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3-min read

Junking Article 370 Gets Mixed Response From Ordinary Folk in Tamil Nadu

Several people in a range of occupations like R Yuvaraj, a relationship manager with a leading mobile network and J M Manoharan, a security guard said they were not aware of the Kashmir issue, vis-a-vis Article 370.

PTI

Updated:August 5, 2019, 6:40 PM IST
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Junking Article 370 Gets Mixed Response From Ordinary Folk in Tamil Nadu
CRPF personnel guard as situation in Kashmir continues to be tense and uncertain, in Srinagar. (PTI Photo)
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Chennai: Scrapping of Article 370 by the Centre evoked a range of responses in Tamil Nadu from ordinary people, hovering between outright condemnation and adulation alongside hopes for a better future for the populace of Jammu and Kashmir.

People in different professions and belonging to diverse socio-economic groups with whom PTI spoke brought out new perspectives, which may help understand what the ordinary people in Tamil Nadu felt about the Centre's move.

B Abdul Rahman, working for a private firm said the move was "without any doubt anti-democratic."

Contravening from the assurances given to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the special status and on eliciting their views through a plebiscite was not in keeping with democratic norms, he said.

R Loganathan, a fisherman and a social worker, said it was a retrograde move which has the danger of "sowing seeds of secession" among the people in Kashmir since their "rights" have been touched.

"You have downgraded a full fledged State to two union territories. Now what is the guarantee that other states will not meet the same fate?," he asked, adding that the Centre was treading a dangerous anti-democratic path.

T R Ganesan, an LIC agent said a "historic wrong" has been "corrected" today and the move will help the territory integrate with the rest of the country.

"Not resolving the Kashmir issue was akin to a thorn on the democratic fabric of the country," he said, adding removing the contentious provision would help address that issue very effectively.

"Article 370 came about in 1949 and it was very much a baggage of partition and by throwing it out, people can now come together and it will help take forward shared nationalist goals," the agent said.

Retired Director General, Income Tax (Investigation), B Murali Kumar said scrapping Article 370 would open up a range of new economic opportunities to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"This is good for the people, both in Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India," he said.

The young people in the Kashmir valley can now expect new employment opportunities and the move will go a long way in ensuring that youth do not "get diverted," he said.

Aishwarya, a young woman working for a private company said this is an attempt to assert that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and now all laws applicable elsewhere in the country will be relevant in the hill region too.

"Also, you have to see it in the backdrop of US President Donald Trump's offer to mediate in the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan," she said.

As regards its implications, she said it was too early to welcome or criticise and one has to wait and watch.

S Vignesh, working in the aerospace sector, said it was a wrong move.

"The special status was given then like some kind of privilege as in quota for their upliftment. The government's move amounts to stirring up a hornet's nest," he said.

Raja Marthandan, a public relations professional welcomed the move.

"Since Jammu and Kashmir is very much part of our country, why should there be a separate privilege and law for them? Lets all follow one law."

"The Centre will now have better control and can monitor the place well," he said, adding people from anywhere can buy property there now.

Several people in a range of occupations like R Yuvaraj, a relationship manager with a leading mobile network and J M Manoharan, a security guard said they were not aware of the Kashmir issue, vis-a-vis Article 370.

"Yet to study about it, cannot comment without knowing about it," Yuvaraj said.

S Sumathi, a fruit vendor said she knew that some "terrorists were killed by the Army in Kashmir" and nothing more.

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