Indias independence on August 15, 1947 was a great event, India got freedom
from British Imperialism and became a Sovereign Democratic Republic. It was a
great historical event because all mankind came together to form single nation.
Speaking in the constituent Assembly of India, Pandit Nehru the first Prime
minister of India Said: -Long year ago we made a Tryst with destiny, and now
the times comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure
but very substantially. At the stroke of the mid night hour, when the world
sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.( Pt. Nehru speech in the
constituents Assembly August 14, 1947)
Before Analysing the present event of abrogating the Article 370 and 35A, we
must understand the fact that India’s independence has brought big challenges
like Communal riots and massive influx of refugees, following partition
threatened the very foundation of the newly born nation.
The second most important challenge was to integrate the six hundred princely
states. This was done peacefully and amicably by the Home Minister Sardar Patel
and his able efficient confident V.P Menon.
As mentioned the process was largely peaceful, with a few exception like the
state of Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad where the problem of Hyderabad was
solved by police action. Kashmir become a problem for a pretty long time .
What Led to the Birth of Article 370?
# The history of Kashmir conflict date back to the time when Half of Indian
Territories were princely states at the time of Queen Victoria’s proclamation.
Jammu and Kashmir was one such princely State. Maharaja Hari Singh of the Dogra
lineage was the ruler of the state.
# At the time of Indian Independence ,the British announced that the British Paramountcy over the 565 princely states would end, and the states were free to
choose between the new Dominions of India and Pakistan or to remain independent.
# After the withdrawal of the British, armed tribesmen invaded Kashmir from
the Pakistan border. King Hari Singh wrote a letter to Lord Mountbatten,
seeking help and attached a signed Instrument of Accession to India. The Governor
General of India signed the acceptance. According to the Instrument defence,
external affairs and communication were transferred to India.
# In 1948, Hari Singh made a decree to convene a national assembly and work out a
new constitution of the state. Sheikh Abdullah was appointed as the prime
minister of Jammu and Kashmir.It was Sheikh Abdullah, who initiated and demanded
more things for Kashmir.
Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru advised Sheikh Abdullah to convince B.R.
Ambedkar who was not in favour of the proposal to incorporate it in the
In the book, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Framing of Indian Constitution, by Dr.S.N.Busi,
Dr.Ambedkar was cited as saying: Mr. Abdullah, you want that India should
defend Kashmir. 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 you don’t want India and any citizen India to have
any rights in Kashmir and Government of India should have only limited powers.
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. I cannot
betray the interests of my country.
# In 1949 Hari Singh through a order transferred power to his son Yuvraj Karan
Singh Bahadur, who issued a order for the election of a constituent assembly in
the state, and In 1953 Karan Singh dismissed sheikh Abdullah from the post of
Prime minister thus Bakshi Ghulam was appointed as a new prime minister of Jammu
# Jammu and Kashmir constituent Assembly ratified the states accessions to India
,but the internal administration was retained by the State.
The idea of dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two or more parts has a history
tracing its origin to the Dixon Plan of 1950. Owen Dixon, an Australian Jurist
chosen by United Nation to mediate between India and Pakistan on the J&K issue,
suggested a package, which do not find acceptance from India. In 1983, former
President R.Venkataraman, who was Defence Minister in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet,
floated the concept of trifurcating J&K- Ladakh as a Union Territory; Jammu as a
State and the Valley as a Separate entity.
What is Article 370?
History shows that Article 370 has widened gap between people of Jammu and
Kashmir and the rest of India. Article 370 was only a temporarily, transitional
arrangements and was allowed to have separate constitution and a flag.
The state legislature were empowered either to adopt or not to adopt any law
passed by Indian parliament. Except for the matters relating to defence,
external affairs, communications and the matters mentioned in the instrument of
But in the long run it has failed to benefit the people in a meaningful way and
was used by separatist to spread terrorism.
What is Article 35A?
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution was an article that empowered the Jammu
and Kashmir state's legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and
provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It was added
to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, under Article 370.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir defined these privileges to include the ability
to purchase land and unmovable property, ability to vote and contest elections,
seeking government employment and availing other state benefits such as higher
education and health care. Non-permanent residents of the state, even if Indian
citizens, were not entitled to these ‘privileges’
Text of the Article 35A:
Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights.
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in
force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the
Legislature of the State:
(a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be, permanent residents of
the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or
(b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or
imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects-
(i) employment under the State Government;
(ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State;
(iii) settlement in the State; or
(iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government
may provide, shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes
away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any
provision of this part."
