Imagine, you are in the spiritual capital of Andhra Pradesh- Tirupati and a local guide is selling you pictures of Dal Lake Srinagar or for instance you are in Arunachal Pradesh – Ziro, a beautiful town that has been a world heritage site certified by UNESCO and is known for its tribal culture, but local guide is briefing you about Gulmarg. How will you feel, surely disgusted and perturbed, because you are at that place to see the beauty and unparallel attributes of that very place and not of any other location, but still the ‘nonsense’ guide is getting on to your nerves by telling you everything about Kashmir and not the place you are interested in. Unfortunately, we are experiencing the same kind of political discourse in India, where to garner votes in Bihar and Maharashtra our politicians sell Kashmir. In the recently concluded couple of state elections in India, probably from Haryana to Bihar, the political party, especially ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been selling Kashmir. They are deliberately creating a divide between people, by segregating them into nationalists and so called anti-nationalist, by time and again raking up the issue of abrogation of Article 370, which earlier granted special status to the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Leaders of BJP have been talking about integrating Jammu and Kashmir with India after scrapping Article 370. In all their political speeches, they brag about how something good was done, which had been hampering development in the region. Even the Prime Minister sold Kashmir in his election rallies, by saying that people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were deprived of their rights. With the abrogation of Article 370, the dreams of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, B.R. Ambedkar and Syama Prasad Mookerjee have been fulfilled. A new era in Jammu and Kashmir has now started, but even after one long year, nothing changed on the ground, rather the hostility aggravated further.
The moot point here is what a voter in Bihar has to do with the abrogation of Article 370 and how scrapping of any Article of Indian constitution that too with constitutional procedure amounts to ending anti-national forces. I believe that voters in Bihar, Jharkhand or in any state of the country should be more interested in knowing what they are getting in the name of electing a new government or choosing the incumbent, instead of hankering what other people have lost in some other part of the country.
Were we illegal occupants in J&K?
The way and intensity, with which the present