New Delhi: Architect of the Indian Constitution, Babasaheb Ambedkar, had opposed the idea for special status provision of J&K at the planning stage itself and categorically opposed Article 370 on every platform be it in House or at any public forum, according to Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal.
Talking to UNI, Mr. Meghwal said, '' On the historic day of August 6, Government revoked Article 370 for special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K). The scattered voices were always been there to abrogate this provision of special status to J&K. During the formation of Article 370, which was inserted as article 306A initially, Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar has categorically opposed the insertion of such an article which hampers the unity and integrity of India.
'' In the draft constitution which was handed over by Committee Chairman Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar to Constituent Assembly Chairman Dr. Rajendra Prasad on February 21, 1948, there were no whereabouts of the article giving special status to Jammu and; Kashmir. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru had strongly favored for the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and for Sheikh Abdullah's Prime Ministership of J and K. During meeting with Sheikh Abdullah, Dr BR Ambedkar then Law Minister and the chairman of the Drafting committee opposed such a move which leads to break the fabric of national unity and integrity at that crucial juncture.
He turned down the demand for special status and advised that "You want India to defend Kashmir, feed its people, give Kashmiri's equal rights all over India. But you want to deny India and Indians all rights in Kashmir. I am a Law Minister of India, I cannot be a party to such a betrayal of national interests.''
Subsequently, Nehru entrusted his close confidant N Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Minister without Portfolio in interim Government and former Diwan to Maharajah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, with the responsibility of preparing a draft for the necessary legislation related to the special status of J and K.
On May 27, 1949, N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar introduced a motion which contained an alternative method of selecting the representatives from Jammu and Kashmir. Ayyangar recommended that all four persons from Jammu and Kashmir be nominated by the ruler on the advice of his Prime Minister.
Mr. Meghwal said that after a brief debate, the measure was adopted by the members of the Constituent Assembly. The interim government led by Sheikh Abdullah nominated 4 members to represent the Jammu and Kashmir state in the Constituent Assembly of India. The nominations were referred to Maharaja Hari Singh who was staying at Dehradun.
In May 1949, Maharaja Hari Singh deputed the representatives to the Constituent Assembly of India. Accordingly, Mirza Mohammed Afzal Beg, Maulana Mohammed Syed Masoodi and Moti Ram Baigra led by Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah took their seats in the Indian Constituent Assembly on June 16, 1949.
Gopalaswamy Ayyenger came up with the Draft of Article 306 A with the consultation of four National Conference leaders. On October 17, 1949, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was in the US and; N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar was entrusted to pass the motion introduced for insertion of Article 306A in the constituent assembly.
After the introduction of the motion, Maulana Hasrat Mohini, a member of constituent assembly unsuccessfully opposed such special provision, but he didn't get much opportunity to differ.
He pointed out that the motion for insertion of 306A was adopted on the same day and later it was renumbered Article 370 at the revision stage. Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar's unacceptance to this move was evident by the fact that he had even refused to attend the session that passed the motion.
From time to time and on various platforms, Ambedkar opposed the policies of the Nehru Government related to Jammu and Kashmir. In the year 1951, he wrote in the manifesto of the Scheduled Caste Federation, an All India Political party formed by him: ''The policies if continued will lead to perpetual enmity between India & Pakistan, and the possibility of war between the two countries.''
His words, Mr. Meghwal said, became reality and we faced three Indo-Pak wars and gradual increase in enmity between both Nations.
While criticizing the Nehru government on Jammu and Kashmir issue the floor of the house during the Budget (General) 1952-53 discussion he meticulously made the point confronting the additional 50 crores in the defense budget to solve the Kashmir tangle.
N Gopalaswamy Ayyenger was the defense minister this time, Dr. Ambedkar reminded for a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem relating to abrogation of Article 370 statute.
Under the influence of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the government did not pay any heed to the advice given by Dr. BR Ambedkar.
In another instance, during the debate on Article 370, Nehru told the house that it is a temporary provision and; its erosion will happen gradually. But it hasn't been eroded and became stronger and stronger making difficulties for common citizens of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state.
Ambedkar opposed the idea for the special status provision of J and K at the planning stage itself. In his opinion, there will be the creation of another sovereignty in sovereign India, which can be detrimental to the unity and; integrity of the Indian Republic. Implementation of Article 370 led to the creation of the separate flag, a separate constitution for J&K, which brought the feeling of separatism, self-rule, autonomy, regional autonomy for
misleading the youths and ultimately gave birth to terrorism, corruption and; misgovernance in the state.
The state has to face isolation from the mainstream development programs and policies of central governments.
Sensing the result of such move, Ambedkar categorically opposed Article 370 on every platform be it in House or at any public forums.
Dr. BR Ambedkar & Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee were two non-Congress ministers in the interim government (1947-52) led by Nehru and it is evident to note here that on the issues related to Jammu and; Kashmir the coherence in the views of both intellectuals is clearly visible.
During the first general election in the year, 1951-52 political party Praja Parishad and Jan Sangh led by Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee had adopted a similar stand as of Dr. BR Ambedkar to bring the state fully under Constitution of India by repealing Article 370 statute. In the year 1964, few Congress parliamentarians have also supported the move to the abrogate article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
Now, Mr. Meghwal affirmed, with the scrapping of Article 370, the nation has taken a historic decision and a new era has begun in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. It appears that the measure taken by Narendra Modi for correcting this historic blunder is a humble tribute to Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.