Jammu and Kashmir move biggest feat in 100 days, says Prakash Javadekar
Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday called abrogation of Constitution’s Articles 370 and 35 A, bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two Union territories, and the international community’s support that followed the Narendra Modi government’s biggest achievements in its first 100 days in office.
He said the move on August 5 to scrap the constitutional provisions that gave Jammu and Kashmir a measure of autonomy and prevented non-residents from buying property and getting government jobs in the state have ended the isolation its people faced.
Javadekar said barring one minor incident of a terror attack over the past week, there have been no casualties such as deaths because of police firing or teargas shelling in the last 35 days even as a partial communication lockdown continued in the Kashmir Valley.
“Since the 1990s, when terrorism began in the Valley, this is the first such instance for 35 days [when no casualties were reported]. In all the three regions [Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh], only in [areas under the jurisdiction of] 14-15 police stations, section 144 [which prohibits an assembly of five or more people] has been imposed. Otherwise, there is no restriction,” he said.
Javadekar called the international community’s support for India over Jammu and Kashmir as the government’s biggest success and added Pakistan’s attempts to raise the issue at international platforms such as the UN Security Council (UNSC) also failed. “Pakistan went knocking on many doors. But it failed. The world is with us,” Javadekar said.
Countries like France, the US and Russia did not support Pakistan’s attempt to raise the issue of alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir at the UN Security Council .
Javadekar said the people in J&K can now look forward to benefiting from all central schemes, policies, and provisions of the Constitution. He added reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, and Economically Backward Sections will now be equally implemented in the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh that will come into effect on October 31.
Javadekar dismissed the economic slowdown as “cyclic” and said India is on track to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
“The fundamentals of the Indian economy are so strong… they have not been disturbed. Actually, we have received record FDI [foreign direct investment] more than China last year,” Javadekar said.
Amid reports of layoffs and a growth rate hovering around 5%, the minister said India’s domestic economy is on a strong footing. He added many new industries have come up because of the new good governance model and rules which have been changed for foreign investments.
“The current economic condition…There is no situation to be panicky about. Our economy is strong,” he said.
Javadekar said the government has taken several landmark decisions in a record time since it returned to power in May and added they have taken India to the next level .
He said re-organisation of Jammu and Kashmir, legislations like the one that criminalised the practice of instant divorce among a section of Muslims, could be brought swiftly because the preparations for them began before the April-May national elections.
Javadekar called the Jal Shakti programme, which aims to put in place measures for rainwater harvesting, water conservation and replenishing water bodies, a landmark decision aimed at empowering women.
“Lakhs of women still travel for kilometers to get water. Taking water to every home will empower women and increase their productivity. This is a revolutionary step to be achieved in the next 5 years,” Javadekar said.The Union minister further added the government is also working to fulfil its promises of modernisation of the armed forces.