Er. Narinder Singh
The pivotal moment of 5th August 2019 marked the beginning of a monumental shift in the course of Jammu and Kashmir, as the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A set the stage for a transformative chapter in the region’s history. The subsequent revival, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government, has ushered in an era of peace and prosperity, displacing the spectre of terrorism that once loomed large over the valley and various parts of Jammu.
“Revolutionizing the Landscape: Post-Article 370 and 35A”
The revocation of Article 370 and 35A, long perceived as a barrier to the region’s integration with the rest of India, paved the way for an array of comprehensive reforms aimed at fostering development and ensuring the welfare of the people. This decisive move demonstrated the government’s commitment to national unity and territorial integrity, laying a solid foundation for an era of inclusive growth and progress.The post-abrogation era has sparked a profound transformation in the heart of Jammu and Kashmir, signifying a remarkable journey from conflict to cohesion, from strife to strength. This narrative of transformation and resilience stands as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and inclusive governance, poised to reclaim Jammu and Kashmir’s position as a beacon of peace, prosperity, and collective aspiration. The remarkable transition from a region marred by turmoil to one characterized by tranquillity and development speaks volumes about the indomitable spirit of its people and the promising future that lies ahead.
At the core of this momentous transformation lies the unwavering dedication of the youth, serving as the driving force behind the region’s unprecedented progress. Their active participation in driving developmental initiatives and fostering a culture of inclusivity has redefined the socio-economic landscape of the region. With a sharp focus on cultivating entrepreneurship and innovation, the youth of Jammu & Kashmir are ushering in an era of prosperity, where the echoes of peace and progress resonate throughout the valleys and mountains.
“Spearheading Infrastructural Development and Socioeconomic Empowerment”
Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu and Kashmir have undergone a remarkable transformation, with a resolute focus on infrastructure and socioeconomic development. Noteworthy initiatives, such as the Jammu Smart City and Srinagar Smart City, have revitalized the state, fostering a landscape teeming with potential. These projects have not only enhanced the urban infrastructure of the respective cities but have also improved the overall quality of life for the residents. In the realm of infrastructure, the completion of 122 projects worth Rs 3057.71 crore under the Smart City Mission, with 56 projects in Jammu and 66 in Srinagar, signifies a significant leap forward. Additionally, the ongoing and upcoming projects, totalling Rs 8022.92 crore, underline a sustained commitment to smart urban development. These initiatives not only enhance the urban landscape but also contribute to creating vibrant and technologically advanced city centers.
Strategic infrastructure projects, including road networks and tunnels, have significantly enhanced regional connectivity, fostering a sense of unity and integration. Anticipation surrounds upcoming railway connectivity and NH44 four-laning projects, promising unprecedented progress and prosperity.
In education, the approval of 22 investment offers totalling Rs 4400 crore signals a major boost for the Union Territory. These investments are directed towards the development of medical facilities, paving the way for an increase of 1000 more MBBS seats. The focus on education not only addresses immediate healthcare needs but also lays the foundation for a skilled workforce, essential for sustained economic growth.
Healthcare, too, has experienced transformative changes. The Sehat Scheme AYUSHMAN BHARAT (PMJAY) providing free health insurance cover to over 6 lakh patients, has proven to be a game-changer. The allocation of Rs 693 crore for free treatment underscores the commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of the people. These initiatives not only address immediate healthcare needs but also contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the region.
The inclusion of Dogri and Kashmiri as official languages recognizes the linguistic diversity of the region, fostering cultural identity. Granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Pahari community and declaring Maharaja Hari Singh Ji’s Jayanti as a gazetted holiday further acknowledges the historical and cultural richness of Jammu and Kashmir, contributing to a more inclusive and harmonious society.
The success of the anti-encroachment drive and land allocation program, resulting in the retrieval of over two lakh ‘kanals’ of land, showcases a determined effort to address land-related disputes and ensure fair distribution. This initiative impacts thousands of families, providing them with property rights and contributing to improved living conditions.
In agriculture, initiatives such as the Pradhan MantriKissanSammanNidhi and the Soil Health Card Scheme have been instrumental in supporting farmers. The financial assistance provided to farmers and the detailed soil health reports contribute to increased productivity and sustainable agricultural practices. With over 23 lakh soil health cards issued, there is a concerted effort to modernize farming methods and enhance the livelihoods of those dependent on agriculture.
