Special Category Status under the Indian Constitution: Emerging Thorns from a Murky Past

By Pranav Vaidya, Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.

After sustaining under centuries of British rule, when India took its first breath as a free democratic and secular republic, by ratifying a written Constitution in 1950, it was in a state of turmoil, as the British Rule on India virtually halted the political and economic development of the Country. The corresponding social, political, and geographical inequities gave rise to differences between individuals. It was realized that, “in order to preserve the integrity and unity of such a vast territory comprising of different and varied cultures, languages and religions, we need to adopt measures to grant additional protection to these regions and communities living therein, under the Constitution of India”. Controversy arose immediately after the independence of the Country, when princely states like Jammu & Kashmir weren’t ready to become a part of the Union of States of India, as these States were majorly populated by Muslims. Conclusively, the efforts of the government were successful when the negotiations tuned in with the King of J&K, thereby granting the “Special Category Status” to Jammu & Kashmir under Part XXI of the Constitution of India Act, 1950. (more…)