A+| A| A-

Fears of Demographic Change

The Domicile Law of Jammu and Kashmir

The domicile law introduced in the newly created union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has aggravated the already deteriorating situation. The policy is a result of a historical, political and policy myopia of the current dispensation, which has failed to understand the significance of the earlier permanent residency laws for different communities across the erstwhile state of J&K. It has evoked fear of demographic change, loss of economic and cultural rights and has engineered profound changes in the political structure of the region.

On 5 August 2019, the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was rendered, legally speaking, ‘‘inoperative.’’ This ideologically driven action of the current ruling dispensation stripped Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) of its special status. Truth be told, the consti­tutio­nal aspects of this special status, which were supposed to provide a degree of shared sovereignty to J&K, were completely hollowed out long ago. The legal safeguards enshrined in the Article 35A of the Constitution, was all that was left (Raghavan 2019). This accrued certain privileges to the inhabitants of J&K, allowing them exclusive rights over immovable property, jobs, scholarships and other allied rights. The revocation of the special status ended these privileges to the ‘‘permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.’’

Although there is a section of the ­society that had a favourable view ­towards the abrogation of Article 370, the concerns over loss of privileges as permanent residents and a demand to provide an alternative safeguard, was unanimous. The union government assured of a substitute and came up with a policy through executive order on 1 April 2020. This was called the domicile policy of J&K, which replaced the earlier category of permanent residents with domiciles. The law has come under serious criticism for lack of any serious safeguard and its hasty implementation during these times of pandemic. Conversely, the policy has evoked a palpable fear of demographic change and significantly reoriented the political contours of the region. In addition to the tendency of the present government to push through laws and amendments unilaterally, even without a façade of consultations, the law suffers from a convenient neglect of the history of the earlier laws of permanent residency.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 26th Sep, 2020

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Analysis of the current and emergent correlation of forces between US–China–Russia points towards a new era of one super-imperialist power...

With the effects of the pandemic becoming increasingly severe by the day, there has been an almost total shift to online modes of operation....

An in-depth accounting of toilet coverage is more vital than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic makes its way through India. While independent research...

The genesis and evolution of the COVID-19-led migrant crisis in India, along with the institutional responses, is discussed. The focus is on the...

C P Bhambri believed that the task of social science, like all other sciences, was to arrive at the truth on the basis of well-established facts....

The COVID-19 pandemic may affect the financing opportunities for innovation. The revenue loss induced by the pandemic is likely to divert the...

When the goods and services tax was introduced in July 2017, states were given a revenue guarantee of 14% per annum on their GST revenue over the...

India’s public health system has struggled to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic, India’s public health infrastructure was...

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures,...

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown led to the closure of all markets in Manipur, including the Tribal Market Complex in Imphal East...

Back to Top