Tourism, a crucial component of the region’s economy, has seen strategic projects like the construction of the Jammu Ropeway and the development of Border Tourism at Suchetgarh. These initiatives not only boost the tourism sector but also highlight the diverse offerings of Jammu and Kashmir. The region’s potential as a year-round tourist destination is further emphasized by projects like the Patnitop Ropeway, which add to the charm of the picturesque landscape.
The establishment of North India’s first space research centre at CUJ Samba marks a significant leap in technological advancements. This space centre not only aligns with India’s aspirations in space exploration but also provides a platform for start-ups in space technology, particularly benefiting the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It symbolizes a commitment to fostering innovation and technological progress at the regional level.
The inclusion of Dogri and Kashmiri as official languages and the grant of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Pahari community signify a recognition of diverse cultures within Jammu and Kashmir. These steps contribute to preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of the region. The acknowledgment of Maharaja Hari Singh Ji’s Jayanti as a gazetted holiday adds another layer of cultural significance, addressing historical grievances and fostering a sense of inclusivity.
The Purple Revolution – Lavender Cultivation initiative not only promotes economic diversification but also aligns with global sustainability trends. Lavender farming across all 20 districts showcases a commitment to environmental responsibility and aligns with global efforts toward sustainable agriculture.
Digitalization of revenue records through “AapkiZameenAapkiNigrani” not only aligns with the broader Digital India initiative but also facilitates easier access to land records. The reduction of land and property disputes demonstrates a commitment to transparency and efficiency in governance.
The historic inclusion of Dogri and Kashmiri as official languages and the grant of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Pahari community address long-standing demands, fostering a sense of cultural recognition and inclusion. This linguistic diversity, coupled with the acknowledgment of local festivals and historical figures, contributes to the preservation and celebration of the unique cultural mosaic within Jammu and Kashmir.
The Jammu-Baramulla Railway link, declared a National Project, stands as a symbol of improved connectivity. Not only does it connect the Kashmir Valley with Jammu and the rest of the country, but it also includes the construction of the world’s highest railway bridge and India’s first cable-stayed Railway Bridge. This ambitious railway project is not only a testament to modern infrastructure but also enhances economic ties and accessibility.
Jammu and Kashmir’s landscape is not only characterized by infrastructural marvels but also by a thriving ecosystem.As the region continues its journey of resilience and growth, it stands poised to reclaim its position as a thriving centre of progress and prosperity, embodying the spirit of unity and collective advancement.
The comprehensive initiatives by the LG administration under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi reflects a resolute commitment to grassroots empowerment and participatory governance, showcasing the transformative power of inclusive leadership.
“Promoting Economic Opportunities and Empowering Youth”
Efforts to unleash the region’s economic potential have included the promotion of entrepreneurship and employment opportunities through various skill development, Mission Youth programs and Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Policy 2021-30. This policy is designed to create a positive environment for industries to grow, welcoming investments from both within the country and abroad. It also prioritizes practices that are good for the environment, aims for an even spread of industries across different areas, and works towards fair development.A significant goal is to create jobs for young people, helping them earn more and improving the overall economy. The policy also identifies specific sectors for development while making sure that the benefits of industrial growth reach everyone, including those from marginalized communities.
These initiatives have not only equipped the youth with the necessary tools and skills for success but have also created an environment conducive to sustainable economic growth, powered by a surge in tourism and the nurturing of local industries.
“Ensuring Lasting Peace and Security”
The restoration of peace and security has been a cornerstone of the BJP government’s efforts following the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. Robust security measures and proactive counter-terrorism operations have neutralized threats, instilling a renewed sense of confidence and optimism in the region’s future, safeguarding lives and upholding dignity.The strategic approach to improving law and order, as evidenced by the 600% decline in incidents, reflects the success of policies post-article 370. The absence of ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border since February 2021 brings about a significant positive change for residents, ensuring a peaceful environment.
“Empowering Local Governance and Inclusive Decision-Making”
Significant strides have been made in empowering local administrations and fostering inclusive decision-making processes, in line with the government’s commitment to grassroots democracy. The devolution of power to local bodies, as facilitated by the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, has amplified the voices of the people, ensuring their concerns are prioritized in policy formulation and implementation.Led by the guidance of Prime Minister Modi, the LG administration has championed local self-governance, integrating Panchayati Raj institutions into the developmental framework and boosting funding allocations. This drive has breathed life into local communities, fostering a sense of ownership in the region’s developmental trajectory.
