Cloak and dagger that pierced Kashmir's heart - By Radhika Ramaseshan - IAMC
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Cloak and dagger that pierced Kashmir’s heart – By Radhika Ramaseshan

It was described as the “mother of all coups”, before which the move to demonetise big currency notes in November 2016 paled. When Amit Shah, the home minister, announced on Monday in Parliament that the Centre was ending Kashmir’s “special status” by rendering Article 370 “inoperative” and repealing Article 35A, which purportedly gave the state a slew of privileges, the Opposition did not know what had hit it.

It was a zinger by stealth, like “notebandi” was, because the decision – entailing constitutional amendments that involved the J&K legislature as well as both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha -bypassed accepted procedures and allowed the BJP to grandstand before a flummoxed and divided Opposition.… The Centre’s silence on the cloak-and-dagger operations stoked speculations, ranging from a second Balakot-like strike inside Pakistan to J&K’s trifurcation and the abrogation of the two constitutional provisions that were red rags to the BJP since the Jana Sangh era. In the end, the latter theories turned out partially correct but the sheer magnitude of the outcome defied political belief among those who publicly denounced and privately lauded Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “accomplishing the unbelievable”.…