greater say in running their affairs, not us. In my opinion, this principle should apply to all states of India, not just J&K. Whether Article 370 has benefited them or not is a question for the residents of J&K to consider, not us. If we, the non-J&K natives, impose our will upon them without taking them on board, are we not acting like a dictatorship? While we can cry hoarse till the cows come home that all problems in Kashmir are due to Pakistan, the fact remains that there is a genuine disillusionment and resentment against the Indian government and its security forces in the valley. If anyone thinks that there can be a long-lasting one-sided solution to the Kashmir issue dictated by us, I would say they are just being naive.

from:  Vineeth
Posted on: Dec 3, 2013 at 13:04 IST

Why did Modi not visit Kashmir valley and strict only to Jammu. Is it
because Jammu is hindu dominate and Kashmir is not, If Modi wants to
perform greater role in India he should have brought the Kashmir people
in confidence by having this rally in the valley.

from:  Selva Arangesan
Posted on: Dec 3, 2013 at 08:44 IST

At a time when the politicians deliberately refrain from addressing
the complex issues confronting the Nation, which lead to compounding
the issues, causing immense suffering to the Nation and its populace,
it is commendable that Narendra Modi was candid to put forth his view
on article 370. Definitely it may stir up a hornets’ nest and pseudo-
secular elements may as usual cry foul of the demand.
Let us not forget the fact that both Privy Purses and Article 370 are
the inherited legacy and price for our independence. It was Sardar
Patel who persuaded the Constituent Assembly to guarantee payment of
Privy Purses and preserve the rights of the erstwhile rulers as a
token of gesture for the erstwhile rulers of 565 princely states for
merger with India after independence. Even though after Patel’s
death, there were repeated demands to abolish the Privy Purses, Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru refused to do so. Appalled at these demands, the then
Congress leadership remarked ‘ as an honorable party to an agreement,
we cannot take the stand that we shall accept only that part of the
settlement which confers rights on us and repudiate or whittle down
that part which defines our obligations. But later on the congress
party under the leadership of Indira Gandhi through a constitutional
amendment on the strength of landslide victory in the 1971 election
betrayed Sardar Patel and rulers of princely states 20 years later by
abolishing the Privy Purses. If Privy Purses can be abolished why our
political leadership is reluctant to abolish Article 370 and special
status to Jammu and Kashmir even after 6 decades? The reason why
there is abject poverty in India is because we spend all our money on
keeping Jammu & Kashmir well-fed and well-protected, but nobody is
ready to accept this hard truth.

from:  ettirankandath krishnadas
Posted on: Dec 3, 2013 at 05:57 IST

not only article 370 , but the entire constitution itself needs a
revisit since lots of changes have taken place in Indian democracy since

from:  j narayanan
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 13:50 IST

The reporter should give his estimate of how many people would have attended the meeting instead of giving BJP calculations.

from:  haresh
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 13:34 IST

Article 370 is the main and biggest hurdle in the development of the state - J&K. If this article will be removed in future, besides tourism many super specialty hospitals and rehabilitation centres of world class can be establish, which can attract people from all over the world. Abolition of the article will also automatically abolish Kashmir's separatism leadership.

from:  Anuradha Sehgal
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 12:49 IST

first let this guy come forward for an open TV debate on snoopgate issue.

from:  hari bashkar
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 12:21 IST

Modi can't be able to provide recipes for all the manifested ills that have evolved over time due to different reasons. Good governance and strict implementation of rule of law are the stepping stones to take this country out of mess. If that happens some other major problems will be corrected automatically. Voting a single party to power is needed to progress India in 21st century. We have already lost precious 13 years and time is running out.

from:  Vijay Raina
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 12:08 IST

@a.g.rajmohan: You may want to consider turning the All Caps off next
time, it is hard to read a comment in all caps. Anyways, it seems you
have no real opinion on the need for debate on article 370. Is it fair
to assume that you have real objection for Modi asking for debate on
this issue?

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 11:52 IST

Need to Review Article 370 and Related

Modi's comments on Article 370 may be political, but there is a need to review all the Articles related to states' formation, bifurcation and change of boundaries. The political parties have been enjoying political benefits by exploiting these acts frequently. Now there is neither specific criterion nor objective norms for this purpose. It is not only Jammu and Kashmir, but also many states like Andhra Pradesh, west Bengal, Uttar Pradesh which have been frequently disturbed by political forces for their advantage in the name of separate state agitations. The major political parties and their alliances should think this issue with broad national interest.

from:  Sudhakar Reddy Kalathuru
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 11:38 IST

The BJP's propaganda for annulling art. 370 can be easily quashed by simply making that entire article available for adoption by ALL the states and union territories of India.
After all, just as the Kashmiris have their 'Kashmiriat', the Bengalis, Marathis, Gujaratis, etc.. have their 'Bengaliat, Marathiat, Gujaratiat, Tamiliat' etc..

