Direction (Qs. 1 - 6): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. The passage of a statutory resolution and a Bill in Parliament - "abrogating" Article 370 which confers special political status on Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories - has robbed the Kashmir Valley of its political autonomy, or whatever remains of it after all these years. It may deepen the State's trust deficit vis-a-vis the Centre. The "abrogation" of Article 370, being hailed as a "glorious" move, is itself a misnomer. "Amending" or "abrogating" Article 370 is a Constitutional improbability; the amending provision of Article 368 says no Constitutional amendments have effect in relation to J&K unless applied by Order of the President under Article 370 that requires the concurrence of the State's legislature and ratification by its Constituent Assembly. The moves on Monday can be seen as an exercise in political optics, pandering to a certain majoritarian sentiment. What the Centre has done is to shred even the garb of democracy and spirit of dialogue that successive governments felt was important to engage the people of Kashmir. Through as many as 45 Presidential Orders, the most critical being the Order of 1954, Article 370 has already been divested of its spirit. Secessionist elements and some Indian Constitutional experts have cited this gradual advance of the Union as the conquest of the Valley by stealth. What even this controversial process of assimilation, with Article 370 in place, has done is to achieve the growth of local political engagement. It legitimises a pan-Indian sentiment in the Valley where the secessionists would like to portray India as a mere occupational force. Indeed, there are several other provisions in the Constitution such as Article 371(A), 371(G), 371(B), 371(C) that validate indigenous political forces in States like Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur etc. This asymmetric form of federalism has its global parallels in the substantial autonomy enjoyed by Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland within Great Britain. The protests in Hong Kong affirm the relevance of democratic processes inherent in the one country-two systems followed even by China. By robbing Article 370 of its special provisions, the BJP has undermined these nuanced and extremely critical democratic processes.
Simultaneously, the State has been carved up into two Union Territories with J&K having a legislature and Ladakh without it. The unprecedented step of reorganizing a State and divesting it of its legislative authority without even a semblance of consultation with the stakeholders sets a dangerous precedent underlined by several regional groups and political parties, particularly the DMK and the MDMK. It is possible that the BJP would reap rich political dividends for this muscular policy. But the Centre would be responsible for escalation of violence in the Valley where all doors for political engagement and democratic exchange seem to have been closed down for good. Without meaningful participation of the people, any such unilateral integration can remain at best territorial.
1. Which among the following is correct regarding the Article 368 in the Constitution of India, as stated in the passage?
A) It should not go unattended if there is something within the purview of the state and the centre.
B) It should be noted that there are so many issues in the offing so that the central government can come.
C) Any law can be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir only if there is support from the state legislature.
D) The state of Jammu and Kashmir should note that India will not remain spectators in the whole thing.
E) None of the above
Explanation: Refer to, "the amending provision of Article 368 says no Constitutional amendments have effect in relation to J&K unless applied by Order of the President under Article 370 that requires the concurrence of the State's legislature and ratification by its Constituent Assembly. "It is stated in the passage that the Article 368 of the Indian Constitution is regarding the amendment of any law in the country. Any law will only be applicable in Jammu and Kashmir if the state legislature also accepts the same. The Presidential Order should also be in force regarding this. Among the given options, we can see that Option C gives us the correct information regarding the Article 368 of the Indian Constitution whereas the rest can be eliminated from consideration as they do not follow from the passage.
2. Which among the following is correct regarding Scotland and Wales as stated in the passage?
A) The area comes under the supervision of India whereas the rest of the country does not come here.
B) The area is within suspension by the international territory though other areas are also accepting it.
C) The area enjoys similar status just like Jammu and Kashmir in India and there are several other areas also like this.
D) This area has been in the storm of dispute between various countries because there are so many problems.
E) None of the above
Explanation: Refer to, "This asymmetric form of federalism has its global parallels in the substantial autonomy enjoyed by Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland within Great Britain." It is stated in the passage that the area of Scotland and Wales are within the jurisdiction of Great Britain and the areas are governed by the autonomous bodies. This is actually similar to the status of Jammu and Kashmir in India because till now Jammu and Kashmir also enjoyed similar autonomy in India. Among the given options, we can choose Option C since it provides us the correct information regarding similarity between Jammu and Kashmir and Scotland and Wales. Other options can be eliminated since they do not follow from the passage.
3. Which among the following is correct regarding the possible consequence of the decision taken by the centre to abrogate Section 370?
A) The people of the area will not understand the importance of autonomy and they will come to India.
B) The people of the area will have more trust deficit with the mainland government of India since they will feel things are not being in their interests.
C) The people in the area will not be within the jurisdiction of the police and the army of the central government.
D) It will have no impact on the population of Jammu and Kashmir though they are yet to know the fact.
E) None of the above
Explanation: It is clear from the passage that the decision by the government to revoke Section 370 without discussing anything with the local political parties will have far reaching impact on the relationship between India and Jammu & Kashmir. Therefore the people in the area will not feel that Indian government is working to fulfill their interests but they are only working in the interests of the mainland country. It will definitely increase the trust deficit between the people in India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Among the given options, we can easily choose Option B since it provides us the correct information whereas the rest can be eliminated from consideration since they do not follow from the passage.
4. Which among the following is/ are correct regarding the decision taken by the Government of India to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution?
I. Jammu and Kashmir will be a Union Territory with a legislature whereas Ladakh will not have the same.
II. This decision will help the separatists in the valley to portray India as a force working against the interests of the valley people.
III. This decision will not stand in the court of law and there has already been petition in the Supreme Court against it.
A) Both I and II B) Both II and III C) Both I and III D) Only III E) All I, II and III
Explanation: Statement I is correct since it has been stated in the passage that J&K will not be a state anymore and it will only be a UT. Apart from that, Ladakh will also be a UT but there will not be any legislative assembly there unlike Jammu and Kashmir. Refer to, "Simultaneously, the State has been carved up into two Union Territories with J&K having a legislature and Ladakh without it." Statement II is correct since it has been stated in the passage that the decision taken unilaterally by the Indian government is actually going to hurt the sentiment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The separatists there will take this opportunity to brainwash the people there against the interests of the valley people. Refer to, "It legitimises a pan-Indian sentiment in the Valley where the secessionists would like to portray India as a mere occupational force. ‘Statement III’ is not correct since there are references that the government has not done it in the correct manner but it cannot be said that there have been applications already in the Supreme Court. Therefore it cannot be considered as correct.
5. Which among the following is SIMILAR in meaning to the word Misnomer as used in the passage?
A) Understanding B) Utilization C) Misleading statement D) Mutual E) None of the above
Explanation: The word misnomer has been used in the passage in the sense that the image that is being created of abrogation of Section 370 being a bold decision is actually wrong since the government has not done it in the correct manner. It should have consulted the local political leaders before taking such a decision. This will have long lasting impact on the area and its people. Among the given options, it is easy to point out C as the correct meaning of the given word. Other words are not correct and can be eliminated.
6. Which among the following is SIMILAR in meaning to the word Pandering as used in the passage?
A) Pondering B) Figuring C) Terming D) Satisfying E) None of the above
Explanation: The word Pandering has been used in the passage in the sense that the government has taken the decision to abrogate Article 370 in order to please the majority community of the country. The objective of the government is to improve the political muscle of the party without going to the grassroots of the problem at hand. Among the given words, we can choose the word satisfying as the synonym to the given word. Pondering means thinking about something carefully.