As BJP makes a go of Jammu & Kashmir polls, it is debating whether to drop its hardline stance that calls for abrogating Article 370. Guaranteeing the states unique status, 370 came out of its messy integration following independence. There is no case to abrogate it as it confirms a special status J&K enjoys in India.
J&K is not the only state to enjoy special status. The Constitutions Article 371 provides special status in earmarked spheres to a number of other states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Nagaland, among others. Special status does not, in itself, alienate any state. In a manner similar to J&K, other states such as Uttarakhand restrict purchase of property by people outside the state. Moreover, hill states in India get fiscal benefits from the central government that are denied to a much poorer state like Bihar. %Differentiated treatment based on unique features is how India is structured.
The obsession with Article 370 is misplaced. At one level, it has been weakened on account of the extension of some central laws to J&K. On the other hand, it is difficult to see how the state could be better off without an institution such as Reserve Bank of India. Despite the complications, there is no case to abrogate Article 370. Times Of India
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