A story about Abolishing Article 370 & Article 35A

Abolishing Article 370 & Article 35A

It was in the beginning of august that we payed due attention to the televisions and the newspapers, it was a piece of breaking news after all; Abolishment of   Article 370 and Article 35A  , these articles have provisions which grant special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, therefore, these articles stand up to be of so much importance.

On 5th August 2019, the Union Home Minister of India, Amit Shah announced the abrogation of   Article 370 and Article 35A   of the Indian Constitution. The state is now being divided into two union territories — Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

The history of article 370
goes back to the year 1947, when Maharajah Hari Singh, the ruler of the state,
signed the “Instrument of Accession” wherein the state of J&K gave its power
to the government of India on three subject matters, these being: Defence,
Foreign Affairs and Communication. In 1949, Sheikh Abdullah appointed by
Maharajah negotiated in the Indian constituent assembly about the special
status of J&K.

Article 370 was then
incorporated in the constitution in 1949 and it exempted Jammu and Kashmir from
Indian constitution (except Article 1 and article 370 itself) and allowed the
state to draft its own constitution. Article 370 was temporary in nature and
granted autonomy to the state of J&K, the Indian parliament could not increase
or decrease the borders of J&K. Article 35A defined the classes of persons
who were permanent residents of the state of J&K and granted such persons
with employment under the state government, acquisition of immovable property
in the state, settlement in the state, right to scholarships and aids provided
by the state government.

Prior to scrapping out these articles, the state of Jammu and Kashmir exercised special powers, the system of dual citizenship was applicable, the state had a separate flag, the state was in-charge of the police force, Article 360 i.e. financial emergency was not applicable, no reservations for minorities was available, an Indian citizen could not buy land or property, right to information act was not available, duration of the legislative assembly was for 6 years.

After scrapping out these articles the state of Jammu and Kashmir no longer exercises the special powers, the system of dual citizenship is no more and there is only single citizenship and i.e. the Indian citizenship, the flag is the tricolour flag of our nation, now the Home ministry is in-charge of the police force, Article 360 is applicable, reservation to the minorities are available, an Indian citizen can buy land or property in the state, right to information act is available, duration of assembly of the union territory is 5 years.

Article 370 itself was
temporary in nature and yet had been a part of the constitution for more than 7
decades making it not so temporary after all.

The very significance of removing these articles is to eradicate the chaos that has been going on in the state for a long time now, the violence of anti-nationalism that is being spread, the minds that are being manipulated and toyed with, the corruption that is pullulating and restricting the definite growth of the region. Dealing with such issues was beyond the powers of the government as they did not have full control over the state and accessing information was limited to the provisions in the articles. The state had been far away from integration, lacking several basic facilities and amenities that several states today have such as hospitals, schools, colleges & universities, banking and insurance institutions, etc. Jammu and Kashmir is a place of such beauty did not attract much tourism due to the undying and unexpected chaos hence it never developed its tourism. Buying properties in the state was fully restricted by any non-resident of the state which made it impossible for the corporate sector and multinational corporations to establish themselves there leading to a heavy increase in the unemployment rate, the only source of employment was petty businesses and cottage industries. It is due to major unemployment that people threw stones at the Indian army for small amount of cash that they received from anti-nationalists or terrorists. Now that several organisations and industries will set up, the unemployment will be eradicated and people will involve themselves in productive and constructive activities. The state will get a chance to flourish itself in the fields of entertainment, sports, science & technology, etc. The education system will develop and people of the state will no longer have to go to distant places for the same.

Recognising the favourable conditions that may follow is not enough the other side of abrogation may fail the people of the state. Since the lead that has been taken with respect to revocation included curfews being imposed in different parts, emergency services being at a standstill, telecommunication and internet being shut down, elected representatives placed under arrest, no one absolutely no one, not the politicians, not the activists, not any other citizen can understand what a common man is going through at this particular phase of time. Across social media Kashmiris are expressing a sense of exclusion and humiliation, others, however, are announcing plans to purchase land in the valley or making misogynistic statements about marrying Kashmiri women, this has only hardened the feelings of humiliation. This decision was indeed implemented hastily without following due procedure and certainly without any consultation which was extremely disappointing and disturbing. Several officials of the United Nations & other Human rights Organization and international media concern themselves with the humanitarian rights of Kashmiris and demand a thorough investigation which gives transparency to the facts of ground.

The state has been in traumatic tensions since a long time and the government took this initiative in order to eradicate these tensions so it could focus on the integration of the state as a whole. As an Indian, somewhere deep down I am proud of this initiative as it makes the state and its people one with the nation but as a Law student, it is really disheartening for me to see people in my nation being deprived of so many Humanitarian rights all at once. People even today i.e., even after three months of abolition are leading their lives with so many difficulties. Tensions are all around the world but before taking actions we must practice dialogue, this situation could have been less tense if dialogues were used before actions.

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Author: Shubham siwach

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