BY Vishal Gulati
Jammu, Aug 12 (IANS) The sky in this Hindu-dominated town in Jammu and Kashmir is agog with kites with just two words written on them — Article 370.
On Monday, the excitement among children and adults was palpable. “We are preferring a kite with words Article 370 written on it as it gives us the feeling of flying high with a sense of freedom,” local resident Naresh Sethi told IANS.
He said markets have been flooded with such kites since August 5 when the Central government announced the abrogation of Article 370, ending special status to the state.
Shopkeeper Naresh Aggarwal said in the entire Jammu region there was great demand for these special kites.
“The Article 370 kite gives the people of Jammu a feeling of achieving Independence,” said housewife Rachna Gupta.
“The country got Independence in 1947, but the people here will get Independence on October 31, when they will automatically become citizen of India, not Jammu and Kashmir alone,” she said.
According to her, she would celebrate the country’s Independence Day on Thursday in the true sense by flying high the Article 370 kite.
The local unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants some restrictions to be in place in the state on the purchase of land by “outsiders” as well as their appointments in the government jobs.
“We want a safeguard like a domicile certificate so as to protect the interests of locals with respect to land and state jobs,” senior BJP leader and legislator Nirmal Singh said.
Kite flying is a popular sport in the entire Jammu region in August-September when the winds blow high.
(Vishal Gulati can be reached at [email protected])