Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said to his Personal Secretary, Mr. V. Shankar – “Jawaharlal Royega”. These were the most tragic words in the Constitutional History of India, but what could be the reasons?
Year 1947 is commonly known as the year of Independence of India. But do you really know the status quo of Jammu & Kashmir in the fresh Independence era?
The State of Jammu and Kashmir got its special autonomy with the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution of India which provides for “Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Birth of Article 370
Sheikh Abdullah, a fascinating Kashmiri leader and Shri Jawaharlal Nehru worked on Article 370 in the late 1947.
Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah had an ambition to become the ruler of an independent Kashmir. He had a feeling of hatred for Maharaja Hari Singh, who wished to keep Kashmir as the Switzerland of the East. With the end of British rule, Maharaja Hari Singh with a view to continue ruling, just like his ancestors, he tried to sign a standstill Agreement with India and Pakistan at the time of independence, Pakistan signed the agreement, India declined. Unfortunately, he was forced to step down and evacuate from his beloved land.
Sheikh Abdullah induced Nehru to give special status to J&K. Among his reasons were – occupation of one third of J&K by Pakistan and reference of the issue to the UN. The first thing that Sheikh Abdullah got done was to abolish hereditary monarchy and re-designate him as Sadr-i-Riyasat who was to be elected by the Assembly.
Piercing of Veil
On finalization, of the text of Article 370, Nehru opined Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, IAS, to help Sheikh and appeal for the case of Article 370 in the Constituent Assembly. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar was the former Diwan to Maharaja Hari Singh and a minister without portfolio in the first Union Cabinet of India.
The Constituent Assembly and Congress Party Executive smashed the proposal. Consequently, Nehru requested Shri Sardar Patel, Home Minister to get the Article 370 approved. Occupation of charge by Sardar Patel muted all the opposition. He convinced the Constituent Assembly and Congress Executive Committee but he said to Mr. V. Shankar (his personal secretary), “Jawaharlal Royega”.
Illogical Reason of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah
Sheikh reasoned for designating a special status to J&K as occupation of one third of J&K by Pakistan. However the fact is that besides Valley Muslims, Jammu has a mainly Hindu population while Ladakh has a mix of Buddhist and Muslims. The State is also populated with the Gujjars & Bakarwals.
Deceit by Nehru
After Sardar Patel was no more, on 24th July 1952, Nehru made a detailed statement on Kashmir in the Parliament mentioning that “Sardar Patel was all the time dealing with these matters.” This was the reward given by Nehru to the loyalty of Sardar Patel.
Honesty denigrates with the Authority and Power.
Even Gopalaswamy Ayyangar was depressed at this unashamed lie and said to V Shankar “It is an ill return to the Sardar for the magnanimity he had shown in accepting Panditji’s point of view against his better judgment.”
Unknown True Facts
- Lord Mountbatten also had induced Nehru to take the J&K issue to the UN.
- Sheikh wanted ‘iron clad guarantees of autonomy’ for J&K, doubting that the state’s special status might be lost; upon inclusion of Article 370 in the ‘Temporary and Transitional Provisions’.
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the principal drafter of the Indian Constitution, had refused to draft Article 370.
Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.
|Alarming Issues of Article 370
· Laws of J&K can be made only with consensus of the State govt., thus indirectly providing ‘VETO power’.
· Even Article 356 under which President of India can impose his rule in any state cannot be enforced in J&K without consent of the Governor, who himself is an appointee of the President.
· State of J&K can refuse building of any cantonment on any site or can refuse to allot land for defence purposes.
· J&K citizens have two citizenships – one of India and the other of J&K.
BJP and RSS have demanded for abrogation of Article 370. Congress leader Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh, has also opined that an integral review of Article 370 is overdue and needs cooperation not confrontation. There is a BJP government in the center for last one year but hardly anything has been done with regards to abolition of article 370.
In one of the Tweets, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Omar Abdullah tweeted “Mark my words & save this tweet – long after Modi Govt. is a distant memory either J&K won’t be part of India or Art. 370 will still exist. Art 370 is the ONLY constitutional link between J&K & rest of India. Talk of revocation of not just ill informed it’s irresponsible.”
Why should a state of the Indian Union have a special status? It conveys a wrong signal to the separatists, Pakistan and indeed the international community that J&K is still to become integral part of India.
Jammu and Kashmir serves as a glorious crown to the country and we shall never let it go.
We, the team of Admirable India, invite your comments/views as to who is actually responsible for the current consequences faced in the J&K issue by incorporating the Article 370 into the Constitution providing for separation of J&K Constitution – Temporary and Transitional provisions, or any of your valuable assessments on this article.
Wikipedia, Article by ‘India Today’, Article by ‘Indian Defence Review’
Post by: Purvang Trivedi