Lately, there has been a rather extended debate over Article 370. BJP prime ministerial candidate, Mr. Narendra Modi has made a valid remark stating that the debate pertaining to Article 370 may have many implications and conclusions but a debate over the extent of its benefit to J&K is a must.
The Article was introduced with a hope that soon J&K will be treated as an integral part of India. There were many political greats who strongly opposed and debated Article 370 in the past. The discussion continues till date. Over the years there have been a number of Presidential orders that have withered the Article 370 to a great extent.
Passing of the Article 370 was rather a temporary provision. Whether the Article 370 has been beneficial to the state of Jammu & Kashmir is the subject of analysis. If it has prevented the development of J&K and curbed the freedom of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, then the application of the article needs to be reviewed.
The nature of Article 370 has lead it to be a basis of gender bias. There are many progressing legislations in the country that have not reached Jhammu & Kashmir as it is under the veil of Article 370. The Article has refrained reservation of ST in terms of political representation. There are many instances where in right to education and right to information and similar provisions have been passed in Jammu & Kashmir only by strong enforcement.
By observing it, it seems certain that the term secular socialist does not apply to Jammu & Kashmir. It is due to Article 370 that legislation has not been able to get in J&K. A debate over Article 370 is a fight for the basic rights of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Since it is being used as a shield of secularism, it has not been a major part of debates. Making J&K a part of Indian legislation can introduce many opportunities for progress in the state and for its people.
On the 27th of November 1963, Stalwart leader of the Congress party, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru expressed that the erosion of Article 370 has begun. Now after the point being raised by Mr. Narendra Modi, the Congress is getting cynical and opposing the proposed debate. The point of debate is being dodged by the Congress and with no escape route in sight, they can do little else than call the remarks made by BJP as a political gimmick.