Article 370 Unveiled: Unraveling the Controversial Threads of Kashmir’s Political Tapestry

Article 370 Unveiled: Unraveling the Controversial Threads of Kashmir’s Political Tapestry

Author: Anish Parhi, a student at National Law University Odisha


  • The revocation of Article 370, which granted special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, is a pivotal chapter in India’s political narrative. This article aims to unravel the layers of this significant decision, steering away from legal intricacies to provide a more accessible understanding of its implications.
  • At its core, Article 370 was a constitutional provision that bestowed unique autonomy upon the region of Jammu and Kashmir. Its abrogation, therefore, marks a departure from the status quo that had defined the relationship between the state and the Indian Union. This move, while carrying legal weight, is not merely a matter of statutes and provisions; it represents a seismic shift in the political landscape.
  • The use of legal jargon, often a barrier to comprehension, becomes a tool for dissecting the intricacies of this decision. “Implied repeal” and “constitutional consistency” may sound like complex concepts, but they encapsulate the essence of the government’s argument – that the move aligns with the larger constitutional framework and is a necessary step for national integration. These legal nuances, though daunting, underscore the gravity of the decision and the legal intricacies surrounding it.
  • Examining the evidence for and against the abrogation reveals a clash of perspectives. Supporters argue that Article 370 acted as a stumbling block to the full integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian Union, hindering development and perpetuating a separate identity. On the contrary, opponents contend that the move undermines the region’s unique autonomy, questioning the legality of altering a constitutional provision that granted special status. The evidence, thus, paints a complex picture, where constitutional principles collide with historical contexts and regional sentiments.
  • Delving into case laws provides a historical anchor to this unfolding drama. The Kesavananda Bharati case, with its basic structure doctrine, is not just legal jargon; it is a precedent that echoes in the background, guiding the interpretation of constitutional amendments. These cases serve as constitutional touchstones, shaping the legal discourse and influencing how the courts may navigate through the complex web of arguments surrounding Article 370.
  • The abrogation of Article 370 is not a dry legal manoeuvre; it’s a transformation with profound socio-political implications. Understanding this decision requires unpacking legal complexities, but at its heart, it’s about redefining the relationship between a region and the nation. It’s about unity and autonomy, development and identity. As the repercussions of this decision reverberate through India’s political and constitutional history, it prompts reflection on the delicate balance between the diverse components that constitute the nation. The abrogation is a chapter in the ongoing narrative of India’s democratic journey, and its consequences will shape the nation’s identity for years to come.


  • The annulment of Article 370, a constitutional provision endowing special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, transcends the realm of mere legal manoeuvring; it marks a defining moment etched into the fabric of India’s political history. This exposition aims to unravel the intricacies of this decision, steering clear of the legal intricacies to proffer a more accessible comprehension of its profound implications.
  • Envision the political panorama as a canvas, where the hues of autonomy, identity, and integration amalgamate, crafting the intricate masterpiece that embodies India. In this artistic narrative, Article 370 served as a distinctive brushstroke, affording Jammu and Kashmir a canvas within the broader Indian portrait. Its repeal, therefore, parallels an artist re-evaluating their strokes, opting to redefine boundaries for the creation of a more unified and cohesive masterpiece.
  • Venturing into the technicalities, legal jargon assumes the role of the language in this constitutional artistry. Expressions such as “implied repeal” and “constitutional consistency” might resonate as enigmatic paintbrush strokes, yet they are the nuanced strokes that reshape the contours of this canvas. It transcends mere legalities; it crafts a narrative advocating for a harmonious blend, nurturing a more unified vision for the nation.
  • Now, contemplate the evidence as the varying hues on this canvas. Advocates posit that the special status accorded by Article 370 impeded the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the national spectrum, hindering development. On the opposing side of the palette, detractors bemoan that this stroke erased the region’s unique identity, questioning the artistic integrity of altering a constitutional provision that lent a distinctive shade to the canvas.
  • Within the gallery of constitutional history, case laws emerge as timeless pieces providing context to this evolving artwork. The Kesavananda Bharati case, for instance, transcends its role as a mere legal precedent; it assumes the stature of a timeless piece influencing the interpretation of constitutional amendments. These cases serve as guiding beacons, aiding in navigating through the nuanced brushstrokes and deciphering the evolving narrative of India’s constitutional journey.
  • The abrogation of Article 370 is not a dry legal exercise; it unfolds as a reimagining of the Indian canvas. It beckons us to ponder the delicate interplay between unity and diversity, autonomy and integration. As the reverberations of this decision resonate through the corridors of power and within the hearts of the populace, it becomes a pivotal chapter in a larger narrative—a narrative of a nation grappling with the intricacies of its democratic identity, endeavouring to create a masterpiece that harmonizes with the cherished values of unity in diversity.

