A special debate on Article 370 was included in a circular by the department of education of Ahmedabad, distributed around schools in Gujarat, India.
The issued circular was for all government and private schools. It orders the schools to conduct debates, special lectures, and eloquent competitions to highlight and discuss Article 370 and Article 35A. The following activities are to be presented during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on the 17th of September.
The debate serves as a celebration with the Prime Minister who is a big advocate of social sciences himself.
A one-sided debate
Under the circular released, it was noted that; “Under Article 370 and Article 35A the Indian parliament has taken an appreciative and people-oriented step that has received a lot of appreciation form the entire country”.
What was expected to be a debate for the interest of social sciences has seemed to have shifted to a one-sided story-telling about Article 370. The circular takes away the competitive exchange of free ideas about the subject matter by imposing the side of the story that they want to be showcased.
A critic pointed out that, the term “lecture” is more of an appropriate term rather a “debate” based on the circular’s content.
Social sciences play an important role in shaping the future of a country by justifying what has happened in the past. A debate must have a free exchange of views and opinions on both sides of the topic.
Kashmiri Schools wants a piece of the debate
For those who are affected by the Article 370 incident, they beg to differ from the statement Ahmedabad education department wants to generalize on the debate.
Representatives from Kashmiri Schools expressed their interest to join the debate being on the side of those who had the first-hand experience of Article 370. These representatives wanted to make a point on the statement of using the term “entire country” yet a representation from us where Article 370 took effect was never invited on the debate.
They wanted to make the whole Article 370 abolishment a positive one, and their so-called debate is just mere manipulation of ideas that will side their interest.
While I have deep respect for India and its important relationship with the US, I condemn the revocation of #Article370 & #Article35A, the imposed comms blockade, suppression of life-saving medical care, and reports of widespread human rights violations in #Jammu and #Kashmir.
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) September 13, 2019
Was there a clear intention by the department to make use of the phrase “entire country” to generalize a public opinion or just mere coincidence? One thing’s for sure, a debate should always have two sides of the story, Kashmiri residents should have a say on the debate. This might just be one of those that do not agree with the generalization being made.