Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Article 370 had created “an artificial wall” separating Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the country and its abrogation on August 5 was fulfillment of Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel’s dream project to unite India. The Prime Minister was speaking on Thursday at an event in Gujarat to mark India’s first home minister’s 144th anniversary, celebrated as the National unity day.
Prime Minister said a “new age of political stability” and development has dawned in the restructured Jammu and Kashmir where Block Development Council (BDC) elections were held recently for the first time after Independence.
“New highways, railway lines, new hospitals, new colleges will take people of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh to new heights,” the Prime Minister said hours after the state of Jammu and Kashmir was officially bifurcated into two Union territories at the stroke of midnight on Wednesday.
“In three decades, over 40,000 people had lost their lives due to terrorism in J&K that had Article 370. How long could the country witness the death of so many innocent people? The wall has been broken down, and Sardar Patel’s dream has come true.” PM Modi said after watching Ekta Diwas Parade in a ground in Gujarat’s Kevadia, adjacent to Patel’s 182-metre long Statue of Unity- the world’s tallest.
Prime Minister added that Sardar Patel had said he would have sorted out the J&K problem, had he been given the responsibility for its integration.
“Today, on his birth anniversary, I dedicate the historic decision taken on Aug 5 to Sardar Patel,” Modi said.
In an indirect reference to the proxy war of terrorism waged by Pakistan, Modi said the forces fanning separatism and terrorism will be defeated by a united India.
“Those who can’t defeat us in wars are trying to make a dent in our age-old unity by stoking separatism and terrorism. Such forces forget that they have been defeated in the past by our unity. 130-crore united Indians need to fight such forces and that alone will be the true tribute to Patel,” he said and added, “Our enemies fear India’s unity the most.“
He also made an indirect reference to the ongoing peace talks with the rebel Naga groups in the northeast and said its “impending success” will further integrate India.
“The physical and emotional connection between the northeast and the rest of India was questioned on several occasions. That situation has changed. The problems that stood for decades are headed towards getting solved.“
The prime minister said unity in diversity was integral to India’s identity and the country had derived its strength from its plurality since ages and never saw it as a source of contradictions. He added that the Indians took pride in different cultures, languages and religions and celebrating the diversity helped develop brotherhood and love among communities.
Source from HT media