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Modi Government Revokes Article 370 and Article 35(A) – A Bold Move Yet Again

Modi government finally took a decision that it had promised way back in 2014 during their election campaign. Home Minister Amit Shah revoked two key constitutional provisions namely, Article 370 and Article 35(A). Both the articles give Jammu & Kashmir a series of special rights. While a few of the provisions of Article 370 have been changed with time, the Article 35(A) had remained unchanged.

The decision came amidst the chaos in J&K, where the government has already detained the top political leadership in the state and had also restricted their movement. The internet/telecom services are also suspended in the state.

What Article 370 means

Under this article, the central government needs the state governments agreement to apply laws, except in foreign affairs, defence, and finance.

The residents of this state live under a separate set of laws including but not limited to, citizenship, property ownership, and even fundamental rights as compared to residents of different states. It is because of this rule, that people from other parts of India cannot purchase property in Jammu & Kashmir.

Article 370 also deems the Centre powerless to declare any financial emergency. An emergency can only be declared in case of external aggression or war.

What Article 35(A) means

This article allows the state legislature to define J&K’s permanent residents. It was issued by then President Rajendra Prasad under Nehru’s advice.

At the time its adoption in 1956, the state’s Constitution defined a permanent resident as someone who was a state subject, or who has been living in the state for 10 years with s lawfully acquired immovable property.

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What will happen to J&K now

After losing the special status, people from anywhere in India would be able to purchase property and can even settle there if they want. This may ignite fear amongst the Kashmiris who may think it will lead to a demographic transformation of the state from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.

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