Fake Baba List – ABAP

Swami Narendra Giri

Godman ListThe Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the apex body of Hindu sadhus, released on Sunday what it said was a list of fake saints even as it demanded a crackdown on “rootless cult leaders”.

The move by the ABAP, which is an umbrella organisation of 13 recognised akharas, or monastic orders, came against the backdrop of a series of controversies surrounding self-styled godmen, including Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who has been convicted of rape.

Releasing the list—which includes Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Haryana cult leader Rampal, rape accused Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, the group’s president, Swami Narendra Giri, said: “We appeal to even the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis.”

After a brief meeting attended by representatives of various akharas at Math Baghambari Gaddi in Allahabad’s Allahpur, Giri made the names public and said these self-proclaimed godmen were maligning the image of saints.

“We are going to send copies of this list to the Centre, the state governments as well as all the opposition parties with the demand that a strong legislation be brought to check the activities of these self-styled cult leaders,” Giri told reporters.

He said the ABAP will release another list of 28 fake godmen after Diwali, and appealed to boycott these so-called spiritual gurus. – Hindustan Times, 11 September 2017


Bakhshali Manuscript: First recorded evidence of zero discovered – Pallava Bagla

Bakhshali Manuscript (ca. 3rd-4th century)

Pallava BaglaThe 3rd-4th-century Bakhshali Manuscript found near Taxila predates a 9th-century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh – Pallava Bagla

A new carbon dating study commissioned on an ancient birch bark manuscript has found that the indispensable digit dates to as early as the 3rd or 4th century—approximately five centuries older than scholars previously believed.

The research was performed on the Bakhshali Manuscript, a mathematical document written on birch bark which was found close to ancient Taxila now near Peshawar in 1881. It has been housed in the University of Oxford since 1902.

The findings mean that the manuscript predates a 9th century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, which was previously considered to be the oldest recorded example of a zero used as a placeholder in India, a report by Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries said.

The findings are highly significant for the study of the early history of mathematics, it added.

The report says the zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that was used in ancient India and can be seen throughout the Bakhshali Manuscript. The dot was originally used as a ‘placeholder’, meaning it was used to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system—for example, denoting 10s, 100s and 1000s.

BrahmaguptaWhile the use of zero as a placeholder was seen in several different ancient cultures, such as among the ancient Mayans and Babylonians, the symbol in the Bakhshali Manuscript is particularly significant for two reasons. Firstly, it is this dot that evolved to have a hollow centre and became the symbol that we use as zero today. Secondly, it was only in India that this zero developed into a number in its own right, hence creating the concept and the number zero that we understand today—this happened in 628 CE, just a few centuries after the Bakhshali Manuscript was produced, when the Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta wrote a text called Brahmasphutasiddhanta, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number, the report said.

“Today we take it for granted that the concept of zero is used across the globe and is a key building block of the digital world. But the creation of zero as a number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali Manuscript, was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics,” said Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. – NDTV, 14 September 2017

» Pallava Bagla is the science editor for NDTV, New Delhi.

Carbon dating machine at Oxford University

Video: Shashi Tharoor on the British contribution to India – The Indian Express

Shashi TharoorContrary to popular opinion, the presence of British in India did more harm than good. The colonial empire incessantly looted and plundered one of the richest countries in the world for 200 years. – Shashi Tharoor

Author and politician Shashi Tharoor is known for his verbose tweets and quick-witted repartee. The former diplomat, who is currently serving as a full-time MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, is not known to mince words and this was proved yet again when he was asked if India has not benefited from the presence of British, especially while imbibing skills in the field of engineering, infrastructure and education.

Tharoor, who was attending the Melbourne Writers Festivals 2017 in Australia, did not hold back his words as he went on to ‘school’ the person asking the question and others in the crowd. He categorically explained how, contrary to popular opinion, the presence of British in India did more harm than good, and that the colonial empire incessantly looted and plundered one of the richest countries in the world for 200 years. He went to say that education was the last thing on the British colonialists’ minds and that they left India in ashes. This part comes after 44:55 in the video.

