- Using the opportunity of President’s rule in Jammu & Kashmir, the Centre is working on a multi-pronged strategy to win the hearts of people in the state.
People in the State are looking for change:
- Local officials see a sense of fatigue and a yearning for change across the state.
- People in state want change and better governance.
- One such initiative called ‘Back to Village’ campaign was organized recently.
- One of the biggest achievements of the state was also the huge response to elections to urban local bodies and panchayats, which witnessed turnout of over 74%, despite boycott call by regional parties, Hurriyat and death treats issues by the terrorist organisations.
- The union home ministry is working on a multi-pronged strategy to win the hearts of people in Jammu & Kashmir, including:
- A strong push to development projects for generating employment opportunities
- Exposing local politicians involved in scams and serving their vested interests
Measures to win over people
I. Generating employment opportunities:
- Unemployment in the state is a major factor leading to distress among the youth.
- The state government is working hard to generate employment, and the centre is now seeking to push development projects for generating employment opportunities.
- The state has planned an investment summit in October, where it will also address the apprehensions of potential investors.
II. Exposing local politicians:
- To wean people away from the influence of separatists, the centre is set to publicise on a mass scale the double standards of separatists to expose them.
- At least 220 wards of 112 separatists and their sympathisers in the Valley, including Hurriyat leaders, are settled abroad.
- For example, Tahreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Ashraf Sehrai’s two sons , work in Saudi Arabia and are settled there.
- Son of Jamaat-e-Islami president Ghulam Muhammad Bhat is a doctor in Saudi Arabia. Dukhtaran-e-Millat’s Asiya Andrabi’s sons are studying abroad in Malaysia and Australia.
- This is in sharp contrast with their incitement to schoolchildren to engage in stone pelting and force closure of schools, and the calls for sacrifice and suffering.
III. Improved governance:
- The Home Minister has given clear instructions to encourage transparency in administration and to deal sternly with cases of corruption
- Expeditious efforts are being put in to make the administration accountable.
- Unnecessary departments will be shelved and senior officials are being asked to establish direct contact with common masses.
- Success of the ‘Back to Village’ programme is seen as a reflection of people’s improving trust in the administration.
‘Back to Village’ campaign:
- As part of the campaign, gazetted officers spent two days and a night in all 4,483 panchayats of the state.
- Terrorist Zakir Musa’s father was also one of the participants in the ‘back to village’ event at Dadsara in Tral area.
- Huge security cover was provided to officials visiting the villages, including in south Kashmir which is still in the grips of terrorism.
- Despite the need for security of officials, success of the ‘back to village’ event is seen as a major impetus to peace initiatives and efforts to weed out extremists from the state.