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Will the people of Kashmir embrace the winds of change that have been blowing across the country?

Written by Liz Mathew | Published: November 19, 2014 11:13:54 pm

BJP in the Valley

An editorial in the Organiser stated that the sooner the people of Jammu and Kashmir acknowledge the changing winds in India, the better it will be for them. “Now, the message within the state seems to be loud and clear: the separatist agenda has not paid off,” it opined.

It quoted Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s letter to Sheikh Abdullah in February 1953, which warned him of the “attempts that are being made by Pakistan to force a decision by disrupting the unity of the state” and that “once the ranks of the state people are divided, any solution can be foisted on them”. According to the weekly, the state’s leaders are “historically frozen” and still “hopeful of creating the situation” from Mookerjee’s warning.

It argued that the Lok Sabha election was a watershed moment in the state’s politics — the BJP won all three seats in the Jammu and Ladakh regions. In the Kashmir valley, where one could feel the presence of nationalist voices, the army’s rescue and rehabilitation works during the recent floods and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gesture to celebrate Diwali with the jawans have created goodwill in favour of the BJP, it argues. It expressed optimism on the possiblity ofa good showing for the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections. “Gradually, Pakistan and its support for the Kashmiri cause has also lost its appeal, with its internal situation worsening by the day,” it noted.

Uncoding tax

An article in the Organiser criticised the “tremendous amount of waste” in the Indian tax system. Pointing out that the consecutive governments had failed to generate revenue and the optimal use of available financial resources in implementing the policies of the government, the writer, Anil Gupta, an expert, suggested that a good cleaning of the system would yield an increase in revenue collection, which would help close part of the tax gap without major changes in the tax code. “The final success of Modi government is going to be decided by how effective a command it finally gains over the generation of tax revenues and how efficient it proves itself in getting the best mileage out of each rupee spent on its programmes,” he wrote. Data is important in policymaking, Gupta stated, and advised the government to “enhance and build analytical capacity both within and outside the government to ensure that each tax policy is vetted by more than one credible source and its impact is fully understood by all stakeholders”.

Winds of change

The Panchjanya also visited the elections in Jammu and Kashmir, arguing in an editorial that the five-phased election in the state is expected to alter all political equations in the state. “But will it remain New Delhi’s dream? Or will the people of Kashmir will also embrace the winds of change that have been blowing across the country?”, it asked.

Criticising PDP legislator Peerzada Mansoor’s statement that the state can have only a Muslim chief minister, the editorial stressed that it
was an attempt to mislead the masses. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir, after seeing the emergence of a strong government, seem to have made up their mind. It has to be seen what kind of a future they want — at one side its dynasty, pistols and passionate slogans, and at the other side is offering the bridge of social equalities, development programmes and an opportunity to walk along with the other states,” it concludes.

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