Gupkar Alliance adopts resolution to restore 'constitutional position' of J-K, Ladakh under Article 370, 35A

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The Gupkar Alliance on Friday said Article 370 was not an impediment to the development of Jammu and Kashmir. the six-parties alliance further asserted that the ground situation belies BJP government’s claims of development post abrogation of the special status of J&K.

“The claims of the BJP government that the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of a state with special status into two union territories has paved the way for new industries, created new employment opportunities, decreased terror incidents, brought an atmosphere of peace and security, nurtured democracy, eradicated corruption, brought new Central laws for the betterment of people in this region are nothing but a concocted and fabricated stories while the ground situation belies these claims,” read a statement issued by Gupkar Alliance spokesman Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.

Referring to a recently released report by the Union Home ministry titled “The dream of one nation, one law, one symbol fulfilled: After effective removal of the provisions of Article 370, the picture has changed: a new start in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh”, the Gupkar Alliance said the reality is that there is a systematic disempowerment of the people that will continue through the bureaucratic rule.

“The projects mentioned in the booklet are mostly approved by the earlier governments but are shown to be the outcome of abrogation of Article 370. Reality is that Nashri Tunnel, Zojilla Tunnel, establishment of 50 degree colleges and various medical colleges are projects approved much before the abrogation of Art 370,” the statement said.

It further said the BJP government is boasting of the implementation of various laws, like Land Reforms and RTI Act which is claimed to have been effective now.

“This is a blatant lie as Jammu and Kashmir was a pioneer in implementing the revolutionary land reform laws which no other state has done except Kerala to some extent. Similarly, the erstwhile state’s own RTI Act was stronger than the Union law,” the statement said adding, “Without knowing the facts of the matter, BJP leaders had maintained that people of J&K had no access to information under the Right to Information Act until Article 370 was read down.”

On unemployment, Gupkar Alliance said, “J&K lags far behind and has assumed the highest unemployment proportion as compared to pre-August 2019 period. The unemployment rate is highest in India in the last 45 years and in J&K it is worse than that.”

It further said before abrogation of Article 370, not only had J&K kept pace with the other states in improvement in human development indices (HDI) but some of the indicators pertaining to literacy rates, marriage and fertility, child sex ratios and school attendance rates for girls over six years of age were relatively better than those for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

The Gupkar Alliance spokesman said it is really baffling and misleading to claim high moral ground in implementing the PM Kisan Scheme and PMAY. “J&K is getting benefitted the same way as other states and UTs”.

Referring to the implementation of Jammu & Kashmir under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Scheme, he said the simple question is what relevance it has with abrogation of Article 370. “This scheme is in vogue in the rest of India as well. So attributing this to abrogation of  Article 370 is not correct.”

On the opening of bank accounts for women being referred to as a success story by the NDA government, Gupkar Alliance said, “Even before the NDA assumed power, government data reveal that significant progress was made in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one decade. States were ranked on the basis of the extent of financial inclusion for women and household autonomy. The NFHS-4 (2015-16), which collected data on women with bank accounts, found that at the all-India level, the percentage of women with bank accounts increased from 15.5 per cent in 2005-06 to 53 per cent in 2015-16. In Jammu and Kashmir, the percentage of women with bank accounts increased from 22 per cent to 60 per cent, which, if anything, compares well with the all-India average and appears to be better than the increases in Bihar, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and even Karnataka. In fact, the figure for Jammu and Kashmir was ahead in social indicators as that of Gujarat in 2015-2016, whose model of development has been held as a beacon by the BJP, worthy of emulation by other States.”

Terming the slogan of “development”,  as a red herring, Gupkar Alliance spokesman said, “Why then has the central government done what it has? The common answer is that it has been a long-standing demand of the Hindutva elements, with an eye no doubt on altering the demographic composition of the only Muslim-majority state in the country, rather like Israel is doing on Palestinian lands.”

“In fact, this government being the product of a Hindutva-corporate alliance, almost everything it does also caters to a pro-corporate agenda, apart from promoting Hindutva. Opening up Kashmir to its corporate patrons, not so much for expanding the volume of productive economic activities but for land acquisition for real estate development or for sheer speculation on land price, is also an added incentive. Such real estate development adds little to the level of employment; but it subtracts employment if the land was being used for some productive activities before,” he said.

“The presence of Article 370 was not an impediment in the overall development of the State as claimed by the government. All government data and surveys indicate a marked improvement in almost all human development indices in the State,” added the spokesman. 

The six parties Gupkar Alliance comprising NC, PDP, CPI, CP(M), JKPM and ANC have vowed to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status.