The controversy surrounding article 370 has been bought up, again but what exactly is article 370 and why is it important to keep Jammu and Kashmir as a part of India. We give you 10 facts which explain why:
- According to the constitution of India, article 370 provides special provisions which are temporary to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and grant it a special autonomy
- It states that the provisions of article 238 shall not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Since the principal drafter of the Indian Constitution, Dr B R Ambedkar had refused to draft article 370.
- Thus, article 370 was drafted by Gopalswamy Iyengar.
- Iyengar was the Minister without any portfolio in the first Union Cabinet of India. And he was also a former diwan to Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu Kashmir.
- Under article 370, the Indian parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.
The special status to Jammu and Kashmir includes:
- Unlike other state legislative assemblies change, the legislature has six years term.
- Jammu and Kashmir has two flags a separate state flag along with the national flag.
- Insulting of the national symbols is not an offence in J&K.
- Most of the laws except defence, Foreign Affairs, finance and Communications passed by the Indian parliament need to approved by the state government so they made applicable in the state.
- The citizens of Jammu and Kashmir governed by state specific laws which are according to the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir instead of those for the rest of India.
- The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The residents of J&K enjoy dual citizenship but they could lose the J&K citizenship if they married residents of other states. A woman who marries a man in other Indian states loses her citizenship. But if any woman marries a Pakistani she will entitled to have a citizenship of Jammu and Kashmir. The article also gives Pakistani citizens entitlement to Indian citizenship if he marries a Kashmiri girl.
- Majority of Indian laws which include the RTE, RTI and Agencies like CBI, CAG are not applicable in J&K.
- No outsider can purchase land in the state.
- The centre has no power to declare financial emergency. And it can declare emergency only in case of War or external aggression.
A review of its policy on Article 370, through an informed debate, would align today’s BJP with the considered and reflective approach on J&K articulated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Only then would the slogans of Jhumuriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat make real sense.