DC Edit | ‘Normalising’ of J&K after 370 big achievement by Modi govt

PM Modi's bold move to abrogate Article 370 has transformed Kashmir, fostering progress, prosperity and unity

Any Indian who is unbiased and honest would not hesitate to say today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greatest achievement, even bigger than combating terrorism, building the Ram temple in Ayodhya, abolishing triple talaq, or integrating the poorest into the mainstream, not to forget the digital economy and banking systems, might be the winning of Kashmir for Bharat, that is India.

And by winning, one has to state emphatically that Mr Modi has won the Kashmiri people’s hearts and minds by taking the extraordinarily brave step to abrogate the temporary provisos of Article 370 and Article 35(a), overcoming all challenges, legal and political, creating a visible transformation on the ground and impacting the social and economic situation of the people of the Valley. The G-20 event in Kashmir was both the icing on the cake and a demonstration for the entire world that now, beyond any doubts, Kashmir also says what the rest of India always has held to be a truism — that it is an integral part of India.

But it is not a mission completely over, as Prime Minister Modi acknowledged on Thursday when he spoke candidly at a packed Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar where footfall trumped all expectations and declared that he was taking a pledge to “keep winning hearts of Kashmiris”. For the first time in decades, local people were “breathing free in a new Kashmir”, a Viksit Kashmir, as part of the larger mosaic, template and formula for a Viksit Bharat, without fear of terrorism or war, he added.

Thus, having created a situation of normalcy that none would have believed possible even four years ago, Mr Modi has brought it to our attention by giving a speech that was as normal as any speech he would deliver in any other part of India in which he targeted the main Opposition party, the Congress, and its allies, and without naming them, the two regional parties of Kashmir, for their politicking over Article 370 over all these years.

In his first visit to Kashmir after his government read down Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Mr Modi extended “advance wishes” for the upcoming month of Ramzan and Maha Shivratri festival, too, accentuating how the troubled region was regaining its touch of true secularism, where both Hindus and Muslims can live together in peace and harmony.

“Kashmir is touching new heights of progress and prosperity after the reading down of Article 370. Locals are able to breathe freely,” Mr Modi triumphantly said. It has been a great victory, or at least the start of a phase of triumphs, against severe odds of history and geopolitics and against enemies of peace without and within who are also enemies of “azaadi”, the Prime Minister said, employing the word for a purpose exactly opposite to what it has been associated with so far.

In images being flashed which would seem fictional if they were not so real, he told the over one lakh strong crowd that had come to attend the function that “this is a new Kashmir we were all waiting on for decades, the new Kashmir for which Syama Prasad Mookerjee sacrificed his life. Your smiling faces are being watched all over the country right now, they will bring satisfaction to your countrymen”.

Finally, on cue, he added the “parivaar” reference, saying Kashmir is part of his family, a part of the larger Indian family. Most Indians would happily agree with that.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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