Condemning the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution and dismantling the state of Jammu & Kashmir amid massive troop build-up and a clampdown by central forces in the state, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and other Left parties have called for a nationwide protest day on August 7.
“This is the biggest attack on national unity and the concept of India as a Union of States,” said a statement by CPI(M) politburo on Monday.
Pointing out that the people of Kashmir had acceded to India in the face of invaders from Pakistan and a solemn commitment had been made to them by the Indian State to provide them with special status and autonomy which was embodied in Article 370, the party said the Narendra Modi government had betrayed the people of J&K by going back on this commitment.
“It is universally acknowledged that the unity of India lies in its diversity. The BJP-RSS rulers cannot tolerate any diversity and the federal principle. They are treating Jammu & Kashmir as occupied territory. Trampling on the Constitution, they are converting Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh as two centrally-ruled Union Territories. This is the biggest attack on national unity and the concept of India as a Union of States,” the party said.
The politburo noted that in the run-up to “these authoritarian measures”, tens of thousands of troops were deployed in the state, leaders of major political parties were detained and movement of public prohibited.
“This itself shows that the Modi government is imposing its diktats without the consent of the people,” said CPI(M).
It said the “strengthening of the bonds of the people of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India should have been through the process of political dialogue with all stakeholders, as promised by the government three years ago. Instead, such a unilateral step will only deepen the alienation.”
Asserting that the issue was not confined to J&K alone, as it constituted an “attack on democracy, secularism and the Constitution itself.”
The CPI(M) called upon the people of India to resist such “authoritarian attacks” on their democratic and constitutional rights and stand with the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Demanding that the government "end the seige in Kashmir", the CPI-ML Liberation party tweeted that the government through its decision had ended the last bridge between the state and the Constitution.
"By effectively scrapping #Article370 and 35A, the Modi govt has burnt the constitutional & historical bridge that connected J&K with the rest of India. The govt's obsession with setting the clock back is pushing the country back into the turbulence of the 1940s," tweeted CPI-ML Liberation from its official handle.
"Governance by conspiracy and coup: that's democracy under the Modi-Shah duo ploy! Like the 500 and 1000 rupee notes, Article 370 and the entire spirit of the Constitution has been junked today," it alleged.
CPI leader D Raja said that the government's move J&K was an attempt to try and distract people from the state of the economy which is in a bad way.
"Instead of discussing the economic policies, they are diverting the attention of the people and creating panic in the country in the name of nationalism. The present government is RSS controlled and they are following the agenda of dismantling J&K piece by piece," said Raja.
(With inputs from PTI).