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The truth hidden behind this invasion on the Fundamental Rights of the Indian citizens residing in the State of J&K (Permanent Residents) has not been brought to the focus of the parliamentarians or the jurists.

 

I being one of the victims of this arbitrary Law (35A) am trying to re-open the hidden pages of the history that how and why the people of J&K were brought under such a suppressive and oppressive Laws which grew under the shadow of Article 35(A) depriving the people of J&K of their Fundamental Rights which they were entitled to citizens of India. The citizens of India who were redefined as Permanent Residents of the State of J&K have remained denied of their basic human rights defined in the Constitution India in its Chapter-III as Fundamental Rights. The  citizens of India  residing in J&K have remained deprived of their basic human rights/fundamental rights since 1954.

 

 

 

The Legacy of 1953

 

Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah was crowned as Chief Minister of J&K in 1977 under Indira-Sheikh Accord which was opposed by this author (Bhim Singh), who was Secretary-General of the Indian Youth Congress. The Congress surrendered with its 45 MLAs (out of 65) to the dictates of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah. Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah, the main victim of Article 35(A) in 1953 himself realised that authoritarian rule was only possible in J&K and he agreed to retain Article 35(A) which in fact was introduced on May 14, 1954 by the then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on the recommendation of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

 

Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah’s National Conference won election to the State Assembly in 1977. This was the first time that this author also won the State Assembly election with thumping majority as Congress candidate. The Congress won only seven seats in the Assembly. It was National Conference rule which smashed all the decencies of the ruling party. Swallowed huge properties which are still under the control of Abdullas in the state. Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah used the same Detention Rule which were applied against him and his comrades for years by the Central Govt. This author was jailed under the Detention Laws for years by the Govt. of Sheikh Abdullah though he was an Assembly Member in the Congress party. All the tragedies/suppressions/oppressions committed by the earlier governments against Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah’s party and supporters were repeated by Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah and after his death by his son, Dr. Farooq Abdullah and others.

 

This author resigned from the Congress and also from the State Assembly and floated J&K National Panthers Party to launch a democratic movement to ensure that justice was delivered to all the residents of J&K who were being ruled ruthlessly and mercilessly with the dictatorial Laws.

 

The Constitution of India could not enter the State of J&K because of the presence of a temporary Article, 370 which still is grabbing the necks of the residents of J&K who are otherwise citizens of India. This is a tragedy that Fundamental Rights incorporated in Chapter-III of the Constitution of India from Article 11 to 35 have not been made applicable to the citizens of India residing in the State of J&K which had acceded to the Union of India on October 26, 1947. Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor-General of India, signed the Instrument of Accession, the next day, October 27, 1947.
 
This is irony of the situation that Article 370 was incorporated in the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950 keeping the State of J&K away from the Union of India. The Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh on October 26, 1947 was not utilized constitutionally and the State of J&K was not integrated into the Union of India. Temporary Article 370 deserves a critical and serious reading. Maharaja of J&K was allowed to continue as a Ruler of the State although the Maharaja had signed the Instrument of Accession like other 575 Rulers. Article 370 made it clear in its declaration that the Parliament of India shall have no constituent power to legislate in respect of any subject concerning the State of J&K.
 
This power was vested in the President of India alone. The Constituent Assembly of India had clearly mentioned that the Maharaja shall continue as a Ruler of J&K. Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah who enjoyed friendship with Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru constituted a parallel Constituent Assembly in the State of J&K picking up his political agents as its Members. This Constituent Assembly of J&K under the leadership of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah passed a draconian Resolution on August 20, 1952 dismissing the Maharaja (Maharaja Hari Singh) and declaring J&K as a State without a Ruler. Sheikh Abdullah was arrested under the command of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, on the night between August 8/9, 1953. Bakshi Gulam Mohd. deputy of Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah was installed as the Prime Minister of J&K by Yuvraj Karan Singh who had been recognized as Sadar-e-Riyasat of J&K by the Central Govt. Sheikh Abdullah was arrested, charged with heinous crimes, was shifted to Madras State and put on trial for anti-national/secessionist  activities. Released in 1964 under the intervention of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. He was installed in power as Chief Minister in 1977 under Indira-Sheikh Accord, 1975.

