Abrogation of Article 370 for Development or Disaster: Time Tells It All

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Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell

When the Article 370 was abrogated on 5th August 2019 by the BJP government, Home Minister, Amit Shah condescendingly told that this was done for the development of J& K. The then Governor of J&K, Satya Pal Malik, promised  fifty thousand jobs for the J&K youth.  Instead of development and jobs, J&K has seen disaster and despair in the form of continuous eight months curfew, communication blockade, Internet shutdown and what not. Most of the job notifications issued prior to the abrogation of Article 370 have been withdrawn forthwith.

The BJP government is mutilating and razing J&K cunningly in a stepwise and systematic manner. Firstly, the State was bifurcated into two Union Territories (J&K and Ladakh). This has been done to balkanize the State. The move is overtly arbitrary and colonial in nature. Because a Union Territory can be transformed into a State but a State cannot be transformed into a Union Territory as per the Constitutional provisions. The BJP government has thrown the Constitutional provisions to the winds when they scrapped Article 370. By doing so, the government has openly proven imperialistic, antagonistic, and ill-advised.

J&K has always been a stye in the eyes of the Centre. Being a Muslim majority State, it has always been given a step motherly treatment. The youth of the valley have always been tortured by the forces. People in thousands have been blinded by pellets. Some have been in jails from the times aeon.

Now many months have gone by since the abrogation of Article 370, but there are no signs of development in the valley to be seen anywhere. The development announcement made by the Home Minister was just a ploy to hoodwink Kashmiris. Abrogation of the Article 370 has petrified the entire valley. The move has led to the frustration of the people. People could not sell their annual fruit yield because of continuous curfew, communication blockade and all that. The entire Valley remained cutoff from the rest of the Country for continuous eight months. Students studying outside the valley could not communicate with their families because of the communication blockade. Patients with lethal diseases could not move outside the Valley for the treatment. Schools, Colleges, and Universities remained closed. Students of the Valley lost their precious time because of the Article abrogation. Had there been a development in the mind of the Centre, they would not have kept the whole Valley under continuous curfew. Had the development of the valley been the focus of the government, it could have been done without scrapping the Article. So far we have seen only heavy military deployment, oppression, and economic disaster in the valley. Development for the people of the valley is only a pipe dream!

Every move of the BJP government is against the people of the Valley. The government is actualizing its moves with the announcement of new rules, laws and regulations in the valley. On April 11, the government of India issued a new domicile law for the region. The law now entitles anyone who has stayed in the region for 15 years domicile status -10 years for central government officials and their children and seven for high school students. This new domicile law is only meant for changing the demography of the valley. Every social and political organization has opposed this new domicile law. Altaf Bukhari has said “This order in its entirety is a casual attempt, cosmetic in its nature, to hoodwink the people of J& K who genuinely believed that post-Oct.31, 2019, their rights and privileges in the matter of employment and other rights would remain as it had been”

After the announcement of new domicile law, the government of India has now shifted all the service matters of the employees of J&K and Ladakh to Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Chandigarh. This move is meant to further frustrate the people of the valley in general and the employees in particular. Now the employees have to move outside the valley even for the petty service related issues. Why is the government acting so callously and impulsively? The answer is obvious: to depress, destroy and frustrate the people. Time tells it all.


 Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate. Edward said

Bilal Ahmad Dar is a Research Scholar at the Department of English and can be mailed at: [email protected]




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