Sitaram Yechury, Baijayant Panda to debate Kashmir at Oxford tomorrow

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 28, 2019

The abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is getting more attention at the international platforms. The Oxford Union, the UK-based debating platform, is the latest body that is going to discuss the Kashmir situation.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and BJP Vice-President Baijayant Panda will debate The Crisis In Kashmir: Should Special Status Have Been Revoked? at a programme organised in Oxford on Wednesday.

International outcry

“In August, Prime Minister Modi’s decision to revoke the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and to split the State, which is majority Muslim, into two Union territories sparked international outcry and caused protests to erupt across the region,” said the Union. “Yet while some have derided the move as unconstitutional, undemocratic, and irresponsible, many in India have defended the action, arguing that it strengthens the economy and security of the State, and that special status was only ever meant to be temporary,” the Union’s statement added.

It said, “Was this action, then, simply a misunderstood step towards greater national unity and prosperity, or an alarming act of authoritarian over-reach?” While the BJP has been upholding the abrogation as a bold step, Yechury and his party have been campaigning against the decision. The BJP had used the issue as a major campaign point in the recently-held Assembly elections.

Yechury had visited the State thrice to meet his party leader Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, who was under house arrest, and is fighting a case against the decision in the Supreme Court.

“The clampdown on communications continues, public transport is off the roads, schools and other educational institutions remain closed, shops and other business establishments continue to remain shut. This situation has continued for over two months now. It has put the people in unprecedented hardships,” a recent CPI(M) statement said.

Published on October 28, 2019

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