Shashi Tharoor’s earlier speech at the Oxford Union (2015) ⇓

Brahmin-bashing has an agenda – Maria Wirth

Brahmin boys in a Vedic school

Maria WirthWhy are the so-called atrocities of the caste system so hyped? The reason may well be to divert the attention from those who actually should feel guilty about what they did and still do to India. … The goal is to make Vedic knowledge disappear in India, because it poses a danger for Christianity and Islam. – Maria Wirth

Common people in the West know hardly anything about India. But one thing they all know: India has an “inhuman” caste system, which is an important feature of their religion, Hinduism. Most also “know” that Brahmins are the highest caste, which oppresses the lower castes, and worst off are the untouchables.

I learnt this already in primary school, but knew nothing at that time about the concentration camps of Nazi Germany only a few years earlier or about the atrocities of slavery or colonialism. Yet the Indian caste system with Brahmins as villains was part of the curriculum in Bavarian schools in the early 1960s, and it still is today: some time ago I asked three young Germans in Rishikesh what they associate with Hinduism. Their prompt reply was, “caste system”.  Surely, they also had learnt that it was most inhuman. In all likelihood, all over the world school children are taught about the “inhuman” caste system. Why?

There is likely an agenda behind it.

Yes, the caste system exists, and untouchables, too. And it exists all over the world. Curiously, “caste” (casta) is Portuguese for race. It is not even an Indian term. The ancient Vedas mention four varnas—Brahmins, Kshatryas, Vaishyas and Shudras, which form the body of society, like the head, arms, thighs and feet form the body of a human being. It is a beautiful analogy which implies that all parts are important. True, the head will be given more respect, but will you ignore your feet? Not everyone is made for intellectual work, fortunately, because a society without farmers, traders, workers won’t be possible. All have their role to play. And in future lives, there are likely to be role reversals.

Varna was not hereditary originally. It depended on one’s predominant guna (quality of character) and one’s profession. The job of Brahmins was specifically to memorise the Vedas and preserve them absolute correctly for future generations. They had to have predominately satwa (pure) guna and had to stick to many more rules for purity than any other caste.

Brahmins were the guardians of the purity of the Vedas. So it is understandable that they would not touch those who for example remove the dead bodies of animals or clean the sewers, though a society needs people who do these jobs too. In the West, people also wouldn’t shake hands with them. But no issue is made out of it.

Due to their satwa guna, Brahmins were least likely to be abusive to other groups in society. Usually it is the group which considers itself socially just above another group, which looks down on those lower. This trait is there in all societies, but it is true that in India, unfortunately over time, the four varnas were inherited by birth. There are today many Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, who do not follow their dharma any longer and therefore should not consider themselves as belonging to their inherited varna.

But why is the structure of the society in India constantly decried, when nobody accuses for example the nobility, the highest “caste” in the West, that it does not mingle with workers and won’t live in their neighbourhood?

Why is nobody upset that the British allowed only “whites” into the club of Madikeri town in Karnataka and probably all over the country, as an old Indian gentleman told me? If I remember right, he said that the sign at the club read, “Dogs and Indians not allowed”.

Why is nobody upset that the agriculture policy of the British colonialists starved some 25 million Indians to death? 25 million men, women and children slowly dying because they had nothing to eat in a country that was one of the richest before the British took over…. There are terrible pictures on the net of Indians only being skin and bones, barely alive.

Why is nobody upset that the British, after slavery was abolished, sent indentured labour from India all over the world in cramped boats, where a big number died during the journey already (and were spared the torture in the sugar cane estates)?

Why nobody talks about what the Muslim invasions did to Hindus and especially to Brahmins? How cruel they were? How many Hindus were killed or made slaves? How many Hindu women committed mass suicide by jumping into fire so that they won’t fall into the hands of the Muslim troops?

Nowadays, due to ISIS we can well imagine what happened then, yet the Leftists and even “respectable” British parliamentarians are not concerned with all this. They are concerned with the “most inhuman caste system” of India. It can be safely assumed that the colonial masters tried to drive a wedge between the castes by “fixing” the former fluidity of varnas in their census from 1871 onwards. And today, their democratic successors, though without political power in India, try to drive a wedge with the help of manipulative media and even parliamentary legislation in their own country.

