Kashmir is back to its good old days

R. K. Sinha Former M.P., Rajya Sabha & Senior Editor and Columnist

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often proved predictions wrong. The story was no different in case of Kashmir. After Article giving special status to the ” jannat on earth” was abrogated some of its leaders predicated a doom. One of them had said, it is “nothing less than a death sentence”, adding that it marked the defeat of the idea of India with which the Muslim-majority state had acceded in 1947. Another echoing a similar sentiment had said, by downgrading it to a Union territory, the Modi government has turned the erstwhile state “into hell”. Yet another had said, if someone tinkered with Article 370 and 35 A there would be no one in Kashmir to hold tricolour. Nothing of the kind happened.

The mammoth crowd at the a rally in Kashmir a couple of days ago was a proof, if proof was needed. There was no stone throwing. No pro- pak slogan. The extremists who were attacking some part or the other almost every day have either gone back to Pakistan or are hiding in nearby jingles. The crowd listened to Modi with rapt attention, occasionally clapping and cheering him. Such crowed was seen only about 40 years back, when late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Srinager. The difference is that most of the crowed was brought by the party and government machinery, This time it was a spontaneous act of mass of Kashmir vally.

Thousands of people had lined up on the road leading to the venue of the meeting in Srinagar. They also clapped and cheered Prime Minster Modi. Some of them women even waved at him. The reason could be reports reaching them from neighbour area which has been occupied by Pakistan. The conditions there are appalling. People are facing acute water and food scarcity.Most of the areas have no electricity for at least ten hours a day. There is no employment, entertainment or social media. The people of Kashmir Valley are also aware that in PoK anti-government -protests have been going on for last six months against inflation and other concerns including higher taxes.

Ghulam Bhatt who has been residing there since long , sumed up the present situation well. “ I am sure Modi jee alone can accomplish difficult tasks. He can only provide jobs and happyness to Kashmirus.Till now all the governments in Jammu and Kashmir have been making made us only empty promises”, said he.

The local police managed the crowd well. The people were also cooperative . Jammu and Kashmir Police Sub-Inspector Suleman Khan said, “this has happened because of PM Modi. Now our uniform is respected. I have also seen those days when policemen did not carry their identity cards due to fear of stone pelters and anti-national elements. They had no fear for anyone “.


Many friends living in Kashmir told me that after the rally, Modi was a talking point in the drawing rooms all over Kashmir. None had a complaint. The people had come to the meeting in large numbers on their own, voluntarily. Modi also had nothing but praise for the people and the region. He described Jammu and Kashmir as the “crown of the country”. At the rally he disclosed the development plan of the state. He said the development of the area is his priority. Also, that this is a new Jammu for which all have waited for decades.

It was clear that Article 370 was no more an issue in Jammu and Kashmir. It was more so because of the Supreme Court judgement which had held the abrogation valid. People are now looking for development of the region which has been promised by Modi. It is possible now because the trouble makers are no more active.


The Prime Minister has already met 14 top leaders of the state, ignoring what the Congress men have said and have to say. Playing to the gallery Congress Rajya Sabha member Digvijay Singh has said that if his party’s government comes to power at the Centre it revoke Article 370 and maintain statuesque-ante.


Whatever may happen after the Lok Sabha polls to be held in April and May, the changes in social and economic conditions are visible. Passengers going to Goa in a flight from Delhi’s the Indira Gandhi International Airport are an indicator. Since there is no direct connection from Srinagar to Goa, they go there from Delhi. The rest of the people also go to Goa for holidays. This only means that they are as well economically. The Kashmiris stay with their relatives in Delhi for a few days before going to Goa. On returning they do the same.


Some Kashmiris have told me that they have a liking for the environment in Goa. Different weather conditions suit them. Kashmir freezes in winter but not Gia. The sea beaches there attract many to Goa. However, many Kashmiri families can be also seen in hotels in South and North Goa in ither seasons as well.


Raja Karan Singh also has said the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha when he met him That “I have not seen Dull Lake so clean as he saw in these days.” This is a big compliment from a senior most 93 years old Raja Dr. Karan Singh.


Clearly, Jammu and Kashmir has changed the way no one even thought. There is no longer a room for separatists there. The anti-national forces no longer dominate the area. Everybody wants development gainful employment and peace. All these people have now come to realise that it is the key. India can become a developed nation by 2047 only by creating additional infrastructure and large capital investments by government and private players.

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