Abrogation of the articles 370 and 35-A, in Indian illegally Occupied Kashmir has altogether changed the demography of the Jammu Kashmir Valley. The helpless people of the Jammu Kashmir valley, who were already in trouble at the hands of the Indian troops, now are in a state of more pain and more agony. They are deprived of their liberty as well as of their identity. The article 370 allowed the state of Jammu Kashmir a certain amount of autonomy – its own constitution, a separate flag and freedom to make laws. Foreign affairs defence and communications remained the preserve of the central government. This article allowed the people of the valley to make their own rules relating to permanent residency, ownership of property and fundamental rights. The article 370 also barred Indians alien to the state from purchasing property or settling there. Most of the Kashmiris are of the opinion that the BJP ultimately wants to change the demographic character of the Muslim-majority region by allowing non-Kashmiris to buy land there. BBC said in an analysis, “Kashmir will no longer have a separate constitution but will have to abide by the Indian constitution much like any other state. All Indian laws will be automatically applicable to Kashmiris, and people from outside the state will be able to buy property there.” The government on the other hand has an altogether different point of view that this step has been taken in benefit of the people of the valley and it will bring a lot of development to the region.
When the Article 35A was in practice, it allowed the legislature of Indian-administered Kashmir to define the state’s permanent residents. It was applied to all of Illegally Indian-Occupied Kashmir, including Jammu and Ladakh, says a report. All identified residents were issued a permanent resident certificate, which entitled them to special benefits related to employment, scholarships and other privileges. But the biggest advantage for permanent residents was that only they had the right to buy and own property in the state. Both these laws were formulated somewhere in May 1954 and it was decided that all those who were living in the state that time and those who have lived in the state for 10 years anytime since, would be ranked as permanent residents. In short this special status of Jammu and Kashmir had been a continuous pain in the neck of BJP since long. The BJP leadership was all time planning to snatch away that special status from the distressed people of Kashmir; so ultimately the ‘leadership’ did it. Situation after revocation of these articles is so horrible that no one from the outside world even can guess the severity.
NDTV’s correspondent Nazir Masoodi said in a report expressing his feelings of fear and uncertainty a night before revocation of these articles. “It was the most tense and uncertain night of our life. Troops were in every nook and cranny to impose a tough curfew. Before midnight, a complete communication blockade was enforced. Mobile phones, the internet and even landlines were snapped. All the security measures were in place to quell any public revolt. A massive troop buildup, contingency orders, the evacuation of non-locals, tourists and Amaranth pilgrims – for us locals, these were ominous signs. The worst fear was that the centre would do away with Article 35A which defined special privileges for permanent residents of J&K in the areas of jobs and land rights. No one had thought that it may well be the end of J&K state, its Constitution and Article 370. Next year in 2020, the same correspondent once again said, “One year on, there is no fear of losing anything – because there is nothing left to lose. The burden of special status is gone. August 5 last year redefined everything for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370, which enshrined the relationship between J&K state and the union of India for last 70 years, is gone.”
Last year on 4th August, a year after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A, an article of Kaisar Andrabi was published in the Diplomat. The writer said, “All modes of communication were cut off, and the region is still without high-speed internet a year later, causing many difficulties for average Kashmiris. About 7,000 people were arrested before and after August 5, 2019, including nearly the entire mainstream political leadership. Before August 5, 2019, Kashmir was a nominally autonomous region. After August 5, it has become virtually a settler colony in the making. Kashmir thus became an annexed territory where all existing structures, the majority of them Indian-made, were dissolved so they could fit into the vision of India held by the ruling BJP, whose founding fathers were never comfortable with the unique constitutional status of the only Muslim-majority state.”
Abrogation of the Articles 370 and 35-A would severely disfigure the whole of social and economic fiber in the Illegally Occupied Valley of Kashmir which has ever been the worst victim to the Indian atrocities. Reports say that since 1989, over 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed by Indian forces. More than 7,200 people have been murdered in the custody of the Indian Army. More than 11,000 women have been raped by Indian occupation forces. This brutality of the Indian troops has orphaned more than 110,000 children and widowed more than 23,000 women. Now after brutally successful demographic change, situation of law and order would get worse and worse with the passage of time.