The news circles are abuzz today with the resignation of the ‘hardliner’ separatist from Kashmir valley, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, from the chair of the All Parties’ Hurriyat Conference (Geelani faction), citing his anguish over the inaction by the Hurriyat members post the abrogation of Article 370 and the division of the former state into two union territories.
— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) June 29, 2020
A known advocate of Jammu and Kashmir’s merger into Pakistan, the Chair of the outlawed Jamaat-e-Islami in Jammu and Kashmir had in fact faced criticism from those trying to fan violent protests across the state, which was basically hiding his inability to have destabilized the Valley with the help of illicit money flowing from terror progeny Pakistan through Islamists like him.
Fact of the matter however remains that barring a few pockets, terror activities have hit a nadir in the Kashmir valley. Just two days ago, the Jammu and Kashmir police had announced that there were no Hizbul terrorists In South Kashmir’s Tral anymore, and stone pelting incidents by separatist sympathizers who managed to inflame communal passions too had come down.
One must give credit to the manner in which the government has managed to curb violence, cracked down on terrorists and also created a new normal for the valley, far from the atmosphere of fear and intimidation that was commonplace. That the Islamist agenda of imposing Taliban-esque diktats is also on the wane is exemplified by the soon to open first ever multiplex of Kashmir valley, considering that there has been no open cinema hall for more than three decades now.
Not an Isolated Event – Abrogation of Article 370 Benefited People
This and much more clearly show how the Modi government stands vindicated on its decision to abrogate Article 370. Be it apple farmers benefitting from the new status, giving Ladakh its long standing demand of union territory status, or the West Pakistan refugees of 1947 and Valmikis finally being given domicile status, there is now an earnest effort to unshackle the positive energies within the state and address long pending issues in a befitting manner. Further, democracy was given deeper roots with Block Development Council elections being held for the first time ever in the state.
Or take a look at the 44 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for investments amounting to ₹13,120 crore received by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, and one realizes just how much water has flown in the Jhelum from the days when the identity of Kashmir was reduced to merely apples and shawls.
Or even recall the rather bold statement made by the minority Kashmiri Pandit community of coming back home soon, emboldened by the abrogation of Article 370. Clearly, things have changed in a manner that was not conceivable for many people till the actual step took place in 2019.
Even Ladakh is optimistic about its future now, and eyes a greater tourist boom, decoupled from the tenuous relationship it enjoyed with the state of Jammu and Kashmir for long. Locals are optimistic that the separation of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir will encourage more travellers to experience the area’s rapid improvement in tourist facilities.
As the National Vice President and Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party today tweeted, there has been a meaningful impact of the government’s Kashmir policy, especially the abrogation of Article 370.
Some had criticised the Modi govt abrogating the constitution's ONLY "temporary" article, #Article370 which facilitated terrorism, ethnic cleansing of Pandits, misogyny & more. They said it wouldn't work. Today the most virulent separatist #Geelani quit the Hurriat. It's working.
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) June 29, 2020
One only hopes that the Opposition, usually blinded by its intolerance towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chooses to see it for a change.