Metro

  • Written by Sumit Ganguly, Distinguished Professor of Political and the Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University

India recently enacted a law which will end a special autonomous status given to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, known in the West as simply “Kashmir.”

Amit Shah, India’s minister for home affairs, announced in Parliament[1] that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was revoking Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in the name of bringing prosperity to the region.

Since 1954, this article has governed federal relations between India and Kashmir[2], India’s only Muslim majority state.

I’m a scholar of South Asian politics and have written extensively[3] on the evolution of the India-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir.

Article 370 is woven into that history.

History of Kashmir’s autonomy

Article 370[4] originated in the particular circumstances under which the former prince and last ruler of Kashmir acceded to India shortly after the partition of the British Indian Empire into the independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947.

The prince, or maharaja, agreed to have Kashmir become part of India under duress[5]. His rule was threatened by an insurrection supported by Pakistan.

Article 370 was designed to guarantee the autonomy of the Muslim majority state[6], the only one in predominantly Hindu India. The clause effectively limited the powers of the Indian government to the realms of defense, foreign affairs and communications. It also permitted the Kashmiri state to have its own flag[7] and constitution[8].

More controversially, Article 370 prohibited non-Kashmiris from purchasing property in the state and stated that women who married non-Kashmiris would lose their inheritance rights[9].

Changes over time

But the independence of the Kashmiri state has been declining for decades. Beginning in the early 1950s, a series of presidential ordinances, which had swift effect much like American executive orders, diluted the terms of the article[10].

For example, in 1954, a presidential order extended Indian citizenship to the “permanent residents” of the state. Prior to this decision the native inhabitants of the state had been considered to be “state subjects[11].”

Other constitutional changes followed. The jurisdiction of the Indian Supreme Court was expanded to the state[12] in 1954. In addition, the Indian government was granted the authority to declare a national emergency if Kashmir were attacked[13].

Many other administrative actions reduced the state’s autonomy over time. These have ranged from enabling Kashmiris to participate in national administrative positions to expanding the jurisdiction of anti-corruption bodies, such as the Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Goods and Services Act of 2017[14], into the state.

What it means for India and the world

What has happened as a result of the move to revoke Article 370?

What's behind the protests in Kashmir? Kashmiris living in New Delhi gather for a function to observe Eid al-Adha away from their homes in New Delhi. AP Photo/Manish Swarup[15]

The decision has been met with considerable unhappiness and resentment in the Kashmir Valley, which has a Muslim population close to 97%[16] – versus 68% of the population of the state as a whole[17]. The government of Jammu and Kashmir, meanwhile, does not have the legal power to challenge the move.

China and Pakistan have expressed displeasure.

Pakistan has long maintained that it should have inherited the state[18] based upon its geographic contiguity and its demography.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir[19]. While I don’t believe Pakistan will initiate another war with India over this issue at this time, I doubt it will quietly resign itself to the changed circumstances. At the very least, it will seek to draw in members of the international community to oppose India’s action, as it has sought to do in the past.

China, which considers Pakistan to be its “all-weather ally[20],” has stated that the decision was “not acceptable and won’t be binding[21].”

[ Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter[22]. ]

References

  1. ^ announced in Parliament (qz.com)
  2. ^ governed federal relations between India and Kashmir (global.oup.com)
  3. ^ written extensively (doi.org)
  4. ^ Article 370 (in.news.yahoo.com)
  5. ^ agreed to have Kashmir become part of India under duress (www.andrewwhitehead.net)
  6. ^ Muslim majority state (www.aljazeera.com)
  7. ^ flag (indianexpress.com)
  8. ^ constitution (www.jklegislativeassembly.nic.in)
  9. ^ lose their inheritance rights (www.bbc.com)
  10. ^ diluted the terms of the article (www.worldcat.org)
  11. ^ state subjects (www.doi.org)
  12. ^ was expanded to the state (books.google.co.in)
  13. ^ if Kashmir were attacked (books.google.com)
  14. ^ Central Goods and Services Act of 2017 (www.sbirealty.in)
  15. ^ AP Photo/Manish Swarup (www.apimages.com)
  16. ^ Muslim population close to 97% (globalvoices.org)
  17. ^ 68% of the population of the state as a whole (www.census2011.co.in)
  18. ^ it should have inherited the state (www.huffingtonpost.in)
  19. ^ three wars over Kashmir (cup.columbia.edu)
  20. ^ all-weather ally (thediplomat.com)
  21. ^ not acceptable and won’t be binding (www.scmp.com)
  22. ^ Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter (theconversation.com)

Authors: Sumit Ganguly, Distinguished Professor of Political and the Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University

Read more http://theconversation.com/whats-behind-the-protests-in-kashmir-121833

Metropolitan republishes selected articles from The Conversation USA with permission

Visit The Conversation to see more

Entertainment News

Violin ReEnvisioned

Falling in love with music so young was more than transformative. Music became the lead sheet of my life; challenging me to navigate changes with grace, maintain a steady rhythmic groove, dynami...

