fifty years ago November 5, 1969 Archives

From the Archives (November 5, 1969): Vagaries of a draft Constitution


The outlines of a three-unit federal-type internal constitution for Jammu and Kashmir, proposed in October last by the Steering Committee of the State People’s Convention headed by Sheikh Abdullah, are being studied in different circles in the State. But in the absence of an “agreed solution” of the larger Kashmir question as promised by the 12-member Steering Committee, the outlines of the draft constitution have left everybody guessing. Curiously, when he was still the Prime Minister of the State, Sheikh Abdullah announced in a broadcast from Radio Kashmir on April 17, 1953, that it had been decided to give “autonomy” to different cultural units in Jammu and Kashmir so that no unit entertained the fear of being dominated by the other. The State Constituent Assembly was then functioning and it was assumed that appropriate provisions would be incorporated in the Constitution “to ensure voluntary co-operation among various cultural groups in the State.” Apparently, Jammu and Kashmir State is a “museum” of languages, cultures and geographical conditions. The Sheikh’s announcement was thus an admission that internal stresses and strains earned by cultural, linguistic and regional differences, existed in the border State. Keeping this in view, the outlines of a draft constitution were then reportedly prepared envisaging Jammu and Kashmir to be a federal and autonomous republic within the Indian Union.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 9:03:04 PM |

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