Special Provisions for Special States: An Attack on Unity

Aayushi Tiwari[1]

A renounced author Terence Hanbury White, best known for his Arthurian novels, in his book ‘Once and future king’ quoted “The destiny of man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing, you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees”. Through the tip of my pen, my thoughts come down creating a picture of our diverse nation India, it’s states and union territories, and the special provisions for a few states looking like ‘little boy’ ready to attack Hiroshima i.e. the unity of India. India, a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic, with a parliamentary system of government provides its citizens with justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, adopted its elephantine book with 395 articles (present day, 444), in 22 parts and 8 schedules (presently, 12) on the 26th January, 1950. But these approximately 1,46,385 words in the English language version contained in approximately 255 pages makes the Indian constitution the longest written constitution in the world but it also provides us with 2 articles attacking the unity of India. The dangerous number stands Article 370 and Article 371.

Article 370 and 371 is contained in 21st part of the Indian constitution (XXI part) and has the temporary and special provisions for special states.

Article 370 is for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, what is Article 370 related to Jammu and Kashmir about, is the first sentence popping up in the head with a question mark. According to the constitution of India, this article provides temporary provision to the state of Jammu and Kashmir granting it special autonomy. The article says that the provisions of article 238, which was omitted from the constitution in 1956, when the Indian states were organised, shall not apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. When Dr. B.R Ambedkar, the principal drafter of the Indian constitution refused to draft this article, it was eventually crafted by Gopalaswami Ayyangar. Expressing our anger not only towards this man who drafted the Article 370, but also towards the people in the government who had let it happen will not be considered an immoral act. This special provision to one of the most beautiful states of India makes it look the ugliest from the inside social and political view. Where India should be planning to make itself count in the list of world’s most developed countries, it is busy fighting for its own state to prove that the whole territory of 2,22,236 km sq. with a population of over 1.42 crore belongs to the most peaceful nation called India. Two of the many elements of Unity in a nation are when everyone has equal rights, and the flag of the nation is one. In the case of Jammu and Kashmir neither the citizens have equal rights nor very few out of ‘Savasaucroredesh was I ‘know that Kashmir has its own flag.  The constitution of India doesn’t apply to the state. People from India cannot buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, The Indian government has the limited reach in the affair, it’s only related to defence, external affairs and a few domain and we teach the students of the country that our country starts from Kashmir and ends at Kanyakumari, subtle but true and here we are proving out point that is the special provision for special states attack on unity?

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This was just the first “dangerous for the unity” article 370. On the other hand, article 371 contains some ‘not so necessary provisions” wherein the President may by order made with respect to the state of Maharashtra and Gujarat provides for any special responsibility of the governor for –

  1. Establishment of separate developmental boards for few regions.
  2. Equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training.

Article 371 A, provides special provision to Nagaland allows no act of parliament in respect of-

  1. Religious or social practices of Nagas.
  2. Naga customary law and procedure.
  3. Administration of civil and criminal justice.
  4. Ownership and transfer of land and its resources etc.

In similar terms article 371 B provides special provisions to the state of Assam , 371 C provides special provisions to the state of Manipur, Article 371 D provides special provisions to the state of Andhra Pradesh, Article 371 E provides special provisions to the state of Telangana , Article 371 F provides special provisions to the state of Sikkim, Article 371 G provides special provisions to the state of Mizoram, Article 371 H provides special provisions to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Article 371 I provides special provisions to the state of Goa and Article 371 J of the constitution provides special provisions to the state of Karnataka.

Article 370 and 371 has become a dead letter over a period of time. India is a diverse nation and every state has its own culture and tradition so what if all the states ask for special provision? Surely it will be denied. If all the states in a democratic diversity get special provisions then no state shall have any separate article no matter how different their geographical location are, how different their social composition are and how different the political status are and if the articles are still not repealed then it’s useless to quote “unity in diversity” for India. How long are we going to help the ISIS to build its mansion in Jammu and Kashmir or the Naxalite belts in the regions of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh? Moreover, we cannot remain prisoners of history when it comes to special states with special provisions, be it temporary or permanent. States that are minority dominated and culturally different are the strengths to the idea of unified India. We must work at our own levels to at least provide an idea to the centre to repeal these articles which possess a severe threat to the united and till now undivided India (Jammu and Kashmir) and we need to integrate Jammu and Kashmir in order to make the idea of unified India stronger. Charles de Gaulle once said that “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first” If India dreams of becoming the brightest star in the sky of the world then it needs both Patriotism to love the people within our own nation without caring them to be Hindus or Muslims and Nationalism to tear apart the inculcated thought if hating the people of our own county. And to give rest to my thumbs at last I would conclude with the same thought of Terence Hanbury White “The destiny of man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing, you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees”. Let’s not become monkeys and make different trees the different equally culturally rich states and the nuts as stones in our hands like the youth of Kashmir are nowadays carrying as a talent blotting the picture of humanity. Let’s unite together removing all the barriers of these special provisions for special states, coming together as one, coming together as India.

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[1] Student, Jyotirmoy School of Law.