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Supreme Court to hear Pleas challenging Article 35A after Diwali, which talks about Special Rights and privileges of Permanent Residents of Jammu and Kashmir

Article 35A talks about special rights and privileges given to only permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir

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The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia
  • The plea said that the special status which people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys should be canceled
  • In 1954 by a Presidential Order, Article 35A was added to the Indian Constitution
  • The Plea has also challenged a particular provision of the Constitution which denies the right over the property to a woman who marries someone who is from outside the state 

New Delhi (India), August 25, 2017: After Diwali, the Supreme Court of India will hear pleas which challenge the Article 35A, the article talks about special rights and privileges given to people who are permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Supposedly, the date decided for the hearing of pleas was August 29 but both the Centre and state government of Jammu and Kashmir wanted 4 weeks’ time in order to file their replies respectively, due to this reason the hearing has been postponed to a later date.

The plea said that the special status which people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys should be canceled.

The Supreme Court was earlier in favor of hearing the case by a constitution bench consisting of 5 judges if the Article 35A is ultra vires (beyond one’s legal power or authority) of the Indian Constitution or if there is any sort of procedural lapse (defective execution of work).

Also Read: Landmark Judgement: Right to Privacy Becomes Fundamental Right of India, Rules Supreme Court

The meaning of Article 35A as per Constitution is that the article gives the right to the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir to call them permanent residents of that state and also give those (permanent residents) some special rights and privileges whereas by article 370 a special status is given to the state- Jammu and Kashmir.

In 1954 by a Presidential Order, Article 35A was added to the Indian Constitution. According to ANI report, “It also empowers the state’s legislature to frame any law without attracting a challenge on grounds of violating the Right to Equality of people from other states or any other right under the Indian Constitution.” This is the kind of power that this Article holds.

This Article was dragged into controversy after a 2nd plea, was filed by a lawyer and former member of the National Commission for Women Charu Wali Khanna. In her plea, she challenged Article 35A of the Indian Constitution and also Section 6 (talks of permanent residents of the state) of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.

Also Read: Long pending injustice to Muslim Women! Supreme Court Hearing in India to Decide Validity of Muslim Divorce Practice “Triple Talaq”

The Plea has also challenged a particular provision of the Constitution which denies the right over the property to a woman who marries someone who is from outside the state. This provision which leads the woman to lose rights over property is also applied to her son.


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Hindu Phobic Secularism of India – A Wonder of Modern World

Article 44 of the constitution declares that the state shall endeavor to seek for the citizen a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India

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india, hindu phobic secularism
There is no other country in the world that showed pride in their constitution, which is anti-majority in character except India. Wikimedia Commons

-By Shashi Holla

WHAT IS SECULARISM? 

Secularism is neither universal nor golden standard in the contemporary world. There are many non- secular states predominantly Islamic countries, Israel, the Vatican, and so forth. They enjoy equal clout in international affairs without being reduced to second-grade status in the absence of Secularism. 

There is no other country in the world that showed pride in their constitution, which is anti-majority in character except India. Indian law is Anti Hindu and pro-minority. Due to this very nature, Indian Secularism is a double-edged sword. Secularism in India is ineffective, dangerous, and self-destructive. In spite of having Hindu phobic secularism installed in its constitution, the anti-Hindu bias in domestic and international media is rampant. Hindus are shown as fundamentalists in so-called liberal and reputed publications like “New York Times” and “Washington Post.” Almost every year India stands along with Pakistan and countries alike in religious freedom report prepared by not so neutral agencies like USCIRF. (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom) The resurgence of nationalism and dominance of the current political regimen in India is the direct result of perverted Secularism, which is not in sync with Indian customs, Dharma, and culture. 

So, what is Secularism? Secularism means separation of state and religion originated in European society as a solution to prevent Catholic-Protestant conflict among Christians. The concept of Secularism found a unique solution for western civilization at that time. The current Secularism in the West is matured enough as they have also amended their laws along with times of Renaissance and Reaffirmation. 

India adopted the imported model of Secularism from Europe after its independence. But think tanks of India never considered integrating various aspects of Dharmic civilization (Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism) to make Secularism relevant to the Indian context. Dharma embraces all pathways in achieving an eternal goal, and there is no history of religious persecution in India nor a conflict between “Temple vs. State” or “Dharma Vs. Science.” The imported model adopted by the government blindly after independence caused ideological darkness in India. Hence real progress as a modern nation of India is hampered. The Indian state has positive secularism. Unfortunately, it can interfere in religious matters related to Hindus only. It is politically correct for media, academia, and intellectuals to uphold Muslims and others to practice and propagate on to their religious ways but Hindu’s rights to articulate their religion, sentiments or cultural concerns are considered communal, and that is perplexing. 

secularism, india
Dharma embraces all pathways in achieving an eternal goal, and there is no history of religious persecution in India nor a conflict between “Temple vs. State” or “Dharma Vs. Science.” Flickr

WHO ARE THE MINORITIES IN INDIA? 

