When Narendra Modi asked the nation to discuss the positive and negative outcomes of the Article 370 during his Lalkar rally in Jammu, all the news channels begin short listing the names of panelists according to the time of broadcasting of debate shows. The prominent panelists came in real prime time shows at esteemed news channels and the budding ones got placement during evenings shows that broadcast since 3 PM up to 8 PM in evening and 10 PM to 12 PM in night. After watching multiple debate shows English as well as Hindi, it seemed troublesome to figure out the real picture behind this controversy. It seemed troublesome to get to the bone of these debate and event understand the political stand of BJP prime-ministerial candidate. Moreover, I came across some questions of youngsters who write long status messages over Facebook in support and protest of repealing this act without even knowing the core of this constitutional arrangement. Therefore, I decided to collect the facts and theories from all possible sources to explain this matter in simple words. I hope it will work.
There are three key questions that pop up in the mind of a non-political citizen of India, especially if he or she is not living in J & K. The questions are: why this article came in existence, why this issue is so controversial, and why Indian government do not repeal article 370? These questions confuse us, don’t they? So, let’s try to figure out the answers of these questions. Before answering our first question, we should understand the basic structure and origin of this act.
What is Article 370?
This article originated in 1949 during integration of J & K into Republic of India, to provide a special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir. However, the matters related to defence, Foreign Affairs, finance and communications are under central government. It gives the power to state assembly to take decision on the revocation and permanency of this legal instrument. This arrangement allows the citizens of this state to live under separate set of laws such as citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights.
Why it came in existence?
It is a rational question. This article came in existence due to multiple reasons. In opinion of a great politician, Gopalaswami Ayyangar, the state of J & K was not yet ready for the proper integration into Republic of India. The then rulers were afraid of losing their identity by integrating themselves into Indian republic. Hence, Indian government negotiated with the local leaders of J & K and the instrument came in existence to empower the state government to govern in the favor of local citizens.
Why there is so much controversy?
The controversy originates due to unclear information in public domain. Technically, the legal instrument uses the phrase “Temporary Provisions” in the title of the article. It makes people believe that the eventual repealing of this instrument is possible and should take place. However, the real meaning of this phrase lies in the hope of drafting team. While inserting the article 370, the drafting team assumes that in near future the rest of India will win the confidence of people at J & K and convince them to vote against this discriminatory article. The basis of all controversy regarding article 370 is the less understanding of this act in public domain. The receiving ends are not aware with the legal technicalities of this arrangement.
Can it be revoked?
All arguments aiming at abolishing this arrangement are futile because the central government cannot unilaterally repeal this article. The power of revoking this instrument lies in the hands of assembly of the state government instead of parliament. Technically, parliament can amend to change this act but it will break the basic bridge between the state and rest of India.
Apart from these things, there is one more thing to know that this arrangement is not gender biased in any manner. However, the definition of permanent residency as per the state constitution was thought to be discriminatory.
Please add the facts via comments to make this post more simple and inclusive.