New Delhi: In his address to the nation on Thursday, PM Narendra Modi sought to explain the decision of the Government in revoking Article 370 and also how it would benefit the people. (Also read: ‘Has Muscular Nationalism Ever Resolved a Conflict,’ Tweets Chidambaram)
The PM began by congratulating the people of J&K, Ladakh and the whole nation. “When some things are there forever, we presume they will never change or go away. Article 370 was something similar,” he said by way of explanation.
With the decision, said the PM, the dream of Sardar Patel, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Atalji and of crores of patriots has been fulfilled.
Calling it a historic decision, he said the Government had managed to do away with a system “due to which brothers and sisters of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh were deprived of many rights and which was a big obstacle to their development.”
The PM also pointed out that there has never been a discussion on how Article 370 deprived the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh of certain rights or how it actually benefited the people. He said that over 1.5 crore people of the region were being denied benefits of legislations which were meant for the entire country because of Article 370.
For example, he pointed out, “in different states of the country, sanitation workers come under the sanitation worker act, but workers from J&K were deprived of it. In many states, strong laws are there to stop atrocities against Dalits, but this was not the case in J&K.”
On the other hand, Article 370 and Article 35 (A) did not give anything except separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule, he said.
Training his guns on Pakistan, PM Modi said the neighbouring country used Article 370 as a tool to spread terrorism that left over 42,000 people dead.
Listing out what ridding J&K of Article 370 meant, the PM said that it would create job opportunities, good governance and development would happen in the region as well. “Your representative will be elected by you and from among you,” said the PM.
He reassured that terrorism and separatism would be decimated in Jammu and Kashmir.
On why J&K had to be bifurcated into two Union Territories, the PM said it was a well-thought-out decision. “Since Governor rule was implemented in J&K, state administration has been directly in touch with the Centre due to which the effects of good governance can be seen on the ground,” he said.
The PM said he was hopeful that the youth of J&K would step forward to lead its development in the region and “take it to new heights” which they couldn’t as they were deprived of leadership roles because of decades of dynastic politics.
Reassuring the people of the region, those living there and even those outside, the PM said that for Eid, the administration had made ample security arrangements and those who wanted to visit their families will also be assisted. This comes in the wake of the lockdown in the region with Section 144 imposed and many politicians under house arrest.
Before signing off, the PM recounted that there were instances of many bravehearts from the region who had given their lives for peace. “We have to fulfil their dreams. We should not forget that patriots of Jammu and Kashmir have stood firmly to counter the conspiracies of Pakistan meant to encourage terrorism and separatism.,” he said.