Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Wednesday stated that leaving behind the scars of past, marred by discrimination propped up by Article 370 and terrorism which bruised the psyche of society, in new J&K - youth were the main stakeholders.
He was delivering his presidential address in the inaugural session of the “Youth20 (Y20) Consultation on Peace building and reconciliation: Ushering in an era of no war” at University of Jammu here.
“Though India played a significant role as a peace-keeper in the world, yet it’s also true that for decades it (India) had to endure terrorism sponsored by the neighbouring nation. Looking back to Jammu and Kashmir, earlier Article 370 propped up a (governing) system that induced discrimination, leading to disparities (among different sections, regions). Later, over 45,000 people lost their lives in the spate of terrorism while lakhs others were forced to leave their motherland- the land of their ancestors,” LG Sinha remarked.
Jammu University Vice-Chancellor Prof Umesh Rai, eminent writer Ashwin Sanghi, Convener Y20 Secretariat Ajay Kashyap and Dean Students Welfare, Jammu University Dr Prakash C Anthal shared the dais with LG Sinha.
Recalling the dark days witnessed by J&K, the Lieutenant Governor stated, “Such a terror ecosystem was dominating the scenario that it literally crushed the resolve of a fair, just and peaceful society. For decades, societal aspirations (of a normal, dignified life) were suppressed. Even at present, narco-terrorism was being used (by the neighbouring nation) to destroy the strength of society and the youth power in particular was being targetted.”
In this context, the Lieutenant Governor exhorted the national and international delegates participating in Y20 consultations to deliberate to evolve new ways and offer suggestions to empower youth (of J&K) to tackle all these challenges, with new vigour and determination.
Describing the “transformational journey of Jammu Kashmir in the last three years”, he said, “The whole world is watching that after August 5, 2019, under the effective and robust leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today a new and confident Jammu and Kashmir is emerging. The biggest stakeholders of this new and aspiring Jammu Kashmir are the youth who would give a new direction to the development process with their innovation and resolve,” LG Sinha said.
To substantiate his point visavis youth as main stakeholders in new J&K’s growth story, he asserted that every day, 580 youth were turning into entrepreneurs to contribute to this development journey.
“Every alternate day, a start-up has come up and registered to lead the change. J&K has recently witnessed its first Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) turning into a reality here. In actual terms, a paperless, faceless public service delivery system has been established here to give a tangible shape to digital empowerment. We have also made good strides vis-à-vis our minimum government resolve. I feel overjoyed to see the change and transformation of this land of Sufism and saints. I can say without hesitation that Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as a noticeable narrative on bringing civility to the land that was once scarred and wounded by terrorism,” LG Sinha said.
He stated that people, especially youth, were fearlessly pursuing their dreams. Now, economic development, an important stimulus to aspirational society, and basic fundamental rights like education, healthcare, employment, and the pursuit of happiness were no longer hostage to violence. “Youth power is the strength of Jammu and Kashmir and they have dedicated themselves to rejuvenate the society and to drive inclusive development,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
Describing J&K as the land of wisdom, curiosity for intellectuals; land of enlightenment and spiritual salvation for seekers, he said, “For an eminent author like Ashwin Sanghi, it (J&K) may be a metaphor and poetry; for many others it could be the perfect example of immortalised Indian composite culture and Shaktipeeth - a sacred place for eternal power. Whichever way you want to see, you will find that Jammu and Kashmir is offering the greatest pleasure to humanity.”
“Under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jammu has been transformed into India’s education hub. It houses all the premier institutions, IIM, IIT, AIIMS, IIMC and Central University. Jammu city has certain energy vibes, certain mysticism and a very rich spiritual heritage,” he added.
A government spokesperson said that the Lieutenant Governor, while highlighting the important role of the young generation in peace-building, urged the youth to follow the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda to build a global society based on trust and mutual respect.
“Youth is the most significant time to create civilised and cooperative world order with a spirit of oneness and they will offer new hope, innovative solutions to tackle the challenges to peace and sharpen social consciousness,” he said.
