The Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar on Monday while speaking at the US-India strategic partnership forum in New Delhi stated that the presence of Article 370 in Kashmir had “raised the cost of business and narrowed its scope.” Dr. Jaishankar further went on to blame the “liberal” media for making it difficult for India to explain to US lawmakers its decision to remove certain provisions of Article 370 that changes the constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir.
"So, by the time I actually went to the US in September which was about six weeks after the event, we had made considerable progress. I think it was a much more difficult challenge with the media, especially the English-speaking liberal media because partly they were very ideological about it, they had strong preset views on this subject," he said.
"In my view...in many ways they did not present a fair picture. Maybe they did not absorb a fair picture either," the External Affairs Minister said. A lot of it was really about correcting cumulative impressions that one gets by being at the receiving end of the media coverage, Dr Jaishankar said. "I found a lot of people... were surprised at the information that the particular provision of the Constitution that was changed was a temporary provision because the media does not say that," he said.
Dr Jaishankar, while speaking at the forum further asserted that the change in Article 370 of the Constitution was India's 'internal business'. "This change is our internal business but obviously there was interest around the world because different people had views about it and our neighbours made a bit of a fuss about it," he said. The Minister said that after the move to do away with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, India prioritised engaging with the governments of different countries to make them understand what the change was about.
The decision to revoke Artice 370 and 35 (A) was taken by the government in August when Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha on August 5. The Bill was passed after hours of debate on the same day and was passed in the Lok Sabha on August 6.
(With Inputs from PTI)