Jaishankar avers ‘Art 370 continued for long due to politics’; advocates national interest | India News

Highlighting the importance of putting national interest first, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar opined that a temporary provision like Article 370 continued for such a long time due to politics. Delivering a lecture at IIM Calcutta on Wednesday, he asserted that the world exploited the situation arising out of the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir. On this occasion, Jaishankar stressed that public opinion can play a key role in influencing political parties so that the larger interest of the country is paramount. 

S Jaishankar remarked, “It is important to put the national interest first. The politics of the day should not trump the larger interest of the nation. Clearly, that’s an approach that all politicians should have in the country. It is obviously easy to say but it always doesn’t get done. If you look at the Article 370 issue, let’s be honest, other than the politics of the day what was the reason for the temporary provision to continue for so long? It was really the politics of the day. The fact that we had such a messy issue there, the entire world used it for the last 75 years.”

“The force of public opinion is a very powerful force. Politics may shape the public mood. But believe me, the public mood also shapes politics,” he added. 

Abrogation of Article 370

A Presidential notification combined with requisite legislation passed by both the House of Parliament in August 2019 led to Article 370 becoming virtually redundant. This implied that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was scrapped. Furthermore, the region was bifurcated into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. Thereafter, restrictions on the movement of people and communication were imposed in the state, which were gradually lifted over the months.

After leaders such as former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were released post months of detention, 6 political parties joined hands to form the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in August 2020. The principal aim of this alliance is to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A and statehood. Addressing a rally in Gujarat earlier this month, Union Home Minister Amit Shah blamed India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, for the mess created in the Union Territory owing to Article 370.

“Due to the mistake of Jawaharlal Nehru of inserting Article 370, Kashmir was in a mess. It could not be properly integrated with the country. Everybody wanted the removal of Article 370. Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed it in one stroke and completed the integration of Kashmir with the country,” Amit Shah claimed.

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