Abrogation of Special Status Under Article 370: Security Implications
India Strategic|August 2019

Passage of the bill abrogating special status to J&K under article 370 by both the houses of the parliament brings to an end the major differences that characterised the state of J&K vis-à-vis all other states of the Indian Union.

Gen Deepak Kapoor

The second aspect of creating two union territories of J&K and Ladakh while restructuring the erstwhile state has its own dynamics which need to be analysed.

The debates in both the houses as well as national mood pointed to an overwhelming support for the action undertaken by the government. Notwithstanding obligatory dharma of every opposition to oppose all (or almost all) decisions of the party in power, support for government’s action has come from most sections of society, at times even cutting across party lines.

Even though the parliament has been adjourned sine die after passage of the bill, the debate on the desirability of such an action is still ongoing in the media and in public discourse. Unable to conceptually oppose it seeing the mood of the nation, some have chosen to criticise the methodology employed by the government. Still others have questioned the legality and have approached the highest court for adjudication. Realistically speaking, all these are signs of a healthy democracy at work. Be that as it may, the discourse so far has barely touched upon the security implications of the issue. In the strategically important area of J&K, security has a dominant role to play. With both our neighbours coveting its territory and Pakistan continuing with proxy war while fanning fires of separatism, the government’s approach has largely been dictated by security considerations. for better understanding, this needs to be elaborated further.

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