 

J&K was charged with J&K Constitution which was introduced on January 26, 1957 when Bakshi Gulam Mohd. was the Prime Minister of J&K. This Constitution of India was against all the democratic norms and against the mandate of the Indian Constitution. The new party those days which emerged was known as Jan Sangh which had been opposing separate Flag and the Constitution for J&K underwent several changes and transformations from Jan Sangh to Janata Party and from Janata Party to Bharatiya Janata Party. Unfortunately, the fresh Legislators in the State Assemblies or in the Parliament of India were never introduced with the developments in the political history of J&K. Article 370 was a temporary as was introduced by the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, Dr.Bhimrao Ambedkar. He was opposed to the introduction of Article 370 but Nehruvian faction had a strong hand. Article 370 though temporary inserted clause (3) in which it was clearly mentioned that,

 

“Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify.” It was a proviso added to this clause (3) which could not have continued after the demise of Constituent Assembly of J&K which expired on January 26, 1957. The proviso had provided that, “the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.” After January 26, 1957 the Constituent Assembly of J&K breathed its last and therefore Article 370 (3) shall read after 1957 as under:-

 

“Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify.” The Parliament of India is competent to legislate at least in respect of three subjects namely, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Communication and Allied Matters. The President is competent to amend any provision within the scope of Article 370 which was (is) a temporary phase only.

 

As far as Article 35(A) is concerned this has not been associated on the pages of Indian Constitution even for the simple reason that this Article (35A) was totally stranger in the annals of the Constitution of India. The President of India was assigned power to deal within the meaning and scope of Article 370 alone. Article 35 was part and parcel of the domain of the Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution.
 
The President of India had no power whatsoever to interfere with the domain of Fundamental Rights. Under Article 368 of Constitution of India, Parliament of India is alone competent to interfere with the domain of any Chapter of the Indian Constitution. Article 32 was in the domain of the Fundamental Rights as Rights to Property which was amended during the time of Morarji Desai as Prime Minister of India. A proper and specific procedure was adopted through the floors of the Parliament of India. Article 35 was nipped in the bud by the President of India on May 14, 1953 which was not in accordance with the procedure nor it had vested any power in the President of India.
 
This was most tragic that 35(A) introduced by the President of India in 1954 had literally grabbed the Fundamental Rights of the Indian citizens residing in the entire State of J&K. This legislative authority was vested with the Parliament of India alone and Article 35 could not have been demonized. It was this illegal, unconstitutional and undesirable Law imposed by the President of India which had brought suffocation and untold miseries to the great nationalist, secular and democracy loving people of J&K. This author himself was imprisoned about 54 times by the rulers and spent nearly 8½ years in illegal detentions in Srinagar, Jammu, Kathua, Reasi and other prisons. He was not alone about two dozen fellow students were killed by the state bullets right since 1959 till 2015.

 

The Supreme Court of India has been the only saviour and protector of the civil liberties and unconfirmed Fundamental Rights of this author and his companions who have been fighting for the implementation of rule of law in the State of J&K. The famous case, ‘Bhim Singh vs. J&K & Ors’ that Supreme Court decided in 1984 when Prof.Bhim Singh was a sitting MLA of Panthers Party can be read on the pages of Law Books where the Supreme Court of India directed the Govt. of J&K to pay a compensation of Rs.50,000/- (Fifty Thousands Only) to this author. Last year the Supreme Court of India directed the State of J&K to pay a compensation of Rs.200,000 (Two Lacs Only) to Panthers Party’s General Secretary, Ms. Anita Thakur and Rs.100,000 (One Lac) each to Advocate, Mr. H.C. Jalmeria and Journalist Mr. P.K. Ganjoo. They were leading a Panthers Party procession from Reasi (Jammu) to Parliament for implementation of the Fundamental Rights of Jammu Migrants.

 

This has been a tragedy that 35(A) which was inserted by the Order of the President in 1954 has conferred most draconian and dictatorial power in the Govt. of J&K which can destroy any of the Fundamental Rights of the Permanent Residents of J&K, within the meaning and scope of Article 35(A). Article 35(A) today is being heard by the Supreme Court of India. This author as a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India. A Barrister and holding a Masters Degree in Law from London University with distinction has decided to fight for the cause of the younger generations of J&K who are being put under the rode of suppression and oppression by the Rulers of J&K irrespective of their political schools of thought. The Panthers Party is committed to fight against the suppression and oppression by the ruling parties of J&K against the innocent and God fearing people of J&K with a hope that truth shall win someday, human and fundamental rights shall be honoured by the Rulers.
 

