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India-Kashmir constitutional relationship Article 370

Article 370 is included in the Constitution of India under the heading of “Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions”. It should be borne in mind that while Article 370 was being given shape in the Constituent Assembly (May – October 1949), the Government of India was under a voluntary international obligation to hold a plebiscite in J&K in accordance with UNSC resolutions of 1948 and 1949.

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New Delhi administration often talks of resolving Kashmir Issue albeit “within the ambit of constitution”. But since Kashmir has two constitutions – one “its own” and the Indian in its application to Kashmir, a question naturally strikes the mind: “The ambit of which constitution and whose constitution?” Simultaneous with New Delhi’s constitution rhetoric, some right-wing elements of India issue veiled threats that the moment they get a chance they will get Article 370 of the Constitution of India abrogated with the help of Legislative Assembly of Kashmir. This sends shivers down the spine of many in Kashmir. This book is an attempt to ascertain answers to questions: (1) What will happen to the India – Kashmir constitutional relationship if Article 370 is abrogated? And (2) Which constitution and whose constitution is it that New Delhi invokes when it talks of resolution of Kashmir Issue “within the ambit of constitution”? While ascertaining answers to these questions I have extensively recorded quotations. But I have mostly quoted people who were personally involved in the events that took place.The term “Kashmir” is used in the sense of the entire former Princely State of Kashmir (also called the State of Jammu and Kashmir). Likewise the term “Kashmiri” is used in its broader sense signifying all the people of the State.

Ashq Hussain Bhat, Natipora, Srinagar, Kashmir

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