My point is: what Brahmins did by segregating themselves from others or even snubbing others is negligible in comparison what Christian colonialists and Muslim invaders did.

So why are the so-called atrocities of the caste system so hyped? The reason may well be to divert the attention from those who actually should feel guilty about what they did and still do to India. It’s not the Brahmins. Many of them suffer today, mainly due to reservation and, though poor in many cases, by being excluded from benefits which are given to religious minorities or lower castes.

But this is not the only reason why the caste system and Brahmins are being bashed worldwide. Another important agenda is to shame Brahmins, to make them feel guilty about their forefathers and to make them reluctant to follow their original dharma of learning and teaching the Vedas. The goal is to make Vedic knowledge disappear in India, because it poses a danger for Christianity and Islam. It can easily challenge their so-called “revealed truths”. Vedic knowledge makes sense and is therefore the greatest obstacles for Christianity and Islam to expand over the whole world.

Unfortunately, a lot of Vedic texts are already lost. The former Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, says in his book “The Vedas” that out of 1180 shakhas, into which Veda Vyasa divided the four Vedas some 5000 years ago, only eight are still in use. (Just wondering: would a search in England, Germany and other countries rediscover some of this treasure?)

It is about time to stop this Brahmin bashing and stop portraying the Indian caste system as the worst that has ever befallen humanity. It sounds so fake, especially when ISIS gets neutral treatment by just mentioning facts, like, “ISIL burns 19 Yazidi women to death in iron cages because they refused to have sex with fighters” without any emotional colour or condemnation.

Some time ago, I saw an old Brahmin couple in a temple in south India. They had dignity, but were very thin. When prasad (sacred food) was distributed, they were in the queue before me. Later I saw that they joined the queue again…. It was in all likelihood due to poverty.

Brahmins don’t need to feel guilty about their forefathers. They can be proud of them, because it is only thanks to them that India is the only country that has preserved its precious, ancient wisdom at least partly. Yet others should indeed feel guilty, but those others are brazen and won’t. They rather vitiate the atmosphere with unjustified hatred for Hinduism and anti-Brahmanism.

» Maria Wirth is a German author and psychologist who has lived in Uttarakhand for many years.

Caste-based Reservations

See also

How Hinduism is fighting homophobia abroad – Times News Network

Hindu Gay Marriage

Shiva & Parvati as Ardhanarishvara“Ancient Indian authors and poets imagined a state where the lines separating masculinity and femininity often blurred and even collapsed.” – Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik

Rama Ramanuja Achari, head of the Australian Council of Hindu clergy, recently wrote a blog supporting same-sex unions. His argument: Same-sex attraction is not a personal choice like “Should I have dal makhani or dal fry?”— It is an orientation with which one is born. In the Western context one is said to be “genetically predisposed towards same-sex attraction”; in a Hindu context it is a samskara inherited from one’s previous birth, said the Sydney-based priest.

Clearly, Hindu religion in foreign climes is adapting to changing times, even as India itself appears to be frozen in 1860, clinging to the archaic Section 377 of Indian Penal Code that rules sex between homosexuals illegal and against the order of nature.

Achari has conducted three marriages for same-sex couples, and describes them as “sambandham” (relationship) and not a vivaha samskaram (marriage ceremony.) He argues, “From a legal point of view, when two people engage in consensual sex, what is the problem? There is no crime if there is no victim. And from a dharma point of view, all beings must be treated with compassion and kindness and allowed freedom to pursue their own self-actualisation. Any opposition to their self-actualisation is adharma.”

Similar weddings have taken place in South Africa, Canada, UK and the US. Last month, Leicester-based Chanda Vyas conducted the UK’s first inter-faith lesbian wedding. Kalavati Mistry, 48, met her Jewish soulmate Miriam Jefferson more than 20 years ago on a training course in America. They tied the knot in a traditional Hindu ceremony, wearing red-and-white bridal colours. Even on the happy day, Mistry spoke about how she kept her sexuality a secret for years and how difficult it was for her to be an Asian gay woman.

