Binoo Joshi

JK News Today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the narrative on Jammu and Kashmir to a new level about the abrogation of Article 370 , the status , stature of the Uni0on Territory in which things beyond just scrapping of the particular constitutional provision have been listed as changing shape and psyche of the place and people .

It is worth mentioning here that Prime Minister doesn’t talk of mere the idea behind the abrogation of Article 370 and the achievements that have been made since August 5, 2019 when the constitutional provision was deleted from the Constitution, but also the roadmap ahead . His vision nis for the youth , their aspirations and opportunities that have come their way and opened pathways for newer opportunities.

In his Interview with American Magazine Newsweek , while answering questions on the Indian democracy , economy and country’s relations with other countries , also revealed his new vision about Jammu and Kashmir which will be completing five years of scrapping of Article 370 in August this year . He has profiled J&K not only in terms of contrasts in pre-and post- abrogation of Article 370 , but the way Kashmir will look like in future .

His opening sentence in the interview to the Newsweek journalists as reported by the magazine is itself reflective of the changed situation . Prime Minister told them : : “ I would encourage you to visit Jammu and Kashmir to witness firsthand the sweeping changes on the { ground}” This speaks of the confidence in the situation in Kashmir , which has come out of shadows , where G 20 meet was hosted and foreign tourist arrivals have registered a marked increase post G 20 summit in May last year.

In fact PM asked the magazine journalists to make their own assessment of the situation as he said ,” Do not go by what I or others tell you .I went to Jammu and Kashmir just last month. For the first time, people have a new hope in their lives. The process of development, good governance and empowerment of the people is to be seen to be believed.”

Prime Minister was referring to his visit to Kashmir on March 7, where thousands attended the rally addressed by hm, themed on the changes mad after August 5, 2019 , and declared in an emotional tome that his attempt is to “ win hearts “. That was not political. It was an emotional chord that he struck with the people of the Valley who had come to listen to him early morning chill and the adverse weather conditions .

He noted ; People are reaping the peace dividend . Over 21 million tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir in 2023. There has been a significant decline in terror incidents. Organized bandh/hartals [protests], stone pelting, which once disrupted normal life, are now a thing of the past.” These words carry far deeper meaning about the work that the Modi government has done to undo evils of past . Kashmir has become synonymous with fear inspiring place where it was difficult to tread and the lives were defined by the bomb explosions and gunshots . The incidents of terror violence made the people to retreat to perceived safety of their homes and were always worried about their secure commuting to work places .

“Not only this, the youth are also excited about sports events being held here. Sports is being seen as a career path for many youth there.,” the reference to the sports activities is one of the biggest achievements of this five-year period. The youth were forced to stay at home or buy safety for themselves by piking guns or becoming part of the ecosystem of terrorism. The sports fields were out of bounds for them. In fact , there were not many sports fields .

PM Modi compared the change to the new dawn. The dawn breaks only when the dark night is over. This metaphor puts Kashmir on a track of new future where there is no space for the dark nights . “ A new dawn has also emerged for Kashmiri women, who now enjoy the same rights as their male counterparts when it comes to inheriting property or transferring property to their children, regardless of their marital status or residency.” This is perhaps not known to many that in pre-abrogation Article 370 era, the girls of Jammu and Kashmir marrying outside J&K , were not entitled to inherit the property of their parents nor could they transfer that property to their children. It is a great step that shows how the women have got the freedom in their life.

“Post the revocation of Article 370, [which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir] the region has become a welcoming destination for global events, hosting significant gatherings like the Formula 4 racing event, Miss World and G20 meetings. Digital economy, startups, innovation and smart solutions are taking wings,” Prime Minister offered these events as a glimpse of promising future that lies ahead for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.