Idrees Ali

Vox popli: Challenging status, abusing power!

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‘Tampering with Article 35-A shall have severe consequences’

The state of Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing uproar over the petition filed to scrap Article 35-A of Indian Constitution. The petition challenging the Article is to be heard before Supreme Court on Aught 6. This is an article that was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order under title ‘ The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 195’4  which was issued by the President of India on 14 May 1954 in accordance with the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define ‘permanent residents’ of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.

Threatening mass agitation, almost all political, social and religious organizations have opposed the move and believe it to be a nefarious design to tinker with the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Kashmir Images reporter, Idrees Ali, spoke with people, especially youth, about their take on it.

Excerpts:

Altaf fethpori, Social Activist

Article 35-A was issued under article 370 of Indian constitution. These two articles act as a bridge between the state of Jammu and Kashmir and India. If this article is revoked it will raise question about validity of accession of the state. Besides, it is a constitutional guarantee for the residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir that the special status remains intact.  Better for all that it should not be fiddled with for any such attempt shall have severe consequences.

 Mohammad Ashraf, Businessman

It is a well designed conspiracy to change the demography of the state of J&K. They (current central government) have some vested interests and the ‘Rightwing’ groups are hell-bent to create atmosphere of distrust and hate across India and Kashmir. We should be united to defend article 35-A.

Sajad Farooq Rather, Student

If article 35-A is revoked it will lead to cultural aggression and shall prove to be a deathblow to Kashmiri identity. Why decades old article is being challenged today? Uncertainty is looming large in Kashmir and any misadventure with this article will have very bad consequences.

 Sadiya Bhat, Student

Autonomy of J&K has been slowly eroded since 1947. We can’t let further erosion of the autonomy happen. If the said article is abrogated it will lead to massive agitation in state and particularly in the valley. Thus Kashmir will suffer economically and culturally and Jammu and Ladakh will be no exception.

Shah Ajaz, Journalist

Article 35-A safeguards identify of People of J&K. The article is a reminder that J&K was not centuries old part of India, but it got acceded to India on certain conditions. If the article is abrogated, the State subjects of J&K will have no place to go. Life of local people will cripple on various fronts. The integration of this state with the rest of the country shall also fall apart if special status of J&K is harmed.

Sheikh Abid, Student

The article empowers J&K legislature to define permanent residents and other privileges the state subjects enjoy. The petition to revoke the article is just a political gimmick to play communal vote bank politics and polarize the environment. Those who are trying to fiddle with this provision must remember the Amarnath land row and how things can turn worst.

Younis Ahad, Student

Central government should come clear on the article and the petition challenging it. The government must ensure its protection at all cost and the fringe element that seems desperate to tamper with the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir must be taught a lesson. If Indian government could reach to an agreement with Naga rebel groups in ensuring the special status they are guaranteed, why not the same treatment with Jammu & Kashmir?

Kashmir Images
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