What is article 370?
Article 370 is a temporary provision of the Indian constitution which grants special autonomous 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.
Should Article 370 be removed?
- 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.
From the above points, it can be inferred that we have succeeded in nullifying Article 370 to a very large extent, through presidential orders and the Parliament. Keeping the internal disturbances of Jammu & Kashmir in mind, we should avoid any action which could worsen the situation. Though to bring the state in complete normalcy we do need to treat it and its citizen uniformly but this should be done in a very subtle and seamless manner. Removing it at once will result in tensions in the state as the people of Jammu & Kashmir don’t want this to happen. This should be done very tactfully, taking state government and people of Jammu & Kashmir in confidence and in a slow and organized manner.
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