02:15 GMT +320 October 2019
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    People hold a banner during a protest after the government scrapped the special status for Kashmir, in Kolkata, India, August 5, 2019

    Netizens Blast Indian Historian For Saying Gov't Move on Kashmir 'Arbitrary Misuse of State Power'

    © REUTERS / RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Historian Ramachandra Guha is under fire on social media for criticising the Indian government’s recent move to revoke Articles 370 and 35A of the country’s Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

    Guha has described the government move to scrap Jammu and Kashmir's special status as an "arbitrary misuse of state power" and warned Indian citizens not to remain silent about it.

    He said not objecting could allow the Central Government to consider similar action in other states in the future.

    "This is not an issue about Kashmir alone. This is not an issue about alienation alone. I would like every Indian to reflect on the arbitrary misuse of state power. An entire population of 12 million is shut out from a decision that's supposed to be in their interests. What happened in Kashmir today 5 August could happen in your state tomorrow unless you are vigilant enough to protect the Constitution," Guha said in an interview with television news channel NDTV.

    He said India's President Ram Nath Kovind had acted in haste and unwisely in approving the government notification on Kashmir. President Kovind, by endorsing the legislation without reflecting on it, acted much like his predecessor President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, when he signed off to place India in a state of emergency in 1975.

    Some netizens felt Guha's views and comments were unpatriotic. Some even questioned his excessive loyalty towards earlier governments headed by the opposition Congress party and to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

    ​Tensions have risen between New Delhi and Islamabad ever since India revoked the much-debated and controversial Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special constitutional status last week.

    Amid protests from opposition parties in India, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government also divided the state into two federally administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

    Objecting to the move, Islamabad retaliated by scaling down diplomatic relations with New Delhi and suspended trade and communication links. It also approached the UN Security Council on 13 August, claiming that India had violated UN Resolutions.

    Kashmir has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since the countries gained freedom from British rule in 1947. Both countries govern only part of the region but claim it in full.

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