Sending 36 Ministers Really Needed? -
Sending 36 Ministers Really Needed?
Posted 17 Jan 2020 05:58 PM


Following an initiative taken by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, a group of central ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir starting from January 18 including sensitive areas in the Valley to spread awareness about the positive impact of abrogation of Article 370 provisions and the development measures taken by the government for the region, sources said on Wednesday.

Thirty-six Union ministers will visit different districts in both the divisions of the Union Territory starting from January 18 to January 24 and with the objective of disseminating information about the importance of the Centre's policies for the overall development of the Union Territory and its people along with the steps taken by the government particularly in the past five months after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of erstwhile state.

But as ministers will fan out across the state, to be precise at 51 locations between January 18 and January 24, the real question is how they convince the people of the valley about the abrogation of Article 370 which is an emotional issue.
The government which also took away the state status of Jammu and Kashmir and turned it into a Union Territory intends to restore it as soon as the normalcy returns and that could be a bait that local leaders could latch on.

Parks in the main city of Indian-administered Kashmir are seeing a surge of visitors. Anglers sit desultorily on the banks of the picturesque Dal Lake. Others drive around in their cars, meeting friends and relatives. Knots of people gather on empty streets and shoot the breeze.

Many of the stifling security barricades and coils of razor wire - potent symbols of the siege - have been removed. There are no blackouts or mass rationing. Small markets are opening for a few hours.
Officials said that the situation across the Valley has remained peaceful with no untoward incident being reported from anywhere.

Stone pelting incidents have come down to 544 so far in 2019 from 802 incidents in 2018.
Urdu and English dailies and all TV channels are functioning and circulation of newspapers has increased.
Courts are also functioning fully. They have heard 36,192 cases and delivered orders in as many as 500 cases, he said, adding that even the Block Development Council elections were held peacefully and successfully.
As many as 20,114 schools have opened.

Out of 50,537 students, 50,272 students comprising 99.48 percent appeared for exams.
About 99.7 percent of students have given Class 9 and 10 exams.

Hospitals are also functioning and the number of people visiting the Out Patient Department (OPD) has increased in Srinagar, he said, adding a good quantity of medicines are being made available in the valley and there is no shortage.
Mobile vans and vending machines were also made available.

And there have been no protests of any kind over the issues like CAA, NRC, etc which could otherwise show the disgruntlement of the people of Kashmir.

Sending Ministers
I am a resident of J&K and we don’t find the move justified as there has been no protest of any kind from the local population.

A week ago 16 envoys of different countries were made to visit the valley.
The envoys did raise pointed questions on the impact of the Indian government’s decision of August 5 last year to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, whether Pakistan is meddling in the region and the current situation in the Kashmir Valley.

Later on this Wednesday, the state administration restored 2G services on postpaid mobiles in the state even as the ban on social media continues.

Clearly the challenges are deep and long-drawn but the government is moving in a calibrated manner. There is a view in the party that while a new leadership will definitely emerge in the valley in the course to come and they are hopeful that this will happen through grass-root elections like local bodies polls, this does mean that the existing old leadership in the valley will become irrelevant. At some point, the government will have to draft them in a larger strategy.

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