“Kashmiri Pandits want to go back to J&K if the situation improves in near future. But we want an assurance from the government about our safety.”
HYDERABAD, Aug 16, 2020 (BNC Network): The abolition of the Article 370 is impacted Jammu and Kashmir very positively and the region for the first time witnessed a new era of development and governance, said Prof Dipankar Sengupta from University of Jammu.
Participating in a webinar on ‘Post Nullification of Article 370: Impact and Expectations’ organised by City’s well known NGO Social Cause on Sunday morning, Prof Sengupta said the Article was nullified, but, not abrogated.
Social Cause organises intellectual debates, discussions on subjects and issues of national importance for the past many years. It assimilates knowledge and contributes to help people and the nation create a national narrative.
With the extension of all provisions of the Indian constitution to this region, Prof Sengupta said, it has led to a transformation of governance. The nullification of Article 370 has put an end to 7-decade old humiliation of East Pakistani refugees and women, fourth class employees, besides Kashmiri pandits.
Above all, he said that during the last one-year large number of infrastructure projects are moving very fast in the region, first time after independence. Due to absence of power and infrastructure facilities, he said the region is backward industrially.
The other Speakers included Touseef Rasool Dar, Social & Human Rights Activist, and Aayushi Ketkar, Faculty of International Relations, Gautam Budha University, Greater Noida, Former Director (Research), Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC), New Delhi.
Rahul Razdan, General Secretary, Youth for Panun Kashmir, moderated the discussion in which over 100 people attended from across the country.
Participating in the Webinar, Aayushi Ketkar, who teaches International Relations said J&K gained importance because of rich in minerals, hydropower and Tourism.
Out of the total area of 2,22,236 sq kms of J&K , 1,21,180 sq kms is lost, which accounts to 50 per cent of its total land. Ladakh lost the most land. Out of 78,000 sq kms of land lost to Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh (PoJKL), Ladakh lost 65000 sq kms. It is Ladakh suffered the most. This was never mentioned. The focus always was on J&K she said.
Article 370 discriminated Gujjar Bakarwals, Sikhs, Valmikis, Gorkhas, West Pakistan refugees and they suffered a lot.
Under the state law, the Jammu Kashmir High Court quashed the appointment of Susheela Sawhney Case (1979)—a Kashmir born woman who was an Assistant Professor in the Government Medical College. Her appointment was quashed by J&K High Court because she married a non-Kashmiri. Similar other cases include Sunita Sharma, Anjali Khosla, Abha Jain, Kamla Rani, Reeta Gupta.
Women in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) can now buy real estate and transfer property to children, even if they get married to a non-resident as Article 35A has automatically become void with the scrapping of Article 370, she observed.
She said the situation today in Kashmir is 37 Central Laws became applicable to UTs of JK and Ladakh which include: Anti-Corruption Act, Domicile Laws; Preventive Detention, CBI, All India Services, Income Tax and many such laws.
Post the dilution of Article 370, the good news is that it ended Discrimination—Domicile Law; National integration of J&K was done with the rest of India. It ushered in the era of Inclusive Development. 593 project costing Rs 13,000 crore are underway. It gave new lease of life to for Ladakhis, said Aayushi Ketkar.
Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Razdan who made Hyderabad his home for the past 25 years said the Article 370 was a rope tied at the neck which is removed a year back.
“I don’t remember any other state remaining without development, being a prosperous state”, he added. He said that the government should initiate steps to take to task of those responsible for Kashmiri Pundits genocide, 25 years back and pave way for the retaking of all those pandits with equal rights and avenues.
“Kashmiri Pandits want to go back to J&K if the situation improves in near future. But we want an assurance from the government about our safety. We want J&K to acknowledge genocide on Pandits. It was the 7the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits and hope it is the last one.” He said.
He informed that Kashmiri Pandits are proposing a bill “Panun Kashmir Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Bill”. As of now, it is a proposal, which is under circulation and once it is firmed up, it will be presented to the Union Government as a policy recommendation, he said. “We want to go back to our motherland with dignity,” he declared.
Touseef Rasool Dar, Social and Human Rights Activist gave a passionate account of the situation from ground zero. Though one year since the abrogation took place, there is a lot of development happened. Pak dominance is reduced. Terrorist activities declined. Developmental projects are undertaken on war foot basis. Socio-Economic Development which was hampered in the last 70 years gained the momentum. New jobs are being created. Youth of J&K want development. The abolition of Article 370 was the need of the hour he explained.