CHANDIGARH: Terming the present situation in Kashmir as a tinderbox waiting to burst, eminent Kashmir experts on Sunday castigated the Centre's move to "undemocratically revoke Article 370" as it spelt and solidified India's relation with the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
During a highly-charged panel discussion with RSS ideologue and BJP national secretary Ram Madhav and Congress MP Manish Tewari as panellists on "Article 370 and the Death Knell of Terrorism", the distinguished duo comprising former R&AW Chief AS Dulat and Manoj Joshi echoed that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's approach of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat was the only way to ensure a lasting solution to the vexed issue.
The Kashmir is numb and residents of the state are feeling a sense of disappointment with Delhi, said Dulat in his opening remarks adding that the situation was grim and what we are witnessing is 'Quiet Disobedience' which nobody knows would take what course in future.
Taking part in the discussion, Ram Madhav said the revocation of Article 370 was done in most democratic and transparent way. He also added that those political leaders detained in Kashmir would be released soon. Shying away to put any timeframe, Madhav, however, added that process to keep the political activity going in Kashmir were on.
We would restore the status of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, Madhav said clarifying there it was felt that there was need to put the bifurcated state under Central rule for some time hence the creation of Union Territories.
Taking strong exception to former RAW Chief Dulat's expression of Calm Disobedience, a visibly ruffled Madhav emphasised Kashmiris have never been known to be quiet and they are always up at the smallest provocation.
"Kashmiris have lived with article 370 for seventy years and now they are experiencing life without it. It is a bold step taken by the Government and I am sure the new situation will ensure the development and complete integration of region with India," Madhav said.
Putting his point across, Manish Tewari blamed the Centre for setting a dangerous precedent by dividing a state into a UT there by trampling the very spirit of our constitution. "We are a Union of States and what has been done by bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir is the most obnoxious move entailing serious repercussions for our Constitution and polity," he said.
Echoing the views of both experts on the panel, Tewari further said that revocation had nothing to do with terrorism and had subverted all norms of due processes enshrined in Constitution. Terrorism, which the Central Government claims to put an end to with this one stroke, has had its genesis in dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh, said senior Congressman adding that our enemy neighbour had always followed the policy of bleeding India through thousand cuts.
Underlining that there was something fundamentally wrong in this decision, he further said that Centre had with its mindless decision alienated mainstream Kashmiri leaders too adding that God forbid if the situation so warrants we now literally have nobody to talk to.
"After working with Madam Mehbooba Mufti for an year and half, we felt some difficulties in furthering our security agenda in Kashmir and we as a party decided to quit and let president rule come into force," Madhav added.