Lok Sabha

August 6, 2019

Sudip Bandyopadhyay speaks on The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 and The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019

Sudip Bandyopadhyay speaks on The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 and The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019


Honourable Speaker Sir, I rise to speak on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Insofar as the second one is concerned, there is nothing to oppose because in genuine matters we are always very cooperative.

 But the situation that has arisen out of the abolition of Article 370 is that things are happening on a war footing. The situation being projected, and fortunately or unfortunately, it is by the Government, is that on one side are the people of Jammu and Kashmir and on the other are the people of the rest of the country. This is something that should not be allowed to happen. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, we are like brothers and sisters. We have that kind of feeling for Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir is known as the ‘Paradise of the World’, bhuswarg kaha jata hain.

 So, why should we use force like, as if we have own a battle? I do not want to go for any post-mortem of when and how 370 was introduced. Maybe when 370 was introduced, or incorporated, it was the most important or effective step. We were not alive at that time. At that time, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Maharaja Hari Singh, Sardar Patel – I have no hesitation in mentioning his name – all came together to incorporate Article 370. Even after independence, Hari Singh could not decide whether Jammu and Kashmir should merge with Pakistan or India. Ultimately Hari Singh, as the king of Jammu and Kashmir, decided to join India, and from that time all facilities were provided to them. So I would say that 370 should not always be criticised. But at that time, Article 370 was incorporated in a very bad way, in a wrong manner.

 Sir, we still believe in the principles of secularism, communal harmony and unity of the country. We believe in the principle of unity in diversity. We believe in the principle of ‘Nana bhasha nana mot nana poridhan/ Bibidher dekha milono mohan.’ We are believers in the principle of ‘Ek jati ek pran ekata/ Nirdesh amader bidhata.’ So be it any part of the country, we should always try to project our country. If any decision is to be adopted by any government in their own capacity, if they have their constitutional right for being in the majority, they can certainly come to Parliament. But I feel that it would have been better if the leaders of all political parties of the country were consulted before taking such a very crucial step in a secular country. 

Now, the decision has been taken that Jammu and Kashmir is no longer a State. I will request the Honourable Home Minister to clarify as to why it has been made into a Union Territory. What would have happened if it had remained a State, and existed with the other States of the country? This is something I want to know. My question is, will this step take Jammu and Kashmir in a more uncertain direction, will the law and order situation remain intact? Nearly 50,000 Central forces have already been sent there. The Government should clarify to the House because there are apprehensions that the situation may turn more aggressive, that there may be more agitations, and that it may affect the whole country in a very bad way. 

We love Jammu and Kashmir with our hearts. But the horror of terrorism and the activities of terrorists have made it impossible to for us to visit this paradise. We want to become associated with Jammu and Kashmir in a very loving manner, in a very positive manner and so the present situation should not throw the State into any major uncertainty.

 Sir, what  we are saying, along with the leaders of the other Opposition parties, as they said very categorically yesterday, is that it seems that there are issues of constitutional morality and procedure lapses. It should be clarified to the House by the Honourable  Home Minister whether what we are apprehending have really happened or not. So many questions are being asked not only by the political parties but also by different sections of people.

We feel that the arrests of Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who were former chief ministers, were unnecessary. Why were they arrested? This has just created further tension in the country, whether the Government is aware or not. We feel that this Bill is about constitutional immorality and procedural hara-kiri. We feel that if we take part in the voting for this Bill, whether we vote in favor or against, we will become a factor in the Bill, which we do not want to become. Hence we decide to walk out after opposing this Bill. 

We request that no atrocities and no torture of residents should happen in Jammu and Kashmir. They should be allowed to live in peace and harmony. Thay have to be given the opportunity to live as Indian citizens. By saying this, Sir, that we don’t want to be a part of this Bill, whether by supporting or opposing, we, the Trinamool Congress, decide to walk out from the House.