The very next day the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession formally ceding his territories to India. It was Oct 26, 2947.

Still anxious about the Indian forces' timeliness he called his ADC Capt. Deewan Singh.
Handing him a handgun he ordered, "If you don't hear Indian airplanes in the morning, shoot me in my sleep."

Luckily, it never came to that as the Indian armed forces mobilized well before daybreak and managed to secure Srinagar within hours of touchdown.
This irked Jinnah who deemed the whole accession fraudulent and ordered a formal invasion of India. Funnily enough, had Hari Singh capitulated to the invaders and acceded to Pakistan, Nehru would've said the same about the accession. It was never gonna be fair.
But remember Sir Claude, the Supreme Commander of British forces in India and Pakistan? Invading India on Jinnah's orders meant pitting his own men against each other, a rather absurd preposition. So he refused.

Nov 1, 1947, Mountbatten visited Lahore to meet with Jinnah on latter's invitation. This meet yielded nothing of substance although it was the first official summit on Kashmir between the 2 new nations. Here, Jinnah declined Mountbatten's offer of plebiscite in Kashmir.
Jinnah and Mountbatten also disagreed on the process of demilitarization of Kashmir. The very next day, Nehru went on air with his assurance of a UN-supervised plebiscite in Kashmir once peace prevailed. This, of course, would never happen.
Nehru's assurance was not his own brainchild, it was Mountbatten's. But now it was out in public domain. At a time when Jinnah had summarily rejected any such suggestion. This would continue to create semantic problems between the 2 nations for generations to come.
At this point before going any further, let's rewind a few months to better understand the precursors to the invasion that put Kashmir on the path to perpetual confusion.

Remember the anti-tax campaign in Poonch? The was one of the first dominoes.
The build-up to India's partition witnessed unprecedented communal violence. Both Hindus and Muslims acted largely to skew their respective region's demographics in their favor. Practical because that would decide which side of the line they'd end up on.
Starting March Hindu and Sikh refugees started pouring into Jammu from Rawalpindi and Sialkot. They brought with them horrifying tales of communal violence perpetrated by the Muslims. Rapes, murders, loot, the whole shebang. This was the second domino.
If the Poonch campaign disenchanted the Maharaja, the violence in Rawalpindi and Sialkot disenchanted the Hindus of Jammu. Remember, Muslims were already forbidden from bearing arms in J&K while no such restrictions applied to Hindus. This discrimination was by design.
Despite that, however, Poonch broke into an all-out armed rebellion against the oppressive tax regime. In fact, at this point they wanted the monarchy itself out and not just the taxes. Hari Singh sent in his troops to crush the uprising. Much violence followed.
Make hay while the Sun shines.

Harvest souls while the bodies pile.

With this aphorism in mind a radical Hindu outfit made its maiden move in Jammu.
Oct 14, 1947, aided by none other than Hari Singh's forces, this hindutva outfit launched a campaign of anti-Muslim terror across Jammu. Reason? Revenge for Sialkot and Rawalpindi. Muslim homes were reduced to ashes, as were their occupants. Even kids weren't spared.
These events compounded the resentment that led to the Pukhtoon invasion days later on Oct 22. The Hindutva outfit, meanwhile, continued the ethnic cleansing of Jammu with absolute impunity under the patronage of Maharaja's own armed forces.
Sometime early Nov, the administration asked Muslims in pockets of Jammu to surrender in exchange for safe passage to Sialkot. Welcome offer. Muslims readily gathered their belongings and families and boarded the trucks waiting to take them across the border.
All went well. Until the convoy left Jammu. Then it stopped. Men were pulled out and executed. Their belongings were looted. Women, of course, were kept alive for obvious purposes. This was done by the Hindutva outfit I mentioned above:

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
In total, some 200k Muslims were affected in the Jammu carnage. The Pukhtoon invasion, meanwhile, continued in fits and starts despite the Indian Army having secured Srinagar. By July 1948, these unofficial skirmishes had burgeoned into a full-blown conflict.
With Pakistan's official invasion, the 2 nations entered what was the First Indo-Pak War of 1948. It was also the longest. The end only came with a UN-imposed ceasefire on Jan 5, 1949. By then, Sheikh Abdullah was J&K's Prime Minister and Hari Singh a mere titular head.
At this point, it's important to take a step back and review the paper Hari Singh had signed under duress on the night of Oct 26, 1947.

The Instrument of Accession.

