The Bold Voice of J&K

Abrogation of Art 370: Curse or blessing for Jammu?

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Contrarian views are the essence of democracy. It is in this spirit, the opinion leaders, including politicians and professionals are expressing their views over the debate initiated by STATE TIMES. Opinions are pouring in with encouraging feedback from the esteemed readers, over an issue, which has changed the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, JKPCC President: Abrogation of Article 370, besides the reorganisation of J&K State in an ‘unconstitutional and undemocratic manner’ has proven to be disastrous, leading to enormous losses to the people of Jammu & Kashmir on economic, as well as developmental fronts.
People have experienced extremely difficult situations and feel betrayed by the Centre, ‘which is an established fact’, as they have suffered losses on every count after abrogation of Article 370. The full-fledged State has been downgraded in two UTs, which is not only disappointing but unfortunate on the part of the Centre.
Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a difficult phase after the hurried decision taken by the Centre. What we achieved after reorganisation of the State is known to everyone, different unwarranted laws were slapped on people without debating and discussing them with the stakeholders.
The tall claims with regard to development by the Union Home Minister, ‘ at the time of abrogation of special status’ has proved a cruel joke.
Imposition of taxes, establishing Toll Plazas, property and other taxes are something gifted to the people. There is chaos prevailing everywhere in J&K because the Centre is bringing different laws, imposing them without caring about their repercussions and aspirations of the people.
The security situation has deteriorated to a large extent. If you compare casualties of security forces in 2019-2020, it is obviously higher than 2018-2019. The Centre cannot claim that the security scenario has improved, rather we have witnessed losses of precious lives of security forces, which cannot be denied. But, Who is to be blamed, it is the central government, which is responsible for the losses.
Scores of Sarpanchs, Panchs, and BDC Chairmen were martyred, rather than ensuring security. The Centre has introduced the domicile laws and kept people engaged with this new exercise. How long does the Centre keep its eyes closed? One day it has to answer the people for its wrong decisions and failures.
Unemployment has risen considerably, employees are being harassed under the garb of forcible retirement, economy of ‘the states’ has been devastated, besides there are no employment opportunities for the educated unemployed youth. Moreover, the unwarranted taxes gifted to people is the outcome of reorganisation of J&K and abrogation of Article 370 and these are the achievements, which the Centre is claiming in order to hide their failure on all fronts.

Pawandeep Singh Mehta, Entrepreneur: Abrogation of Article 370 was believed to create the most powerful impact on the people of Jammu. The biggest issue was equitable development for Jammu at par with Kashmir. Jammu had high expectations in terms of development and employment. But due to its weak leadership and Kashmir-centric attitude by successive governments at the Centre, Jammu continues to remain at the receiving end. Tourism industry was never promoted and thus there are limited opportunities for the youth to get jobs. Most of the SOPs announced by the Centre were by and large Kashmir-specific and Jammu could never understand why this step motherly treatment is being meted out to the region. Within the regions, resentment was brewing among masses for equitable share in every sphere. A ray of hope emerged with the abrogation of Article 370. It’s now more than a year but nothing substantial has been achieved. People want to see the changes on the ground. Basic amenities are still lacking; no healthcare, no modernisation of Jammu city. Road connectivity is still a distant dream. Jammu continues to be struggling against many odds. Abrogation of Article 370 must bring some dynamic changes for all of us. So far there has been no benefit to the residents of Jammu.

Gurmeet Kour, former Sarpanch: In my opinion abrogation of Article 370 is a curse not a blessing for the people of J&K, especially for Jammu region. It was only a political agenda of a particular political party for taking political benefits throughout India by misinformation campaign against Article 370. People of J&K are deprived of their rights with the demotion of J&K State.
The people of Jammu region will be affected badly due to flooding of outside State-subjects in the region, which will definitely take major share in employment in near future thereby depriving the people of Jammu from their avenues in the government employment, which were reserved for them before 5th August 2019.
With the increase of outside population, the natives of Jammu particularly Dogras will face identity crisis and also there will be a jump in crime rate.
The development is also suffering due to non-existence of the public representative i.e, MLAs and MLCs. The people across the Union Territory are suffering badly as no one in the administration even bothers to listen to the day-to-day grievances in the absence of a popular government.
In the larger interest of people of J&K, especially Jammu, this decision may be reviewed, the statehood may be restored and the transfer of powers to people by the way of popular government may be done immediately.

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