 

(Prof.Bhim Singh), Sr. Advocate

 

Chief Patron of National Panthers Party

 

& Sr. Executive Member, Supreme Court Bar Association
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Quit India Movement or the August Movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942 to gain independence from British rule. Gandhiji gave call to the British to withdraw from India.He decided to launch a mass civil disobedience movement 'Do or Die' call to force the British to leave India.The Cripps Mission and its failure also played an important role in Gandhi's call for the Quit India Movement. The British government on 22ndMarch 1942, sent Sir Stafford Cripps to negotiate terms with the Indian political parties and secure their support in Britain's war efforts. A Draft Declaration included terms like establishment of Dominion, establishment of a Constituent Assembly and right of the Provinces to make separate constitutions. These would be granted after the cessation of the Second World War. According to the Congress, this Declaration only offered India a promise that was to be fulfilled in the future. Commenting on this Gandhi said; "It is a postdated cheque on a crashing bank." After the rejection of the Cripps proposals the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India Movement.

The Quit India Movement in Andhra

Quit India Movement spread to all the states and provinces across the country. In Andhra the Provincial Congress Committee had issued a circular popularly known as the ‘Kurnool Circular’ as the police ceased the copy when they ride ‘Kurnool Congress Office. This was drafted by Kala Venkat Rao, on 29thJuly 1942 and   was sent for the approval of the Congress Working Committee through Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramaiah, a member of the working committee.

The ‘Kurnool Circular’ envisaged a programme of defying prohibitory orders, lawyers to give up practice, students to leave colleges, picketing salt and foreign trade and industry, cutting of communications, cutting of toddy yielding trees, travelling without tickets, pulling chains to stop trains and blow up bridges to disrupt communications and retard the movement of Army personnel: the cutting of telegraph and telephone wires, non-payment of taxes excepting municipal taxes, and hoisting of national flags on all Government buildings as a sign of independence. ‘Kurnool Circular’ intended to paralyze all means of communications and machinery of administration. Some of the prominent leaders who were taken as detenus during this period in Andhra were Pattabhi Sitaramaiah, A.Kaleshwer Rao, T.Prakasham, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, Maganti Bapineedu and several others.

On the 12thAugust 1942, the town of Tenali observed a complete Hartal as a protest against the arrest of the Congress leaders. The crowd tried to set fire to the Railway Station. They also destroyed the books, records and currency in the Booking Office while the staff in-charge of the office fled. There upon, the police opened fire and in this firing three people were killed, namely Bhaskaruni Lakshminarayana, Majeti Subbarao and Sripathi Panditaradhyula Srigiri Rao.

On 12thAugust 1942, a procession of 500 students marched to the Court of the Sub-Magistrate in Chirala and asked him to close the court. After causing damage to the building the crowd raided the offices of the Sub-Registrar and the sales tax officer and then stoned the police station. They dispersed only after the arrival of the police and the civic guards.

On 13thAugust, a crowd of 2,000, consisting mostly of students, gathered in front of the Hindu College, Guntur. The police opened fire as a result of which several were wounded and two persons died instantaneously. On the night of 12thAugust 1942, an attempt was made to cut the telephone wires between Dowleswaram and Rajahmundry by  Bommakanti Venkata Subramanyam, Chekuri Veera Raghava Swamy (Student), Chekuri Venkata Rayudu, G. Sathi Raju, K. Rama Krishna Rao, T.V. Venkanna, V. Seetharaman and K.V. Seetharama Sastry of Rajahmundry. All of them were arrested and were awarded eighteen months rigorous Imprisonment each.

On 12th August 1942, telephone wires were cut by organizers between Palacole, Lankalacoderu, Bhimavaram and Vendra. On 12th and 13th August they took out processions in the streets of Nellore town and damaged electric lights on the streets and destroyed telephones and signal equipment in the railway station.  At Kavali the Head Master’s room of the local Board High School was set on fire. In Venkatagiri Raja College, Nellore, the Principle hoisted the national flag. The struggle was at its height in August and the first half of September with the mantra “Do or Die”, given to them by Gandhiji.  They continued the struggle till 1943.

