‘The reality is that there is a systematic disempowerment of the people of J&K, which is continuing to happen through bureaucratic rule,’ it says.
The Gupkar Alliance, an amalgam of Jammu and Kashmir’s regional parties fighting for the restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 special constitutional position, on Friday termed the latest Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) report on the region “concocted and fabricated stories” and said that “the ground situation belies these claims.”
“The claims in a recently released report by the Union Home Ministry titled ‘The dream of one nation, one law, one symbol fulfilled’ is far from the reality. The reality is that there is a systematic disempowerment of the people of J&K, which is continuing to happen through bureaucratic rule,” Gupkar Alliance spokesman and CPI(M) leader M.Y Tarigami said in Srinagar.
He said there were “concocted and fabricated” claims of the BJP government that the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of a State into two Union Territories had paved the way for new industries, created new employment opportunities, decreased terror incidents, brought atmosphere of peace and security, nurtured democracy, eradicated corruption, and brought new Central laws for the betterment of people.
‘Altering demographic composition’
“The ground situation belies these claims. The slogan of ‘development’, in short, is a red herring. Why then has the Central government done what it has? The common answer is that it has been a long-standing demand of the Hindutva elements, with an eye no doubt on altering the demographic composition of the only Muslim-majority State in the country, rather like Israel is doing on Palestinian lands,” Mr. Tarigami said.
The Gupkar Alliance pointed out that the projects mentioned in the MHA booklet were mostly approved by the earlier governments “but shown to have been the outcome of abrogation of Article 370”.
“The reality is that Nashri Tunnel, Zojila Tunnel, establishment of 50 degree colleges and various medical colleges are projects approved much before the abrogation of Article 370,” the spokesman said.
According to the Gupkar Alliance, a ₹80,000-crore reconstruction programme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015 during the PDP-BJP coalition was “attributed to abrogation of Article 370”. “How is that possible?” the spokesman said.
Mr. Tarigami described the boasting of implementation of various laws like Land Reforms and RTI Act “a blatant lie”. “The State of Jammu and Kashmir was a pioneer in implementing the revolutionary land reforms laws, which no other State has done except Kerala to some extent. Similarly, the erstwhile State’s own RTI Act was stronger than the Union law,” he added.
He said the filling of vacancies, which was a routine exercise, was now being attributed to the post-abrogation era and was beyond comprehension.
“Whichever way we look at it, the removal of special status and of restrictions on land purchase by outsiders will not add an iota of employment; on the contrary, it will most likely cause a reduction in employment in the region, even as land passes into the hands of rich outsiders from Delhi or Mumbai. Unemployment rate is highest in India in the last 45 years and in J&K it is worse than that,” Mr. Tarigami said.
According to the Gupkar Alliance, Jammu and Kashmir had kept pace with and fared better than the other States in improvement in human development indices. “Some of the indicators pertaining to literacy rates, marriage and fertility, child sex ratios and school attendance rates for girls over six years of age were relatively better than those for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand,” it said.
Mr. Tarigami said it was really “baffling and misleading” to claim high moral ground in implementing the PM Kisan Scheme and PMAY. “J&K is getting benefited the same way as other States and UTs,” he added.
He said this government was the product of a ‘Hindutva-corporate alliance’, almost everything it did also catered to a pro-corporate agenda, apart from promoting Hindutva.
“Opening up the Kashmir Valley to its corporate patrons is not for expanding the volume of productive economic activities but for land acquisition for real estate development or for sheer speculation on land price, which is also an added incentive. Such real estate development adds little to the level of employment; but it subtracts employment if the land was being used for some productive activities before,” he said.
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