Skip to main content

Special status "not exceptional" to J&K, exists in Himachal, North-East, Andamans

Counterview Desk
National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah recently said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot remove Article 35-A and Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), adding, "Let him be as powerful as he likes, he cannot remove Article 370 and article 35-A...” Taking a similar stance, his son, former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah had earlier said his party, National Conference (NC), was fighting the Lok Sabha elections for the protection of the state's special status and not on developmental issues.
"People of the state would lose their land and employment if the special status is abrogated”, he had added. The issue has turned into a major controversy, with J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina saying  that his party is for “early abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution”, and would do it once the BJP wins the polls in the state and form the next government. 
Suggesting that the special status is not exceptional to J&K, but is also applicable to other parts of India, policy analyst Mohan Guruswamy points towards what India would lose in case it seeks to abrogate Article 270: 
***
Omar Abdullah is right. Abrogate Article 370 and you abrogate J&K's special relationship with India. What we need to understand are as follows:
Article 1 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir states that the state of J&K is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India. Article 5 states that the executive and legislative power of the State does not extend to matters except those with respect to which Parliament has power to make laws for the State under the provisions of the Constitution of India. These provisions cannot be amended. The Constitution was adopted and enacted on November 17, 1956.
Applicability of the Constitution of India to J&K is contingent on its acceptance by the J&K Assembly. The explanation provided is: In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, the President, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir made the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1950 which came into force on January 26, 1950 and was later superseded by the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 which came into force on 14 May 1954.
Article 370 specifies that except for Defence, Foreign Affairs, Communications and ancillary matters (matters specified in the instrument of accession) the Indian Parliament needs the State Government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state's residents have lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
Similar protections for unique status exist in tribal areas of India including those in Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Nagaland.
The 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord between Sheikh Abdullah and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi stated, "The State of Jammu and Kashmir which is a constituent unit of the Union of India, shall, in its relation with the Union, continue to be governed by Article 370 of the Constitution of India".
In the USA each state has its own Constitution. 
Speaking in the Lok Sabha in 1992 on Article 370 BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi spoke of the need to have one set of laws to govern the entire country and the inherent right of any Indian citizen to buy or own property in any part of India.
Former Prime Minister then helpfully reminded him that BJP rules states like in those in Himachal Pradesh and UP did not allow "outsiders" to own land or houses in the hill regions of the states. He also told Murli Manohar Joshi that since he hails from Kumaon, he out to have been aware of this. Even now Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand do not allow "outsiders" to own more than 200 sq yds of land.
We have similar laws in all the designated tribal and Adivasi areas of India like Bastar, Kalahandi and Narainpur. And of course Praveen Togadia does not allow a Muslim to shift into his own house in Rajkot!

Comments

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.