Article 370 Scrapped: Today is a wretched day for democracy

Dr.Nyla Ali Khan

The Indian Constitution has been blatantly violated in Kashmir and the ideals it enshrines completely forgotten. Forces have arisen which threaten to carry this saddening and destructive process further still.

The Indian Constitution sought to guarantee an independent judiciary, an honest electoral process, and rule of law. It is not surprising that many other countries have drawn upon this constitution, particularly the chapter on fundamental rights. The constitution provided a strong framework, and it was for those who were responsible for the smooth functioning of institutional mechanisms of government to implement constitutional provisions, so they impacted institutions.

When talking about the constitutional aspect, the Praja Parishad, predecessor of the BJP, always wanted Article 370 to be expunged from the Constitution of India. Kashmiris always maintained that the special position accorded to the State could alone be the source of a growing unity and closer association between the State and India. The Constituent Assembly of India took note of the special circumstances obtaining in the State and made provisions accordingly.

Political parties in Kashmir only wanted to deliberate upon our future and to find out ways and means to extricate ourselves peacefully from the mire we have fallen into, with the cooperation and goodwill of India and Pakistan—not treating either of them as our enemy. But even this is not permitted to us. No good can come out of this.

Today, it does not take a skeptic to question whether articles in the Constitution of India, which pledged to protect the fundamental rights of citizens, have a real impact on institution building.

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