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Against special status on score of religion on Ambedkar's birthday, nationalists recalled his views on J&K
12/6/2017 11:01:39 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Dec 6: The chairman of the Indian Constituent Assembly, Dr BR Ambedakar, was relevant then and more relevant today. He had warned that grant of special status to Jammu & Kashmir at the insistence of National Conference President and J&K Wazir-e-Azam Sheikh Abdullah would hurt the national interest and it would be only desirable if his demand for special status was rejected outright.
The Indian Prime Minister Nehru knew that Ambedkar would not endorse the idea of granting special status to the J&K State and, hence, he had asked Sheikh Abdullah to meet Ambedakar and convince him of his demand.
Sheikh Abdullah did meet Ambedkar but only to get rebuffed. Ambedakar told the Sheikh: "You want India and Indians to defend Kashmir. You want Kashmir and Kashmiris to exercise all rights all over India. But you do not want India and Indians to exercise all rights in Jammu & Kashmir. I am Law Minister of India. I can't be a party to an act of betrayal of national interest". Notwithstanding the bitter opposition of Ambedakar, Nehru went with the Sheikh and made the Constituent Assembly adopt Article 306-A (370) restricting the jurisdiction of the Centre to the State to just three subjects - Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications, thus creating a separate republic on the territories of the Indian Republic. Even in the Constituent Assembly, Article 306-A was opposed. It was opposed by Maulana Hasrat Mohani. Opposing it, he warned: "The grant of special status to Kashmir (read Jammu & Kashmir) on the score of religion would enable it to assume afterwards".
Both Ambedkar and Mohani proved right and this can be seen from the developments which took place in Kashmir after October 1949 and which have been taking even today. Article 370 has become a stumbling block in the way of the process of integration of the state into India and it has hurt the rights of the non-Muslim minorities. Article 370 is being exploited to the hilt by the vested interests in Kashmir, Pakistan and other parts of the world to create an impression that Jammu & Kashmir was a dispute area and that was the reason it was granted a special status.
It would be only in the fitness of things if the authorities take into account what Ambedakar had said and undo the past wrongs through appropriate legislations.
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