Abrogation of article 370 and 35A from Constitution : A Houdini Act

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By M Kidwai

On 5th August 2019 the BJP led govt at centre without consulting any stakeholder or the opposition fulfilled its promise which was mentioned in Sankalp Patra to ‘ignite’ patriotic euphoria from the right wing ecosystem dominating the broad spectrum of media and social media platforms.

It was projected and sold by media houses as if Kashmir was occupied land until now and was liberated from some foreign regime which was sinister enough to threaten the integrity of the whole nation.

The media made this abrogation look like an act of historic bravado that made sure that the occupying force in the valley has been defeated for a usually unsuspecting patriotic audience in India, while the Indian state had about seven hundred thousand troops already present in the valley at that very moment.

What the media conveniently and deceitfully skipped the mentioning of an uncomfortable fact that until some time back this very so-called occupied piece of Indian territory was governed by a coalition of separatist backing PDP (People’s Democratic Party) and BJP (National Democratic Alliance) under whose watch the terror outfits and separatist again captured the imagination of Kashmiri youth. This escalation suited the narrative of then ruling political outfits, for PDP in the valley and BJP in the rest of India.

THE HOUDINI ACT

The timing of this removal raises many questions. This could have been done earlier or a bit later maybe by calling a special session of the parliament or extending the one in progress. In an extremely suspect and clandestine fashion, additional forces from the centre were rushed into the valley and the Amaranth Yatra was suspended overnight by giving a narrative of a terror Intel. The honourable governor of the state Mr Styapal Malik lied on record on behalf of the centre to keep this cover. In a hurry, the process of removal of the article was executed, at what seems to be the favourite decision making hours for the Government of India …THE OWL HOURS.

The reason I call this a Houdini act is that the timing of this makes complete sense if you look at it through the perspective of a great illusionist like Harry Houdini.

What does an illusionist like Houdini do, they create a public spectacle by taking help of the media. They gather a rather horrified audience who think the illusionist is putting his life on the line to provide them with entertainment. While the illusion is being performed the illusionist distracts the audience with his inherent charms, his words and hand gestures while slipping the key to his escape from an unsuspecting crowd. They cheer for him like madmen. When the illusionist survives the near impossible-looking escape the audience forgets the hardships of their mundane and sometimes failing lives.

Very Few media houses are brave enough to show the news of the complete and total failure of the government on the economy and in providing social justice. There is mayhem on the stock market; The auto sector has seen the closure of over 200 showrooms and a loss of nearly two hundred thousand plus jobs already. Every sector of the industry is falling. It would be difficult in the next Four to Eight months for the government to hide these failures.

PM Narendra Modi led right-wing nationalist alliance just bought itself a long but not so cheap conflict which can be used as a credible distraction for the next couple of years and will keep the audience in a patriotic trance. This war-like situation in the valley can be blamed for the failed economy later on if the mess is untenable.

The right-wing media houses and the Social media cells are already hailing this as a victory of some sort over an Islamic rule in the valley and targeting Muslims and liberals who want to speak about the undemocratic way this has been done by the government once hailed as the largest democracy in the world. The campaign by this ecosystem is extremely vicious towards INDIAN liberals, opposition parties and minorities and puts to shame even the trumps, white supremacy supporters.

Some days back the foreign press like the BBC and free media was targeted by right-wing supporting news anchors when the foreign free press exposed the true nature of this barbaric implementation of the removal of article 370A in the valley.

The idea is simple to divert, deflect and suppress and is direct from the Nazi playbook.

“Give the crowds a patriotic spectacle and create an imaginary enemy (minorities) so that the Government Of India and Right-Wing ecosystem can drown out any voices that may question or expose them on prevailing economic and social situation in the country”.

Fear of Muslims remains the source of obtaining power for the BJP. They are not the target they are the means to achieve the target which is to give complete control to the RSS ideology over the Nation. The Right-Wing can coexist with minorities but their main enemy remains the liberal secular HINDU, The INDIAN ETHOS and value system headed by the secular teachings of Hinduisms.

This is a battle between HINDUISM and HIDUTVA. Minorities are just the victims of this power struggle and will remain so till one side is the winner.

The nationalist may remain mired by this illusion but this removal remains just an act to deflect from the real issues at hand which might damage the credibility of this government and its leadership which is led by an iconic figure who can never be questioned on his credibility as an able administrator or for the matter on anything.

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M Kidwai is a political observer, and has a media business.

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