The Quit India Movement in Telangana

The Quit India Movement had its repercussions in the Hyderabad State. Swamy Ramanand Tirtha met Mahatma Gandhi at Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee and obtained permission to conduct the Quit India Movement in Hyderabad State. Not only State Congress but various Praja Mandals in the State participated in the Quit India Struggle. Swamy Ramanand Tirtha left Bombay via Sholapur for Hyderabad and anticipating that he might be arrested, sent a letter to Dr. Melkote envisaging the demands of the Hyderabad State Congress so that it could be signed and sent to the Nizam. He was arrested as soon as he got down at the Nampally station. Dr. G.S. Melkote duly signed the letter on behalf of the State Congress the release of all political prisoners. Some reactionary elements in Hyderabad tried to take advantage of the slogan “Quit India” saying that the British withdrawal from India would automatically mean the Independence of Hyderabad and raised the slogan, “Azad Hyderabad”.

During the Quit India Satyagraha,in Hyderabad several leaders like  Pandit Narenderji, Harishchandra Heda, Gyankumari Heda, Vimalabai Melkote, G.S. Melkote, Jethandra Rashtravadi, Padmaja Naidu, Smt. and Sri Ramaswamy, B.Ramakrishna Rao, G. Ramachari, Gangadhar Krishna, Ganpat Rao, Krishna Dube (Kothagudem Trade Union leader of Singareni Collieries), L. Narayana, Rajeshwar Rao, Somyajulu, D. Narasaiah, Komaragiri Narayana Rao, M.S. Rajalingam, Sridhar Rao Kulkarni, Kodati Narayan Rao, Vande Mataram Ramchandra Rao, Prem Raj Yadav and Mallayya Yadav, Kaloji Narayana Rao got arrested. Apart from the Satyagrahis in the city several volunteers participated in the Satyagraha movement from Osmanabad, Parbhani, Aurangabad, Nanded, Umri, not only on behalf of the State Congress but also on behalf of the Maharashtra Parishad and the Karnataka Conference. Govind das Shroff, the Secretary of the Maharashtra Parishad was placed under detention in Aurangabad. Padmaja Naidu was arrested for placing the Congress flag on the Residency building.  

Before the Quit India movement was launched in Hyderabad, several nationalist leaders like Kasinath Rao Vaidya, Hassan Thirmiji,Vinayak Rao Vidyalankar, Ravi Narayana Reddy, Fataullah Khan, Janardhan Rao Desai, Hanumanth Rao, appealed to the Nizam to form a Ministry consisting of duly elected ministers. Seeing the demand for the restoration of civil liberties and Responsible Government growing day by day, the Nizam’s Government engaged the services of Prof. Rushbrook Williams, who was an employee of the B.B.C., on a honorarium of 200 pounds per annum to carry on propaganda on behalf of the Nizam’s Government by writing articles in different newspapers and journals saying that the people in the Indian States, particularly  in Hyderabad enjoyed political rights to the same extent as the people in the neighboring Indian provinces. During the 1942 movement two Hyderabadis, Abid Hasan Safrani and Prof Suresh Chandra joined the Indian National Army (INA) of Subhash Chandra Bose.

*******

*Author is in the Department of History, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Open University, Hyderabad.

Views expressed in the article areauthor’s personal.

(The Feature has been contributed by PIB Hyderabad.)

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Can a nation aspiring to be a Super Power continue to depend on import of defence equipment and ignore the development of its Indigenous defence production or defence industrial base?  Definitely not.  Indigenous defence production or defence industrial base are the essential components of long term strategic planning of a country.  The heavy reliance on imports is not only disturbing from the perspective of strategic policy and the role India has to play in the security of the region, but is also a matter of concern from the economic point of view in terms of the potential for growth and employment generation.  Though all the aspects of power constitute a Super Power, the military power is a key to a Nation’s rise to great or Super Power status. 

 

Going back into the history, Indian defence industry has a history of more than 200 years.  During the British period, Ordnance Factories were set up to manufacture guns and ammunitions.  The first Ordnance Factory was set up at Cossipore in 1801.  A total of 18 factories were set up before independence.  At present, India’s defence industrial base comprises 41 Ordnance Factories geographically spread across the country, 9 Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), more than 200 private sector license holder companies and a few thousand Small, Medium and Micro enterprises feeding to the large manufacturers and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).  More than 50 defence laboratories of DRDO are also part of the entire eco-system of defence manufacturing in the country. 

