Article 370 of Indian Constitution is frequently been heard in recent news. Many of us are not completely aware of this article and this article is been misinterpreted. So let us try to know the actual features and truth about this article 370.
Misinterpretation 1: Article 370 is a secret agreement between Nehru and Sheik Abdullah
Truth: Article 370 was actually written during the time of drafting of Indian constitution itself. And this article has come into force along with Indian constitution on 26 January 1950.
Misinterpretation 2: Article 370 provides a very special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Such a status is not given to any other Indian State. For example, no other Indian citizens except Jammu Kashmir can buy or sell the land in Jammu and Kashmir.
Truth: According to Indian constitution, special status is not limited only to Jammu and Kashmir. Similar special status is granted to few other Indian states according to article 371. Article 371 gives special provision with respect to the States of Maharashtra (Vidarbha and Marathwada) and Gujarat (Kutch). The special provision grants,
(a) The establishment of separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of Maharashtra or Kutch and the rest of Gujarat. A report on the working of each of these boards will be placed each year before the State Legislative Assembly;
(b) The equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas.
(c) An equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training, and adequate opportunities for employment in services under the control of the State Government, in respect of all the said areas, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole.
States with Special status
Similar special status in terms of buying and selling land is given to various other Indian states.
371-A to Nagaland
371-B to Assam
371-C to Manipur
371-D Andhra Pradesh
371-E Andhra Pradesh
371-F to Sikkim
371-H Arunachal Pradesh
371-I to Goa
According to Article 371-A and 371-G people from other states cannot buy and sell the lands belonging to Nagaland and Mizoram. Even the laws made by the Indian parliament in this respect are not applicable in these states.
In States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana 1/70 law is in force. According to this law, the areas declared as tribal areas in these two states must be bought and sold only by tribal people. Non-tribal people are not allowed to buy or sell these lands even if they are Indian citizens.
But why are articles like 370, 371-A, 371-G, 1/70 are incorporated in the Indian Constitution?
Various areas in these states are severely under developed. These articles are put in place to help and develop the backward areas existing in these areas. These laws and articles protect the property of the people of these backward areas.
But some people are misinterpreting article 370 as dangerous and are demanding to remove it off.
Misinterpretation 3: Due to Article 370 the residents of Jammu Kashmir cannot be punished even if they dishonor national flag, national symbols or integrity of India.
Truth: This is a big lie. Article 370 does not specify any of these. Misinterpreting Article 370 this way will dishonor all the freedom fighters and also the framers of the constitution. The freedom fighters and also the framers of the constitution would not have written an article where in dishonoring national flag, national symbols or integrity of India is not punishable.
Misinterpretation 4: The verdict of Supreme Court is invalid in Jammu and Kashmir.
Truth: This is another big lie. For example, in 2016, Jammu Kashmir High court ruled that Jammu and Kashmir has autonomous powers. But again in December 2016, Supreme Court has ruled it out. Supreme court said that, Jammu and Kashmir is a part of Sovereign India. This Supreme Court rule was not opposed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court or its state government.
Not only verdicts of Supreme Court, it is to be noted that the orders of the President are also valid in Jammu and Kashmir. For example, between years 1956 and 1994 President has passed 47 orders with respect to Jammu and Kashmir. And all these orders were followed by the state government.
Misinterpretation 5: If Jammu Kashmiri girl marries a boy from any other Indian state, she will lose citizenship of Kashmir. And if she marries a Pakistani boy, the boy will get citizenship of Kashmir.
Truth: This is also a lie. Such a point is not discussed in Article 370. But according to the order given out by the president, 35-A has come into force. According to this, the state assembly of Jammu and Kashmir has made a resolution that if any boy from its state marries a girl from any other state, their children would get legal rights. Similarly if any girl from the state marries a boy from other state, their children would not get right to state citizenship and legal rights.
It is not true that if she marries a Pakistani boy, the boy will get citizenship of Kashmir.
Misinterpretation 6: Minorities (Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs) of Jammu Kashmir are not getting 16% Reservations
Truth: This is also a big lie. Indian constitution has declared few people as minorities throughout the country. They are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians etc. Minorities cannot be declared state wise. Different states have different religions as majority or minority. So according to the constitution only the above specified six religions are termed as minorities in India.
Another important to note here is that when a lawyer named Ankur sharma set an appeal to declare Hindus as minorities in Jammu Kashmir, Supreme Court has asked this question to central government and state government. State government replied “no” whereas the central government didn’t reply at all.
It is not at all true that Hindus are facing injustice because of Article 370. These misinterpretations will create conflicts between religions. Our immediate duty is to keep track of these hate campaigns and sabotage.
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