For now, Article 35 (A) is disrupting weddings in Kashmir
Srinagar, Aug 26: Wedding preparations were going on in full swing at Mushtaq Ahmad’s house, until apprehension surrounding the scheduled hearing of the petition against the Article 35 (A) dissolved their excitement.
The marriage ceremony was scheduled to take place on August 31, the day when the Supreme Court of India is expected to decide on the petitions demanding abrogation of the Article.
Consequently, the family has had to call off the function.
“We had planned to cook more than four quintals of mutton, and had prepared for other elaborate arrangements with regard to décor. Now, we are apprehensive about the wedding plans. Any decision against on Article 35 (A) can lead some serious repercussions,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Buchpora.
“Nikah will take place, but the function, which was to follow, stands cancelled.”
Several others have taken similar precautions in view of the situation expected to arise in Kashmir Valley.
Mohammad Amin, a resident of Zakura, whose son and daughter are to get married on August 30, told The Kashmir Monitor: “We are restricting the invitations to a few close relatives. The fears surrounding Article 35 (A) have engulfed us. If we go as per the plans and the circumstances take an ugly turn, we will be in a huge loss.”
A lot of post-Eid weddings have been postponed, cancelled, or simplified.
The wedding season in Kashmir is generally restricted to the May to October summer months.
In the past few days, many people have taken to newspapers to announce the cancellation of wedding invitations or informing that the ceremony would be a “simple” affair.
The Supreme Court on August 6 had adjourned the hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Article 35 (A) to the last week of August, on the grounds that one member of the three-judge bench was not available to hear the matter.
The JRL had earlier urged people to observe complete strike on August 26 and 27 but later rescheduled it to August 30 and 31st.
They have asked people to prepare for a mass agitation in case there is any adverse ruling from the apex court against the constitutional provision, which grants special citizenship rights to the people of the state.
Earlier, Kashmir and parts of Jammu observed a complete shutdown on August 5 and 6 against any tempering with the legislation. However, the Supreme Court adjourned hearing on pleas challenging Constitutional validity of Article 35 A pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir to August 31.
People in Kashmir and several parts of Jammu have been calling for safeguarding the Article 35 A, which they said was the only bridge between India and J&K.
Article 35A, which was incorporated in the Constitution of India by a 1954 Presidential Order, accords special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir and denies property rights, government jobs, voting rights in the state assembly elections, and scholarships to those who are not permanent residents of J&K.