Article 370 of the Constitution of India
All of us are aware of the fact that there are many articles in the Indian constitution that has direct implication in the laws of our country. Article 370 is one of them. As per article 370 of the constitution of India the state of Jammu and Kashmir is given some special power. The state has been granted temporary autonomous status. The reason as to why this article had come into existence was the accession of Kashmir to the Indian sub-continent after independence.
If we dig into a bit of history we will see that Kashmir was a state with the Muslim majority. The result is that the Muslim population of Kashmir felt insecure. They felt afraid that they might lose their identity amidst a Hindu nation. Moreover, there was a lot of pressure from the radical Muslim groups to give special autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. So immediately after independence, the Indian government bestowed a temporary autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, since its inception, the Article has gone through several changes.
The Provisions of Article 370
- The Central Government needs approval from the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir on all matters of law apart from defence, Finance and Communication, and Foreign Affairs.
- The Indian Government does not have the power to declare Financial Emergency in the state. In fact, an emergency can only be declared in Jammu and Kashmir on grounds of internal disturbance and instances of danger from a foreign enemy.
- The state government in Jammu and Kashmir has full control over the governance of the state without any kind of interference from the Central government.
- Article 370 ensures that citizens of any other state in India cannot buy property in Jammu and Kashmir.
- If a woman from Jammu and Kashmir marries a man from any other state of India she loses her right to ownership in the state.
The current status of Article 370
It is true that Article 370 of the Constitution of India was introduced with the purpose of giving a special statuesque to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, in recent times a much-diluted version of the Article exists. Contrary to the early times when Jammu and Kashmir had a separate President and a Prime Minister, in recent times all the institutions of the Indian government exist in Jammu and Kashmir. Even the Election Commission of India functions in the state just like the way it functions in all other states.
Who has the power to repeal this Article?
The President of India has the power to declare Article 370 null and void and take away all autonomy from the state. However, this needs to be done only after a recommendation from the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time, the President of India also has the power to take this right away from the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir through a Constitutional Amendment
The Consequence of Article 370
It is true that the discord regarding the state of Jammu and Kashmir is quite huge. In fact, the matter is so serious that it has even been taken up the UN. This was the reason Article 370 was crafted so that the Muslim residents of the state could be appeased. But a middle path needs to be reached instead of letting the autonomy of the state grow. A step has already been taken in that direction as the Article now functions in the state in a much-diluted way. Moreover, the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir states that it is an integral part of the Indian Union and so the dangers of the state going away from the hands of the Indian government are negligible.