I feel that there must be a formal debate with proper fact! There are three sides of it. First is, Article 370 is so sacrosanct, that it even can’t be debated forget about its abrogation. Secondly, is Article 370 beneficial to J & K people? Third, is this issue has any communal angle!
Let’s discuss first issue whether Article 370 is so vital, that it can’t be touched! The title of the Article 370 itself reads ‘Temporary provision with respect to the state of Jammu and Kashmir’. The word temporary itself implies that this is not a permanent provision and to be abrogated in near future! Thus this can be debated! Some say that this article can’t be repealed unless J&K Assembly agrees or gave concurrence!
Let’s see the provision (3) of the article which says ‘Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify:Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification! (Source- Wikipedia)
Article 370 was part of Indian Constitution (although temporarily) in 1950. The constituent assembly of J & K is over in 1956 when the constitution of the State was adopted. Article (1) of the J&K Constitution states that ‘the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India’! Thus, firstly there is no constituent assembly that exists in J&K, secondly, the constitution of J&K says it is integral part of India, thus Indian president has the right to cease this article supported by Indian Parliament! It doesn’t require J&K Assemblys nod legally!
Second is, whether Article-370 is beneficial to the people of J&K! First J&K constitution says it’s an integral part of India! Thus separatist’s ambition of few can’t be fulfilled! But what Article 370 indicates about the Kashmir public is that they have become simply slave of some political parties. Whatever better provisions in rest of India are applied, can’t be applied in J&K unless its assembly approves it!
Take the case of RTI, Lokpal, anti-corruption acts and a whole lot of those that directly deals with the interest of general public of Kashmir! The Zamindari of Kashmir just remain in hands of either Abdullahs or Muftis and none has the tool to expose or question their misdeeds, corruption etc! True democracy can’t be observed there! Thus repealing of Article 370 is in fact beneficial to the people of J&K!
Finally, is repealing Article 370 is communal! Unfortunately some opportunist politicians always make things communal if there is a Pakistan angle vis-à-vis RSS! No doubt RSS is demanding scraping of Article 370, but who in India irrespective of religion doesn’t want Kashmir to be integral part of India! Which community toes the line of Pakistan that Kashmir is not an integral part of India!
It should be noted until this temporary Article 370 remains, Kashmir truly is not an integral part of India. I think this 1950 clause is superseded by 1956 J&K constitution! Those who like to play vote bank politics think that Indian Muslims favour Pakistan or its line, must take a note at least from this just concluded election. No community in India ever wants Pakistan to create disturbance and take away J&K from India through terrorism and separatist activities!
Thus in my opinion, Article 370 should be abrogated by the order of President for the interest of the nation! I would request others too to come forward and speak in the favor of the issue through different means! Let’s start debating on Article 370, after all debate is the most effective tool in a democracy!