Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘New India’ has transformed Jammu and Kashmir from strife torn region into a vibrant place. The winds of change that have swept J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 have put the Union Territory on the path of peace, prosperity and development.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 10th Independence Day speech delivered on August 15 this year made it clear there is no place for corruption, nepotism and appeasement in “New India.”
PM Modi’s assertions struck a chord not only with the nation at large but also with the J&K youth.
The Prime Minister has given a clear roadmap to the J&K Government led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to empower J&K youth and ensure that three ills: corruption, nepotism and appeasement are wiped out from the system completely.
PM Modi’s speech highlighted the transformative journey that India has embarked upon, marked by the dismantling of dynasty rule and the steadfast resolve to combat corruption. His speech found resonance in the hearts and minds of J&K youth, offering them renewed hope for a future defined by democratic values, inclusivity, and empowerment.
For decades, Jammu and Kashmir had been marred by the grip of dynastic politics, which not only perpetuated a sense of entitlement but also choked the voices of the common people. The ruling elite's hold over the region was marked by a lack of accountability, a scarcity of opportunities, and the erosion of trust in governance.
The power corridors were dominated by a few families, leaving little room for political diversity and citizen participation.
However, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi challenged the status-quo and redefined the very concept of governance in Jammu and Kashmir.
In his Independence Day speech, PM Modi articulated the significance of empowering the youth and dismantling the barriers that hinder their potential.
The decision to break free from dynasty rule and encourage a more inclusive political landscape has resonated deeply with the Kashmiri youth, who are leading from the front to contribute towards the democratic fabric of the nation.
The concept of 'New India' heralds a future where leadership is based on merit, capability, and a commitment to the welfare of the people. By embracing a more participatory political environment, where young leaders are encouraged to step forward, the government is not just altering the power dynamics but also fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among the youth.
This transition has sent a powerful message to Kashmiri youth: their opinions matter, their aspirations are valued, and they have the potential to shape the destiny of their homeland.
Corruption, another malignant issue that had plagued J&K has been systematically addressed by the government.
The Prime Minister's emphasis on the importance of transparency and accountability is a clear message to one and all that the era of impunity is over.
The J&K youth, who have been witness to the corrosive effects of corruption on their society, view this commitment to eradicating corruption as a vital step towards restoring trust in the system.
In his Independence-Day speech, PM Modi also highlighted the critical role of technology in this endeavor.
The implementation of e-governance and digital platforms in J&K has not only streamlined administrative processes but has also reduced the scope for middlemen who often facilitated corrupt practices.
The digitization of services, combined with the government's resolve to punish wrongdoers, have garnered the trust of the Kashmiri youth who are increasingly engaging with technology and demanding greater transparency in governance.
Another remarkable aspect of the government's approach has been recognition of the importance of economic development in winning over the hearts and minds of the J&K youth.
The region's vast potential in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and handicrafts largely remained untapped due to years of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and neglect. However, with the introduction of targeted economic initiatives, the youth are witnessing opportunities for growth and self-reliance.
The 'Start-up India' initiative, for instance, has ignited the entrepreneurial spirit among the J&K youth.
The government's efforts to create conducive environment for business growth, coupled with financial support and mentorship, have empowered young Kashmiris to convert their ideas into tangible ventures. This has not only contributed towards economic growth but has also nurtured a sense of pride and ownership among them.
Moreover, the commitment to infrastructure development in J&K is a testament to the government's determination to uplift the region.
Establishment of new educational institutions, improved healthcare facilities and better connectivity have not only enhanced the quality of life for J&K youth but are an ample proof of government's recognition of their right to progress and prosperity.
Prime Minister Modi's vision for a 'New India' encompasses the spirit of unity in diversity. His emphasis on embracing cultural diversity and respecting different languages and traditions has echoed deeply in J&K, a region renowned for its rich cultural heritage.
By acknowledging the unique identity of J&K within the broader Indian mosaic, the government has fostered a sense of belonging among the youth, who are proud to contribute to a diverse and inclusive nation.
The writer writes on Politics, Defence Strategic affairs and is presently heading International Centre for Peace Studies ICPS.New Delhi .