‘Article 370’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Is Zakir Naikoo Dead?


Directed by Aditya Suhas Jambhale, Article 370 could be said to be inspired by real-life events because a lot of things in the film have been fictionalized, i.e., from the names of the people to certain events, just to dramatize the narrative and make it more riveting. The film tells the story of what led the Indian government to take the stance of abrogating the article that gave special status to the states of Jammu and Kashmir. So, let’s find out what happened in the movie and how the government was able to achieve that momentous feat.

Spoiler Alert

Who was Burhan Wahi? 

Zooni Haksar worked with the ID (law enforcement agency) in Jammu and Kashmir under the leadership of Khawar Ali. Zooni got to know that Burhan Wani, the terrorist who was the leader of the Mujahideen movement, was going to be in Kokernag in a couple of days to celebrate Id. Zooni knew that killing him would first strike a blow to the organization and also bring back stability in the state. But Khawar Ali had a different way of doing things, and he told Zooni not to take any action in haste. He told her that he had dealt with all the situations through his effective backchannels, and once again, he wanted to do something similar. But this time around, Zooni was ready to disobey the chain of command and do what her heart told her. With the help of Yash Chauhan and his team, she conducted a crackdown at the house where she knew that Burhan was present.

Zooni and her team killed Burhan, but instead of being appreciated for her efforts, she was sent back to Delhi, as Khawar didn’t want her to disturb the delicate balance of things in the states of Jammu and Kashmir. Many years ago, Zooni’s father, Kabir Haksar, was framed by the then CM of Jammu and Kashmir in a bank scam, and a few days later, the news came that Kabir had taken his own life due to embarrassment. The fight was personal for Zooni. She wanted the state of things to improve in Jammu and Kashmir, but the radical elements of society and people like Khawar Ali, who always resorted to age-old tactics, became the biggest obstacle. Zooni knew that political policies had to change completely in order to bring stability back to the crown of India. Just days after Burhan was killed, separatist leader Yakub Sheikh, together with the ISI, made Zakir Naikoo the leader of the terrorist organization. Zakir Naikoo gave a provocative speech, and the misguided youth of Kashmir came on the streets and disrupted law and order. The condition worsened, and that’s when the joint secretary to the PMO, Rajeshwari Swaminathan, decided to have a talk with Zooni Haksar and make her the leader of a secret operation.

What was the NIA operation? 

Firstly, Zooni wanted to track down the biggest funder of these terrorist activities that were taking place in the state. She learned about a man called Shamsher Abdali, who was a dry fruit dealer and had agreed to be a double informant for Khawar back in the day. Khawar always believed that Abdali was his asset, but it was the other way around. The man was raising funds through the sale of dry fruits in the black market and providing all the resources that the terrorist organizations needed. The newly formed NIA team, after a lot of efforts, found Abdali and brought him to Delhi, as Rajeshwari didn’t feel that it was safe to keep him there. Zooni got angry at Khawar for intentionally or unintentionally coming in the way of every breakthrough through the years.

Meanwhile, Jalal and the current CM, Parveen Andrabi, decided to form a coalition, and the central government knew that if that happened once again, their plans of bringing back stability would get spoiled. So, the president’s rule was applied in the state to deter the two Kashmiri leaders from forming a government, and this move had its repercussions. On February 14, 2019, a boy named Adil Darr was released from prison on a special request made by Khawar Ali, and he went and bombed a CRPF van and took his own life in the process. Yash Chauhan lost his life as he was also sitting in that van, and Zooni grieved the loss of a dear friend and a confidant who supported her at each and every step. Khawar didn’t know that something was going to happen, and Zakir Naikoo took complete advantage of the situation. Zooni got very angry at Khawar, and she suspended him as she was done dealing with him and she didn’t want him to come in between of her operations any longer. 

What was clause D? 

The basic problem with the abrogation of Article 370 was that it could only be changed by the J&K constituent assembly that was dissolved in 1957. So basically, in the absence of such an assembly, nothing could be done by the parliament. But Rajeshwari’s team found a loophole in the law, and they got to know that sub clause D was hidden from everybody. The suspicion arose when Rajeshwari’s legal team found out that the article had been amended even after the constituent assembly was dissolved. In Article 367 of the Indian Constitution, it was mentioned that the president had the power to interpret any given article, and so at that time, the powers of the constituent assembly were vested in the state legislative assembly. Using its powers, the legislative assembly made some changes, and then clause D was hidden from the public eye so that everybody believed that 370 couldn’t be repealed. Zooni and her colleague, Wasim found the original document in the J&K secretariat library, and they sent it to the PMO. Zooni and Wasim were attacked on their way, but they were able to make a near escape. The foundation was set, and now the PM had to just make sure that the bill to abolish Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave special status to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, was passed by both houses of parliament. 

How was 370 removed?

Zakir Naikoo’s plan was that he would first give the impression that he and his organization were going to kill the governor of J&K, but in reality, they were going after Jalal, the ex-CM. He wanted to do that so that he could pin the blame for Jalal’s death on the central government and then drag the Human Rights Commission into the debate and give an open way to foreign countries like the US to intervene. Zooni and her team were unaware of it, but when they were heading towards the governor’s house, the former realized that something was not right. Very intuitively, she asked her team to go to Jalal’s house and ensure his safety. It was a huge gamble that she played, and she knew what the consequences could be. Meanwhile, the home minister went to Rajya Sabha to get the bill passed, and there was a specific reason why he went to the lower house first when, in fact, in Lok Sabha, he could have easily gotten it passed as he had a majority of seats in his favor. The central government didn’t want to give the opposition a chance to prepare, and that’s why, in a shocking move, the home minister first went to the Rajya Sabha.

During Article 370‘s ending, Zooni killed Naikoo, and the bill was passed in the lower house of parliament. Ultimately, on August 5, 2019, the article that gave special status to J&K was removed. According to what’s shown in the film, peace returned in the valley, and the cases of violence dropped remarkably. Moreover, it was a huge victory for the central government, as they had delivered on their promise. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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