Kashmir on the boil again, this time on Article 35A


The BJP government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is directly responsible for the political mess in the state of Jammu and Kashmir because to satiate its hunger for power the BJP was allowed to form a coalition with the People’s Democratic Party which in its poll  campaign supported the extreme elements in the state. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and after his demise his daughter Mehbooba Mufti caused the situation to deteriorate from bad to worse. The government of India did nothing to improve the functioning of the state government and maintain law and order. When there were basic differences between the political philosophies of the coalition partners no one could expect smooth functioning of the administration. For the PDP and for that matter for all mainstream political parties Article 370 and Article 35A are the pivotal points for the accession of the state to the Indian Union. However, the BJP from the very beginning has been opposing these constitutional provisions. So was there any common ground for these parties to join hands except hunger for power on both sides? The Prime Minister wanted to show that during his regime the BJP could be the part of ruling coalition for the first time. And then the BJP withdrew from the coalition to tell the PDP that it had the last laugh.

There is no denying of the fact that Jammu and Kashmir acceded to Indian Union when Hari Singh was ruling the state and he put forth certain conditions which were agreed to by the government. In accordance with this accord, the government of India gave special status to the state through Articles 370 and 35A. The BJP has been opposing the special status to the state and demanding the deletion of these constitutional provisions. As far as the Article 370 is concerned, the Supreme Court on April 3, 2018 observed that Article 370 conferring special status on Jammu and Kashmir and limiting the Centre’s power to make laws for the state had acquired permanent status through years of existence, making its abrogation impossible. This observation was made by the bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and R F Nariman on a PIL. Now the BJP and RSS is targeting Article 35A that grants some special safeguards to the citizens of the state through which no outsider can buy any land in the state etc. Now a bunch of PILs are pending with the Supreme Court, one of them from ‘We the Citizens’ an RSS affiliated NGO.

On the eve of the Supreme Court hearing on August 6, two-day bandh call was given in the Valley. When there was complete shut-down, the political parties particularly PDP and National Conference tried to take out rallies but their efforts were foiled by the law and order machinery. A trade organization’s procession was also halted to maintain law and order. The bandh call was given by the separatist organizations and they were totally responded. This shows that the people of the Valley were united to oppose any attempt to delete or dilute the safeguards conferred on the citizens of the state. The troublemakers from the BJP and the RSS are bent on disturbing peace in the state. However, the Apex court put off the case to August 26. The government should file an affidavit opposing any tinkering with the Article or otherwise it is likely to eat a humble pie after the verdict of the court.


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