Editorial Annals of Neurosciences 26(3–4) 5, 2019 © 2019 Indian Academy of Neurosciences Reprints and permissions: in.sagepub.com/journals-permissions-india DOI: 10.1177/0972753119887320 journals.sagepub.com/home/aon It has been argued in a recent editorial in the BMJ that recent centers will be built in each district along with more hospitals developments in Kashmir may cause problems for welfare and medical institutes. Hence, there is hope that anxiety and healthcare provisions. However, contrary to such claims, from cross-border Islamic terrorism and prevailing gender in my view, the recent political changes are not likely to have discriminatory laws will be replaced by progress and peaceful any effect on the healthcare and well-being of Kashmiris. co-existence. Therefore, some authors wrongly argue that there The Indian parliament approved the complete integration of is atmosphere of uncertainty which may continue to harm the 6,7 Kashmir with rest of India to end 70 years of its alienation from patients. The Indian health and wellness scheme is poised to the national mainstream. Article 370 of the Indian constitution promote mental wellness among Kashmiris in the manner it has was temporarily installed in 1947, at the ceding of the semi- benefitted the 3.5 million Indians who have already availed of autonomous Kashmir state to the Indian Union, in order to ensure this popular scheme. The Kashmir police is geared to ensure protection of the native population and their Muslim culture, not only the access to healthcare but also the voting rights of similar to a few other Indian states. On the other hand, Article the Kashmiri people and affirmative action for other minorities. 370 provided an opportunity to anti-national forces, particularly This includes the mental wellness of Pandit communities who those aligned to the bordering country, for the cultural alienation had undergone ethnic cleansing at the hands of jehadi forces of local people from India. Although the good and bad aspects and will return back to their abandoned Kashmiri homes. Such of Article 370 continue to be debated, but the Indian government healthcare model will likely be a role model for the bordering felt the need to resolve the problems caused by such alienation Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. of the local people from India, and curb the extent to which this fostered groups that resort to terrorism. Most agree that among References other issues, Article 370 promoted discriminatory practices of 1. BBC News. Kashmir: Why India and Pakistan fight over it, https:// Muslim men such as annulling marriage by Triple Talaq, money www.bbc.com/news/10537286 (accessed 22 August 2019). laundering by terrorist sympathizers, and inequitable inheritance 2. Naik AR. Impact of conflict on mental health with special of property by local women married to non-Kashmiri spouses. reference to Kashmir Valley. Int J Indian Psychol 2016; 4: 76. This was due to the inapplicability of Indian secular laws which 3. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), The University of Kashmir, guaranteed women’s rights and allowed for financial audit of Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS). state expenditures. Nevertheless, regardless of the political Muntazar: Kashmir Mental Health Survey Report. New Delhi: debate and contrary to the views expressed in BMJ’s editorial Médecins Sans Frontières, 2015. in which concerns were raised about deteriorating healthcare access, revocation of Article 370 will bring a positive change 4. Bhat RA and Khan SM. Mental health issues in Kashmir valley: in health infrastructure in Kashmir. The misprojected mental An overview. Arch Ment Health 2018; 19: 96–96. health problems are nothing new in Kashmir and are part of 5. US Department of State. Country reports on terrorism 2017. 2–4 continued stress faced by local men and women living there. Washington, DC: US Department of State, 2017. https://www. The recent constitutional amendment is set to empower state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/crt_2017.pdf (accessed Kashmir with federally administered free healthcare facilities, 2 November 2019). obviating the need of Kashmiris to travel up to 24 hrs, often 6. Horton RC. Fear and uncertainty around Kashmir’s future. over mountainous terrain, to seek treatment at the Post Graduate Lancet 2019; 394: 542. Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh. The 7. Mahase E. Kashmir communications blackout is putting revoking of Kashmir’s autonomy will ensure equitable access patients at risk, doctors warn. BMJ 2019; 366: 15204. to national resources including the free health and wellness 8. Kurji Z, Premani ZS and Mithani Y. Analysis of the health care scheme “Ayushman Bharat,” in tandem with implementation system of Pakistan: Lessons learnt and way forward. J Ayub of other Indian laws like Right to Information (RTI) and the Med Coll Abbottabad 2016; 28: 601–604. abolition of Triple Talaq. This nationally funded health scheme Akshay Anand will provide free treatment of up to Rs 500,000 for each Editor-in-Chief Kashmiri household, besides access to government wellness Neuroscience Research Lab, Department of Neurology, centers. Because the Indian government has revoked Article Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, 370, the new position will result in increased investments in Chandigarh, India. state’s health infrastructure. As part of the scheme, the wellness Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-Commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Annals of Neurosciences – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2019