This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Adrija Shukla. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Abrogation Of Article 370 : A Step Towards Development Of Jammu & Kashmir?

More from Adrija Shukla

By Adrija Shukla:

One keeps hearing a lot about Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in print, electronic, as well as new media. It is the This Article grants special status to Jammu & Kashmir. The BJP mentioned in its manifesto that the party would abrogate it if it comes to power in the general elections of 2014. There was a lot of hue and cry when the Prime ministerial candidate of BJP, Mr. Narendra Modi, mentioned during his campaign in Jammu, that there should be a debate over pros and cons of article 370. Now that BJP is in power, debates over Article 370 have sparked off once again. Many national leaders are still advocating the relevance of this Article, but the question that rises here is – what are the people of India and the people of J & K getting from Article 370?

Kashmir article 370

Before analyzing this, let’s first see how this Article came into existence. During the time of independence, the unification of Indian republic was taking place. As many as 565 princely states were integrated into India under the dynamic leadership of Shri Sardar Patel, who was the country’s Home Minister then. Kashmir could also have been one of these if he would have been allowed to do so by the then Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Sheikh Abdullah, on the other hand, was an ambitious leader, who had a dream to rule an independent Kashmir. He persuaded Pt. Nehru to grant special status to Jammu & Kashmir, and was the architect of Article 370, along with Nehru. Pt. Nehru obliged and fulfilled his wish by appointing him the Prime Minister of J&K in 1947.

The main purpose of this Article was to ensure that the distinct identity of J&K’s population was preserved. Though the Article was introduced as a temporary provision that was to be removed in due course of time, that never happened, even after 66 years of independence.

The fact is that the provisions mentioned in the Article 370 separated J&K from India in the name of making it a part of it. The state has its own constitution and flag and the laws of Indian constitution cease to have an effect there. The most perverse aspect of this Article is that the Central government will have to seek the state’s concurrence to apply any law in the state. People of India have one citizenship, whereas the people of J&K have dual citizenship. Citizens from rest of India can’t buy property in J&K.

All these years, no political party has ever touched Article 370, fearing to lose their vote bank. If we ponder upon what special benefits this Article has given to the J&K people, we won’t be able to find much. Literacy rate of the state is 67.16%. Economic growth hasn’t been up to the mark, and poverty prevails in many areas. Every other day, we hear about attacks by terrorists in the state. People live in fear.

As other citizens are not allowed to buy property in the state, it is not able to get the benefits of private investments. This is affecting the economic growth of the state to a great extent. This is also affecting the youth, as the people are left with very little employment options – that, too, majorly from the government sector. As a result, they migrate to the other Indian states in search of jobs. Those who choose to stay there after completing the education and are not able to find jobs, fall prey to the anti-national activities in order to earn their living.

Immediately after Modi government took reigns of the country, Mr. Jitendra Singh, a minister of state, who hails from J&K , gave a statement that there should be a debate on the relevance on Article 370. There was an immediate reaction and resistance from the CM of J&K, Mr. Omar Abdullah, who tweeted that long after Modi Govt. is a distant memory, either J&K won’t be part of India, or Article 370 will still exist!

If it ceases to be a part of India, will it be able to survive independently? Let’s have a look to the aide provided by the central government to the state of J&K. J&K has not been able to generate sufficient revenues from its own resources and has been facing serious financial problems. J&K’s plan expenditure are 100% financed by the Central government. Kashmir is presently the most subsidized state of India. Bihar is the poorest state of India, but J&K gets 11 times more central assistance than Bihar.

Today, the general sentiment in the country is that Article 370 is doing no benefit to the people of J&K, and nor is it of any help to others. It has just become a barrier in the path of development of the state and the country, and benefiting only those who are trying to make selfish benefits out of power they were given to serve people. The state that is full of wonderful scenic beauty of the nature, and which was once regarded as the Switzerland of India, has become the battlefield, with a lot of violence, bomb blasts, murder of innocent people, and terrorist activities since the last 25 years. One is bound to ponder on whether Article 370 is responsible for all these ills of the state. It is high time that the new government takes a bold step and scraps Article 370, which continues to keep the state in isolation. Maybe the scrapping of Article 370 ends the agony of the people of J&K and paves the way for making of a Switzerland in India.

