The whole world, including India, has recently (On 5th August 2019) witnessed a historic event. An important change! The repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution of India. That was given a special legal status/right and dignity to Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time, Section 35 (A) was also dismissed. So far, J&K was a state of India. J&K was transformed into two separate union territories by removing that special status of that state.
When India got independence in 1947 and the border between Pakistan and India was demarcated, Kashmir was in a position between India and Pakistan. At that time, the state of Kashmir could not decide which country to join. And Kashmir has been given the responsibility to decide which state it will be joined. Later, the king of Kashmir took some time to decide whether Kashmir should be included in India or not. The issues in this condition are discussed in Article 35 (A) of Article 370.
What exactly was Article 370?
Article 370 was incorporated into the Constitution on 17 October 1949. Under this section, J&K was kept free from the purview of the Indian Constitution (except for Article 1) and the state was allowed to draft its own constitution. According to this section, the power of the parliament was limited in that state. In order to keep the central law in force, including the annexation, the opinion of the state must be taken. So the state government of Jammu and Kashmir must agree on the issues. The enactment of the Indian Constitutional Act came into force from that time when the partition of British India into two countries, India and Pakistan created in 1947.
After independence, the sovereignty of about 600 states was restored. The law has three possibilities. Firstly, to remain as a country. Secondly, to be included in India or Pakistan. Although there was no written agreement in this regard, the states could decide the terms and conditions on the basis of which the contribution would be made to form one country. Third, there was an unwritten agreement that, if the promises (agreements) made at the time, were not kept, both parties would be able to return to their former positions.
Main points of Article 370
The main points of Article 370 were as follows
- Kashmir will be a Special State. It will not be considered as ordinary other states of India like West Bengal, Delhi, and Assam.
- The assembly will be different there. There will be a separate assembly in Kashmir. In addition, the Indian government can only communicate on three issues- (a) Security, (b) Ministry of External Affairs, (c) Communications. Everything else will be done according to the rules of Kashmir’s own assembly. If any rule of law of India has to implement in Kashmir, then first the issue has to be passed in the Kashmir Legislative Assembly, after that it will be implemented.
- This was recognized in the Constitution of India on 26 November 1949. The government of India also agreed that Kashmir is a special state and everything in their constitution will be different. India will not interfere in that matter. Even the provisions of Article 356 of the Indian Constitution will not be applicable in Kashmir.
Features of Article 370:
- Citizenship. First, they are citizens of Kashmir then India
- Use of National Flag: Kashmir had a separate flag. In any department and assembly, they have their own flag first, then the Indian flag.
- Citizenship: Only permanent citizens of Kashmir can trade the land of Kashmir. Citizens of other states will not be able to buy land there.
- Electoral system: In India, assembly elections are held every 5 years but in Kashmir, it is held every 6 years.
- Legal system: The order of the Supreme Court was not followed there.
- RTI: RTI (Right to Information) was not applicable in Kashmir.
What is Article 35 (A)?
- According to 35 (A), it is decided who is a permanent citizen of Kashmir and who is a temporary citizen.
- Those who have lived in Kashmir since before 14 May 1954 are permanent citizens of Kashmir.
- Those who have been in Kashmir since after 14 May 1954 are temporary citizens.
Consequences of the repeal of section 370
- Following the repeal of Article 370, Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh have now become two separate Union Territories.
- Jammu and Kashmir will no longer be considered a special state.
- Abolition of the separate constitution.
- After the repeal of Article 370, the people of Jammu and Kashmir can vote in any general election in India.
- The order of the Supreme Court now will be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Citizens of any state in India can now buy land in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Jammu and Kashmir will have a separate assembly as a union territory.
- There will be no separate assembly in Ladakh.
- From now, the Indian Parliament will decide whether to have separate flags for Jammu and Kashmir.
- The two union territories will have separate lieutenant governors.
The benefit of eliminating Article 370
- People from all over India will be able to live and trade in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The economic cost for the soldiers will be less.
- The overall development of Jammu and Kashmir will be doubled.
Abolition of Article 370 is an important study material (provided here as general knowledge and Notes) for any kind of government job examinations like IAS, UPSC and State Public service Commission PSC, Railway, SSC etc.