For the first time in history, the Modi government has taken away the special status of Jammu & Kashmir. Earlier Indian laws did not apply to J&K. As J&K had their own laws. The laws in India are same all over India. The government only interferes in Defence, Communications and protecting the region from infiltrators. J&K’s leaders and politicians are the ones who make decisions in the parliament. Now the government has decided to make J&K a Union Territory (UT) and Ladakh a UT. What is a Union Territory? States are ruled by their own government. UTs have different rules. The Central Government has direct power to govern and control the UTs. It is similar to places like Delhi & Puducherry. Ladakh will be similar to Chandigarh, where there is no legislature. Instead there is a government council that makes decision. For the first time a state has become a UT. Yesterday morning, Amit Shah did not try to remove Article 370 and 35A. He proposed a Bill in front of the Rajya Sabha. What is this? It was Bill to remove J&K’s statehood and convert it into a UT. 125 MPs in the Rajya Sabha voted for the Bill and 61 voted against it. After the Rajya Sabha, the Bill will now be presented in the Lok Sabha. Here, since the BJP has more representatives, the Bill will clear. Once the President signs the Bill, J&K will no longer be a state. For the first time such a big change of converting a state into a UT, has been brought about quickly in a single day. Amit Shah in his speech said that it will be a UT for a while. In the future it will go back to being a state. However there is a long time for that. When the problems of the terrorists and citizens are solved, it will be converted back to a state. There is still a long time for that, it will not happen now. J&K is under a communication blackout. The citizens do not know anything. As there is no TV, no internet and no telephones. All service have been disconnected. It will take a few days to see how people react to such a big news. What are changes in J&K? There are 9 points. 1. Earlier J&K had special powers. Now this has changed and there will be no special powers. They will be included in India. 2. Earlier they had dual citizenship. They were citizens of India as well as J&K. Now this has changed. They will only be citizens of India. 3. Earlier J&K had their own flag as well as India. There were separate flags. Now there will only be the Indian Flag. 4. In J&K there were no reservation for minorities. Now all minorities will get 16% reservation in schools, colleges, jobs, etc. 5. Before RTI was not applicable, now RTI will be applicable. 6. Indian citizens were not allowed to buy property in J&K. Now anyone can buy property in J&K. 7. If a woman married to a person outside of J&K she had no rights to property and lost her citizenship to the state. Now this has changed. If a woman marries an outsider, she will still have right to her property as well as her Indian citizenship. 8. Panchayats had no rights. Now panchayats will have all the rights like any other state in India. 9. Right To education (RTE) was not applicable. Now RTE will be applicable and more children will benefit. These are some major changes that will be imposed on J&K. 35,000 Indian Army jawans were sent to J&K to manage the situation. Because after watching the news, people of J&K may riot and protest. We do not know what will happen and need to be ready. In India many agree and have congratulated the BJP over this decision. Some have even said that, the Govt has used its powers wrongly to force such a decision on the people of J&K. Only time will tell how the people of J&K react to this decision after watching the news. Let’s hope this decision brings a positive change.