All-round development in JK since Article 370 abrogation: Shah

Share This Story

Srinagar: All-round development has come to Jammu and Kashmir ever since the abrogation of Article 370, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday, as he exhorted the youth of Kashmir to ensure that they carry pens and laptops instead of stones.

Shah also said that during the rule of the previous governments in Jammu and Kashmir, democracy was limited to 80- 85 people only and three families — the Abdullahs, Muftis and the Gandhis — had taken control over democracy but now its future is decided by 35,000 elected representatives.

Addressing an event after the inauguration of the three-day Vitasta Festival here, Shah said those who have known only the history of Jammu and Kashmir in the last four decades think that this is a disputed or disturbed area.

“But Kashmir is a land which has borne the brunt of bloodshed in the past and emerged victorious and more stable and peaceful,” he said, adding this land saw nearly 40,000 deaths due to terrorism in the last three to four decades but today the same Kashmir is celebrating Vitasta Festival and marching ahead.

The home minister chose the occasion to call upon the youth of Kashmir to think about the rich cultural heritage of the valley.

“Those who handed over arms and stones to you, they were never your well-wishers. You should have pens, laptops and books in your hands and not stones,” he said, in an apparent reference to stone-pelting protests in the past.

He compared Kashmiri culture with the Vitasta (Jhelum) river and said, “If one knows the right history of Kashmir, hate has never been its part. Whosoever came to Kashmir was welcomed with open arms.”

The home minister also highlighted the all-round development in Jammu and Kashmir since abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to the erstwhile state, in 2019.

Attending another function, where Shah inaugurated or laid the foundation of 84 development projects of about Rs 586 crore, he said during the rule of the previous governments in Jammu and Kashmir, democracy was limited to 80-85 people only and three families had taken control over democracy.

Shah said there is democracy in Jammu and Kashmir now because 35,000 elected representatives are deciding the future of their village, tehsil and district themselves. He said that in the coming days, the MPs, MLAs and new leaders will emerge from these people only.

However, the home minister said, there was a time when democracy was held “hostage” by three families – Abdullahs, Muftis and Gandhis.

“They did not allow the elections of panchayats to take place preventing people from becoming Panchs and Sarpanchs,” he said.

Shah said that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done the work of percolating democracy and strengthening it by bringing panchayati raj to the grassroots level in Jammu and Kashmir.

Shah said the panchayati raj system in Jammu and Kashmir was a reality now.

“Whenever the (assembly) elections take place, whoever forms the government, but the start we have made of Panchayati Raj, no one can abolish it. The panchayat elections are now a reality forever. This change is possible only when the heart is full of commitment to democracy,” he said.

Referring to the situation in the Union territory, Shah said the incidents of stone-pelting and strike calls have been brought under control.

“We have seen incidents of stone pelting in J-K, bandh incited by Pakistan, and destroying peace and development here, bomb blasts and bullets, all these incidents have been bought under control. I do not want to give out the figures, but you all know and feel it. Today schools, colleges, industries are running, 1.88 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir in 2022, which is the biggest figure since independence,” he added.

The home minister said with such a large number of tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir, in the next five years, the number of hotel rooms in the region, especially the Valley, would be more than three times of the current figure.

This change, he said, happens when there is dedication to bring about a change.

“If someone comes to rule and enjoy the power, then he cannot bring about any change. Changes happen if mind is connected with the happiness, sorrow and progress of the people,” he said.

“The youth of Jammu and Kashmir, especially of the Valley, should come forward and lead the process of change and work towards taking Jammu and Kashmir to new goals and height.

“Those who put stones and weapons in your hands are not you well-wishers. The government is trying to improve your future by providing laptops, electricity, building roads, promoting tourism,” he said.

Shah said change is the need of the hour and the youth from the valley should join hands with it.

“The change is waiting for you, the whole country is ready to take you forward, and the market of the whole world is open for the youth of the valley. You should come forward and be a part of the change and take pledge to fulfil the resolution of the Prime Minister to build a new Kashmir,” he said.

Join Channels

Share This Story