A Study of Government Advertisements on
Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir
Abstract: The abrogation of Article 370 and the division of the state into two Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh– on August 5, 2019, wasa landmark event.The repeal of Articles 370 and 35A resulted in the abolishment of 170 state lawsand initiative of 160 central laws allowing the region to move forward with economic growth and prosperity.Since 2019, significant initiatives have been taken by the central as well as the state government for the development of Jammu & Kashmir.In the month of October and November, 2019, Jammu & Kashmir government issued full-page advertisement related to the benefits of single constitution. In this paper, the researcher has analysed the texts of all the government advertisements in major newspaperspublished from the Jammu and Kashmir region.
Keywords: Article 370, constitution, Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, advertisement.
From 1954 to 31 October 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had been administered as a state by India. Article 370 granted it the authority to have a separate constitution, a state flag, and affect the internal autonomy. Article 370 was a temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. According to this, Article 238 was not applicable in this state and the Parliament did not have the powers to make laws for Jammu and Kashmir. On August 5, 2019, Article 370 was abolished and all the central laws and schemes became applicable for this state (Lalwani & Gayner, 2020). It is said that 170 state laws were abolished and 160 central laws were initiated in J&K through this initiative (Tripathi, 2020).
It has been said since 1947that if Article 370 is abolished, the culture and language of J&K will come under threat. But the government countered this by saying that if the Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Assameseand other cultures and languages have thrived and grown, so will the culture of J&K (Tripathi & Kumar, 2022; Das, 2022). Our constitution contains suitable arrangements and safeguards to ensure that the religious and cultural rights of every community and group are safeguarded and preserved (Vats, 2021).
Indian government has taken several initiatives for the development of Jammu & Kashmir as well as Ladakh (Hajam, et al. 2022).It provides fast-track development packages such as thousands of projects, transport infrastructures and hydroelectric projects(Srivastava & Bhaskar, 2022). The Jammu and Kashmir government released a list of 80 government schemes which became applicable to the people of the Union Territory after the repeal of Article 370. This included central government schemes and centrally sponsored schemes. These schemes are from different ministries such as rural development, finance, youth affairs, housing and urban affairs (Chhabra, 2022).
Some of the important schemes are Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, Swachh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, Ladli Beti, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, National Food Security Mission and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Chhabra, 2022). It is regularly argued that the government should make the people aware of the government schemes that have now become applicable to J&K.
The central and state governments spend a lot of money on advertising campaigns.The government has introduced numerous programmes, including clean India, digital India, and others. To aware the public about several government schemes, it is necessary to advertise them.
Prabhakar et. al (2016) wrote that the main issue of the advertisement is the lack of awareness and responds due to the different educational backgrounds, places of residence and other factors that exist in our society. The advertisement will target one segment of society, while the other segment may be unaware of the plan.
According to Butorova (2016), the essential duty of advertising is to inform. Advertisement frequently tells only on the subject of its advertising and covers up facts about the endorsed product or service that are unfavourable to the consumer. Advertisement offers the option of selection, but it also artificially creates and generates pseudo-needs by convincing a customer of the need for such goods and services, usage valuation of which is false and the effect is unrealistic.
On the other hand, Bhan (2021) suggested that the government should publish advertisements about such schemes in the vernacular media, circulate pamphlets/stickers in areas of large congregation such as places of worship and markets.
Tella & Franceschelli (2011) mentioned that the government advertisement is funded by or on behalf of a government agency. It is disseminated under a commercial advertising distribution agreement by means of radio, television, the internet, newspaper, billboards, cinemas etc.
Vahid&Esmae’li (2012) wrote that the numerous studies have been done on advertising, and it is becoming more and more important to analyse advertising.
According to Ahmed (2000) analysis of advertising and other media content is of increased significance, whether from a quantitative, qualitative, or interpretive perspective, whether a research study follows the contemporary social scientific approach, critical theory perception, or postmodernist method.
Mohan &Jha (2015) studied print and TV advertisement and the pricing policies with reference to safety of low- and mid-priced cars sold in India. For this research selected manufactures such as General Motors, Hyundai Motor India, Maruti Suzuki India, Nissan Motors, Tata Motors and Volkswagonwere included.
To determine whether greenwashing is widespread, Fernando, Sivakumaran & Suganthi (2014) studied conducts a systematic content analysis of Indian English green print advertisements for the years 2010 and 2011. For this, four criteria were used to analyse green advertising: claim specificity, greenwashing category, frequency of associative claims, and certifications.
Gap of Research
Several kinds of research have been conducted on Article 370 as well as Jammu and Kashmir (Noorani,2014; Bhat,2019; Hoskote & Hoskote,2017; Lalwani & Gayner, 2020; Gupta, 2019). Several kinds of research conducted on advertisement and government schemes (Ahmed, 2000; Tella & Franceschelli, 2011; Vahid & Esmae, 2012), But there is no research on the content of government advertisement. Therefore, this research aims to fill the gap, to understand the content and concept of the government advertisement particularly based on Article 370. This study will also investigate the topics and subject of advertisements related to Article 370 as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
RQ1: What are the topics and subjects covered in the advertisements
RQ2: What is the text related to the awareness of the public about single constitution
RQ3: What are the benefits of government schemes in Jammu & Kashmir
Theoretical Perspective and Methodology
This study is informed by perspectives from the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) based on Fairclough’s three-layered dimensions. This theory’s socially oriented framework approaches discourse as text, as a discourse practice and as a social practice. According to this, first we focus on text description, second is text interpretation and third is sociocultural practices, which is associated with social and historical events close the manufacture and ingesting of text (Fairclough, 1995, 2013; Janks 1997; Locke, 2004).
This research seeks to study the topics and subjects of the advertisements published in local newspapers related to Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. It aims to look at text related to benefits and awareness for the public about single constitution during October and November, 2019. In this paper, the researcher analysed the contents of advertisements published in two leading English newspapers, ‘The State Times’ and ‘Daily Excelsior’. The State Times has been getting published from Jammu and Kashmir since 1996. The Daily Excelsior, also published from Jammu,is running since 1965.
Result and Discussion
The Jammu and Kashmir government published several advertisements in the months of October and November, 2019 to aware the public about single constitution and benefits of the central government schemes. These advertisements also highlighted that Article 370 and 35A were responsible for backwardness of J&K. The topics discussed in these advertisements are Scheduled Tribes, Schedule Castes and OBCs, Gender Discrimination, West Pakistan Refugees, Equal Opportunities for the Youth, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Corruption, Laws and Amendments, Investment, Development and Employment, Land Owners and Tourism.
On October 7, 2019, an advertisement was published by Jammu and Kashmir government, titled, “A single constitution for the entire country”, talks about the benefits of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh. In this advertisement, it is said that the changes for common people and advantages will accrue to the region.
In these advertisements, it is said that since 1947, J&K has been the target of anti-national propaganda and terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. Mischievous segments used Articles 370 and 35 A to fan extremism and to focus on promoting fear and panic. For a long period of time, these two articles kept the state separated and disconnected from the country’s development cycles. These articles give benefits to a select few, especially the separatist leaders.
In the introductory remarks in the advertisement, it is also highlighted that despite massive funding, there has been little improvement in the lives of the poor and underprivileged of the state. Similarly, despite the fact that the Parliament carried a number of progressive legislations for the advantage and well-being of the public, the majority of them could not be extended to J&K, attempting to deny the people of J&K the benefits that are available to all other citizens in India.
The advertisement published on October 7, 2019, elaborated about the thoughts on how to end poverty and boost to development and growth as,
“Investors will pump in capital and resources, industries and services will be set up, employment opportunities will multiply, big educational institutes will proliferate, health sector will grow, agricultural sector will be transformed, agro-processing will take a leap forward, ecological and environmental provisions will be enforced and natural beauty will be preserved.”
In this text, it is also said that the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir will enjoy all the fundamental rights, which citizens in the rest of the country enjoy.
Twelve per cent of the state’s population belongs to the ST community and they have no political reservation in Jammu & Kashmir (Muhammad, 2021).The Scheduled Tribes such as Gujjars, Bakerwals and others have no reservation in the state assembly as available in other parts of the country. Advertisement said that the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006 is now in effect. The rights of Tribal/ST Communities who have lived in the forest areas for decades will now be protected.
According to the advertisement, there is no rule regarding protecting the property and other rights of women, if they married outside the state. Therefore, several women married to the outsiders of state and settled in other states or nations were deprived of their legal rights. After the abolishment of Article 370, these women got all their legal rights on land and other rights. The central legislations related to women such as Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act and Juvenile Justice Act are also applicable in Jammu & Kashmir now. The Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act of 2005 offers for expedited prosecution of offences against children, violations of child rights and so on. The 86th Constitution Amendments Act, 2002 (Right to Education RTE) is also be implemented and education became the fundamental rights for children in the age group of 8-14 in Jammu & Kashmir.
