Letter to BS: Maintaining peace in Kashmir will be a formidable challenge

Activists of AISA, CPI(M) and other organizations display placards during a protest against the Union government's move to revoke Article 370 in Jammu Kashmir, in New Delhi (Photo- Dalip Kumar)
Instead of addressing the challenges posed by the rapidly deteriorating economy, the government has resorted to yet another diversionary tactics by deciding to scrap Article 370 at a time when the state is still under the central rule. Even though — irrespective of its historical context — the national sentiment was generally against Articles 370 and 35A, divesting this sensitive border state of its status as a full-fledged state and relegating it to that of a Union Territory virtually bringing the state under the central rule, is something that even the antagonists of these Articles had not asked for. This will have far-reaching constitutional, political, economic, social and, above all, security ramifications. The constitutionality of such a measure is certainly questionable. The imperatives of the ongoing massive troop build-up in the state, abruptly ending the Amarnath Yatra midway, directing the tourists to leave the valley and placing top opposition leaders in Kashmir under house arrest are obvious now. While the BJP is certainly going to benefit enormously from such controversial decision in the upcoming elections, maintaining peace in the valley would be a formidable challenge.
   
S K Choudhury, Bengaluru
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