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By: Adv. Mohd Aamir Malik

On 26th January 1950 India became a sovereign democratic Republic with a written constitution and an elected parliament. India will celebrate its 70th Republic Day today. The Indian Constitution, the longest in the world, consists of 397 Articles and 12 Schedules which provides for a single citizenship for the whole of India- something to cherish and enjoy for all Indians and a really good reason for them to organize celebrations.

While India is busy celebrating it Republic or Independence day, Kashmiri’s mark this day as ‘Black Day’ by observing a general strike and also processions at various places to show the resentment brewing in their hearts and minds. One has to understand and underline that it is not out of hatred but due to the failed commitments of Indian leaders who despite their clarion commitment regarding a referendum in Kashmir for its final dispensation blatantly reneged on their promise and pledges.

One can question that if India is the largest democracy, does it suit it to hold a region against the wishes and aspirations of its population and deny them the basic democratic and internationally recognized right of self determination which was promised by the same ‘largest democracy’ in front of the world community.

Such failure on part of the Indian polity is seen as a betrayal and also perfidy that has cost this ‘largest democracy’ its reputation as a great nation. And how can you stake a claim to the permanent membership of UN Security Council when you put your damn foot on the resolution passed by this world body to which you and Pakistan are signatories and shamelessly declare Kashmir, an internationally recognized territory, as your integral part and get irritated by some rational comments by world leaders who foresee its inherent potential to destabilize peace of whole South Asia.

Bayonets, Pellets and bullets cannot be answer to Kashmir crisis. India seems trampling its own  constitution while dealing with Kashmir and by putting restrictions on those who dare to challenge its might and propagate peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute. This amounts to violation of the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by article 19(1) (a) of Indian constitution. The unabated use of force to muzzle voice of Kashmirirs who tend to remind India of its own promises is not going to solve the problem rather does the reverse of it.

So, it is better for India to adopt prudence, sagacity and magnanimity and strong political will to solve this dispute and as the Indian national flag is unfurled in pride this time, let Indian political establishment introspect a bit and think about its the continued oppression in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killings of innocent people.

Advocate at District Court Srinagar

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