Probably the most controversial and known article in the constitution of India must be article 370. Every Indian, especially the Kashmiris talk and debate about it.
Let’s look at what the article is about and how it influences us as Indians and even the Kashmiris.
We will finally conclude with the Abrogation of Article 370 by the government of India under prime minister Modi.
Table of Contents
- Background of Article 370
- What is Article 370
- Terrorism in Kashmir
- Kashmiri Pandits
- Problems with article 370 & Article 35A
- Abrogation of article 370
Background of Article 370
After independence of India 562 princely states had to either join Muslim majority [an Islamic state] or Hindu majority [secular state] India.
They were also given the option to stay Independent.
All either chose Pakistan or India except Kashmir.
Kashmir’s Raja Hari Singh chose to be independent but on 22 October 1947, Pakistan illegally invaded Kashmir because it was a Muslim majority state [Yet majority Muslims were favoring India].
Raja asked India for help, but India only agreed to send army on the condition of integrating Kashmir to India.
He signed the instrument of accession but before he could sign instrument of merger the then prime minister of India, Nehru, blundered.
Meanwhile, Nehru announced on the radio to take this matter to UN. The united states decided to perform a referendum.
Note: For a state to be an integral part of a country it must sign both the instrument of accession and the instrument of merger
So Nehru decided to add article 370 as a temporary provision inthe Indian constitution.
But Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the chairman of the drafting committee of the constituent assembly, refused to add article 370.
When Sheik Abdullah confronted Ambedkar about the following….
“You wish India should protect your borders, she should build roads in your area, she should supply you food grains, and Kashmir should get equal status as India. But Government of India should have only limited powers and Indian people should have no rights in Kashmir. To give consent to this proposal, would be a treacherous thing against the interests of India and I, as the Law Minister of India, will never do it.”
So in return Abdullah approached Nehru. Nehru asked N gopalswami ayyangar to draft it for him, which he did in 1949.
What is Article 370
Article 340 grants special status to the state of Kashmir. It makes it an autonomous state and makes its own bills except on critical matters. It is because of Article 370 that Constitution provisions are not applicable in Kashmir.
Centre government needs state governments permission to apply law. [Except defense, foreign affairs, finance, communications.] There are Land laws, because of which only a citizen of Kashmir can own land in Kashmir.
In other words, No Indian citizen could own land in Kashmir.
Even emergency was not applicable in Kashmir except in the state of war.
Moreover Article 370 granted Kashmir its own constitution and flag.
Terrorism in Kashmir
Pakistan sponsored terrorists did not allow the state to work smoothly. Even the separatists were supported by Pakistan.
It was really shocking to see, a crowd of 200,000 gather for the funeral of a terrorist Burhan Wani who was shot down by security forces for his radical behavior.
Burhan used various social media accounts to further radicalize Kashmiris. Pakistan president Navaz Sharif called him a martyr. [This was right away stupid. Anyways what do you expect from the factory of terrorism].
In my humble opinion India should certainly change its policy. Like USA they should refuse to return the body of the deceased terrorist to their family.
People in Kashmir now treat Burhan’s home as a pilgrimage. But with the abrogation of article 370 this should change.
Kashmiri Pandits are Saraswat Brahmins who have inhabited Kashmir for the last 3000 years. From 1984 the chief minister of J&K stared polarizing the Muslims against Kashmiri Pandits. Following which hostility against the Kashmiri Pandits increased.
People campaigned for removing the pandits out of the valley, especially the terrorist organization JKLF.
To bring militancy under control J&K governor Jagmohan Malhotra removed Farooq Abdullah form the post of chief minister and placed his brother Gm shah on the throne.
But in 1986, Rajiv Gandhi brought dr Abdullah back to power. The 1987 election of J&K is said to be the most fraud election in independent India. In this Abdullha came back to power.
From Jan 1 to Jan 19 there were 319 violent attacks on the Pandits. Out of which 21 were armed attack ,114 bomb attacks,112 arsons and 72 mob attacks.
For example, on 14th September 1989, Pandit Tika Lal Taploo an influential Kashmiri Pandit lawyer and BJP leader was killed. After that Neelkanth Ganjoo, the Judge who sentenced Maqbool Bhat to death was killed on 4th November 1989.
