The historic move by the Centre to scrap Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir is expected to have a broader positive implication of curbing terrorism and separatist sentiments that have been stoked by Pakistan for a long time.
Article 370 was perhaps the biggest obstacle in ending terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir as it provided certain autonomy to the state and the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states were not applicable to it.
Article 370 was a provision by which Jammu and Kashmir had acquired a special status and enabled the state to have its own constitution. It is the second Article of Part XXI of India's Constitution, which is titled "Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions". It was temporary in the sense that the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was given the right to modify/delete/retain it.
In the years since Independence, this article was to be removed but due to three wars with Pakistan and administrative laxity, it had not been touched.
Because of Article 370, private industry could not be established as it was not possible for them to acquire land in the state. This led to higher rates of unemployment among youths, and as a consequence, allured them to the separatist movement. The separatists took advantage of this and the whole thing acted as manure for terrorism in the state.
The Pulwama incident was an indirect consequence of this besides the numerous stone-pelting incidences following the death of terrorists in the valley.
The view was echoed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his speech in Rajya Sabha during the discussion on the Jammu and Kashmir reorgsation bill and the resolution of repealing Article 370.
"Terrorism began in Jammu and Kashmir and reached to its peak. Now we are on the path to eliminating it. The youth of Kashmir were misguided due to Article 370 and 35-A. Pakistan took advantage of it. Can we leave these youth on the mercy of separatists, who throws them into terrorism and send their children to foreign countries for studies," he said.
Rebutting the apprehension that removing Article 370 would destroy Kashmiri culture, Shah said that all states have preserved their culture and language after becoming a part of the Union of India.
"It is only and only political propaganda that has blinded the youth of Kashmir into believing it for 70 years. I assure the youth of Jammu and Kashmir...give this government five years and it will become the most progressive region in the country," Shah said.
( With inputs from ANI )