Asserting that Article 370 of the Constitution of India governs the relationship between State and the Union of India, Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, has cautioned that any attempt to alter it, unilaterally, shall have disastrous consequences.
He said it was after 5 months long deliberations from 16th May 1949 to October 1949 between the State representatives headed by Sher-i-Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and the Central team headed by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru that this Article was conceptualized. The matter was then discussed elaborately in the Constituent Assembly of India and it was after long debate and discussion that Article 370 came into existence.
Addressing a public gathering, after laying foundation stone of Government High School, Dadompora, Chadoora, Mr Rather said Jammu and Kashmir State unlike other States of the Country has a special constitutional position and has a distinction of being only State in the Country to have its own constitution. He said Article 370 is a bridge between the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India and any sort of tempering it would be detrimental to these relations.
Underscoring the significance of Article 370, Rather said it has been debated at all important fora including National and International levels adding that “we are still ready to debate on it, if anybody wants so”. However, he advised such people to first go through the history in order to understand the background circumstances under which this Article was incorporated in the Constitution.
Rather said that Sher-i-Kashmir had in his inaugural address to the State Constituent Assembly, unambiguously, specified the terms and conditions of the relationship of the State with Indian Union.
He said Sheikh Saheb had warned at that time that if this basis of relationship arrived at after a long debate and discussion is unilaterally altered, it will have disastrous consequences for the country.
Cautioning the people against the machinations of the divisive forces who want to grab power by exploiting regional and religious sentiments of the people, Rather called for alienation of these elements who run their politics on the basis of hatred and exploitation.