LG Manoj Sinha at the Confluence organised by Panchjanya on January 15, 2024, spoke about the positive changes that Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed. He emphasised the region’s digital governance prowess, ranking it first in the field. Noteworthy achievements include the completion of 92,500 development projects and the creation of 30,500 government jobs. The ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign earned Jammu and Kashmir the prestigious first prize, symbolising the widespread display of the national flag across villages.
Under the New Industrial Scheme, a staggering investment proposal of Rs 90,000 crore has been unveiled. Reforms in land laws have rectified regressive practices, granting land to the underprivileged. The region is witnessing infrastructural development with highway projects worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore being undertaken and there has been significant improvement in air and rail connectivity. A holistic agriculture development programme has been instituted, and strategic efforts are underway to eradicate terrorism from the region. The overall landscape reflects a commitment to progress, transparency, and inclusivity in Jammu and Kashmir.
LG Sinha spoke to Editor of Organiser Prafulla Ketkar and Editor of Panchjanya Hitesh Shankar about the transformation that Jammu and Kashmir has undergone post-abrogation of Article 370 and there has been a big dent in the ecosystem of the anti-Bharat forces.
How do you perceive the state of the ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir post the abrogation of Article 370, concerning corruption, anti-India forces, and separatist agendas? In what ways has this ecosystem undergone a breakdown or transformation?
There has been a complete breakdown of the anti-bharat ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir. This is evident from the fact that development projects are now taking place. However, we are striving hard to completely root this ecosystem.
What is your take on the targeted killing that is taking place in Jammu and Kashmir?
The targeted killings, particularly of employees coming from other states, seem to be orchestrated to spark global discussions and convey a narrative that things are far from normal in Jammu and Kashmir. Regions like Rajouri and Poonch have been specifically targeted. It’s noteworthy that tourists have not been victims of these incidents.
However, there is a silver lining in the security landscape, as big terrorists have been successfully neutralised. In the coming days, there will be “Operation All Out.” The strategic execution of this operation is anticipated to have a significant impact, demonstrating the authorities’ commitment to addressing security concerns and fostering a safer environment in Jammu and Kashmir.
What measures have been taken to involve retired soldiers in the efforts to eradicate terrorism, recognising the need for their alignment in this critical endeavour?
In a proactive approach to enhance security measures, the government has introduced initiatives centred around Village Defence Committees (VDCs) and armed license system has ben placed so that the ex-soldiers can get the arms. The primary objective is to involve retired military personnel in the collective effort to bolster defence mechanisms within communities.
Under this programme, efforts are being made to integrate ex-soldiers into Village Defence Committees, tapping into their valuable expertise and skillsets. The government has streamlined the armed license system, ensuring a thorough verification process before granting licences. This move aims to empower qualified individuals with the means to contribute to community defence.
These strategic measures underscore the commitment to strengthening grassroots security and fostering a collaborative environment where ex-servicemen play an active role in safeguarding their communities. The government’s initiative reflects a recognition of the valuable contribution that retired soldiers can make in rooting out potential threats and ensuring the safety of the general populace.
How do you envision attracting investment when there exists an atmosphere of fear?
The common man has overcome such apprehensions about an atmosphere of fear. Dismissing the negative narrative, attributing it to the efforts of some notorious individuals seeking to create unwarranted fear among the populace.
Highlighting a positive anecdote, Sinha shared that a young girl approached him to express gratitude for successfully completing her graduation in just three years. This personal account serves as a testament to the perceived improvement in the overall environment, as individuals feel empowered to pursue their goals without succumbing to any lingering atmosphere of fear.
Sinha’s remarks emphasise a shift in the narrative and reflect efforts to dispel any unfounded fears, fostering an environment conducive to personal and professional growth for the residents of the region.
How challenging was the execution of district-level delimitation, particularly in the context of the significant issue related to land allotment, where outsiders are restricted from acquiring land?
In a broader perspective, various segments of the population, including women, Kashmiri migrants, and minorities from other countries, have availed of various benefits. The situation has changed to such a great extent that Moharram processions could also be taken out. The diligent efforts of the Delimitation Commission have contributed to positive outcomes. The benefits have extended to scheduled tribes, and there are expectations that the Pahari community also has, and the government will take steps to address their issues. Importantly, it has been emphasised that existing reservations will remain unaffected by these developments.
How do the district council elections aim to break the historical trend of Jammu and Kashmir’s political scenario being dominated by a few families, and how could they contribute to fostering development in the region?
Strategic allocation of funds, effective functioning of administrative processes, and the dedication of competent functionaries form the cornerstone of this developmental paradigm. By synergizing these elements, the region aims to unlock its full potential, address socio-economic challenges, and usher in an era of sustained growth and progress. This holistic approach underscores the commitment to comprehensive development and reflects a concerted effort to leverage resources, streamline operations, and ensure the efficient delivery of public services for the welfare of the people.
It is said that in Jammu and Kashmir there is terrorism because of unemployment. What is your take on it?
These are baseless allegations that terrorism is there in Jammu and Kashmir due to unemploymnet. Jharkhand has higher unemployment, and steps are being taken in Jammu and Kashmir to promote self-employment initiatives. The “Back to Village” campaign signifies the commitment to rural development, backed by a substantial Rs 90,000 crore loan provision. there has been so much change in the region that exports have increased. There is surge in the export of Pashmina products and there is also urban transformation. This comprehensive approach underscores the administration’s dedication to fostering economic opportunities, empowering local communities, and driving a transformative agenda for both rural and urban sectors in Jammu and Kashmir.