Kolkata: Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee's relatives welcomed the Centre's decision to scrap Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories —Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir.
Dr Mookerjee, who founded the RSS' political arm Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951, was strongly opposed to Article 370 of the Constitution, from which the state drew its special status.
His nephew and a former chief justice of the Bombay High Court, Chittatosh Mookerjee, welcomed the move with open arms. He said, “Today is a historic moment for us. It is a fulfilment of my uncle’s desire."
The retired chief justice further added, "It is unfortunate that his death still remains a mystery for us because then Jawaharlal Nehru refused to conduct any inquiry after his death.”
He was referring to the mysterious circumstances under which the party founder died at Srinagar Jail after his arrest in Jammu & Kashmir on June 23, 1953. He was imprisoned for allegedly violating prohibitory orders of the then state government of Sheikh Abdullah.
Janatosh Mookerjee, another nephew of Dr Mookerjee, also commented on his death saying, "We believe that it was not a natural death. Sheikh Abdullah and Nehru conspired against him. We strongly believe that he was killed."
He followed by thanking the Centre for taking the step, "I would like to thank Amit Shah and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking this bold step in Kashmir. I will personally write a letter to them.”
Janatosh, who retired as an accountant from a vernacular newspaper and lives in Hooghly's Jirat, reminded of his uncle's contributions to the country saying, "Today his soul will rest in peace. No one can deny Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee's contribution in nation building an his Kashmir connection. Kashmir is a part of India, then why should it have a separate rule and separate flag? My uncle opposed it."
Dr Shyam Prasad Mookerjee, who was a barrister and a member of Jawaharlal Nehru's cabinet, died two years after forming the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which was a precursor to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday announced the scrapping of Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha. He defended the move by saying, , “The BJP is for national interest, Rule of Law and Constitution all over India. Under the cover of Article 370, three families were looting Jammu and Kashmir for decades," accusing the politicians of the state of corruption.
"Article 370 was brought in with an understanding that it will eventually be removed. But no political party had the will to do it. The BJP has the will and the strength to do it,” said Shah.