And…yes the lid of controversy is open again, and this time within just one day of Modi government coming into power. Yesterday Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the PM’s Office, gave a contentious statement that the government is open to have a discussion on Article 370 and convince the unconvinced. He was evidently hinting towards its abolition. This statement did not go well with the chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdullah. He took to twitter to vent out his frustration as:

So the new MOS PMO says process/discussions to revoke Art 370 have started. Wow, that was a quick beginning. Not sure who is talking. Mark my words & save this tweet – long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won’t be part of India or Art 370 will still exist.

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Clearly, Omar was put off with the mere thought of abolition of Article 370. Many of us won’t even be knowing that what exactly this Article 370 is and how it has been affecting the lives of Kashmiris for more than 60 years now. Article 370 is basically a temporary provision that gives an autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, meaning the Indian Parliament will have to seek the approval of State Government before applying any law in the state apart from Defence, Foreign Affairs, and Communications. Consequently, the residents of Jammu and Kashmir fall under different set of laws as compared to other Indian states. Now, the question arises regarding its foundation. Without going into too much intricate detail let’s understand just the starting point. During our country’s independence, there were lot of speculations whether Kashmir was ready for integration or not, and to ensure peace, this article was imposed. It is rather strange that it’s been over 6 decades and this “temporary” provision is enjoying its long stay and evoking so many debates and controversies even today.

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It is only because of this provision that Indian citizens of different states are not allowed to acquire land or property in Jammu & Kashmir. If a normal Indian citizen has one citizenship, the citizens of J&K have two citizenships. Also, although Article 370 was gender neutral, it prohibits women of this state from the basic property rights. It also denies the president of India from enforcing any emergency in J&K.

While some experts argue that there is no reason that a state in India has a special status because it defeats the whole purpose of calling J&K a fundamental part of India. People like Omar Abdullah claim that the article 370 is instrumental in protecting the rights of Kashmiris. Many people also assert that the beauty of Kashmir will only prevail in less population and it is right if people from other states are not allowed to own property here.

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It is to be seen what becomes of this controversial topic in the coming weeks. However, the irony is that we claim that we live in a democracy and, as far as we all have studied in our text books, every community has equal rights and equal duties.

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Disclaimer: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them.

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Comments
  1. Mancy says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this. Seriously, I didn’t know much about J&K issues except for the fact the political parties are after either a part or a major part of it – both in India and Pakistan. However, the way you’ve narrated throughout – felt like my textbook was talking to me whist it was teaching me something important and I understood it to the core. Wish I had a wonderful teacher like you, back then. Smiling again. 🙂

  2. Akshit Choudhary says:

    Give it some years and they might start claiming the status of a different country altogether!

  3. Ishani Das says:

    very nice..you came up with a very important notion of the locus..great going Indrani

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