We the people of India can mark the proceedings which took place in the Upper House of parliament as one which contains a high degree of astonishment and bewilderment. The nation was sitting at the edge of their seats and were taken aback with the motions which were put on the table today. Jammu and Kashmir is India’s most contentious and precious states, today it received a treatment which revoked its most essential and uptight feature. From today Article 350 and 35A have been annulled from the constitution.
When British India was divided into two countries, the state of Jammu and Kashmir had a very important decision to make. This princely state had a majority of Muslims in the area but the head of this state was Hari Singh a Hindu. In the initial stages of partition Jammu and Kashmir had declared to be an independent country it neither wanted to be apart of India nor Pakistan. Hari Singh had signed standstill agreements with both the countries. After this step and agreement was taken Pakistan had sent tribal infiltrators to cause havoc and chaos in the state, it was at this time when Hari Singh turned towards Jawaharlal Nehru for his help. Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to help the state only after Hari Singh signed the Instrument Of Accession(IOA). The instrument of accession was signed on 26th October 1947. At that time it was discussed that the state would have special benefits awarded to it under article 370 and after the militancy dies down and the state has been restored to normalcy a plebiscite will be held for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On the basis of the results from the plebiscite which would be held the status of the state would be decided.
Unfortunately the people of Kashmir never received the plebiscite as it was never held and they continued living under article 370. Under this contentious article the parliament can only make decisions for the state in matters related for Defence, external affairs and communications. All the other decisions will be held by the legislature of the state.
Over the past week section 144 CrPc had been imposed on the people of the state, many regiments from the armed forces has been deployed and prominent leaders like Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have been put under house arrest. Internet services have also been disbanded throughout the state. The state has come to an utter standstill. On the morning of 5th August 2019 at 11:00 am our home minister Amit Shah scrapped Article 370 and 35A which has been there since the inception of the state with India. He also declared the bifurcation of the states by making both Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir union territories, while Jammu and Kashmir has been allowed to keep a legislature, Ladakh will come directly under the rule of the centre.
When this proposal was introduced in the parliament, there was an uproar from the opposition leaders, they were absolutely flabbergasted with such an amendment. Parties like Congress, PDP,JD(U),CPI(M) and National Conference strongly opposed this judgement. While others like AIADMK , BSP, Shiv Sena , AAP , BJD and TDP backed the ruling party fervently.
The first aspect which is brought to the limelight is the temporary facet of article 370, though it is written in the constitution that it is a temporary it is deemed to be a permanent one by verdicts of the supreme court. Another aspect which is of a controversial issues is that Article 370 can be deleted only by the president of the country with concurrence of Jammu and Kashmir’s constituent assembly. Since the state has been under the president’s rule since the disbandment of the PDP and BJP alliance there is no constituent assembly nor state assembly present in the state. There has also been no constituent assembly since 1957.
The question which befuddles each citizen in the country is what does BJP aim to achieve from such an amendment? By revoking this right , the people of Kashmir who weren’t consulted in the first place are more apprehensive about the government’s ideologies. They all have been crippled by fear and can only wait for the government’s next move. The government has also been put under the public scanner. Is the government doing this to gain more control in the state or because it wants to have a better grip on the militancy in the state and believe by directly putting the state under the centre’s rule it can achieve the goal?