Article 370: A Reflection on India's Constitutional History | FindYourAdvocate


Article 370: The Future of Jammu and Kashmir

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was a provision giving special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This removed the states from being fully covered by the Indian constitution and empowered them to have their own constitutions, flags, and sets of laws. This provision came into force in 1949, when India became independent from British rule. The aim was to give Jammu and Kashmir a degree of autonomy and preserve its own culture and identity. Section 370 has been controversial from the beginning. 

Some argued that this was discriminatory as it gave Jammu and Kashmir people special privileges not available to other Indians. Some argued that the state's fragile security situation needed to be protected. In August 2019, the Indian government repealed Section 370. The decision sparked widespread protests in Jammu and Kashmir and remains a very sensitive issue. Below are some of the key provisions of Section 370. 

Jammu and Kashmir did not have the same constitutional provisions as other states in India. States had their own constitutions, flags and laws. The central government can only enact certain national affairs such as defense, diplomacy and communications. State governments had the power to legislate on all other matters. The people of Jammu and Kashmir had a special status as "permanent residents" of the state. This gave them certain rights not available to other Indians, such as the right to own property and hold government offices.

 The repeal of Article 370 had a significant impact on Jammu and Kashmir. The state is now subject to the same constitutional provisions as any other state in India, with the central government having the power to legislate on all matters of state. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have also lost their special status as "permanent residents" of the state. Repeal of Section 370 is a complex and controversial issue. There are strong arguments on both sides of the argument. It remains to be seen what the long-term impact of this decision will be.

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