Kashmir and Article 370: Kerala expresses shock and protest

Kerala expressed its shock and protest at the unexpected turn of events which would erase the state of Jammu and Kashmir and create two Union Territories, along with the scrapping of the Article 370 by the Parliament. Parliamentarians, political parties and other organisations as well as rights activists alike expressed their protest against the bill passed by the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on August 5 and 6, respectively.

Protest march of the Welfare Party in Kozhikode (Image source: social media)

The centre has betrayed Kashmir which had stood by India at the time of the partition by scrapping the Article 370, accused KPA Majeed, Muslim League state general secretary. The centre has taken a unilateral decision without caring for the opinion of the people of Kashmir or their representatives. He also urged all those who believe in democracy to come up against this unexpected imposition. The party organized protest programmes in panchayat and assembly constituencies raising the slogan ‘Save Kashmir, save Constitution’ in several parts of Kerala on Monday and Tuesday. Different sister organisations of the party led the protest in different places. The Muslim Students Federation organized protest programmes in campuses.

The Modi government has killed the Indian Constitution and democracy by the scrapping of Article 370 that had given special status to Jammu and Kashmir and by erasing the state to form two union territories, accused Welfare Party state president Hameed Vaniyambalam in a statement. The ‘draconian and highly insensitive’ action of the Home Minister has ‘alienated even the moderate sections of Kashmiri leadership’ and sends a message that the people’s democratic rights could be suppressed by the use of military, stated the Social Democratic Party of India in a statement. State Minister of Health PK Sreemathi spoke at the protest organized by the CPI(M) in Kozhikode city, in which state leaders of the party such as Muhammed Riyas, Mohanan Master, former Mayor MK Premajam and former district panchayat president Kanathil Jameela attended. All the parties, along with their students’ and youth organisations, organized protest marches and gatherings in several areas on Monday and Tuesday.

Health Minister PK Sreemathi speaks at the protest gathering of the CPI(M) in Kozhikode (Image source: social media)

Kerala Parliamentarians strongly expressed their protest against the bill presented in both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. In the Rajya Sabha on August 5, KK Ragesh, CPI(M) MP, termed the bill as ‘unconstitutional’ and expressed his concern that such an emergency-like condition could happen to any state.  Binoy Vishwom, CPI MP, accused the presentation of the bill as ‘conspiratorial’ while taking part in the discussion in the Rajya Sabha. Terming it as ‘the political approach of the BJP and not India’s national approach’, he expressed his wish that ‘the draconian law’ would be changed and the real ethics and essence of India would be brought back to the Constitution one day.

PV Abdul Wahab, Muslim League MP, questioned the way the bill was presented and the hurry with which the government was trying to get bills passed without giving much time for reading and discussion. Jose K Mani, Kerala Congress (M) MP, opined that those advocating the deletion of Article 370 were more concerned with uniformity rather than integration. He questioned the imposition of Section 144 if the Government was going along with the wishes of the people of the state.

Earlier on August 5, Elamaram Kareem, CPI (M) MP in the Rajya Sabha, had submitted a notice to move a motion requesting to discuss the incidents in Jammu and Kashmir related to the huge deployment of paramilitary forces, cancellation of the Amarnath yatra midway, etc.

In the Lok Sabha, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP, accused that the decision was an assault on the Constitution and an attack on democratic values. Scrapping the Article 370 is a political equivalent of demonetization, which also was welcomed by many in the beginning, he added.

Muslim Youth League protest in Malappuram (Image credit: social media)

Muslim League’s PK Kunhalikkutty brought the absence of veteran Farooq Abdullah to the notice of the House and questioned the circumstances which barred him from being present there. He accused that the government was warring against its own citizens, and that it would have serious repercussions. Adv AM Ariff, CPI(M) MP, stated he was not scared if he was branded anti-national or Pakistan supporter for protesting against the division of Kashmir and scrapping of Article 370. He expressed his concern that the UAPA and NIA bills were deliberately passed by the Parliament at this time to silence even a small political protest. He also asked whether the government would do the same to the north eastern states which also have special status as per the Article 371 of the Constitution.

NK Premachandran, RSP MP, questioned how the President could amend the Article 367, in order to make changes in the Article 370. He added that the bill was violating the federal characteristics of the Constitution and that it was a monumental and historic mistake committed by the government.

Courtesy: Two Circle



Related Articles