Welcoming the outreach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Thursday said that its foot-prints should be felt at the ground level.“The Prime Minister’s outreach is a positive development”, Rana told reporters, at the sidelines of the flag-off a yatra here this morning, in response to a question on Modi’s Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort in the national capital.He said, time has come when hawks from the either side should be overtaken by doves to bring about a positive transformation in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He asserted that terrorism has no place in a civilized society.“There is immense need of applying balm on the wounds as never before to herald a new era of peace and tranquility in the state”, Rana said, adding that peaceful Jammu and Kashmir is imperative for overall national interest and preserving the idea of India. The Prime Minister, he said, has taken a big stride and it must be hoped that it will be responded positively by all the stake-holders, who owe to the posterity a prosperous, peaceful, progressive and forward looking Jammu and Kashmir.
“We must not allow ourselves to remain burdened by the baggage of the past and strive for a new beginning to ensure dignified way of life for the people and opening up of avenues of youth”, the Provincial President said and exuded confidence that the spirit of Modi’s sentiment will percolate down well and a situation is created for the people to be biggest stakeholders of peace. He said the atmosphere of despair has to be overtaken by the promise of hope and in this regard a crucial responsibility lies on the nation to be active partner in restoration of peace and confidence in the turbulent state.In this context, he solicited support of all the compatriots in clearing the mist of mistrust and strengthen the bonds of amity and brotherhood. He particularly appealed to intelligentsia to play their crucial role and help build the bridges of trust rather than demolishing the hopes by indulging in jingoism from television chat rooms. “We sincerely hope the responsible panelists on television to demonstrate highest tradition of resilience the Indian nation is known for than indulging in rhetoric and provocations”, he maintained.
To a question on Article 35A, the Provincial President said it has to be preserved for being shield to unique Dogra culture and identity besides their economic interests. “It is also important to uphold this constitutional guarantee to preserve Dogra race, its speech, its history, its legends and its tradition, in the multi religious, multilingual, multi-racial, multi traditional canvas of India.Rana reiterated that any attempt to remove Article 35A will be instrumental in squeezing employment opportunities for enterprising Dogra youth by paving way for the youth of the other states to usurp their jobs, making admissions in the professional academic courses fiercely competitive and difficult, depriving them of the concessions in recruitment in the security forces, denying scholarships and other financial assistance to students and other categories of people. More importantly, he said, the business avocations of marginal and medium level traders will be in jeopardy with people from the immediate neighbouring states settling posing huge competition. He exuded confidence that sagacious people of Jammu will resist any move of tampering with the Article 35A.Earlier, amid recitation of religious hymens and in spiritual ambience, the MLA Nagrota flagged off a batch of devotees for the Yatra from here. (KNS)