“Revival of Cultural Heritage and Promotion of Diversity”
The revival and preservation of Jammu and Kashmir’s rich cultural heritage have fostered a sense of identity and pride among the residents. The emphasis on local art, culture, and traditions has not only revitalized the region’s cultural landscape but has also facilitated greater inter-community dialogue and understanding, fostering an environment of inclusivity and mutual respect.
The revival of Hindu and Shia festivals in Kashmir is a positive development that emphasizes the significance of cultural and religious diversity, community coexistence, and the restoration of traditions in the region.Traditional celebrations have returned to Kashmir, with temples adorned in vibrant decorations and the organization of ‘ShobaYatra’ processions by local Kashmiri Pandit devotees, marking a resurgence of customary festivities.After a hiatus of 34 years, the historic Shia Muharram procession was allowed in Kashmir, which had been previously banned in 1989 amid a popular rebellion against New Delhi’s rule.The resumption of these festivals underscores efforts to promote communal harmony and restore cultural and religious freedoms in the region.This revival is seen as a significant step toward development and inclusivity in Kashmir, promoting unity among different communities.It signifies the acknowledgment and respect for the diverse cultural and religious traditions coexisting in Kashmir, contributing to a more inclusive and harmonious society.
“Transforming Governance (e-Office)- Ending Darbar Move: Smartly Saving Time and Boosting Efficiency.”
As Jammu and Kashmir continue to make significant strides, the region stands poised to embrace a future defined by peace, prosperity, and inclusivity. The unwavering commitment of the Indian government, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has laid the groundwork for a vibrant and dynamic Jammu and Kashmir, where the aspirations of every individual are nurtured, and the spirit of unity and brotherhood thrives.
Jammu and Kashmir Government has made a smart decision to stop the old Darbar Move tradition and use e-Office instead. This shows they want to be careful with money and use modern technology for government work.
In June 2021, the government decided to stop the Darbar Move because it cost a lot of money. Instead of physically moving everything, they started using e-Office solutions. This means officials can work easily from both Jammu and Srinagar Civil Secretariatswithout moving files and people every six months.
Using e-Office makes things work better. They can send most files electronically, and only important files need to be moved physically. This makes daily work more efficient.
Now, the Civil Secretariat works in both Jammu and Srinagar at the same time. This makes it easier for the government to do its job well and make decisions quickly.
“A Visionary Journey of Restoration and Resurgence”
Since the landmark decision on 5th August 2019 to revoke Articles 370 and 35A, the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir has undergone a profound transformation, emerging from the shadows of unrest into a landscape of hope and progress. Under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi and the BJP government, the region has witnessed a remarkable revival, where a renewed sense of communal harmony and cultural rejuvenation has taken center stage.
The revival of Hindu and Shia festivals in the once-turbulent Kashmir valley is a positive development that emphasizes the significance of cultural and religious diversity, community coexistence, and the restoration of traditions in the region.Traditional celebrations have returned to Kashmir, with temples adorned in vibrant decorations and the organization of ‘ShobaYatra’ processions by local Kashmiri Pandit devotees, marking a resurgence of customary festivities. After a break of 34 years, the historic Shia Muharram procession was allowed in Kashmir, which had been previously banned in 1989 amid a popular rebellion against New Delhi’s rule.The resumption of these festivals underscores efforts to promote communal harmony and restore cultural and religious freedoms in the region.This revival is seen as a significant step toward development and inclusivity in Kashmir, promoting unity among different communities.It signifies the acknowledgment and respect for the diverse cultural and religious traditions coexisting in Kashmir, contributing to a more inclusive and harmonious society.
The transition phase of LalChowk in Srinagar, Kashmir, is a compelling testimony to the region’s journey. Once a favored ground for subversionists and separatists, it has now transformed into a global attraction for tourists. The erstwhile concerns of parents and families about the safety of their loved ones venturing out have given way to a sense of security and peace, reflecting the newfound stability in the region.
The remarkable transformation of Jammu and Kashmir, once overshadowed by conflict and uncertainty, now stands as a testament to the invincible spirit of its people and the visionary leadership that has steered the region toward a brighter, more promising future.
With the shadows of uncertainty fading into the chronicles of history, the radiant valleys of Jammu and Kashmir are poised to reclaim their position as an integral part of India’s rich fabric, contributing to the country’s narrative of unity in diversity and progress for all.
Tanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing hope to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, who have survived years of conflict. The youth in the state never thought they’d see such positive days amidst past challenges of terrorism and unrest.
(The writer is State Office Secretary JKBJP Youth Wing).