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From Sardar Patel to Amit Shah via Mufti Sayeed: A perspective!
6/11/2019 11:08:56 PM
Ravinder Jalali

It is often not realized that among the other causes of Kashmir problem like reference of Kashmir to UN, halting Indian offensive when it was poised to drive out the invaders from Kashmir, Article 370 has played no less a part in preventing J&K from becoming an integral part of the Indian Union. Not many people are aware as how and why this Article was formulated and included in the Indian Constitution despite grave misgivings of Sardar Patel and a large number of the members of Congress Working Committee and Constituent Assembly.
Article 370 was worked out in late 1947 between Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of J&K by the Maharaja and Nehru, who kept the Kashmir portfolio with himself and kept Sardar Patel, the home minister, away from his legitimate function. It has been the biggest impediment to integration of J&K State into Indian Union. That it was incorporated in the Indian Constitution by the machination of two individuals - Shiekh Abdullah and Nehru is all the more regrettable.
Hence it is argued and wisely said that had the Kashmir affairs been handled by Sardar Patel there would have been no problem in Kashmir. Sardar Patel ,the Iron Man of India rightly credited with creating a unified India by integrating 565 princely states in it.- he would have included Kashmir also in it if allowed to do so by Nehru.
Unfortunately Sardar left this world in 1950 and the result is the present Kashmir imbroglio. Since then no sincere effort has been made to solve the problem, rather it has been manipulated and exploited to the hilt by the political parties with vested interests, Successive governments at the centre as well as in the state has only taken shelter under the special provision and used and abused it. When ever it suited them they modified as per their choice and when ever they had to face the electorate they kept this special provision alive.
With the present Government coming to power second time consecutively after keeping abrogation of article 370 on the top of agenda along with Article 35A, now it is to be seen how and when the these commitments will be fulfilled. Otherwise also article 370 was a basic agenda of BJP ever since it came into existence. Although Article 370, included in the Constitution on a temporary provision should have been gradually abrogated but this has not happened in seventy years. In fact whenever someone mentions this, vested interests raise an outcry that legitimate rights of Kashmiris are being trampled upon. Agenda of National Conference is return to pre 1953 status and of PDP is self -rule. Others want independence from republic of India. When ever elections to state assembly or Lok Sabha takes place article 370 comes to life otherwise it is dead issue, rather it is a redundant issue. As a common man, people of J&K do not care much for this article and also it does not matter. It is only during election time it is making rounds and rounds and is made an emotional issue, other wise it has been milked and left now dry.
First to use and abuse was NC and three generations of Abdullah's are thriving on it. Then Muftis also discovered this instrument and started milking it. Mufti Sayed was a congress leader earlier and has been holding various important portfolios in the centre and did not discuss there but when it comes to state level as well as local politics, article 370 comes to a central stage. It is why he left the central stage and started local politcs under PDP banner. I consider it as a saddest day in the history of India when the seat once occupied by the a person like Sardar Patel, who was an instrumental in uniting the whole India by unifying 565 erstwhile princely states, was then occupied by a person namely Mufti Mod. Sayed, who had a separatist agenda and whose vision was to have a self rule for Kashmir. I think the post of Home Minister is much more important than the Prime minister in a sense that it is the home minister who is responsible for keeping the Home intact and united and here is the person like Mufti Mohd Sayed, who has divisiveness in the mind and sees self rule as a goal for Kashmir, while being Home Minister of India. Thank god the then VP Singh Govt. Govt. did not last long otherwise the self rule would have seen the light of the day.
Mufti Mohd. Sayed got his daughter kidnapped by the self styled terrorists and later got dreaded terrorists released in exchange of her daughter. It was immediately after a few days of his becoming Home Minister of India. Kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed was an act, carried out by members of JKLF. Terrorists released in exchange of Rubaya Sayed, daughter of Home Minister were Sheikh Abdul Hameed, Ghulam Nabi Butt, Noor Muhammad Kalwal; Muhammed Altaf; and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar. We need to appreciate the then CM Farooq Abdulah who was not in favour of such a release in exchange. He was sure that nothing will happen to her but Home Ministry insisted for immediate release. If for argument sake it was a real kidnap and not an orchestrated but as true and honest Home Minster, I don't think that any sincere and honest Home minster would have accepted this unreasonable and emotional demand at the cost of nation. For a Home Minster, Nation is more than an individual relation. The Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah did not want to release. But the Central government accepted their demands and freed the jailed terrorists. Rubaiya was kidnapped within five days of her father being made the Home Minister by the V. P. Singh Government .It was a sharp curve from Home mister Sardar Patel to Home Minster Mufti Sayed.
Now a new era in a new India, where the Home is handled by none other than Amit Shah who is known as a strong and committed Home Minister. In recent interviews as well as in election manifesto, both Prime Minster and Home Minister have strongly advocated the abrogation of article 370 and we do hope and are confident such an occasion will never come when this blot on the Indian constitution is wiped out and bring about uniformity in the national integration. Why should a state of Indian Union have a special status? It conveys a wrong signal not only to Kashmiris but also to the separatists, Pakistan and indeed the international community that J&K is still to become integral part of India, the sooner Article 370 is done away is better.
I think the present Home Minster can be new SARDAR who can fit into the shoes of first Home Minster Sardaar Vallab Bhai Patel, Iron man of India, who is responsible for the total integration of our nation and whatever discrepancy and discrimination that had been prevalent since 1947 can be regularised and streamlined by the New Sardar as Amit Shah.
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