National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah might find it hard to admit but he has just embarrassed himself in public by raising false alarms concerning developments made in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in 2019. Frustratingly, Abdullah has alleged in a public gathering that Jammu and Kashmir has achieved nothing after the discriminatory provisions got nullified, however, while interacting with the crowd he forgot how not only women and the children, but the entire Union Territory has registered immense progress in the recent year and a half, which needs no ‘blabbering’ but just perspective.
For the unversed, Farooq Abdullah in a public meeting has cried foul over the developments Jammu and Kashmir have made ever since article 370 and 35A were declared null and void on Aug 5, 2019. Although what he actually needs to bring to his notice is that ‘nullification’ of the discriminatory Article 370 not only brought relief to the countless locals of J&K but also has proved a boon for the ‘neglected’ residents of J&K. Here is the detailed proof.
1. Incidents of violence and IED attacks have reduced significantly in the valley after Aug 5, let alone the success security forces have achieved in eliminating terrorists from the valley. According to the official reports, there has also been a massive decline in the number of youths joining terrorist groups since the youth of J&K is preferring government schemes over ‘brainwashing’.
2. The newly constituted panchayats have today empowered the locals across the Union Territory to the extent that they are not only welcoming all the government proposals but also participating in the initiatives for the betterment of J&K. And official figures of recently held ‘first time ever’ DDC polls in J&K is living proof of that.
The locals across the UT while enjoying their democratic rights not only elected their leaders themselves but also for the first time ever, there was a historic record-breaking voter turnout even in the terror-hit districts of the valley.
3. After the abrogation of Art 370 on Aug 5, 2019, the finance ministry proposed Rs. 1 lac crore package for the financial year 2020-21 for J&K and Ladakh, which has been the highest ever budget envisaged in history.
4. Ever since the Article 370 got scrapped, corporations have been set up to facilitate the locals with major projects like electricity, transport, tourism, irrigation and railways. Over the months, government funds have been allocated for such initiatives with the help of local administration. The big projects like “world’s highest railway bridge” will thus soon be ready in J&K. As a result, for the first time ever, the bridge over river Chenab will connect the valley with the rest of India by train.
5. Over 4 lac people across the Union Territory have so far been issued domicile certificates, thereby giving them rights of a “citizen” of J&K. There are a number of communities who will benefit from the schemes and would no more be considered as second-class citizens.
6. As per official data, over 10,000 vacancies at multiple levels have been identified for recruitment in various departments in J&K. The administration also approved reservation to economically weaker sections benefitting nearly 70,000 families.
7. While relief and resettlement of Kashmiri migrants is steadily going on as a ‘key priority’ for the central government, the Govt. created nearly 3000 government jobs for the ‘neglected’ Kashmiri Pandits at an outlay of Rs. 1080 crores. Also, to accommodate Kashmiri migrants employed under PMRP -2008 and for 3000 additional migrants under PMDP- 2015, around a thousand flats have been already constructed. While construction of 6000 transit accommodations at an outlay of Rs. 920 crores were being proposed, the centre also reimburses monthly cash relief to the eligible Kashmiri migrants settled in Jammu.
8. Notably, over 3 lac government employees of J&K are today getting benefits under the 7th Central Pay Commission.
9. 15 power projects were inaugurated after abrogation of Article 370, while the administration also laid foundation stone for 20 others worth Rs. 10,000 crores in Sept 2019 itself.
10. The central government has approved around Rs. 6000 crore multi-purpose project in Feb 2020 to provide uninterrupted water for irrigation to farmers in J&K.
11. Remarkably, the Bhartiya Janta Party has consolidated its organisational structure, especially in Kashmir valley, where for the record, it never won a parliamentary or assembly seat before and now have managed to double its membership to over 2.5 lac.
Since the central government continues to keep up the development of remote areas in the UT of J&K, many such key developments are taking place in the region. The centre launched 85 people-oriented development schemes, like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, PM-KISAN, PM- KISAN Pension and Stand-up India in J&K.
What has changed for the women of J&K “for the better”
No Art 35A, no more violation of the rights of women.
Since the discriminatory provision got scrapped by the central government in 2019, the women of J&K who have their roots in the UT, can finally feel like a “citizen” as there were entire generations who were denied basic rights earlier but now not only they enjoy their rights but are truly benefitted from it.
Earlier, any woman of J&K who married outside the erstwhile state/non-PRC holder, was denied PRC (Permanent Resident’s Certificate), which meant she will be deprived of government service, education, voting rights and even the properties on her name in J&K. However, after the ‘nullification’ of the discriminatory provisions, the women of J&K have no such ‘violation of rights’, and thus, are free to live ‘rightfully’.
Women in J&K are today truly “empowered” considering their political rights as well as the fact that they are no more a ‘second-class citizen’ on their land. Notably, districts such as Baramulla, Ganderbal, Shopian, Ramban, Kistwar, and Poonch have currently women chairpersons in J&K, which is commendable.
Hence, even though Farooq Abdullah might have had “no knowledge” of these topmost developments also, or he probably “overlooked” such key progress in J&K that’s otherwise speaking for itself, but Mr. Abdullah! Kindly get your facts “re-checked” before you throw mud against the wall thinking some of it might stick to the wall. It will surely save you from much of the embarrassment later.