Revoking special status of Kashmir seems to be common sense by PM Modi

Not many people outside of India would be aware of the “special status” given to Kashmir – but all has changed as the status has been revoked by the Modi Government.

Under the previous special status Jammu and Kashmir had their own constitution and decision making rights for all areas except defence, communications and foreign affairs.

But the special status went further than that – forbidding Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing education scholarships.

While it might have initially been designed to protect Jammu and Kashmir, we know from experience that special status like this also condemns the recipient to live in a kind of time warp, stagnating and excluded from the broad benefits of economic growth and social change.

In other words, the decision of the Modi Government to revoke the special status seems to be good common sense.


But there appears to be no end of trouble in this area disputed by India and Pakistan.

Maybe the India side can be peaceful via the longer term plan to split the state into two territories – Jammu and Kashmir with their own elected legislature and Ladakh (picture above) which will be ruled directly by the central government.

Let’s hope the move is positive and the people can be free from conflict.

Now the challenge for PM Modi is to find some resolution of the conflict with Pakistan – but that seems a challenge beyond resolution.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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