Golden Chapter in the History of Jammu, Kashmir & Laddakh Created Today
| IOP Desk - 31 Oct 2019

Whether you hate Modi or Love him, he has created history. The future will tell that this decision was right or wrong. However, one thing is very clear the state will develop at a fast pace as never before. This will be a golden chance for Kashmiris to look towards a brighter future and work collectively to make Kashmir a real paradise again, which was destroyed by the guns and dirty politics.    

By Onkareshwar Pandey

New Delhi, Oct 31, 2019:

While I am writing this article, a new history has been created on this midnight of Oct 30-31, 2019.

Today onwards, the Jammu and Kashmir, which has been part of the Union of India since 1947, will cease to be a state and will be bifurcated into two Union Territories.

The new Lieutenant Governors (LG) for the Union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have already reached Srinagar. IAS officers Girish Chandra Murmu and R K Mathur, who have been appointed respectively, will be sworn-in at separate functions to be held in Srinagar and Leh on Thursday.

G. C. Murmu, a former bureaucrat, will be sworn in as the first lieutenant governor of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the government said.

Another former civil servant, Radha Krishna Mathur, will take office as the lieutenant governor of Ladakh, the Buddhist-dominated high altitude region that has long sought to disentangle itself from Kashmir, on grounds that the turmoil there had hurt its own growth prospects. Both Murmu and Mathur will be sworn in by Chief Justice of J&K High Court Gita Mittal.

The date of the constitution for the two UTs is October 31, according to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, and this has come into existence at midnight (Wednesday-Thursday), nearly three months after the announcement in Rajya Sabha.

Oct 31 is an important date because this happens to the day of the birth anniversary of the country's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for the merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.

October 31 is observed as the National Unity Day and both Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday will attend separate functions -- in Kevadia (Gujarat) and New Delhi respectively.

According to the Act, the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh and both the UTs will be headed by two separate Lieutenant Governors (LGs).

The Centre will be in direct control of the police and the law and order in Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday when it becomes a UT, while the land will be under the elected government there.

The UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of the central government which will administer the high altitude region through the LG.

Mehbooba Mufti was the last chief minister of undivided Jammu and Kashmir whose tenure ended in June 2017 when central rule was imposed thereafter her coalition partner BJP withdrew support. Satya Pal Malik is the last governor whose tenure comes to an end on Wednesday. He has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Goa.

This is for the first time that a state is converted into two UTs even though there is numerous examples of a UT becoming a full state or a state bifurcating into two states.

While Jammu and Kashmir continue to remain calm and peaceful with the process of reorganisation moving ahead smoothly, Pakistan is facing upheaval in Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK), such territories of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir that are under its illegal occupation of the country.

It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's bold and historic decision and subsequent approval of Parliament to abrogate the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and its bifurcation into two UTs was taken to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of a protracted militancy movement.

“Before abrogation of Article 370, there were many obstacles in J&K's path to development. In the next 10 years, J&K will be one of the most developed states. The journey of development has begun with Vande Bharat Express set to boost tourism in the state,” said Union Home Minister Amit Shah while inaugurating Vande Bharat Express on Oct 3.

The decision to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir came less than 90 days after the Modi 2.0 government assumed power in May end. With the abrogation of article 370, the BJP has fulfilled its electoral promise made to the voters for quite long.

The August 5 decision was taken 72 years after the then ruler of the princely state, Maharaja Hari Singh, executed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, making it part of the Union of India.

While moving the resolution in the Rajya Sabha that Article 370 -- which allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own Constitution and prohibited outsiders from buying land and property in the state, Shah had said these provisions will no longer be applicable and the central government will restore its statehood at "appropriate time" and after "normalcy" returns.

"The government will not allow the situation to turn into another battle-torn Kosovo... It was heaven on earth and will remain so," Shah had said, referring to the decades-old militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

Soon after the abrogation of the Article 370, several hundred political leaders and separatists were put under detention by the Jammu and Kashmir administration including three former chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Restrictions were also imposed on movement of people, vehicles, telephone, mobile phones and internet.

While most of the restrictions have been removed since then, curb on internet is still continuing and situation in the Kashmir Valley is yet to be termed as complete normal. It will be important to see the reactions of people and these leaders after the restrictions are over.

Making a fervent last-minute appeal to the Centre, the National Conference on Wednesday appealed Modi Govt to shelve the plan of bifurcation of J&K and maintain the statehood of the "200-year-old state" dubbed as "crown of India".

After the division of the state, the IAS, IPS and other central service officers and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will be under the control of the LG and not the elected government of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

The postings of the present provincial service officers will also not affected and they will continue serving in their current positions till a new order is issued by the Lt Governors for the two new UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The all India Services like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), of J-K cadre will continue to serve in the two succeeding UTs while new recruits of these services will be allocated in the Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, according to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

Whether you hate Modi or Love him, he has created history. The future will tell that this decision was right or wrong. However, one thing is very clear the state will develop at a fast pace as never before. This will be a golden chance for Kashmiris to look towards a bright future and work collectively to make Kashmir a real paradise again, which was destroyed by the guns and dirty politics.    

Image courtesy - Zee News / DIPR J&K Twitter


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INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. 

(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI

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