Army personnel stand guard during restrictions in Jammu, on 5 August, 2019 | PTI
Army personnel stand guard during restrictions in Jammu | PTI
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New Delhi: The “special status” granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 has been scrapped, Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Rajya Sabha Monday.

The order has been signed by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Shah also announced bifurcation of the state with Ladakh division to now become a Union Territory without a legislature, and Jammu and Kashmir to be one Union Territory with a legislature.

He said while it was a “long-standing” demand of the locals of Ladakh, the decision in Kashmir was taken keeping in view “prevailing security situation”.

“The Ladakh area is large but is sparsely populated with a very difficult terrain. This has been long-pending demand of the people of Ladakh to give it the status of Union Territory to enable them to realise their aspirations. The Union Territory of Ladakh will be without Legislature,” a statement by Shah read.


Also read: BJP wants to revoke Article 370, ironically Sardar Patel was its architect


On Jammu and Kashmir becoming a Union Territory, Shah stated, “Keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation fuelled by cross-border terrorism in the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir, a separate Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir is being created. This will be with legislature.”

According to a source in the security establishment, the announcement could result in deterioration in law and order situation in the Valley, where over 300 companies have been deployed.

What is Article 370?

Article 370 was introduced to recognise the “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir and says that the power of Parliament to make laws in the state are only limited to subjects that fall under the Union and Concurrent list.

This was because the accession of Jammu and Kashmir was conditional to their being given the rights and sovereignty.

It means that the laws made by the state regarding settlement and acquisition of property will prevail and not be struck down on the ground that they violate fundamental rights.

Since that was the condition for accession to India, it cannot be challenged on the ground that it violates fundamental rights or the basic structure of the Constitution.

Apart from the autonomy, Article 370 also lends other powers such as the need of “concurrence of the state government” if the central government plans to make amendments to the concurrent list of subjects.


Also read: With special status hollowed out, J&K considers Article 35A last vestige of real autonomy


How will it affect Article 35A?

The announcement by Shah also means that Article 35A becomes meaningless. This provision of the Constitution allows Jammu & Kashmir to define who is a “permanent resident” of the state and who is not.

The provision was inserted in the Constitution through a special Presidential order in 1954 and gives special powers to the state to determine who can be the recipient of special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the state, scholarships and other public aid and welfare.

For instance, who can purchase land and property in the state, who can settle permanently as a resident in the state, who can be employed in public sector is determined through Article 35A.

It further also deters women from the state to marry outside the boundary of the state, and if she does, her children cannot be permanent residents. This also restricts her right of inheritance.

The provision also mandates that no act of or by the state legislature can be challenged or questioned for violating the Constitution or any other law of the land as it is a special provision just for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.


Also read: Modi’s Mission Kashmir was to make scrapping of Article 35A a necessity. That moment is now


 

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Some body should have bell the cat sooner – no body did. BJP have had a declared agenda about 370 and 35 (A) and it is just confirming to this by ushering in the process to scrap 370 and automatically 35 (A). Modi II and BJP didn’t have any excuse not to have done it. Atal ji too had told the Parliament more than once – the day BJP would have the numbers of it’s own, it will revoke 370.
    Besides, the country needed it. J&K had to be unified with the mainland and it’s people enjoy same rights and liberties as their fellow Indian citizens.
    J & K had become an industry for so many vested interests and virtually the local citizens were not knowing anything positive of the mainland. The people had been continuously injected anti India sentiments by so-called local leaders. Since the state had been a closed territory for all India political activities, no mainstream leaders had any stakes and they were not visiting the state only. It had only become a territory for couple of families to rule and take the people the way they liked.
    It had become more an area of Pakistan politics than of our country.
    Now with completion of the legal formalities, J & K truely becomes One with all of us and the people would be enjoying the Indian citizen liberties and rights. The growth will be the talk and the territory will soon have the glory of being most developed regions.
    But the govt would have enormous challenges ahead. The local people, who mostly remain misguided, would naturally feel like something has been taken away from them. They would be also instigated by local leaders. Even communal sentiments may be aroused and tensions incited.
    Making them aware of the great meaning of the entire thing in totality would be the Prime task and should be the priority of the govt. It is heartening to see various political parties out of NDA supporting the govt move. The govt would be well advised to use the leaders of these parties to visit the state and educate masses. For the people are most important and they should be taken on board in as a beautiful way as possible. Pakistan will try everything to explode the situation as it would fear to loose entire narrative.
    J & K no longer remains a dispute and an issue of international nature. The issue is now settled and our diplomacy should ensure that our internal political move to make our house unified and strong is not subjected to international gossiping.
    A historical beginning has been made and Modi II and BJP become immortals in Indian modern history!

  2. With this the government has signalled that Kashmir is no longer a bilateral issue with Pakistan. Thereby, it has given Pakistan a legitimate reason to make it an international issue.

    Trump has already indicted that he is not averse to playing big brother on Kashmir. One way or another, it is clear that we haven’t heard the last on this issue. The game now heats up, and may go out of India’s diplomatic control.

    Because Narendra Modi government, in my opinion shortsightedly, has removed the word BILATERAL from the lexicon that was offered to our international friends. Because all countries have enough problems of their own, each of them didn’t want Kashmir on its plate, so they were happy to hear and endorse the word, “bilateral”. But now by removing this word from the list, only two words remain: unilateral, and international.

    Even those who were happy to not have anything to do with it, will now be dragged into making a choice between the remaining two words mentioned above. One thing is for sure, UNO will definitely get more active.

  3. Que sera sera. How these profound changes will be received by various stakeholders, whether it will draw the curtain on three decades of insurgency, bring peace and prosperity to the Valley, the future of the relationship with Pakistan. How the rest of the world will respond.

  4. Though I am not a supporter of BJP and its Hindutva politics but on this point I agree with the scrapping of Article 370. Removing of the 370 is a punishment to Kashmiri leadership be it main stream or seperatists. Article 370 was misused by these leaders to foment Anti India sentiments, seperatism instead of using it an opportunity to develop the state.

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