(an information SESSION on revocation of Article 370 of Indian Constitution)

On September 14, 2019 United Bharat Event was organised by Hindu Swayemsevak Sangh (HSS) in active collaboration with other Sangh affiliated organisations such as, Hindu Council of Australia (HCA), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Samskruthi Group as well as other Indian organisations in WA such as Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP), Federation of Indian Associations of Western Australia (FOIWA), Voice of Dogra WA (VODWA) and Kashmiri Pandit Cultural Society of WA (KPCAWA).

The event was held within the premises of Indian Society for Western Australia in Willetton, Perth and attended by more than 125 people. The key speakers for the event included Mr Amol Bhargava – Vice President of HCA Perth, Mr Rakesh Bhan – President KPCAWA, Ms Sonal Bhushan – Coordinator VODWA, Mr Nitin Vashist – Former member of ISWA and India business council and Mr Sherry Sufi – Academician and expert on regional geopolitical issues.

The speakers shared historical facts leading up to the inclusion of Article 370 in the Indian constitution and then discussed its failures resulting in alienation of the Jammu and Kashmir population from mainstream India. They explained that Article 370 was always intended as a temporary and transient provision in the Indian Constitution. Hence, India has full right to review its continuance in the future. The speakers explained how Article 370 along with Article 35A created a discriminatory regime, against weaker sections of society, women and other minority groups. Speakers from the Dogra community and Kashmiri Pandit community gave account of how vested interests took advantage of these provisions and displaced their people from their own homes. Issue of terrorism was also addressed stating that misguided youth trained across the border in the garb of religion has altered the secular and peace loving sufi culture of the region. They also highlighted how the provisions of the Article 370 impacted private sector investment in Jammu and Kashmir thus affecting state’s economic growth and hence the jobs for local people. With the abrogation of Article 370 the fundamental rights available to all citizens of India will now be extended to the people of Jammu and Kashmir hence uniting the country into one constitutional fabric and ensuring a faster economic development within the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.

After the speaker’s presentation, representatives of ten different organisations came to podium and lent their support to the decision of the Indian Government. We also received some insightful questions from the audience. Overall the event was highly successful in delivery accurate information on the genesis and consequences of Article 370 and highlighting how the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will benefit with its abrogation.

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