Article 370: 1 Year Of Abrogation

Article 370: 1 Year Of Abrogation

With the abrogation of article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir completing first anniversary on 5 August, let us take a look at its history and the impact of its removal.

Crux of the Matter

History Of Article 370

  • 1808: Jammu won by the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
  • 1819: Kashmir was added to the Sikh territory.
  • 1822: Ranjit Singh appointed General Gulab Singh as the “Raja of Jammu”.
  • 1846: After the Anglo-Sikh war, Britain grants Gulab Singh the rule of J&K in exchange for a sum of ₹75 lakh. The Dogra dynasty is established.
  • October 1947: Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession (IoA) in favour of India after Pakistani armed men attack the state. Initially granted the Indian Parliament the “power to legislate in respect of J&K only on the matters of defence, external affairs, and communications”.
  • 1948: India and Pakistan go to the United Nations over the occupation of Kashmir, and Sheikh Abdullah appointed the Prime Minister of J&K in March.
  • 1950: The Constitution of India is formed, containing Article 370 under the heading of ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’ to provide special status to J&K. Except “defence, foreign affairs, finance, and communications”, the Centre required approval of the state government to implement any laws. The Constitution also contained Article 35A which allowed J&K to define “permanent residents” and provide “special rights and privileges” to them.
  • 1956: J&K implements its own constitution.
  • 1965: The title of the Prime Minister of J&K is changed to Chief Minister. Sheikh Abdullah became the CM with Congress support, but removed and reinstated several times, with Central rule being imposed at times.
  • 1980s-90s: Increase in activities of separatist militants. The targeted killing of Kashmiri Pandits forces them to flee the state.
  • 2019: Indian govt “abrogated” Article 370 using provisions of Article 370 to the point of making it defunct – J&K to be treated as any other state/UT. The state was turned into 2 UTs – J&K a UT with legislature, and Ladakh without legislature.

Impact Of Removal

  • People from all over India would now be able to purchase property in the state and settle there (under certain conditions).
  • Non-permanent residents of the state are now eligible to apply for government jobs in the state.
  • J&K assembly would have to comply with the national laws, just like all other Indian states.
  • End of discrimination against women concerning property. Earlier, a woman from the state would lose her property rights if she married a person from outside the state.
  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act now applicable in the state.
  • Increase in democratic functioning: Block development polls occurred in Oct, 2019 for the first time in J&K with a 98.3% voter turnout.
  • Private Universities are expected to open in the state for the first time, and industrialization would now be possible in the state.

Case Of Valmikis
Valmikis belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) from Punjab were brought for sanitation work in the state in 1957. However, they were not provided the ‘permanent residency’. Consequently, they had no right to vote in the state elections, and could not avail reservation benefits as the state did not provide their SC certificates. The absence of certificate also rendered them ineligible for promotions as only the post of ‘safai karamcharis’ was available to them. The plight of the children of the Valmiki community was exacerbated as they were eligible to study only up to graduation in the state, and were consequently eligible only for the position of a sweeper.

The removal of Articles 370 and 35A ended all the mentioned discriminations faced by the Valmiki and other non-permanent resident communities in J&K.

Curiopedia
  • Naya Kashmir was the name given to the memorandum by Sheikh Abdullah, the leader of Kashmir’s leading political party in 1944. It was the outline of a plan to convert the Jammu and Kashmir state from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional democracy.
  • Our Moon has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits is a 2013 memoir by Indian author Rahul Pandita about the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in the late 1989 and early 1990.
  • Pheran is the traditional outfit for both males and females in Kashmir. The pheran consists of two gowns, one over the other. According to some sources, the pheran was introduced by Mughal emperor Akbar when he conquered the valley in 1586.

UT of J&K Gets New Domicile Definition

After nearly 8 months since Abrogation of Article 370, the Indian government has announced new domicile definition for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
Click here to read Summachar’s coverage of incidents revolving around Article 370.

