The Bold Voice of J&K

Abrogation of Art 370: Curse or blessing for Jammu?

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With Article 370 gone, the nationalistic people of Jammu are eagerly waiting for the course correction in respect of ensuring equitable opportunities of development and progress to both the regions, Valley and the Duggarland. They want a fair deal in which the youth get equal share in jobs and the economic sector witnesses revival and rejuvenation. This is the least the Centre must do to assuage urges and aspirations of the much-exploited and discriminated people of the Jammu region.

Abhimanyu Gupta, Secretary Traders Federation Ware House-Nehru Market, Jammu: August 5, 2019 will remain a red letter day in the history of India. Article 370 could not be repealed by the successive governments for decades despite its temporary character but the historic move was accomplished by the NDA Government with a sense of commitment and determination.
For the sake of their own vested interests, the political parties did not take steps to abrogate the provisions of Article 370. Jammu region was always neglected by the previous Governments in all respects.
However, now with the Government’s special focus on J&K, we hope to see a sea change in the developmental activities in the Union Territory. The Centre should insert provisions in the laws relating to land to ensure, guarantee and safeguard the local culture, identity, rights on land holdings, property and jobs to local population. This abrogation of the special status will benefit several sections of the society which include-West Pakistan Refugees, Valmiki community and women married outside the UT.
Earlier, they were denied citizenship and fundamental rights. We hope to see mega industrial groups coming to J&K and bringing in large investments in all sectors like education, health care, hospitality, tourism, trade, etc. With the influx of fresh investments from all over the country, the neglected Jammu region will come at par with Kashmir region. The Central Government should act fast to give statehood to Jammu & Kashmir at the earliest, as promised.

Palak Sambyal, Student of Dept of Law, JU: In 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah in his address to Parliament announced tabling of the bill on abrogation Articles 370 and 35A. The decision that was taken has not technically removed Article 370, in contrast, it has made use of Article 370 itself to declare it null and void. There is a clause in Article that reads, ‘This Article can cease to exist’ i.e; the Article can be declared null and void by a Presidential order in consultation with the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, so they both can take this decision jointly.
The erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two new Union Territories. The Article was diluted with the promise of peace in Kashmir Valley. According to the official data, 148 terrorists have been eliminated in the Valley during the past one year. NIA has busted the funding of pro-Pakistan groups, resulting in ISI’s inability to influence local youth of Kashmir valley against India.
The Central Government came under criticism for putting political leaders of the Valley in detention under PSA but in my opinion that was a great decision of the Government because the local political leaders have done just one thing over the years and that was to lead the youth to wrong path only and against the country.
The decision to abrogate Article 370 was welcomed by the people of Ladakh, who always accused Kashmir for ignoring and neglecting them. The decision was also heartily welcomed by the people of Jammu region but unfortunately inspite of always standing with the nation, Jammu has been and is still being neglected.
Because of disturbance in the Kashmir region, Jammu region of the UT has suffered in various aspects. It has been 14 months and there is no 4G internet service and for six months in 2019, there was complete shutdown of internet in Jammu despite being a peaceful region. Even in this pandemic like situation, the studies of students is suffering a lot, but still no action has been taken. People of Jammu understand security reasons but still the government must find some alternatives for the youth. The UT administration is not able to attract big businesses to set up industries for creating jobs.
It has been only a year, the merits and demerits of this decision will take time to appear and improving the situation which has been made worse by Kashmiri leaders for their own benefits. It will take time to get back to normal. We all must deal with the situation with patience.

Tejinder Pal Singh (Aman), Chairman Sikh Youth Sewa Trust: Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A has snatched the pride and prosperity of J&K and has further darkened the future of educated youth of downgraded Union Territory. The snatching of special status of the erstwhile State has further blocked the future of generations besides downgrading and splitting the erstwhile State into two UTs. Post Article 370 scenario is being witnessed by the residents of J&K with dismay as no development is being undertaken, unemployment is rising and the economy of the erstwhile State is biting the dust. The Centre is continuously coming up with ‘black laws and bills’ and implementing them in J&K which is further downgrading the morale of the people of historic State.

Suhail Sharma, Businessman: “No doubt abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A was a significant decision taken by the Central Government last year but it is unfortunate that the situation in Jammu remains the same even after this massive political development.
Jammu people had hoped that with the abrogation of Article 370 there will be development and employment for youth but all in vain, as nothing changed at ground zero.
The discrimination with the youth is still there. We lost our identity and our special status with the hope that there will be a new phase of development but all our hopes stand shattered.”

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