Jammu & Kashmir Article 370 Scrapped: Details, Problems & Current Status
The Union government on Monday led by home minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 amid uproarious protests from opposition benches. It was moved in the backdrop of growing turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir. The upper house passed the bill with 125 votes in favour as compared to 61 against it. Following the passage of the bill, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu then adjourned the house till 11 am Tuesday.
What is Article 370?
Article 370 of the constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The state of Jammu & Kashmir’s original accession, like all other princely states, was on three matters: defence, foreign affairs and communications. All the princely states were invited to send representatives to India’s Constituent Assembly, which was formulating a constitution for the whole of India. They were also encouraged to set up constituent assemblies for their own states. Most states were unable to set up assemblies in time, but a few states did, in particular Saurashtra Union, Travancore-Cochin and Mysore. Even though the States Department developed a model constitution for the states, in May 1949, the rulers and chief ministers of all the states met and agreed that separate constitutions for the states were not necessary. They accepted the Constitution of India as their own constitution. The states that did elect constituent assemblies suggested a few amendments which were accepted. The position of all the states (or unions of states) thus became equivalent to that of regular Indian provinces.
In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the representatives to the Constituent Assembly requested that only those provisions of the Indian Constitution that corresponded to the original Instrument of Accession should be applied to the State. Accordingly, the Article 370 was incorporated into the Indian Constitution, which stipulated that the other articles of the Constitution that gave powers to the Central Government would be applied to Jammu and Kashmir only with the concurrence of the State’s constituent assembly. This was a “temporary provision“. However, the State’s constituent assembly dissolved itself on 25 January 1957 without recommending either abrogation or amendment of the Article 370. Thus the Article has become a permanent feature of the Indian constitution until 05 August 2019.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the provisions granting special status to Jammu-Kashmir have led to a rise in terrorism and contributed to underdevelopment of the state. He alleged that the opposition was indulging in vote bank politics over the special status issue.
“More than 40000 people have been killed, our policy might be wrong, but it was the Congress’ policy which has been going on and so many people have been killed,” he said in Rajya Sabha. He also accused Pakistan of exploiting the provision to misguide the youth of J&K into picking up the gun.
At least 8,000 paramilitary troops have been airlifted to Jammu and Kashmir from different parts of the country today after the centre announced it would scrap Article 370 from the state, which confers special status.