My dear countrymen, as a nation, as a family, you, we, the whole country have taken a historic decision. Such a system, due to which our siblings of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were deprived of many rights, which was a major hindrance in their development, has now gone away. The dream was of Sardar Patel, of Babasaheb Ambedkar, of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, of Atal ji and crores of patriots, it is now fulfilled. A new era has begun in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Now the rights of all the citizens of the country are also equal, the obligations are also same. I congratulate the people of Jammu & Kashmir, the people of Ladakh and every countryman.
Colleagues — Some things in society life get so mixed with time that many times those things are considered permanent. The feeling is that nothing will change, it will go on like this. There was a similar sentiment with Article 370. There was no discussion about the loss of our children, our siblings in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. Surprisingly, if you talk to anyone, no one could even tell what was the benefit of Article 370 in the lives of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Brothers and sisters - Articles 370 and 35-A gave Jammu & Kashmir nothing but separatism-terrorism-familism and rampant corruption in the systems. Both these articles were being used by Pakistan as an weapon to provoke the feelings of some people against the country. Because of this, about 42,000 innocent people lost their lives in the last three decades, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh could not develop at the pace that they deserved. Now, with the lack of this system, the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will not only improve their present, but also their future will be secure.
Colleagues - There is a government in our country, it works for the good of the country by enacting a law in the Parliament. Be it the government of any party, the government of any coalition, this work goes on continuously. There is a lot of debate, thinking and contemplation while making the law, serious needs are laid about its necessity, its effect. The law that is made by going through this process is for the benefit of the people of the whole country. But one cannot imagine that Parliament should enact such a large number of laws and they are not applicable in one part of the country. Even the earlier governments, by enacting a law which looted accolades, could not claim that the law made by them would also apply in Jammu & Kashmir. The law that was made for the entire population of the country, more than 1.5 crore people of Jammu & Kashmir were deprived of their benefits.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Think, children in other states have the right to education, but the children of Jammu & Kashmir were deprived of it. All the rights that daughters get in other states of the country were not given to the daughters of Jammu & Kashmir. The Safai Karamcharis Act is applicable to the sweepers in other states of the country, but the sweepers of Jammu & Kashmir were deprived of it. Strict laws are in place in other states of the country to prevent atrocities on Dalits, but this was not the case in Jammu & Kashmir. In other states of the country, the Minority Act is in force to protect the interests of minorities, but this was not the case in Jammu & Kashmir. In other states of the country, the Minimum Wages (Wages) Act is in force to protect the interests of the workers, but the laborers working in Jammu & Kashmir got it only on paper. While contesting elections in other states of the country, the siblings of the Scheduled Tribes used to get the benefit of reservation, Colleagues — Now that Articles 370 and 35-A are a matter of history, Jammu & Kashmir will come out soon even from its negative effects.
Brothers and sisters - In the new system, it will be the priority of the Central Government that the employees of the state get equal facilities to the Jammu & Kashmir Police just like the employees of other Union Territories and the police there. At present in the Union Territories, many such financial facilities are provided such as LTC, House Rent Allowance, Education Allowance for Children’s Education, Health Scheme, most of which are not available to the employees of Jammu & Kashmir. By reviewing such facilities, these facilities will soon be provided to the employees of Jammu & Kashmir and the police there as well.
VACANCIES WILL BE FILLED
Friends, very soon the process of filling all the cen tral and state vacancies in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will be started. This will provide ample employment opportunities to the local youth. At the same time, public sector units of the central government and large private sector companies will also be encouraged to provide new employment opportunities.
In addition, rallies will be organised by the army and paramilitary forces to recruit local youth. The Pradhan Mantri Scholarship Scheme will also be expanded by the government so that more and more students can get benefit from it. The revenue deficit in Jammu & Kashmir is also very high. The central government will also ensure that its impact is minimised.
Brothers and sisters - with the removal of Article 370, the Central Government has taken a very deliberate decision to put Jammu & Kashmir directly under the Union Government for some period.
It is also important for you to understand the reason behind this. The administration of Jammu & Kashmir has been in direct contact with the Central Government since the Governor’s Rule. Due to this, in the last few months, more good effects of Good Governance and Development have started appearing on the ground.
