Kashmir Alert: The hullaballoo created around the abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A) from our Constitution is unknown to none. But why exactly is it such a widely publicized matter? What will happen as a consequence? Let’s take a closer peek.
The beginning of the unfortunate
After the Instrument of Accession was signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in matters of Defence, Communication and Foreign relations. A provision for the special status of the state was incorporated as Article 370 in the Indian Constitution. No Centre laws could apply to the state without the consent of the State Government and the provision could be altered only by the Constituent Assembly of the State. When it dissolved without any stance on the matter, the provision was assumed as permanent.
End to ‘special status’ or end to ‘special powers’?
In the wake of the decision of the Modi Cabinet, to integrate the state into India, the special status of Jammu and Kashmir has changed considerably. The state has been reconstituted into two centrally-administered union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
The autonomy and benefit of a separate constitution enjoyed by the state have ended. All laws of the Constitution of India will be applicable to the state and all Government benefits and schemes would be implemented, making it a state of India in literal terms.
Going down well or not-so-well…
The bold decision of the government has had mixed results on the audience. While there were vehement resistance and widespread protests from the opposition parties, a large section has welcomed this decision with open arms. Plaguing it as a calculated move to ruin the Muslim majority population of the state, the political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, under house arrest, have disregarded this decision and called it inhumane.
The decision has been referred to as a ‘partition along communal lines’. (I’m not going to tell you that the CM of J&K said this! :P)
Have a look at what Congress ex-President Rahul Gandhi had to say. Others supporting it look at it with eyes of hope for development, previously hindered by cross-border terrorism and insurgency.
What’s your opinion?
The economic disparity between the states of India and J&K led to the youth indulging in violent activities. Article 35(A) enabled the state government of the state to make laws regarding permanent residency, ownership of property and barred other Indians from buying property in the region. With this obstacle gone, economic growth is anticipated as a very obvious consequence.
As everyone is now free to own land in Kashmir, factories and production units are waiting to make way to the area, creating innumerable job opportunities for the Kashmiri youth. Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh have been brought into mainstream India and the natives will now have access to all government facilities like the scholarship programs, development and sanitation schemes, women empowerment programs, reservations for minorities, etc which they were previously deprived of.
Our extremely ‘friendly’, the green-flagged neighbour had been using Article 370 to instigate the Kashmiri youth into anti-state activities.
Once economic prosperity travels to where heaven resides, and the residents realize the importance of democracy, all terrorist, insurgency and separatist concerns are expected to subside.
The Rocky Road Ahead
This heavily criticized decision has created a lot of controversies around the legality of the move. Although it was taken in the goodwill of the people, the immediate effects haven’t been pleasant. A state of un-proclaimed emergency was looming over the state, with all communication services disabled.
There was virtual curfew with hefty police and military teams parading the streets, ready to suppress any uprising.
Mr. Yechury, the Secretary of the CPIM, was allowed to visit his colleague, by an order of the Supreme Court, and he claims that ground conditions in the state are contradictory to the calmness propagated by the Government.
Welcome to India, Kashmir!
With no one allowed to enter or exit the state, there are no reliable reports on the opinion of the residents and the developments taking place, but one thing is sure – Jammu and Kashmir is now free of the shackles of Article 370 and nothing can stop it from becoming one of the most productive economic sites in the world, provided the people leave the influencers behind, and rationalise what is in the interests of them and their state.