A major controversy is impending as the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is apparently trying to alter the Article 35A of the Constitution, which empowers the JK government to define “permanent residents” of the state. The move is said being carried out discreetly with the coalition partner PDP in the state kept totally ignorant about it.
The article 35-A enables the state to provide special rights and privileges that permanent residents can enjoy. With Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) calling for a shutdown on Saturday, and major political party, National Conference (NC) saying that the state may witness another uprising on lines of Amarnath Land Row in 2008. Social media has also reacted reacted to the move. Below we present some of the reactions on the issue:
Omar Abdullah, former CM wrote on Twitter: “To oppose removal of #35A is not anti-Jammu or anti-Ladakh. It’s removal will have grave consequences for people living in #Jammu & #Ladakh.”
In another Tweet, while justifying the opposition to dilution to Article 35A, he wrote “So our opposition to any dilution of #35A is not to benefit one region at the cost of another but to safeguard the state as a whole.”
Naseer A Ganai, a journalist wrote on his Facebook page: “For those who say what then: IF ARTICLE 35 (A) goes with it all state subject laws will become vulnerable and will go, anyone can buy property in J&K, can contest elections here, can get employment here and can settle here permanently. Permanent Resident clause will also go. The state subject laws are because of Article 35 (A). Once it goes nothing will remain. Have a great weekend!”
Peerzada Ashiq, a national daily journalist wrote: “Removing 35 (A), which bars outsiders from buying property in Kashmir to safeguard its identity and natural demographics, will be equivalent to waging war. All regional parties need to sit down on it to chalk out a joint strategy. No party can afford to be a mute spectator. Are we heading for a governor’s rule? Or Mir Jaffars will have their way again?”
Gowhar Geelani, journalist, political commentator wrote on his Facebook page: “Yes, all are and must be deeply concerned about threats to demographics and possible removal of Article 35-A, which grants state subjects exclusive rights to buy and own properties in Jammu & Kashmir. But to expect from the pro-India parties to safeguard Kashmir’s residual interests is akin to Yogi Adityanath mobilising crowds to reconstruct Babri Masjid at the disputed site of Ayodhya. Those who begged for votes to defeat fascists to join hands with fascists only, who justified use of pellets to blind a generation, those who justified banning of newspapers and arrests of human rights defenders, those who are silent over a slow genocide of youth, and those who brought GST tyranny to Kashmir, expecting pro- Kashmir behaviour from them is optimism of the highest order. It is like expecting a typical number eleven tailend batsman to score 37 runs of the last over bowled by McGrath. I admire people’s ability to have hope in a state of hopelessness. Good luck!”