The schemes which were earlier left only on paper, are now being put on the ground. Projects hanging for decades have gained new momentum. We have tried to bring a new work culture, transparency in the Jammu & Kashmir administration. The result of this is that IIT, IIM, AIIMS, be it all irrigation projects, power projects, or the Anti Corruption Bureau, all these works have accelerated.
Apart from this, there should be connectivity projects, roads and new rail lines, modernisation of the airport, all are being carried forward at a fast pace.
Colleagues - The democracy of our country is so strong. But you will be shocked to know that for decades, thousands of such siblings have lived in Jammu & Kashmir who had the right to vote in the Lok Sabha elections, but they cannot vote in the assembly and local body elections. These are the people who came to India from Pakistan after partition in 1947. Should injustice continue with these people like this?
CHOOSE YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
Colleagues, I would like to clarify an important point to my siblings of Jammu & Kashmir. Your public representative will be chosen by you, will come from among you. As before there were MLAs, so will MLAs. Like earlier there was a Council of Ministers, so will there be a Council of Ministers. Just like you had your CM earlier, so will you have your CM. Friends, I am confident that under this new system, we will all together liberate Jammu and Kashmir from terrorism and separatism.
When the earth’s paradise, our Jammu & Kashmir will once again cross the new heights of development and attract the whole world, Ease of Living will increase in the lives of the citizens, the citizens who deserve their rights will start getting unrestricted. All the systems of governance and administration will move the public interest works at a rapid pace, then I do not believe that the system of Union Territory will need to be maintained inside Jammu & Kashmir. .
Brothers and sisters - We all want that in the coming times, there will be elections to the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly, a new government, a Chief Minister. I assure the people of Jammu & Kashmir that you will have the opportunity to choose your representatives in a completely transparent environment with great honesty. Just as the panchayat elections were conducted with transparency in the past, so will the elections to the Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
I would also urge the Governor of the state that the formation of the Block Development Council, which has been pending for the last two-three decades, should also be completed as soon as possible.
Colleagues - It is my own experience that the people who came to the panchayat elections in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh four to five months ago are doing a very good job. When I went to Srinagar a few months ago, I had a long meeting with them there. When they came here to Delhi, even at my house, I talked to them for a long time. Due to these panchayats, work has been done at a very fast level in the rural areas in Jammu and Kashmir. Representatives of the panchayats have played a big role in providing electricity to every household or making the state an ODF. I am confident that after the removal of Article 370, when these Panchayat members get a chance to work in the new system, they will do wonders.
I am confident that the people of Jammu & Kashmir will overcome separatism and move forward with new hopes. I am confident that the people of Jammu & Kashmir will achieve their goals with renewed vigour in an environment of good governance and transparency.
Friends - Decades of familyism did not give my youth of Jammu & Kashmir an opportunity to lead. Now these youth of mine will lead the development of Jammu & Kashmir and take it to new heights. I would like to specially request the youth of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, sisters and daughters of the area to take charge of the development of their area.
IMMENSE POTENTIAL FOR TOURISM
Colleagues - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have the potential to become the world’s largest tourist destination. The environment that is needed for this, the changes that are needed in the governance of the administration are being done, but I want the support of every citizen in this. There was a time when Kashmir was a favourite place for shooting Bollywood films. During that time hardly any film is made which is not shot in Kashmir. Now conditions will be normal in Jammu & Kashmir, if not only the country, people from all over the world will come to shoot films there. Each film will also bring with it many employment opportunities for the people of Kashmir. I would urge the Hindi film industry, Telugu and Tamil film industry and the people associated with it to think about investing in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, from film shooting to theatre and other means. Those who are connected with the world of technology, whether in administration or private sector, I also urge them to prioritise in their policies, in their decisions, how to further expand technology in Jammu & Kashmir. When digital communication will get strength there, when BPO centres, common service centres will increase, the more technology expands, the more our siblings of Jammu & Kashmir will get easier lives, their livelihood and livelihood opportunities will increase.
Colleagues - The decision taken by the government will also help the youth of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, who want to advance in the sports world. Training in new sports academies, new sports stadiums, scientific environment will help them to show their talent in the world.
Friends, the colour of saffron in Jammu & Kashmir or the taste of coffee is the sweetness of apple or the succulence of apricots, Kashmiri shawls or artworks, organic products of Ladakh or herbal medicine needs to be spread worldwide. Let me give you an example. A plant named Solo is found in Ladakh. Experts say that this plant is a life saver for people living in high altitude. Sanjeevani works for the security forces deployed on the snowy hills. It has a major role in maintaining the body’s immune system in a place of low oxygen. Think, such a wonderful thing, should it be sold worldwide or not?
