Articles 370 and 371 of the Indian Constitution in the Context of Kashmir

  • Dr. Karim Haider Syed Assistant Professor, Pakistan Study Centre, University of the Punjab, Lahore (Pakistan)
  • Dr. Imran Khan Lecturer, Government Post Graduate College Hafizabad
Keywords: Kashmir, India, Pakistan, Article 370, Article 371


Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is not the only state in the Indian constitution with special status but in addition to Article 370, there is also an Article 371 in the Indian Constitution which has 10 sub-clauses that give special status to other 9 states and territories. The nature of relations of these states is explained in these clauses of article 371 which is very helpful to understand article 370 of the Indian constitution.  As far as Kashmir and Article 370 are concerned, the Indian government of Narendra Modi has axed the Indian position itself as all other states with constitutional guarantees are suspicious about their future in the Indian union. By repealing Article 370, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought to an end the false or true annexation of Kashmir with India. Thus, if there was any annexation of Kashmir with India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cut down that relation on 5 August 2019. Article 370 is not a myth, it is a historical fact as Article 370 specifies that apart from Foreign Affairs, Defense, Communications and subsidiary matters (matters that were specified in the Instrument of Accession to India), in all other matters and subjects Parliament of India needs the approval of assembly of the people of Kashmir. Thus, Kashmir residents lived under a distinct set of laws, together with those linked to fundamental rights, citizenship, and ownership of property as compared to other citizens of India. Occupied Jammu and Kashmir were the only states to be stripped of its status of special unite of Indian federation. As of August 5, 2019, India had 29 states in principle, but with the repeal of Article 370, there are now 28 states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s actions regarding Occupied Jammu and Kashmir have raised concerns in these 28 states especially the states with special status like Kashmir. These concerns and reservations will sow the seeds of insincerity in the Indian Union. Expressing concern over national security, the Indian Home Ministry spokesman said separatist activities were on the rise in 200 of the country's 600 districts. Not only separatist movements but racial conflicts and caste disputes have increased after the August 5 action in Kashmir. The main reason for this unrest in India is that the states with special status under article 370 and 371 have started to ponder the federation of India as a union that is established through a system of repression. In the intellectual circles, these development are not normal as intellectuals of India are not happy with the approach of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they are taking it dangerous for the federation of India that will be left with no confidence of the federating unite.