Abrogation of Article 370 has antagonized the traders and commerce in Jammu

The abrogation is one more act in a series of steps to erode state powers

One aspect of Article 370 was that it was created more to prevent the outside businessmen acquiring control of the Dogra speaking areas of Jammu. Jammu region and its commerce was always wary of the businessmen from its neighboring state of Punjab will usurp their businesses with their financial clout.

Two years after the abrogation of Article 370, traders in Jammu are bitter and angry finding their businesses being snatched away by mega marts like Reliance stores. There has even been a call for shutdown by the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Since the advent of the right wing BJP government at the centre, there has been a steady erosion of State powers. Article 370 was a law which insulated a nascent state from being swallowed up a majority. It also gave a feeling of oneness with a nation which tasks itself to protect the uniqueness of different entities which constitute this great nation.

However, for the last decade every effort has been made to snatch this special status enjoyed by different states and herd them into an Orwelian world of uniformity and order.

States after State are bringing in resolutions in their Assemblies threatening the very fabric of Indian Federation. The alienation of the traders and the population of Jammu hint that culture, trade and commerce are even more important than jingoistic nationalism. The same issues have led to the formation of Maoist movement in tribal regions.

The tribals are never included in the systematic plunder of the natural resources in their land which go to fill the coffers of big corporate houses. Today Maoists, as the former Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh has said, are the biggest challenge to the Indian state. A large swathe of land where the Indian state has no writ is a stark display of the anger which the local populace has against authority.

It is time the Central Government address to these fundamental issues ailing the Centre State relation. It is never wrong to undo a mistake. The abrogation of Article 370 has brought only misery and pain to the land and it has started antagonizing a population, which has been friendly or at least benign towards the Central Government.

Back to top button