Written By Abhishek
Article 35A empowers J&K state legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state. It also secures certain rights and privileges regarding jobs, scholarships and property rights in the state.
In simple words, it ensures that nobody from outside the state gets jobs, scholarships or property in J&K.
It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order, i.e. it was passed without those loud and unruly debates of the Parliament.
BJP and other “nationalist” parties are always striving to make J&K like the other states of India without any special rights or powers. So far, so good.
While BJP is on offence here, almost all other parties of the State are up against the move. Even CM Mehbooba Mufti has made it clear that tampering with this Article can have disastrous effects over the State. Separatists, National Conference and Congress party too have joined hands against the planned move.
Supreme Court of India has always rejected pleas objecting the validity of Article 370. This Article too gives certain rights to J&K.
This time, a BJP-RSS led NGO J&K Study Circle has come up with a novel idea of challenging the State’s special status. This time, they’ve challenged the Article 35A hoping to erode it so that the population mix of the state gets altered and outsiders are settled in the State.
The Supreme Court has now set up a bench of 3 judges to discuss the issue and come up with a report by the first week of September.
An important point to be noted is that, if in case, the Presidential Order of implementing Article 35A is nullified, it will lead to further removal of many such Presidential Orders from 1954 to 1975. Thereafter the Article 370 will be reinstated in it’s original form giving even more exclusive rights to the state.
Seems like, the BJP will be in a fix very soon. It might seem like an easy way to control anti-national ideology in the State, but it will open up pandora’s box and will have dangerous effects. People from Jammu and Ladakh too will object to it as it will lead to population explosion, environmental degradation and will irreparably harm the unique culture of the State.