The times are changing and so is India. The landmark Proposal put forth by the BJP government on the 5th August, 2019 has broken the age old system of the way Kashmir and the Kashmiris were governed. The government has proposed to withdraw the Article 370 and Article 35A that gave the state of Kashmir a host of special rights.
ARTICLE 370 :
The article is mentioned under Part XXI of the Constitution, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”. Formulated in the year 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, the then prime minister of J&K appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru, the article was aimed to preserve the sanctity of the state. However, the provisions were made temporary and could be revoked after some time.
This article gives the state’s residents separate laws, as compared to other Indian Citizens, including those which will be related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights. Also the centre needs the state government’s concurrence to apply laws — except in defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications.
Article 35A of the Indian Constitution which was added in 1954 through a presidential order allows the state legislature of J&K to define the Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents.
Articles explained :
- Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
- The article deprives the state’s female residents of property rights if/when they marry an ‘outsider’. The provision also extends to children born of any such women.
- The State had the power to separate constitution and a separate flag and denied property rights in the region to the outsiders.
- Dual citizenship for residents.
On the 5th August, Home Minister Amit Shah proposed in the Rajya Sabh to scrap two key constitutional provisions — Article 370 and Article 35(A) — that give the state of Jammu & Kashmir a host of special rights . Despite various opposition and loud jeers from the opposition and the J&K leaders in the Parliament ,the bill was finally passed by the Rajya Sabha in the evening and is now headed to be passed in the Lok Sabha.
The Jammu and Kashmir union territory will include the Hindu-majority Jammu region and will have a legislative assembly.
The Buddhist-majority Ladakh region, which has a considerable population of Shia Muslims, will also be a union territory, but it will not have an assembly.
In the backdrop of this proposal the two Leaders of the state Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were put under house arrest. Moreover, curfew was declared in the state and all cable and internet connections were cut off. Amidst this the proposal was put forth by the government.
Though, this is not the first time that such a state had occurred. While drafting and signing of the Art 370 also the leader was put under house arrest by Jawaharlal Nehru to avoid any disturbances.
How things will change :
While it is still soon to predict what the future has in store after this proposal, but the processing which it was done will surely see lots of unpleasant activities happening in the country soon.
The good part :
- Business opportunities: The freedom to buy property (not to individuals but only businesses ) has been given through this proposal. Through this Kashmir will too be a part of developing India and will open up to various industries and other business activities.
- Employment to Youth : With development comes employment. The Youth of Kashmir will see inflow of various employment opportunities which will help in shaping their future .
- A strong state : With the state now in the hands of the central government, it may see the much-needed changes and improvement that was due since independence.
- A sigh of relief : This move can help in softening the distress and trouble that arises in Kashmir and the people can finally take a sigh of relief.
What is the worse that could come:
- Kashmiris fear the move would lead to a demographic transformation if the region from majority-muslim to Majority- Hindu.
- It may open Palestine-type independence struggle with Kashmir.
- Pakistan, has condemned the move and vowed to exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.
- The move may see high commotion and turmoil from the people of Kashmir in the entire nation.
- Many believe that the repeal of Article 370 is a big manifestation of Hindu nationalism and it represents an effort to bring India’s only Muslim-majority region into the union of India so that the nation’s Hindu majority can invest, acquire land there.
Despite the different views and opinions accompanying this decision. It was a very bold move by the government which was due for long. Whether this move was well planned and thought of, or made in the neck of the hour like demonitization is still to be seen.
Times are changing and the world moving on,
In this conundrum I am stuck with this thought.
This move brave and due since long,
But was this how it had to come along.
Like a sly you closed their gates,
And then proudly in the parliament you proclaimed.
Repeal the article it is no more ours,
the state too deserves a taste of our power.
What is next no one knows,
We hope you have planned for the upheaval show.
Or we will suffer the consequences of your move,
While you stay protected in your mansions rooms.