Years ago, the Indian government facilitated Article 370 and 35 A that granted ‘Special Status’ to Jammu and Kashmir. The state was expecting trouble and had even mobilised security deployment over the weekend throughout the area, and political leaders with lots of influence were placed under house arrest and curfew throughout the state on Monday.
It has always been seen as an unfair limbo, where people couldn’t buy or own property, had marital constraints applied to them and in that sense hampered much-needed progress in the state. President Kovind revoked all provisions on August 5th, 2019 after both houses passed a resolution.
Here Are Some Important Points About Article 370 and 35 A:
What Is The Issue?
All amendments have to come from the Constituent Assembly first, and since the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly was dissolved on January 26th, 1957 and so this article be revoked. A loops hole in Clause 3 permitted amendment of certain provisions and also permitted Presidential Order to be brought in and now, all Indian Constitution provisions apply to J&K as well.
What We Know About Article 370?
It came into effect in 1952 and made J&K an autonomous state as it limited the Centre’s authority on matters concerning defence, communication, finance, and external affairs. Under this, they had a constitution, identifiable flag, and a Sadar-e-Riyasat that played the role of the Prime Minister and governor till 1965.
Article 370 has always been a shaky, unstable ground and, while it granted dual citizenship to J&K residents, making them legally recognisable in J&K and India, it prevented Indian residents from moving there permanently and buying land out there. It also prohibited Kashmiri women to inherit property if they married an Indian and made the State Assembly tenure a six-year ordeal.
On revoking the article, the J&K had to declare a state of emergency excluding the case of war. They need state government concurrence to declare a state of financial emergency, as defined in Article 360.
What’s Happening Right Now?
All permanent residents of J&K lose their special privileges, and that includes government jobs and property that they might’ve had. On the other hand, it ends the discrimination of women who wish to marry outsiders.
As an immediate result, the Indian Constitution was made final in all matters concerning the state and rendered the J&K Constitution, inclusive of all the state and autonomy laws as non-applicable.On the same day, the Indian government passed the reorganisation bill that proposed bifurcation of the area into two union territories namely Ladakh and J&K.
J&K will have its own legislature and will operate like Puducherry and Delhi and its current governor will be the Lieutenant Governor.
Ladakh will come under central administration and won’t have a legislature and will operate like Lakshadweep, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, and Andaman& Nicobar Islands.
Balance of power now shifted to the union government means that they now decide the fate of significant bills, not the J&K assembly.
Why The 370 and 35 A Article Matter?
Article 35 A was viewed as detrimental to the state ability to raise financial resources, this was because only locals had access to government and company jobs. As a result, the state was poor and people reeled under a crippling economy, lack of jobs and other industrial moves. Unfair, preferential employment practices didn’t exactly attract investors that could have boosted hotels, industries, private schools, professional coaching and, hospitals.
At the same time, outsiders couldn’t get jobs, or even and education to sustain themselves and as a result relied on tourism, which was subject to seasonal changes. With an active special status, the J&K administration was unable to create a new state or redraw their boundary lines. Bifurcation of this state is now possible after the scrapping of this special status.
The biggest ‘X’ factor here for creating a separate Union Territory for J&K would be that of internal security and a need to control cross border terrorism. This is why J&K will have its own legislature post-separation and was demanded by the people of Ladakh.
So What Is The Future Like?
The scrapping of Article 370 was met with a lot of tension and anger. Many Indian felt that they should have been informed, even voted on the decision. On the other hand, many Kashmiris are happy with the decision of revoking it as it was particularly punishing to women concerning property and marriage rights. Often called the Permanent Residents Law, this bar also applied to the children of the women who did marry someone from outside of the state.
With this law out of the way, J&K the demand for properties and buying of the same will go up and prices are expected to skyrocket. It will attract big business players, high net-worth people that will put J&K on the map. Real estate companies have mentioned heavy demand for homes in areas that tend to be more scenic like Khandala, Lonavala.
And with Article 370 and 35 A, we could hope for a better future for all in J&K and while the political hurricane shows no signs of slowing down, we hope that economic stability will give J&K residents a well-deserved peace of mind.