Jammu and Kashmir—Special Status

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution grants special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 stipulates the following major aspects: Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution

(a) The provisions of Article 238 in Part VII (which was subsequently omitted from the Constitution by the 7th Amendment in 1956) shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

(b) The power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to (i) those matters in the Union list and the Concurrent list which, in consultation with the government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the instrument of accession governing the accession of the State to the dominion of Indian and (ii) such other matters in the said lists, as with the concurrence of the government of the State, the President may by order specify.

(c) The provisions of Article 1 and this article shall apply in relation to that State.

(d) Such other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify. The Constitution further provides that no such order which relates to the matter specified in the instrument of accession of the state referred to in paragraph (i) of sub clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the government of the State. There is, thus, a special relationship between the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India.

Some features of the relationship are:

  1. Jammu and Kashmir has its own Constitution as has been framed by its own constituent assembly. 2. No bill providing for increasing or reducing the area of the State or altering the name or boundary of the State can be introduced in the Parliament without the consent of the State legislature.
  2. Certain rights have been granted to the permanent residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with regard to employment, acquisition of immovable property in the State and the like.
  3. Unlike other state legislative assemblies in India, the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly has a six-year term.
  4. Jammu and Kashmir has two flags, the state flag and the India’s national flag.
  5. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has dual citizenship: the state citizenship and the Indian citizenship.
  6. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir cannot declare any law unconstitutional.
  7. The Parliament can make laws with regard to Jammu and Kashmir only on subjects in the Union List.
  8. The residuary powers in respect of Jammu and Kashmir rest with the State government and not with the Union government.
  9. No decision affecting the disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir can be made by the Government of India without the consent of the State government.
  10. No proclamation of emergency made on grounds only of internal disturbance of imminent danger thereof shall have effect in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir unless (a) it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the government of the State; or (b) where it has not been so made, it is applied subsequently by the President to that State at the request or with the concurrence of the government of that State.
  11. The Fifth Schedule pertaining to the administration and control of Schedule Areas and Scheduled Tribes and the Sixth Schedule pertaining to administration of tribal areas are not applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Over the years, several changes in the status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir have been made;

(i) In 1964, Articles 356 and 357 were extended to the State and the President was authorized to take over the administration of the State in the event of breakdown of constitutional machinery;

(ii) The Parliament had also been given the power to make laws for the State during the proclamation of emergency under Article 356;

(iii) In 1965, the head of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was re designated Governor (instead of Sadar-i-Riyasat) and the head of government of State, designated as Chief Minister (instead of Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir). Indeed, Article 370 constitutes a part of ‘temporary’ provisions, and hence can be revoked, but this can be done, as its clause 3 says, only on the President’s public notification and that too on the recommendations of the Constituent Assembly of the state which assembly would have to be formed by the people of the whole state, including that part which is occupied by Pakistan.

India’s Foreign Policy

National interest, being the major determining factor of the foreign policies all over the world, is expressed in economic terms, always. This is true of India’s foreign policy, though other related factors such as the historical traditions, geo-political considerations, the role of dominant personalities, locational compulsions, too have their significance in formulating a foreign policy. During the early post-independence years, non alignanent, as our mantra of foreign policy had, in fact, the economic compulsions: the desire to build itself as a new nation. Indeed, other aspects such as the world peace and security, advocacy of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, opposition to racial discrimination, third-world unity, Afro-Asian solidarity, strengthening of the United Nations forum, appeal for world disarmament were also incorporated in India’s objectives of foreign policy. During the post-cold war era, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, India rose up to advocate independent decision making foreign policy in its national interest.

There was also an economic factor responsible: the post-1990 years witnessed the Indian economy opening up following liberalization and globalization effects, there was the economic boom. Production increased and with it trade and commerce resulting in India’s growth and profit. We began asking for a place in the world affairs; our nuclear power position made us an important factor in the comity of the world; our claim for a permanent seat in the Security Council became stronger; our relations with the neighboring nations improved resulting in better trade terms and we began investing in the welfare projects of our neighbors. We too started strategic partnerships with major powers (the USA, Russia, Japan, China, European Union) of the world. And yet, we kept advocating the lesser objective of the foreign policy including, among others:

(i) solidarity with developing countries, especially with Asian Nations;

(ii) a deep-rooted conviction in peaceful existence and for the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy;

(iii) and a desire for developing a self-reliant and technologically strong India;

(iv) protection of India’s core national interests in the fast changing international environment;

(v) building a strong international campaign against terrorism;

(vi) formation of an international environment which supports India’s economic growth in all possible fields;

(vii) strengthening and intensification of friendly and amicable relations with all the nations; reciprocal relationships;

(viii) realization of the objectives for which SAARC and other regional organizations stand for;

(ix) maximization of gains from regional economic organizations associated with India;

(x) help understand and solve the environmental issues relating to climate change;

(xi) implementation of global disarmament; and

(xii) projection of a reformed United Nations so to make it a truly representative, responsive, responsible and transparent international organization. The BJP led NDA government, following the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with massive public support, pursues a foreign policy as dictated by its national interest, with economic considerations. Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy, as of any other previous government, is guided by the economic interest (Nehru, as the first prime minister of independent India, had said: “ultimately, foreign policy is the outcome of economic policy”), making us believe that there is, thus continuity, and not change, in the foreign policy of any country, including India.

Economic interests is the organizing principle of our present foreign policy. Modi invited for his oath ceremony the heads of the SAARC nations to in still confidence in India’s desire to build mutual relationship with our neighbours. The Prime Minister’s visit to Japan, his warm welcome of the China’s President and his visit to the USA and the visit of the Russian President to India are India’s attempts to strengthen strategic and trade partnerships with all the major powers, friendly or not-so friendly. ‘Make in India’ campaigns and inviting the foreign investors to invest in India together with the red-carpet welcome, are Modi’s efforts to build a strong economic India.

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