The defanging of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution has facilitated the applicability of many progressive laws to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and this is contributing significantly to the socio-economic uplift of the people in the region.
The mainstream Indian media and the foreign press that takes its cues from it have largely missed the progress made by the two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh over the past year, since the Indian Parliament defanged Article 370 and disabled Article 35A, which bestowed a special status to the erstwhile state of J&K, on July 5, 2019.
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Despite many influential voices in Indian politics, academia and media fighting spiritedly for the continuation of these two Articles in the Indian Constitution, there was an overwhelming groundswell of support for their removal from the statute books. Those in favour of these laws completely overlooked the contribution of the two articles to keeping the erstwhile state of J&K economically backward. These two laws also actively encouraged gender discrimination against women, came in the way of universalising education among all the people in the state and played a leading role in perpetuating the iniquitous treatment of the LGBTQ community and transgenders, among others.
There is another narrative that is also pervasive, compelling and people-friendly, it's a story of economic and social uplift in which the world should have a larger stake.
The defanging of Article 370 and Article 35A has allowed the many progressive laws enacted by the Modi government over the last six years - to be applicable, unfettered, to the two Union Territories.
Over the last year, the people of J&K and Ladakh have benefited immensely from such resolutions. Among these, two of the most important and socially significant are the laws on the Right to Education and the laws relating to the Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens.
Then, India's very progressive laws on the rights of indigenous peoples and the protections guaranteed under the law to historically underprivileged caste groups and tribal/aboriginal communities, which once did not apply to the state of J&K now provide protection to relevant communities in the two new Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.