You must be to comment.
  1. Moin Mubarak

    This topic is very sensitive. Generally people outside the state fail to take into consideration one important aspect, the sentiments of people. The history of the place is very tragic and it requires a higher and deeper level of understanding than just of what appears in the news. The article didn’t talk of how the accession of India took place in Kashmir. How the armed revolution started and what were it’s effects on the people and the economy. To the people of Kashmir Article 370 is not just a hindrance in the economic development but much more than than. If you’re going to comment on the article then first look on the other side of the coin and then present your opinion. I’m sure it will be different.

  2. Ammar Bakhsh

    No one benefits from Kashmir . The level of obbsetion with the people of kashmir and its state of affairs is pathetic. The history and current affais fed to us are sooooooo biased , that critiques like these become just a case of ideal vision hypocrisy.

  3. Asma S Shah

    Adrija Shukla , your historical facts about the history of unification and integration of Kashmir is wrong . Kashmir was not unified , it was adopted . It is an ‘adopted state’ , the article 370 was never supposed to be ‘ dissolved’ as it is the pre condition for accession of Kashmir with India . I am very disappointed by the article . Secondly , political parties to not lose vote bank have not ever granted the separate parliament as promised to Kashmir . Also , you failed to mention the Maharaja and why Kashmir chose india !!!

    1. Chandeep

      Hey Asma, I too think the same. The history is a bit faulted. But the view expressed that 370 should be abolished is my opinion too. Abrogation of 370 will surely help Kashmir to show its true beauty and help it to become more economically stable. Don’t you think?

  4. Prashant Kaushik

    Whatever the history might have been, it is high time, the Archaic article is done away with. Kashmir is not the only state which can boast of special or different features or unique demography.
    Almost every state in India is pretty different from another. Think what Punjab, Kerala or Manipur can have in common. If the rest of India can be unified into a single region, with same rules, laws, standards, then why should Kashmir alone be treated as an exception.

    The more special provisions you give, the more separatist tendencies breed.

    1. Asma S Shah

      Your point of view is valid from your point of view ! But to any Kashmiri it will like a betrayal from India . We chose India , we chose to be Indian but if you agree on certain terms , you got to stick to that ! One’s got to keep their word ! It is how it is now , any revocation is a direct violation of the accession deed and hence will hold the agreement void !

  5. Rishabh Jain

    The thing is Kashmir was, just like many other states initiated into the union of India, but then Pakistan created a systematic war lobby around it. They first attacked in 1948, then in 1965 and then in 1999 to stop it from becoming so. What could happen if Kashmir was initiated into the union of India? Kashmir can’t be worse off than it is now. I believe Jammu (which everyone conveniently ignores) any day would want that, so you have half the state’s support right there. As far as Kashmir is concerned, half the state population lives outside the state (Kashmiri Pandits) and these people would definitely vote for the abrogation, which gives them a way to go back to their own homeland. Effectively if you were to consider the state as a whole, there is no doubt in my mind that Kashmir could be one with India. BTW, in case you don’t know, every Kashmiri muslim isn’t a sepratist. There are many out there who would like a different insight upon that too. As far as I know, from the people I have met, is that they hate two things the most – the army presence (AFSPA) and pak intrusion. Both could be treated with the abrogation. Its only logical.

  6. Vinod Dhall

    We need to consider – The Indian Independence Act of 1947 – The Act’s most important provisions were:-

    *division of British India into the two new and fully sovereign dominions of India and Pakistan, with effect from 15 August 1947;
    *conferral of complete legislative authority upon the respective Constituent Assemblies of the two new countries;
    *termination of British suzerainty over the princely states, with effect from 15 August 1947, and recognised the right of states to remain independent or accede to either dominion.

    A discussion on Art 370 has to recognise this reality.
    Also, The Cabinet of the GoI has collective responsibility for all its decisions and actions. Therefore for an objective discussion of an issue arising can only say “Nehru Cabinet” (?)

More from Adrija Shukla

Similar Posts

By Tapesh Upadhyay

By Ritwik Trivedi

By Vanita Ganesh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below