A Curious Deferral

A Curious Deferral

The Supreme Court of India has deferred the hearing on Article 35 A by three months after New Delhi sought an adjournment for six months. New Delhi’s Attorney General cited the appointment of an interlocutor for the adjournment and held that the court hearing could impact the initiative. In essence then what has been done is buying of time for the interlocutor. Even though what follows is inferential but it appears that the premise behind New Delhi’s buying of time is to create space for the interlocutor appointed by it. Other reasons could be that Kashmir being Kashmir might explode if the court rules adversely against Article 35 A. It may be pointed out here that Article 35 A, roughly speaking , is the legal provision that maintains Jammu and Kashmir’s “ special status” with New Delhi , among other things- a “relationship” that has historically been observed in the breach and has been considerably diluted by powers that be with , if not local connivance but surely with deliberate omissions. The politics or more accurately politicking over Article 35 A , has assumed salience after the far right Indian nationalist party, the Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP) assumed power in India. The BJP seeks full “assimilation” of Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian Union and views Article 35 A and its corollaries as structural impediments to its agenda and seeks to remove this. The BJP was given a toehold in Kashmir by the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) by forging an alliance with it for power political reasons. All this emboldens the far right party to both hasten and crystallize its agenda for Jammu and Kashmir. With Kashmir being the centre of gravity of the region, and the actual flash point, the BJP would want to hasten the demise of Article 35 A. The premise of the BJP appears to be that this will resolve the conflict in and over Kashmir for good. But, this is not only a flawed but a faulty assessment. An n number of factors and themes militate against BJP’s noxious agenda for Kashmir. The only framework and paradigm that would resolve the conflict in all its dimensions in Kashmir is a multi-stakeholder approach that satisfies the interests of all parties and the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. Short of this any other approach amounts to mere shenanigans or secret, dishonest maneuvering that has historically and even contemporarily been the bane of Kashmir.

 

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