Article 370: A Political Fraud That Acquired Secular Hue
India is a union of states which has adopted federal structure for the governance and Article 370 was bought into Part XXI “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions” of the Constitution which mocks the concept of “One India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari”. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar cautioned Jawaharlal Nehru about the evils of this Article and warned him that such provision in the Indian Constitution will create difficulty in full integration of J&K. Ambedkar told to Sheikh Abdullah (father of Farooq Abdullah), “You want India to defend Kashmir, give Kashmir equal rights over India, but you deny India and Indians all rights in Kashmir. I am Law Minister of India; I cannot be a party to such betrayal of national interests”.
The Article not only grants some special privileges to J&K but also articulates that the power of the union (i.e. Central government) in relation to J&K shall be limited to defence, external affairs and communication.
The salient features of this political fraud
1. Laws made by the Indian Parliament are not applicable in J&K unless ratified by the state government. Doesn't it undermine the authority of the Indian government?
This provision of the Indian Constitution has in fact created the wave of separatism and failed grossly to achieve its objective and New Delhi has failed to win the confidence of the people of Kashmir valley. Moreover the special provision was temporary and much water has been flown in the Jhelum. We must understand that J&K comprises of three areas viz. Jammu region, Kashmir valley & Laddakh region and there are vested interest groups in the valley who are opposing the abolition of this Article because they are getting huge benefits with no accountability. This unwanted provision of the Indian constitution has built emotional & psychological barriers between the people of India which is against the principals of national integrity.
In fact this Article has become an instrument of injustice and inequality which must be abolished and all the efforts should be made to bring the Kashmiris in the national mainstream. The seeds of separatism which were sown years back have caused much damage to the country and our society and it's high time to look beyond appeasement & vote-bank politics.
This provision can be repealed either by way of a constitutional amendment or by a notification issued by the President. The technical requirement of recommendation of the constituent assembly of the state of Jammu and Kashmir before issuing the notification is no more applicable as there is no constituent assembly in J&K and the next government should put all efforts to abolish this law which has resulted into injustice and inequality.