 

Till about the year 2000, most of our major defence equipment and weapon systems were either imported or were produced in India by Ordnance Factories or Defence Public Sector Undertakings under licensed production.  DRDO, being the only defence R&D agency in the country, actively contributed to the technology development and supplemented the efforts of indigenization to a large extent.  As a result of the efforts of DRDO and DPSUs in R&D and manufacturing, the country has reached a stage, where we have developed capabilities in manufacturing of almost all types of defence equipments and systems.  Today, as per a rough analysis, out of our total defence procurement, 40 per cent is indigenous production.  In some of the major platforms, a significant amount of indigenization has been achieved.  For example, T-90 Tank has 74 per cent indigenization, Infantry Combat Vehicle (BMP II) has 97 per cent indigenization, Sukhoi 30 Fighter Aircraft has 58 per cent indigenization, Konkurs Missile has 90per cent indigenization.  Apart from the indigenization level achieved in platforms being manufactured under licensed production, we have also achieved success in developing some of the major systems indigenously through our own R&D.  These include Akash Missile System, Advance Light Helicopters, Light Combat Aircraft, Pinaca Rockets, various types of radars such as Central Acquisition Radar, Weapon Locating Radar, Battlefield Surveillance Radar etc.  These systems also have more than 50-60per cent indigenous content. 

 

With the above progress made through the State-owned manufacturing companies and DRDO, the time was right to expand the defence industrial base by including the private sector in the fold of Indian defence industry.  In 2001, the Government allowed the entry of private sector into defence manufacturing along with Foreign Direct Investment up to 26per cent.  It is our endeavour to harness the potential of the entire spectrum of the industry and expertise available in the country in our journey towards building our own defence industrial base, ultimately leading to the self-reliance.  Though the entry of private sector was opened up in 2001, the growth of private sector participation in defence manufacturing was insignificant till about 3-4 years back and it was largely limited to production of parts and components to be supplied to Ordnance Factories and DPSUs. With the liberalization in the licensing regime in last 3 years, 128 licenses have been issued for manufacturing of various defence items, whereas in the last 14 years before that period, only 214 licenses were issued.

 

Defence being a monopsony sector, where Government is the only buyer, the structure and growth of the domestic defence industry is driven by the Procurement Policy of the Government.  The Government has, therefore, fine-tuned the Procurement policy to give preference to indigenously manufactured equipments.  To further promote manufacturing of strategic platforms viz. Fighter Aircrafts, Helicopters, Submarines and Armoured Vehicles, Government has recently announced a Strategic Partnership Policy, where shortlisted Indian companies can form JVs or establish other kinds of partnerships with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture such platforms in India with Transfer of Technology.  The policies and initiatives taken in the last 3 years have started showing results.  3 years back, in 2013-14, where only 47.2per cent of the capital procurement was made from Indian vendors, in the year 2016-17, it has gone up to 60.6per cent. 

 

To promote indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment within the country, the Government has undertaken a series of policy and process reforms.  These include liberalization of licensing and FDI policy, streamlining Offset guidelines, rationalization of export control processes, addressing level playing issues between public and private sector.

 

A number of steps have also been taken to revitalize the working of DPSUs.  All DPSUs and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) have been mandated to increase their outsourcing to SMEs, so that an eco-system for manufacturing develops within the country.  The DPSUs and OFB have been given targets for export and for making their processes more efficient by cutting down costs and removing inefficiencies.  Our defence shipyards have achieved a significant percentage of indigenization in shipbuilding.  Today, all the ships and patrol vessels etc. are being ordered by Navy and Coastguard to the Indian Shipyards.  Gradually, disinvestment in DPSUs is also being pursued to make them more accountable and bring in operational efficiency.  In the last 3 years, the Value of Production (VOP) of DPSUs and OFB has increased by approximately 28per cent and productivity by 38per cent.

 

We are at a crucial and important phase of our journey towards self-reliance as far as defence production is concerned.  After independence, while we started with primarily imports, then gradually moved towards licensed production in 70s, 80s and 90s and now have started moving towards indigenous design, development and manufacturing.  Like other sectors such as automobile, computer software, heavy engineering etc., I am hopeful that with the constant policy push, efficient administrative process and handholding, the Indian defence industry would rise to the occasion and we can witness design, development and manufacturing of major defence equipments and platforms in the country in near future.  The process of reforms and the Ease of Doing Business is an ongoing process and the Government and industry will have to work together to create an eco-system, which is required for the growth and sustainability of this sector and this would be in our long term interest of national security.