This is, by far, the most debated and discussed article in the entire Constitution of India. On December 4, 1964, Union Home Minister Gulazarilal Nanda said it would be used to serve as "a tunnel in the wall" to increase the Centre's power in the valley. (Read the text of the article here)
However, Sheikh Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions of the Constitution. He wanted 'iron clad autonomy' for the state, which Centre didn't comply with.
After independence, there was a rise in demand in Jammu and Kashmir for a 'polular plebescite' to decide if the state should remain part of India, join Pakistan or become an independent entity.
Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister of India, signed an accord with Sheikh Abdullah who led the plebescite movement, and ended the demand. According to the pact, Indian government agreed to grant extensive autonomy and self-government to the state under Article 370.
The main purposes of granting a special status to Jammu and Kashmir were to ensure the Kashmiris that their distinct identity would be preserved and to placate the Muslims of the state who were feeling uncertain over their future after the India-Pak partition.
It is only through this Article, Indian govt maintains its links with J&K
Legal experts say it is only through this article, the union government of India maintains its links with Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the article, except for a few subjects like defence and foreign affairs, Centre will have to seek state government's concurrence for applying all laws. Regarding laws dealing with property, citizenship and fundamental rights, the state has an entirely different set as compared to the rest of India.
Citizens from the rest of India is not permitted to buy properties in Jammu and Kashmir.
One of the laws says that a woman from the state, if she marries a person from outside the state, will lose her right to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir. She will lose her rights as a citizen of J&K. However, a man, even if he marries a person from outside the state, shall continue to enjoy his rights as a citizen of J&K.
The article, according to the many, has been the root cause of troubles in Jammu and Kashmir. The article encourages sessionist elements in Kashmir and other parts of he country, as it reminds the people that Kashmir is yet to be a part of India completel, they argue.