Why Couldn’t It Have Happened Earlier: Anand Mahindra on Article 370


NEW DELHI: Industrialist Anand Mahindra today extended his complete support for the BJP-led central government’s move to scrap the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir through Article 370, saying that it should have happened much earlier.
“There are some decisions, which when taken, evoke the reaction ‘Why couldn’t this have happened earlier?’. Today’s decision falls in that category. It’s time for us all to embrace Kashmiris as an indistinguishable and inseparable part of our national community,” he tweeted.

The constitutional provision that provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir was abolished this morning through a presidential order that came into force with immediate effect. The centre took the decision after moving thousands of paramilitary troops from different parts of the country into the state over the last few weeks and placing local political leaders under house arrest the previous night as a precautionary measure. Opposition parties dubbed the move as authoritarian and undemocratic.

Earlier today, Mr Mahindra had said that the centre’s biggest decision on Jammu and Kashmir — which involved scrapping Article 370 and bifurcating it into two union territories — was a historic one. “Cannot pretend this is just another Monday morning. The entire country is waiting to exhale over Kashmir. Can only pray for the safety of everyone there and for an outcome that makes the nation stronger and the future more positive,” he tweeted.

However, the day was also one that witnessed falling stocks and a plummeting rupee amid concerns over US-China trade as well as the Kashmir situation. While the BSE Sensex ended 418 points or 1.1% lower at 36,700, the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 1.2 points or 135% to close at 10,863. The rupee, on the other hand, crashed by 113 paise to its biggest single-day drop in the past six years.

Actor Anupam Kher also expressed happiness over decision on Article 370 this morning. “I have woken up in NY to the best news of my life about Kashmir. And on the day my autobiography #LessonsLifeTaughtMeUnknowingly releases! What better gift life story of a Kashmiri boy could get. Thank you God, #GovtOfIndia, PM @narendramodi, @AmitShah. Congratulations India,” he tweeted.

The opposition was divided on the issue, with the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK and the Left vehemently opposing it and others like the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Biju Janata Dal and the Telugu Desam Party supporting any move that would ensure the “complete unification” of the country. But it was the reaction of the Aam Aadmi Party, which has rarely stood by the ruling BJP in any of its decisions, that came as a surprise.

“We support the government on its decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. We hope this will bring peace and development in the state,” party chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.


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