By Sunil Garodia
The double standard of some political parties in India is on full view in the wake of the action in J&K. Almost all parties never tire of talking about the "will of the people". They say that they put the will of the people in action through their policies. It is another matter that most of them pursue their own agenda and then show it as the people's will. Now, when an overwhelming majority of the people across the country is in agreement with the government's action in doing away with the special status granted to Jammu & Kashmir through Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, these very parties are protesting against it. Is it not the will of the majority of people in India that special status to Jammu & Kashmir should be done away with? Then why are these political parties, led by the Congress which itself is a divided house, not respecting the will of the people? Is the will to be engineered for and respected only for their policies?
They say that the leaders and people of J&K were not consulted before taking such drastic action. They talk of a plebiscite in J&K to let the people of Kashmir decide their fate. Were the people of India consulted through a referendum before J&K was taken over by India on such lop-sided terms? It was a decision by the then leadership. That was seventy years ago. The then leaders had their reasons. But subsequently, what was to be a temporary measure was given a stamp of permanency by the wrong policies followed by successive Congress governments. Article 370 was made sacrosanct and even discussing its abrogation would brand one as anti-secular. It didn't matter to them if J&K had a separate constitution, a separate flag and a separate criminal act, among other things. The way things were going, J&K could not have been integrated with India even for the next two centuries. In the meantime, India would have continued to pour in massive funds in the state, depriving its citizens elsewhere for a state that did not even consider it to be a part of India. The irony was that not even 50% of these funds reached the beneficiaries. The rest was siphoned to benefit a few families and their cohorts. Integration of J&K with India by doing away with the special status granted to it was the will of the people of India and the NDA government has respected that will.