A few of these unions have been blessed by family and friends, like Toronto-based Rishi Agarwal whose parents overcame the initial shock to throw a bash for him and his betrothed. The Agarwals not only researched their son’s “condition” but ended up starting a support group for LGBT people and writing a book on the issue.

Indian laws proscribing homosexuality are based on Christian Victorian laws which have been rejected even by their country of origin—Britain. Dr Arvind Sharma, Birk professor in Comparative Religion at Canada’s McGill University, says that Hinduism does not share the intensity of aversion to homosexuality found in the Abrahamic religions. In his essay on Homosexuality and Hinduism, Sharma stresses that “we should distinguish between Hindu religious attitudes, and Hindu cultural attitudes” because “as a religion, Hinduism is probably more tolerant than it is as a culture.”

“Hinduism is a plural religious tradition so one should not be surprised to find different views in it on such matters,” he says. In fact his essay was quoted by the Hindu American Foundation, one of the first bodies to support Delhi High Court’s 2009 judgement that struck down the validity of Section 377. In its policy brief, HAF has held, “One of Hinduism’s core teachings is that every being is divine or a reflection of divine qualities, regardless of one’s outer attributes. Aside from the humanitarian imperative to offer equal treatment to all, the Hindu American Foundation believes that this and other fundamental and ancient Hindu teachings may allow Hindus to more openly embrace LGBT rights and marriage equality.”

Britain’s Hindu Council has also supported gay and lesbian rights after a 2009 legislation made same-sex union legal. Its founding member Anil Bhanot says, “Hinduism doesn’t discriminate against homosexuals but gay marriage is not what it ordains in scripture—it’s always [between a] man and woman. However, gay couples can seek spiritual blessings which Hinduism can’t deny.

Back home, in April this year Punjab police female sub-inspector Manjit Singh donned a turban to get married to her love. Though the wedding had the approval of both families it was a quiet affair with many denying knowledge about it later. Not everyone who comes out of the closet finds acceptance. Often culture and society are harsher in their interpretation of religion which leads to suicides or unhappy marriages.

Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik says that there have always been references to the queer and gay in Hindu texts. He gives the example of Valmiki Ramayana which has descriptions of rakshasa women who kiss women on Ravana’s bed on whose lips lingers the taste of their master. There is the Krittivasa Ramayana that recounts the story of two widows who drink a magic potion and, in the absence of their husband, make love to each other and end up bearing a child without bones (traditionally believed to be the contribution of semen).

“How does one interpret these stories? Are they gay stories? They certainly shatter the conventional confines of gender and sexuality. Ancient Indian authors and poets imagined a state where the lines separating masculinity and femininity often blurred and even collapsed,” Pattanaik says. But Europeans who came to India viewed these stories as yet another indicator of Indian effeminacy and Oriental debauchery. Mocked by them, the Hindus became defensive and apologetic, he adds.

This liberal, inclusive strain continues to be marginal in the popular narrative today. In a rebuttal to conservatives, Rama Ramanuja Achari says, “For certain astrological reasons, we marry young girls to banana trees or young men to pots of water (kalashas), and we take these ceremonies seriously and consider them as ‘valid’ marriages. We also perform the marriage ceremony of a stone (saligrama) to a bush (tulsi)—so how can we seriously and morally object to the marriage (meaning ‘union’) of two people who are in love and wish to make a formal commitment to each other to live and love in peace, dignity and happiness?” – The Times of India, 10 September 2017

Hindu Gay Marriage


Rohingyas: Time for Saudi Arabia to give shelter to their Muslim brothers – Ravi Shankar

Rohingya refugee in Jammu

Ravi Shankar EttethIt is no longer a credible excuse to absolve the collective innocence of the Rohingyas, Syrians and Palestinians of the blood of innocents that stains the hands of their murderous children. The onus of preventing mass murder lies on the community as a whole. – Ravi Shankar 

We live in the Age of the Refugee. Political strife and sectarian violence have displaced millions of people, rendering them practically stateless. As of mid-2016, their number was 16.5 million, living in makeshift camps in horrendous conditions on the kindness of strangers. As India draws up plans to deport over 14,000 registered Rohingyas (the unofficial count is higher), a vast humanitarian crisis is in the making.