Chelsey Green - avatar Chelsey Green

Kadda Sheekoff Win Best Urban Song For "All My Life"

Singer Kadda Sheekoff have emerged as the toast of the 2020 Songdew Pause&Play. Obviously, there are many composers who deserve the award more than Kadda Sheekoff, but the decision of the S...

Media Release - avatar Media Release

A Musical Journey: The Authentic Ted Cline

Ted Cline was born in 1962 as the 11th of 13 children.  His parents were hard-working tobacco share-croppers in Weston, Missouri. By the time he was eleven, he was sneaking downstairs to play his...

Ted Cline - avatar Ted Cline

Angela Predhomme - My Musical Journey

Determined to “make it” in the music industry as a songwriter, I meticulously crafted the best songs I could and pitched them to industry gatekeepers. “THIS one’s got to be IT,” I thought. But ala...

Angela Predhomme - avatar Angela Predhomme

GREYE: “So Far So Good”

“So Far So Good” After seven plus years firing up venues up and down the Atlantic Coast and throughout the Midwest to the breakneck tune of 90-110 annual shows, it’s definitely been jarring fo...

News Company - avatar News Company

The life and times of Wendy Moten

I never thought I would be in the music business, much less a recording artist. I never saw it coming. I thought I'd be a corporate attorney or something like that. Little did I know that anothe...

Wendy Moten - avatar Wendy Moten

CARY PARK “You Matter to Me”

“You Matter to Me” In any other time, Cary Park’s stunning new single “You Matter to Me” might be just another beautiful heartfelt love song, an outpouring of personal affection towards a cheri...

News Company - avatar News Company

TED CLINE ... Country Music Done Right

Country Music Done Right When Ted Cline uses the phrase “Country Music Done Right” to describe his engaging vibe, the Kansas City area-based singer/songwriter isn’t simply being crafty or clev...

News Company - avatar News Company

LAMONT DOZIER, JR. “Why Can’t We Be Lovers”/”I’m Gonna Take My Time”

When it comes to enduring musical legacies, it’s always inspiring when the melodic, grooving evergreen apples drop so close to the tree. The son and namesake of legendary singer, songwriter and re...

News Company - avatar News Company

Metropolitan Business News

MODEL/ACTOR THORN CASTILLO IS THE “NEW FACE” OF SCHICK STYLIST

In 2019, just as his multi-faceted career was taking off, Thorn Castillo heard Robert Downey Jr. offer a sage bit of advice during an interview on photographer/director Sam Jones’ acclaimed multi-...

News Company - avatar News Company

New Research Highlights Opportunities for Sports Betting

Revenue Stream for Sports’ Post-COVID-19 Recovery Strategies New Rochelle, NY, June 1, 2020— Twenty-four states have now legalized sports betting, with more states considering legalization la...

Len Stein - avatar Len Stein

How to make overseas transfers easier?

Mainstream banks can charge as much as $20 just to process a basic international money transfer. Fortunately, today people are not doomed to handling personal finances only through mainstream gl...

News Company - avatar News Company

The flourishing international market of fragrance and perfume

There is something special and unique about the art of fragrance. This is a big world and there are quite literally a lot of smells around at any given time. In fact, as one of the five human senses i...

News Company - avatar News Company

Impact of good marketing on sales

Sales and marketing are brothers as they go hand and in hand. The job of both of these departments is to generate revenue so that an organization can make money. A company that does not generate rev...

News Company - avatar News Company

7 effective tips for increasing sales in retail

It seems that retailers have drawn a difficult lot in the 21st century: competition from online retail is growing steadily. After all, Internet retailers can sell your products at significantly lowe...

News Company - avatar News Company

Holidays

5 COOL GADGETS TO CARRY FOR A SAFE TRIP

Are you planning to go on a trip? Possibly, you do not know what things are most necessary on a trip. In this article, we will guide you through some important tips. These tips help you to...

News Company - avatar News Company

New Baggage Regulations to Help Aussie Parents Travel with Infants

Travelling around the globe has never been easy, especially when infants tag along for the trip. One of the main issues that parents often have to deal with is the need to bring extra item...

News Company - avatar News Company

Maya Beach Opens to Tourists

Despite recent reports that Southern Thailand's famous Maya Beach will close for three months this year, in fact no decision to this effect has been made by Thai authorities. Phi Phi Nati...

Maevadi Rosenfeldt - avatar Maevadi Rosenfeldt