What is Article 370 ?

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It's time to say good bye to article 370 of Indian constitution as it finally come to an end after Narendra Modi led BJP government decided to revoke it. Article 370 was last article of Indian constitution adopted by 'Constituent Assembly' in the year 1949. Article 370 is also most discussed and disputed article of Indian Constitution. Article 370 of Indian constitution gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir and allows to have a separate constitution, separate flag and administrative power.  After 72 years of adoption Article 370 has been withdrawn by passing 'Jammu and Kashmir reorganisation Bill 2019' in upper house and lower house of Indian parliament. Removal of Article 370 was primary agenda of Bhartiya Janta Party till it came into existence and promised to withdraw, when will be in power.

History of Article 370 -

July 25, 1947- It was almost done that India will be partitioned in two states Hindustan and Pakistan. British government also agreed and announced that India will be freed and power will be transferred to Indians on August 15, 1947. On July 15, 1947 Lord Mountbatten then and last governor general of British India called a meeting of heads of all princely states and were told to decide their role. All the princely states had to decide whether they want to be with Hindustan or Pakistan unconditionally . Most of the states signed on pact but some of the princely states decided not to go with both of the countries. Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh were those states who decided not to go with both countries. Then king of Jammu and Kashmir Raja Hari Singh kept his state separate from India and Pakistan.

August 15, 1947- India got freedom on the cost of partition in two different countries Hindustan and Pakistan.

September, 1947 - Pakistan attacked on Kashmir with intention to forcefully merge it in Pakistan. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel then Deputy Prime Minister of India was in favour to attack on Pakistan, But Nehru told him to be in wait and watch position.

October 26, 1947- Till October 26, 1947 a major part of Jammu and Kashmir was occupied by Pakistan. Hari Singh then head of Jammu and Kashmir has no option rather to merge Jammu and Kashmir with India. Hari Singh sent a proposal to merge Jammu and Kashmir with India unconditionally.

October 27, 1947- On October 27, 1947 last Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten accepted the proposal and Jammu and Kashmir merged with India. Sardar Patel played a very vital role in merger process. Jammu and Kashmir came under Indian flag and Indian constutution.

October 17, 1949 - Gopal Krishna Ayangar a cabinet minister in Nehru ministry and former Diwan of Hari Singh was the first person, who put his demand to give Jammu and Kashmir a status of privileged state. While addressing Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian parliament he put his demand to give Jammu and Kashmir special power. He said a major part of Jammu and Kashmir is occupied by Pakistan and people are migrating from POK to Jammu and Kashmir. So Jammu and Kashmir is not in the position to adopt Indian Constitution. So he advocated for Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir on temporary basis. If things became normal it should be scrapped. Because Article 370 was adopted temporarily, it was passed by Indian parliament with the condition that it will be withdrawn if situation became normal. Article 370 can be withdrawn by president of India any time on the recommendation of constituent assembly. As per provisions of Article 370 :

1. State is not abide by Indian constitution ( Exception : External affairs, Defence and communication).

2. No outsider can take the citizenship of Jammu and Kashmir.

3. Article 356 and 360 is not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.

4. No outsider can acquire land in Jammu and Kashmir.

October 21, 1951 - Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee, a cabinet minister in Nehru ministry resigned from ministry after the differences with Nehru. He was against the Delhi pact signed between Nehru and Pakistan prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan. He also strongly opposed Article 370 and formed a new political party 'Bhartiya Jan sangh' and later it was renamed as Bhartiya Janta Party. Withdrawal of Article 370 and nationalism were the primary agendas was the party.

May 14, 1954 - In the year 1952 Jawahar Lal Nehru and Shekh Abdulla, then interim prime minister of Kashmir signed a pact which is popularly known as 'Delhi Pact' and it was adopted on May 14, 1954. As per pact one more section 35A was added in Article 370, which gives Jammu and Kashmir some special power. As per provisions of 35A state has power to define citizenship and also has right to disallow outsiders in state.

May 11, 1953- Syama Prasad Mukerjee, founder of Bhartiya Jansangh strongly opposed 35A  saying ' ek desh me do pradhan, do vidhan aur do nishan nhi chalega'. As per provisions of 35A no Indian can enter in Jammu and Kashmir without having a permit. Dr. Mukerjee along with other party leaders entered in Jammu and Kashmir without having any permit. He was arrested on May 11, 1953 and was died in jail in mysterious circumstances. After death of mukerjee this provision was scrapped.

August 5, 2019 - Article 370 has finally came to an end after 72 years. Narendra Modi led Bhartiya Janta Party has finally scrapped Article 370 from Indian Constitution. The most disputed article of Indian constitution has now become the part of history, after approval from both of the houses of Indian parliament. President of India has also approved to scrap Article 370.

Dr. Syama Prasad Mukerjee had founded Bhartiya Jansangh and since then it was in agenda of Bhartiya Janta Party (Bhartiya Jansangh. Even this agenda could not be buried with the death of Dr. Mukerjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee like first line leaders in party. Leaders changed, leadership changed, even party name was changed in 1980 but this agenda was live since 1953.

Why Article 370 could not be scrapped by Congress government ? It is very much clear that Article 370 could have been scrapped earlier, when it was applied on temporary basis.Now question arise then why it could not be scrapped. Lets find the answer. Jawahar Lal Nehru was Prime Minister when Article 370 was passed. He was the man who strongly supported Article 370 . This is the reason why no congress government took initiative to scrap 370.

Why Article 370 could not be scrapped by Vajpayee government ? Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the leader who was having the responsibility to take Bhartiya Janta Party on heights. After death of Dr. Syama Prasad Mukerjee and Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Vajpayee took the charge of party. Vajpayee was having the responsibility to live article 370 issue and he did it. But he could not scrap Article 370 as it was alliance government and alliance partners were not in favour of revoking Article 370.



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