Hindus who are in numerical majority face unique problems as the constitution, and the legal system favors minorities. Muslims ruled India for 700 years and Christian British who colonized India for 300 years. Though both are at their best in Proselytization Dharmic civilization survived due to its inner strength. The minorities in India are historically Hindus who become the follower of Abrahamic faith due to conversion by inducement or by force but very few of them by their consciousness. 

Both Christians and Muslims are well represented in politics, governance, Bollywood, media, and even in Hindu temple management. Globally Christianity and Islam are significant power-packed organized religions and dominate the world demography. 

Indian Muslims are nearly 200 million in number, and India has the third-largest Muslim population in the world. India has more than 300000 mosques, and Indian Muslims have political back up in international circles due to the powerful Islamic bloc. There are more than 30 million Christians in India, and generally, they are more educated and economically forward than Hindus. It’s a known fact that Church is the largest landowner in India after the Indian government thanks to the British colonial legacy. 

The Indian constitution stipulates there should not be any particular bill for any religion. Article 29 of the constitution refer to Minorities as “section of citizens having a distinct language, script, and culture.” Some of the anomalies and contradictions of Indian Secularism are briefed below. It’s an irony that Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Jews are also a minority in India, but establishments and political parties are not wooing them with special treatments. 

india, secularism, constitution
Article 29 of the constitution refer to Minorities as “section of citizens having a distinct language, script, and culture.” Wikimedia Commons

ABSENCE OF UNIFORM CIVIL CODE 

Article 44 of the constitution declares that the state shall endeavor to seek for the citizen a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. But even after 70 years of independence, there is no Uniform Civil Code in India, unlike Australia. That means there are separate personal laws for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and the Jewish community. Out of all their laws, only Hindu customs are secularized. 

At present, but civil requirements are different from public law and cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, and maintenance. Lack of uniform civil code makes India a false secular state since it cannot provide social justice and gender equality in family matters. 

The absence of a uniform civil code affects national integrity and security. For example, Muslim Personal Law Board vehemently opposes uniform civil code as they argue that they will be deprived of Sharia law once the Uniform Civil Code is implemented. The Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir has enacted Sharia law in the country more than a decade back. Secularism without Uniform Civil Code means communities living in enclaves and exodus of Hindus which started from Kashmir is spreading to West Bengal, Kerala, UP, and Bihar. 

MINORITY AFFAIRS MINISTRY AND MINORITY FAVOURING SCHEMES 

Article 15(1) of the constitution stipulates “The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. 

But the Indian government probably only one in the world with Minority affairs cabinet ministry meant for all religions except Hinduism. Muslims are the second-largest majority in India. Till recently Haj pilgrimage was subsidized for Muslims on taxpayer’s money in a Hindu majority country. In 2011 Karnataka Government formed Karnataka Development Parishat for the overall development of the Christian community. In states like Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland Christians are in the majority. The Hindus are in the minority in eight of the states in India, but Indian Secularism does not recognize them as minorities. 

In 2006 former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh stated minorities must have the first claim on resources, especially Muslims. Just after the recent election in 2019 Ministry of Minority Affairs came out with several freebies for minorities in education, jobs and welfare programs targeting Muslims exclusively. This sort of Secularism where minority pandering at the cost of the majority community is occurring even under the so-called pro-Hindu government. Refer to http://indiafacts.org/ for more details. 

ONLY HINDU TEMPLES ARE UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL 

The government controls many Hindu temples in South India, but not Mosques or Churches. Rich Hindu temples are cash cows for the government. Once the government takes over temples, its dignity comes down drastically as the government is not bothered about its traditions and customs except its revenues. The revenues originating from the temples are used for non-Hindu causes like filling up revenue deficits and minority welfare programs. The money collected on Hundi is not spent on Dharma purposes like promoting Indic traditions and causes. The government appoints people of their choice, including politician’s family members to administer temples. 

hindu temples, secularism, india
The government controls many Hindu temples in South India, but not Mosques or Churches. Wikimedia Commons

ANTI HINDU AND PRO MINORITY LEGISLATIONS 

The striking legislation against the majority is about establishing educational institutions. In India, minorities like Muslims, Christians got a special right to develop their institutions. They can set their own rules on admission of students, recruitment of staff, and also introducing their faith specific rules and curriculum. But Hindus does not have these privileges. That’s the reason why some of the sects of Hindus like Lingayat’s are demanding separate religion status to avail minority benefits. 

Hindu customs has to go through the Western lens of human rights, animal rights, and gender equality. But the same lens does not apply to the traditions of minorities. The recent Sabarimala controversy is a classic example of how media, NGOs and Courts use the discourse of gender equality, the Right to pray and so on to undermine the age-old tradition of the temples using an imported ideological lens. 

ALSO READ: Pilgrims Break 4 Year Record of Amarnath Yatra

CONCLUSION 

Indian constitution and Secularism are blunder-wonder of the world. India and Indians are the ardent admirers of Western democracy. In the West, there is no Secularism without a Uniform Civil Code. In a highly successful democratic secular country like Australia, there are no discriminatory benefits to ethnic minorities at the cost of majorities. Muslims and Christians enjoy the privileges given by the constitution in India, but in the same way, no neighboring country (or any other country) reciprocates the same for Hindus.