“There was a famous collectorate tradition of democracy (in J&K). The nominations of Members of Assembly (MLAs) of four or five regions were held at his house. So, on one hand, there were elected representatives of the people and on the other, the representatives of Collector Sahib. But, the eve of 2020 ended this ‘Jungle Raj’ and the entire Jammu and Kashmir participated in the fair, transparent and violence-free elections of DDC. The people who have been elected are the actual representatives of people and not of Collector Sahib,” Mr Sinha said in his Independence Day speech at S K Cricket Stadium here.
In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Mr Sinha said that the neighboring country, which does not care for its own people, has been making a malicious attempt to instigate some of the youth. “We want to assure all citizens that whoever is trying to mislead the young people through proxy war, shall be given a befitting reply. I call upon such misguided youngsters, that militancy is a curse for peace and development. By misguiding you from the path of peace and progress, inimical forces are denying you the life of peace and dignity on this pious soil,” he said.
Referring to the Centre’s decision to abrogate the special status of erstwhile state of J&K in 2019, he said Prime Minister Narandra Modi had marked the beginning of a new era for Jammu and Kashmir. “With your (youth’s) ability, energy and unparalleled patience, Jammu and Kashmir shall have a prosperous future. Carrying forward the four resolutions of the 75th year of independence viz; the power of public participation, the resolve of establishing a new Jammu and Kashmir, providing equal opportunities to all and technological development – we along-with youth of the Union territory can transform the entire Jammu and Kashmir into Shalamar garden once again,” he added.
The LG said that the highest priority of the government has been given to social equity, adding that the areas which were kept backward since independence are being transformed. “The policies that have been implemented on the ground after 2019 have helped the Balmiki Samaj, Adivasis, Gurkha Samaj, daughters of Jammu and Kashmir, West Pakistani Refugees and Backward Classes to finally receive social justice for the first time in the history. In order to restore ancient glory and rights of the women of Jammu and Kashmir, countless schemes in the economic, social and educational fields have been launched. Everyone is being provided opportunities to lead a better life irrespective of religion, caste and class,” he said.
Stating that the grass-roots democracy has been strengthened, fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the common citizens, he said, “With the spirit of Kashmiriyat ie taking along all religions and creeds on development odyssey, we are achieving new milestones,” he said.
Mr Sinha said since the flowers of progress bloom only in the land of love, our priority is to maintain peace and brotherhood in Jammu and Kashmir. “This soil of ‘Pirwar’ has always taught ‘Wahdat al-Wujud’, the unity of existence. From Shankaracharya temple to Hazrat Bal, the sound of oneness can be heard today,” he added.
The LG also paid tribute to the soldiers of Army, Para Military Forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police for keeping the unity, integrity of India intact with their amazing valor, courage and sacrifice. “I am proud that Jammu and Kashmir Police has received 257 gallantry awards including Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra on the eve of Independence Day. I salute all the gallant heroes of Jammu & Kashmir Police. I also salute the family members of the Braveheart’s who sacrificed their lives while defending the sovereignty and integrity of the country,” he said.
“We have decided that various places and institutions will be christened in the memory of freedom fighters, brave soldiers and personalities from different fields who have made invaluable contribution in the progress of Jammu and Kashmir. This will inspire the coming generations to become their worthy successors. I am sure that the stories of those who have made sacrifices for this elixir of freedom will awaken a new and re-energized Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“The memories of Maqbool Sherwani, Brigadier Rajendra Singh, Deputy SP Ayub Pandit, Mali Begum, Inspector Arshad Khan, Sub Inspector Altaf Ahmed, Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq, Lasa Kaul, Kanta Wazir and that of Sarvanand Kaul Premi, Dinanath Adim, Constable Yasin Tali, Lt. Umar Fayaz, Mohammad Deen Jagir, Mr Punjab Singh, Mrs. Padma Sachdev, Mahmuda Shah, Deputy SP Aman Thakur, Deputy SP Manjit Singh and all such people will be revived in the coming days,” he added.