At a recent rally in Jammu, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked whether Article 370 has helped the average citizen of Kashmir. Is he trying to stand apart by calling for a debate on Article 370? Was he suggesting that one of the BJP’s and the RSS’s core and non-negotiable issues is scrapping the Article?
A debate on Article 370 is welcome. But since the purpose of the Article is to give Jammu and Kashmir autonomy in matters of citizenship, property ownership and other rights, Parliament is the proper place to debate this.
C. Koshy John,
The special status granted to J&K by Article 370 is no special status in the real sense. It included a set of nomenclatures like Wazir-e-Azam, Sadr-e-Riyasat and the right to self-determination which, with the passage of time, were done away with to integrate the State into the Indian Union. Even the Privy Purses were abolished. What remain are the Constitution of J&K and some privileges which, even if taken away, may not be significant for the Centre. But the move will definitely alienate the Kashmiris further. There are still questions waiting for answers, the important one being the authenticity of the document we call the Instrument of Accession.
Aijaz Hussain Malik,
Mr. Modi’s remark on Article 370 has only ended up creating more problems. It may stir up fresh trouble with separatist leaders, militant groups and opportunistic political parties. This shows Mr. Modi’s lack of vision and pragmatism. Moreover, given the significance, history and context of the State and the Article, the people with whom Mr. Modi needs to discuss the issue are those in the Kashmir Valley.