J K News Today Commentary
Prime Minster Narendra Modi ‘s I-Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on Saturday unveiled roadmap of vibrant democracy in J&K , further empowerment of the grassroots democratic institutions and holding of the much awaited Assembly polls after the Delimitation exercise is complete.
This was in continuation of the dots that he had made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir that all doors will be unlocked for them t be co-share holders in the Indian democracy with grassroots democratic institutions – panchayats and urban local bodies getting the same powers and privileges available in the rest of the country- and holding of Assembly elections after the due process of Delimitation is accomplished.
The holding of Assembly elections after the Delimitation Commission completes its work of redefining the constituencies – J&K Reorganization Act passed in the Parliament in August last year had increased the strength of the new Assembly in J&K to 114 seats- 90 from J&K, and the rest 24 for the people of J&K living in the territories illegally occupied by Pakistan.
After the bifurcation of the state into UTs of Ladakh and J&K, it was made clear that only the UT of J&K will have the legislature. Ladakh had four seats out of 87 in the previous Assembly that was dissolved in November 2018. Therefore, Delimitation is to be done for 90 constituencies – that means that seven more constituencies would be added to the existing 83- 37 from Jammu and 46 from the Valley .
Modi whose government had done away with the special status of J&K and divided the state into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh on August 5 last year , in fact, had added to its own challenges , for whatever happens to J&K or within its boundaries impacts national and international opinion.
Whether it is acknowledged or not, it has to be understood that J&K holds a special place in the country’s idea of unity in diversity. Despite its special status having become part of the history, its geographical location high in the Himalayas and its bewitching beauty continue to hold special position in the eyes of the nation. It is also true that international opinion as and when it is voiced reflects mostly on the conflict side.
P M has not only held out a positive roadmap for the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also told the world that the vibrancy of Indian democracy was kicking and alive in J&K in its full spirit.