‘Article 370 Wasn’t Intended to Be Forever,’ Says Shashi Tharoor

Tharoor said on Wednesday that there “should be no confusion” that J&K is “an integral part” of the Indian union.

2 min read
File image of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Thursday, 5 September, that his party was not defending Article 370 as it was “never intended to be forever”, The Indian Express reported.

Tharoor, however, hit out at the central government for revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in a manner that was “violative of the spirit” of the Constitution.

Clarifying his party’s stance on the revocation of J&K’s special status under Article 370, the Congress leader told the publication on Wednesday that there “should be no confusion” that J&K is “an integral part” of the Indian union.

“There has been confusion about whether we are defending (Article) 370 for all time. The answer is no. Even Nehruji said that (Article) 370 needs to stay as long as it needs to stay but doesn’t have to stay forever,” Tharoor reportedly said, ahead of the release of his latest book, ‘The Hindu Way’.

He further said:

“The way in which this action was undertaken was a violation of the spirit of the Constitution”.

The people in the Valley should have been taken into confidence before arriving at any decision, and parties like the National Conference should have been given a chance to explain their stand on the revocation of Article 370, Tharoor asserted.

“But I am not taking a view that it should absolutely be cast in stone forever. Because it was never intended to be forever, it was meant to be a facilitation mechanism,” the IE report quoted Tharoor as saying.

The Congress leader also said that the central government has done to J&K the very things that we as Indians objected to whenever Pakistan did the same to Gilgit Baltistan and PoK.

“But to treat it this way and dispense with it so brutally makes us no different from Pakistan. We have done to Jammu and Kashmir, the very things we objected to Pakistan doing to Gilgit Baltistan, to PoK and so on.”
Tharoor, as quoted by the IE

On Monday, 5 August, the Rajya Sabha approved a resolution effectively revoking the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and passed a Bill to split the state into two Union Territories, as Home Minister Amit Shah promised to restore full statehood after normalcy is restored in the militancy-hit region.

The House passed the resolution to abrogate Article 370 and the accompanying Article 35A, ending seven decades of autonomous state government.

Article 370 and 35A collectively defined that the state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to the resident of other Indian states.

It had also barred citizens from other states to purchase land or property in Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from the Indian Express and IANS)

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