August 08, 2021

Two Years gone “New J & K” Worse than the Old One: PAGD

PEOPLE’S Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) issued a statement on August 4, 2021. It stated that August 05, 2021, marks the completion of two years since the unprecedented assault on the Constitution of India was taken to nullify Article 370. It has damaged the very bond of relationship of people of J&K with the union of India, the statement said. PAGD said that by demolishing the constitution of Jammu & Kashmir by the central government, all the limits of constitutionality were crossed.

The BJP government at the centre has downgraded the historic state of Jammu & Kashmir and divided it into two separate union territories without the consent of the people and also ignored the resolution adopted by J&K legislature on March 3, 2004, the statement lamented. The PAGD warned the people of the country that this step in J & K is dangerous and can set a precedent of carving out new states into any number of fragments any time; just by placing the state under governor’s rule. Thereby the very existence of a state becomes a matter of central discretion, a substantial step towards a unitary state, the statement exhorted.
Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, spokesperson of the PAGD said that the abrogation of Article 35 A, has made the status of permanent residents redundant. Protection of jobs and  land rights was removed arbitrarily which deepened the alienation  and  sense of insecurity  in all the regions. The economy of J&K has virtually collapsed as tourism, trade, agriculture, horticulture and handicraft sectors were badly hit. Employment opportunities areshrinking. Is corruption any less and governance any better, he asked. The fact remains not a single claim stands the test of the scrutiny.

He further said that a process of throttling of democracy and democratic rights was initiated. The clampdown and continuous restrictions on the movement and association of the people and gagging the media has resulted in forced silence. The PAGD observed that over the last two years it has become amply clear why the government of India was so insistent on taking such drastic unlawful measures. The people of J& K are being ripped apart into smaller units, ripped off their jobs and rights over the natural resources that are theirs. Unconscionable suppression of civil and democratic rights continues unabated. “Indiscriminate arrests  and  harassment  of all sections of our people including  employees  on different pretexts continues  and  issuing  dictates  like  the recent one not to provide clearance for passport  and government services to anyone involved in ‘ law and order and stone pelting  cases’ is one more addition,” the statement stressed. PAGD stated, adverse police report cannot be a substitute for being found guilty in a court of law. This amounts to violation of the most scared principles of the justice system.

While ridiculing the BJP, the statement said that the hoax of BJP,s Naya Kashmir (new Kashmir)  is a joke now . The people have started questioning those in authority  as what they have achieved  by  destroying  the ‘Kashmir’  which came into being  through protracted historic struggle of the people of Jammu &Kashmir. This had empowered the people of all the regions   and communities with dignity by liberating them from the shackles of authoritarian monarchy and ruthless feudalism.

The PAGD said that it was hoped that the government of India would realise the futility of its decision taken on August 5, 2019. The recent participation of J&K leaders with the prime minister was a leap of faith on that hope but none of the measures required to begin rebuilding the shattered confidence of the people of J&K has been taken.The PAGD continued to state that J & K remains as far from Delhi and from the Dil (heart) of India as it has ever been. Rather the distances are further widening    and disheartening and deepening.

The PAGD appealed to all sections of the people in each region and community to remain united and not to fall prey to the false and slanderous campaigns and divisive attempts aiming at dividing and disarming them. The PAGD said that it was sure that at this time of serious crises they will not succumb but “continue our struggle in defence of our rights using every opportunity through peaceful and legal means.”