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What is Article 370? Why Dr. B.R Ambedkar refused to draft Article 370?

What is Article 370?

Article 370 is a temporary provision of the Indian Constitution which gives autonomous status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Under this Article, all the provisions of Indian Constitution are not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Before 1965 Jammu and Kashmir had Sadr-e-Riyasat in place of Governor and Prime Minister in place of Chief Minister.

The provision of Article 370 was drafted by Shaikh Abdullah, who was appointed as the First Prime Minister of Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru. Shaikh Abdullah wanted it should not be placed in Indian Constitution as a temporary provision, he wanted permanent autonomy for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

What does Article 370 say:

According to Article 370, the Parliament needs the state’s concurrence to apply any laws in Jammu and Kashmir except defense, foreign affairs, finance and communications. The citizens of Jammu And Kashmir live with separate laws as compared to other states of India. The laws relating to citizenship, transfer of property even their fundamental rights also different from other states. Under this Article, the Central Government have no power to declare financial emergency in the state. The Central government can only declare emergency in case of war or external disturbances. A citizen from other states is not permitted to purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir. Under this Article, Parliament has no power to increase or reduce the border of the state.

Why Dr. B. R Ambedkar refused to draft Article 370 of the Indian Constitution:

In 1949, then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru had directed Kashmiri leader Shaikh Abdullah to consult Dr. B.R Ambedkar to prepare draft suitable for Kashmir.

Dr. B.R Ambedkar, who was the first law minister of India and was the chairman of the Constitution drafting committee but he refused to draft Article 370 because he was strictly opposed Articles 370 of Indian Constitution.

Ambedkar thought that by inserting that Article and making limited application of laws made by Parliament for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, it would create lots of problem rather than solving.

Dr. B.R Ambedkar had refused to draft Article 370 of Indian Constitution by saying:

“You wish India should protect your border, she should built roads in your areas, she should supply you food, grains and Kashmir should get equal status as India. But government of India should have only limited powers and Indian people should have no right in Kashmir. To give consent in your proposal, would be treacherous thing against the interest of India and I, as a Law Minister of India, will never do.”

Who drafted Article 370?

When Dr. B.R Ambedkar refused to draft Article 370 as part of the Indian Constitution, Shaikh Abdullah approached Nehru. And on the direction of Nehru, Gopal Swami Ayyangar had drafted that.

Disclaimer: We don’t have an authentic source regarding the above-mentioned quote of Dr. Ambedkar. The only source we have is the statement of RSS leader Balraj Madhak on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/row-over-article-370/article6062690.ece

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