Kashmir Pandemonium: What is Article 370 and why the Union Government revoked it?

Mansi Mirani
New Update
Article 370 revoked in Jammu and Kashmir

In a historical movement by the BJP-led government on August 5th, 2019, Article 370, 35-A is abrogated. This means that the state of Jammu & Kashmir will be under the Union Government for all decisions and laws made from further on.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution to have Article 370 revoked in Jammu Kashmir of the Indian Constitution, signed by President Ram Nath Kovind. The Article grants special autonomy to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

This decision is humongous and has caused great turmoil in J&K since last week. Many politicians were put under house arrest due to the tense and uncertain situations arising. There is military deployment in the region and people have been stocking up on the essentials in case it gets worse.

The government had imposed Section 144 in the region, ahead of the announcement, which prevented the people from holding any sort of public meetings or gatherings and ensured all educational institutions remain shut as well. Mobile internet services had also been suspended by the government in Kashmir Valley.

What is Article 35-A?

Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution gave the government of J&K the power to define the ‘permanent residents’ of the state. It also provides special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, such as, right to own immovable property, settle permanently, and avail state-sponsored scholarship schemes. Companies operating in the state are restricted from hiring non-residents, and the property rights of a woman are denied if she marries someone from outside the state.

What is Article 370?

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution provides the state of Jammu & Kashmir special autonomy. The Article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. In effect, Article 370 says that the Parliament will need the state government’s concurrence for applying any law, except those that fall under the domains of defense, foreign affairs, finance and communications. Issues like ownership of property, fundamental rights and citizenship are covered under a separate law for Jammu & Kashmir. The Union Government cannot declare any sort of financial emergency in the state; it can only declare emergency here in case of war or external turmoil.

Also Read: After-Effects Of Revoking Article 370 in Jammu And Kashmir

It also states that only two articles of the Constitution will apply to Jammu & Kashmir: Article 1 which defines India, and Article 370 itself.

Why was Article 370 revoked?

During its campaign for the 2019 elections, BJP had constantly reiterated its commitment to the abrogation of this article. It is mentioned in the BJP manifesto for the national polls that they’re committed to overcoming all obstacles that come in the way of development and providing adequate financial resources to all the regions of the state. They’re taking all necessary efforts to ensure peace in J&K.

The decision was met with vehement protests from the opposition parties (including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party), stating the consequences of this decision will be catastrophic.

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