Centre buried the federal concept a thousand fathoms deep: MDMK chief Vaiko

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on August 07, 2019

MDMK chief Vaiko, who took oath as a member in the Rajya Sabha two weeks ago, fears that the passage of two statutory resolutions regarding Jammu and Kashmir would unleash forces that have the potential of destabilising federalism in India and have serious international repercussions. He had dire warnings about Kashmir becoming “another Kosovo or East Timor”. In his speech on the Kashmir resolutions and Bills, he urged the Rajya Sabha to reject the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, lock, stock and barrel. Talking to BusinessLine on Tuesday, he said the move was a blow on the federal principles enshrined in the Constitution. Excerpts:

Many Opposition leaders fear that the Kashmir resolutions and Bills are a threat to federalism. What is your view?

The Centre may do this to other States also. For example, they may divide Tamil Nadu into two parts to suit their convenience. They may try to bifurcate Karnataka or Maharashtra… The Centre buried the federal concept a thousand fathoms deep by bringing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill without any consultations. What they have done is not just against the spirit of our Constitution but also against the assurance given by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the instrument of accession signed in 1947.

The language concept is the cardinal principle of federalism in India. They have carved out new States by forgetting this principle. The Centre is playing with fire. It will erupt like a volcano.

You also blamed the Congress for the present situation…

Nehru assured that plebiscite will be conducted among the Kashmiri people. Till 1962, they were telling this. He wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister of the UK on this. Later Justice MC Chagla, who was High Commissioner to the UK, clarified that India conducted three general elections in the State and that was the plebiscite. It was a fraud committed against the people of Kashmir and that is the root cause for the present troubles, and the Congress is responsible for that.

But now, the BJP is playing into the hands of religious fanatics. One side, Al Qaeda and one side, Taliban; one side Pakistan; one side China and another side, the cunning Donald Trump. Kashmir will become an international issue. The UN and its agencies will intervene.

In your opinion, what is going to be the immediate repercussion of these resolutions and Acts?

I am afraid that there will be more killings. If some attacks take place and some Hindus get killed in Kashmir, news will be spread like a wild fire and Muslims elsewhere in the country will be butchered. This is the fear I have. The future of the country is being threatened. They threw one member out of Parliament using marshals to pass the Bill. Will you throw out the Muslim youth in the Valley? Then what will happen? What protection have they given so far to Kashmiri pandits? That is a pertinent question…

Published on August 07, 2019

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