Letters

Valley’s destiny

| Updated on August 07, 2019 Published on August 07, 2019

Valley’s destiny

The manner in which the Central government carried out the task of abrogating Article 370 left a lot to be desired. It attracted the stigma of subterfuge. It was not worthy of a democracy and not certainly of the ‘world’s largest democracy’. The annulment of the special status and privileges — a precursor to ‘forced homogenisation’ — demonstrated the ruling party’s relentless pursuit of muscular Hindu nationalism, its hostility to diversity and its disposition to hasten a retreat from secularism. The massive military build-up, the lockdown of the Valley, communications shutdown and the house arrest of mainstream politicians would have been unnecessary if the hasty and stealthy move were not against the will of the people of Kashmir. What puzzles us is why the Centre did what it did supposedly in the interest of the Kashmiris without taking them into confidence or obtaining the consent or concurrence of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. The argument that the appointed and unelected Governor can substitute the Assembly and ‘represent’ the people of the State is pretty flimsy. The Article was abrogated, ostensibly to integrate the Valley with the rest of India; but the real reason was to obliterate the Valley’s distinct cultural identity and alter its demographic profile. It is glaringly obvious that the move is incommensurate with devolution or decentralisation of power.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

No identity crisis

Unfounded fears are being expressed in some quarters that by the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A Kashmiris will lose their “identity”. In this context, it may be mentioned that even after becoming inseparable parts of the Indian Union 72 years ago, the denizens of States like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab, among others, have not lost even an iota of their individual identities.

Arun Malankar

Mumbai

Focus on development

The revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A will bring cheer and raise the hopes of many people in Jammu and Kashmir. The bifurcation of Ladakh region and Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territories will help strengthen administrative control and bring prosperity to the residents of the erstwhile State. It is also gratifying that the Bill was well supported in the Rajya Sabha by BJP’s key allies and Opposition parties like the BSP and AAP.

It now needs to be seen how a well the roadmap of development will be laid for Jammu and Kashmir with revoking of Articles 370 and 35A. The Centre should now leave no stone unturned and aim towards quick and successive development programmes in these two newly formed Union Territories. With this one also expects a boost to tourism, industry and trade opportunities. Terrorism will definitely take a back seat with such a bold move.

Varun Dambal

Bengaluru

Rate cut is no panacea

The article ‘Cutting policy rate again isn't a good idea’ (August 6) is timely. The Monetary Policy Committee will do well to examine what good the past rate cuts have achieved before trying to administer the same medicine to the sick patient. There is very little that interest rate cut can do when the overall investment sentiment is overwhelmingly negative.

Nandakumar Venkatachary

Chennai

A message to the US

The Trumpian style of whimsical interjection into international politics, this time in Kashmir, has perhaps abruptly speeded up the Presidential Ordinance on Article 35A read with Article 370.

Other than sending a subtle message to the US to desist, the present step may not be expected to find very quick and stable solutions.

There would be reactions slated to play out in a larger time frame. But these would largely stay pedantic, both in the domestic and international arenas and the ensuing debate will be moulded by the depth of the government’s political will.

But right now the Indian Tricolour will be hoisted in Srinagar on August 15 with an absoluteness of central authority, hitherto hesitant.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

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Published on August 07, 2019
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