How Modi Government changed the status of J&K:
The revocation of Kashmir’s special status is a major move towards ensuring
inclusive India.The demand of revocation of article 370 has been under
consideration for a long time. The recent decision by the government to abrogate
Article 370 is a national issue involving our country safety, security, unity
and equitable prosperity. It is a stepping stone to enable an improved quality
of life for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi Government made the abrogation of 370 possible which was seen as impossible
matter and permanent topic of issue of our country.
# President Ram Nath Kovind issued a presidential order under Article 370(1) of
# The Order replaces the 1954 Order which means that all the provisions of the
constitution of India, shall apply to J&K too.
# A few clauses were added to article 367 of the constitution which contains
# Now, all the references to the Sadar-I-Riyasat
will be elucidate as reference
to Governor of J&K.
# The government has made the fact that J&K is under President’s Rule, during
which the parliament performs the legislative functions of the state assembly.
The New Order:
The union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced two statutory resolution to
recommend that the president issue a notification rendering Article 370
inoperative, and to accept the Jammu and Kashmir reorganisation bill.
A look at how the government changed the Special Status of the state overnight:
Under article 370, J&K had its own constitution and the law passed by the
parliament were applicable to the state only.
The president was empowered to decide which provisions of the Indian
Constitution would be applicable with the state’s assent.
To scrap Article 370 altogether, a few clauses were added to Article 367 which
contains interpretations the reference to the constituent assembly
amended to read legislative assembly of the state
Article 35A protected the laws such as bar on outsiders buying property in the
state and women marrying Non-Kashmiris losing their property rights.
The Government’s decision would facilitate greater investments entrepreneurs and
major private companies in different sectors including hospitality , tourist,
education and health. It would naturally generate much needed employment for
local youth. It would also enable greater scrutiny of the implementation of the
schemes of the Government of India.
These special measures could only be altered on the recommendation of the
Sadar-I-Riyasat or by the constituent assembly.
President Ram Kovind declared that all provisions of the Indian constitution
shall now apply to J&K.
The two new territories will be Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Ladakh will not
have a legislature while Jammu and Kashmir will have one.The Union Territory of
Jammu and Kashmir would be administered/governed like Puducherry.
In case of Ladakh, where there is no Legislative assembly, the role of the
administrator or Lt. Governor will be greater than that of Jammu and Kashmir.
His source of authority is the president.
The speech of Ladakh MP, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, in the Lok Sabha recently,
pointed out that Ladakh was not just a piece of land but a precious gem of
Bharat. I am also confident that the status of a State would be accorded once
things improve and total order is restored in Jammu and Kashmir.
A total of 106 central laws will now be tented to Jammu and Kashmir. Some of key
pieces of legislation include the Prevention of corruption Act, the Land
Acquisition Act, the National Commission for Minorities Act , the Right to
Education Act and those relating to empowering local bodies .
With Article 35A becoming void, the decades old discrimination against the woman
of Jammu and Kashmir has been eliminated. They can now purchase and transfer
property their children, even if they get married to a non-resident.
Opinion of the Leaders on Revocation of Article 370:
Slamming the Congress, Mr. Shah Said stated that it was congress policy that had
killed more than 41,000 since 1988 and further said that the revocation of
article 370 should be supported by everyone. Terrorism cannot end till article
370 and 35A continue. the Article is an obstacle to development in the state. He
said that it was a temporary provision and was discriminatory on the basis of
caste, gender, class and place of origin and it should be removed for the
interest of people.
A decade ago Gulzari Lal Nanda (Home Minister during J.L.Nehru) said Article
370 is nothing more than a shell emptied of its contents. Nothing has been left
in it ;we can do it in one day , in 10 days, 10 months .That is entirely for us
The decision to abrogate 370 was criticised by many leaders of country.
P.Chidambaram stated the decision to abrogate 370 as a catastrophic blunder
and appealed to government not to dismember the state.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir has been an integral part of our country. It will
always remain so. So, the action to remove Article 370 is purely an internal
matter. It goes without saying that India will not allow outsiders to meddle in
its internal affairs. People should guard against false and mischievous
propaganda by a section of the Indian and Western media ,which probably still
believes in the colonial mind set of divide and rule.
Thus, The abrogation of Article 370 is indeed a step in the right direction to
safe guard the unity and integrity of India.
Although the special status of J&K was meant to end but only with the
concurrence of its people. It should not have been scrapped without the wider
# V.P.Menon : The integration of states
# Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Framing of Indian Constitution
# Times of India
# The Hindu
Written by: Ayushi Detha