The jungle raj in Jammu and Kashmir ended on the “eve of 2020” and the grassroots level democracy was strengthened in the union territory by conduct of violence-free district development council (DDC) elections, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Sunday.
Referring to the Centre’s decision to revoke the special status of the erstwhile state, Sinha said in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had marked the beginning of a new era for Jammu and Kashmir.
“The grassroots democracy has been strengthened, fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the common citizens. With the spirit of Kashmiriyat i.e. taking along all religions and creeds on development odyssey, we are achieving new milestones,” Sinha said in his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket stadium here.
He said the Vajpayee principle of Jamhooriyat’ was not allowed to flourish on the ground for decades in Jammu and Kashmir and “there was a famous collectorate tradition of democracy”.
“The nominations of MLAs of four or five regions were held at his house. So, on one hand, there were elected representatives of the people and on the other, the representatives of Collector Sahib,” he said.
Sinha said in 2019, the prime minister marked the beginning of a new era for Jammu and Kashmir. “But, the eve of 2020 ended this ‘Jungle Raj’ and the entire Jammu and Kashmir participated in the fair, transparent and violence-free elections of DDC,” he said.
The Centre had on August 5, 2019, ended the J-K’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into union territories.
Describing terrorism as a curse for peace and development, Sinha said the neighbouring country has been making a malicious attempt to instigate the youth, but a befitting reply would be given to those who mislead the youngsters through proxy war.
“We want to assure all citizens that whoever is trying to mislead the young people through proxy war, shall be given a befitting reply. The neighbouring country, which does not care for its own people, has been making a malicious attempt to instigate some of our youth,” he said.
The LG called upon such misguided youngsters that terrorism is a curse for peace and development. “By misguiding you from the path of peace and progress, inimical forces are denying you the life of peace and dignity on this pious soil,” he said.
“With your ability, energy and unparalleled patience, Jammu and Kashmir shall have a prosperous future,” Sinha added.
The LG paid tributes to the brave soldiers of Army, paramilitary forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police who have kept the unity, integrity of India intact with their amazing valour, courage and sacrifice .
“I am proud that Jammu and Kashmir Police has received 257 gallantry awards including Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra on the eve of Independence Day.
“I salute all the gallant heroes of Jammu and Kashmir Police. I also salute the family members of the brave hearts who sacrificed their lives while defending the sovereignty and integrity of the country,” he said.
Sinha announced that the administration has decided that various places and institutions will be christened in the memory of freedom fighters, brave soldiers and personalities from different fields who have made invaluable contribution in the progress of Jammu and Kashmir.
“This will inspire the coming generations to become their worthy successors. I am sure that the stories of those who have made sacrifices for this elixir of freedom will awaken a new and re-energised Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
The memories of Maqbool Sherwani, Brigadier Rajendra Singh, Deputy SP Ayub Pandit, Inspector Arshad Khan, Sub Inspector Altaf Ahmed, Mali Begum, Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq, Lassa Kaul, Kanta Wazir and that of Sarvanand Kaul Premi, Dinanath Adim, Constable Yasin Tali, Lt Umar Fayaz, Mohammad Deen Jagir, Punjab Singh, Padma Sachdev, Mahmuda Shah, Deputy SP Aman Thakur, Deputy SP Manjit Singh and all such people will be revived in the coming days, he said.
Sinha said it is the administration’s goal to make Jammu and Kashmir synonymous with success.
“The next 25 years of Jammu and Kashmir are awaiting us with a new ray of hope and a fresh resolution for a new future,” he said.
The LG said Independence Day-2021 is special for Jammu and Kashmir and the entire country because the celebration, resolve, energy and enthusiasm of today’s new generation will shape the formidable base for the centenary celebration of Independence in 2047.
“In our ancient tradition, the 75th year is considered to be the time of trendsetter. It is the day of new determination. We must ponder what we have achieved in the past and what zenith we have to take Jammu and Kashmir to in the coming 25 years,” he said.
The LG said that Jammu and Kashmir is expecting investment proposals worth Rs 50,000 core which have the capacity to provide employment opportunities to 10 lakh persons.
“So far, proposals worth Rs 23,500 crores have been received. Investment proposals of Rs 35,000 crore by December 2021 and Rs 50,000 crore by March 2022 are expected to follow, which shall provide employment opportunities to at least 10 lakh young boys and girls,” Sinha said in his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here.
Quoting from the Bhagavad Gita, Sinha said the administration is following the spirit of “Yato Dharmah Tato Jayah (where there is dharma, there is good governance, there is order and victory).
“With this spirit, we have shifted from the policy of announcements to the policy of implementation on the ground. Before 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was deprived of the benefits of industrial revolution. But now we are determined to ensure Ease of Doing Business with Ease of Living, Sinha said.
The recently announced New Industrial Scheme of Rs 28,400 crore by the government is already attracting huge investments,” he added.
Sinha said with the provision of single window clearance, for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, industries shall be established at the block level, transforming the backward areas.
The administration has prepared a policy framework for private industrial estate development, which will lead to rapid industrialisation in the private sector, he said.
“Night flight operations have started from Jammu and Srinagar airports. With the start of Silk Factory Rajbagh and Bemina Woolen Mill, the process has been initiated to provide a global market to the handicraft and cottage industry. Our new initiatives are aimed at transforming this traditional sector in order to benefit the artisans and the farmers,” he added.
Sinha said Jammu and Srinagar cities are being transformed into smart cities.
“Work has already started on beautification of Jhelum and Tawi river front. Integrated action plan for cleaning of Dal, Jhelum and Wular is being finalised. The much awaited Light Rail Metro work will commence this year in both Jammu and Srinagar at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore,” the LG said.
Earlier, the LG hoisted the tricolour at the function on the historic occasion of the 75th Independence Day at Sher-i-Kashmir, Cricket Stadium, this morning.
The Lt Governor inspected the parade and took salute at an impressive march past.
The Independence Day parade consisted of various contingents of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB, JKAP IRP, JKP women contingents, SDRF, Fire and Emergency services, J&K Police, Forest Protection Force besides Brass Bands of JKP, BSF, and JKP Pipe band which were commanded by SSP Manzoor Ahmad Dalal, Commandant JKAP 9th Batallion, an official statement said.
An impressive display of Bhand Pather and a Bhangra performance were also presented on the occasion.
The Contingent of CRPF was adjudged as the best while BSF and JKAP were announced as first and second runners up.
Similarly, the JKP Pipe band was adjudged as the best band while Brass bands of BSF and JKP stood first and second runners up.
The Lt Governor announced a cash prize to all the contingents of the Independence Day parade and groups who presented the cultural items.
The winners of the National Anthem singing competition held at the District level led the national anthem during the celebration of our national festival.
Among those present on the occasion were Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice of J&K High Court; Judges of the High Court; Advisors to the Lt Governor; PRI representatives; Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor SMC, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Dilbag Singh, DGP; former Legislators; senior Civil, Police, and Army officers, political and social activists, prominent citizens, media persons, and the citizenry.