Crux of the Matter

New Definition
The Indian government introduced Section 3A in the J&K Reorganization (Adaption of State Laws) Order, 2020 and J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act. Through a gazette notification, the government announced that if a person fulfills any one of the following clauses, he will be considered as the domicile of Jammu & Kashmir:

  • Any person who has been a resident of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) for a period of at least 15 years
  • Any person who has studied in the UT of J&K for at least 7 years and appeared for secondary (Class 10th) or Higher Secondary (class 12th) Board examination
  • Any person registered as a migrant with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants)
  • Any person who resides outside of UT of J&K for employment, business, or other professional or vocational reasons, but whose parents fulfill the above-mentioned conditions
  • Children of Officials of central government officials, PSU, All India Service, autonomous body of the central government, statutory bodies, public sector banks, central universities and recognized research centers of the central government who have served in J&K for at least 10 years

Job Reservation
This new definition also included that government jobs up to Group-4 will be reserved for those who are domicile of the UT of J&K. The law mentions that only domicile persons will be eligible to hold a post with a pay scale of up to Group-4 (Rs 25,500). Group-4, in terms of position, is equivalent to a Constable in Police.

What Changes?
Along with these changes, the Act also shifted the issuing authority of domicile certificates from the Deputy Commissioner or any other officer specially notified by the State government to the Tehsildar.

Before the Abrogation of Article 370, the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly had the authority to define a J&K resident. According to the previous definition, a Permanent Resident of the state was “a person who was a state subject as on May 14, 1954, or had resided in the state for at least 10 years and acquired immovable property in the state legally.”

Criticizm by Other Political Parties
Political parties of Jammu & Kashmir have criticized the amendment and said that the law doesn’t provide adequate protection as was promised earlier. Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) chief spokesperson, Junaid Mattu, said that only the lowest rung jobs – till Group-4 – were reserved for the locals.

While JKAP had been vehemently demanding Domicile Rights on land and jobs for people of Jammu and Kashmir, the order issued by the union government reflects a casual exercise carried out at bureaucratic level without taking aspirations and expectations of people into consideration.

Syed Altaf Bukhari, President of Jammu Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP)

Domicile Law Compared to Other States
Uttarakhand grants domicile status to a person who has been a permanent resident of the state for the last 15 years, or to a woman who has married a man who is resident of the state, or to a person who is a resident of the state but is residing out of state for employment, or other purposes. Himachal Pradesh also has a domicile law similar to Uttarakhand. Whereas Assam has a stricter regime. Any person who has resided in the state for at least 20 years, or whose parents or forefathers resided in the state for at least 50 years, or who has lawfully acquired a property in the state, is granted a domicile certificate.

Curiopedia

A domicile of origin is the one with which a person is born. It can be changed as a result of adoption and marriage. Every adult (other than married women) can change their domicile by leaving the jurisdiction of the prior domicile with an intention of permanently residing somewhere else. This is referred to as a domicile of choice. A domicile of choice can be abandoned if a new domicile of choice is acquired or if the domicile of origin revives.

Under the common law, a married woman was deemed to have the same domicile as her husband, so the domicile of origin of the children of the marriage was the same as that of their father and the time of birth. Children gained their mother’s domicile if their father was predeceased or they were born outside marriage. An orphan has the jurisdiction over the original domicile where he or she was found. A married woman can only get domicile and other caste certificates from her husband’s jurisdiction. A child’s domicile is dependent and, therefore the same, as the adult on whom he or she is dependent. More Info

India Slams Pakistan for Taking 'Article 370' International

India received many comments on the Abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. India in the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) held at Geneva from 27 February to 20 March, responded and clarified its position on the matter. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup slammed Pakistan for criticizing India on Human Rights and for taking the issue of Article 370 international.

Crux of the Matter

Pakistan’s Statement
Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari on Tuesday blamed India for violating the human rights of Kashmiri people and demanded to curb all the actions. Pakistan has been trying to make this issue international. It also said that India did wrong to Jammu & Kashmir and its people by bifurcating it in two union territories. But India clearly rejected it saying it is India’s internal matter and Islamabad should accept the reality and stop its anti-India campaign.

India’s Punch
Vikas Swarup, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs and India’s top diplomat responded to Pakistan’s statement saying Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of India. He criticized Pakistan as the epicenter of global terrorism. He asked for harsh steps from the international community against the state that directs, controls, funds and shelters terrorists.

Most temporary restrictions – imposed solely to ensure the safety of the people from Pakistani trained terrorist attacks – have already been removed, political processes have resumed, telecom facilities have been largely restored, developmental activities are being undertaken at a rapid pace and there is access for all to education and healthcare.

