The celebrations that broke out in Kashmir valley over the results of district development council polls (DDC) were a far cry from past elections which were marked by allegations of rigging, or criticism that they reflected the minority opinion due to abysmal turnout. Not just the counting the votes, but with each counted vote it is the rejection of terrorism propagated by Pakistan.
People of Jammu and Kashmir have “strengthened the roots of democracy” in District Development Council elections, and the Panchayati Raj process, finding fulfilment in the union territory; it’ss the start of a “new decade, new chapter and new leadership”. The government is working to strengthen grassroots democracy in Kashmir valley. The DDC polls represent the democratic beginning of a new Jammu and Kashmir.
The sole purpose with which the politics needs to be approached is development; not only economic but social as well as human. The voters of Kashmir are very wise; they understand the role of DDC elections, and have shown maturity by participating in the democratic exercise. It was a wonderful day for democracy in Kashmir. I congratulate the whole nation on this historic achievement. The issues over which commoners of Kashmir valley have voted signify the level of understanding common voter has regarding issues the society is facing. Water, women empowerment, etc. are being discussed. Earlier the discussions were so vague that no one knew what were they voting for. The rise of independent candidates in the DDC elections is a signal that the days of the political hegemony of Gupkar gang are numbered. The spontaneous rise of political aspirations of talented individuals will make the upcoming times hard for the dynasts. People’s empowerment lies in democracy. The people have recognised this, and the focus has been shifted to the issues that matter. This has brought tangibility to the purpose of politics in Kashmir and is going to lead Kashmir into being a truly democratic society.
The election of the District Development Council has written a new chapter. In every phase of the elections, despite such cold conditions and COVID-19 pamdemic, youth of Kashmir valley, elderly, and women were reaching the booths; there was an expectation for development on the face of every voter in Kashmir valley,
especially youth of Kashmir valley , who have strengthened the roots of democracy in DDC elections. The three-tier panchayati raj institution in Jammu and Kashmir is in a way a fulfilment of the dream of Mahatma Gandhi which was neglected by dynasts in last 30 years. The panchayati raj process in the country has found fulfilment in Jammu and Kashmir today. This is the beginning of a new decade, new chapter and new leadership.
The successful completion of the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir is indicative of the Narendra Modi government’s resolve to return power to the people on the one hand, and the resolve of the people of the UT to turn to democratic decentralisation to achieve better governance and development on the other. The elections saw enthusiastic participation of both the people and political parties. The very fact that such a big election was completed peacefully with enthusiastic participation from both sides should silence many critics. These elections were made possible through an amendment to the Panchayat Raj Act 1989 of the erstwhile J&K Constitution, which preceded the national act by six months. The amendment had facilitated the UT administration to conduct these elections through universal adult franchise. Kashmir valley has resolved to get rid of terrorism and confusion after the successful conduct of DDC elections is the testimony of this fact. Each vote counted in the name of democracy is big slap on the face of Pakistan. The voter turn out for polls was mind boggling. The enthusiasm on ground is clearly reflected in the numbers. People are desperate to realise the dream of a developed Kashmir, free of violence & bloodshed. People have shown faith in democracy. people of Kashmir valley play a great role in nation-building. They have the power to help a country develop and move towards progress. As we all know people of the valley are facing too many problems because dynasts of the valley have exploited everything for their self interest. We need to give them equal opportunities in every field so they can succeed well. They must be given all the facilities and also encouraged to take the challenge to achieve success. Youth of Kashmir valley can play great role in building Naya Kashmir; this is due to the fact that the development of Kashmir lies in future generations. Everything, from the economy and environment to health, medicine, and technology, lies in the hands of the youth. We face many problems in today’s world – such as terrorism, economic issue, pandemic, global warming and pollution. The answers to all these problems lie with the next generation.
Something which our fathers and forefathers were unable to do, the youths of tomorrow will begin anew. A great example of this is the technological progress that we have achieved. For instance, the Wright Brothers invented the first-ever plane, and 66 years later, humans landed on the moon for the very first time in history. So, in our time, humans may travel to Mars or beyond. Therefore, the role of youth in building Naya Kashmir is immeasurable.