GOVERNMENT OF INDIA’S MOVE TO REMOVE SPECIAL STATUS OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR AND BIFURCATE IT INTO SEPARATE UNION TERRITORIES

In one of the historic and unprecedented moves, the Government of India has amended and revoked Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution of India 1950 as amended thereof (the Constitution) respectively, vide promulgation of the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 2019 (the Order) on 05-08-2019, thereby removing the special autonomous status that was earlier granted to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Reportedly, the special status was earlier granted to J&K in order to refrain influx or invasion of J&K by outsiders, especially, from Hindu community, so that the Muslim-majority population in Kashmir valley was not diluted. The said special status enabled J&K to have their own constitution, criminal laws, national flag, non-applicability of orders of the Supreme Court of India and Indian laws in J&K, non-acquisition of land and non-employment of Indians in J&K.

But there has been a need to remove the special status and move beyond the regressive idea of living solo at a place and allow people from other states and countries to settle and/or set up businesses in J&K, bring more global investments, allow students and professionals from outside J&K to study and work in J&K, improve the quality of faculty, education, etc in J&K, and develop J&K economically, politically and socially.

Thus, the Government of India has annulled the special status of State of J&K and further announced to bifurcate the State of J&K into two Union Territories (UTs), namely, Union Territory of Ladakh (without Legislature) and Union Territory of J&K (with Legislature) for better and proper administration. Ladakh is said to be a scarcely populated region with a difficult terrain, whereas, J&K is said to be vulnerable to internal security and cross-border terrorism issues.

As a result of the promulgation of Order dated 05-08-2019, J&K would now be treated at par with other states of India. Although there have been mixed reactions from various people and politicians across the country in response to this Government move, but the Government continues to remain positive about its decision, as it would help in growth and development of J&K.

It seems the present Government has finally found a solution to the beleaguered problem of Kashmir. This move will now make the netizens of J & K at par with the rest of India. Mr Modi’s Government may have with one fell stroke crushed the chronic problem of Kashmir that was bleeding the National Exchequer.

Though currently there is a mixed reaction it is hoped that all will settle down and India will send strong signals to all that dare to upset the peace of the country.

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