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  • Priyanka Bal

Does Scrapping of Art.370 Poses a threat to Asymmetrical Federalism in India?

Does Scrapping of Art.370 Poses a threat to Asymmetrical Federalism in India?

On 6th August 2019 the Central Government of India has scrapped Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which was earlier conferring special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. And in which bill was passed to divide the state into two centrally administered Union territory:

A) The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a legislative assembly and

B) The union territory of Ladakh without a legislative assembly.

Article 370 was providing Jammu and Kashmir a separate constitution and a separate flag with unique identity. The state was into three parts: Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh.

Jammu and Kashmir will now be governed by the laws applicable to other Indian citizens. Our Current home minister, Amit Shah held Article 370 responsible for poverty, lack of development, education and health, among other sectors. 

It is evident from the manner in which the executive has abrogated the Art.370 in absence of the consent of constitution assembly that the order of president is an instance of colorable legislation. Using the power of the Governor to consent to a presidential order that changes the character of the state is merely an act of subversion of a democratic process which lies at the core of our constitution scheme . If we go by the notion that the government has tried to show in abrogation Art.370 which means then the people would be governed by laws made by the executive , not the law made .

India is not a classical federal state which treat its constituent units equally and provide some guarentee that they will not be treated unequally, and hence, unfairly in relation to each other. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed this and the states of the northeast like Manipur, Mizoram etc are witnessing the asymmetical character of Indian federalism, thus the Indian constitution permits the Union to treat some states especially.

In earlier Political science or the scholar who coined the term asymmetrical federalism gave it a negative connotation, focusing on its succession potential, however, in more recent other scholars have given it a positive connotation by considering politics the subscribe to this concept as those which in order to hold together their great diversity in one democratic system had to embed in the constitution special cultural and historial prerogatives for some of the member units.

The test of time will define the success of the decision of the government despite a lot of hues and cry that that this prolonged dispute has been resolved. The government should release the mainstream leader an start a political outreach program to connect the people from the core of the nations, as said by Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad ‘India is always nation in making’.