Washington [US]: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Monday called out the politics that was played out following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and explained how the facts were slanted and things were played up to shape a particular narrative.
Jaishankar made these remarks during a book reading of ‘Modi@20’ in Washington DC.
Answering a question on the current understanding of US lawmakers on the Kashmir situation, he said, “There is big song and dance about the Internet being cut. If we have reached a stage where we say, an Internet cut is more dangerous than the loss of human life then what can I say?”
On August 5, 2019, the Central government announced its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) granted under Article 370 and split the region into two Union territories.
During an interactive session in DC, the minister said that Article 370, which gave special status to J-K, was a temporary provision of the Indian Constitution that was put to rest.
“If you look at the Article 370 issue, what was a temporary provision of the Constitution was finally put to rest. This was supposed to be an act of majoritarian, now tell me what was happening in Kashmir was not majoritarian?” he asked.
Jaishankar argued that the facts concerning the abrogation of Article 370 are slanted and things are played up. “I think the way facts are slanted and things are played up, what is right and what is wrong is confused, this is actually politics at work.”
The external affairs minister contended that the politics of Article 370 must be contested and people should be educated on this issue.
He said people should not let this issue rest, but contest it and put the message out to shape the narrative. “This is a competitive world. We need to get our message out,” he said.
“We are not serving our country well or our beliefs well or even our sense of right or wrong well by staying out of these debates. If we have opinions we must express them, we must share them with people and we must educate people on what is right and what is wrong,” the minister continued.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370, the minister said, “to me, it is mind-boggling, for something whose merit is so obvious, there should even be people who could think in a different way.”