Even Nehru didn’t want Article 370 to stay forever, says Shashi Tharoor

Tharoor also pitched the idea of having a temple in Ayodhya without destroying another community’s place of worship.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the Congress appears to be a divided house in its stand on the abolition of Article 370, Lok Sabha MP and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has made it clear that there is no need to defend the permanent need for Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir.

In an interview with an English daily ahead of the release of his latest book ”The Hindu Way”, he said, “Even Nehruji said that Article 370 needs to stay as long as it is required but doesn’t have to stay forever”.

He also said there “should be no confusion” that J&K is “an integral part” of the Indian union. But the way in which the action was undertaken was a violation of the spirit of the Constitution, he said. “What we have done in Jammu and Kashmir is the very same thing we objected to Pakistan doing to Gilgit Baltistan, PoK and so on,” he added.

Tharoor also pitched the idea of having a temple in Ayodhya without destroying another community’s place of worship. He said given the “depth of belief” associated with the Ram temple in Ayodhya, “there would have been a case for having some sort of proper temple there, ideally, without destroying another community’s place of worship.”

“I have always been of the view that the faiths of millions have to be respected. The question of how to arrive at such a mutually acceptable solution was unfortunately disrupted by the violence and destroyed the mosque itself,” he said.

Earlier, his remark that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be praised if he did the right thing had drawn sharp criticism from Congress leaders in Kerala. Even the KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran sought an explanation from the MP, asking what prompted him to change his earlier stand against the Prime Minister.

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