NEW DELHI :
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday supported the recent move of the Union government to abrogate Article 370 and 35-A, while expressing hope that the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will gain from the decision.
Addressing the nation on the eve of the 73rd Independence Day, President said that the abrogation of Article 370 would make all the central laws applicable in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Kovind said the abrogation of Article 370 would allow marginalized sections to get benefits of education and employment. He said that right to education for children, making triple talaq illegal, information to all were some of the benefits of the decision.
“I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions. It will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country. These include progressive, egalitarian laws, Right to Education, Right to Information, reservation in education and employment for deprived communities and justice for daughters by abolishing practices such as instant triple talaq," President Kovind said in his address to the nation on Wednesday.
Last week, Parliament approved a resolution scrapping special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and also passed The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill to split the state into two Union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
President Kovind also appreciated the productive first session of the 17th Lok Sabha and added that he was hopeful the trend would continue not just in Parliament but also in state legislatures.
“I am happy to note that the recently concluded session of Parliament saw lengthy and productive sittings of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Many important bills were passed, in a spirit of cross-party cooperation and constructive debate. I am confident this is only an indicator of what the coming five years have in store. I also urge that this culture percolates to all our legislative assemblies," said Kovind.
In the recently concluded budget session of Parliament, the government also successfully passed the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which bans instant triple talaq among Muslims. In his address on Thursday, Kovind spoke about how it is a step forward for women, particularly for women from the region.
In the course of his speech, Kovind explained that while the Union government is involved in creating infrastructure for the country, people should use these facilities for their benefit and protect these infrastructure.
“The government can build physical infrastructure in the form of housing for the poorest of the poor, and availability of energy, toilets and water in every home. The government can build institutional infrastructure to address the paradox of floods and calamities in some parts of the country, and water scarcity in other parts...The government can build social infrastructure in the form of a comprehensive healthcare programme...However, what is more crucial is for society and for citizens to use and nurture this infrastructure —for the benefit of themselves and their families, and for the benefit of society and us all," the President said in the speech.
Emphasizing on the need for social harmony and mutual respect in the society, Kovind said people should have the same expectations from and regard for fellow citizens as they would expect them to have from and for themselves.
“India has rarely been a judgemental society...We respect each other’s identity—whether born of region, language or faith; or even the absence of faith. India’s history and destiny, India’s legacy and future, are a function of coexistence and conciliation, of reform and reconciliation," the President added.
Last week, Parliament gave its nod for a resolution scrapping special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and also passed The Jammu and Kashmir reorganization bill split the formerly state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh.
In the recently concluded budget session of Parliament, the government also successfully passed the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 whick seeks to ban instant Triple Talaq among Muslims. In his address on Thursday, Kovind spoke about how it is a step forward for women, particularly for women from the region.
“With the curse of Triple Talaq ending, our daughters there (Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh) will get justice and get an opportunity of living fearless lives," he added.
Speaking about the productivity of the recently concluded budget session of Parliament, Kovind said: “The cooperation among political parties led to passage of several bills. With a successful start, I am confident that Parliament will continue to get such achievements over the next five years. I would wish that legislative assemblies of states too embrace Parliament’s work culture."