The move to the abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, seems to have won over BJP’s bickering ally Shiv Sena.
Sanjay Raut, one of the prominent leaders of the Maharashtra-based party and a member of Rajya Sabha, even went to the extent of saying that the Narendra Modi administration has show everyone “how a government should be run”.
“A strong government, which has shown [everyone] how a government runs, how a government is run.. has show the kind of sacrifice and courage that is required to keep the country together..
“Today, we have reclaimed Jammu & Kashmir. Tomorrow, we will take Baluchistan, PoK and this government will fulfill the dream of undivided India,” Raut said.
Baluchistan is a portion of Pakistan lying to the south of the country, and historically home to the Baluchi tribe, whose mention can be seen even in the Vedas. It is believed that the name Baluchi is a corruption of the original name Meluha or Mlechcha.
Meluha is also the name of the area during the times of the Indus Valley Civilization, as mentioned in Sumerian tablets of the time. Many Baluchis are reportedly unhappy with their status in Pakistan, which in turn has accused India of secretly supporting separatists in the area.
Speaking in parliament today, Raut said the accession of Jammu & Kashmir did not happen in 1947, but today.
He said a section of people who used to profit from keeping Jammu & Kashmir separate from India are today opposing the move by the government to cancel the special status of the state.
“It is the same people who have exploited the people of Jammu & Kashmir for 70 years, prevented them from joining the mainstream of India and taught everyone [there] that India is our enemy,” Raut said.
WHAT IS ARTICLE 370
Like other princely states, Jammu & Kashmir was given the option of calling a constituent assembly and creating its own constitution instead of accepting the Indian constitution when it acceded to India.
However, unlike the other states, Jammu & Kashmir actually made use of the provision and set up a constituent assembly in 1951, which took five years to create a constitution for the state.
Even as the constituent assembly was being convened, a temporary provision, called article 370, was added to the Indian constitution to prevent the Indian government from unilaterally expanding the applicability of the Indian constitution on the hill state without the consent of the local people.
Article 370 envisioned that the constituent assembly will arrive at a clear and final opinion on which additional provisions of the Indian constitution would be applicable to the state.
As a further precaution and to prevent Article 370 itself being amended by the Indian parliament, another order was issued in 1954 that exempted Jammu & Kashmir from being affected by any amendments to the constitution that did not have the concurrence of the constituent assembly of the state. In other words, to amend the article 370 of the Indian constitution, both the Indian parliament and the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir must agree.
However, in 1956, the constituent assembly of Jammu & Kashmir dissolved itself without making any recommendations on expanding the applicability of the Indian constitution beyond the areas specified in the agreement between the Union of India and the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir at the time of accession.
As a result, the temporary provision became, for all practical purposes, permanent.