View from the right: Kashmir and 370https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/view-from-the-right-kashmir-and-370-6082758/

View from the right: Kashmir and 370

Vaidya provides a historical background for Article 370 and how Jammu and Kashmir became a part of India. He then says that J&K “doesn’t comprise of people living in Kashmir Valley alone but also includes people of Jammu and Ladakh region”

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Manmohan Vaidya, the joint general secretary of RSS, says that “the deadly combination of Article 370 and 35A, was in play misusing a large amount of funds allocated by Centre for development of entire J&K”

Almost the entire issue of Organiser is dedicated to the abrogation of Article 370, the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and its after effects.

Manmohan Vaidya, the joint general secretary of RSS, says in an article that “the deadly combination of Article 370 and 35A, dynastic politics, nepotism and communalism was in play misusing a large amount of funds allocated by Centre for development of entire J&K” and “West Pakistan refugees and SCs/STs were always denied the benefits”.

Vaidya provides a historical background for Article 370 and how Jammu and Kashmir became a part of India. He then says that J&K “doesn’t comprise of people living in Kashmir Valley alone but also includes people of Jammu and Ladakh region” and that the “benefits or losses due to this special status should be reviewed in its entirety and not just limited to the Valley”.

Under the cover of this special status, Vaidya continues, “Pak-sponsored terrorism and separatist forces were fostered to keep the state unstable in the name of religion and politics, warring against the Bharatiya security forces that were brought here to protect the people”.

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He calls the “act of amending Article 370 and removal of 35A to extend all the Constitutional provisions to the state of J&K by the Government of Bharat” as the “fulfilment of the promise given to the people of Bharat”.

In the end, he quotes RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saying that “the Sangh works for the feeling of fraternity and the only basis for this fraternity is ‘unity in diversity’” and the world “terms this traditional thought process as ‘Hindutva’”. Vaidya writes “that is why when we say our nation is a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, it, in no way conveys that we don’t need Muslims”.

Sangh Connection

Another article in Organiser, is authored by Arun Kumar, the Akhil Bhartiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS, who has been the prant pracharak in J&K earlier. He writes that on August 15, 1947 people in J&K like everywhere else in India “were also breathing in free air after the slavery of centuries” but it did not “appear palatable to the people from a particular class who were inebriated in the communal frenzy.

He says that they thought that Kashmir was a Muslim majority state that had to be in Pakistan and had “hoisted the Pakistani flags on the government buildings in Srinagar before the sunrise”.

Kumar says that the RSS volunteers came forward and took down those flags and “thousands” of patriotic citizens joined them in chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai.

He writes: “The Kashmir Valley had then and even now has a Muslim majority. Like today, a gang of nuisance makers existed at that time also who were few in number but had the capability to take the Valley hostage. In spite of this, the courage that the citizens showed on August 15, 1947 along with the RSS swayamsevaks by resisting those nuisance makers had the background of a grand programme of the RSS that had started just a few months earlier.

The people of Kashmir valley experienced the capability and the discipline of the RSS for the first time in that programme.”

He mentions several steps taken by RSS in J&K at that time and says that when the plan to attack on October 22 was being prepared on October 13, 1947, “in the presence of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a swayamsevak was present there in disguise” and the information was relayed to the “RSS headquarters at Srinagar” which passed it on to Brigadier Rajendra Singh and Brigadier Fakir Singh.

Kumar lists more instances when RSS volunteers were called upon to help during and just after the attack on J&K and several interventions made by RSS in the region ever since. He says that RSS leaders and volunteers started suffering soon after Sheikh Abdullah took over and mentions Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s death in Srinagar.

Secular Illusion

In its weekly column critiquing the media, Panchjanya talks about the pending Supreme Court decision on the Ayodhya issue. It says that “it is expected that the 500-year old dispute will come to an end” and the media has a negative attitude even on this. It adds that some media platforms are giving stage to certain people whose inflammatory speeches can vilify the atmosphere. “It is expected that government authorities are keeping an eye on them,” it says.

It accuses certain media houses trying to establish a lot of lies. “Among all this, the fake narrative of the communists is also going on,” the article states, referring to surveys by “any international agency” to state that India stands lower on Hunger Index compared to Pakistan and Bangladesh”. The media is surreptitiously creating doubts about all attempts to build a temple and development.

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The article raises questions about the media’s attitude towards Rahul Gandhi, stating that there seems to be pressure on them to ignore “funny” speeches by him