By S. Sivathasan –
Pulwama attack presaged the Regeneration of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. To Pakistan which launched the killing of 40 CRPF personnel on 14th February 2019 in Indian territory, it was the beginning of a fresh page in history. To India it was a God Sent opportunity to venture on the impossible. Pakistan never saw the writing on the wall. India lost no time in rewriting history.
India’s response was immediate retaliation. It was the Balakot airstrike on 26th February 2019 on a training camp in Pakistan. Personnel killed were over 300. Pakistan’s assessment that India was a diffident neighbour not having the strength to repulse an attack was demolished. With amazing speed all the arms of government worked in unison to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with India. What followed was the rebirth of Kashmir under the benign tutelage of Mother India.
A brief note is needed at this stage for the inexplicable aggression of Pakistan on India. Since India’s independence in 1947, Jammu-Kashmir has had a weird history. At the beginning was rule by Sheik Abdullah, followed by his son Farooq Abdulla. The latter’s son Omar Abdullah succeeded the Father. Interspersed in between was Father and Daughter of the Mufti family. The two families derisively called dynasties, ruled for a total of 50 years.
Kashmir faced a long period of intermittent interventions by Pakistan’s regulars and Pak. inspired terrorism. The target of attack and even persecution were Hindus called Pandits. Out of an estimated population of130,000 plus, over 90,000 left the valley. All this happened under two constitutional provisions Article 370 and Article 35A conferring special rights and privileges on the Muslims of Kashmir particularly land rights. Done with the best of intentions, it caused only the worst of consequences. Repose was wished for but only unrest resulted. The malignant outgrowth was burnt with a hot rod by the iron will of Modi and Amit Shah combined. Jammu-Kashmir had a new dawn. A constitutional change was brought about by terminating Articles 370 & 35A. India was well and truly integrated and Kashmir was deprived of the special arrangement which kept the two religious entities apart for 7 decades.
What followed was a rebirth, a renaissance – the theme of this article. “If there is a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here” wrote the poet Amir Khusrau. So enchanted was he by the beauty of Kashmir, he couched his description in such exuberant words. To the governmental hierarchy securing this pearl of great price had multiple demands. Providing physical infrastructure and managing social engineering in all their facets. Conferring peace, repose and happiness being the principal consideration.
In a multi ethnic and multi religious society that had evolved over the centuries, guarantee of peace was primary. With insurgency and sporadic acts of violence reduced by 88% as Police affirm, people are now relaxed. Infrastructure neglected for long is now conferred immense importance. Jammu and Kashmir have a total area of 42,000 sq. km of which 1,219 s. k. are urban. Connecting them up out of economic and social compulsions would need a quarter century. The last three years however have seen transformation at break-neck speed. The population of Kashmir is 68% Muslim and 28 % Hindu. Hindu Prime Minister Modi is lavishing financial resources on every sector of development in Kashmir. With visible change in all sectors and money in people’s hands through employment, happiness is visible at present and hope is inspired for the future.
For modernism to enter a state, up to date rail transport is essential. Kashmir now has only metre gauge lines with narrow bodied coaches. The lines are intra state with no connection to the national system. What held up modernization? The forbidding terrain, high elevation and extremes in weather were great challenges to construction. When one sees the engineers and workers hard at work on roads and in tunnels, the wonder is what makes them work in conditions so trying. Wages are part explanation. Patriotism fills the balance.
What makes a Government heap such burdens as road, rail and bridge construction, lengthy tunnels, communications and buildings for multiple needs. The way Kashmir nestles in the shadow of the Himalayas and the manner in which Jammu-Kashmir is encircled by states that are hostile to India virtually mandate heavy investments. Political wisdom is driven home by Kautilya in Arthashastra and other treatises. To him, that state which is on the borders of another state is an enemy. Look at the map which illustrates. To the North West lies the Frontier Province of Pakistan, along a lengthy border in North and East is China. Not far away are Russia and Afghanistan. A case book on circumscription for Kashmir. Nehru with his foreign policy insights, sought to maintain the best of relations with Russia and China.
Even as security concerns were well addressed, they catered to commuter facilities for tourist travel too. In addition, goods transport long neglected from 1989 was provided. How much the people benefitted can be learnt through illustrations in the media as well as statistics. Kashmir has been an attractive destination for local and foreign tourists for decades on end.
With the vagaries of unsettled conditions moving away and pleasures of holidaying growing by the year, tourist arrivals both local and foreign have recorded a high of 18.8 million in 2022. A sure 22 million plus can be forecast for 2023. Besides recording mild increases, the challenge of garnering income rises and growing affluence are before the administrations of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The year 2022 has seen 300 film shoots in Kashmir. Establishing a Filmland with permanent residences can be an employment generator. In development centres forethought is seen in provision for sports – both winter and summer. Boys and girls and more in numbers young men and ladies have fresh opportunities.
Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh will go on developing at unrelenting pace. The two Union Territories will be making a persistent cry for State status, their own legislature and a Chief Minister. To concede all such demands with responsibility, the centre will undertake a comprehensive development of structures and more importantly institutions. Till about 10 years India will discharge her parental obligations to enable Kashmir to be equal to all states, subordinate to none.
Ajay Sundara Devan / May 6, 2023
‘Bulldozer politics’: Modi’s demolition drive fuels Muslims’ fears in Kashmir
“Violence and censorship rife among citizens and the media, as push to reclaim state land belies Indian government’s claims of peace in disputed region”
RBH59 / May 6, 2023
Regeneration Of Jammu-Kashmir & Ladakh
India will discharge her parental obligations to enable Kashmir to be equal to all states, subordinate to none. The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace,The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love, There Is No Shame In Beginning Again,
For You Get A Chance To Build Bigger And Better Than Before, the aim is to strengh to indian Conferring peace, repose and happiness being the principal consideration.
AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM / May 7, 2023
It is under Modi’s regime that Jammu Kashmir will regain its past glory and Hinduism will be in its zenith. The Bhagavad Gita teaches the physical, moral and spiritual implications of a war or war like situation, and how one may permanently and effectively deal with it, without corrupting one’s mind or soul. At the same time Pakistan chose the wrong path of inspiring terrorism resulting in thousands of death of its citizens on account of poverty & famine. It makes it abundantly clear that one cannot escape from fighting a war, be it real, moral, mental or spiritual, when circumstances compel one to participate in it. In every conflict, human beings have an opportunity to be on the side of God and Dharma and manifest his will. However difficult it may be and whatever pain and suffering it may cause to them, their families and relations, they have an opportunity to serve God and declare their devotion. The war in Kashmir region is God’s war against terrorism, where everyone has a sacred duty, in which one should be selfless and set aside one’s ego, personal fears, desires and attachments and engage in desireless actions. They should live as devoted warriors in the battleground of life, without expectations and as a service or a sacrificial offering to God, who is the source, object and subject of all.
old codger / May 7, 2023
“They should live as devoted warriors in the battleground of life, without expectations and as a service or a sacrificial offering to God”
Do they also get 72 old virgins? Sorry, had to ask.🤣🤣
Pandi Kutti / May 7, 2023
Whilst the Indian government, military officials and diplomats both in Delhi and Colombo are very busy wooing Chingkallams, Chinkalla Buddhist Fascists/Racists and the racist Buddhist high priest monks, with lots of support for the growth of Buddhism, joint military exercises and donation of military equipment(99% used to suppress the largely Hindu Thamizh on the island, which I think they are aware of.) Attending all major Buddhist functions and visiting and paying homage to all racist Buddhist high priests who openly advocate Chingkalla Buddhist racism. You will never see them attending a Hindu festival, temple or function of the local temples or supporting them. This brainwashed person and some delusional friends are trying to support these North Indian, Hinduthuva Aryan supremacists, who care two hoots about the far more ancient Indus Valley origin Dravidian Saivite form of Hinduism, of the Thamizh. They do not appreciate that most modern Hinduism, culture, and gods are now Dravidian. To them, the only form of true Hinduism is the Vedic Aryan form of Hinduism and the supremacy of the Sanskrit language. The equally rich ancient and classic Thamizh language that evolved in India and not in the steppes of Central Asia and got imported into India the Saivite religion of Thamizh is of no importance.
Pandi Kutti / May 7, 2023
This is why they keep quiet about what is happening to the Thamizh and the deliberate destruction of ancient Saivitge temples on the island being forcibly converted to Buddhist places of worship, using fake history.
The Kashmiri Hindus who are the real original population of Kashmir are Saivites too but they have nicely Aryanised Lord Siva to Shiva and Rudra and now have hardly any connection with the Saivite Thamizh Hindus of South India or Sri Lanka. In fact in May 2009 in many Indian sites and columns many of these Kashmiri Saivite Brahmin Pandits who themselves are victims of ethnic cleansing and violence and most of them forced to flee Kashmir to other parts of India by the Kashmiri Muslims, were posting nasty anti Thamizh comments, joyful of what happened to the largely fellow Saivite Hindu Thamizh population in Eezham, rejoicing until a few Indian Thamizh commentators reminded them of what happened to them and they are also in the same boat as the Eezham Thamizh and when it happens to them it is a tragedy but something joyful when it happens to Thamizh. Remember the Kashmiri Pundit origin famous Bollywood actor who came with a whole lot of Bollywood clan to rejoice and dance with the Rajapakses and the Chingkallams in 2009 for a Bollywood Festival in conjunction with the then Sonia government.