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Big Decision on ‘ARTICLE 370’ Removal

On 26 January 1950, the Constitution of India came into force with a unique provision “Article 370”. In the article, it meant that Jammu and Kashmir people will live under a different set of laws being part of the Indian Union. A.G. Noorani examines a wide range of documents about Article 370.

Before Amit Shah made a declaration in Parliament, a meeting was held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s house. The use of Mobile phones, mobile internet services, and cable networks was cut in parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Politicians like Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Sajad were placed under house arrest. Rallies and gatherings were banned. On Friday, the government had asked Amarnath Yatra pilgrims and tourists to leave Kashmir.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir was declared abolished by the Centre.

The President Ram Nath Kovind had signed the order and said it would come into force “at once”.

Jammu and Kashmir no longer have special status under Article 370 of the constitution and will soon become two union territories once parliament clears the move – historic decisions that were announced by Home Minister Amit Shah in parliament on Monday amid a severe security lockdown in the state.

The government requested people of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain absolute calm and peace. Security added and there is sufficient presence of forces. According to a government people who want to travel to the Kashmir Valley can use their air tickets as a pass to be shown to security forces.

Amit Shah said: “Kashmir was a paradise, is a paradise and will remain a paradise.”

·        This Article provided the people of Jammu and Kashmir with two types of citizenship. One was Indian citizenship and another was Kashmiri citizenship. With the removal of this special privilege, the citizen of the state would now have single citizenship.

·        After the revoke of this Article, Kashmir will have only one flag i.e. Indian flag.

·        Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir’s area, name and boundary could not be altered without the consent of the state Assembly.

·        Article 370 gave Jammu and Kashmir its constitution and decision-making rights. Its removal ends special status for Kashmir.

·        Article 370 made it necessary for the centre to get the state legislature’s approval for introducing any policies or constitutional powers to the state.

·        In a proposed law, which has cleared the Rajya Sabha and will need the Lok Sabha’s approval, Jammu and Kashmir will cease to be a state and become two union territories with two Lieutenant Governors. Ladakh will be a Union Territory without a legislature and Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature. 

 Arun Jaitley said in tweets: “A historical wrong has been undone today. Article 35A came through the back door without following the procedure under Article 368 of the Constitution of India. It had to go.”

The government received support from parties like ally Shiv Sena and even from rival leaders like Chandrababu Naidu, Arvind Kejriwal, and Mayawati. BJP ally Nitish Kumar’s party was among those who opposed the move but helped by boycotting the vote.Omar Abdullah said: “The government of India took unilateral and shocking decisions today are a total betrayal of the trust that the people of Jammu & Kashmir had reposed in India when the State acceded to it in 1947. The decisions will have far-reaching and dangerous consequences. This is an aggression against the people of the State as had been warned by an all-parties meeting in Srinagar yesterday.”

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