Human rights became ‘buzzword’ after Art 370 revocation: Sitharaman

NEW YORK: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Article 370 in J-K denied women the state inheritance rights and this was a “serious human rights violation”.

Human rights became ‘buzzword’ after Art 370 revocation: Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman. File photo

New York, October 16

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir denied women the state inheritance rights and this was a “serious human rights violation” that no one spoke about but human rights had become a “global buzzword” following the revocation of the temporary constitutional provision.

She said Article 370 denied fundamental rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Delivering a lecture on the ‘Indian Economy: Challenges and Prospects’ organised by the Deepak and Neera Raj Centre on Indian Economic Policies at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, she was asked about the economic loss in Jammu and Kashmir following the lockdown put in place after Article 370 was revoked.

“So, a temporary Article 370, which till now denied women of the state their inheritance, which denied the Scheduled Castes of the state a constitutional right for affirmative action, which denied every tribal what positive and affirmative action gave them of the Indian Constitution is now, after the removal of Article 370, which is a temporary article, going to enable us to provide all that to everybody,” Sitharaman said amid a round of applause from the audience at Columbia University on Tuesday.

“Denying a woman inheritance from her father, for instance, just because she married somebody else from somewhere outside of her state was also a serious human rights violation, about which none of us spoke till now. Remove Article 370 (and) human rights becomes a global buzzword? Where were we when women have been all these years denied property rights, where were we when Scheduled Castes were denied affirmative action.”

“So I think if people are worried about the economy of Jammu and Kashmir, they should be happy for it now because at least everybody will get the same facility, and as much investment for the development of state as is available for the rest of the states,” she said.

On August 5, the Centre abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories. PTI

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