oppn parties The Congress And Article 370: Living In The Past

News Snippets

  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, facility cordoned off, no entry or exit permitted from the hospital
oppn parties
The Congress And Article 370: Living In The Past

By A Special Correspondent

The Congress party is cutting a very sorry figure in Parliament by not acknowledging that though Article 370 was a necessity when it was inserted, it was not permanent in nature and the time has now come to revoke it. Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the BJP has "dismembered" the country and has cut off its head. Azad should recognize that revocation of Article 370 will truly integrate J&K into India, not dismember it. And what head is he talking about? It was a head that had been taught never to respond to the demands of the body, to take its orders from people across the border and to treat the people from the rest of India as foreigners. Such a head is an embarrassment to the body. Revocation of Article 370 will now ensure that the head will remain in tune with the body.

To be fair to the Congress, the party cannot be expected to accept the bold and historic decision of the NDA government. For, that will mean acknowledging that Jawaharlal Nehru was wrong in accepting the demand for granting special status to the state. That will also mean that the policy the Congress has been following towards the state for 70 years after that was also wrong. But the fact is that it is because of the wrong policies that were followed for so many years that the state remains undeveloped, the people remain poor and the only ones who have benefited have been the political leaders of the Congress and the regional parties in the state.

No political leader in the state has ever rued the fact that there are no big private industrial units, no private hospitals and no reputed private schools in the state. Why should they? If they want to invest their ill-begotten wealth, they can always use the hawala route to transfer the money and invest anywhere in India or the rest of the world. If they want to be treated for a medical condition, they can always go to London (as Farooq Abdullah went in 2015 to have a kidney transplant). Their children can study in the best of schools and colleges (Omar Abdullah was educated at Lawrence School, Sanawar and Sydenham College, Mumbai) in India or abroad. Why worry for the common people then?

The Congress party had always appeased these regional leaders and had several times run the government in the state in alliance with either the National Conference or the PDP. It had held talks with separatists knowing full well that they speak Pakistan's language. But perhaps that was the language the party was comfortable in. It had always tried to keep the problem festering, like the regional parties of the state and had thus allowed Pakistan to radicalize local youth and turn them into India-baiters and India-haters.

But by now vehemently opposing the revocation of Article 370, the party is making the same mistake it did by demanding proof of the airstrikes in Balakot. It is speaking the language of Pakistan. In fact, the Pakistani politicians and the media in that country have seized upon comments by Congress leaders to show that the opposition in India is against the revocation whereas the truth is that barring the Congress, the NCP, the TMC, the DMK, the JD(U) and the CPI(M), no political party of any worthwhile standing has gone against the move. Even parties like the Aam Aadmi Party and the BSP, who are not on the same page with the Modi government, have supported the move. The headless and directionless Congress party is fast losing the faith of even those who voted for it by taking such stands on issues of national importance.