From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Article 370
Mains level : Paper 2- J and K after 2 years of repeal of Article 370
Two years ago, India bid farewell to Articles 370 and 35 (A), marking the start of a new era in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir.
Assessing the impact of changes on five parameters
1) National unity
- Articles 370 and 35 (A) created an unnatural and unhealthy divide in our nation.
- For every law passed, every rule made, we had to ascertain whether it applied to J&K or not.
- Today, such distinctions are history, J&K has been fully integrated with the other states and Union Territories.
2) Democracy at the grass-root level
- A healthy culture of grassroots-level participation was absent.
- Panchayat polls held: One of the critical deliverables for J&K was to hold panchayat polls, which were finally held in 2020.
- This one step will go a long way in shaping the development paradigm in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Political activity has also picked up across Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Centre’s emphasis on a proper delimitation followed by full-fledged elections is in line with the commitments made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The third parameter is that of peace.
- The memories of 2008, 2010 and 2016 are still fresh in the minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
- An effort was made to reignite such sparks of tension after the decisions on Article 370 and 35 (A) but the Valley as well as Jammu have remained peaceful.
4) People’s aspirations
- Jammu and Kashmir did not have RTI laws and its SC, ST and OBC communities were not able to get the benefits of reservation
- The fact that the most marginalised groups can now get reservation benefits is a major leap forward in fulfilling the aspirations of the people of J&K.
5) Economic growth
- The Valley is today abuzz with news of action against corruption in key departments and financial bodies in the state.
- Money being sent for public good was being misused by vested interest groups.
- The economic upliftment in the Valley began with the Prime Minister’s Package of 2015.
- This set the stage for extensive spending on physical and social infrastructure.
- With the going of 370 and 35 (A) there is great hope that tourism will pick up in the Valley.
- Incentives given to different sectors of the economy — be it saffron farmers or those who fish trout — combined with a largely peaceful environment is empowering many lives.
- With corruption and leakages drastically reduced, resources are reaching the intended beneficiaries.
The situation in Jammu and Kashmir was never easy. As we enter the Amrut Mahotsav, it is for us to see the new realities in J&K. The people of the state have got the wings to fly and, in the years to come, J&K will make even greater contributions to India’s growth and development.