Australian citizens of Indian-origin on Sunday gathered in Melbourne to show support for the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which had accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. A rally led by Kashmiri Pandits from Victorian state parliament to Federation Square also followed, news agency ANI reported. People in traditional Kashmiri attire held tricolours and placards which read, "J&K is our motherland…India is our nation". They also sang patriotic songs during the rally.
Melbourne, Australia: Australian citizens of Indian-origin gather to show support to revocation of Article 370. It was followed by a rally led by Kashmiri Pandits from Victorian state parliament to Federation Square pic.twitter.com/nHceQb2Y9U
- ANI (@ANI) September 15, 2019
During the rally, Kashmiri Pandits also shared their stories of being expelled from their ancestral homeland in 1989-1990 when militancy was at its peak.
"Back in 1990, one day my father-in-law came home and told us we have to leave within 15 minutes. Imagine leaving your whole life behind you and pack your belongings in a couple of suitcases within 15 minutes, never to return home. That was just the beginning of a long struggle ahead," a Kashmiri Pandit was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Indians from across the world have largely supported the scrapping of Article 370. In August, the Kashmiri Pandit community along with other members of the Indian-American community in the US had organised a rally supporting the Indian government's move revoking the controversial article.
Moreover, demonstrations against unfair reporting of the issue have also been held in the last few days.
On August 05, the central government announced its decision to revoke the contentious Article 370 which had given "special status" to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The government moved to bifurcate the restive state into two union territories - Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Following the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan tried to internationalise the Kashmir issue by raising the matter at the United Nations. However, major global powers said that this was a bilateral issue which needs to be resolved between two neighbours.