And colleagues, I have only named one. Countless plants, herbal products are scattered in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. They will be identified, they will be sold, then people will get huge benefits from it, farmers will get money. Therefore, I would urge the entrepreneurs of the country, the people connected with the export, the people related to the food processing sector to come forward to deliver the local products of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh worldwide.
LADAKH WILL REAP BENEFITS
Colleagues - After the formation of Union Territory, the development of the people of Ladakh now becomes a natural responsibility of the Government of India. The central government, with the support of local representatives, the Development Councils of Ladakh and Kargil, will now reap the benefits of all the development schemes. Ladakh has the potential to become the biggest hub of Spiritual Tourism, Adventure Tourism and Ecotourism. Ladakh can also become a major centre of solar power generation. Now the potential will be used properly and new opportunities will be created for development without discrimination.
Now the innovative spirit of the youth of Ladakh will be promoted, they will get better institutions for good education, people will get good hospitals, infrastructure will be modernised more rapidly.
Colleagues - It is also very natural in a democracy that some people are in favour of this decision and some have differences over it. I respect their differences as well as their objections. The central government is also responding to the debate on it. It is also our democratic responsibility to try to solve it. But I urge them to treat the national interest as paramount and help the government in giving a new direction to Jammu and Kashmir-Ladakh. Helping the country, beyond who voted in Parliament, who did not, who supported, who did not give, now we have to work together, unitedly in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir-Ladakh.
I also want to tell every countryman that the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are concerned, we are all concerned, 130 crore citizens are concerned. We are no different from their happiness and sorrow and their suffering. Freedom from Article 370 is a fact, but the truth is that the problems that are being faced by the steps taken in the form of history are being faced by the same people. A handful of people, who want to spoil the situation there, are also patiently giving answers to our siblings there. We should also not forget that the patriotic people of Jammu and Kashmir have stood firmly against the Pakistani conspiracies to promote terrorism and separatism. All these siblings who believe in the Indian Constitution are entitled to live a good life. We are proud of them all. Today I assure these Jammu & Kashmir colleagues that gradually the situation will become normal and their troubles will also reduce.
ID FESTIVAL IS NEAR
Friends, Happy Id festival is also near. I wish all the best for Id. The government is taking care that people should not have any problem in celebrating Id in Jammu & Kashmir. Our companions who live outside Jammu & Kashmir and want to return to their homes on Id are also being given all possible help.
Friends, today on this occasion, I also thank my colleagues of our security forces deployed for the protection of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. All the people associated with the administration, the state employees and the manner in which the Jammu & Kashmir Police are handling the situation are very much appreciated. This diligence of yours, has increased my faith, change can happen.
CROWN OF OUR COUNTRY
Brothers and sisters - Jammu & Kashmir is the crown of our country. Proud to protect it, many brave sons and daughters of Jammu & Kashmir have sacrificed their lives and put their lives at stake. Maulvi Ghulam Din of Poonch district, who had told the Indian Army about Pakistani intruders in the Battle of 65, was awarded the Ashoka Chakra, Colonel Sonam Vananchug of Ladakh, who had killed the enemy in the Battle of Kargil, he was given the Mahavir Chakra, Rukhsana Kausar of Rajouri, who killed a big terrorist, was awarded the Kirti Chakra, Aurangzeb, the martyr of Poonch who was murdered by terrorists last year and whose two brothers are now in the army. This list of such brave sons and daughters is very long in serving the country. Many soldiers and officers of Jammu & Kashmir Police have also been martyred while fighting terrorists.
We have lost thousands of people from other parts of the country as well. To create a calm, safe, prosperous Jammu & Kashmir. We have to fulfil their dream together.
Colleagues - This decision will support the economic progress of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as well as the whole of India. When peace and prosperity prevails in this important part of the world, the efforts of world peace will naturally be strengthened. I call upon my brothers and sisters in Jammu & Kashmir, my brothers and sisters in Ladakh. Come, let us together show to the world how much the strength of the people of this region is, the courage of the people here, how much is their passion. Come, let us together build a new India, as well as a new Jammu & Kashmir and a new Ladakh.
Thanks a lot!