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A new dawn of development and democracy in J&K

By providing training and livelihood opportunities, these programs are set to transform the socio-economic fabric of the region
05:30 AM Jul 01, 2024 IST | Dr Shehnaz Ganai
a new dawn of development and democracy in j k

Yaqeen ho to koi bhi rasta nikalta hai


hava ki oet bhi le kar charagh jalta hai”


It is a source of immense pride & reassurance to see the dedication of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi soon after taking Prime Minister’s office once again by visiting the Kashmir. It was his 25th visit since December 2013, including 4 in 2024 & the first in the 3rd term as Prime Minister of the country; shows his unwavering commitment to the peace, prosperity, and development of J&K. In his recent visit to Srinagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the ‘Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K’ gathering, indicating a new era of development and democracy in Jammu & Kashmir. With a slew of development projects and initiatives worth more than Rs 3,300 crores, the Prime Minister’s visit stressed a renewed commitment to the region’s progress, aiming to integrate it more seamlessly into the national narrative.


The Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple projects spanning crucial sectors such as road infrastructure, water supply, and higher education. These projects, collectively valued at over Rs 1,500 crores, a robust infrastructural upgrade, essential for economic revitalization and improved quality of life in Jammu & Kashmir. Notably, the launch of the Competitiveness Improvement in Agriculture and Allied Sectors Project (JKCIP) worth Rs 1,800 crores marks a strategic investment in the agricultural backbone of the region, promising to enhance productivity and market access for local farmers. Pertinently, a significant highlight of the event was the distribution of employment letters to 200 fresh government recruits, reflecting the government’s focus on job creation and youth empowerment. Over the past five years, Modi-led administration in J&K has facilitated about 40,000 recruitments, a proof to its commitment of providing gainful employment and reducing the economic disparities in the region. This initiative is expected to inspire the youth and encourage them to contribute actively to the region’s development. While addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of stability and continuity in governance, drawing parallels with his recent visit to the G7 Summit in Italy. He highlighted that the unprecedented mandate for his government in the Lok Sabha elections symbolizes a strong desire for stable governance, which is critical for sustained development. “People have faith in the intentions and policies of the government,” he asserted. This indicates the transformative impact of a stable government on national and international perceptions of India.


It was encouraging to hear the Prime Minister when he lauded the significant voter turnout in Jammu & Kashmir, attributing it to the people’s unwavering trust in democracy. He reiterated his commitment to the principles of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat, and Kashmiriyat, envisaged by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and praised the residents for their role in strengthening democracy. A cornerstone of his address was the successful integration of Jammu & Kashmir into the Indian constitutional framework wherein he highlighted the dismantling of Article 370 and the subsequent adoption of the Indian Constitution in its entirety, which surely has paved the way for inclusive growth and social justice. The government’s efforts to restore rights and opportunities to marginalized communities, including refugees from Pakistan, the Valmiki community, and Safai Karamcharis, thereby embodying the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ is welcome.


The remarkable transformation in the region’s tourism landscape with the record-breaking influx of over 2 crore tourists. The credit goes to the improved infrastructure and security in the UT. Events like the G20 Summit and the sports car show near Dal Lake have showcased Kashmir’s potential as a premier global tourist destination. The International Yoga Day celebrations are expected to further boost tourism, enhancing the local economy. Narendra Modi also emphasized the significant strides made in empowering women (narishakti) in Jammu & Kashmir. Initiatives such as the Krishi Sakhi program and the Namo Drone Didi scheme aim to elevate women’s participation in agriculture and technology. By providing training and livelihood opportunities, these programs are set to transform the socio-economic fabric of the region, ensuring that women play a pivotal role in its development. I remember Jafar Malihabadi’s couplet,


dilon mei hubb-e-vatan hai agar- to ek raho


nikhaarna ye chaman hai agar-to ek raho”

The advancements in education and skill development can’t be looked away. With Modi’s efforts, the establishment of numerous degree colleges, polytechnics, IIT, IIM, and AIIMS institutions have become a possibility. These educational hubs are poised to cultivate a skilled workforce, driving innovation and entrepreneurship in the valley. The development of sports infrastructure, including 100 Khelo India centers, is positioning Jammu & Kashmir as a winter sports capital, nurturing local talent and attracting international events.

There is a call for collective efforts now as Prime Minister Narendra Modi aspired for collective efforts to ensure that the benefits of democracy and development reach every citizen of Jammu & Kashmir. He assured that preparations for the upcoming assembly elections are underway, promising that the people will soon have the opportunity to shape their future through democratic means. “The day is not far when Jammu & Kashmir will shape its future as a state once again,” he declared, instilling hope and confidence among the residents.

In essence, his visit once again marks a significant milestone in Jammu & Kashmir’s journey towards peace, prosperity, and inclusive growth. With sustained efforts and collective will, the region is poised to emerge as a beacon of development and democracy in the years to come. Let’s have a look on what Altaf Hussain Hali in his couplet said,

“Yahi hai ibaadat yahi diin o eemaan

ki kaam aaey duniya mein insaan ke insaan”

Dr Shenaz Ganai is Ex-Member of Legislative Council and is affiliated with Bharatiya Janata Party.