Combined discussion on Statutory Resolution regarding disapproval of The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance (Ordinance No. 1 of 2021) and passing of The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
DR.T. SUMATHY (A) THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN (CHENNAI SOUTH):
Sir, I rise here to oppose the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Sir, at the outset, I would like to express to this august House that I am deeply grieved and pained when I heard our hon. Prime Minister coining a term ‘andoloan jeevis’ in the context of our farmers’ protests.
The phrase ‘Rights of Man’ by Delisle Burns has helped to create two great Republics of modern times in France and America. But our hon. Prime Minister has derogatively chosen another term, ‘andolan jeevi’ when it comes to the basic rights of our farmer brothers and sisters to protest and to show their resistance.
Sir, coming to the discussion on the Bill, again this has given me an opportunity to be reminiscent of an old term. …(Interruptions) Sir, I am concentrating on the Bill only. I am coming to the Bill only.
THE MINISTER OF STATE OF THE MINISTRY OF DEVELOPMENT OF NORTH EASTERN REGION, MINISTER OF STATE IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE, MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PUBLIC GRIEVANCES AND PENSIONS, MINISTER OF STATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY AND MINISTER OF STATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SPACE (DR. JITENDRA SINGH): Are you obsessed with andolan jeevi?
DR.T. SUMATHY (A) THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN:No, I have every right to express my grief. Now I am coming to the Bill. …(Interruptions) I am not yielding. I have every right to express my grief and pain.
Coming to the Bill, again, this has given me an opportunity to be reminiscent about an old term called the ‘Social Contract’ coined by Rousseau, which is back in vogue. It is also a two-word term on which the foundation of a democracy rests. It is a contract between the ruled and their rulers, where the ruled give up their freedom on an assurance by the ruler that their natural rights, namely, life, liberty, property and civil rights shall be protected.
But when the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 was implemented, the BJP Government has not only breached that contract but also it has buried the democracy. You have buried federalism. You have buried the rights of liberty as well as the civil rights of the people of Kashmir. This Bill, which seeks to replace the Ordinance, tries to solve the issue of All-India Service Officers in the two Union Territories created after the abrogation of article 370. I have a query in that to which I will be coming soon.
When you promulgated that amendment, we were told that as soon as normalcy returned, the status of statehood will be restored. With this Bill, our hope is now gone. We thought that that was the last straw but now this is the last straw and you are going to be pinning up nail after nail after burying peace in Kashmir.
In August, 2019, you not only bifurcated the State but reduced the status to that of a Union Territory thereby increasing the chance of a direct Central hand in the day-to-day management. I am reminded of the famous opening lines of Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, which said, “This is the best of times and this is the worst of times.” I would say this is the worst of times that India has ever witnessed in her pages of history. The BJP Government has imposed all the draconian laws. You have imposed CAA. You have imposed NRC. Now, you have the three draconian anti-farmer laws, which are hanging like a Damocles’ sword above your head. I am sure definitely you will have repercussions in the forthcoming elections.
I would like to quote the great Thiruvalluvar who said:
Kudi thazhi ik koal ottum manila mannan
Adi thazhi nirkum ulagu
The meaning is, “A king, who would respect his subject’s opinion and rule for their benefits, will not only be respected but also be loved by the people.” …(Interruptions)
Sir, I am coming to the Bill. Has the BJP Government opted for a referendum before revoking article 370? Has it cared to ask the opinion and consider their feelings? When you boast of a paperless budget, you are running a compassionless, commitment-less, dedication-less, visionless Government which has brought such draconian laws.
Sir, there is a tendency of the Government to bypass this Parliament, to take away the people’s rights and follow the Ordinance route. And, this is the route. ….(Interruptions)
DR.JITENDRA SINGH:Sir, she is repeatedly saying that the Parliament has been bypassed.….(Interruptions) Similarly, Mr. Hasnain Sahab had also said it. ….(Interruptions) This Bill was fully passed in this House and also in the other House. ….(Interruptions) You are abusing the sanctity of the Parliament. ….(Interruptions)
DR.T. SUMATHY (A) THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN:Sir, the DMK has always withstood on its principles of federalism and democracy.….(Interruptions) Sir, our great leader Anna had evoked:
“We have a federal structure. That is why the framers of the Constitution wanted a federal structure and not a unitary structure, because many political philosophers have pointed out, India is so vast – in fact it has been described as a sub-continent – the mental health is so varied, the traditions so different, the history so varied that there cannot be a steel framed unitary structure here.”
Sir, by reducing the stature of Jammu and Kashmir from a State into a Union Territory, you have not only failed to bring the administration closer to the people but rendered a serious blow to our federalism.
Sir, so far as this Bill is concerned, as I said, I have a query on the Bill. The Statement of Objects and Reasons of this Bill states:
“Section 88 of the said Act provides that the members of the cadres of Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service for the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir shall continue to function in the existing cadres. There is a huge deficiency of the officers of All India Services in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Sir, I may be forgiven for my ignorance. But I would like to get a clear explanation of this phrase ‘huge deficiency’. What does this mean by ‘huge deficiency’? It is also supplemented by another sentence and, that is –
“The developmental schemes, Centrally sponsored schemes and other allied activities suffer due to non-availability of All India Officers in the existing cadres of the Jammu and Kashmir as such there is a requirement of merging it with Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Union Territories cadre so that the officers in this cadre can be posted in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to meet out any deficiency to some extent.”
Your Government boasts itself on pioneering ‘aatma-nirbharta’ or self-dependence. If there is huge deficiency of the officers in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to meet out any challenges, then why not put more efforts in making it more self-reliant from the local officers themselves? Why must we have to merge the cadre and have the region depend on other States?
Here also, I am reminded of a quote by Rousseau, who said,
“To form a State, not only the intelligent or the competent enter the contract, but all, both intelligent and the non-intelligent. As parties to agreement, all are equal though in other ways they are dissimilar. This is the meaning of political equality. How to make this real, it is difficult to say, but equality is not a chimera, and it is the duty of the Government to maintain equality, even appointing or even the maintenance of the cadre status.”
Sir, Section 3 of the Bill, which amends Section 88, says –
“The officers so borne or allocated on Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories cadre shall function in accordance with the rules framed by the Central Government.”
Here, the cat is out of the bag and skeletons come out of the cupboard because ‘rules framed by the Central Government’ is the key sentence wherein the federal rights of the States are put at stake and this is a nail on the coffin of the democracy and the federal structure.
HON. CHAIRPERSON : Please conclude.
DR.T. SUMATHY (A) THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN:Sir, if you are going to mandate this sort ofmodus operandi with a lot of brutal majority, what is the guarantee that tomorrow with the same modus operandi the Government would not bifurcate the States like West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu because I am sure they are going to lose in the electoral mandate?
Sir, our party leader, M.K. Stalin has strongly opposed all these draconian laws and I also place it on record that I oppose this Bill vehemently. Let me conclude this by saying that John Locke, the father of Liberalism, had argued that the obligation to obey civil Government under the social contract was conditional upon the protection of the person. Sovereigns who violated these terms could be justifiably overthrown. Revolt is the right of the people. For when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
Thank you very much.