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New Delhi : Delivering a speech on ‘National Security – Current Perspective’, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on September 29, 2019, said that Kashmir had been a contentious issue since 1949. He added that there were many misunderstandings regarding the abrogation of Article 370 not just in Kashmiris but in the rest of India as well, and they must be removed.

Speaking about India’s immediate post-independence history, Shah said that amidst the initial struggle for survival, newly freed India had yet another question: that of uniting the 630 disparate princely states into one union. He hailed the role of Sardar Patel in forging a united India as instrumental and praised his tireless perseverance towards the task.

Shah spoke in detail about Jammu and Kashmir’s chequered history and the opposition against Maharaja from 1930s. He added that the state had become a part of the union of India, the moment the instrument of accession was signed. He said that the declaration of ceasefire in 1948, just when the Indian army was winning the war, was a mistake. He added that because of this mistake, while there was no trouble in uniting 630 princely states with India, the complete unification of Jammu and Kashmir with India took August 2019 to fructify.

Shah added that Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue and the UN has no place in it. He noted that the application of Article 370 was a mistake and that neither the people of Jammu and Kashmir nor India had benefited from the same. He called Article 370 harmful for the unity of the nation. He also said that Article 370 had confined the Kashmiri culture to a geographical corner of the country and with its removal, the culture of the state would spread to other parts of the nation.

Hailing Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as the first civilian martyr for the cause of Kashmir, Shah said that the former always believed that we do not need permission to visit anywhere in our own country.

The Home Minister noted that there was no anti-corruption bureau in Jammu and Kashmir before the removal of Article 370 and in spite of being allotted Rs 2,77,00 crore by the Union Government since independence, the state had not been able to develop because of prevalent corruption.

Shah remarked that every unprecedented reform has teething problems and people must have patience to enjoy the fruits of these reforms. He added that an accurate version of history must be presented to the people. A distorted version of history had been presented because those who had made the mistakes were in charge of writing the history of that time, according to a PIB release.

He said that the dream of a united India had been fulfilled with the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. He noted that there had been no terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.  Shah also noted that out of 196 police stations in J&K, only 8 have Section 144 imposed under their respective areas. He said that the benefits of the removal of Article 370 would soon be visible.

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