After his government voided Article 370, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that “a new age has begun in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh”. In fact, the quest for a new beginning is not all that novel in the history of Jammu and Kashmir.
Indira Gandhi too wanted to alter the status quo in Kashmir.
In explaining its decision to abolish the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Modi government has emphasised the developmental and political benefits that are expected to flow from these arrangements. These moves have indeed wrought a radical change in the constitutional relationship between the Indian union and the erstwhile state of J&K. As we ponder how these arrangements will work out, it may be useful to look back to Indira Gandhi’s attempt at a new beginning.