oppn parties Omar Abdullah And His Pipe Dreams

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
oppn parties
Omar Abdullah And His Pipe Dreams

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-04-02 10:29:11

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Omar Abdullah has stirred a controversy by saying that Kashmir had acceded to India “with conditions” and “not for free” and that he would think of reviving the custom of a separate prime minister and president for the state. This comes soon after Mehbooba Mufti’s warning that India’s ties with J&K will be over if Article 370 is scrapped. In order to be one up on each other, both these leaders from Kashmir are trying to outdo each other in making inflammatory statements in this election season.

No agreement or condition is so sacrosanct that it cannot be debated upon, renegotiated or even scrapped after several decades. Conditions that existed in the period 1947-1950 were not the same that exist today. The agreement that was reached then was based on the viewpoints of Maharaja Hari Singh and the then representatives of the Indian government under the Indian Independence Act, 1947 against the backdrop of an illegal attack on the state by Pashtuns from Waziristan, backed by Pakistan. Today represents new thinking, changed security environment and changed viewpoints.

Politics in the Kashmir valley is largely restricted to local parties trying to maintain their hegemony by perpetuating the special status granted to the state. But 70 years have passed and it is time now to revisit the terms of the accession and debate whether it has been good, both for the state and for India. It is not as if Article 370 or Article 35A is being scrapped summarily. But there should also not be any objection to a wide-ranging debate on the issue. Things change over time, but political parties in Kashmir are not willing to accept this. This attitude has to change.

Further, if Abdullah thinks he can have a separate prime minister and president for the state in the strictest sense, he is living in a fool’s paradise. Even the terms of accession have no such mention. It is just the nomenclature that is different for posts that essentially carry out the duties of a chief minister and a governor. If Abdullah is more comfortable with the Urdu version, he can still call the chief minister Wazir-e-Azam and the governor Sadr-e-Riyaasat. The problem with granting special status to anyone or anything is that over time, self-styled guardians try to widen the meaning of the term and try to appropriate more than is legally due to them. Hence, it is necessary to hold a debate and put things in the correct perspective.