It was a 2-page document and came with 9 easy-to-read clauses. Take a look here.
We'll only concern ourselves with 2 of these clauses — 3 and 7. Clause 3 first:

"I accept the matters specified in the schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislatures may make laws for this state."
In layman terms, clause 3 refers to a "schedule" of items and limits all Indian legislative actions to it. No laws unrelated to those items shall be binding on J&K. These items were:

1. Defense,
2. Foreign affairs,
3. Communications, and
4. Ancillary.
So everything from criminal laws to taxation to education to economy to commerce, was outside of India's business. Violation of any clause including this would mean nullification of the whole instrument, unless the Maharaja willed it in a supplement. Clause 5 said so.
Now coming to clause 7:

"Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future constitution."
This clause insures the signatory state from any future constitutional maneuver on India's part. This was the single most important clause in the whole instrument, the pivot the very accession hinged on. And also, the source of all friction between India and Kashmir.
We'll circle back to this instrument a little later. For now, let's return to the ceasefire on 1949. The 77-page ceasefire document drafted by the UNCIP and duly signed by both India and Pakistan can be downloaded off this link:
This resolution speaks of an immediate cessation of all hostilities between the 2 dominions. It also managed a freeze on all positions making the immediate occupation the indefinite status quo, thus birthing a provisional border later called the Line of Control.
The resolution then spoke of 2 demillitrization activities. Pakistan was to completely withdraw from J&K and disarm its troops in Azad Kashmir and India was to maintain a "minimal military presence" in the valley. The next thing it spoke of was a plebiscite.
The sequence here is important. The plebiscite was to happen ONLY if the demillitrization were satisfactorily completed.

That would never happen. Neither Pakistan disarmed Azad Kashmir, nor did India remain "minimal" in Kashmir. If anything, it was quite the opposite.
Right after ceasefire, J&K's new Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah got to work rebuilding Kashmir along his idealized socialist lines. Kashmir those days was a feudal totem pole with landowning Pandits on top and landless Muslims at the bottom. This had to change.
So the first thing Sheikh Abdullah did was introduce a new Big Landed Estates Abolition Act. This capped land ownership at 22 acres, any excess going to sharecroppers. Similar land reforms were being carried out in the rest of India too, but this was different.
While landowners elsewhere were being compensated for their "losses," the ones in J&K weren't. This fuelled resentment that quickly turned communal given the clear Hindu-Muslim faultlines in the exercise.
At this point, it was clear that the Sheikh had begun imagining a Kashmiri destiny independent of Indian interference. This radical legislation was evidence enough. And yet, Nehru and Patel decided against any abrupt reaction.

The UN was already involved in the Kashmir issue via the UNCIP and should a plebiscite become a reality someday, Nehru needed the Sheikh on his side. Sheikh Abdullah was a popular leader in the valley made even more so by his controversial land reforms.
Alienating him meant alienating Kashmiris which meant losing the plebiscite to Pakistan. Nehru had no choice. The Sheikh had to be appeased.

And this is where we circle back to the instrument of accession discussed earlier. More specifically, clauses 3 and 7.
The Sheikh had been demanding primacy of these clauses in the Indian Constitution since as far back as 1949. Remember that's when India didn't even have a constitution, it was a work in progress. Sheikh Abdullah also happened to be on Ambedkar's team.
While the remaining 500-odd princely states accepted India's authority bleeding outside the 4 areas listed in the IoA Schedule, Sheikh Abdullah didn't. His demand was clear: The Instrument trumps all. No deviation. Even if that made J&K "special."
Technically, there was nothing "special" about J&K's demands, all it wanted was for India to honor the agreement. But Sheikh Abdullah demanded that this be codified in the Constitution anyway.

A "special" status for J&K.
Albeit reluctantly and in Nehru's absense, Sardar Patel finally conceded and tabled a bill on Oct 17, 1949. This passed and joined the Indian Constitution as a new piece of legislation:

Article 306A.

Later relabeled Article 370.
370 was a 3-clause legislation that necessitated a separate Constituent Assembly for J&K. This body was to draft an independent constitution for the state and whose approval would be mandatory for any Indian legislative action affecting the state.
Basically, article 370 was nothing but the most, rather the only, logical extension of the Instrument of Accession, the very document that bound Kashmir to India. In other words, 370 was the Constitutional crystallization of the IoA's clause 7.
This is how J&K got to keep its own flag, its own constitution, its own PM, and its own penal code. It was not an acquired privilege though, just part of the most original deal between the two entities. Look for clause 3 of the article to understand how.
The Constituent Assembly of J&K was created in 1951; 6 years later it ratified a new state Constitution. With this ratification, the Assembly dissolved itself. It was a target short document, the Constitution. You can download it off this link:
3 sections of this constitution are of import to us:
1. Part II, section 3,
2. Part II, section 5, and
3. Part XII, section 147.

