It has taken over seven decades to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with main land India with this as India enters its 73rd year of Independence a new era of equal development, peace and prosperity is seen. This could be the first Independence Day to be celebrated in real terms in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier rulers have been promising equal development for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh which somehow remained a promise made in words and not in deeds. Today the region with a new entity of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh would see the progress and development promised by the Centre. Governance has been the biggest victim of political machinery for years. Corruption remained as the centerpiece of public and political life and flourished with impunity. And the recent changeover the nomenclature from state to Union territory could also be the fall out of such apathy. Even the recent annoyance of Governor Satya Pal Malik shows how far has the disease spread in the society. At least the abrogation of Article 370 would set a clear roadmap for the development of the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and may help regain its lost glory of statehood and ‘epithet of jewel in the crown of India.’ Article 370 was something an impediment and helped the separatists and separatism in repeatedly claiming that Jammu and Kashmir is different. At least by making it a UT centre would have direct access in maintaining law and order situation. The changed nomenclature also would allow police or central forces to operate in free environment and without any restriction thus resulting in setting up of public order leading to peace and it would bring investment into the state, enhancing economic activity and jobs for youth. During all these years law and order situation had become worse. Especially after Taliban came to power in Afghanistan for which Pakistan “effectively” used to intensify its activities. For the first time, the government has taken a decision to lay down a very clear roadmap for the development of the state. Now constitutionally integrated with mainland, the “emotional” integration with the rest of the country by putting in a mechanism in terms of administrative machinery, reporting system, funding of various projects and supervision has to be activated so that people find the results on the surface. Undercurrents of resentments may be there over the present political change but with the passage of time one could see the ebbing of the tide.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper