For many Kashmiris, the special status afforded to Jammu and Kashmir by Article 370 of the Indian constitution reflects the different means by which, and basis on which, the princely state became part of India in late 1947.
It was the result of an accommodation all those years ago between the government of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Kashmir’s political leaders.
India’s BJP-led government has now unilaterally torn up that special dispensation. It’s the biggest change in Kashmir’s constitutional status since the 1950s.
In practical terms, it doesn’t mean all that much. The provisions of Article 370 have been greatly diluted over the decades. Jammu and Kashmir has its own constitution and its own flag, but otherwise no greater autonomy than any other Indian state.