Scheduled Castes and OBCs
It is said that the Schedule Caste employees posted in Jammu & Kashmir region were not getting full benefits of reservation as happened in other parts of the country. Advertisement said that the safaikaramcharis were being denied citizenship rights since 1947 due to Article 370. Now, all safaikaramcharis will get full citizenship and other rights and benefits and manual scavenging will stop. In Jammu & Kashmir, National Commission for SafaiKaramchari Act, 1993 will also be implemented. OBCs in J&K will also get their due in employment and education.
West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs)
It is estimated that over20,000 West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) were hitherto aliens in India. They had no democratic rights, citizenship and property rights in Jammu & Kashmir. After the annulment of Article 370, they will now enjoy all citizen rights.
On October 8, 2019, another one-page advertisement was published on the front page of local newspapers.
Equal opportunities for the Youth
It is very interesting that the children of separatists and politicians are well educated and schooled abroad in countries such as London, New York and Singapore. According to Union Home Ministry, “At least 220 wards of 112 separatists and political sympathisers are settled abroad, enjoying comfortable and affluent lives”.On the other hand, the poor citizens of J&K have no such facility (Tyagi, 2019). According to the advertisement, there is going to be new beginning in Kashmir, making sure there are equal opportunities for all, and major improvements will be made in educational facilities for all, especially for the poor children.
Panchayati Raj Institution
When the Article 370 was in place, the Panchayati Raj system was not initiated in Jammu & Kashmir and the local self-governance institutions were erratic. According to one advertisement, “the 73rd& 74th Constitutional Amendment have become applicable” and “all provisions relating to Panchayats and local self-governments to be fully applicable”. Therefore, all panchayats of Jammu & Kashmir will get direct funding and grassroots democracy will be strengthened.
In Jammu & Kashmir, there were no functional laws for checking corruption and ensuring accountability.Funds meant for the poor did not reach them and therefore little impact was seen on the ground. Now, all anti-corruption central laws will be applicable in the state and all central agencies and watchdogs will work towards checking corruption. This will increase transparency and accountability in the state.
Laws and Amendments
According to an advertisement, “106 people-friendly laws and nine amendments of the Indian Constitution now to be made applicable”.Earlier, only limited central laws were applicable in J&K. After the abolition of Article 370, Right to Education, Maintenance &Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizen Act, 2001, National Commission for Minority Act and Acts for the benefits of women, children, the disabled people became applicable for the most vulnerable sections of J&K.
On October 10, 2019, another full-page advertisement was published in both the newspaper, The State Times and Daily Excelsior.
Investment, Development and Employment
In J&K, there was restriction on transfer of land due to Article 370 & 35A. Owing to this, no major investments in the field of education, health or tourismwere made in the state.In an advertisement, it is said that “this (abrogation of Article 370) will spur growth and employment leading to prosperity for all” and “Industrialisation of the state will multiply job opportunities for the local youth.” It is said that the local horticulture and food processing industry will benefit greatly as will all small, medium, and large farmers. The handicraft industry will be able to effectively export and collaborate, both nationally and globally.
According to one advertisement, “Land rates all over the country have increased manifold while rates in J&K have not increased as much.This will change in the days to come.Any landowner who wishes to sell his land would benefit from increased prices.”Those who does not want to sell their land will have complete freedom to do so.
J&K is called heaven on earth. Tourism is a thriving industry in the state but due to the special provisions, major national and global players in the sector refrained from making investments here. With the restrictions lifted, the region’s tourism potential will be fully realised. The advertisement said, “Investment in tourist infrastructure such as hotels and other facilities will increase tourist arrivals and create further job and earning opportunities. Film shooting, adventure tourism, religious tourism will grow. PPP models will provide opportunities for the local entrepreneurs. Rural tourism will take the benefits to the villages.”
J&K government have taken initiative through advertisements for awareness of the public about single constitution, abolishment of Article 370 and 35A and benefits of several government schemes. These advertisements said that people’s concerns about losing land and property were unfounded. There is no pressure on anyone to part with their land, and there will be no change in ownership as a result of the repeal of Article 370, they added. Seven decades of Article 370 have failed to produce either employment or peace. Normal citizens were only robbed and misled while separatist leaders enjoyed luxuries for themselves and their families. It has been seen that the people of J&K have been misled for more than 70 years. They have been the survivors of a violent campaign and propaganda which has kept people in a never-ending loop of terrorism, violence, damage and poverty. Hence, the government published newspaper advertisements about benefits of the laws and regulations for the public of J&K.This practice must be appreciated. This study suggests that it was the moral duty of media to spread awareness about the benefits of these landmark decisions for the public.
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Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Northern Regional Campus, Jammu, J&K, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor and Regional Director, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Northern Regional Campus, Jammu, J&K, Email: email@example.com