By Nikhil Nanda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again proved that he is head and shoulders above the run-of-the-mill politicians. His decision in respect of Jammu and Kashmir required many exceptional qualities. First and foremost was real insight into and understanding of the complexity involved in the Kashmir problem.
Narendra Damodardas Modi was involved in the matter and politics of Jammu and Kashmir even when he was a simple party worker. Along with the then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi, Modiji went to Srinagar in 1992 and unfurled the Indian tricolour at Lal Chowk. At that time the local leaders were afraid of the terrorists and dare not unfurl the national tricolor. There is a Hindi saying which is applicable to the then young Narendra Modi "Poot ke lakshan palne main" - the baby's potential is apparent in the crib itself. The great son of India was destined to bring peace to heaven on earth.
The decision taken by Modi's government and approved by both the Houses to abrogate Article 370 and carve the state into two Union territories has established him as a leader who has foresight and daring to take far-reaching decisions in the long term interest and unity of the nation and justice for the common man. It becomes even more momentous as US President Donald Trump had, in the presence of Pakistani PM Imran Khan, falsely accused Modiji of seeking his mediation in the Kashmir dispute. The opposition parties seized Trump's lie to try and embarrass Modiji. But with one swift act Modiji silenced mischief mongering by Trump, Pakistan and Indian opposition leaders.
The exploitation of Article 370 by local Kashmiri leaders in general and two political families in particular to line up their pockets and deny basic rights to the common man and daughters of Kashmir marrying outside has ended.
The celebrations in Jammu, calm in Kashmir and the scathing speech by the Ladakhi MP confirm that Modiji has his finger on the pulse of the man on the streets. Mehbooba Mufti who warned that touching Articles 370 and 35 A will be catastrophic has been left with egg on her face. The Abdullah family is raving and ranting on TV and social media in the absence of any popular support to their opposition to removing Article 370.
However, with one stroke of the pen on the advice of Prime Minister Modi, the President of India has abrogated discriminatory and regressive law. It will lead to total integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India and freedom for Indians from other parts of India to work and settle in Jammu and Kashmir will. Modiji has ensured that Syama Prasad Mookerjee's balidaan has not gone in vain. That is why people believe that "Modi hai to mumkin hai" i.e. only Modi can make it happen.
(Nikhil Nanda is Chairman JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Ltd. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at Nikhil@svendgaard.com)