– Vikar Swarup, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs on J&K

On the first anniversary of the Balakot airstrike, India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said, “We do not hesitate to cross the border to protect India against terrorism”. India’s aggressive approach against terrorism can be seen on every front, from its diplomacy to its armed forces upgradations. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said that the introduction of Rafael jets with BVR Meteor Missile, Early Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACs) will significantly tilt the regional military balance in India’s favor.

Curiopedia

United Nations Human Rights Council– The United Nations Human Rights Council is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland. The UNHRC investigates allegations of breaches of human rights in UN member states and addresses important thematic human rights issues such as freedom of association and assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of belief and religion, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the rights of racial and ethnic minorities. More Info

UK Lawmaker Denied Entry Even As Other EU Envoys Visit J&K

25 foreign envoys who visited Jammu and Kashmir from February 12 to 13 have given satisfactory feedback on the steps taken by the government to normalize the situation after removal of Article 370. The delegation after their visit also met the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on February 14.

Crux of the Matter

Feedback from Foreign Envoys
The NSA hosted a reception for the 25 envoys which was attended primarily by Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar and Rajya Sabha MP MJ Akbar. The envoys belonged to European Union (EU), Austria, Uzbekistan, Poland, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Afghanistan.

The delegation met key officials of the J&K administration including Lieutenant governor G S Murmu, chief secretary B V R Subbu and Chief Justice of J&K HC Justice Gita Mittal. Most of the delegates said that positive steps towards normalcy were visible whereas some of the envoys were not much happy with the internet restrictions and political detentions still in place.

European envoys sought answers to the imposition of Section 144 in the Valley during their interaction with officials in Jammu. To which the officials have replied by saying it is only imposed in few sensitive areas. The EU delegation also highlighted the need for a clear economic roadmap for the overall upliftment of the state.

While we recognize the serious security concerns it is important that the remaining restrictions be lifted swiftly.

– Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy

Germany’s Ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner said, “Positive steps towards restoration of normalcy were visible but there are still some restrictions which remain. Most of the people we spoke to did raise the issue to full access to the Internet.”

Vocal British Critic Kicked Out
Soon after the visit of this delegation ended, On February 17 a British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams’ visa was revoked and was denied entry in India after she landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The Labour Party lawmaker chairs a parliamentary group focused on Kashmir and has been a strong and open critic against the removal of Article 370 who also had written a letter to the Indian High Commission in the UK accusing the government of ‘betraying the trust of people in Kashmir’.

I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked but no one seemed to know. So now I am just waiting to be deported unless the Indian Government has a change of heart. I’m prepared to let the fact that I’ve been treated like a criminal, and I hope they will let me visit my family and friends.

– Debbie Abrahams, who had arrived India on a 2-day personal visit
Curiopedia

Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir under the Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, after its establishment, was empowered to recommend the articles of the Indian constitution that should be applied to the state or to abrogate the Article 370 altogether. This article, along with Article 35A, defined that the Jammu and Kashmir state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to residents of other Indian states. More Info

2019 Modi Mantra for Muslims

2019 has witnessed some reforms centered around the Muslims of India. If Triple Talaq and Education & Haj Schemes lifted the spirits of the Muslim Community, Abrogation of Article 370, Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid Land Dispute, and Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 may have balanced out the sentiments of the community. Let us dive deeper into how different policies, acts, and decisions shaped the outlook.

Crux of the Matter

Triple Talaq Criminalised
Family Affairs of the Muslim Community of India are governed by Muslim Personal Law. Triple Talaq or Talaq-e-biddat is a practice pronounced in the Sharia Law. Muslim marriages permit divorce if either spouse announces ‘Talaq’ thrice. There have been contentious issues revolving around the time that ought to be given between each announcement, the right of Muslim women to pronounce Triple Talaq, and the responsibility of the financial security of the family. Historically, Ulamas – Muslim scholars – have held opposing views about it. Some modern-day Muslim scholars have said that despite being hollow on legal grounds, this law is binding. We must note that Triple Talaq is banned in Islamic countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

Supreme Court, in 2017, rendered the practice of Triple Talaq unconstitutional. 2 members, who opposed the ban on Triple Talaq, of the 5-judge bench had, however, recommended that the decision be passed as a law in the Parliament. On 26 July 2019, Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was passed. It stated that “instant Triple Talaq” announced in whatever form – written, spoken or via Email or SMS, will be considered illegal and stand void. The husband, who announced it, could be imprisoned up to three years.

