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No debate, no discussion, no dissent, and the Constitution is changed

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Do you think the Narendra Modi government could extend Parliament by another few days to make Mumbai a separate state out of Maharashtra? Or carve Darjeeling out of West Bengal? Or suddenly, make Tamil Nadu a Union Territory? Do you think the government could put all politicians in Odisha under house arrest, cut all communication channels, impose a military lockdown, and suddenly declare it’s a Union Territory?

It was a midnight coup at 11 am. The ensuing darkness is ominous. This could just be the beginning of a long night for the democracy in India. The Modi government will just decide to do whatever it likes to the Constitution, to laws and regions and territories, and people’s lives. And, it will get away with it.

Home Minister Amit Shah declared Monday morning that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is dead. Article 35A also goes. Ladakh is now a Union Territory without a legislature. The other two regions of the state, Jammu and Kashmir, will now be a Union Territory with a legislature — a bit like Delhi or Puducherry. The new Jammu and Kashmir government will thus be weaker than, say, the government of Goa. They say it’s national integration.

Also read: Explained: This is what Modi govt has done to scrap Article 370, 35A in Jammu & Kashmir

In the days and months to come, there will be a lot of discussion on the legality of this move. Challenges in the........

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