The first is mighty straightforward. It merely designates J&K an integral part of India.
Do recall that the 1949 ceasefire resolution still binding on both India and Pakistan mandates a free and fair plebiscite. To reiterate, the UN even dismissed the 1951 state elections as a substitute for it because the prerequisites weren't met. Moving on...
Section 5 expressly prohibits the Government of India from enacting any legislation on issues outside of the Union List.
And finally we have 147, the final section. This one pertains to amendments and prohibits the State Legislative Assembly from amending any of the 3 aforementioned sections: 3, 5, and 147 itself.
So essentially, the section calling Kashmir integral to India could not be amended even by the state Assembly as per section 147 of the Constitution of J&K. But the Constitution itself was valid only because article 370 of the Indian Constitution said so.
And the only way this arrangement could be altered was by the President of India decreeing so with the approval of the Constituent Assembly of J&K. With this body dissolved in 1957, article 370 became technically irrevocable and untouchable.
So neither the President of India nor the Legislative Assembly of J&K now had any authority to alter section 3 of the Constitution of J&K which labeled the state as integral to India. Article 370 now was the permanent glue between India and J&K.
Remember, this also applied to section 5 of the Constitution of J&K that spoke of applicability of Indian laws to the state. Section 147 forbade any tampering with this one as well. Unless authorized by the President of India as stipulated by article 370.
So essentially, clause 3 of article 370 would now forever remain unfulfilled rendering it a permanent feature of the Indian Constitution.

Both India and J&K lived with this anomaly for decades. But not without challenge.
But don't take my word for it, am no legal expert, not even close. The perpetuity of 370 has been affirmed by the highest court of the land, not once but thrice.

But before we get there, let's touch-base on something that happened in 1954.

A presidential order.
This was 3 yrs before the dissolution of the J&K Constituent Assembly. Remember the presidential order provisioned in section 3 of art. 370? Yeah this was one such. It did 2 things: Extended Part III of the Indian Constitution, i.e. fundamental rights, to J&K.
And it introduced article 35A, which indemnified any state law around permanent residence from Part III. This was, as stipulated in art. 370, done with consent from the J&K Constituent Assembly. 3 years later, this Constituent Assembly was gone.
Now coming back to the challenges. The first such challenge to art. 370's permanence came from a Sampat Prakash in 1968. In this judgment, the 5-judge bench unambiguously reaffirmed the article's permanent nature.
The next landmark referencing this issue came on Dec 16, 2016 in the State Bank of India v. Santosh Gupta case. Here, a 2-judge bench headed by none other than Justice Nariman referred to the 1968 judgment and maintained the article's permanence.
The very next year came yet another affirmation in the shape of an Apr 11 judgment in the Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha v. Union of India case. This one was in the Delhi High Court under Justice Jayant Nath.
The same HC judgment also references in clause 9, a case from 2015 where the Supreme Court had dismissed a Bondada Purushottam Yadav's petition seeking court order to remove 370 and the J&K Constitution.
Does that mean the state of J&K was "special" in perpetuity? Could art. 370 never really go? There's 2 ways to answer that. Ethically and legally. Ethics are subjective so I'll keep that out of this conversation. Legally? Sure it could go. Just as anything else could.
A presidential order isn't the only way to abrogate or modify anything written in the Constitution. It's only an ADDITIONAL tool in the context of art. 370. The primary tool remains article 368.

Constitutional Amendment.
Sure 370 could be abrogated even without a Constituent Assembly in J&K. But it couldn't be done with a presidential order. The only way it could be done was through an Amendment. With a two-third majority's consent in the Parliament and that of half the states.

On August 5, 2019, article 370 ceased to exist. India reneged on its end of the deal, one that allowed it to acquire the territory in the first place, 72 years ago.

Not through an Amendment.

Not with a discussion in the Parliament.
Not with consent from the state.

But with a Presidential Order.

Using the same 370 it removed. Using the very clause thereof that deems it unconstitutional.

That's irony #3.

With the state's elected representation under unlawful detention.

Tyranny? Understatement.
Had to, with a heavy heart, leave out a whole lot of real carnage from the story — Kunan Poshpora, KP exodus, stone pelting, Indus Water Treaty, AFSPA, and much more. Promise to cover them in a separate thread later.

Excuse the length and the omissions. 🙏
- "Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris," Christopher Snedden
- "Article 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir," A G Noorani
- "Kashmir's Untold Story: Declassified," Iqbal Chand Malhotra, Maroof Raza
- "Flames of the Chinar," Sheikh Abdullah
You can follow @Schandillia.
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