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news details
Resonance of Article 35A
8/5/2018 11:03:29 PM
Jamwal Mahadeep Singh

The substantial rallying
cry of the different minds on Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, how it resonates in rest of India, is a distinctive investigation? But it is a physical world of next to nothing for the body politic of Jammu and Kashmir. It is article 370 of the Indian constitution that grants special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article 370 has consistently stuck around as the blessed baby of BJP to muster votes inseminating its abrogation. This party at all times lamebrain the commonality about this article 370, without awakening the people about stated position in the constitution. The article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. We come across the attempt of BJP after winning 2014 elections to abrogate article. Some remembrance we carry about it are argument of MoS in PMO in May 2014, that the debate on article 370 would help convince the "unconvinced", sharply reacted by Umar Abdullah ex-CM in a tweet, 'long after Modi Govt is a distant memory either J&K won't be part of India or Art 370 will still exist' and by Ex - CM Mehbooba that fiddling with Article 370 could lead to anarchy in the state. These projectiles of the powerhouse from Kashmir silenced the voice of BJP. In October 2015, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir ruled that the Article 370 cannot be "abrogated, repealed or even amended." It explained that the clause (3) of the Article conferred power to the State's Constituent Assembly to recommend to the President on the matter of the repeal of the Article. Since the Constituent Assembly did not make such a recommendation before its dissolution in 1957, the Article 370 has taken on the features of a "permanent provision" despite being titled a temporary provision in the Constitution. For the reasons that verdict handed down by the High Court, the vocalization of each and every concerning the article 370 is meaningless. Over the past year BJP and its allied nationalistic forces have gone on silence mode in debt to the voices of Kashmir leaders on article 370 and here and now has crop up article 35A of the Indian Constitution.
The hot off the press wrangling much space in the media and politics is the Article 35A of the Indian Constitution, added through 'The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954'- issued by the President of India, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir that empowers the State's Legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. The BJP, RSS and their affiliate groups are at clashing to Article 35A as it bars non-J&K subjects to settle and buy property in the state. A little known NGO "We the Citizens" (supposed to be backed by BJP-RSS) filing a petition in the Apex Court In 2014, seeking the striking down of Article 35A and some more players have also jumped in the issue. The case is pending in the Supreme Court. Here BJP exposed for its double standard as its opposing surfaced as New Delhi didn't file an affidavit on the matter in the court and instead sought a "larger debate" on the "very sensitive" issue, whereas on its part then PDP-led coalition government has taken its stand in its counter-affidavit filed before the apex court that "We have taken the stand that the State has powers under Article 370 (1) (d) to apply Constitution of India to Jammu and Kashmir with exceptions and modifications and in keeping with Article 35A." It denotes that state BJP unit was on similar page and lines as PDP to shield the article 35A, whereas the government of India's moves to not file an affidavit "implies that they are accepting the petitioner's versions" i.e. abrogation of the Article.
What important here is, it is not for the first time that Article 35A has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Similar petitions have been dismissed by the court thrice in 1956, 1961 and 1970, while upholding the powers of the President to pass constitutional orders. In the present hearing on Article 35A, the observations of Honorable High Court of Jammu & Kashmir on Article 35A, while delivering a judgment on 16 July 2015, also strengthen the affidavit filed in Apex Court by the previous State Government (Coalition of PDP & BJP), that this article, on its own, does not give anything new to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 14 of the Constitution of India, as has been made applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, thus, gave equal protection of laws to the State subjects/citizens as a class apart. Similarly, article 19(1)(f) of the Constitution of India, which has been made applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and till date continues to be in force in the State, recognizes the right to own, hold and dispose of property, which right otherwise is inherent in the State subjects/citizens of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The unconvinced statements from variant squads on Article 35A make then CM to vocalize that, if special rights of people of J&K are tinkered with, and then there would be no one in the state to hold the tricolor. It was a diplomatic statement that twisted towards pointing that none in state will be Indian. The open challenge obviously was directed towards BJP and BJP just dare to assert that Article 35A of the Constitution, which grants special status to the state, is "not a sacred cow that cannot be touched" (BJP looks everything through the politics of cow to create communal divide).
Now as the Apex court has to take up the hearing from 6 August 2018 (much expected to be adjourned as Governor Dispensation has asked for it), the various political parties and organizations are again in sleeves to surcharge the atmosphere towards polarization. After losing power both BJP and PDP are back to their supportive and opposing stands on Article 35A. None the less the stooges of Kashmir based political parties in Jammu are much in high pitch including NC and PDP opposing the abrogation of the Article 35A. The BJP presently discarded by the jammuites, for its resurgence is speaking in louder voice to do away with this article and after maintaining criminal silence and daring not since 2015 (while in power) the words spoken by MoS in PMO in 2015, asking for debate on Article 35A, are again coming forth from the spokes persons of BJP. Fissures have also developed on the issue in BJP itself. The Bar Associations of two regions are also on different opinions. Some self style champions of self created organizations in Jammu, just to attract the eyes of administration, are also roaring on the issue. The valley is on boiling point against abrogation and separatists are spear heading Bandh calls in support of the Article 35A. We can conclude these developments on the aspect that whole valley is rallying in support of Article 35A including elected representatives of Kashmir based political parties, separatists, common man, Kashmir based political parties, ex-CMs, law practicing fraternity, business community one and all, whereas Jammuites are walking on two lines, one supporting the retention of Article (elected represented of Kashmir based political parties) and other (elected representative of BJP only) opposing it. Some having no relevancy in public domain are speaking from different plat forms and in different voices about the article just for getting space in media.
Concluding, the rights and privileges of the permanent residents of the State more especially in regard to acquisition of immovable property, appointments to services enshrined by Article 35A is a matter going to affect the people of J&K. There is rising trends in un-employment, change of demography and invasion on Dogra culture, discrimination with Jammuities, rising trends in militancy, tug-of-war between India-Pakistan and India-China, bad situation of electricity, drinking water, road connectivity and every field of civic are in doll drums, speaks of total blackout of the BJP in center government and in the state. Keeping some pots boiling is nothing but to by-pass the attention of commonality by creating divides this way or that way and in state it is a contracted game between politicians and we must be alert to the situation, till the verdict is delivered by the Honorable Supreme Court. Here we must understand that all these concerns and commentaries on Article 35A are nothing more than material for being thrown into the dust bin as ultimately the verdict of the Apex Court has to prevail over the Article 35A.
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