Just to recall when Amit Shah Ji first visited Kashmir on June 26 and 27, 2019 after assuming charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs, within 40 days, he reshaped the political landscape of the erstwhile state forever. What seemed to be impossible till then was done in a very simplified, trouble-free and smooth manner.
During his second visit in October 2021 soon after easing of Covid-19 related restrictions hardest blow to terrorist network was delivered. It was time when terrorists, their masters and stooges including disguised Over Ground Workers (OGWs) hatched plan to target innocent hapless minorities to remain in news. Not that this threat has ceased to exist altogether and minorities including those who stayed back to serve local majority community like famous pharmacist ML Bindroo, and also those who took courageous decision to return back with a hope to get integrated into the Kashmir milieu are safe now. But the fact needs to be appreciated that our brave security forces and apparatus by and large has succeeded in exposing nefarious designs and saving many more lives at the cost of their own.
We have already witnessed tremendous public response to the visit, both in Rajouri and Baramulla. Both these towns have never seen such huge gatherings. Reactions to this very successful and long-term impactful visit are almost on expected lines, but there is unanimity in accepting that a) people's response was unpredictably much more than anticipated, and b) this visit will prove a Game-changer in more than one ways.
Death and destruction in Jammu Kashmir has been sponsored. Forces from outside its territorial limits have used Jammu Kashmir for their nefarious designs at local, national and global level. Groups, individuals and sections of population at local level were and are being manipulated, employed, influenced and mobilised on sectarian sentiments to cultivate a constituency of collaborators, sabotagers and criminals. Inducements, radicalisation and sophisticated disinformation were used as instruments to condition generations in a systematic way to behave in a particular manner.
Successive governments in the past handled situations with some extra care and sensitivity avoiding at the cost of inflicting blows to their own constitutional commitments & responsibility to provide any excuse for flaring up emotions. This policy over a period graduated into appeasement of selected few who developed a vested interest in maintaining status-quo that on ground helped parochial forces creating a never ending vicious circle of anarchy. Historical decision of August 2019 not only changed the status-quo but ushered a new dawn of hope, anticipation, confidence and courage to charter a new course of action.
The Home Minister's visit has provided a new push to this festivity. It has provided a much needed way-out to the amiable majority to play a role in a manner that squeezes space forcefully occupied by vested interests, enemy agents and disguised mercenaries. This visit , it is hoped will provide much required confidence to the majority who have always disapproved of killing innocents in private to assert collectively in stopping mayhem on streets. It is expected to encourage intellectuals, influencers, social activists, religious leaders and opinion makers to openly withdraw manipulated sanction for misusing religion and political ideology for othering and excluding those who are different, dissimilar, distinct and distinguishable. Now justifying acts of violence, profanity, intimidation, coercion, impropriety and depravity may be on its way out. Similarly corrupt and dishonest persons at all levels may find it difficult to continue their old practices.
Home Minister Amit Shah’s latest visit and the loud cheers of approval from women citizens on his highlighting of flagship welfare schemes of present BJP government at centre will for sure further embolden and encourage leadership to do much more on this front. Yet another aspect of present day public life – significant, indispensable, inevitable and essential is politicians, political parties and political ideology. Hope against hope is that public approval of politics of Development enshrined in Sab KaSaath; Sab KaVikas; Sab KaVishwas ; Sab KaPrayas will be adopted by others including those in opposition.
Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s model of development has been unique in the sense that it has not created inequalities or conflicts between contrasting requirements. Instead this model has ensured inclusiveness and equal opportunities for every one and underlined the importance of collective effort to transform India into a developed nation with an appropriate place in the comity of nations.
Let us hope that the Home Minister's visit will usher in a new era of peace, prosperity, development and improvement in living standards of 13.64 Million estimated citizens of Jammu Kashmir. Further pray that this visit creates an enabling environment for unleashing the collective energies of its population to march ahead with pride and confidence for Jammu Kashmir.
(Girdhari Lal Raina @ AjeyBharti is a former Member of Legislative Council and spokesperson BJP JK UT)