As the nation observes the 74th Independence Day tomorrow and is already marking the first anniversary month of the abrogation of Article 370 that scrapped the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir, positive reactions continue to flow in about the new changes and the results that are now expected from the historic move.
When on 5 August 2019, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Parliament the abrogation of Article 370, the vast silent majority of the state heaved a sigh of relief, while this sense of relief emanated from the fact that the controversial article laid the foundations of deprivation and marginalization of various sections of society, while at the same time ensuring hegemony of a few dominant families in the state, observers have said.
“One of the major advantages of the abrogation of the Article 370 has been the complete integration of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country,” a political analyst in north Bengal says.
“Article 370 had proved to be an inhibitor for the growth and development of the region and with its annulment, the region is witnessing a rapid pace of all-round growth and development. Several indications are showing that the region is witnessing a fast pace of all-round growth post-Article 370. The newly carved Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has started witnessing an unprecedented level of growth and development in multiple sectors now,” another political analyst in the region says.
According to him, women, deprived classes and other backward classes in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir were subjected to inhuman behaviour and were deprived of even the basic rights.
“Abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A has removed all artificial legal and economic barriers between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country by ensuring complete integration of the region with the rest of the country. Last year has been a year of momentous change for the people of J&K. The legal architecture and system prevailing in the rest of the country has been made applicable to J&K, thus enabling the region to reap rich dividends of the massive economic development witnessed by the rest of the country,” he added.
With the abrogation of Article 370, the people of J&K now stand on the same pedestal as those in the rest of the country with the same rights, benefits and prospects. Women and weaker sections like those belonging to the scheduled caste and tribe, West Pakistan refugees and safai karmacharis now have equal democratic and economic rights.
“The best thing about the J&K issue is that all people there are now one and equal under the Indian Constitution, and I believe it will pave way for unprecedented development in the region,” said a noted educationist in the Hills and former Principal of Kalimpong College, Dr GS Yonzone.
“Jammu and Kashmir is now at the doorstep of a brighter future. Barrier to industrial growth and trade perpetuated by Article 370 have been removed. As J&K progresses, there will be a boost to private investment and opportunity for the people there. The economy will grow with more opportunities, businesses will thrive and the people will gain on all fronts. The government has taken several measures to ensure that the local industry becomes competitive,” an observer says.
“Post Article-370, a total of 65 central schemes, including pension, insurance, income support and loans have been fully implemented with 100 percent coverage. Further, all toll posts in Jammu and Kashmir have been abolished from 1 January 2020, further giving respite to the residents of the region,” he says.
According to him, the focus of the current administration there has been on timely completion of projects and delivery of benefits. “Priority has been given to ensure that the government runs in a rule-based manner with no arbitrariness or delays. Accountability is being ensured at all levels. The constitutional change of the abrogation of Article 370 has opened new vision of development in the region,” he adds.