Twitter reacts to govt's decision on Art 370

Bharatiya Janata Party workers celebrate government's decision to abolish Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and moved a separate bill to bifurcate the state into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. (PTI Photo)

As Home Minister Amit Shah announced the Cabinet proposal to abolish Article 370, which guarantees the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, there was a disruption in the Parliament. The Modi government proposes to bifurcate Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir into separate Union Territories.

The MPs in the Rajya Sabha began protesting and there was chaos in the Parliament. Political leaders took to social media to express their opinions. Twitter was filled with reactions.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is currently under house arrest, slammed the move. She said, "Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. The decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K."

Further criticising the government, she said, "It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent. GOIs intentions are clear. They want the territory of J&K by terrorising its people. India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises." Talking about India's promises, she tweeted, "What did J&K get for acceding to India? Another partition along communal lines? Our special status isn’t a gift bestowed upon us. It's a right guaranteed by the same Indian parliament. A contract entered into by J&K leadership & India. Today the very same contract has been violated."

Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader, who is also under house arrest, expressed shock. He tweeted, "Violence will only play into the hands of those who do not have the best interests of the state in mind. This wasn’t the India J&K acceded to but I’m not quite ready to give up hope yet. Let calm heads prevail. God be with you all."

Delhi's Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal came out in support. "We support the govt on its decisions on J & K. We hope this will bring peace and development in the state," he tweeted.

The Shiv Sena also hailed the decision. Yuva chief Aaditya Thackeray called it a "historic day". He tweeted, "I pray that now with the reorganisation of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh, the citizens there will benefit with peace, progress and prosperity, which was being held back from them for years due to its isolation from the rest of the country."

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh welcomed the resolution. The organisation tweeted, "We welcome the courageous step by govt. This was very essential for the interest of J&K as well as the entire country. Rising from selfish motives and political differences, everyone should welcome and support this move."

The BJP's Ram Madhav congratulated the government. He said, "What a glorious day. Finally, the martyrdom of thousands starting with Dr Shyam Prasad Mukharjee for competing for the integration of J&K into Indian Union is being honoured and the seven-decade-old demand of the entire nation being realised in front of our eyes; in our lifetime. Ever imagined?"

The BJP's national spokesperson Syed Shahnaz Hussain tweeted, "So many people gave up their lives for complete integration of #JammuAndKashmir in India, the foremost being Dr SP Mukherjee. So many Jawans died defending J&K from terrorists. This decision on #Article370 is a befitting tribute to them all."

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the decision. His post said, "A border state, which is culturally, geographically, historically and politically different was bound together by Article 370. Drunk in power and to get votes, BJP govt scrapped 3-4 things. They've cut off the head of the country. Political parties will fight and stand with J&K."

Author Chetan Bhagat posted a series of tweets in support. He said, "Article 370 never gave Kashmiris freedom. It only created selfish leaders who created a terror-filled society and robbed Kashmiri youth of opportunity. It is finally time for it to go. Anyone objects, tell them loudly: One Country, One System. #Article370 #OneCountryOneSystem."

Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi tweeted, "A whole generation of Indians around the world watching history live. A rare opportunity."

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee called it a "political decision". He said, "I don't think there is anything revolutionary here. It's a political decision even though it is not a wise decision."

Historian Ramachandra Guha called the government "paranoid". He said, "This is not a democracy, this is authoritarianism, the handiwork of paranoid, insecure rulers who daren't even have a proper debate inside or outside Parliament."

Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar said, "I think Govt of India should have taken them (leaders of the valley) into confidence which unfortunately the govt didn't do. And then they should have taken the decision (to revoke 370)."

The Indian government's decision to revoke Article 370 did not go down well with Pakistani leaders and the Pakistani media. PTI Karachi condemned the decision and announced a protest. The organisation tweeted, "The solidarity with the Kashmiri people organised by Karachi and the protest against Indian atrocities in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir will be staged in front of Karachi Press Club at 4 pm this evening. Let us record your protest against the Indian atrocities in the occupied valley."

Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan, expressed concern for the Kashmiri people. He tweeted, "OIC-IPHRC expresses deep concern over actions by India, in IoK, causing fear and panic among innocent Kashmiris, arbitrary arrests of Kashmiri leadership and media reports of attempts to alter the demographic status of the disputed territory."

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