8:00 pm yesterday night, Prime minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation with regards to the abrogation of Article 370, the government’s intentions, and what the division of the states of Jammu and Kashmir meant for the future of the country.
He began by addressing the historic decision taken by the central government, to abrogate section 370 of the Indian constitution, that treated the state of Jammu and Kashmir as a special state, the people there, having their own state constitution and rights. He also touched upon the decision of making Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Union territories.
“The dream of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and crores of Indians have been finally fulfilled.” He said, on the demolishment of the special status of Kashmir.
The Prime Minister spoke about the struggles faced by the Kashmiri citizen, the youth, their education, livelihood. He spoke of the deaths of over 42,000 people over the past three decades to communal violence. He believed that Article 370, was used as a weapon of terror by Pakistan to instil fear in the hearts of the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, preventing children from receiving proper education and means to a normal life.
“None of the laws was applicable in J&K”, he said, referring to how section 370 prevented various laws from being enforced in J&K. He also spoke of how soon, Jammu and Kashmir would properly and completely integrate into the country, with its citizens enjoying the benefits of reservation too. He even highlighted how police officers and government employees shall soon be able to enjoy all central benefits.
The Prime Minister then went on to explain why the centre decided to turn J&K into a Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir have been paralysed by a lockdown to prevent any violent backlashes from the government’s unprecedented move on Article 370. And he believed that by bringing the states of Jammu and Kashmir under the direct purview of the central government, turmoil across the territories can be curbed, paving way for a new era of development and prosperity.
In a bid to assure them that the move was not aimed at ruling the state from the distant Delhi, he called for representatives of the new age, a new wave of “young, energetic” legislators. This move is intended to bring parity between Kashmir and other states.
PM Modi had recently in 2018 had quoted the following regarding the situation in J&K, “Whether it is Ladakh or Jammu or Srinagar Valley. We want balanced development where an ordinary person’s aspirations are fulfilled, infrastructure is strengthened; we want to move ahead with brotherhood in our hearts. We do not want to move on the road of bullets and abuses, we want to move ahead with love and affection with the Kashmiri people who have stood with us in patriotic fervour.” And continues to echo the same sentiments in his most recent address to the nation.
“The concerns of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are our concerns, the concerns of each of 130 crore people,” he said. “We aren’t removed from their happiness and their sorrow.” His address ended congratulating the citizens of J&K for their exceptional bravery in the face of terror, on the note of promoting development, and opening up Kashmir to new opportunities.
Yesterday’s address comes mere days before the customary address from the Prime Minister on Independence Day from the Red Fort.
Watch the entire address on –