Updated: August 22, 2021 7:04:41 am
Saying that no force was used to show a semblance of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir on the second anniversary of the revocation of the state’s special status on August 5 this year, J&K Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha said Saturday that if Pakistan used the terror of a gun to shut the state down, there was nothing wrong if he used the stick to counter it.
And that as long as he was there, there would be no compromise on this “fine line.”
“People told me there would be a bandh on August 5. It didn’t strike me that August 5 was some important date… But with God’s grace, there was no bandh. A journalist told me at the end of the day that I have used the baton to ensure there was no bandh. I argued that all traffic was running and people, in large numbers were shopping…Ye sab dande ke jor se nahi ho sakta hai. Lekin agar aap maante hain, to main ise sweekar karta hun. Bandh bhi to Pakistan aur atankwaad ki bandook se hota tha. Agar maine dande ka prayog kiya to kuch bura nahin (All this was not possible through baton. But if you think it was, then I accept it. After all, the bandh is enforced by Pakistan and the gun of a terrorist. So if I have used the baton, I did no wrong.)”
Sinha was speaking at an event here to launch a book ‘Kashmir: The War of Narratives’ by journalist Bashir Assad.
Elaborating on his statement, Sinha added: “I believe this should be very clear that this is the fine line and no one is allowed to cross it… And until the time I am there, this is going to be the stand. There will be no compromise.”
Alleging that some “self-appointed experts on Kashmir,” were trying to create a narrative at the international level. Sinha said: “It is important to move away from these misconceptions. It is important to look at what the people want and how their lives can be made better.”
Comparing J&K with other states, Sinha suggested that dearth of finances wasn’t the issue.
“Whenever J&K is spoken about, it is said it is backward and underdeveloped. It’s important to understand J&K in the right context. J&K has a population of 1.25-1.30 crore. Last year the budget for Jammu and Kashmir was Rs 1.10 lakh crore. Now let’s take Bihar and UP, also considered backward. Against a population of around 12 crore, Bihar has a budget of Rs 2.18 lakh crore. UP has a population of 23 crore and a budget of Rs 5.5 lakh crore. So per capita allocation in Jammu and Kashmir is nine to ten times of these states. And this has been the case since Independence,” Sinha said.
“Young students come and tell me they have done M.Tech and are waiting for a government job. Students need to come out of this mentality,” Sinha said.
He said the government had started a programme where two young applicants were identified in each panchayat for self-employment. “There are 4,295 panchayats. We estimated there would be 10,000 candidates. But it has gone up to 20,000. Everyone got a loan of Rs 10 lakh. Now we have a target of 50,000 for this year,” he said.
Sinha said the power situation in J&K still needed improvement and the current cost-revenue ratio was unsustainable. “It’s a challenge to provide 20-22 hours of power in Jammu and Srinagar. We tried but in Jammu situation has not improved. Many transmission projects have been pending since the last 17 years,” he said.
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