The Truth about Article 370
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini
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© Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Publication no. : Gen./Eng./B 54/2005/1 Published on : June 23, 2005 Price : Rs. Published by :
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VIJAY M UDRAN
B-25, & C-19, Royal Industrial Estate, Wadala, Mumbai-400031.
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini is indeed very happy to present this monograph, scholarly written by our friend and noted columnist Shri Arvind Lavakare. At Prabodhini, our publication activities are mainly aimed at creating awareness about certain crucial issues through analytically written essays and monographs thereby giving impetus to opinion-making. This particular monograph on Article 370 will help to do away with all-pervading ignorance about the content of this constitutional provision and its long lasting impact. Let us hope, this monograph will help our intellectuals and academicians to grasp the ground realities in J & K in the light of the assessment presented. We are extremely grateful to Shri Lavakare for having painstakingly written this monograph. — Vinay Sahasrabuddhe
There is a belief, even among senior politicians, that with several features of the Constitution of India having been made applicable over the years to Jammu & Kashmir State, Article 370 no longer puts that State on a special pedestal and, therefore, the Article’s continuance need no longer be a bone of contention. The truth is otherwise. For instance, the average educated Indian believes that every law of the Parliament is applicable throughout the country, including the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Nothing is further from the truth. Using the freedom provided by Article 370, the J&K State has not accepted Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and several other laws passed by the nation’s Parliament. Another truth is that, because of the leeway provided by Article 370, the Jammu & Kashmir State governments have, down the years, declined the applicability of dozens of other Articles of the Indian Constitution to their State or accepted them in only a modified form. A glaring example of this is that while the Preamble of the Indian Constitution proclaims the Union of India as being ‘Secular’ (whatever that may mean), the corresponding Preamble of the J&K State Constitution does not avow that the State is ‘Secular’. There is the notion that Article 370 protects Muslim interests and therefore ought not to be abrogated. The truth is that the continuance of Article 370 for Jammu & Kashmir State in no way benefits the Muslims in the rest of the country while simultaneously forcing the Muslim majority of that State to continue living relatively isolated from the rest of the entrepreneurial and innovative Indian people. There is, lastly, that old perception that it is Article 370 which prohibits anyone from outside Jammu & Kashmir 4
State from acquiring immovable property in that State. The truth is that no such prohibition exists in any clause of Article 370 itself ! The above truths and some others were rediscovered and fine-tuned in the course of an in-depth study of Article 370 undertaken by me at the suggestion of Vinay Sahasrabuddhe of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini. These are now presented before the public so as to enable it to react to the whole truth of what must be the most complex, controversial and carcinogenic Article of the Constitution of India. —...
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