The nation will always remain grateful to Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for leading the courageous process of a historic course-correction in Kashmir. The next part of that process is to snatch back Kashmir occupied by Pakistan

Srinagar: Even as they opposed the current delimitation process in Kashmir region stating that it should be done only after the 2026 census, representatives of the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) maintained that restoration of statehood should be done first before embarking upon any other exercise. They also reiterated the demand for restoration of Special Status (under Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India). The Government move to abrogate the Special Status has hurt the interests of the people of Kashmir, they said.

THERE is a silent, sinister dimension to this demand with a terrible implication -- which most unfortunately India’s powers that be seventy years ago did not understand, or refused to acknowledge for mysterious reasons, making the nation suffer in the long run. Those who are making the demand now -- ‘restore Special Status’ and statehood to Kashmir -- are actually following the Pakistani agenda whose dirty details our rulers missed in those days, for god-knows why.

Yes, strong words, but nothing else represents the ugly reality of the Kashmir politics of those early days -- extending until August 5, 2019 when the Modi-Government abrogated Special Status and brought Kashmir level with the rest of the country. Now every central law applicable to the rest of the country is now applicable to Jammu and Kashmir as well. In other words, Kashmir’s political community will now be treated at par with the people of India, without the privileges it enjoyed -- often mocking at the rest of the country.

That is exactly why some political parties in Kashmir are opposed to change. For, having enjoyed all liberties to mess with India for seventy years under the cloak of Special Status, they now squirm with the very thought of not being able to serve the Pakistani agenda any more.

The words ‘Pakistani agenda’ need to be explained afresh. For that, it is also necessary to decipher the coded anti-national message hidden in the Kashmir situation under Special Status. The following realities must be brought to fore once again for a fresh consideration of all of us:

1. By way of Article 370, the region of Jammu and Kashmir (and of course Ladakh in tow) became a part of geographical India, but not constitutional and legal India. It milked India for every rupee of the mind-boggling funding from the national exchequer to keep the State alive, but showed no actual allegiance to the idea, ideal and ideology of India;

2. No Indian from other parts of the country could buy a plot of land in Kashmir, or conduct business there, but the Kashmiris could move about in India freely without any hindrance;

3. Culturally and politically, Kashmir was always an integral part of India, but a good number of people in the region’s political community had a domain of their own -- in pure Pakistani mode and manner -- that did not allow a true integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India;

4. The region remained protected by the larger Indian defence and security strategy, to serve which literally countless Indian brave-hearts laid their lives. But the separatist politicians in Kashmir nursed in the society anti-national elements that acted as a supply-source of terrorists, stone-pelters, thereby serving dirty Pakistani designs to the hilt.

In other and dirtier words, Kashmir under Special Status looked like a Pakistan in India -- at India’s cost, served by India, protected by India’s brave and great Armed Forces, loved by the unsuspecting people of India at large.

It is only natural that those who enjoyed this illegal and immoral hegemony now do not want to abide by the new condition. Their opposition, thus, has a distinct Pakistani flavour whose stink every Indian can sense.

Of course, many intelligent people in the country understood all this from Day One. And led by the legendary Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, they kept up a campaign through the past seventy years for the complete integration of Kashmir with the rest of the country. That campaign found its culmination when the Central Government led by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah abrogated Special Status and brought Kashmir at par with the whole of India.

It is from this standpoint that August 5, 2019, should be considered to be a day of true integration of Kashmir. August 5, thus, should be celebrated as “National Integration Day”.

For, it was on that day two years ago that India crushed the Pakistani agenda at work in Kashmir for the past seventy years. For, it was on that day when India snatched back Kashmir from an unholy Pakistani grip. For, it was on that day that India started the process of erasing even the traces of Pakistani poison from its system.

True, some agents and puppets of Pakistan still persist among us

-- by way of some Kashmiri politicians as well as leaders of some so-called mainstream parties that even went to the extent of opposing the Government in Parliament when the Kashmir situation was sought to be rectified. Some of those people also belong to parties that have histories as long as 135 years. In fact, those who ruled India when Kashmir was brought under Special Status also belonged to that very party. And they never understood the dirty fine print in the Kashmiri politics. Or, as one wonders, did they chose to ignore the details of the dirty designs?

Such questions will always keep dogging us even now and later. No matter all that, the nation will always remain grateful to Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for leading the courageous process of a historic course-correction in Kashmir. The next part of that process is to snatch back Kashmir occupied by Pakistan.