History of Jammu and Kashmir
Mountbatten Plan was enacted, and princely states had two options either to join India or Pakistan or to declare themselves as independent states. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, V.P. Menon and Jawaharlal Nehru, with the help of Lord Mountbatten, took the responsibility to integrate the princely states in India.
The ‘Carrot and stick’ approach of negotiation was implemented. According to this theory, the Indian government gave incentives to the ‘Maharajas’ of the princely states. Incentives were given in the form of ‘Privy Purse’, which meant that after joining India and being an integrated part of it, they would be receiving funds for maintenance and expenditure. This was the carrot approach. The stick approach says that the princely states, which from the Radcliff line was at the side of India, were asked that if they didn’t integrate in India, strict military actions would be taken against it.
Junagarh, Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir, these three princely states, denied being part of either India or Pakistan. They wished to be an independent state altogether.
Partition and After
Maharaja Hari Singh wanted Jammu and Kashmir to be independent state. In October 1947, Pakistan slowly started sending its army towards Kashmir and began occupying the territory of Kashmir and tried to remove the Maharaja from its post. Maharaja Hari Singh sought assistance from the Indian government. On 26th October 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh and the Indian government signed the instrument of accession. Hence Jammu and Kashmir became part of India.
The ceasefire agreement resulted in Line of Control (LOC). Both the countries’ army decided that the amount of land they have occupied is theirs; Sheikh Abdullah came to power after signing the Instrument of Accession.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru approached the UN in the matter. Thus, the UN denied the instrument of accession and declared Kashmir a disputed area. UN suggested to resolve the dispute through a plebiscite. Plebiscite means a voting system in which people of Jammu and Kashmir were to determine whether they want to be part of India or Pakistan. This is where Article 370 and Article 35A come into picture.
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When all this chaos was going on whether or not the UN’s referendum should take place, on the other hand, Sheikh Abdullah was emerging as a hero of Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, in India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru thought of implementing such a thing that Jammu and Kashmir should feel that they are still part of India; hence, emerged article 370. A meeting was conducted between Sheikh Abdullah and the Indian government, which is called as Delhi agreement. This part provided temporary, transitional and special provision to 12 states, out of which one was Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 35A and its existence
Right after Article 370 came the Article 35A defines the rights of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. This article permits the local legislature in Indian-administered Kashmir to determine permanent residents of the region, and it states that existing laws of Jammu and Kashmir and any law state legislature will make in future shall not be declared void because it is inconsistent with the constitution or they are against the rights of other citizens of India.
In particular, Article 35A states that these provisions would not be affected by the constitution. It was forbidden for the outsiders to permanently settle, buy land, hold local government jobs, or win education scholarships in the region. The article is also termed the Permanent Residents Law. Law bars female citizens of Jammu and Kashmir from property rights if one marries a person from other state. The provision was also extended to such women’s children.
Jammu and Kashmir was different from other states through article 370 and article 35A as:
- Jammu and Kashmir have dual citizenship, whereas, in other states, single citizenship is applicable.
- India has a flag, and a constitution, whereas Jammu and Kashmir, has their own flag and citizenship.
- If parliament wants, it can proclaim a financial emergency in the states of India, but this is not the case with Jammu and Kashmir as a financial crisis cannot be announced there.
- The difference is the tenure of the state legislature. In other states, the tenure of state legislation is five years, but it is six years in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The difference in the right to vote
The universal adult franchise is applicable in the whole of India, and the person resident of that state is eligible to vote for the state assembly elections of that state. Still, the right to vote is not fully applicable in Jammu and Kashmir. Only the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir could vote for the state assembly election in the state.
After going through all the pros and cons, it is now important to know that the people of Jammu and Kashmir must realize that revocation of the articles has only helped them. These articles made them special but in a negative way. People were estranged from their own nation for seven decades. No one lost their identity. India as a secular nation has opened its arms, but now the challenge lies with the people of Kashmir on how to accept the given opportunity
Connect to Author- Aryan Aditya