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

Explained: What Article 35A Is And Why Scrapping It May Be A Bad Idea

More from Siddharth Tiwari

The Supreme Court’s hearing on revocation of the Article 35A that grants special status to the people of Jammu and Kashmir has once instilled fear in the valley. While the apex court today adjourned the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of the Article 35A, it is feared that repealing of the article will have severe consequences.

Tinkering with the Article has been termed as a political strategy by the Centre to change the demography of the state by undermining the concerns of the indigenous population, experts tell Youth Ki Awaaz.

“From breaking of the alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to pushing for the scrapping of Article 35A, everything is happening right when General Elections are around the corner. This is clearly undermining the fears and apprehensions of the Kashmiri people. Everything should not be seen from politically benefitting angle, especially in a sensitive land like Kashmir,”  said Waheed-Ur-Rehman Para, President Youth PDP.

Local journalists and politicians believe that the fate of Article 35A will not change the Valley’s sentiments towards New Delhi. According to them, the move to scrap the only Article that renders some negotiating power to the state will open a Pandora box of conflicts.

“BJP came in alliance with the PDP with the assurance that Article 35A will not be repealed. If they still go ahead and remove the Article, then it’ll be a breach of trust. The protests and tension is only going to intensify. By spreading an atmosphere of fear one can’t hope to win the people,” asserted Para.

Article 370 and Article 35A have been a contentious issue ever since the state of Jammu and Kashmir was formally included in the Republic of India.

What is Article 35A?

After partition in 1947, Kashmir was torn between two newly-formed countries- India and Pakistan. After a long period of uncertainty and political turmoil, Jawaharlal Nehru struck a deal with Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh. The instrument of accession signed between Singh and Nehru was the start of negotiating Kashmir’s relation with India.

Later in 1949, Article 370 was included in the constitution after deliberations between Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, an essential figure in Kashmir politics, and Nehru. Article 370 defines Kashmir’s political relationship with New Delhi by granting special status to J&K. It restricts Centre’s legislative powers over defence, foreign affairs, and communications.

In 1954, through a presidential order passed the then President Rajendra Prasad Article 35A  was issued under Article 370 (1) (d) of the Constitution. The article accords special rights and privileges of the ‘permanent residents’ of the Kashmir in government jobs, land acquisition and other public welfare projects.

Significance of Article 35 – A Bone Of Contention

SC is currently hearing the petition filed by NGO, We the Citizens, that challenges the validity of both Article 35A and Article 370. According to the petition, Article 35A is against the “very spirit of oneness of India” and creates a “class within a class of Indian citizens”.

However, according to the residents of Kashmir, Article 370 and 35A are two planks on which the state can negotiate its autonomy with the Centre. Over the years, especially after the enforcement of AFSPA and PSA, the valley has been sceptical of New Delhi’s intent. The repeated atrocities of the armies and Centre’s meddling with the regional issue has further alienated the Kashmiris from India.

“New Delhi has already eroded Article 370. In terms of politics and security Kashmiris already feel that the Centre has failed to be considerate towards the concerns of the people. Repealing of Article 35A will send the message that even judiciary is against people of Kashmir. It will be a breach of trust,” argued Para.

It is further argued that the revocation of the Article 35A will trigger a large-scale incursion of big industrialists and people from other other states.

“It’s not just the political angle. People are also concerned about the environment. Just like how people in Singur opposed Tata’s plant, people in Kashmir fear that with mass migration, which may happen if the Article goes away, will not only change the demography of the state, but also hamper the environment,” said a Kashmir-based journalist Fahad Shah.

Commenting on Centre’s approach towards Kashmir, Shah argued, “New Delhi’s policies towards Kashmir haven’t changed much. Be it the rigging of 1987 elections or atrocities inflicted by PSA and AFSPA, Centre has never really given Kashmir the promised ‘special status’. Congress did behind the curtain and BJP is doing it openly. The current government at Centre likes to brag.”

You must be to comment.
  1. 15229 HARSHVARDAN

    Nonsense this author hasn’t even checked the problems before an utter biased and useless person. He doesn’t knows the exact ground situation. He is a an agent of Pakistan and hypocritical liberal cum leftist

More from Siddharth Tiwari

Similar Posts

By Rahul Karanpuriya

By Harsh Singh

By Sheikh Hussain

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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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