Legal Jargons

  • To grasp the profound implications of the abrogation of Article 370, it is essential to delve into the intricate world of legal language. This analysis necessitates an exploration of legal jargon, where concepts such as “implied repeal” and “constitutional consistency” emerge as fundamental pillars in dissecting the constitutional intricacies surrounding this historic decision.
  • In legal parlance, “implied repeal” is a concept that looms large over the abrogation of Article 370. It posits that a subsequent law can implicitly annul a prior one. This nuanced idea becomes a linchpin in understanding the legal dynamics at play, suggesting that the repeal of Article 370 isn’t just a straightforward deletion but an implicit re-evaluation of the legal landscape.
  • Similarly, the notion of “constitutional consistency” becomes a guiding principle in this legal discourse. This concept underscores the importance of maintaining harmony and coherence within constitutional provisions. In the context of Article 370’s abrogation, it prompts an examination of whether the move aligns with the broader constitutional framework or introduces inconsistencies that may jeopardize the constitutional integrity.
  • Terms like “executive authority” and “parliamentary powers” assume paramount significance in unravelling the constitutional underpinnings of this decision. The crux of the matter lies in the interpretation of the President’s powers under Article 370(1)(d) of the Constitution. This provision grants the President the authority to modify or cease the operation of Article 370, a power that has been wielded to reshape the constitutional landscape of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • From a legal perspective, the abrogation hinges on delicately balancing the preservation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status with the imperative of fostering integration into the Indian Union. Legal experts engage in a nuanced discourse that navigates through the labyrinth of constitutional provisions, probing parliamentary intent, and scrutinizing the overarching principles that govern constitutional amendments.
  • The legal dialogue revolves around a meticulous examination of the interplay between constitutional clauses, seeking to discern whether the abrogation is a constitutionally sound act. The intricate dance of legal principles, parliamentary powers, and executive authority becomes a choreography that shapes the narrative surrounding the transformative decision to revoke Article 370.
  • The abrogation of Article 370 is not a mere deletion of a constitutional provision; it is a symphony of legal intricacies, where concepts like “implied repeal” and “constitutional consistency” provide the sheet music for understanding this historic move. The delicate balance between preserving regional autonomy and fostering national integration is the focal point of a legal discourse that endeavors to interpret the constitutional symphony playing out in the corridors of power.

The Proof

  •  The rationale behind the abrogation of Article 370 is multifaceted, with proponents and opponents presenting compelling arguments. Proponents argue that the provision impeded the full integration of Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian Union, hindering socio-economic development and perpetuating a separate identity. They point to constitutional provisions that allow for the modification of special provisions for states, asserting that the move aligns with the larger constitutional framework.
  • Conversely, critics of the abrogation contend that it undermines the unique autonomy granted to Jammu and Kashmir, violating the spirit of the Instrument of Accession. They argue that altering a constitutional provision that bestowed special status on a state requires a more deliberative and consultative process, one that involves the consent of the people directly affected.
  • Navigating through these arguments requires a discerning analysis of constitutional principles, historical context, and the socio-political realities that shaped the region. The proof for and against the abrogation is deeply intertwined with the constitutional fabric of India, demanding a nuanced understanding of the legal foundations upon which this decision rests.

