ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Value of Federalism

The assumptions behind the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir are based on rhetoric.


The central government’s sudden move to abolish the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and split the state into two union territories was bound to elicit both praise and manifold objections. The objections raised by civil society members, public intellectuals, and political leaders from the opposition parties are by now too well-documented to require any reiteration here. Approaching the Kashmir issue from an oppositional standpoint would mean the normative prioritising of the language on violation of constitutional norms and the norms of deliberative democracy, and the injustice over the affirmative language that has been the official language to justify the decision to wipe out the special status of J&K.

The stated justifications by the central government behind such a move are not unusual. These claims state that the integration of Kashmir is in the interest of the development of the region and the welfare of the people. Put differently, the official move treated Article 370 and its associated provision, Article 35A as the main hurdle in achieving this aim. The drastic step to “integrate Kashmir” with India has been seen by the central government and its supporters, who now range across the political spectrum, as a necessary condition for a strong government both at the centre as well as in the states.

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Updated On : 12th Aug, 2019
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