Editorial: Act fast on Article 35A

The challenge to the legality of Article 35A in the supreme Court of India is turning out to be ticking bomb  in Jammu and Kashmir. People across the board have expressed their concerns against any possibility of it being scrapped and the implications thereof.

Even former Foreign minister of the country, Yashwant Sinha too has urged the central government to immediately clear it’s stand on the issue, that according to Sinha is a matter of grave concern for people from all areas of the state.

The latest in the developments related to the issue is the demand for immediate session of the state legislature on the issue.  This demand has come from National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah.

Since the issue is of vital importance for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, as abrogation of Article 35A will have serious ramifications, Omar has  rightly demanded for a session of the legislature.

What compounds the concerns is the reported unsatisfactory response of the Union and the State governments in putting up a strong case before the apex court in safeguard of the Article 35A.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on its part is rushing a delegation of top ministers to Delhi to firm up support in favour of the Article of the constitution.

Political parties and other entities from the socio-economic spectrum of the state have expressed their apprehensions against any move of tinkering with article 35A, but all these have remained individual voices. Though in rhetoric, political parties have announced their unity on the issue, there is little that can be seen on ground to substantiate such claims.

The failure to show this unity, is perhaps the reason that despite expression of apprehension and concerns from the state, centre hasn’t felt urged enough to articulate it’s position, leave aside support for the stance taken by the stake holders from the state.

The parties, that would do massive political rallies for the sake of optics haven’t been seen mobilising people and public opinion on the issue that has far reaching implications on the people and interests of the state.

The call from Omar Abdullah for an immediate session of the state assembly in the back drop of Mehbooba Mufti’s “Strong Fist” statement on independence day should act as a trigger for actual and meaningful convergence of the two mainstream parties which in turn should work as an umbrella to mobilise and project the concern of people of the issue.

A lot of time has already been lost. There is very little to loose now.

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