“The revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A has become an indelible chapter in history. The Supreme Court’s five-member Constitutional Bench has rightfully endorsed the process of abrogating Article 370 with unanimous consent. As per the Court:”
Jammu and Kashmir did not possess internal sovereignty, and the approval of the state government was not a prerequisite for the application of the Indian Constitution to the region.
Article 370 was deemed a temporary provision.
The Instrument of Accession and the Proclamation (dated November 25, 1949) did not include any elements that retained sovereignty for Jammu and Kashmir after their endorsement.
The utilization of powers by the President under Article 370(3) aimed to extend the application of the Indian Constitution in its entirety to Jammu and Kashmir.
This measure was solely intended to conclude the process of the constitutional integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country.
The Supreme Court has also suggested the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to probe human rights violations. The judges offered remarks on the formation of separate Union Territories for Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, affirming the legitimacy of the decision to designate Ladakh as a distinct Union Territory under Article 3(A). This provision empowers Parliament to create separate Union Territories by dividing any state.
The call for Article 370 was initiated by Sheikh Abdullah, backed by Prime Minister Nehru. The abolition of Article 370 has bestowed complete autonomy upon Jammu and Kashmir. The plot to impose it on Jammu and Kashmir was masterminded by Sheikh Abdullah and Nehru. Sheikh Abdullah was the first to advocate for the application of Article 370. When Sardar Patel rejected it, he presented the proposal to Prime Minister Nehru in a letter dated January 3, 1949.
Plotting the Division of Jammu and Kashmir
On April 14, 1949, Sheikh Abdullah, in an interview with journalist Michael Davidson, advocated for the division of Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequently, Pandit Nehru exerted pressure on Sardar Patel to acquiesce to Sheikh’s stance. However, when Sardar Patel did not yield, in May 1949, Pandit Nehru visited Jammu and Kashmir and entered into multiple compromises with Sheikh Abdullah. The proposal was submitted to the Constitutional Assembly on October 17, 1949, and Sheikh opposed it, issuing a letter to Ayyangar, threatening resignation. Despite this, Sardar Patel resisted succumbing to Nehru’s pressure. In the initial draft of Article 370, all powers were vested in Sheikh, a provision that underwent modification. Sardar Patel replaced Sheikh Abdullah’s interim government with the Union of India.
Draft with the Union of India in lieu of the Interim Government
This strategic move by Sardar Patel paved the way for the elimination of Article 370. It is widely acknowledged that due to the obstinacy of Pandit Nehru, the integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India faced delays, whereas Maharaja Hari Singh consistently sought the merger of Jammu and Kashmir into India. Sardar Patel’s vision has now been realized. The Supreme Court has also validated the Central Government’s decision to revoke Article 370. The nation warmly embraces the Supreme Court’s verdict. Since the abrogation of Article 370, the residents of Jammu and Kashmir have realized the aspiration of “one nation, one constitution, one prime minister.” Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s long-standing demand has been met. Furthermore, the people in Jammu and Kashmir now enjoy equal rights, akin to other states in the country. It is crucial for everyone, including Pakistan, to dispel any misconceptions about the identity of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir were, are, and will remain an integral part of India.