“Dreams are meant to be fulfilled,” this is probably the most narrated line of motivation, and the same stood suitable for the Indian PM Narendra Modi with his long dream in the making of Kashmir.
The world saw his bold step in revoking articles 370 and 35(A) from the Indian constitution, which took away the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and integrated the whole state as a ‘Complete’ Indian state by bifurcating it into two and converting the statehood into a Union Territory with legislative assembly.
This discarded the Jammu and Kashmir constitution and its own flag first.
But was this step taken overnight?
The answer would be a big no, as Modi, from his early years, has been a strict advocate of the removal of article 370 from the constitution, and his party BJP shares the same ideology, and this intention of theirs was shown through protest and andolans from time to time, and when Modi became a national leader, in 2014, he led the BJP to power in the world’s biggest and oldest democracy, India.
Modi and BJP share a common root of RSS, a right-wing organization that has also been into social work for years citing nation-first ideology for their nationalism, and Modi finds his roots in this RSS, and collectively visioned the revoking of article 370 from the very early years after Indian independence in 1947.
On many occasions, young Modi was seen under protest with the banner “370 Hatao” (Remove 370) and carrying the pride of such ideology he went on as a party worker of BJP, which is now the biggest political party in the world, with membership crossing populations of many nations.
It was in 2014, that he succeeded to gain the highest authority in India, and became the Prime Minister with a massive victory in the general elections. This gave Modi the freedom to achieve his long dream of removal of article 370 and article 35(A) from the constitution, which he did on 5th August 2019.
He was criticized for this step but, when we look at the benefits to the people of Kashmir, it looks like a progressive step.
Removal of article 370 will now allow the Kashmiri population to have access to all the benefits of the Indian constitution and the schemes of the central government. This will include free education, equal pay, the minimum wages act, the right to information, etc.
Removal of article 35(A) will allow non-Kashmiris to buy land in Kashmir to set up factories and other commercial or residential settlements, which will only generate employment and boost the economy. Modi, for this move, was blamed for trying to change the demography of Kashmir, but as far as Indian demography is considered, according to the Indian constitution, every Indian has the right to move and settle anywhere in India according to their wish, and Kashmir is now no different, and this in whole, is not different from any other country in the world.
Currently, Modi with his council of ministers is focused on the development of Kashmir, with several projects from India as well as foreign countries in the pipeline.
Companies from Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, and Hong Kong are amongst the first investors to set up their businesses in Kashmir.
The main question for Modi, for his dream in the making of Kashmir, is the question of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), which is also a long-standing dream of Modi, the BJP, and the RSS. Modi has shown his intentions, after the 5th of August, on taking over the rest of Kashmir, Gilgit, and Baltistan from Pakistan.
It will be only after the integration of the POK into Kashmir that the making of Kashmir for Modi will start. The development and other social activities will remain secondary work for him and might take more terms in the office for him to complete his goals in Kashmir.
Kashmir on its way to living away from the horrific past is trying its best to stand on the saying that “If there is Heaven on earth, it is in Kashmir” and Modi at this phase might just be a helper to the cause, and may or may not contribute for a bigger achievement resting in the future for India.
Modi’s government has been really successful in having a grip on international relations with many past critics now standing with India on whatever topic might float, but this success has also been eyed by those who cannot gulp the Indian success, and that again remains as a big challenge for Modi if it begins from Kashmir.
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