Advani's verdict on Omar
Whosoever in Kashmir is interested in begging your pardon, Advani ji?
VIEWPOINT BY DR.JAVID IQBAL
‘Gaffe’ could be a blunder, mistake, error of judgment, false move or faux pas. Whatever the motives of CM Omar in saying, what he did say in J&K legislative assembly, it did not carry any semblance of what ‘Gaffe’ implies, yet Advani chose to call it a gaffe-an unpardonable one, as if Omar included, Kashmiris’ are dying to beg his pardon! Scores in Kashmir might differ with Omar, however if the need be, we could close ranks, differences withstanding. This could be one such occasion!
BJP-to which Advani sticks in spite of RSS doing all it could to ease him out of its leadership save the bare honour of being a Sangh Parivar elder, until recently was loud in proclaiming the representative character of the assembly in spite of reservations on Omar’s handling of the current uprising. So, a statement recorded in the assembly-a house sanctified by BJP and in fact by the entire Indian political spectrum may not be dismissed as ‘unpardonable gaffe’. On its own take of the sanctity of the house, BJP would do well to digest it, even if it is a bitter pill. In the unlikely scenario of Omer buckling under pressure, he still cannot say, he did not say what he did say in legislative assembly. The recorded statement in a legislative chamber is like the proverbial ‘moving finger having writ moves on’! We may now get to the substance of what the latest Advani barrage implied.
In his blog, Advani took on Omar on being “out of tune with the national mood”. On the day that Advani’s latest blog hit the stands ‘GK’ carried a front page [19th October] news item of RSS chief Bhagwat’s Dussehra rally speech at Reshim Bagh ground, Nagpur-RSS hub “The direction of our policies should be guided by the unanimous resolution of our Parliament in 1994”. If that is Sangh Parivar’s take of the national mood than Home Minister P.Chidambram’s “Unique Problem” demanding ‘Unique Solution” is as much of an “Unpardonable Gaffe” as Omar’s. In fact Chidambaram’s statement on the floor of parliament is as much on record as the one by Omar legislative assembly. In the same Indian parliament, India’s first post independence PM-Jawaharlal Nehru promised plebiscite in J&K State and to accept the verdict, even if it goes against India. In this swinging pendulum of one take contradicting the other, what is the ultimate national mood? Advani or his peer Bhagwat would do well to answer that, if at all there is an answer!
Sangh Parivar from Praja Parishad days in fifties [changed to Jan Sangh and then to its latest garb-BJP] has harped on ‘Ek Pradhan, Ek Nishan and Ek Vidhan’ (One President, One Flag and One Constitution). In his latest blog, Advani says “while the first two objectives, namely ‘One President and One Flag’ have already been accomplished, his party is determined to achieve the third objective of one Constitution”. Advani, an octogenarian is bound to have flight of memory at such an advanced age, but it is selective amnesia [in medical terms, a condition, where selectively something is remembered, some willfully or otherwise forgotten] hence needs to be contended by the same constitutional argument, which Advani put forth as his armour.
Ek Nishan-one flag! For a change Advani would be well advised to visit J&K State-Kashmir might be too hot to visit right now unless all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men provide him security. Jammu could be an alternative-in naïve thinking of Sangh Parivar their bastion, in reality-a city, which has matured to think of J&K’s interests first and with interests tying up businesses in Srinagar and Jammu, 2010 did not see a repeat of 2008. Jammu’s response to Sangh Parivar hartal calls was to give it a cold shoulder. Sangh Parivar might be getting decadent, people are maturing. In Jammu, he would witness that state flag is secure besides the national flag, atop state buildings and VIP vehicles plying on the roads including Omar’s whose resignation, he wants forthwith. Do Nishan-Advani ji, how come a former Deputy Prime Minister cum former Home Minister is so short in detail? If that is the level of J&K’s political landscape brief of such a highly placed dignitary, there should be no grudge that an average Indian is so much bereft of what is troubling Kashmir!
Do Pradhan! Week kneed Sadiq regime bereft of popular base relented to central pressure in 1965 and did away with J&K’s separate Pradhan by accepting articles 356 relating to failure of constitutional machinery in the states and 357 relating to exercise of legislative powers under proclamation issued under article 356. Article 370 implied that:
Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution:
a. the provisions of article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir,
b. the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to;
i. those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for that State; and
ii. such other matters in the said Lists, as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.
Article 238 was the forerunner of 356/357 that governed exercise of president’s discretion in situations where, as per the report of the Governor of a State or otherwise the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the government of state cannot be carried on in accordance with provisions of the constitution. Article 238 was omitted by (7th Amendment) Act, 1956 and 356 and 357 were later made applicable to the State of J&K. The constitution of Jammu & Kashmir (Sixth Amendment) Act, 1965 dated 10th April facilitated imposition of 356/357. As per (Sixth Amendment: 2) the nomenclature of Sadar-i-Riyasat and Prime Minister was changed to Governor and Chief Minister and as per (Sixth Amendment: 9) ‘Discharge of functions of the Governor in certain contingencies’ section 32 was omitted and section 33 substituted, which reads-‘The President may make such provisions as he thinks fit for the discharge of functions of governor in any contingency and not provided for in this part.’ As per the omitted section (32) the discretionary powers in contingency clause rested with Sadar-i-Riyasat and central had no role.
Do Pradhan was converted to one Pradhan by a Congress regime. BJP or Advani need not take any credit for it. As far as clipping Kashmir’s autonomous status is concerned, Congress has worked it to perfection. BJP needs to take lessons-Advani as well, as during their days in power-NDA days-vis a vis Kashmir, it was much ado about nothing. Advani as home minister proved to be a paper tiger. It was in fact a common knowledge, substantiated by J&K’s voice of reason-Balraj Puri that he was interacting with likes of Farooq Kathwari-Kashmiri American business magnate treading a conflict resolution track.
True! In Agra, Advani applied brakes to Vajpayee and Musharaf understanding, but his liaison with people working for conflict resolution, in various tracks did not cease. As home minister, he might have realised that India’s long term interests demand a resolution of Kashmir issue. It is reasonable to presume, as some political pundits believe that he was bent upon applying brakes to Vajpayee’s initiatives, while keeping his own channels open, in order to provide finishing touches to conflict resolution, during his tenure as Prime Minister and take historical credit. He even visited his native Sind in Pakistan, called Jinnah a secular leader, on the basis of his preliminary speech in Pakistan’s constituent assembly. It became an ‘unpardonable gaffe’ for RSS and the process of easing him out of effective control of BJP started, which hasn’t ceased, withstanding the elder statesman title. He was named the Prime Ministerial candidate, probably to convert his image into votes, but Indian voters didn’t take the bait and with it the PM ambition became a dream lost. He is now left to deliver verdicts on his blog now and then.
Do Vidhan conversion to one Vidhan! It means abrogating Article 370, which implies a break in J&K’s constitutional ties with the ‘Union of India’ and as NDA Home Minster Advani might have taken the lesson from preceding congress regimes-why abrogate it at all, as it provides the tunnel through which various constitutional provisions of ‘Union of India’ could be made applicable to J&K State, as the study of application of 356 and 357 makes clear?
It stands noted in the preamble of twenty-sixth day of October, 1956 constitution of Jammu and Kashmir ‘to further define the relationship of the State with the Union of India as an integral part thereof and to secure to ourselves Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’. So, the caveat does exist to define of the relationship further, though being an integral part of India is implied. Defining the relationship could not be a unilateral affair, if within this framework- Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ gets denied; what path is left open for J&K state? Your guess could be as good as mine!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
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Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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