Speculations about the status of Jammu and Kashmir has now been put to rest. In the midst of Pakistan Prime Minister’s plea to the US for intervention and the repeated mediation interest by the American President Donald Trump, the Modi Government has taken a historic decision that has now eliminated all such options.
The Modi-led NDA government today announced the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Union Home Minister Amit Shah who had a tough time speaking through the uproar by the opposition members in the Rajya Sabha also announced that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will from now on be Union Territories. The order to this effect was signed by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.
Also, today there will be no lunch break in the Rajya Sabha and all the four bills on Jammu and Kashmir will be discussed today itself.
Removal Of Article 370 Makes J & K Integral Part Of India
One of the major changes that will come into effect with this decision will be that from now on Jammu Kashmir will share the same flag and constitution as the rest of India making it an integral part of the country in true sense. Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a temporary provision that granted special autonomy to J & K. That is why all the provisions that are applicable to other states were never applicable to this state until now.
Due to this Article except for foreign affairs, finance, defense, and communications Parliament required the approval of the state government for applying all the other laws in the state. That is why the residents of J&K were living under a separate set of laws. These laws are related to citizenship, fundamental rights, ownership of property.
The provision disallowed the right to purchase the property or land by an Indian citizen from another state. With the removal of this Article, any Indian citizen from any part of India can purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir and even live there.
— संदीप SanDeep (@SanDiip_) August 5, 2019
Well-Planned Move – Big Political Leaders Under House Arrest
Prior to this announcement in the Rajya Sabha, the Indian PM held a crucial meeting of the Cabinet at his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg along with members of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CSS). Also, before the announcement, more than 35,000 additional troops were moved to Jammu and Kashmir as the tension continued to simmer in the valley.
Ever since the region joined independent India, it has been the bone of contention between India and Pakistan. The Pulwama attack at the start of the year followed by surgical air-strike in Balakot in retaliation by India has further escalated tension in the strife-torn state. The turmoil reached its peak when the administration in the state called off the Amarnath Yatra mid-way asking all the tourists to leave the state immediately.
Big political leaders including Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Sajad Lone have been put under house arrest as the Indian Army took over the streets of Kashmir. Mobile internet has already been suspended and as the government imposed restrictions in Srinagar district under Section 144 of the CrPC from Sunday midnight. Colleges and schools in Jammu, Resai, Doda, Kishwar, and Udhampur districts have been asked to remain close.
While the topic was under discussion in the Rajya Sabha, the government inducted more troops into the Kashmir valley as 8000 CRPF troops were airlifted from various parts of India and moved into Kashmir area. C-17s are still bringing more troops to Srinagar.
— Mithilesh Raghav (@MithileshRaghav) August 5, 2019
Ladakh Not To Have Legislature
According to the “statement of objects and reasons” from the Home Minister, “The Ladakh Division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir has a large area but is sparsely populated with very difficult terrain. There has been a long-pending, demand of people of Ladakh to give it the status of a Union Territory to enable them to realize their aspirations. The Union Territory of Ladakh will be without Legislature.”
The statement further says, “Further, keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation, fuelled by cross border terrorism in the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir, a separate Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir is being created. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be with the legislature.”
While debating the decision, Amit Shah said that even earlier Congress party had amended Article 370 that gave J&K special status. Shah said, “It is a wrong notion that Kashmir is with India because of Article 370 and not because of the letter of accession signed in 1947. No step has been taken in the past because of vote bank politics, but we are not bothered about the vote bank. We should not waste even a second to remove Article 370. We are ready for debate and voting on this issue. Let the House debate.”
Twitter Is On Fire
The strongest reaction came from Mehbooba Mufti while many others supported hailing it as one nation, one flag, One constitution movement.
Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) August 5, 2019
So I am proved right. To abolish Art 370 we do not need a Constitutional Amendment. Amit Shah has however informed Parliament by way of a Resolution what President today has already notified. Art 370 died today. Collaterally so Art 35 A
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) August 5, 2019
Twitter was flooded with memes and supportive reactions.
BJD is supporting Modi govt on #Article370 in Rajya Sabha. MP Prasanna Acharya went ahead and demanded that PoK should also be included. Burn! ?
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) August 5, 2019
— Babruvahana (@sik_tweets) August 5, 2019
— Manoj Kalyan (@ManojKalyan12) August 5, 2019
— Gaurav Chaudhary (@TechnicalGuruji) August 5, 2019
— Dhruval Patel (@DhruvalPtl) August 5, 2019