Divided by Article 370

At no time has the country been so divided over a piece of legislation as it is today.  For the first time, even the media (electronic) reported what it observed from the sky (aerial view) in different parts of Kashmir. A locked-up population observed Eid with trepidation even as uniformed personnel occupied the streets and lanes to “keep the peace.” This is unprecedented for a democracy. While the foreign media has been reporting of violence in Kashmir its Indian counterparts reported no such thing. So much so, the Indian media is being accused by its detractors of supporting the Government’s action of abrogating Article 370 and taking a ‘nationalistic’ stance.

 For that section of regional media with no bandwidth to report from the ground the only sources are agencies. To rely on the so-called national electronic media at this juncture is fraught since this section too takes positions that appear to be ideologically inclined. So how do consumers make an informed opinion? Today, there apparently is a huge section of the polity that seem to have supported the Government action vis-a-vis Jammu and Kashmir, their contention being that no part of the country should be privileged over others. Moreover, Kashmir has witnessed a long history of violence fomented by agent provocateurs from across the border. India has been made to bleed for decades with no end in sight. Reason? Jammu & Kashmir’s special status and its ambivalent position as a territory that is part of India, yet not wholly so!

The BJP made no bones about abrogating Article 370 should it return to power. Post the 2019 elections, the Party returned with a larger majority. Voters seemed to have given it the mandate to complete its unfinished task of passing pending Bills such as the Triple Talaq Bill and revocation of Article 370 amongst others. The controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is awaiting passage. Meanwhile, the Congress Party too has suffered attrition on account of Article 370 even as some of its old guards and younger leaders have taken position adversarial to that of the Party. On Tuesday Congress leader P Chidambaram brought in the religious factor and said Article 370 would never had been scrapped if Jammu and Kashmir was a Hindu majority state. Such statements at a fragile point in the country’s history are unbecoming.  Surely when it comes to the integrity of the country such partisan views can be set aside. But this is India and its disparate nature.

Now even the Supreme Court has refused to accord urgent hearing on Article 370 vis-a-vis J&K.

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