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History of Kashmir and what revoking of special status means

The Central government on Monday revoked the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 of Indian Constitution. The move will fully integrate the state with the rest of the country. 

(Text from Reuters)

What does the move mean?

The decision will mean revocation of a bar on property purchases by people from outside Jammu and Kashmir and mean that state government jobs and some college places will no longer be reserved for state residents. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Partition

After the Partition of the subcontinent in 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, the rule of Jammu and Kashmir, decided to be a part of India and signed an accord with the government of India in October 1947. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Article 370

This provision of the Indian Constitution which provided for Jammu & Kashmir's autonomy was drafted in 1947 by the then prime minister of the state, Sheikh Abdullah, and accepted by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. 

It was, though, only classified as a temporary provision and in October 1949, was included in the Constitution by the constituent assembly.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Article 35A

This was added to the Constitution in 1954 under Article 370 and empowers the state parliament to provide special rights and privileges to permanent residents of the state. 

Only permanent residents can purchase land and property, settle permanently in the region, and get government jobs, scholarships in the state.

It excludes outsiders from acquiring property and getting benefits including government jobs and scholarships in the state-run educational institutions. 

After its abrogation, outsiders will now be allowed to buy property in the state; the residents will lose their control of state government jobs and college places.

(Photograph:AFP)

The politics

Articles 370 and 35A have played a major part in state politics.

In fact, almost all the regional parties have focused on preventing the abrogation of these constitutional provisions.

Now that these have been repealed, some disturbance is expected and the Centre has deployed additional force to maintain law and order.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Wars

India and Pakistan, separated by the Line of Control (LoC), have fought wars over the Kashmir issue after Independence in 1947.  

The first war came in 1947, the second in 1965, and a third, largely over what become Bangladesh, in 1971. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Geography

Parts of Kashmir are strikingly beautiful with forest-clad mountains, rivers running through lush valleys and lakes ringed by willow trees.

The western Himalayan region is bounded by Pakistan to the west, Afghanistan to the northwest, China to the northeast, and India to the south.

(Photograph:AFP)