• Sun. Nov 28th, 2021



Oct 28, 2021

Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) made his maiden visit to Kashmir valley after the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A of the Constitution of India announcement of which he himself made on the floor of Lok Sabha on 5th August, 2019.

Mr. Shah’s visit comes in the wake of unprecedented period of calm that prevailed in Kashmir valley for last 2 years contrary to expectations of many political analysts, who thought that the region of Kashmir valley will see the same kind of unrest or the worst that happened after the killing of Burhan Wani in 2016, when Kashmir valley engulfed in extreme violence for months on end. But nothing of that sort happened after the abrogation of Article 370, which was a cataclysmic event for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. People of Kashmir valley showed an immense calm and patience and did not let Kashmir valley slip into chaos.



Orchestrating relatively smooth abrogation of Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India and managing to avoid any kind of blood shed in Kashmir valley has been one of the most notable performances of Amit Shah as Home Minister of India. Not only this, Amit Shah also successfully conducted District Development Council (DDC) elections, which were held a year after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India in which people of Kashmir valley including those in restive South Kashmir participated in large numbers.

So how did Mr. Amit Shah’s first visit as Home Minister of India after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India go this time?

But before doing that, it is interesting to also mention Kashmir valley’s own connection with the MHA, which has traditionally occupied the second most powerful position after the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in the union cabinet. What most people however don’t know is that the office of the Home Minister of India has also been occupied by two Kashmiris as well.

The first Kashmiri to occupy the office of MHA as Home Minster of India was Mr. Kailash Nath Katju (1951-55), who belonged to a Kashmiri Pundit family that had settled in former princely state of Jarora in present day Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Katju, a Congress man served under Prime Minister Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru. He additionally served as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and Governors of the states of West Bengal and Orissa. Markandey Katju, the noted columnist, who retired as a judge of the Supreme Court of India is grandson of Kailash Nath Katju.

The other Kashmiri who served as India’s Home Minister was none other than Late Mufti Mohammad Syed (1989-90), who remains India’s first and only Muslim Home Minister to occupy the second most powerful position in union cabinet. He served as member of Janata Dal under the Prime Minister V.P. Singh. The Janata Dal was an agglomeration of disgruntled members of PM Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet like V.P. Singh, Arif Mohammad Khan, I.K. Gujaral etc., as well as that of factions of former socialist parties that operated under “Janata Party” tag. Mufti Mohammad Syed was part of Rajiv Gandhi cabinet, who left Congress along with V.P. Singh and other Congressmen to join a newly formed Janata Dal. He won from Muzaffarnagar Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh on Janata dal ticket and joined V.P. Singh’s cabinet as Home Minister of India. Incidentally, it was in the tenure of Mufti Mohammad Syed as Home Minister of India, that militancy first erupted in Kashmir valley in 1989.

Mr. Amit Shah’s visit to Kashmir comes in the wake of sudden eruption of terrorist activities in last two weeks targeting non local labor force working in Kashmir valley as well as members of non-Muslim communities. This is a clear indication of the fact that Pakistan is feeling frustrated at refusal of Kashmiri people to stand against the Union of India after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. Pakistan based ISI and its army was expecting a mass scale chaos and instability in Kashmir valley many times that of what happened after Burhan Wani was killed. Since people of Kashmir valley did not act according to expectations of Pakistan and instead showed tremendous restraint and what is worst for Pakistan, the people of Kashmir even participated on large scale in peaceful DDC elections further irked ISI and Pakistan Army.

However, open diplomatic support of China and installation of Taliban regime in Afghanistan seems to have pushed predominantly Punjabi Muslim dominated Pakistan Army, ISI and civilian government into this mistaken belief that they can now once again restart the militancy in Kashmir valley, which had otherwise gone dormant. The recent killings of civilians should be seen in this context.

Mr. Shah’s maiden visit to Kashmir valley after the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution of India had two important messages. One was for the people of Kashmir, to whom he addressed directly by asking his security apparatus to remove the protective glass shield during one of his speeches. He reiterated his stand that there is no need to talk to Pakistan as it is a non-entity in J&K. He insisted that he would deal directly with the people of Kashmir. He also reached out to the people of Kashmir and told them that they are proud citizens of this country. He thanked people of Kashmir valley for once again reimposing faith in democratic institutions of India and participating in large numbers in DDC elections. He addressed gatherings of elected Panchayat representatives and announced that once the process of delimitation is over, the restoration of state hood will also happen.

His other message was indirectly for Pakistan, that Pakistan should refrain from nurturing any devious ambitions of creating mischief, trouble and violence once again in Kashmir valley by trying to revive an otherwise dead militancy. It was firm message of warning that people of Kashmir, who have always stood with India at the time of crisis will once again do the same in case of any mischief from Pakistan, India and people of Kashmir stand together as ONE.

Javed Beigh is a Senior Political Leader & General Secretary of People’s Democratic Front. He fought DDC elections from Beerwah Constituency of Central Kashmirs Budgam District.He is also a distinguished Writer and renowned Public Speaker. He can be reached @javedbeigh across Social Media Platforms. His email is javadbeigh123@gmail.com. Views expressed his personal.

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