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Kashmiris lack Indianness: Is Article 370 the culprit?

By Vicky

The special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir in the form of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is turning out to be a bane. There are several calls being made for the repeal of the same in a bid to bring more Indianness among the people of the state, especially Kashmir.

In the midst of these arguments, politicians from the Valley however continue to bat for Article 370 to remain. The feel it is a bridge between state and centre. Imposing of central will is avoided due to the article and this is good according to them. It preserves the identity and culture of the people. It offers a lot of liberty to the people, they also feel.

Kashmiris lack Indianness: Is Article 370 the culprit?

While this is the argument for the article, the cons are plenty. Many argue that the feeling of Indianness is not present among a majority of the people because this article divides them from the rest of the country. Deprived the state of industrial development as article does not allow outside investment. It prevents outsiders from buying land once again hampering development. This has deprived the youth of employment and many have taken to fighting and rise in militancy.

What is Article 370?

In simple terms it is what accords a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.‎ The article was created on a temporary basis when the ruler of J&K signed the instrument of accession. Article 370 came into existence after independence and the same went ahead despite opposition from Dr B R Ambedkar who felt it would cause a further division. According to this the union government would have control over external affairs, defence and communications.

What the union government cannot do in J&K?

It cannot declare a financial emergency. The government of India cannot legislate on matters ‎provided in the union and concurrent list. The union government will have to consult with the state government in any matter affecting the state. The residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. It gives a great deal of autonomy to the state government. It makes it almost another union government barring few powers which have been mentioned above.

Reason for implementation:

After Independence it was felt that Kashmir needed more time to intergrate into India. It was decided that there was a need to exempt Kashmir from the basic provisions of the Indian constitution and hence 370 was introduced.‎

This is only a temporary provision. The intent was to give the state time to become part of India. It was stated that 370 will be repealed the day there is sanity in the valley and the people of the state approved of the same.‎

Under clause of 370 the President of India has the right to repeal it vide a public notification. The assembly of the state needs to give their consent. ‎

In a nut-shell:

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