A day after the Supreme Court upheld the central government’s decision to strip special status from Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate it into union territories by abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the top court, through its decision, has “strengthened the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat”.
In his article in the newspaper The Hindu, PM Modi wrote, “In its verdict on December 11, the Supreme Court has strengthened the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat — it has reminded us that what defines us are the bonds of unity and a shared commitment to good governance.”
The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, ordered that the President’s 2019 order to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was valid.
The top court noted that not every move by the Centre can be challenged, and the court cannot rule on the validity of the government order, emphasising that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
PM Modi further said, “Through its judgment, the court has upheld the sovereignty and integrity of India, something that is cherished by every Indian. The court rightly observed that the decision taken on August 5, 2019 was done with the purpose of enhancing constitutional integration and not disintegration.”
The Prime Minister opined that rather than taking a “clear position on very basic things”, the country allowed duality, leading to confusion.
“Sadly, Jammu and Kashmir became a big victim of such a mindset. At the time of Independence, we had a choice of making a fresh start for national integration. Instead, we decided to continue with the confused-society approach even if it meant ignoring the long-term national interests,” he stated.
The Prime Minister, in the article, also stated that “It was always my firm belief that what had happened in Jammu and Kashmir was a great betrayal — to our nation and to the people living there”.
Claiming that the atmosphere in the northernmost part of India has been changed for good since 2019, the PM added, “Today, the dreams of the people are no longer prisoners of the past but are possibilities of the future. After all, development, democracy, and dignity have replaced disillusionment, disappointment and despondency.”