Gopalaswami Ayyangar, a minister in Nehru’s cabinet, a former dewan of Mararaja Hari Singh of Jammu & Kashmir and who principally drafted the Article 370 argued in the Constituent Assembly of J&K in 1949 that unlike other princely states, J&K was not ripe for integration with India.
The conditions were “unusual and abnormal” and part of the state’s territory was in the hands of "rebels and enemies”. So, Article 370, from its inception, was a ‘temporary provision’. However, it has continued for 70 years till it was nullified on August 5, 2019.
In a democracy, equality is a major component and ‘special privileges’ for certain people or for certain states are by definition unfair. But circumstances have led to endowing such privileges not just to J&K but to some other states as well. The removal of special privileges by scrapping Article 370 may have caused an uproar but it was inevitable, some day or the other – if we believe in democracy. That it took 70 years is unfortunate. Some are “more equal than others” can only be a rule for an authoritarian country.
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