|Since 5 August, when the government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the floodgates of righteous rage from the usual suspects from India and the rest of the world have opened. Hardly surprising. This was the jackboot, the blood-soaked end of democracy, a rape of the Constitution, the trampling of fundamental rights of Kashmiris, and so on. These hyperventilating flag-bearers of freedom (or whatever) should calm down and consider one historical fact. Which is this. The "temporary and transitional" provision Article 370 made an exception to the fundamental rights guaranteed to all citizens by the Indian Constitution. These fundamental rights have now been restored. And this is shockingly easy to explain.|
|A New York Times columnist has walled that the government has now converted "the people of Kashmir to second-class citizens, if not subjects." Sony, but the truth is that some of these peoplespecifically the male Kashmiri Muslimenjoyed far greater rights than any other Indian citizen; they have now been brought down to equal status. And many other inhabitants of the erstwhile state had fewer rights than normal Indian citizens; they have been granted equality. One would think that anyone who believed in democracy would see that as a good thing.|
|To explain this, we must come to "majoritarianism", over which much chest-beating is going on. Some people have seen the government's action as "unabashed majoritarianism". Whereas, if there ever was any unabashed and constitutionally sanctioned majoritarianism anywhere in India, it was in J&K through Article 370. The Constitution of this Muslim-majority state did not have the word "minorities" anywhere in it. Unlike in the Indian Constitution, their rights were not protected. J&K was also the only Indian state with no tribal rights (and the state had no right to education either). And it should be our national shame that we allow these hypocrites to freely talk of majoritarianism while staying silent about the 20th century's swiftest forced exodus of a minority communityHindu Pandits from Kashmir in 1990.|
|There is extensive scare-mongering that the removal of Article 35A will lead to land grab by non-Kashmiris, because the law permitted ownership of immovable property in the state only by permanent residents (PRs). But this law also stipulated that J&K women who married non-PRs, lost their PR status and inheritance rights. When we spoke to an old family friend, a Kashmiri lady engineer married to a non-Kashmiri, who played a key role in the Chandrayaan-2 launch, she was tearful; all she could think of was building a little home in her homeland. Article 35A also ensured that the thousands of descendants of Valmikis (Dalits) who were brought in from Punjab as government sweepers in 1957 were never allowed to get any government jobs other than sweepers. And they could not even get a Scheduled Caste certificate from the state government, so were not eligible for any benefits under central schemes. Hindu and Sikh refugees from West Pakistan remained non-PR second-class citizens, while Uighur Muslims from Xinjiang were granted PR status. And we are supposed to believe that Kashmiri Muslims have become second-class citizens, when in reality, actual second-class citizens now have full citizen rights.|
A) Abrogation of Article 370 has violated the fundamental rights of Kashmiris.
B) Abrogation of Article 370 has violated the basic structure of the Constitution.
C) Abrogation of Article 370 has brought about true equality
D) Abrogation of Article 370 has made Kashmiris second class citizens
Correct Answer: C
Solution :Rationale: (c) It is clear after reading the passage that the author is of the opinion that fundamental rights have now been restored. The truth is that some of these peoplespecifically the male Kashmiri Muslimenjoyed far greater rights than any other Indian citizen; they have now been brought down to equal status. And many other inhabitants of the erstwhile state had fewer rights than normal Indian citizens; they have been granted equality. One would think that anyone who believed in democracy would see that as a good thing.
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