Modi government wants to abrogate article 370 and 35A to change the status of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Modi sarkar wants to make Indian occupied Kashmir as Union Territory. It cannot be done without abolishing the article 370 and 35A to end the special status of Kashmir. Modi wants to end all the restrictions imposed through these articles to protect the Kashmiri population. So it is planning to get away with all the legal and constitutional protections.
There are speculations in the Indian media that Indian government wants to divide Indian occupied Kashmir region and change the status of Kashmir valley as a Union territory under direct rule of central government. The Modi sarkar is planning to annex Ladakh and Jammu with India and made Kashmir Union territory. Indian government wants to change the status of Kashmir region from disputed territory to undisputed one.
The plan seems to be that end the protections and bring in hardline right wing Hindus to settle them in Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir to change the demography of Muslim majority region. The Modi government wants to do it in the disguise of resettling the Kashmiri Hindu pundits who left the valley in 1990s during the armed struggle.
Modi government thinks it can do it during Governor’s rule. But almost all the legal and constitutional experts are saying unanimously that neither President of India nor the Parliament was empowered to take such a decision.
But some former bureaucrats who served in the law ministry hold the different opinion on this situation. They think that Indian government can abolish article 35A easily. According to him, just a Presidential Order on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet could scrap Article 35A, more so when the State was under President’s rule. That is why the governors rule was extended in the Jammu and Kashmir by the Modi government.
As regards to the abrogation of Article 370, the number of central laws and amendments had been already applied to Jammu and Kashmir during the current tenure of Governor Malik. Normally, no central law or constitutional amendment would apply to J&K without a formal recommendation to the President from the representative state government.
In the last few months, a number of such laws and amendments have been straightaway applied to J&K. Article 16(4) A, which grants reservation in promotions to government employees and another insertion, that grants 10 percent reservation in government jobs and admissions in colleges and universities to Economically Weaker Sections, have been straightaway applied to J&K without the recommendation of the representative state government.
The Modi sarkar is preparing to introduce the bill to abolish article 370 in the parliament. Modi almost has two thirds majority in the lower house of the parliament to pass such a law. But it will be difficult for it to pass it in the upper house.
But to remove article 370 from the constitution required the resolution from Jammu Kashmir assembly with two thirds majority. There is no representative government in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 35A of the constitution allows the legislature of Indian-administered Kashmir to define the state’s “permanent residents” and what distinguishes them. It applies to all of Indian-administered Kashmir, including Jammu and Ladakh.
All identified residents are issued a permanent resident certificate, which entitles them to special benefits related to employment, scholarships and other privileges. But the biggest advantage for permanent residents is that only they have the right to own and, therefore, buy, property in the state.
All those who were living in the state as of 14 May 1954, when the law came into effect; and those who have lived in the state for 10 years anytime since, are counted as permanent residents.
The state legislature can also alter the definition of permanent resident or other aspects of the law by a two-thirds majority. In India, the law in its current form was introduced in 1954. It’s part of Article 370, a constitutional provision that grants Kashmir a unique status within India. It allows the state its own constitution, a separate flag and independence over all matters except foreign affairs, defence and communications.
When the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir constitution was adopted in 1956, it ratified the then two-year-old permanent resident law. It protects the state’s distinct demographic character.
Since Indian occupied Kashmir is the only Muslim-majority state in India, many Kashmiris suspect Hindu nationalist groups of encouraging Hindus to migrate to the state. There is strong resentment against scraping of these articles in Kashmir.
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13 November, 2019