NEW DELHI :
Beyond the changes to land and territorial legalities, the abolition of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir will have an immediate impact on three things: bureaucratic cadres, books, and flags.
Since Jammu and Kashmir will not be a state, the J&K cadre for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) will have to be scrapped. Instead, this civil services cadre will be part of the AGMUT cadre—the acronym for Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union territories (UTs).
“IAS, IPS and the Indian Forest Service cadres in the civil service will change immediately. All of us who represented J&K cadre now will no more represent that region, and instead will be open to postings across the country. Practically, existing officers like me can now be posted in any of the nine union territories and three states under the AUGMUT cadre," said a J&K cadre bureaucrat currently posted at the union government, requesting anonymity.
Since the state is set to stand divided into two UTs, history and geography books for schools and colleges, as well as key official documents need to be revised quickly. Instead of 29 states and seven union territories, these books will now have to show 28 states and nine UTs.
“As a government body, whatever the parliament decides, we have to incorporate in books," said Hrushikesh Senapaty, director of the National Council of Educational Research and Technology (NCERT). “The academic year 2019-20 has already begun, so it will be tough to make changes in books now. The revised books will, however, be ready before next year," Senapati said.
Not just NCERT, over two dozen state school boards and universities will also have to make the changes in their books.
In the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Union government decision will wipe out “one state" from the map of India. He was speaking during a debate on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill that seeks to scrap Article 370, Article 35A and bifurcate the state into two UTs.
Besides, the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization (Natmo), a national body in the field of thematic maps and atlas making under the ministry of science and technology, will be required to show the delimitation of the region into two Union territories.
Since Jammu and Kashmir will no longer enjoy autonomy, and its special status will be scrapped, its official flag will also be taken down. The state so far has had the freedom to fly two flags—its own state flag and the Indian national flag. The red-coloured flag with three stripes reflects the three regions of the state— Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh. The plough in the flag represents farmers. Having been made the official flag of the state by the state constituent assembly in 1952, the flag has been representing the special identity of the state.
Moving beyond what was discussed in the Rajya Sabha, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said women in Jammu and Kashmir had lost out on several fronts over the years and that the proposed changes will benefit them. “Girls who are born in Jammu and Kashmir are denied property rights, and that is gross injustice. Had this injustice been addressed even before we took it up today, this kind of upheaval (in the Upper House) would not had happened," said Sitharaman.
Union minister Jitendra Singh said: “This day, 5 August, has already gone down in the history of India as a day of redemption, resurgence and rejuvenation. Article 370 was a miscarriage of history and gravest blunder in the post independence era. It is time to repent that and rework it. We had to wait 70 years for it. We have no right to deprive the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to be beneficiaries of initiatives taken by the Modi government."
Shaswati Das contributed to this story.