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Those demanding abrogation of Article 35-A not short-sighted
Misinformation campaign
7/17/2018 11:18:37 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, July 17: Supreme Court is all set to hear a number of PILs challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35-A on August 6. The "possibility" of the Union Government taking an anti-Article 35-A stand has rattled vested interests in Kashmir. They have unleashed a misinformation campaign to protect this Article and termed those demanding its repeal as "short-sighted".
"Those demanding the scrapping of Article 35A are being short-sighted. Essentially, their vision is less about integrating Kashmir 'fully' into the rest of India and more about wanting Hindus to dominate all aspects of life, including demographics. In the case of J&K, the demographics can be controlled only when non-Muslims from outside Jammu & Kashmir are permitted to buy land and property, especially in the Valley, on a massive scale," they have said opposing the critics of Article 35-A.
The Supreme Court would do well to be mindful that the fierce bid to have the provision scrapped is linked to political and ideological motivations of those in power, and not to constitutional, legal or economic considerations, though at the formal level it is these that are cited, the votaries of Article 35-A in Kashmir have also said, and added "New Delhi will be inviting chaos and worse if Supreme Court even finds the writ petitions challenging Article 35A maintainable".
The protagonists of Article 35-A are also saying that "Article 370 receives protection through Article 35A that was brought into the statutes in 1954".
"But Article 35A does something else of no small significance. It confers Indian citizenship on Jammu & Kashmir's 'state subjects' (now known as Permanent Residents, with a few categories added). If Article 35A goes, the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will cease to be citizens of India. In that event, Pakistan can move in with ease by throwing bridges at the Muslim communal elements in the Valley, or even muscling its way in".
These are spurious views. Article 35-A is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Discriminatory because it makes humiliating, unjust and invidious distinctions between the so-called Permanent Residents of the state and all other Indians, including the President of India, who can't buy even an inch of land anywhere in the state, while any Permanent Resident of the state can do anything in any other part of India. It is unconstitutional because it was not adopted by the Indian Parliament, the Supreme law-making body in the country.
But more than that, both Articles 35-A and 370 have promoted rise of separatism and communalism in Kashmir and deprived the people of Jammu and Ladakh of those rights which are available to other Indians under the Indian Constitution. The argument that people of Jammu & Kashmir would lose their Indian Citizenship if Article 35-A is revoked can't hold water. Jammu & Kashmir is with India not because of Article 370 but because of the Instrument of Accession the Maharaja signed on October 26, 1947. Article 370 was adopted as a temporary provision in October 1949 and Article 35-A was introduced in May 1954 by keeping the Parliament in the dark.
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