Case Laws

  • The legal terrain surrounding the revocation of Article 370 resonates with historical landmarks that have significantly shaped constitutional amendments in the Indian context. Foremost among these is the Kesavananda Bharati case, a pivotal judgment that introduced the foundational concept of the basic structure doctrine. In navigating the labyrinth of legal intricacies surrounding the abrogation of Article 370, understanding the implications of this doctrine becomes paramount.
  • The basic structure doctrine posits a fundamental principle – while Parliament possesses the authority to amend the Constitution, it is restrained from altering its fundamental features. This doctrine serves as a lodestar for constitutional interpretation, guiding the courts to ensure that any amendments made do not violate the essence and core principles enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Applying the Kesavananda Bharati precedent to the abrogation of Article 370, the legal arena undergoes a nuanced scrutiny. The courts are poised to examine whether the essence of the Constitution, particularly the principles integral to the basic structure, endures amid this transformative change. It prompts a probing inquiry into whether the revocation aligns with the foundational values and principles that constitute the bedrock of the Indian Constitution.
  • The interplay between the power vested in constitutional amendments and the imperative of preserving essential constitutional features assumes center stage in legal arguments. The courts are tasked with deciphering whether the abrogation is a legitimate exercise of constitutional authority or if it encroaches upon the bedrock principles safeguarded by the basic structure doctrine.
  • Moreover, historical cases related to federalism, executive powers, and the delicate equilibrium between state autonomy and national integration become crucial touchstones in constructing the legal narrative around Article 370’s abrogation. These cases are not merely dusty relics; they are living precedents that offer contextual insights into the broader constitutional discourse.
  • The legal discourse, crafted by legal minds and scholars, seamlessly weaves together these historical cases. Each case becomes a thread in the fabric of constitutional understanding, contributing to the framework used to analyse the constitutionality of the abrogation. The invocation of these cases serves a dual purpose – providing a historical context to the legal debates and establishing a precedent-driven rationale for the scrutiny that Article 370’s abrogation will inevitably face.
  • In conclusion, the legal journey surrounding the abrogation of Article 370 is an intricate dance between historical precedents and contemporary constitutional dynamics. The Kesavananda Bharati case and other pivotal judgments form the backbone of this legal narrative, shaping the contours of the constitutional discourse. As legal arguments unfold, they draw upon the wisdom of past cases, constructing a robust framework for evaluating the constitutionality of this transformative decision while staying true to the essence of India’s constitutional heritage.


  • In wrapping up, the abrogation of Article 370 goes beyond mere political manoeuvres; it marks a pivotal moment in the legal and constitutional landscape of India. The deliberate use of legal jargon in this discourse isn’t just about complicating matters but is an effort to offer a precise and nuanced understanding of the complex constitutional dynamics in play.
  • The evidence both in favour of and against the abrogation covers a wide spectrum of constitutional interpretations, historical angles, and socio-political factors. As the legal saga unfolds, the courts will navigate this intricate web, drawing on case laws, constitutional principles, and foundational doctrines that have shaped the legal framework of India.
  • The resonances of landmark cases like Kesavananda Bharati echo in the background, acting as guiding lights for the legal fraternity as they scrutinize the constitutional validity of Article 370’s abrogation. The delicate equilibrium between federalism and integration, autonomy and unity, will take centre stage in legal debates, moulding the trajectory of India’s constitutional evolution.
  • Looking ahead, the aftermath of this legal saga won’t be confined to courtrooms alone. It will spill over into the political discourse, shaping public opinion and imprinting a lasting mark on the constitutional fabric of India. The abrogation of Article 370 isn’t a momentary event; it’s an ongoing process that will redefine the relationship between the centre and its regions, etching a profound legacy into the constitutional history of the nation.


Indian Journal of Constitutional Law:

Article 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir:

Discursive representation of the Article 370 abrogation: A comparative CDA of the headlines of two major Indian online news publications:

The Jammu and Kashmir State Subjects Controversy of 2004 Symposium: Perspectives on Fundamental Rights in South Asia :

Ellipses of Exchange: Freedom, Mobility, and the Moral Economy in Kashmir:

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