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Amit Shah Calls Out On Nehru’s Blunders After 2 Bills On J&K Passed In Lok Sabha

On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha passed two bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah attacked Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister, accusing him of making “historic blunders,” claiming that earlier administrations were responsible for the suffering of the people, and defending his administration’s track record of bringing about development and putting an end to terrorism in the area.

Shah stated that Nehru made a mistake by declaring a ceasefire during the 1948 war with Pakistan and then approaching the UN. He also mentioned that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) would have been a part of India had the right decisions been made. He also criticised the Congress for the welfare of the underprivileged.

“Nehru himself wrote to Sheikh Abdullah admitting that when our army was winning, we should not have agreed to the ceasefire. He himself admitted they could have negotiated better (at the UN). PoK, which is ours anyway, would have been with us today if rights steps were taken. So much land of the country was lost. I say these were not mistakes. These were two historic blunders,” he said.

“I support the word that was used — Nehruvian blunder. Because of the blunder that was committed during the time of Nehru, Kashmir had to suffer. With responsibility, I want to say that the two big blunders that happened during the tenure of Jawaharlal Nehru, happened due to his decisions, because of which Kashmir had to suffer for years,” Shah said.

In response to the discussion surrounding the two bills, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Shah made the following remarks. Tuesday is when the two pieces of legislation that were introduced on July 26 in Parliament will be discussed.

Shah claimed in the address that Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee their homes due to “vote bank” politics in the region, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made sure they received their rights.

According to the home minister, Modi was the only politician who made an effort to dry the tears of the Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to flee their homes and live in camps during the 1990 exodus. “We found the solution and steps have been taken to return the properties to the rightful owners,” Shah said.

Congress leaders criticised the home minister’s remarks as disrespectful to the former prime minister, causing a ruckus in the House. Later thereafter, the Congress organised a walkout.

“Our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji had announced that the distance (between J&K) and Delhi as well as the heart will be reduced,” Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury stated during his statement. Have you succeeded in bringing J&K together?

A “full discussion on Nehru and Kashmir, the truth and the shortcomings” is another challenge he issued to the government.

The J&K reservation bill aims to give scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other socially and educationally disadvantaged groups reservations in employment and admittance to professional institutions. The amendments seek to reword Section 2 of the Reservation Act to change the nomenclature of “weak and under privileged classes (social castes)” to “other backward classes” and make consequential amendments.

“The bill that I have brought here pertains to bringing justice to and providing rights to those against whom injustice was done, who were insulted and those who were ignored. In any society, those who are deprived should be brought forward. That is the basic sense of the Constitution of India. But they have to be brought forward in a way that doesn’t reduce their respect. There is a huge difference between giving rights and giving rights respectfully. So, instead of weak and deprived category renaming it to Other Backward Class is important,” Shah said.

The J&K reorganisation law calls for splitting the former state of J&K into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, which will have an elected legislature, and Ladakh, which won’t. It aims to raise the J&K assembly’s seat count from 83 to 90, which was decided upon earlier this year by the delimitation panel. Additionally, it sets aside seven seats for scheduled castes, nine seats for scheduled tribes, two seats for migrant Kashmiris, and one seat for PoK displaced people.

“Earlier there were 37 seats in Jammu which has now become 43, there were 46 seats in Kashmir which has now become 47, and 24 seats have been kept reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir because POK is ours,” Shah said. “Earlier there were 107 seats in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, now there are 114 seats, earlier there were two nominated members in the assembly, now there will be five,” he added.

In relation to Kashmiri Pandits, Shah stated that two measures sought to grant rights to individuals who endured injustice and were disregarded for decades.

“They were refugees living in their own nation. Granting rights is one thing; granting rights with dignity is much more important. Through reservations, this bill would restore their rights to employment, education, and the ability to run for office,” he stated.

Several opposition leaders questioned the necessity of the new legislation and the implications of Article 370’s effective abrogation, which granted the former state unique status four years ago, during the discussion on the two proposals.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav) MP Binayak Raut asked that while the bills provide for representation of migrants and those living in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, “when will they benefit in reality?”

“Many members have said that elections have not taken place and no one knows whether the polls would be held or not,” he said, calling for elections in J&K. As soon as feasible, Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections should be announced if the bill adequately represents the local population.

Shah, however, dismissed the criticism. He stated that after the special status was removed on August 5, 2019, militancy has decreased and that Article 370 was the source of all separatist and the terrorism that followed in the Valley.

“On August 5-6, 2019, those (Kashmiri) voices which were not heard for decades were heard. Around 46,631 Kashmiri Pandit families were displaced from their own homes and land, which was grabbed. Nobody thought about them. Rather, those who should have stopped this exodus were holidaying in London,” he said.

“PM Modi revoked Article 370, which led to the deaths of 45,000 people in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Regarding terrorism, Shah reported that the number of terror incidents in the Valley had decreased by 70% from 2004 to 2014; deaths of civilians and security personnel had decreased by 72% and 59%, respectively, and there had been no occurrences of stone-pelting.

In addition, Shah said that a record 20 million tourists had visited the area since a movie theatre and a multiplex opened for business there for the first time in thirty years.

According to the home minister, a zero-terror plan that has been developed over the last three years for J&K will be finished by 2026. In response to Congress floor leader Chowdhary’s challenge to engage in a full-day discussion about Nehru’s alleged faults, Shah declared he was prepared to engage in debate “anytime.”

“Every oppressed, disadvantaged, and displaced Kashmiri will be reminded through these bills of the efforts and blessings of the Lok Sabha, where the Narendra Modi government has allotted two seats to provide justice to their own countrymen who have been displaced for the last 70 years,” said Shah.

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