However, today, the civilised world faces a savage threat from refugees and immigrants who drive trucks into innocent crowds, rake nightclubs with automatic fire and stab shoppers. The Islamist narrative has polarised the world as terrorists create havoc in countries that welcomed them with dole and free housing at taxpayers’ expense, and ignoring the savage laws they brought from home in the name of “cultural sensitivity”. This weakness of conscience is what the IS exploited, by infiltrating the Syrian refugee wave with suicide bombers and killers who want nothing more than to destroy the very societies that welcomed them with open arms.

The Rohingyas are the refugees of the subcontinental moment. After a border attack by Rohingya terror group Harakah al-Yaqin, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi spoke out against their involvement with Islamic militants. The trend of radicalisation among young Rohingyas is real—Rohingya terror group Aqa Mul Mujahidin (AMM) is operating in Kashmir with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Agencies found that AMM fighters had received training in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Security men recently killed a Hafiz Saeed-sponsored Rohingya terrorist in the Valley. The war against Islamic militancy is being fought between religion and nationalism. Fundamentalists believe only in faith, not national or cultural identity.

India is home to millions of illegal immigrants. Like Bangladeshis, they are spread across the country. Decades of minority vote pandering has changed the demographic balance in many states. Once, anti-refugee feeling had economic reasons; today, it’s driven mostly by fear of an alien religion interfering in domestic culture and way of life.

The current global refugee crisis has been created by Islam’s internal war. It is responsible for the agony of millions of Muslims who have been killed, maimed and orphaned. The International Crisis Group, which works to resolve deadly conflicts, has identified links between Rohingyas and the Saudi-Pakistan terror nexus. It is true that only a few suicide bombers and terrorists have risen from refugee camps. But it is no longer a credible excuse to absolve the collective innocence of the Rohingyas, Syrians and Palestinians of the blood of innocents that stains the hands of their murderous children. The onus of preventing mass murder lies on the community as a whole. – The New Sunday Express, 10 September 2017

» Ravi Shankar is a columnist for The New Indian Express in New Delhi.

Rohingya refugees at prayer in Jammu
Rohingya refugee routes out of Burma

See also

J&K: Articles 370, 35A no longer valid – Vivek Gumaste

Kashmiri Stone Pelter

Vivek V. GumasteLet us be clear about one thing: the accession of J&K to India is full and final. It is non-negotiable, with or without Article 370, or its derivative Article 35A. These statutes came much later. Attempts to link any debate on Article 370 and Article 35A with the accession of India is a flawed, logically invalid argument. – Vivek Gumaste

The studied decision of the Supreme Court to expand the ambit of the petition challenging the validity of Article 35A of the Indian Constitution (that allows the state of Jammu and Kashmir to define state residency and its concomitant rights), by referring the matter to a three-judge bench in response to a plea by Attorney General K. K. Venugopal, that it warranted a “larger debate”, has stirred up a hornets’ nest and raised the hackles of Kashmiri political leaders.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah angrily retorted that “if there is debate on (the legality) of the Article, you will have to debate the accession itself”. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti averred that in such an event there will be “no one to shoulder the Indian flag in the Valley”.

But what exactly is the significance of Article 35A? How does it relate to the more well-known Article 370? What are the implications of this Article to the country as a whole? And does questioning its validity counteract the legitimacy of Kashmir’s accession to India?

These are the questions central to the brouhaha sparked by the Article 35A controversy.

First, to allay any misperceptions regarding Article 35A and its relationship to Kashmir’s accession, we need to refer back to history and recapitulate the events that led up to the formulation of Article 370.

On 26 October 1947, with marauding Pakistan tribesmen closing in on Srinagar, Maharaja Hari Singh (who till then had refused to accede to India or Pakistan) signed the instrument of accession to India, allowing Indian soldiers to enter and defend his kingdom. This instrument of accession was exactly the same document that all other states had ratified, as indicated by the political scientist M. K. Teng in his book, Kashmir: The Myth of Autonomy: “In 1947, when Jammu & Kashmir acceded to India, the ruler of the State, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the same standard form of the Instrument of Accession, which the other major Indian States signed… was not subject to any exceptions or pre-condition….” (pp VII).

