It was a historical day when after the decade-long struggle of many, the discriminatory Article 370 and Article 35A were removed by the Parliament of India, and the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into Union Territory of J&K and Union territory of Ladakh. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill was firstly introduced in the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) on the 5th of August 2019, through a voice vote which had 125 in favor of it while 61 were against and the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
It is a well-known fact that it was due to Article 370 that the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir had a Separate Constitution and a Separate Flag. The central laws were not directly applicable to Jammu and Kashmir directly and if we talk about Article 35A which was fraudulently incorporated in the constitution of India on 14th May 1954 by a presidential order unconstitutionally, bypassing the Article 368 which empowers only Parliament to amend the Constitution. Article 35 A was the biggest fraud in Indian Constitutional history and was neither part of the drafted Constitution nor part of the adopted and enacted Constitution of India.
The addition of Article 35 A was during the tenure of the then-president Rajendra Prasad on the advice of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet not only violated Articles 14 to 21 of the fundamental rights contained in Part III of the Constitution but also other Procedures of the Constitution of India. With the removal of both the discriminatory articles 370 and 35A, it will provide an opportunity to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to get employment in private industries, as it was due to both the Articles that there are very fewer industries in Jammu and Kashmir and there could be seen silent migration of J&K youth to the other Indian States and Union territories of the country seeking Jobs and Placements. Before the removal of both the articles, the outsiders were not allowed to set up a business Unit/ industries in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 370, temporary provisions with respect to the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was incorporated in part XXI of the Indian Constitution. But temporary and transitional provisions became a permanent feature of the Constitution of India after 1957 when the Separate Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir came into existence.
Why Removal of Article 370 and 35 A was important?
* The term of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was 6 years and in other States, it is for only 5 years.
* The Jammu and Kashmir had separate Constitution.
* Separate flag of Jammu and Kashmir.
* RTI act didn't apply to Jammu and Kashmir
* All Central laws were not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.
* Hindu and Sikhs minorities were without minority benefits.
* Outsiders (Indian Citizens of other States) could not own or buy land in J&K.
* No Panchayati rights (decentralization of powers) to J&K residents/ representatives.
* Right to education not implemented.
*No private industries setup in J&K due to both discriminatory articles.
* Separate Criminal Code i.e Ranbir Penal code.
Benefits now being availed due to removal of the discriminatory acts,
*Delimitation of Constituencies will be held.
* Special provisions for readjustment of Constituencies both parliament and Assembly.
* West Pakistani refugees, Valmikis, Gorkhas, women are benefitted now unlike earlier when they faced discriminatory attitude of successive governments.
*Gujjar Community will get political reservation earlier they did not.
Article 35 A was the biggest fraud in Indian Constitutional History. It was a black day in the Constitutional history of India when on 14th May 1954( Presidential order, i.e the Constitution Application to Jammu and Kashmir order 1954 ) by a presidential order unconstitutionally, bypassing the Article 368 which empowers only Parliament to amend the Constitution, which was fraudulently and mischievously incorporated and inserted in the constitution of India.
The west Pakistani refugees (Now domiciles of J&K ) had faced discrimination for more than seventy years, these refugees who had migrated to the erstwhile State of J&K Since 1947 were not treated as “State subjects” and Permanent Resident Certificate not conferred on them and were not entitled to own a property, employment in J&K even after the lapse of so many decades under the separate Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Article 35 A.
Dalit Hindu community (Valmikis of J&K) in 1957, the then administration of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir had brought these families to Jammu and Kashmir approximately three hundred families and these families were not given PRCs (Permanent Resident Certificate) and ownership and employment were denied to them and were forced to work and eligible for the post of Sweeper only. The Qualified youth did not become doctors, engineers, teachers, etc. due to Article 370 and 35 A.
Women as victims of 35 A, in erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir were not allowed to choose their life Partners outside J&K because of this discriminatory, unconstitutional, and biased Article 35 A.
The families of the Gorkha Community also were the victims of the Article 35A and were denied the same Constitutional benefits i.e voting rights, employment, education, participation in Assembly and other local bodies election process of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The myth of Invasion by outsiders in Jammu and Kashmir was created by the Kashmir based political leaders as well as separate groups who are working against the National integration and Nationalists ideology. The Separatists ideology not only damaged the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir development process but only darkened the future of the youth and other citizens. Due to the false agenda of separatism of Kashmir Centric people Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is still witnessing an acute shortage of well-qualified Specialists doctors in Medical Colleges and other institutions. If industries will set up their units, it would definitely provide employment to locals of J&K. After complete development of the various tourist destinations Jammu and Kashmir could be one of the top tourist destinations like other States of the Country.
Now with the existence of Reorganization Act 2019, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh are set at the path of development and prosperity, thus ushering an era of peace and tranquility in both the Union territories. The central government of India is set to provide equitable Justice to all the units of both union territories in the form of employment, development, privatization, industrialization etc. Equitable Justice with all the regions and funding made by the Central Government for developmental activities are proportionate to the regional requirements than definitely people at large will be immensely benefited and will also defeat the nefarious designs of Separatists and their mentors and sponsors across the border.
(Ronik Sharma, Advocate, J&K)