BJP’s gamble with Article 370

In a historic decision, the government of India on Monday announced the scrapping of Article 370 which granted special status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Also, the state has been bifurcated with Ladakh division having been given the status of a union territory (UT) while Jammu & Kashmir will be another UT. With this, the BJP has fulfilled the promise of abolishing Article 370. The removal of this article will pave way for outsiders to buy immovable properties in J&K. The move is expected to simmer anger, especially in the Kashmir valley. Already feeling alienated, the decision to remove the special status is expected to further antagonize the Kashmiris.
The BJP has taken a huge gamble with this move. It is still early days, and once things settle down it will be interesting to see how the people of Kashmir react to the decision. The next one year will be very crucial in this regard. The government has promised that with UT status, the region would witness faster development, and if that does not happen, the decision can easily backfire. The move to scrap Article 370 will have repercussions across the country. Several states, including Arunachal Pradesh, which enjoy special status will be cautious by this decision. Already people are expressing anxiety on various social media forums about the possibility of scrapping of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873, which prohibits outsiders from owning properties in the state. Likewise, there are several other states, like Nagaland and Mizoram, in the Northeast which also share special status. Can the BJP afford to antagonize so many fellow countrymen at the same time?