This law, on the grounds of constitutionality and human rights, was hailed by Muslim women of India. Muslim Scholars and Incumbents also welcomed the government’s decision. AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi objected to the imprisonment clause of the Bill and said that the Bill did not meet its primary objective of safeguarding women’s security, chiefly financial. The government stood their ground and said that the victimization of women would be reduced.

Abrogation of Article 370
Government of India scrapped Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution allowed J&K to formulate its own laws for self-administration. J&K had its own Constitution. Owning of property, getting local government positions, and availing educational scholarships in the state by outsiders was prohibited.

In a state where 67% of the population is Muslim, a chill ran across the community with the abrogation of Article 370. Some Muslims were apprehensive that scrapping of the Act would invite a lot of outsiders to settle in the state and were of the opinion that their privilege was lost in an unconstitutional manner. Whereas, some Muslims praised the decision of the government and asserted that the discrimination against them will no longer exist and their children will have access to better education and economy.

On a different note, the Indian government received criticism for the way in which the whole operation was carried out. Internet shutdown and curb on mobile and telephone services were major contentions for the government.

Do only Muslims live in Jammu and Kashmir? No Hindus? No Buddhists? Why is it viewed like that? It has been abrogated for veryone and not only for Muslims.

– Amit Shah on abrogation of Article 370

Ayodhya Land Dispute
The long-standing Ayodhya Land Verdict that divided Hindus and Muslims of India came in the year 2019 with the Supreme Court stating that the land would be given to Hindus for Ram temple construction and Muslims will get a 5-acre land at a different place to build a mosque.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi opposed the SC ordered and said, “There has been discrimination against Muslims and no one can deny it. We are fighting for our legal rights.”. Many Muslims were affirmative about upholding SC’s decision as it was based on evidence and rationale.

Citizenship Amendment Act
Interpretation of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the speculation of the National Register of Citizens by some has shaped apprehension that the process is a concentrated effort to drive out Muslims of the country. The Act now provides citizenship to illegal immigrants from certain religiously persecuted minorities.

Ruling party BJP has time and again asserted that the law will not affect the citizens of India. Home Minster Amit Shah said, “In this Bill, there is no proposal to touch the citizenship of any Muslim,”.

Government Policies
In the year 2019 BJP 2.0 has launched and revamped various policies for the upliftment of Muslims. In the Education sector, the government notified merit-cum-means, pre-matric, post-matric, and various other scholarships for minority communities that also include Muslims. The government also started trained more than 750 teachers from Madras so that they can also impart formal education. “Besides traditional teachings in Madrasa, Urdu, Arabic and other languages, Madrasa teachers are also being provided training for mainstream formal education like Hindi, Maths, English, Science, Computer, regional languages etc. These teachers are being provided training from reputed institutions of the country such as IIT, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Hamdard, Anjuman-e-Islam, Amity University and other reputed educational institutes,” said Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Government also took interest in digitizing the entire Haj process so as to give the travelers a transparent process. India launched E-MASIHA, an acronym for E Medical Assistance System for Indian Pilgrims Abroad. It was a database of Indian pilgrims’ health conditions. A record-breaking 2 lakh Muslims had visited Haj in 2019.

Waqf properties across India were also brought under digitization by the Indian government. Government has a target of geo-tagging as many as 6 lakh Waqf properties to ensure better utilization of them.

Curiopedia

Triple talaq, also known as talaq-e-biddat, instant divorce and talaq-e-mughallazah (irrevocable divorce), was a form of Islamic divorce which has been used by Muslims in India, especially adherents of Hanafi Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence. It allowed any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by uttering the word talaq (the Arabic word for “divorce”) three times in oral, written or, more recently, electronic form. More Info

The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. More Info

A waqf, also known as hubous or mortmain property, is an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law, which typically involves donating a building, plot of land or other assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets. The donated assets may be held by a charitable trust. The person making such dedication is known as waqif, a donor. More Info