Article 370: All you need to know about Article 370 of Indian Constitution

Article 370: All you need to know about Article 370 of Indian Constitution
Article 370: All you need to know about Article 370 of Indian Constitution

New Delhi : Article 370 has been a topic of argument for long time. While politicians like Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister of J&K, believe that Article 370 is the only constitutional link between the state and rest of India, many others across the country argue that Article 370 has prevented Jammu and Kashmir from becoming an integral part of India. J& K has suffered so many political conflicts since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.

The obligation of Article 370, which according to legal experts as well as historians, show signs more of a tedious plan on the part of two of the important dramatis personal, the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the Kashmiri leader Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, than a constitutional terms that grants it extraordinary status.

An extract from Jawaharlal Nehru's 'The Unity of India' showcases his unquestionably romantic and idealistic views about Kashmir. He wrote: “Like some supremely beautiful woman, whose beauty is almost impersonal and above human desire, such was Kashmir in all its feminine beauty of river and valley...”

Now, what exactly is Article 370 and why it is so linked with Jammu and Kashmir in India? These 10 facts will possibly give answers to your so many questions.

  • According to the Indian constitution, Article 370 provides temporary provisions to the state of J&K, granting it special autonomy.
  • Article 370 says that the provisions of Article 238, which was omitted from the Constitution in 1956 when Indian states were reorganised, shall not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Nehru proposed Article 370 but BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution refused to draft it.
  • In 1949, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had asked Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah to consult Ambedkar to prepare a proper draft to be included in the Constitution.
  • Article 370 was then eventually drafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar, a close friend of Pandit Nehru. 
  • Ayyangar was a minister without portfolio in the first Union Cabinet of India. He was also a former Diwan to Maharajah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Article 370 is drafted in the constitutional section of amendment, in Part XXI, under temporary and transitional provisions.
  • The original draft of Article 370 explained "the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja's Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948."
  • On November 15, 1952, the draft was changed to "the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now Governor) of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office."
  • Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.

One should remember that Jammu and Kashmir is not a homogeneous entity. Besides majority of Muslim population in the Valley, Jammu is predominantly Hindu, Ladakh is a mix of Buddhist and Muslims and there are the Gujjars and Bakarwals too. The complicated Article 370 is giving opportunity to unwanted horrors every new day. Hopefully the apex court of India will come up with possible solutions to the raising problems.