Abrogation that led to integration

It’s officially been a year since the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was stripped of its special status and bifurcated into two union territories. The abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019 was one of the most talked about legislations of the 21st century across the globe, with every big player in the global state of affairs expressing concerns about the emerging situation in J&K, post abrogation.
The move was highlighted by every big media house in the world. Reporters and media houses were trying to get information from the ground in J&K, but the information blockade controlled the outflow of information from the region.
The media blackout, which was considered as a violation of human rights including the right to information, basically acted as a dampener for the enemy elements who came to realize that the noise and violence which they could organize would have no audience.
The so called mainstream (of questionable political integrity) Indian politicians from Kashmir were also detained in order to avoid unnecessary instigation they would cause on ground. This move also, although highly criticized, was very necessary for what was about to be legislated. An increase in the presence of defense forces on ground and the sudden stoppage of the annual Amarnath Pilgrimage had already given rise to concerns. The rumour had it that Article 370 was to be revoked and people panicked by rushing to ATMs, petrol pumps and provisional stores in order to secure their daily use supplies.
Discussions on the streets displayed a sense of disbelief among people and they engaged themselves with legal proceedings that could be possible, post abrogation.
The continuous and unparalleled exploitation of these articles was the way the pseudo-mainstream leadership did its politics in Kashmir. People had been made to believe that Kashmir was safe from intrusions of the Indian government because of the presence of these articles. Article 370 and 35A were actually a shield or a mask used by the regional and national parties in J&K to play a dual game of fake loyalty and fuelling separatism together.
The state legislature had two factions: a party in power that would defend state action and miserably handle the law and order situation in Kashmir, and a party in opposition that would criticize the state action and therefore, act as a catalyst to fuel separatist feelings amongst the Kashmiris. The parties in the legislature switched roles, but the strategy remained the same.
A couple of hollow demands like, full autonomy and self-rule were their visions for the region which would justify separation and disintegration of Kashmir from the rest of India. The overtly separatist and terror supporting parties had a role of working on ground and keeping the situation burning for the world to see. They would sponsor stone pelting and strikes, letting loose their goons on the streets who would force shopkeepers to shut their shops and hurt them in case of any resistance from their end.
Every confrontation with the security forces was a desirable happening for the terror web in Kashmir as the casualties would highlight the deliberately invited injustices in the global realm and India would be shown in the bad light.
In May 2019, BJP returned to power at the Centre with a thumping majority. A party is generally elected to power because of its manifesto. The manifesto of BJP had been continuously presenting the abrogation of Article 370 as an election promise.
The revocation of Article 370 and thereby, Article 35A was followed by excellent management of the situation, which would have definitely gone out of hand, had the preparations not been strong. BJP had taken lessons from 2016 rebellion in Kashmir and had left no point uncovered. Kashmir turned out to be a surprisingly quiet place. All the expectations of a rebellion were belied.
The abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A was one of the smoothest legislations that were ever passed in the Parliament of India. The bill for the abrogation of these articles was even supported by opposition parties in the Parliament of India. It was evident that India had stopped being afraid of foreign implications of the move as it had already done enough diplomatic work to isolate the terrorists operations rampant on its territory perpetrated by Pakistan.
It was a new India that would not shy from claiming what was lawfully its own territory. J&K has had a legal accession to the union of India by dint of the Instrument of Accession as signed by the ruler of J&K in 1947. The autonomous nature of J&K had only made things worse for the region as it facilitated the politicians to fuel separatist aspirations among the people.
Post abrogation of the Articles, J&K received a huge boost from the Government of India to its grassroots democratic setup. The Panchayati Raj System has been fully implemented in J&K and the local self-governance institutions with their empowerment have made the corridors of power open to every commoner in J&K. Previously, local self-governance was not being allowed to grow in J&K as the few families like Abdullahs and Muftis wanted to restrict the power to them only.
This move, if still considered undemocratic and unjust, is going to be an insult to great visionaries like Abraham Lincoln who had to wage a war against his own people to keep his country united. This move is quite similar in intention and policy. The intention is to keep India together and secure. The intention is to introduce the benefits to the common people of Kashmir who, due to political corruption, have fallen prey to poisonous propaganda.
The measures that India has taken in Kashmir should be hailed as India’s courageous stand taken against terrorism. It is a movement to fight terror and what happened in Kashmir on 5 August, 2019 was a blow to the global chain of terrorism which had up to then remained hidden behind a pseudo political movement.
It should never be forgotten that India is a democracy and also a welfare state. No sovereign state would bear what India has had to bear for J&K. India has provided the region with every welfare scheme wholeheartedly. Subsidies, scholarships, infrastructure, agrarian loans, housing schemes, employment generation, rationing of food, provision of electricity and clean drinking water, road and flyover construction, free education, etc. All these services have been provided to the region up to this point in the history of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian Government, but unfortunately the things that India does for its citizens in J&K goes unnoticed in the international media.
The definition of news that says only bad news is news is responsible for such a wrong perception about India on Kashmir. Internationally, the media due to its limited coverage and time slots fails to keep a continuous watch on the activities that take place in Kashmir. For people to understand Indian approach to Kashmir, it would be necessary to demand a show of both sides of the story, and not only of a bad news story but also positive story telling that in its actuality justifies India’s claim about Kashmir.