Srinagar: 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 grass-roots 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 bravehearts 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.