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Article 370 move breach of constitutional promise by Nehru and Patel to J&K, says Owaisi

At ThePrint's Democracy Wall event in Hyderabad, AIMIM MP Asadduddin Owaisi also says Muslims should realise they can no longer be 'coolies of secularism'.

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New Delhi: A “majority lynching of the Constitution” took place when views and consent of the state assembly of Jammu and Kashmir were not taken by the Narendra Modi government while abrogating Article 370, Asaduddin Owaisi, president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), said Friday at ThePrint’s Democracy Wall event in Hyderabad.

Owaisi addressed many questions regarding the abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Democracy Wall is a free-speech campus initiative by ThePrint, and its latest edition is being held at the CMR College of Engineering & Technology in Hyderabad Friday. Rapper Sonia Ashraf, actor Nimrit Kaur, Factly founder Rakesh Dubuddu and IPS officer Rema Rajeshwari are others speakers at the event.

Calling the Narendra Modi government’s move a “breach of constitutional promise made by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel”, the MP from Hyderabad said it was one of the three major mistakes made in Jammu and Kashmir.

“After the arrest of Sheikh Abdullah in 1953 and rigging of elections in the region in 1987, abrogation of Article 370 is the third major mistake,” said Owaisi, reiterating the point he had earlier made in Parliament.

In conversation with ThePrint’s Rohini Swamy, Owaisi condemned the communication restrictions imposed in parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Also read: Owaisi has merely let the open secret out: ‘secular’ parties had ditched Muslims long ago

‘No communication ban during Telangana agitation’

Citing the statement issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which called the communication blackout “a form of collective punishment for the people of Jammu and Kashmir”, Owaisi said freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right.

“We have 8 lakh forces for 80 lakh people in Jammu and Kashmir. What message are we sending out?” Owaisi asked.

Recalling the agitation that took place prior to Telangana’s formation, he said no communication restrictions were imposed in the region even then. “After the JP movement in Bihar, the Telangana agitation was the most organised and aggressive mobilisation I have witnessed. But even then communication wasn’t banned.”

Answering a question on whether or not he plans to visit Kashmir, Owaisi said, “With what face will I go to Kashmir? If I imprison someone, take away their freedom of thought and expression, their right to assemble and liberty, and then go and say let’s talk, won’t that person just laugh at me?”

Calling the move a retrograde step taken by the Modi government, the MP said the Centre’s actions have “finished off those people who were holding the Indian flag in the Valley, who were participating in the Indian elections”.

Owaisi also said communication restrictions is no way to promote democracy. “If I tell an audience that you will have to sit here for 10 hours, with no WiFi and communication with the outside world…there are bound to be some emotional young boys and girls who will not stand this.”

‘Muslims can no longer be coolies of secularism’

Addressing another question on where he sees Indian Muslims in the next two decades, Owaisi said the BJP wants to make the community a second class population in India.

But, he said, the Muslims must fight back.

“We should realise that we can no longer be coolies of secularism. Why should our vote go to so-called secular parties?” Owaisi asked.

He added that Muslims must find political leadership from within their community. “They must realise that participating in elections is as important as voting. This is the only way to ensure that constitutional rights are given to us.”

Owaisi said, “The BJP came to power despite Muslims not voting for them. When I talk about these things, I am called communal. But remember, Muslims are the only community which did not vote for the BJP.”

On the question of Muslim representation in politics, Owaisi said there were zero Muslim BJP MPs. “PM Modi could have given a ticket to a woman who was a victim of triple talaq and ask his supporters to vote for her. But he didn’t.”

Also read: If you want Muslim votes, why are you coy like a new bride: Owaisi to secular parties


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  1. आर्टिकल 370,35ऐ का गलत यूज़ करके ही कश्मीरी पंडितों को मार मार के भगाया था,ओवेसी इनकी तो कुछ बात करता ही नही,तब सब कहा थे?

  2. Foolish fellows.. How can a “temporary” provision of Article 370 be there for 70 years..Just common sense. These guys are angry because one wsy of looting the nation is plugged by Shri Modi

  3. He sometimes seems to argue for the sake of arguing . He argued why they dont ask Hindus to stop triple talaq in parliament , now saying y dont you field a triple talaq victim from a consistuency . If victimhood is the entry point to get a ticket , I should get one cause I pay n number of taxes only to see being used to give freebies and sub par infra

  4. Agreed constitutional gurantee may have been given by Nehru and Patel for Kashmir.
    constitutional gurantees to Maharajas and Princes (Privy Purses) as a gesture of goodwill shown by the Princes to join the India union.
    How come Indira Gandhi scrapped Privy Purses overnight. That was the greatest betrayal.

  5. 1. I have two questions for AIMIM MP Asadduddin Owaisi: (a) Has he ever found out what the ordinary citizens of Kashmir feel about NDA government’s decision to abrogate Articles 35A & 370? (b) Has he made any effort to find out what are grievances of Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to move out of Kashmir and are in deep trouble? 2. Now that details about discussion in Parliament as regards transitory nature of Articles 35A & 370 of Constitution of India have been made public, we citizen-voters are convinced that NDA government’s decision as regards abrogation of Article 35A and Article 370 is the most appropriate and timely action. I think Owaisi should have done some homework before criticizing PM Narendra Modi and his government. 3. All citizen-voters who, by now are quite familiar with communal views and political activities of AIMIM MP Asadduddin Owaisi know very well that the basic objective of AIMIM as a regional political party (though words ‘All India’ are part of its name), would be to stay relevant in politics of Telangana State (TS). 4. I believe that when Asadduddin Owaisi is talking critically about decision regarding abrogation of two Articles 35A & 370, he is doing it not out of love for ordinary citizens of the Kashmir valley but to protect his turf in politics of TS. 5. Incidental observations: it is possible that Asadduddin Owaisi may have political ambition of becoming leader of the Muslim community in India. To become leader at all India level, Asadduddin Owaisi will have to expand network of AIMIM in other States and that won’t be easy as there are many other Muslim leaders in all the States of our country, and more particularly these leaders have a following of their own. Hence, Asadduddin Owaisi will have to make huge efforts to win over Muslim voters in other parts of the country. It is not as easy as criticizing PM Narendra Modi.

  6. Mr. Owaisi is enjoying minority privilege to raise anything and everything. He is one of the highly riches person. He never minced a word against terrorrorisms. It raises doubts of money laundering and terrorist fund being being used to raise voice to support the cause of separatists and Pakistan Govt.

  7. It goes beyond Nehru and Patel. Personally I do not approve of the personalisation of government. It is a majestic, continuing, institutional ideally a little faceless entity. The same sentiment could be better expressed by saying that this was a solemn promise made by India to Kashmir.

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