Four years have passed since the momentous decision by the Indian government to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. This historic move aimed to bring progress, development, and peace to the region. In this article, we will delve into the impact of the abrogation, highlighting the significant achievements and positive changes that have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir.
Restoration of Peace and Normalcy
One of the most significant achievements following the abrogation of Article 370 is the restoration of peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir. Prior to the decision, the region was marred by protests, stone-pelting incidents, and a high number of civilian casualties. However, official figures reveal that in the four years since the abrogation, not a single incident of civilian casualties due to protests or stone-pelting has been reported.
The decline in terror activities and recruitment of locals into militancy is another noteworthy outcome of the abrogation. The number of militants killed in operations by security forces has decreased significantly, with only 35 militants killed in the first eight months of 2023, compared to over 120 in the same period the previous year. This improvement in the security situation has instilled a sense of safety and peace among the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Development and Economic Growth
The abrogation of Article 370 has paved the way for significant development and economic growth in Jammu and Kashmir. The restoration of administrative control has encouraged investments in the region, with projects worth nearly Rs 25,000 crore under execution and proposals worth over Rs 80,000 crore under process. This surge in investment demonstrates the renewed confidence and interest in the region’s potential for growth.
The introduction of the new Industrial Development Scheme has also attracted private investments, with the UT receiving proposals worth Rs 81,122 crore in the last two years, compared to only Rs 14,000 crore received since Independence. The allocation of land for setting up key units has already begun, with nearly 18,000 kanals (2250 acres) allotted across both Jammu and Kashmir divisions. This influx of investments and industrial development has created employment opportunities and contributed to the overall economic well-being of the region.
Boost in Tourism
Jammu and Kashmir, renowned for its scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage, has witnessed a remarkable boost in tourism since the abrogation of Article 370. The region has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the country, attracting a growing number of domestic and foreign visitors. In 2022, the UT received 1.88 crore tourists, and this number is expected to surpass the two crore-mark in the current year. The increase in tourist footfall not only promotes economic growth but also showcases the region’s potential as a thriving tourist destination.
Kashmir, once popular mostly with honeymooners, is now attracting a broader range of visitors, including long-married couples celebrating their anniversaries in the serene beauty of the valley. The peaceful environment and improved infrastructure have made it easier for tourists to explore the region and experience its natural wonders and cultural heritage.
Social Reforms and Empowerment
The abrogation of Article 370 has also brought about significant social reforms and empowerment in Jammu and Kashmir. One of the notable changes is the granting of full citizenship and domicile rights, including ownership rights for property, voting rights, and eligibility for government jobs, to more than one lakh people who migrated from West Pakistan to Jammu in 1947. This move has provided them with equal opportunities and a sense of belonging in their new homeland.
Moreover, the region has witnessed a decline in strike calls imposed by separatists and militants, as the common people are now reaping the dividends of peace. Before the abrogation, frequent strikes, stone-pelting incidents, and violence had severely affected businesses and the education sector in Kashmir. However, the restoration of normalcy has brought relief and stability, allowing educational institutions and businesses to thrive.
The abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir has had a transformative impact on the region, ushering in a new era of progress, development, and peace. The restoration of peace and normalcy, decline in terror activities, and social reforms have contributed to the overall well-being of the people. Additionally, the boost in investments, economic growth, and tourism has opened up new avenues for employment and development. As Jammu and Kashmir continues on its journey of growth, the future looks promising, filled with opportunities for the region and its residents.