Abrogation of Article 370 : My views

The year is 1947, Pakistan Sponsored irregular guerrillas from North West frontier province in firhans with local Poonch Rebels attack the summer capital. The Pashtun tribesmen engage in mass rapes, looting and killing. The idea is to force the then Maharaja Hari Singh into acceding to Pakistan. Instead the Maharaja calls out to Lord Mountbatten who agrees to help him. The only condition : The state of Jammu & kasmir Accedes to India. Indian forces drive out the Pakistanis from the state after Hari Singh signs a Instrument of Accession.

In 1948, India sought international intervention. In this regard, the UN passed resolution 47 which stated that the opinion of locals must be ascertained. The condition being the Areas be cleared out of Irregulars. A ceasefire was agreed upon but no plebiscite could be done and this issue further led to 3 wars between the neighboring states. 1949 saw the Indian Government obliging Hari Singh to leave Kashmir in the hands of leader of NCP Sheikh Abdullah. The growing dispute over Kashmir and the consistent failure of democracy also led to the rise of Kashmiri nationalism and militancy in the state. Slogans like ‘ न तो हिन्दुस्तान और न ही पाकिस्तान डार-उल-इस्लाम’ are shouted everyday.

The burning issue

In 1954, a presidential was issued, specifying the articles of the Indian constitution that applied to the state. Since the Constituent Assembly dissolved itself without recommending the abrogation of Article 370, the article was deemed to have become a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution. This article, along with Article 35A, defined that the Jammu and Kashmir state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to resident of other Indian states. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.

Read more | Difference between Right Wing and Left Wing

Accordingly, Jammu and Kashmir had a separate constitution, flag. Indian Parliament could only make laws on matters on external affairs, communication and defence.

On 5 August 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind issued a constitutional order revoking the 1954 order. Article 370 in itself was used to declare it null and void by using it’s Sub clause 3. It Made all the provisions of the Indian constitution applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. Following resolutions passed in both the Houses of Parliament, he issued a further order on 6 August declaring all the clauses of Article 370 to be inoperative.

In addition, the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill was passed in both the Houses of Parliament. It proposed to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories to be called Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Ladakh without one.

What went wrong?

370 (3) said that “Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify: Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause ( 2 ) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.”
The key phrase being ‘recommendation of the constituent assembly’. But the assembly is suspended in J&K since last year and it is being governed by the centre through governor Satya Pal Malik.

The centre called in several thousand new troops to the valley, Politicians were house arrested, Internet was shutdown and Article 144 of Crpc was put in order. The problem here was no J&K resident or Representative was consulted before taking the step keeping in mind we are a democracy.

Pros/ Cons – My views:

Removal of Article 370 was much needed from a long time. Its abrogation will definitely bring in more development for the area. Ladakh was rightly separated from the J&K. Making J&K a Union Territory with assembly was the right decision. Now the Centre can supervise the working of the area.

But the way it was done is not right.

The biggest challenge now will be the integration of the locals in the mainstream. As it was not the residents decision to join into India, it will be very difficult. The government needs to work tirelessly to make them Politically connected. It will be done when Free and fair elections happen in the state. This will be a great sign of relief for the Kashmiri Hindus who can go back to their birthplace.

Moreover, We have to wait to see the full results of the historic decision. No proper deductions can be made at this point of time.

Read more | Difference between Right Wing and Left Wing

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Great man. Nice views