Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday, officially ceased to be a state. From now on, it will be divided into two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and its flag no longer exist as the Centre has scrapped special status accorded to the region.
Governors of the two new UTs are, G C Murmu for J&K and R K Mathur for Ladakh. Meanwhile, Girish Chandra Murmu took oath as the first Lt. Governor of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. RK Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Ladakh, after taking oath said, "Development is composite, efforts will be made to carry out development work in all areas. A development package will be made, and education & health will play an important role in it."
The Centre's August 5 move has been criticised by politicians from the Kashmir valley, most of whom were under house arrest or detention. Terrorist activities are gaining ground, with most targeting non-Kashmiri truck drivers and workers from outside the region.
Incidentally, this is the first time in the history of India that a state is being turned into a UT.
Here are a few key points of the speech Union home minister Amit Shah delivered in the Rajya Sabha:
- "I want to tell people of J&K what damage 370 & 35A did to the state. It’s because of these sections that democracy was never fully implemented, corruption increased in the state and no development could take place."
- "We don’t believe in politics of religion, what about vote bank politics? Do only Muslims live in Kashmir? Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists all live there. If 370 is good it is good for all, if it is bad then it is bad for all.”
- "Ayushman Bharat scheme is there but where are the hospitals? Where are doctors and nurses? (in Kashmir) Those supporting Article 370 & 35A please tell me which prominent and specialist doctor will go and live there and practice? He can’t own land or house and his children can’t vote.”
- “Ghulam Nabi Azad said inter-state marriages are taking place. If a J&K girl marries a man from Odisha, will she and her child get any rights in J&K?”
- “You stand here in Parliament and say bloodshed will happen in Kashmir… what message are you sending to the valley? You want them to continue living in the 18th-century system? Don’t people there have the right to live in the 21st century? Those who provoke have kids studying in London and the US.”
- “Jawaharlal Nehru Ji also said ‘370 Ghiste-Ghiste Ghis Jaayegi, Magar 370 ko Itne Jatan Se Sambhalke Rakha, 70 Saal hue, Ghisi Nahi’. Everyone accepts it’s a temporary provision, but can temporary continue for 70 years, when will it go, how will it go?”