Jammu and Kashmir
At the time of Independence, India as a nation comprised British India and the Princely States. The Princely States covered about 2/5th of the geographic territory. While the Indian Independence Act 1947 ceded control of British India to the Indian Government, rulers of the Princely States were given the option to decide whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan or they want to stay independent.
In these circumstances, Sardar Patel took up the challenge of accession of the princely states and integrating them into the Union of India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V.P. Menon together brought about the unification of these princely states with the Dominion of India.
Of the 552 princely states situated in the geographical boundaries of India, 549 joined India and the remaining 3 provinces (Hyderabad, Junagarh, and Kashmir) refused to join India. In due course of time, they were also integrated with India – Hyderabad by means of police action (Operation POLO), Junagarh by means of a referendum, and Jammu & Kashmir by the Instrument of Accession.
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Jammu & Kashmir History
At the time of Independence, the state of Jammu and Kashmir decided not to join either India or Pakistan, Although India welcomed this step, Pakistan through military insurgency tried to capture Jammu & Kashmir.
Maharaja Hari Singh sought India’s help after signing the ‘Instrument of Accession’ on 26th October 1947, with certain special status for the autonomy of the state which was enshrined under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, after which Indian troops were airlifted into the state and fought alongside the Kashmiris. The battle between India and Pakistan brought the ceasefire as per the United Nations resolution on 31st December 1948.
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Jammu and Kashmir Map
Here is the updated Map of Jammu and Kashmir state given below:
Jammu and Kashmir Delhi Understanding
Delhi Understanding was held on June 1949, and Jawaharlal Nehru, Sheikh Abdullah, and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel took part in this meeting. It was decided in the meeting that all the decision that is to be taken regarding Jammu & Kashmir will directly be taken in the process of making the Constitution of India, as a result, 4 leaders from Jammu & Kashmir was made part of the Constituent Assembly of India they were, Sheikh Abdullah, Mirza Afzal Begh, Mr. Masudi, Moti ram Bagraha.
After a collaborative understanding among the member of the Constituent Assembly on Jammu Kashmir, the assembly reached a common understanding and under Article 306 (A) discussed the matter of Jammu Kashmir in the draft constitution, which was late reframed into Article 370 of the final Constitution.
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Special Status of Jammu Kashmir
Part 21 of the Constitution includes Articles 369 to 392, this part was enacted for ‘Temporary & Transitional Provisions’, the 13th Constitutional Amendment Act 1962 which was enacted for Nagaland which added Article 371 (A), and the word ‘Special Provisions’ was also added in Part 21.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution
Article 370 empowered the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir to decide and recommend which article shall be applied to the constitution. The constituent assembly was dissolved after it drafted the constitution of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Presidential Order of 1954 introduced Article 35A which being part of Article 370, empowered the Jammu & Kashmir Constituent Assembly to define who is the permanent resident of the state and empower them with special power and privilege.
Jammu and Kashmir Current Status
A proposal to revoke Article 370 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 5, 2019, by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. President Ramnath Kovind issued an Order after the announcement. The 2019 Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order replaced the 1954 Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order.
Constitution (Application to J&K) Order, 2019
The bill passed by the Parliament of India to separate Jammu and Kashmir state into two union territories i.e., Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. For the first time since independence, a Jammu and Kashmir State is being converted to a union territory.
Jammu & Kashmir as a union territory will have a Legislative Assembly similar to Delhi and Puducherry it will have 5 Lok Sabha seats (earlier 6 seats) and Ladakh will have 1 seat. The special status provided to Jammu Kashmir under Article 370 is abolished and all provision under this Article is deemed null and void.
Jammu and Kashmir Political Boundaries
There are two districts in the new Union Territory of Ladakh i.e., Kargil and Leh. The new Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory contains the remaining portion of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State. The fourteen districts that made up the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 were Kathua, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi, Anantnag, Baramulla, Poonch, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Leh and Ladakh, Gilgit, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas, and Tribal Territory.
By 2019, the territory of these 14 districts had been divided into 28 districts by the state government of the former Jammu and Kashmir. Kupwara, Bandipur, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Budgam, Pulwama, Shupian, Kulgam, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtivar, Samba, and Kargil are the names of the new districts.
From the region of Leh and Ladakh districts, the Kargil district was separated. The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Removal of Difficulties) Second Order, 2019, issued by the President of India, defined the Leh district of the new Union Territory of Ladakh to include the regions of the districts of Gilgit, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas, and Tribal Territory of 1947, in addition to the remaining regions of Leh and Ladakh districts of 1947, after carving out the Kargil District.
Jammu and Kashmir Capital
Srinagar, the summer capital of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level while Jammu is the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir UT which is a land of beautiful palaces and grand ancient temples.
Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is a popular tourist spot. Kashmir is a picturesque and alluring region that is praised for its astounding natural beauty all over the world. It is nestled high in the tall, green Himalayas. It has served as an inspiration for poets throughout the ages because of its proximity to Himalayan peaks, lush green valleys, sparkling lakes, temples, and magnificent Mughal-era gardens. Kashmir is a region with lively bazaars, Sufi temples, and forts. It is also crisscrossed by roads with chinar trees and charming wooden bridges. Add to this the allure of the delectable Kashmiri cuisine as well as the apples and walnuts from the luxuriant orchards that surround it.
Kashmir acquires a white shine in the winter as it is blanketed in fluffy snow and skiers swarm to its renowned slopes. It also resembles an artist’s canvas in the summer as the snow melts and the meadow flowers blossom. Jammu is situated on the banks of the pristine Tapi river in the meantime. It is covered in countless temples. Jammu is the best location to embark on a temple tour and experience spiritual vibrations thanks to the numerous religious buildings situated in picturesque settings, including the Vaishno Devi temple i.e., a prominent Hindu pilgrimage destination.