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Retain Article 35A At All Costs  

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By Babu Singh

The permanent citizens of Jammu-Kashmir State in the Indian Administrative Jammu-Kashmir will be equally affected and benefited of Article 35-A. Mahraja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India on 26Oct 1947. After accession when the drafting of Constitution of India was under process by Constituent Assembly of India, Dr Karan Singh then Sadar..A..Riasat of Jammu-Kashmir State requested to Constituent Assembly of India to codify the  Instrument of Accession signed by my father Maharaja Hari Ajaib Singh under which the Special relations and Special-Status was determined be codified in the Indian Constitution inorder to avoid any misgivings in future. It was Sardar Patel who presented the proposal of Article370 in the Constituent Assembly. In fact the Article 370 is the reflection and manifestation of instrument of accession which integrate the Jammu-Kashmir State conditional with India. After getting Special-Status of Jammu-Kashmir under Article 370 there were some issues which were still unsettled, particularly the issue of Citizenship. Regarding this late Shiekh Abdullaha and late Jawhar Lal Nehru had threadbare discussion. After thorough discussion Nehru and Sheikh signed Delhi Agreement-1952. The Delhi Agreement 1952 was codified in the Indian Constitution (Constitutional Amendment)in the form of Article 35-A through the route of Presidential Order under Article 370(clause1) on 14 May 1954. The Article 35-A had empowered to Jammu-Kashmir Assembly to decide the matter of permanent Citizenship Right, their special rights and privileges. The State-Subject right was already regulated through the State-Subject Act 1927 which was enacted when Jammu-Kashmir State Was Independent Princely State on the request of Dogra Pratinidi Sabha and Kashmiri Sabha to protect the rights of the Pushtaini Bashinday of Jammu-Kashmir State. The Article35-A had incorporated in the Indian Constitution through Presidential Order. This was a Constitutional Amendment But the Indian Constitution can be amended under Article 368.Under Article 368 only Indian Parliament on the basis of two-third majority can amend the Indian Constitution. This is the matter before Supreme Court under consideration before Constitutional bench to decide, whether the Article 35-A is valid or unconstitutional. Whatever the Constitutional or legal status of Article35-A but it is the integral part of Autonomous Special-Status of Jammu-Kashmir State promised by Hindu-Majority India to Muslim-Majority Jammu-Kashmir State. The abrogation of Article370 and Repeal or declaring Article35-A ultravires will be proved politically counterproductive and will fully alienate the majority of Jammu-Kashmir State. The Article370 and Article 35-A should be retained at any cost, otherwise it will create a big and unprecedented Political Crisis. Hoping good sense will prevail instead of committing another monumental-blunder. (The writer is Former Minister and Founder Nature-Mankind Friendly Global Party

 

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