Politicians have been talking endlessly about Article 370, but many Indians still do not understand what it practically means.
It was drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Minister without portfolio in the first Union Cabinet of Nehru who felt that JK was not yet ripe for integration. Sardar Patel was so livid with the provisions of Article 370 that he had resigned on this issue.
WHAT DOES ARTICLE 370 IMPLY?
The state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians
Unlike other State legislative Assemblies, J&K legislature has a six-year term.
Jammu & Kashmir has two flags; a separate State flag along with the National Flag.
Insulting of national symbols is not cognizable offence in Jammu & Kashmir.
Most of the laws except defence, foreign affairs, finance and communication, passed by Indian Parliament need to be approved by the State Government before they are made applicable in the State.
The citizens of J&K are governed by State-specific laws which come under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of those for the rest of India.
Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the State.
The Supreme Court has no jurisdiction in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
The residents of J&K enjoy dual citizenship, but they could loose the J&K citizenship if they marry residents of other States.
If a woman marries a man in other Indian States, she loses her citizenship. Whereas if any woman marries a Pakistani, she will be entitled to have a citizenship of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Article also gives Pakistan’s citizens entitlement to Indian citizenship, if he marries a Kashmiri girl.
Majority of Indian laws including RTE, RTI and the writ of agencies like CBI, CAG are not applicable in J&K.
No outsider can purchase land in the State.
The Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the State. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression.
This is what Ambedkar said about Article 370: “‘”You wish India should protect your borders, she should build roads in your area, she should supply you foodgrains, and Kashmir should get equal status as India. But Government of India should have only limited powers and Indian people should have no rights in Kashmir. To give consent to this proposal, would be a treacherous thing against the interests of India and I, as the Law Minister of India, will never do it.”
SO LET’S TAKE A POLL: DO YOU THINK ARTICLE 370 SHOULD BE REMOVED?