Update on the Status of Jammu and Kashmir

Editor’s note:  Indian Prime MInister Narendra Modi is a notorious racist who has instigated Hindi riots against Muslims in India.  The BJP party is the political arm of the RSS, the Indian Ku Klux Klan.

At the time of the partition of India, the Maharaja of the princely state of Kashmir chose independence rather than membership in either India or Pakistan.  What he received was membership in India as an auntonymous state.   This status was insured by Article 370 in the Indian constitution.  After several wars, Kashmir was divided between India and Pakistan in 1971.  Most Kashmiri people would chose to become part of Pakistan.

Kashmir is a pristinely beautiful region with lots of water and other natural resources.  Last summer Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked Article 370 (ending the partial autonomy of Jammu & Kashmir) and placed Jammu & Kashmir under martial law.

by Aamir Altaf, published on Countercurrents.org, April 2, 2020

On October 26 1947, the then Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh signed an instrument of accession under which the state surrendered only three subjects that are Defence, external affairs and communication to the Dominion of India . in March 1948 the Maharaja appointed an interim Government in the state with sheikh Abdullah as Prime minister. The Government of India made a commitment that the people of this state through their own constituent assembly would determine the internal constitution of this state and the nature and extent of the jurisdiction of the Union of India over the state and until the decision of the constituent assembly of the state, the constitution of India could only provide an interim arrangement regarding the state.

In July 1949 Sheikh Abdullah and there other colleagues joined the Indian constituent assembly and negotiated the special status of Jammu & Kashmir leading to the adoption pf Article 370.The then President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370 issued an order (Application to Jammu & Kashmir order 1954) through the constitution that defines permanent residents of state. when the Jammu & Kashmir constitution was adopted in 1956 , it defines the permanent residents someone who was a state subject on May 14 1954 or who has been a resident of the state for 10 years and has lawfully acquired immovable property . so under this Clause no outsider can own property in Jammu & Kashmir or get a state job.

Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370

The parliament of India needed the Jammu & Kashmir government’s approval for applying laws in the state except in case of Defence , External affairs , Finance and communication.

Under Article 370 citizens from other states can’t buy property in Jammu &  Kashmir.  Under Article 370 the central government of India has no power to declare a finance emergency in the state. The law of citizenship , ownership pf property and fundamental rights of residents of Jammu & Kashmir is different from that of the residents living in rest of India. It is important to note that Article 370(1)(c) explicitly mentions that Article 1 of the Indian Constitution applies to Kashmir through Article 370. Article 1 lists the states of the Union. This means that it is Article 370 that binds the state of Jammu  & Kashmir to the Indian Union.

But in the wee hours of 5 August 2019 GOI or the BJP led Union government revoked the special status or limited autonomy granted under Article 370 of the India constitution to Jammu & Kashmir, and the state was divided into two union territories i.e. Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 and The new Residency Law

Since the revocation of Article 370, a demand was made for a resident policy and Home minister Amit Shah gave assurance to the people of Jammu & Kashmir that they will have a better resident policy than other states in the country and a reasonable economic development policy will be drafted soon.

So finally, in the late evening of 1st April 2020 the central government of India has defined new resident rules for people of Jammu & Kashmir.

In the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020, under the Jammu & Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, has been introduced to define resident as that who has resided for a period of 15 years in the Indian Territory of Jammu & Kashmir or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examination in an educational institution located in the Indian Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

The definition expands to include children of those Central Government officials, All India Services Officers, officials of PSUs and autonomous body of Central Government, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of Central Universities and recognized research institutes of Central Government who have served in Jammu & Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfill any of the conditions in these sections.

Additionally, persons registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir will also be included in the definition. Children of such residents of Jammu & Kashmir as residents outside the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfill any of the conditions provided.

Tehsildar will be the competent authority to issue resident certificates.  No Person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carry a pay scale of 25000 or less i.e. level 4 unless s/he is a resident of the Indian Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

What are the effects on ground

  1. By virtue of this order outsiders are also going to be claimants of jobs in Jammu & Kashmir which already has a huge unemployment problem.
  2. State government will have a limited authority , law and order will be under the central government of India’s jurisdiction.
  3. There will be no dual citizenship, only India citizenship will b valid .
  4. ’Hindi ‘and’ English’ will become the official language instead of ‘Urdu’
  5. Indians from the other state would be able to buy property in Jammu & Kashmir
  6. Right to information (RTI) will be applicable in all aspects and for all.
  7. State can’t decide on ”permanent residency” in the state.
  8. 7th pay commission will be applicable across all grades.
  9. Law of eviction from ancestral property if girl marries non Kashmiri will stand null and void
  10. Equal opportunity will be given to SC-ST as well without discrimination.
  11. Economic reservation (Ews) 10% Quota will be applicable by default.
  12. Jammu & Kashmir will have a Lt. Governor instead of CM.

Aamir Altaf  is a political science student at Aligarh Muslim University and can be reached at .

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