SRINAGAR September 6: The statement of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval that having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir “was an aberration and sovereignty can never be compromised” is an attempt to distort facts and history.
J&K acceded to India under the guarantees provided by the Constitution of India. It is the Constituent Assembly which incorporated Article 370 in the Constitution providing a constitutional basis for the relationship of J&K with the Union. Article 370 is the only article of the Constitution of India which directly applies to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is not a temporary provision but is part of basic features and structure of the Constitution.
At the time of partition in 1947, except J&K all other states, sooner or later, acceded to India by signing Instrument of Accession without any condition or terms. These states became units of India accepting the Constitution of India totally.
Jammu & Kashmir was the only State which negotiated the terms of its membership with the union. As part of this negotiation process, the relationship of the J&K State with Union and Constitutional machinery was a subject of prolonged and protracted discussion and debate between the Union and State leaders.
J&K was the only state to declare its intention to have its own constitution drafted by its own constituent assembly, as far back as 5th March 1948. At the time of partition and after, it was free to accede to Pakistan or India, or to become an Independent country. But it decided to accede to India on specific terms, despite being Muslim majority state.
Jammu & Kashmir has acceded to India in unique circumstances and it possess unique problems which requires a unique solution. These unique circumstances were a matter of prime consideration for evolving constitutional machinery to prescribe relationship of the state with the Union of India.
The present unrest is essentially result of erosion of the autonomous status provided under constitutional provision of Art 370 to J&K. The remedy lies not in attempting to distortion of history which can only compound the crisis further. It is in the interest of the state and the country that the political leadership go through the history of broken promises and restore the eroded autonomous status of the state.