What is Article 370:
The Article 370 of Indian Constitution offers a temporary provision under which the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been given a special autonomous status as has been mentioned in Part XXI (“Temporary, Transitional and Special provision”).This Article was implemented owing to the situation of Kashmir, which was a princely state, at the time of partition. It was not ready for integration with either India or Pakistan as it
shared borders with both and integration with any one of the two would have posed risk from the other.
Article 370 History and significance to India:
The four most prominent people involved in the history of the Article 370 are Sheikh Abdullah, JawaharLal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Indira Gandhi. Sheikh Abdullah, founder of National Conference and 3 times head of Government in Kashmir, was Prime Minister of J&K at that time appointed by Jawahar Lal Nehru and Maharaja hari Singh of J&K. He(Sheikh Abdullah) drafted this provision in the year 1947 to reassure the people of this state that they will be able to enjoy the freedom of an autonomous State and still be a part of this nation. It was initially meant to be applicable for a few years only, though Abdullah wanted “ironclad autonomy” that could not be withdrawn under any circumstance. A movement led by him allowed people of the state to decide whether they wanted to join India, Pakistan or be an independent state. The then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, as a compromise, granted self-government and extensive autonomy to J&K. Some people believe that Article 370 has immense significance. According to Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of J&K, Article 370 forms a constitution bridge between the State and India. He believes that this Article has been contributing to maintain communal peace within the state and a healthy relationship with the country.
Main provisions under Article 370:
The chief provisions granted to the state of J&K under the Article 370 include:
- The special status under Article 370 basically means that all the provisions that are applicable to all the states of the country are not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
- Under the Article 370, citizens of J&K live under a different set of laws.
- Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir implies that the state government’s concurrence will be required by the Parliament for applying any law apart from issues of defense, finance, foreign affair and communications.
- Citizens of India cannot buy property here. If a women living in J&K marries outside the state, she will no longer have the right to buy property here and will not be considered a citizen of J&K. The same is not applicable for men.
- The article also implies that the Centre has no authority to declare financial emergency in J&K, however, it can declare emergency in case of external aggression or war. Only the State Government can declare emergency in case of internal disturbances.
- Right to Education is not applicable here.
- The state does not have to submit the records regarding the influx and out flux of money to the Centre.
Sardar Patel, who brought 565 princely States under unified India, was not in favor of Article 370 and so he resigned in protest.Nehru was dealing with only J&K’s mergeup with India, but he messed up all the things. Nehru was in favor of article 370 and Sardar Patel, out of his loyalty,had to help Jawaharlal Nehru to get Article 370 passed in the Assembly. The President of India, under Section 3 of Article 370, has the power to revoke the Article.
Disadvantages/risks to Indian sovereignty: Some people feel that the Article 370 has severe implications.
- It is being said that this Article 370 may offer a golden opportunity and a concrete base for separatist terrorism to thrive in the State.
- Article 370 challenges the secularism and sovereignty proposed by Indian Constitution. Though we say that we do not discriminate, the existence of Article 370 discriminates on the basis of community, section, etc.
- The Indian Constitutions elaborates the procedure for one economic patter, one administrative structure and one constitutional practice that cannot be accomplished in true sense as long as J&K has its own constitution and laws.
- Many believe that Article 370 gives rise of political group-ism.
- Article 370 challenges the value and respect of the nation, national flag and national anthem. You need special permission to hoist Indian flag. Moreover, it is not recognized as a cognizable offence in the state of J&K to burn the national flag of India.
- The Article 370 has been reviving the two nation theory.
- Also, such a provisional status has been responsible for anarchy in the state.
Thus, there are two contradictory views and it is appearing that the Article 370 is posing threat to the Indian sovereignty. It is perhaps doing more harm than good. Thereby, making us rethink its true relevance in the present scenario. Whats you Take on this?