By Lalit K Jha
Washington, Feb 10 (PTI) A group of Indian-Americans has said that India's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir needs support from the US and it is the responsibility of the community to make the political leadership here aware of the ground realities in the region.
During a meeting at the Rajdhani Mandir in a Virginia suburb of Washington DC on Sunday, the participants said that Article 370 promoted "corruption, terrorism and dynasty politics" and its abrogation will allow the people to take the region to new heights.
The Indian government abolished Article 370 and split the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh in August last year.
Article 370 granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and allowed it to have its own flag and constitution, among other rights.
Alok Srivastava, one of the participants, said India's stand on Kashmir needs American support.
Harsh Sethi, an Indian-American community leader, said, “it is the responsibility of the community in the US to make the political leadership here aware of the ground realities and the truth."
For example, Congressman Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the actions of the Indian government in revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Once he met with the community and learned the truth, he acknowledged his mistake and apologized,” Sethi noted.
“Article 370 did not give anything except separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule to Jammu and Kashmir. Decades of dynasty rule in J&K prevented the population from political leadership,” he said.
Now the people of Jammu and Kashmir will lead the development work and take the region to new heights, Sethi said, asserting that the region has the potential to be the biggest tourist hub of the world.
The participants also made presentations and spoke on various issues highlighting the situation on Kashmir, including “Myths & Facts about religious persecution of Hindus” and other minorities in Kashmir and "Return of Kashmiri Hindus to Kashmir: Way Forward."
Srivastava said that India and the US are the largest and the oldest democracies on the earth and people of the two countries enjoy many similarities including religious freedom, freedom of speech and an established independent judiciary system.
"India currently is the fourth largest and soon will be the third largest economy of the world after the US and China,” he said.
“Uniformity in their federation and decrease in terrorism, will free up resources, to invest in development, providing opportunities to the US businesses and the world economy, besides helping us secure a peaceful world order,” Srivastava said.
Rajeev Khanna, another participant, said that return of Kashmiri Hindus back to their homes and terrorism-free Kashmir is important.
“It is unfortunate that one of India's neighbours continue to bleed India through terrorism. They believe it will make lives and development of Kashmiris so prohibitive that the region will fail,” he said.
“Therefore they are engaging in a low-cost and forcefully privatised proxy war by arming and training terrorists groups in Kashmir,” he said. PTI LKJ RS RS