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What is Article 370?

One minute read. Written by a grade 8 student.

When India became independent, there were Princely states (that existed before the British came

By I Kid You Not , in Current Stories Facts to Know , at January 6, 2020 Tags: , , , , , ,

One minute read. Written by a grade 8 student

It’s a long story and kind of goes back to the days of India’s independence. But here it is in a nutshell:

When India became independent, there were Princely states (that existed before the British came – you see India was not like it is today, there were no states like we know today, there were lots of rulers ruling small states). At independence, they were given three choices:

Join India
Join Pakistan
Stay Independent

So, what happened in the case of Kashmir was that its ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, initially wanted to become independent. But, there was some violence that broke out – Kashmir was attacked by tribesmen and Hari Singh needed help. He asked India to help him, which India did. However, that aid came with a condition – that he joins India. Hari Singh agreed, but with some conditions of his own – that a plebiscite would be held later to ask the people what they wanted (this was never held though). He signed, what was called the, The Instrument of Accession (IoA) – this was a legal document that declared that the state would join India.

When the Indian Constitution was made – Article 370 was added to it, and this was based on the IoA. As per the document only defence, external affairs and communications could be controlled by the government of India, while control over all other sectors was done by the ruler. This was not the case with the other 565 native sates that joined India – this was only for Kashmir – because that’s what Maharaja Hari Singh had agreed to while joining India. J&K would have its separate constitution, a state flag and control over the internal matters of the state.

That, in short, in the history of Article 370 and how it came to be a part of the Indian Constitution


Accession: the process of formally joining or being accepted (by an institution or group, or, like in this case – a country)

Plebiscite: the direct vote of the people on an important public question (such as a change in the constitution, or, like in Kashmir – whether to join India or not).


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