The Indian Constitution is the framework of the government. The entire country functions as per the laws, states in this book. Some of the acts are simple and straight forward, but that cannot be said about some complex Articles. For instance, there has been a significant hoopla around Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The article is associated with the Instrument of Accession that was signed between the King of J&K and the Indian government in 1947.
Historical events that led to the creation of Article 370
The Partition of India was one of the wounds that time will not be able to heal. It left around two million people, and nearly 14 million people were forced to displace to a new country, without any certainty. This event led to the establishment of India and Pakistan, two nations, which find it somewhat challenging to be on the same page in terms of foreign affairs. Immediately after the partition of the two countries, Pakistan decided to attack the northern-most state of India Jammu and Kashmir, with the intent of capturing it. The armed forces had already reached Srinagar when the king of Jammu and Kashmir requested the Indian government for assistance. As Maharaja Hari Singh was not in a state to protect the sovereignty of Jammu and Kashmir; thus, he put his seal on the Instrument of Accession. It made Jammu and Kashmir a part of India.
After the Indian soldiers defeated the Pakistani armed army, a treaty was signed between the two nations. Under the watchful eyes of the Indian government, Abdullah was selected as the prime minister of the then Jammu and Kashmir. But this was supposed to be a temporary measure to prevent any further attacks from the Pakistani side. The Indian government said that Jammu and Kashmir people would be able to decide whether they want to stay as a part of India or become a sovereign nation. Under Article 370, the Indian Constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir received temporary provision of autonomous status.
Provisions offered by Article 370
To understand the contempt of the Jammu and Kashmir government with the Indian government, over Article 370, you must follow the provisions, which were mentioned in the article, when it was created. It was highlighted that the Jammu and Kashmir authority would be free to govern the people as per their laws. The Indian government will only have the power to intervene in matters pertaining to diplomacy and defense. The area will be outside the jurisdiction of the Indian Supreme Court. But it seems that things are not so simple in the real-life scenario.
If you take a look at the Article 35A of the Indian Constitution, you will realize that Jammu and Kashmir natives were supposed to get precedence over the others when it comes to State Government job vacancies, state settlements, and distribution of scholarships. Unfortunately, over the years, these provisions have been limited to paper only. It has given birth to the serious discontentment among the natives of Jammu and Kashmir. You can also read more about Samvidhan in Hindi on internet if you need the information about constitution in Hindi.
Abolition of Article 370
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, he made several attempts to abolish Article 370. The elimination of this article will mean that Jammu and Kashmir will function as any other state, within the international borders of India. This announcement was not well-received by the Jammu and Kashmir political parties, and a certain section of the plebeians. They reacted negatively to this comment. In the end, even the Supreme Court came out with the verdict that the total abolition of the article is not possible. Though it was created as a ‘temporary provision’ it has not attained a permanent character in the Indian Constitution.
What does the abolition of Article 370 mean?
As soon as the king of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession, he only agreed to surrender three aspects of the government. These are defense, communication and external affairs. Under Article 370(3) it has been clearly mentioned that the President of India may take the necessary steps, and proclaim the official elimination of Article 370. If this happens, then the government of Jammu and Kashmir will no longer have to answer to the Indian government. The Indian troops will have to be recalled from Kashmir as the new sovereign nation will have total control over the defense department as well. Apart from this, the Jammu and Kashmir government will be able to make their external affair laws and communication protocol.
Is that a possibility in the near future?
As the external relations between India and Pakistan continue to worsen, the Union Government of India is in no mood to let go of their control over Jammu and Kashmir any time soon. With J&K out of their control, there will be a substantial increase in the Pak funded terrorist attacks on Indian soil. With the high mountains in Kashmir, they will get a tactical advantage against the Indian soldiers. Thus, it is clear that the Indian government will not step on the blade by granting full sovereignty to Jammu and Kashmir.