Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, August 26, 2019 09:52:19 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Fatal Error

Wrong Legal Way To An End

By
08th-Aug-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Jammu and Kashmir has been a theatre of muscular Hindutva nationalism, in the early decades in script and since 2014 in performance. Adopting a highly militarist approach to separatism, and shunning political process entirely since 2014, the BJP has now delivered on a promise it has long made, by abrogating the special status that Jammu and Kashmir had enjoyed in the Constitution through a combination of executive and parliamentary measures. Additionally, the State is being downgraded and divided into two Union Territories. The mechanism that the government used to railroad its rigid ideological position on Jammu and Kashmir through the Rajya Sabha was both hasty and stealthy. This move will strain India's social fabric not only in its impact on Jammu and Kashmir but also in the portents it holds for federalism, parliamentary democracy and diversity.
The BJP-led government has undermined parliamentary authority in multiple ways since 2014, but the passing of legislation as far-reaching as dismembering a State without prior consultations has set a new low. The founding fathers of the Republic favoured a strong Centre, but they were also prudent in seeking the route of persuasion and accommodation towards linguistic and religious minorities in the interest of national integration. The centralising tendencies increased in the following decades, but Hindu nationalists always argued for stronger unitary provisions and viewed all particular aspirations with suspicion. For them, Jammu and Kashmir's special constitutional status was an impediment, not an instrument, for the region's integration with the rest of the country.
The entire exercise of getting Article 370 of the Constitution effectively abrogated has been marked by executive excess. The first step was to declare by a presidential decree that the 'Governor' - without regard to the fact that he has no Council of Ministers now to aid and advise him - can speak for the State government and give his concurrence to any modification in the way the Constitution of India applies to Jammu and Kashmir. Second, on the basis of this 'concurrence', the latest Presidential Order scraps the previous one of 1954, abrogating the separate Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Third, the fact that the State is under President's Rule has been used to usher in a new dispensation under which Jammu and Kashmir becomes a Union Territory with a legislature and Ladakh another such territory without a legislature.
In sum, a purported process to change the constitutional status of a sensitive border State has been achieved without any legislative input or representative contribution from its people. The bifurcation of States in the past cannot be cited as a binding precedent as, under Article 3 of the Constitution, the President seeks the views of the legislature of the States concerned, even if concurrence is not mandatory. In the present scenario, J&K has been represented by an unelected Governor appointed by the Centre, while Parliament has ventured to ratify the conversion of a State into two Union Territories without any recommendation from the State.
If there is a legal challenge to these measures, it would centre around whether such far-reaching steps could be achieved in the absence of a representative government by assuming that its gubernatorial administrator is constitutionally capable of using his consent as that of the entire State. Further, there is a self-enabling aspect to the Presidential Order. It performs a hop-step-and-jump feat. It hops over the requirement of the State government's consent by declaring that the Governor is the State government. It steps over the need for aid and advice by the Ministerial Council by saying the Governor's opinion is enough. And it jumps over the fact that there is no Constituent Assembly now by merely reading the term as 'legislative assembly', and letting Parliament perform the role of the State legislature.
Thus the President's power under Article 370 has been used both to create an enabling provision and to exercise it immediately to modify the Order, thereby dispensing with the role envisaged for the State Assembly. While it is true that in 1961 the Supreme Court upheld the President's power to 'modify' the constitutional provisions in applying them to J&K, it is a moot question whether this can be invoked to make such a radical change: a functioning State has now been downgraded and bifurcated into two Union Territories. It is inconceivable that any State legislature would ever have recommended its own demotion in status.
True, the special status of J&K was meant to end, but only with the concurrence of its people. The Centre's abrupt move disenfranchised them on a matter that directly affected their life and sentiments. Moreover, that this was done after a massive military build-up and the house arrest of senior political leaders, and the communications shutdown reveals a cynical disregard of democratic norms. It appears that the current government values J&K for its demonstrative impact before the rest of the country, as a place where a strong nation and its strong leader show uncompromising political will.
But that may have other unintended consequences. Geographically and metaphorically, Jammu and Kashmir is the crown of secular India - a Muslim majority region in a Hindu majority country. Its people and leaders had chosen secular India over Islamic Pakistan, a fact that Islamists never reconciled with. The BJP's adventurous route also has as backdrop an impending U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan that will trigger an unforeseeable churn in Islamist politics in the region. Islamists have always viewed Kashmir as a component of their global grievances.
Whatever its intent in enabling the full integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India, Monday's decision to alter the State's status could have unintended and dangerous consequences.
(Editorial, The Hindu, India)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Football »

Lewandowski hits hat-trick as 'happy' Coutinho makes Bayern bow


Hat-trick hero Robert Lewandowski hailed the strength of Bayern Munich's squad after securing a 3-0 victory over Schalke on Saturday, as new signing Philippe Coutinho made his Bundesliga debut for the German giants."Our squad is optimal now. We brought two good players on in the second half today, and we ...