from:  Rajan Shete
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 11:37 IST

It's sucha an issue, in which Kasmiri opinion is also important. Being a
democrtic country,central can not take such desicion.

from:  Amit Alok
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 11:19 IST

Article 370, you can wear it as crown but what benefit the people of Jammu and
Kashmir got is anybody's guess. It is therefore apt to have a country wide debate on
the issue and if the people of this country want this to be continued, let us maintain
Article 370, otherwise enact better legislations for the people of India to live a better
life and united people.

from:  Pappalil Prabhakaran
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 11:04 IST

in my sence, article 370 must be ended....i can give several reasons
1. mr ''arisocrat'' nehru did for there vote bank...
2. it creat a feeling that j&k is not 100% part of india...
3. if it is our (ind) part then why we are denial for buy any
property there...
4.even after article 370 is present there...i do not think that
person is safe from terror... instead of this confusing 370 our govt
should allow a strict regulation there...

from:  roushan jha
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 11:02 IST

Issues of this nature needs to be discussed with sensitivity. If the problem was not complex and the solution was that simple, this would have been resolved long back and would not have waited for NaMo to intervene. In any case, sarcasm is to be avoided and this issue shouldn't be used to score debating points. One would expect mature statesmanship while examining the issue, if a lasting solution is what is being sought.

from:  V. K. ALEXANDER
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 10:53 IST

We do need to ask a lot of questions about Kashmir, especially if we really believe it is a part of India. In particular, we need to look into the status of the lakhs of displaced Kashmiri Pandits who are refugees from their own homes, and work on resettling them as soon as possible.

from:  Sharan
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 09:38 IST

The compulsions of democracy even forces well meaning politicians to
speak in populist tones. This is evident here. Article 370 has outlived
its usefulness and as long as it is active , integration of Kashmir with
rest of India will be very difficult.

from:  Himanshu
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 09:07 IST

article 370 of Indian constitution is the only reason of ongoing
disturbances in the valley...........proper solution to the j&k problem
is rethinking on article 370 and progressing on this move.......j&k is
our integral part so we need to omit 370 article....

from:  satyakumar upadhyay
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 08:40 IST

Article 370 has benefited only the elite, both in Kashmir and in Jammu. More than the man on the streets it is the entrenched elite which has monopolised everything. The elite want the provisions to remain the remaining hapless 99.99 percent have been brainwashed out of their minds.

from:  anil kotwal
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 08:24 IST

The young people of India are more interested in jobs than debates about
ancient issues.

from:  Dennis
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 07:33 IST


from:  a.g.rajmohan
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 07:18 IST

All along Cong is projecting the special status to J&K under Article 370 as an indisputable subject. Now, Mr.Modi has dragged it to public forum for a meaningful debate; that too he speaks out in J&K soil. How far A.370 has benefited the common man in J&K must be sorted out. Cong. has to introspect its stand on 370 and to review its policy over 370 duly setting aside election motives. Our nation requires statesmanship from Cong at least in this vital matter.

from:  seetharaman
Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 07:08 IST

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi should know that like
Jammu and Kashmir, similar protection for unique status exist in tribal
areas of India including those in Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh,
Andoman and Nicobar Islands and Nagaland. Moreover accession of Jammau
and Kashmir is on the Agenda of UN. Article 370 requires concurrence of
state of Jammu and Kashmir by Indian Parliament for applying any other
laws applicable to Indian citizens.

Posted on: Dec 2, 2013 at 06:03 IST

Wonderful. At least NaMo speaks something where a solution can emerge. I
think he should be given a chance with majority so he can shape India.

from:  Ragav
Posted on: Dec 1, 2013 at 21:20 IST

Article 370 gives special status to J & K; and the main benefit is that
land inside J & K can be bought only by J & K bonafide residents.
However, there are some states, like Himachal Pradesh; which have gone
even one step ahead of J & K; where not only persons outside Himachal
Pradesh, but even bona fide non-agriculturist Himachali cannot purchase
land inside Himachal Pradesh.

from:  himalaya
Posted on: Dec 1, 2013 at 21:10 IST

The B.J.P. Prime Minister Candidate Narendera Modi while participating
in Lalkar Rally in Jammy demanded for fresh debate on Article 370 .
Really Narendera Modi has succeeded in attracting large number of youths
towards his ideology manifold and of the B.J.P. . As the large number of
masses turn out to attend the Lalkar Rally of Narendera Modi really
predicts that Narendera Modi and specially N.D.A. is heading towards
land slide victory in the coming Parliament Elections 2014 .

Posted on: Dec 1, 2013 at 20:16 IST

Now he is talking sensible things.

from:  Musthafa Ck
Posted on: Dec 1, 2013 at 16:47 IST
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