Article 370 which gave Jammu & Kashmir the wings to fly in the sky of autonomy have now been chiselled off after its abrogation taking away its special status. The following article talks about the main consequences and the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
“…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way
in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
– Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities
The valley which Sir Walter Lawrence referred to as “an emerald set in pearls; a land of lakes, green turf, and mighty mountains, where men are strong and women vie with the soil in fruitfulness”; the land which garnered the awe and admiration of Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the words “gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami-asto, hami-asto, hamin-ast” and the place which in the words of Kalidasa is “more beautiful than heaven and is the benefactor of supreme bliss and happiness” has seen the wrath of time and is today fraught with internal contradictions as this ‘Paradise on Earth’ is etched with blood-shed, violence and the latest in line is the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.
GENESIS OF THE EMBROIL
At the dawn of history when India awoke to its freedom, Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) ruler Hari Singh acceded neither to India nor Pakistan. Facing infiltrations from Pakistan in October 1947 he signed “Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India” with Jawaharlal Nehru on October 26, 1947 surrendering three subjects: defence, communication and external affairs to the dominion of India. After deliberations in the Constituent Assembly, Article 306A was enshrined as Article 370 in the Constitution Part XXI that proclaimed it to be “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provision” and was introduced by a Presidential Order passed in 1954. Under this Article, J&K was given special status and had its own constitution and laws passed by the Parliament which were applicable to the state only on the concurrence of the State Government. Article 35A granted certain special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of the state.
However, the NDA-government abrogated Article 370 through Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 and bifurcated the state into 2 Union Territories- ‘Jammu and Kashmir’ and ‘Ladakh’, the former will have a legislative assembly while the latter will not and added “Interpretation clauses” to Article 367 of the Indian Constitution.
AFTERMATH OF ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370
Article 370 which gave Jammu & Kashmir the wings to fly in the sky of autonomy have now been chiselled off after its abrogation taking away its special status.
- Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir: With the scrapping of article 370 J&K, will no longer have a separate constitution and will be governed by Indian Constitution.
- Citizenship: Article 370 bestowed as an exception, dual citizenship to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but now all the people of J&K will be the Citizens of India only.
- Fundamental rights: Prior to the scrapping of the article, the people of J&K could not enjoy all the rights ensured by the Indian Constitution except the rights in accordance with the state, including property rights and state rights due to the special status and dual citizenship provided to it. But now, the people of J&K will be able to enjoy all the Fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution and claim legal remedies for infringement from the higher Judiciary.
- National symbols: The privilege of having a separate flag for the state is withdrawn and J&K will have only Indian Flag with obligation to respect the National symbols of India. J&K will forego state Anthem and adopt-respect the National Anthem of India.
- Working of the legislature: Now, the legislature of J&K will be at par with other state-legislatures having power only over state-list and some matters of concurrent-list while union-list will be solely dealt with by the central-government.
- Application of Indian laws: Earlier, only state laws were applicable to J&K, now all the central laws will be applicable, 106 in toto. Earlier, except for defence, foreign-affairs, finance-communications, Parliament needed the state government’s approval but now, the Parliament needn’t ask J&K before applying laws and is at liberty to change state’s name and its boundaries.
- Ownership of property: Initially, only the residents of J&K were able to buy-sell property there, now property of J&K is not restricted only to J&K residents but extends to all Indian citizens, exponentially increasing the technological advancements, economy regulation, greater employment generation and manifold increase in opportunities for them.
- Socio-Cultural: The nullification of Articles 370 and 35A will provide socio-cultural opportunities to the long-discriminated Kashmiri Pandits and the Valmiki caste while at the same time there are threats of destroying their native culture through assimilation.
- Interplay of all aspects: Integrating J&K with India via abrogation of the articles will open opportunities because the former was under-developed with respect to healthcare, poverty, economic growth as compared to the rest of India. Political reservation which has been denied to the scheduled tribes in the state unlike the rest of the country will now be extended. The economy of J&K is in shambles as about 10.35% of the state population lives below the poverty line as a result of inadequate developmental activity owing to the land sale restriction which will be overcome by this bold decision as it could generate private investment. Children of women marrying outside J&K can now inherit property as it will ensure the integrity, peace, prosperity and harmony of the country. The youth don’t want “Azadi”, but investment, modernization, livelihoods, gender empowerment and development. Thus, the abrogation of Article will ensure development in the field of tourism, education, industry which gives employment to the people. Terrorism, militancy, stone-pelting etc can all be controlled.
- International arena: It spiked tension between India and Pakistan. China called the abrogation of Article 370 as “unacceptable and void”. Russia, the USA, the UAE, and Sri Lanka backed India’s move “its division into two union territories is carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India.”
On the contrary, the decision created political unrest both within and outside the country. The imposition of restrictions on movement and public gatherings by virtue of powers vested under Section 144, Cr.P.C., curfew, arrest of political leaders and activists and the internet and electronic communication shutdown in the state has added fuel to the fire. All this violates their basic human rights in UDHR which India is a signatory to, and fundamental rights under Article 19 and 21 by restricting right to expression on something that affected them.
The abrogation of Article 370 has multi-faceted ramifications on India and abroad. J&K has been drawn from its tragic position by the judicious calibration and placed in better zone. If violence and anarchy in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, is the act of human folly then the yearning for peace and amity among the inhabitants of the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh is something holistic and divine as
‘It’s not the land which matters, but the people’
– Rabindranath Tagore.
 ‘If there is heaven anywhere on Earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.’
 The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954
 Defined under Article 35 A of the Indian constitution as – those who have been living there for 10 years or have acquired an immovable property in the state or have been living in the state since before 14 May, 1954; The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, 1956, Art 6.
 Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019.
 Anand Patel, “106 central laws to apply in J&K now” India Today, August 7, 2019 available at https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/central-laws-apply-jk-now-1578193-2019-08-07 ( last visited on 3 February, 2020)
 United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, What are Human Rights?, available at https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/pages/whatarehumanrights.aspx ; United Nations, The Foundation of International Human Rights Law, available at https://www.un.org/en/sections/universal-declaration/foundation-international-human-rights-law/index.html