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.
- 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.
- Quartz – A timeline of key events that shaped the unique identity of Kashmir within India
- The Wire – The Constitution is Allowing the Continued Discrimination of Valmikis in J&K
- Business Today – What rights will Kashmiris lose after Article 370, Article 35A are revoked
- Livemint – Indian Penal Code, Criminal Law among 37 Central Laws to be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir
- The Indian Express – Explained: The significance of 1846 in the modern history of Jammu and Kashmir
- News 18 – OPINION | A Transition to Greater Grassroots Democracy: How J&K Changed After Abrogation of Article 370