DW BUREAU / CHANDIGARH
The abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was a step in the right direction and stressed on avoiding “partisanship and petty politicking” on issues of national importance, said Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu here on Wednesday.
Cautioning people about “negative coverage”, especially by the western media, about revocation of certain provisions of Article 370, he asked citizens not to fall prey to “false and anti-India propaganda”.
“We should evolve a consensus on larger national issues. We are not a new nation. We should avoid partisanship and petty politicking on issues of national importance. This is the need of the hour,” Naidu said addressing the first Balramji Dass Tandon memorial lecture at the Panjab University here.
Tandon had served as the deputy chief minister of Punjab in 1969-70 and was appointed the governor of Chhattisgarh in July 2014. He died on August 14 last year.
Speaking on the scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, Naidu, also Panjab University’s chancellor, said he has received feedback from people that the entire country is “rejoicing” following the Centre’s move.
“The abrogation of Article 370 was a step in the right direction. It ensures the unity and integrity of the nation,” he said.
The vice president also cited old news reports to highlight that several MPs belonging to different political parties in 1963 and 1964 were in favour of ending the special status of the state.
Citing a November 1963 news report, Naidu said the then prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru while replying on the issue of abrogation of Article 370, had said it was a temporary provision. He cited another 1964 news report in which several MPs belonging to the Congress and other parties were in favour of abrogation of the article.
Naidu said there is a need to educate people as a lot of misunderstanding was being created by some people over this issue while asserting that one should not see politics in it and give religious overtone to the matter.
“Let us not see politics in it and let us not add religious overtones ? this issue concerns the safety, security, unity and integrity of the country,” he said.
“This was temporary and temporary things are gone. We should not really bring in religion and really bring in politics and accuse each other at all,” the vice president said.
Naidu praised Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh for asking Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhary, who made a provocative tweet on the Indian Army, to not try to interfere in India’s internal matter.
“Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said, ‘we all are one and the country is ready to face any situation’. I read his statement today and I was very happy about it. This is the time when we should learn to be united and the Punjab CM has given a good example of that,” Naidu said.
He said a French journalist had written that there was a lot of “negative coverage” of the abrogation of Article 370 in the Valley, especially by the western media. Naidu refrained from naming TV channels.
“Now some people are not ready to digest the way India is going forward. The World Bank, WEF, IMF, ADB everybody is saying India will become the third largest economy of the world. Some people cannot digest this, which is unfortunate. Some of the coverage is part of false propaganda and we should, irrespective of political parties, not accept anti-India propaganda,” Naidu said.
“We should not give scope to our neighbour which is always aiding abetting, funding, training terror. It is a well-known fact and nobody should have elusion about that. They think they want to create some trouble and we should not give any scope for that at all,” he said without mentioning Pakistan.
The vice president also underscored the need for judicial reforms and suggested the setting up of separate Supreme Court benches and regional benches for quick disposal of cases while stating that several cases had been pending for 25-30 years.
He also pitched for fast disposal of cases like MP involved in criminal cases, election related defections and anti-defection law and suggested that they should be referred to judicial tribunals with a time-frame of six to maximum of one year.
Naidu said the tenth schedule pertaining to anti-defection law should also be revisited. While citing of a case of an MP election which had been pending for long, Naidu said he was not making any adverse comments on the judiciary. “That is the state of affairs. Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.