If the period before the abrogation brought violence, turbulence, bloodshed, and filled graveyards with innocent lives, then the post-abrogation phase must be viewed as a gift from the central government—a mission for peace and prosperity for the common Kashmiri, excluding those who politicize fanatics at the cost of human lives. The politics of victimization and radicalization has come to an end, ushering in a new era of development and peace under the able leadership of Narendra Modi. The focus is on empowering the people and rendering fanatics irrelevant, breaking free from the narratives they have always promoted.
Presently, regional political parties, radical ideologues, and individuals across the spectrum have nothing to sell in the market. The practice of bargaining based on special status and other ideologically divergent fantasies has been eliminated, and instead, integration with one nation, one constitution, and one flag has taken precedence.
This clear-cut decision of abrogation conveys a straightforward message that there is no room for misinterpretation and misguidance of the Kashmiri people in the future based on religious extremism, special status for vote politics, and the varied reasons of extremist individuals. Simultaneously, those who lead violence and shed blood have no place in Kashmir, and even those who win elections by choosing topics of mythology are no longer deemed useful. Kashmiris are not even bothered, having tuned out this nonsensical business. What comes after abrogation is more valuable than special status—peace, development, and prosperity, fulfilling the human urge.
As a student pursuing a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, what I have seen and witnessed over the last thirty-two years is significantly different today. These four years of abrogation have brought peace to education, business, and the lives of the common people. Politics on many issues has been curtailed, and life has come on the proper track. Modi has transformed the entire life of Kashmir, turning it from hell into heaven. People are praising this change and do not want to immerse themselves in hypocrisy.
The abrogation of Article 370 was a groundbreaking move from a legal perspective. As a writer has pointed out, Article 370(3) stipulated that the article could only be repealed by a Presidential order on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the Constituent Assembly was dissolved in 1957 and was replaced by the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
Unable to directly rely on Article 370(3), the government sought to utilize its powers under Article 370(1) to amend Article 367, the interpretation clause of the Constitution. This amendment aimed to interpret references to the “Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir” in Article 370 as “Governor of Jammu and Kashmir,” and “Constituent Assembly of the State” as the current legislative assembly of the state.
Given that the state legislative assembly was suspended (as Jammu and Kashmir was placed under President’s rule under Article 356), any reference to the legislative assembly of the state would be construed as a reference to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. President’s rule also automatically implied that Parliament would make laws for the state, even on subjects under the state list—effectively acting as the state legislative assembly.
Subsequently, a Presidential order was issued with the consent of Parliament (acting as the state legislative assembly), clarifying the aforementioned references. This order implied that all provisions of the Indian Constitution, without any exceptions, would now apply to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This meant that the constitution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir stood abrogated.
The transformation in Jammu and Kashmir post Article 370 abrogation is much worth to discuss and mention. The revocation of Article 370 has ushered in significant changes in Jammu and Kashmir, reshaping the region in various dimensions. Here is an overview of the notable developments and ongoing initiatives. The most admirable change is the sight of the Tricolour flying with lights, symbolizing national pride in a state where it was previously used for less honourable purposes.
Stringent measures have led to a decline in terrorism activities, creating a safer environment with no tolerance for terrorists. The eradication of stone-pelting incidents has contributed to a more peaceful environment. Any occurrences are met with a denial of government benefits. A substantial investment of 750 crores is allocated for the establishment of Ladakh Central University, emphasizing the focus on education and development. Strict measures against hawala transactions ensure transparency and curb illegal financial activities. The active ratio of terrorists has significantly decreased from 1000–2000 before 2018 to only 150–50 in Kashmir.
Harsh measures are taken against the Gupkar gang for engaging in anti-nationalist activities. Laws under the central government have provided justice to Dalits and women who were previously denied their rights. Efforts to rebuild Hindu temples that were destroyed in the past showcase a commitment to cultural restoration. Gross root elections, held for the first time in decades, highlight a commitment to democracy, contrasting with accusations of autocracy levelled against certain political groups. The country has issued warnings to Pakistan through military strikes, underscoring a commitment to national security.
Narendra Modi is steering Kashmir towards peace, development, and prosperity, instilling a new hope called ‘Naya Kashmir.’ The region is progressing at its own pace, acknowledged by the common Kashmiri, shaping up in the heart of the world’s largest democratic country,