Editorial »

Private room culture of the civil servants


THE Cabinet Division has launched a move to verify a video where Jamalpur Deputy Commissioner was seen in an objectionable position with a female colleague in the private room adjacent to his office. Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam mentioned that a move was in process against Ahmed Kabir, an administration ...

Entertainment »

First poster of Rickshaw Girl


Entertainment Report :An innocent girl, eyes filled with dreams and untold stories and her face reflects the story of a rickshaw girl. Amitabh Reza Chowdhury has created a film based on such a story a girl. The film is named Rickshaw Girl and the poster of this film has been ...

International »

Johnson wins Trump's approval for tough approach to Brexit


AP, Biarritz :British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won U.S. President Donald Trump's approval Sunday for his plans to take a tough approach in talks to leave the European Union after a chummy meeting on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in France.Johnson glowed as Trump said he gave ...

International »

Kim Jong Un oversaw 'multiple rocket launcher' test: Report


AFP, Seoul :North Korean leader Kim Jong Un again supervised the test-firing of a "newly developed" weapon, state media reported Sunday - further muddying the waters for any resumption of denuclearisation talks.South Korea's military had said the North launched what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday, but ...

International »

NASA investigating first crime committed in space: Report


US space agency NASA is investigating what may be the first crime committed in outer space, The New York Times reported Saturday.Astronaut Anne McClain is accused of identity theft and improperly accessing her estranged wife's private financial records while on a sixth-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the ...

Editorial »

Unnecessary loans: Country may fall in a debt trap


IN a span of five years, it is feared that country's external credit will more than double amid high growth of suppliers credits and short-term borrowings to financing the big infrastructural projects. The high growth of such loans taken mostly on 'political consideration' with high interest rates against short maturity ...

Cricket »

Malinga to lead Lanka squad in T20 series against New Zealand


Lasith Malinga will lead the 15-member Sri Lankan squad in the three-match T20 series against New Zealand starting on September. The side will feature at least nine changes from the squad which faced South Africa earlier this year with wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella named as Malinga's deputy.The Sri Lankan paceman retired ...

Entertainment »

Sunny Leone signs in Bangladeshi movie


Popular Indian actor Karenjit Kaur Vohra, who is commonly known by her stage name Sunny Leone, is all set to appear in an item song in a Bangladeshi film for the first time ever. The film will be produced by Selim Khan, owner of the film's production company Shapla Media.The ...

International »

Modi awarded UAE medal amid Kashmir crackdown


AP, Dubai :Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the United Arab Emirates' highest civilian honor during a visit Saturday to the oil-rich Gulf nation, reinforcing ties between the countries even as he pursues stripping statehood from the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.The induction of Modi into the Order of Zayed ...

Editorial »

We cannot repatriate Rohingyas without UN supervision


NO Rohingya refugees were repatriated till Thursday noon as none of them showed "willingness" to return to Myanmar. In a fresh attempt, 3,450 Rohingya people were scheduled to be repatriated to Myanmar. Before any repatriation takes place, refugees are taken to transit camps and kept there for two to three ...

Entertainment »

Chanchal, Mamo as pair can attract the viewers in film


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :In last Eid, National Film Award winner two actors Chanchal Chowdhury and Zakia Bari Mamo-starred three dramas were telecasted in different TV channels. These dramas are: SA Haque Alik’s Sorry Bolo, Sokal Ahmed’s Byaktitto Babul and Ratan Hasan’s Nobboi Din. They got the viewers attention to play ...

International »

Macron backs more Brexit talks but insists no concessions


AFP, Paris :French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday backed holding further talks to avoid Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal but rejected major concessions, as he hosted Prime Minister Boris Johnson just over two months ahead of the planned British exit.Echoing comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ...

Entertainment »

Radhika Apte has given us character to remember forever


Indie Star Radhika Apte became the talk of the town for her earthy and unconventional character. It was the actress’ character from Manjhi: The Mountain Man which made us all believe in how chaos in beautiful and garnered appreciation from all across. Celebrating the highly critically acclaimed film, Radhika is ...

Editorial »

ACC fails to gain trust of common people


THE 11 ACC officials whose faulty and biased investigation led to wrongful imprisonment of Jaha Alam for three years have been promoted to senior ranks. Even the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) own investigation acknowledged that Jaha Alam had to lose three years of his life in prison because these officials "erroneously ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news