With Home Minister Amit Shah revoking Article 370 and Article 35(A) which gives Jammu & Kashmir special rights and privileges, the Narendra Modi government has ticked off Kashmir issue from its 2019 election manifesto.
Over a period of time, few provisions of the Article 370 have been cut off. However, the Article 35A had remained constant. The decision came during a time when the top political leadership was put under detention and restricted their movement. The central government suspended telecom/internet services across the state and military was deployed.
With J&K in a state of panic, here is what the historic move of Modi government would mean for the rest of India and J&K.
The Article 370 in the Part XXI of the Constitution deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions” and grants J&K a special autonomous status. Various constitutional provisions applicable to other Indian states are not applicable to J&K. This was drafted by then prime minister of J&K appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947. Abdullah did not want the Article 370 be placed under temporary provisions but wanted ‘iron-clad autonomy’ for the state.
Under article 370, the centre requires the state government’s approval to impose laws except in foreign affairs, finance, communications, and defense. This means J&K’s residents live under a separate set of laws even those related to ownership of property, citizenship, fundamental rights. Hence, Indian citizens from the rest of India cannot purchase property or land in J&K. Also, the centre is helpless to even declare a financial emergency.
Article 35A also known as the Permanent Residents Law clause means that no outsider can now own property in J&K or get a state job. This article deprives the state’s female residents of property rights if/when they marry an ‘outsider’ and the provision also covers to children born of any such women.
This article was inserted with the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order, 1954 and was issued by the then President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370 on PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s advice. The J&K’s Constitution at the time of its adoption in 1956, defined a permanent resident as someone who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident for 10 years and has lawfully acquired immovable property.