Until 2019, the name Jammu and Kashmir filled the hearts of all Indians with gloom and terror. The state was a synonym for turmoil, unrest, and insurgency. On 4th August 2023, the state completes the full 4 years after the revocation of Article 370. 5th August 2019 marked a turning point that challenged the status quo of insurgency in Kashmir. The abrogation of Article 370 paved the way for positive changes in the Ladakh region. Moreover, it put Kashmir on a journey from extremist terrorist activities to its former glory as India’s crowning beauty.
A Shift in Narrative in Jammu and Kashmir
The abrogation of Article 370 was a significant step by the BJP government. It was a promise that won the heart of Indians irrespective of their native state. True Indians never want Kashmir and its people to continue to live under a nepotism-heavy feudal political system. The country applauded PM Modi and the BJP government to give a chance to their brothers and sisters from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir to break free from the shackles of the past. The move helped each resident of the region to embrace a new narrative of development and integration. Moreover, this move also resonated with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The promise of a better tomorrow encouraged them to shed their stagnant lives with a lack of progress in any form.
Development Initiatives by BJP Government
Following the historic decision on 5th August 2019, the Indian government launched various development initiatives to uplift the region. Ladakh was given a separate identity to help the residents of the region attain goals suitable to their style of life. Jammu and Kashmir became the ‘It Zone’ to plan infrastructure projects, investments in education & healthcare, and job opportunities.
The national highway was expanded and extended. Since 2019, over 10,000 kilometers of roads have been built in the region. This includes the longest and highest tunnel in Asia, the Zojila Tunnel. The Srinagar airport was rebuilt and Leh got a new airport. The railways reached new destinations, increasing the reach of common people to the beauty of Kashmir. Government schools were renovated and the new education policy’s benefits were extended to all. Increased power generation in the state supplied electricity to all parts of the state.
Digital connectivity brought new avenues for growth and economic prosperity. Kishtwar power generation plant, oil refineries, etc. are efforts that not only enhanced the standard of living but also empowered the youth with opportunities that were previously out of reach.
Tourism and Economic Growth in Jammu and Kashmir
Terrorism ensured that Kashmiris suffocated in the lack of resources and income. However, the revocation of 370 and the establishment of a temporary union territory enabled growth to sprout in the state. Kashmir’s breathtaking landscapes re-took their rightful place as an irresistible tourist destination. Additionally, the restoration of peace and stability improved access of locals and their art to the rest of India. The growth in tourism and economic upliftment revived the struggling local population.
Empowering Local Governance in J&K
The abrogation of Article 370 enabled the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. It empowered the central government to weed out sleeper cells and anti-social elements in the local governance bodies. The representatives of all sections of society found their voice was heard. The local gentry gained greater decision-making power by participating in the nation’s progressive policies. This devolution of authoritarian goons of the hierarchical government strengthened the bond between the central government and the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir.
Improved Social Harmony in Kashmir
The spirit of unity among communities gained momentum as the region moved past its divisive past. Social harmony and cultural exchange flourished, bridging the gaps between different ethnicities and religions. Festivals and events that were once marred by tension and conflict became vibrant celebrations of diversity. The Shia Muharram procession at Lal Chowk of Srinagar after 34 years is a symbol of the increased social harmony in the state. The dearth of stone-pelting mobs and terror attacks has helped the local Kashmiri feel at peace with his Indian identity.
Enhanced Security and Stability in J&K
The scrapping of Article 370 provided a conducive environment for security forces to counter terrorism effectively. Their hands were no longer tied by the convoluted red tape of the state governments that were complicit in allowing terror modules to flourish in the region. It allowed the man in uniform to do his job with unwavering dedication. Moreover, the efforts of all security forces led to a significant decline in insurgency-related incidents. As local incidents of violence subside, the civilians feel safer and economic activities flourish without fear.
The improvements in Jammu and Kashmir since its days of insurgency offer a glimmer of hope for the region’s future. The decision to revoke Article 370 was not without its controversies; however, it undoubtedly paved the way for transformative changes in the region. The development initiatives, enhanced security, increased investments, and social harmony has helped Jammu and Kashmir to embark on a journey of prosperity. While challenges remain, the newfound optimism and determination of the local people promise a brighter and more peaceful tomorrow for this beautiful region. India (without the dots) embraces hope for the positive transformation of the region in the days to come.