Terming the situation in Kashmir as one "of total anarchy", with the government "clueless" about dealing with it, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani said on Sunday that the presence of security forces in the Valley should not be diluted.
"In the Kashmir Valley, the situation today is of total anarchy. And the government seems clueless how to deal with it," Advani said in the latest post on his blog.
Referring to the meeting of BJP legislators from Jammu and Kashmir with the prime minister last week, he said they submitted him a memorandum cautioning against any dilution in the presence of security forces.
"They also urged me not to succumb to the acceptance of any separatist demand. For the BJP, the issue of Kashmir’s complete integration with India is one which the party has pursued relentlessly since its birth as Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS)," Advani said, contending that even Constituent Assembly debates showed that the constitutional provision giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir was an interim arrangement.
"It is very clear from the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly that the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir State under Article 370 was only in the nature of an interim arrangement. The rationale was Pakistan’s invasion, and the UN dimension. This article had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority State, the argument that is being advanced today to condemn our demand for its abrogation,” Advani said.
BJS founder Syama Prasad Mookerji laid down his life for the cause of Jammu and Kashmir's integration with the country, he said
Advani said the memorandum given by the party legislators to the prime minister also stated that the separatists were getting instructions from across the border and had adopted an alternative strategy after realising that the global acceptability of acts of terror has ceased to exist.
He said the legislators told the prime minister that the separatists have decided since 2008 to resort to mob violence rather than stray acts of terror in their strategy to convince the world about the so-called justness of Kashmir's cause.
They also conveyed that the state government had become extremely unpopular and there was personal resentment against the chief minister (Omar Abdullah) who appeared to be getting alienated even from his own party cadres, Advani added.
Advani also contended that "communal" was a catchword which had over a period of time become a word of vile abuse in the country's political parlance.
"Jawaharlal Nehru used to hurl it at the great patriot and parliamentarian, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerji, and at the party which he founded, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. The epithet continues to be thrown at the Bharatiya Janata Party till today," he said.
Noting he can understand someone disputing the party's argument about the need to repeal Article 370, he said: "But I feel surprised when the BJP's demand for repeal of Article 370 is cited as proof of our communalism. That only underscores how perverse these catchwords have become," he said.
Referring to the Constituent Assembly debate of October 1949, which took up the provision for special status to Jammu and Kashmir for consideration, Advani said that Kashmir Affairs Minister N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, who introduced the provision, had hoped that in due course, Jammu and Kashmir will become ripe for the same sort of integration as other states.
He said whenever Atal Behari Vajpayee raised the issue of Article 370 in Parliament, Nehru would invariably reply that a gradual erosion of the article was taking place and it would go in course of time.
Citing former education minister M.C.Chagla's observation in the Rajya Sabha in 1964 about Article 370, Advani said he had hoped that its erosion was accelerated and it will soon disappear from the Constitution.
"Not only has the transitional period still not ended; today any Chagla just suggesting that the temporary article be repealed runs the risk of being characterized as communal and reactionary," Advani said.