BOSTON–Kashmiri Hindu community in New England welcomed Government of India’s legislative actions of abrogating Article 370 and reorganization of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
These are historic and momentous legislations that will enable the free flow and applicability of Indian constitution and all its laws into the region of Jammu & Kashmir without any special considerations, Kashmiri pandits said in a statement.
The abrogation of Article 370 and the annulment of Article 35A will automatically abate all laws and rules that are unique to Jammu & Kashmir, including a separate penal code, state citizenship and restricted access to property and voting rights.
Boston’s Neelam Wali and Anupam Wali, who have been active in creating awareness about Kashmir issue, expressed delight at the news.
“We never expected this to happen in our lifetime. Kashmiri Hindus have seen worse and suffered a lot over the last many years. Our senior population was effected the most, losing land of birth then treated as outsiders made them loose will to live,” Mr. Wali said.
Added Ms. Wali: “This is a historic event in our life time says my father, who has been waiting all his adult life to see this very day. My dad, who is 96, is beyond happy, glued to the TV when we talk to them today.”
The reorganization of the state will also create a level playing field across the region. The proposed Union Territory status for the Ladakh region will fulfil its political aspiration as well and enable direct federal administration, free of interference by vested interests in the Kashmir Valley.
Boston’s Sanjay Kaul, a local Kashmiri Hindu community leader, welcomed the amendments and said, “Kashmiri Hindus who have been displaced from the Kashmir Valley hail the decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a historic day for India and true Indian anywhere. The boil that Nehru had created has finally been excised, and the “tryst with destiny” properly redeemed. “A common citizen of Kashmir is happy and supports this decision. We hope this will help them return to their lost homes.”
Mohan Wanchoo from New York felt proud of this historic development and said, “Today is indeed the proudest moment for us all Indians when the special status articles 370 and 35A have been removed. All of us can now go back and settle without fear in Kashmir and bring that state up.”
Kashmiri Hindu community feels that the Articles 370 and 35A were unwarranted in the first place and only impeded complete integration of the state within the union of India and thus these legislative amendments were long overdue. Kashmiri Hindu community hopes that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi these constitutional amendments will enable them to get justice, reverse our ethnic cleansing and reclaim their ancestral homeland from where we were driven out since early 1990s.
“These moves by the Indian government will also improve the security situation with respect to cross-border terrorism and bring peace, harmony and stability in Jammu and Kashmir,”they said in a statement.
Lalit Koul from Boston concluded that “Article 370 only perpetuated the corruption and special interests of Kashmiri leaders, leading to the poor economic conditions in the state. The only people to lose from this historic decision are those special interests and corrupt political, community, and religious leaders whose only aim has been to hold onto power over their constituencies. With these amendments, their hegemonic days will soon be over and all the political and economic benefits will actually reach to the masses.”