Do you know about Article 370 ?

Article 370 And How It Impacts The People

Recent events occurring in the Indian subcontinent has been shaking the people to the core, some with anger, some with worry and some with happiness. The Government of India has decided to abolish and remove Article 370 that claimed to provide special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. This step was taken by the Government on accounts of a terror threat against the state and was seen as necessary to provide protection to the people residing there. But how the abolition of an Article of the Indian Constitution affect the people living in Kashmir? Let’s find out.

The Initiation Of Article 370

A series of events took place that led to the formation if Article 370 and its inclusion in the Indian Constitution.

  • The subcontinent of India before independence was made up of more than 500 independently governed princely states. As the time of the prospect of an Independent Country of India drew closer, the princely states under the British Raj were faced with two choices- a) to join forces with either Pakistan or India under the instrument of accession or b) to remain independent.
  • Since most of these independent princely states were too small to survive independently, they decided to join India or Pakistan, whichever seemed to suit their best interest. Some of the larger princely states were quite attracted to the idea of maintaining their Sovereignty.
  • Among them, the Ruler of the largest princely state of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh did not want to accede to Pakistan but he also did not think that his majority of Muslim subjects would want to join India either. In the interest of maintaining strong ties with both ends, he signed a standstill agreement with them and hoped for an independent Kashmir. It remained an independent state in India on August 15th, 1947.
  • Soon after independence, the Maharaja found himself under attack by tribal forces from Pakistan and, unable to defend his state against these forces, he made the decision to join India in exchange for protection from the Indian Military.
  • According to the Agreement made during Accession, the Monarchy was abolished and a democratic government constituted. In agreement, Kashmir was provided with a special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which limited the application of Indian laws to the territory of Kashmir and allowed Kashmir to be ruled as a democratic state abiding by its own constitution. This placed the decision of the state to the hands of the people of Kashmir.

Advantages After Passing The Bill

  • People of India and J&K now enjoy the same fundamental right
  • A separate union territory will be created with the J&K legislature
  • Ladakh will be given the status of a Union Territory without legislature
  • Ladakh and J&K will have separate Lieutenant Governments
  • Centre will have the power to declare to financial emergency under Article 360 in J&K
  • The state’s female residents will now enjoy equal property rights upon marrying an outsider

Disadvantages Of The State Due To Article

  • Article 370 restricted the people of the rest of the country from owning land in J&K
  • Stopped the citizens from being united with India as one

Who Proposed The Abolition?

The Home Minister of India, Mr Amit Shah, moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha to abolish Article 370 after the President issued a notification in the same regard and also moved the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganizations Bill 2019.

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