Post Mortem

Nagaland resembles Kashmir

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/8/2019 12:59:44 PM IST

 Scenario: The Jammu and Kashmir Re-Organisation Bill 2019, passed by both Houses of Parliament, was apparently a political outclass of the majority. Its constitutional validity is substantially contested. A writ petition is being ensued in the Supreme Court challenging the Presidential Order on Article 370 against the 1954 statute protecting Kashmir. Home Minister Amit Shah defends the new Bill on ground of constitutional failure in the valley, whereby Kashmir was represented by the Centre in fulfilling necessary formalities of legislation. Article 370 of the Indian constitution provided a separate constitution and flag for Jammu and Kashmir, a deal brokered between Jawaharlal Nehru and Shiekh Abdullah since Kashmir’s accession into the Indian Union. The provision barred certain applications like Right to Information, Right to Education, purchase of property and settlement rights (included marriage with Kashmiris), besides others, within Kashmir jurisdiction. Precisely, all laws passed by the Parliament needed legislative approval of the state government, similar to the Nagaland scheme. Interestingly, Amit Shah amended the expression of a clause in Article 370, terming Constituent Assembly to imply Legislative Assembly. Referring the absence of a Constituent Assembly in Kashmir, the State Assembly takes such role in respect to the provisions of exception with India. Virtually, the political run up of President’s rule in Kashmir had let a tactful demise of the 1954 rule by routing in Central power over the place exercised by the State Assembly. This was how the special status of Kashmir collapsed overnight.  

Reflections: There are mixed responses in the political spectrum. Sections of the opposition including some Congress leaders had voiced support to the government on ground of national integration. Others had termed it as the darkest day in Indian democracy. China and Pakistan had condemned the unilateral action as dangerous, fuming up the Pakistani leadership to warn India of more Pulwama-like attacks. The Central government justifies that Kashmir problem was endemic to national integration, citing exclusive provisions of 370 not implying on the whole dominion of India. But questions are imminent to the fact that the Centre cannot make new changes on Kashmir without taking the people into confidence, or unless Article 370 was first removed. This invites a new statute to roll out again, towards burying intricacies around the clauses of President Order 1954 and 2019. Indian leaders by and large had predominantly handled the Kashmir situation with a sense of political oblivion to the Kashmiri people. The Indian constitution in total, had problems accepting any governmental representation that threatens national integrity. Nehru, on this aspect, had laid the ‘Objectives Resolution’ in 22nd January 1947 aiming forced union inter alia states, provinces and other areas with/outside British India into the union of India. More recently, the ruling government had glorified the teachings formulated by its philosopher V.D Savarkar proclaiming Hindustan as ‘one country, one emblem and one constitution.’ Similarly, present stalwart Mohan Bhagwat, refers to Kashmir as ‘... Necessary constitutional amendments will have to be made and old provisions will have to be changed in that state...’ Through these drivers, the Hindu country carries, that separatists in Kashmir were the cause of autonomy, while it had viewed  Article 370 as potentially containing separatism.

(To be concluded)

Roviso Marza (Author teaches Political Science in the 

University of Delhi.)

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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