JK News Commentary
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept his word on Kashmir . Ever since he delivered his historic speech on the 73rd Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort promising a youth friendly and grassroots democracy promoting approach to resolve the issues confronting Kashmir , a series of steps have underscored the sincerity with which he has implemented the measures in a step by step approach .
That the process to the grassroots democratic institutions of the urban local bodies and the panchayats is underway in Jammu and Kashmir after a long wait for years together speaks that there was a gentle push for the real democracy in the State . It was not a small feat because there were doubts about the announcement being made for the polls. These doubts thickened after the two major regional parties National Conference and People’s Democratic Party announced the boycott of the polls for their own compulsions . The use of the ruse of the Article 35 A ‘s hearing to the polls was a bad idea because the parties’ leadership knew that the real reason lay somewhere else . No one knew it better than the leaders that they would be facing tough times in fielding the candidates and then seeking votes .
With separatists’ call for the boycott of the polls for their own reasons of linking these to what they called to resist the Indian designs to authenticate its control over Jammu and Kashmir , the NC and PDP appeared to have made a common cause with them. The plea taken by the two parties that had been part of the electoral politics for decades was to hide behind the curtain of secessionism to save themselves from the hostility that they had engendered for the established political system in Kashmir . They were responsible for delaying the polls despite the repeated pleas by the Union Home Ministry that the state should not be losing money for the development of the places in the state . The development is one of the biggest sources of empowerment .
This initiative that has started taking shape in hope for the development of the villages and cities in equal measure should be seen a big step forward , and much of the credit should go to Governor Satya Pal Malik who has turned the corner by his prescience and immediate connect with the people of Kashmir . His message is loud and clear , which is an unmistakable echo of the Prime Minister’s words that the real way forward is through development , and by addressing the issues that concern the youth primarily .
Fingers might be pointed that the whole process is not perfect as in a number of wards in the Municipal Committees or Corporations , candidates have not come forward to contest , the fact is that the suppression of hope for years together by the vested interests and violence cannot sprout seeds of the democracy instantly . It needs time . The fact is that a big step has been taken and its results would be visible soon.