JAMMU, June 14: The former Union Minister and MLA Prof Chaman Lal Gupta has ridiculed the claims of some ruling leaders that Article – 370 of the Indian Constitution has come to be a permanent feature and it cannot be altered.
In a statement, Prof Gupta said that Article – 370 granting separate status to Jammu and Kashmir was on the face of it is “Temporary Provision” but it was unfortunate that certain elements were trying to create confusion and mislead the common man, especially those who were infected with the communal virus created by certain vested interests.
He said that Article – 370 was inserted in the Constitution despite opposition by Moulana Mohani and other nationalists, so much so even the founder father of the Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was not in its favour. Dr Ambedkar had told Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah and some others that being the Law Minister of the country, he cannot favour that the people of rest of India be denied the rights in J&K while the people of this State would enjoy all the rights in the entire country like other citizens.
Prof. Gupta recalled that to pacify the sentiments of Moulana Mohani and others, the then Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal had stated that Article – 370 is a Temporary provisions and this would whither away with the passage of time. But it was unfortunate that certain elements devoid of national outlook are misrepresenting the facts and even trying to make this Temporary Provision a permanent feature. He pointed out that except Article – I regarding the boundaries of the country and also the provision of basic principles , the Parliament can amend any of the Article. There are over hundred amendments that have been made over the years , he added and observed that it sounds strange that nobody can amend Articles – 370 , which itself has been in the statue book as a Temporary Provision.
Prof. Gupta asserted that the insertion of Article – 370 was a folly which has its roots with obnoxious Two Nations theory aimed at dividing the people on communal lines. Prof. Gupta further said that Article – 370 has brought pains and sufferings to the of the people of this State. They have been deprived their democratic rights This has encouraged secessionism and terrorism .