“I see youth bringing about reconciliation and shaping a new world for the good of citizens. Individual as well as society’s aspiration can be fulfilled only in conditions of peace and the young generation is eager to create a peaceful and prosperous present and future for the entire humanity,” LG Sinha observed.
“It is the responsibility of the youth to use their collective strength for development and upliftment of humanity. With common values, aspirations and commitment of selfless service, the youth will expand the horizons of peace, prosperity, friendship, cooperation and progress,” he added.
The Lieutenant Governor emphasized that the discussions during the Y20 consultation meet should draw an outline of future plans, with the spirit of ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’ which meant that everyone should be happy and prosperous.
Speaking on India’s contribution in peace-building and peacekeeping, the Lieutenant Governor said, “India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will lead the world to effectively address broader aspects of security challenges that also include social, political, economic and environmental with the spirit of One Earth, One Family, One Future.”
“India is one of the world’s largest contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Since 1950, Indian soldiers have participated in 49 peacekeeping missions in different countries and even today more than 8,000 troops are serving in 10 United Nations missions. It is the testimony to our commitment to global peace and human welfare,” he said.
The Lieutenant Governor also observed that the Knowledge economy would play an important role in the future and success of start-ups and Unicorns were giving fresh impetus to India’s growth. “Your every step will determine the destiny of our nation,” he said, while exhorting the youth to act responsibly in their every pursuit.
Like in the past, the whole world was looking up to India for solutions to its problems like COVID, climate change and conflicts and this delineated the significance of its (India’s) G20 presidency, LG Sinha said.
Eminent author and keynote speaker Ashwin Sanghi said that his idea of “peace building” was based on a five-point framework - inspired by “Panchbhoota” or the five elements i.e., air, water, earth, fire and space.
Prof Umesh Rai, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu and Ajay Kashyap, Convener Y20 Secretariat gave a brief background of the Y20 consultation meet.
Prof Rai stated that Youth20 (Y-20) Engagement Group was organizing discussions pan-India, to consult the youth of the nation on ideas for a better tomorrow and draft an agenda for action. “Y20 will provide a platform for youth to express their perspectives and ideas on G20 priorities. The University of Jammu takes pride in being recognized as one of the 15 academic partners across India hosting the consultation on the theme of ‘Peace-Building and Reconciliation: Ushering in an era of No War,’” Prof Rai said.
He said that Jammu and Kashmir had always been the centre of knowledge. “Various schemes have been launched to empower the youth like Mission Youth, which focuses on livelihood generation, skill development, recreational and social engagement, education counselling; Himayat Mission, Tejasvi Scheme for women besides others.
Ajay Kashyap detailed the significance of India’s contribution as a soft power and stressed the need to exploit it to bring a positive change in the world order for the betterment of mankind.
Delegates from various countries and universities of India, and youth representatives attended the Y20 Consultation meet.
Seventeen youth delegates from G20 countries like Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and Republic of Korea, and other international countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Iran, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Malawi participated in the two-day Y20 Consultation at University of Jammu in Jammu.
Twenty-five national delegates from different universities across India also participated in the Y20 Consultation.
Manu Khajuria Singh (author and activist, UK; founder of ‘Voice of Dogras’); Dr Anand Ranganathan (columnist, author and scientist, New Delhi); M K Sinha IPS, ADGP, JK Police; Vaibhav Singh (geopolitical expert and founder of Defensive Offence); Sunanda Vashisht (author and commentator, USA); Zahack Tanvir (Director, Founder and Editor of Milli Chronicle Media England); Tushar Gupta (senior-Sub Editor at Swarajya); Arun Prabhat (president, BJYM, J&K), Sahana Singh (author, editor and columnist, USA); Bneat Singh (Startup & Financial Expert, UK); Rohit Pathania (policy analyst and History enthusiast), Aparajita Acharya (author, daughter of Kargil war hero) and Jasvir Singh (district councillor, Panchari Moungri District Development Council, Udhampur) participated in various sessions.