‘With Narendra Modi as the PM of India, the will to remove Article-370 strong in country’

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The reply given by Shri Amit Shah on 5 August, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha in response to the debate on why Article 370 and 35A should be removed? Why two resolutions and two bills have been brought in the Parliament for solving the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) problem? We are publishing the highlights of the address :

The Parliament of India gave the right to education to all the children of the country in 2009 but the Government of J&K did not extend this right to education to people of J&K, now every child of J&K will get the right to education.

Any citizen of the country who does not belong to J&K cannot invest in J&K because how can investment be made in a place where neither the land nor any property can be registered in the name of the owner. Now since this is allowed, investments will also pour in.

The benefit of any law passed by both Houses of Parliament, never reached the people of J&K. The benefit will now be available to people of J&K also.

Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad said that people of J&K are doing inter-state marriages, but the question is that if a girl from J&K marries a boy from another state, her right on the property is taken away, but now the Government of J&K will not be able to take away any fundamental rights of the people.

Why were dalits, people from backward community- scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other sections of J&K not given any benefit of reservation till date? Now everyone will get the benefits from it. The poorer sections, the Gujjar Muslims, all the backward community and dalits in J&K will be able to benefit from this.

Terrorism was born in J&K, reached the zenith and is now on the decline. It is as a result of Articles 370 and 35A, that the youth of J&K got brainwashed and Pakistan took advantage of it. Whose policy resulted in loss of more than 41,400 innocent lives? In 1988, Pakistan’s President General Zia-ul-Haq had said that till there is Article 370, the youth of Kashmir would never be united with the soul of India. The point is this, that the youth of other states of the country are not misguided because there is no law to fuel separatism, but these laws are used in Kashmir only to provoke the youth and fuel separatism.

Should we leave J&K at the mercy of the fundamentalists, who incite violence while their sons and daughters conveniently study abroad, who want to maintain Article 370 as they have made a lot of money in Kashmir and have even made and invested in properties abroad. They want to keep the common youth of Kashmir away from the path of development, while the youth yearns for good education. Development will be done and requires improving medical and tourism sectors. For increase employment, investment is needed. For doing this the thorn of Article 370, needed to be removed from the developmental path of J&K.

Nehru ji said that Article 370 in due course of time will be worn out, will be eliminated and so it was made temporary in the Constitution. They said that Sardar Patel gave Article 370, it is plain wrong. Sardar united and integrated the whole country. Sardar Patel did not deal with J&K he handled Junagadh and Hyderabad, as a result of which they are both with us today. Pandit Nehru dealt with J&K, and so we are seeing the problem even today.

Terrorism was born due to Article 370 in J&K, it is the creator of the terrorist problem in Kashmir. People say that Article 370 connects J&K with India, it is right only in expression, but not in reality. Article 370 came into existence in 1949 whereas India and J&K were merged in 1947 as a result of the letter of Maharaja Harisingh.

Kashmir’s culture is not safe not as a result of Article 370. When the local culture of every state including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu is safe in the country, so why can’t the people of Kashmir be kept together. The culture of Kashmir can also be protected like it is being done for the rest of the states. There is no reason to maintain Article 370 for this.

Ram Manohar Lohia ji had said that as long as there is Article 370, there cannot be uniformity between India and Kashmir. Lohia ji had said this in the Parliament. All the prominent leaders of the country have said this.

Today is the right time to remove Article 370. It could not be removed earlier due to lack of political will. With Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India, the will to do this has arisen in the country and the Home Ministry has decided to remove it.

Why has the reservation bill being brought for J&K? The reason behind this is if we pass it here then it will become easier as when a government is formed in the state, it will be applicable to J&K on its own, without the need to pass legislation.

I would like to convey it to the people of J&K that J&K is India’s crown-jewel. In J&K, if the situation remains under control, then we will also work towards normalising the situation.

Many states have been divided after independence in the country and it has been done by both the BJP and the Congress. Opposition would clearly remember the bifurcation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and how the bill was passed in Parliament. Even the broadcasting was stopped and the process continued till late night in Parliament.

The people of J&K have lived with Article 370 for 70 years. Now we urge to the youth of J&K to give us five years, we will show them how to make J&K the number one state in our country.

This is the only way to resolve the J&K problem. We have to remove Article 370.

I request this august house that we should try to bring normalcy in J&K. The way to solve the Kashmir problem will come from here only. We have to leave the politics of vote bank. We have to tell the reality to the people of Kashmir. Thanks to all those parties- AAP, BSP, BJD, & AIADMK who have supported this historic step. Thanks to the people of the country who have welcomed this verdict in one voice. Seeing the resolve of the people, my faith has also been restored and increased.

Today we have placed two resolutions, one bill and a reservation bill in Parliament. Everyone is being requested that we send a good message to the people of J&K. I propose that the House concur on both the proposals and that both bills be passed.

Even before we started winning municipal elections, the issue of removing Article 370 had always been part of our manifesto because we believed that the path of Article 370 is wrong. Today when the people of India have given us majority in 2014 and 2019, we believe Article 370 should be removed.