Addressing the nation for the first time after Article 370 was revoked, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the decision as historic. “With the nullifying of Article 370, the country has taken a historic decision. The dreams of Sardar Patel have been realised,” PM said. PM Modi said that Article 370 hindered the process of development in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Article 370 only encouraged terrorism, sluggish development, family-based politics, and corruption”, said PM. Accusing the contentious Article 370 and 35 (A) for creating the environment of terror and violence in the valley, Modi said: “Both these articles [Article 370 and 35 (A)] were used to encourage anti-national sentiments by Pakistan. Because of this 42,000 innocent people had to die. This figure will get tears out of anyone”.
Defending the move of abrogating Article 370 PM Modi said that it was not safeguarding the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “No one could tell how Article 370 benefited the people of J&K.” PM Modi said. ”These provisions did not give anything except separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule, Modi added.
The historic decision on Jammu and Kashmir was driven by the government’s commitment to develop the region and would not only improve its present but also secure its future, Prime Minister said. “A new era has begun for Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh,” he added, underscoring that Article 370 and Article 35-A had not given J&K anything other than separatism, terrorism, dynastic policies and systematic corruption.
Article 370 has been an emotive issue in J&K, linked closely to perceptions about Kashmir’s unique identity. But it was hurting the state and no one was even talking about it, PM Modi said. “Surprisingly, no one could tell you what was the benefit of Article 370 to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, echoing a point that Home Minister Amit Shah had made in Parliament also.
PM Modi’s address attempted to contrast this point with the many benefits that would reach Jammu and Kashmir, starting from investments by private sector, expansion of scholarships for students and more job opportunities for the youth in security forces.