- On 7th August 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind declared abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution after the resolution to revoke the article was passed by both the houses of the parliament (Rajya Sabha & Lok Sabha).
What is article 370?
- Article 370 is a temporary provision of the Indian constitution which grants special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, under part XXI of the Constitution of India which deals with ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’. Article 370 is the only constitutional link between India and Jammu & Kashmir.
Some major provisions of Article 370:-
- According to this article, except for foreign affairs, defence, finance and communication, Indian Parliament needs the approval of State Legislature for applying all other laws.
- The Union government cannot declare emergency in Jammu & Kashmir unless there is a case of war or external aggression. In case of any internal disturbance or imminent danger, an emergency can be applied only by the request of state government or by its approval.
- Citizens of J & K follow their own constitution and Indians of other states cannot buy property in J&K.
- In India, the residuary powers are vested with the Union Government but in case of Jammu & Kashmir, the residuary powers are vested with the state government.
Benefits of removing Article 370:-
- As per Article 370, people of other regions cannot buy land or settle in Jammu & Kashmir. This is acting against the development of the region. By abolishing article 370, teachers, doctors and other professionals can settle there bringing better facilities. And also industries can be set up in the region and hence Jammu & Kashmir can be economically developed.
- By abolishing this article, the government can act tough against the terrorism present in the region.
- Many laws such as The prohibition of Child Marriage Act, women’s reservation were not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir, because of the provisions of Article 370. Now, all laws of India will be applicable to J&K also.
Disadvantages of removing Article 370:-
- Citizens of Jammu & Kashmir are facing so much struggle because of many reasons such as the fight between India and Pakistan, the constant presence of troops, unemployment crisis etc. So if the special status is also removed, they may feel like their voice is suppressed.
- People of J&K have a feeling that settlers from other regions will change the demography of the region. So, due to the abolition of article 370, they may protest against the central government.
- With 1954 Presidential Orders almost the entire constitution was extended to Jammu & Kashmir including most of the Constitutional Amendments.
- Nehru said in Lok Sabha in 1963 that Article 370 has eroded.
- 94 of 97 entries in the Union List are applicable to J&K; 26 out of 47 entries of the Concurrent List have been extended. 260 of 395 Articles have been extended to the state, besides 7 of 12 Schedules.
- There is a provision in Article 370 that it can only be revoked by the consultation of the constituent assembly of Jammu & Kashmir, but the constituent assembly dissolved itself in 1957. And since then it has been a major issue in revoking Article 370.
Repealing Article 370 to develop the region is a good and bold step by the government. This step will help in integrating the Jammu & Kashmir region with the rest of India. But the way it was done is against the democratic principles because the public or the state leaders are not consulted before passing this bill. To prevent the negative consequences, the government should take effective steps for the development of the region on a war footing. There is a need to improve employment opportunities as promised. It is the responsibility of the government to make the people of Jammu & Kashmir feel safe and secured.
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