28 July, 2021

Breaking Radio Silence

What made Farooq Abdullah speak up finally? A united statement demanding restoration of Article 370: Mehbooba’s PDP, Sajjad Lone, Congress, CPI(M) all on board.

Photograph by PTI
Breaking Radio Silence

Farooq Abdullah is not known to mince words, though he switched off for a long “political silence” since his anguished “I am free today, but this freedom isn’t complete” comment after being released from detention in the first fortnight of March. The former CM and National Conference president is back in business—at least that’s what it seems when he affirmed his support to the Gupkar declaration, although Omar Abdullah is yet to react to his father’s initiative.

This August 22, he and several prominent leaders of Jammu and Kashmir signed a joint statement that described abrogation of Article 370 as “unconstitutional” and sought its restoration. This is a reaffirmation of the Gupkar declaration, signed on August 4 last year, which says all major parties would be united in protecting the identity, autonomy, and special status of J&K. A day later, the BJP-led Union government revoked Article 370, arrested around 8,000 people, including three former chief ministers, clamped a communication blockade, and put...

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