By signing the “same standard form of the Instrument of Accession”, J&K came to be included in the First Schedule that lists the States and Union Territories subject to Article 1 of the Constitution, which defines the territorial composition of India. In other words: the basic structure of the relationship between India and J&K is similar to that of other states.

So, let us be clear about one thing: the accession of J&K to India is full and final. It is non-negotiable, with or without Article 370, or its derivative Article 35A. These statutes came much later. Attempts to link any debate on Article 370 and Article 35A with the accession of India is a flawed, logically invalid argument.

The original accession of J&K (like all other states and princely kingdoms) was based on the stipulation that only matters of Defence, External Affairs and Communications would be the preserve of the Government of India. While all other states decided to drop this restrictive covenant, and accept in toto the decisions of the Constituent Assembly, Jammu and Kashmir chose to differ, sticking to the original agreement instead, hence, Article 370, which outlines this special status.

Subsequently, several other provisions of the Indian Constitution were made applicable to J&K by an amendment inserted into the Constitution: a Presidential Order, i.e., The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, issued by the President of India, “in exercise of the powers conferred by” Clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Article 35A was one of these additional changes and allows the J&K legislature to define who is a permanent resident and consequently who is eligible to vote, work for the state government, own land, and college admissions. Article 35A spawned a set of laws that were discriminatory in nature. Non-permanent residents are denied all these rights listed above.

The petition challenging the validity of Article 35A filed by an NGO, We the Citizens, in 2014 objects to the Article both on procedural grounds (only the Parliament and not the President has the right to amend the Constitution) and constitutional validity.

Listed below are some of the practical implications of these discriminatory laws:

1. By denying Indians from other states to own property in J&K, these laws violate fundamental right to equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution that states: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

2. A Kashmiri woman marrying a non-permanent resident or outsider loses all succession rights, while a Kashmiri man does not. Char Wali Khanna, a Supreme Court lawyer and a native of Kashmir, in her petition against Article 35A (now tagged on to the original petition), states the rules restricted the basic right of a Kashmiri woman to marry a man of her choice, by not giving her children any right to property if the husband is not holding a Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC): a gender inequality not consistent with Article 15 that prohibits discrimination on basis of religion, caste, race or place of birth. 

3. Supreme Court lawyer and India’s Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, commenting on the plight of refugees who migrated to J&K during partition and who are now Indian citizens but not “state subjects”, states: “The effect of this is that these citizens of India are not entitled to the protection of Article 14 (equality), Article 15, Article 16 (equality of opportunity in matters of public employment and reservations), the fundamental rights under Article 19 including the right to free speech…”

4. Also, this gives rise to a Quixotic situation, wherein a Pakistani citizen can buy property in J&K, while a legitimate Indian citizen cannot; the J&K Constitution grants residency rights to Kashmiris living in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, overriding security concerns.

So, can a state which is an integral part of India enact laws that violate constitutionally sanctioned fundamental rights?

The answer is a big no.

That brings us to the ultimate question: Is the reversal of Article 370 (read Article 35A as well) legally and constitutionally impossible, as naysayers routinely claim. Jai Anant Dehadrai, a Supreme Court advocate, disagrees (TOI, 31 May 2014): “Equally ludicrous is another suggestion from Omar Abdullah, who argues that the original Constituent Assembly be resurrected to debate this issue…. The late professor M. P. Jain whose book is considered one of India’s foremost texts on Constitutional Law, makes it abundantly clear that since no such “Constituent Assembly” exists anymore, any limitation sought under Article 370(3) would cease to operate and the entire provision would be open to amendment under the regular route available to Parliament under Article 368.”

In conclusion, Article 370 (along with Article 35A) is an anachronistic decree that has outlived its utility, militates against India’s sovereignty, and discriminates against both Indians and Kashmiris by mutually excluding each other from syncretic growth. It is redundant, can be debated and constitutionally discarded.

It was envisioned as a “temporary provision” and that is how it should be treated. – Sunday Guardian, 13 August 2017

» Vivek Gumaste a US-based academic and political commentator.

Kashmiri youth in Srinagar

Kashmir Police