On 4th January 1990, Aftab, a Urdu paper printed a warning by Hizbul mujahideen on their front page, asking the Pandits to vacate the valley. On 9th January 1990,Dr Abdullah resigned because Jagmohan was made the governor.
This made the valley without any governance because Jagmohan left Delhi but could not reach J&K. This led to the Pandit Holocaust. Please read about the Gawkadal massacre.
After Nehru approached UN a plebiscite was decided according to the Resolution 47 of UN. But this is not possible because of the following reasons:
According to the referendum rules, firstly Pakistan will withdraw army from Kashmir. Pakistan would never do it [Kashmir includes POK and Aksai chin].
After this UN will perform an audit and check whether Pakistan has vacated Kashmir. Only then India withdraws army from Kashmir.
[Please remember that India can keep basic force to maintain peace in Kashmir]
Secondly, India is Not time bound to conduct the referendum.
India can conduct the referendum when it feels comfortable to do so. Pakistan gifted a huge chunk of Kashmir to china.
Hence for the referendum to take place china should even vacate that area. Kashmiri pandits were the Hindu locals of Kashmir who were persecuted in Kashmir.
The world noticed an exodus of Kashmiri pandits and for the referendum to take place even they should be migrated back to Kashmir. This is next to impossible.
Problems with article 370 & Article 35A
Article 370 & 35A had a lot of problems. Firstly RTI, CAG, RTE were not applicable in Kashmir. So, the government could not even audit Kashmir because of lack of jurisdiction of CAG.
Because Property sale was banned to non-Kashmiris, private companies could not own land in Kashmir and hence non industrial factories could be laid.
This has directly affected the growth of Kashmir. There was No reservation for SC & ST in Kashmir. Even women had no reservation. In fact, people of Lower cast were allowed to do only certain low paying jobs.
This was a blatant discrimination.
No PIL or case in Supreme court was applicable in Kashmir. As it was out of the jurisdiction of the supreme court. It was completely legal to Insult of India and its symbols in Kashmir owing to the controversial articles.
Article 370 was one of the most Misogynist.
This is Because if a Kashmiri man married a non-Kashmiri woman, then the woman would be granted the citizenship of both Kashmir and India.
But if a Kashmiri woman marries a non-Kashmiri then she would lose her citizenship of Kashmir hence losing her property rights in Kashmir.
Abrogation of article 370
On 5 August 2019, the honorable home minster of India, Amit shah Passed a bill to amend article 370 in constitution.
There is a misconception that the whole article was removed from the constitution. However only the clauses which provided Kashmir special status were removed.
Well, how did they do it?
Firstly, they used a clause of the article 370 to make article 370 inoperative in nature. The clause 3 of the article provides the president the power to amend with the permission of the constituent assembly of the state.
So the president changed it into Legislative assembly of the state.
In 2018 BJP pulled its support to the ruling party PDP and hence the state was under governors’ rule.
Then the president issued a notice to scarp the clauses that provided autonomous status to Kashmir. Because of this Article 35A became null and void.
Further a bill was introduced to Bifurcate the state into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Both became Union territories hence they are directly under centers control.
After that all the eminent leaders who are known to support insurgency in Kashmir were put under House arrest.
Meanwhile, 80,000 military personnel were deployed to curb protests and insurgency in Kashmir. All telecommunication methods and internet connections were cut.
I think it was a historic decision because finally there will be peace in the valley and through economic development, slowly terrorism would vaporize from Kashmir.
Above all, now there is a bright future waiting for people of Kashmir.
We hope that there would be peace, harmony among the various cultures of Kashmir.
Did you know, abrogation of article 370 was one of aims of Hindutva parties?Learn more
The honourable HM of Indian Shri Amit Shah tabled the bill in Lok Sabha.
Under the leadership of NSA chief AJith Doval, Kashmir has been under curfew since the Abrogation of the controversial act.
All seperatist leaders were also put under house arrest.
Now the both J&K and Ladakh are two different Union territories directly under center government. Moreover there is scope for growth and employment for the Kashmiri people
JKLF is a political organization which previously was a militant organizaiton. In fact, terrorist like Maqbool Bhat was one of them. Their goal is an independent Kashmir!
There are many documentaries. Recently a movie was launched based on this event.
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