J&K Constitution  not a mistake

Daily Nida-i-Mashriq reflecting J&K opinion writes that national leaders of stature have played a role in shaping the relationship between J&K and the Indian Union in making the separate Constitution for the state. Calling it a mistake is deliberate attempt to mislead people. Historical documents reveal that granting of special status, giving constitutional guarantees, and making a separate Constitution for the state, were acts that had the consent of leaders and people of country. But surprisingly, Dr. Karan Singh, who has been closely associated with all these happenings, has adopted silence.

Excerpts:

 

Role of National leaders:

“The front that has been opened against Art 370 and Art 35A, has widened its scope and calling J&K’s separate constitution a mistake, wants to  abolish or abrogate it. Was it really a blunder or mistake to have a separate Constitution for the state? If it really is the result of an error or mistake, then the people directly responsible for it  are – Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Gopala Swami Ayenger, Moulana Abul Kalam Azad and Rajgopal Aacharya, who played important role in Accession of J&K state with the Union of India and in shaping the Constitutional relationship between the two. Historical facts can not be refuted or deleted from the pages of history. The special role that Sardar Patel played in the process of making a separate Constitution for the state (J&K) is a part of Indian history that can’t be erased. Sardar Patel is being called the Iron man and deliberately ambiguities about his views and approach about Kashmir are being publicized to mislead public opinion. All these “efforts” are borne out of political expediencies of present days. Nehru, Sardar Patel and other personalities named above have played a significant role in respect of the political expediencies related to the state’s accession to India. In this background the effort to call making of separate JK constitution a mistake is deliberate, so as to mislead public opinion, and it is a concerted attempt to distort historical facts.”

Consent of People:

In August 1952, the Information and Publication division of J&K government published a pamphlet under the title – “India and Kashmir – Constitutional relations”. At the moment, the people and institutions that  are opposing Art 370 and Art 35A- the Constitutional guarantees given to Kashmir, under the garb of nationalism, perhaps are not the product of the times, when the Constitutional relationship between Kashmir and Union of India was being discussed by state leaders and central leadership. As such we would advise them to assess or evaluate the role their leaders of stature played, before speaking. It is pertinent to mention here that surprisingly Dr. Karan Singh, who is connected with Congress, has adopted silence. On these issues in 1990, when militancy in Kashmir was at its peak, Dr. Karan Singh came to Kashmir and addressing a press Conference at his residence in Srinagar had revealed that history is reality and even if bitter, can’t be brushed aside. He knows what is the nature of accession, and the background of constitutional guarantees. But inspite of all that, he has adopted silence. Some extracts from the pamphlet mentioned above when Indian Constituent Assembly of was passing through last stages are pertinent. In June 1949 four representatives from J&K were nominated to Constituent Assembly of India. But prior to that Indian leaders, Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel had agreed that Jammu and Kashmir should have its separate Constitution. In this connection, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, in a letter to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on 18 May 1949, said, it is the set policy of Government of India, as has been reiterated by Sardar Patel many a time, that the right to give life to or make the Constitution for J&K is vested in these representatives of Constituent Assembly, who have been elected by the people of the state. During the last phase of Indian Constituent Assembly, it was felt that some section of the Constitution about J&K sate should be put in the shape of an Article. As such Art 306A was changed into Art 370. It was also decided that in the case of keeping any issue in the shape of an article the base of that will be set according to the Instrument of Accession. So Art 370 was drafted in accordance with the document- Instrument of Accession.

 

Sardar Patel’s Assertion:

In this connection Sardar Patel said, “In the light of the special identity of the state, we have given a special status to it, in order to keep the relationship in tact”. To conclude, the states special position, the guarantees included in Indian Constitution, the correspondence between the Srinagar and Delhi, Delhi Agreement 1952, and many documents and assertions made by government of India  show the making a separate constitution for the state was not a mistake, nor was the special status of the state given without the consent of Sardar Patel and other leaders.”

 

[Courtesy: Urdu daily Nida-i-Mashriq, Srinagar, Kashmir, September 09, 2018].

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