After the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the government has advertised more than 20,000 jobs to engage the youth, who for the past many years were waiting for a job package. The promises that were made to the aspiring candidates by the erstwhile political regimes proved to be mere lip service. However, after the Centre’s historic August 5, 2019, decision to reorganize J&K into a Union Territory all possible efforts were put to empower the youth and end their disillusionment.
Sincere attempts of the government are clearly visible. Empowering youth has been the priority. Besides filling up the vacancies in the government departments through a transparent recruitment process, the administration has created new job avenues by inviting various business houses to invest in the Union Territory. Youth are getting all the possible support to become entrepreneurs. The ones who are interested in sports, music and other activities have been provided with different platforms to display their talent. All this is being done to ensure that J&K youth excel and do something constructive with their lives. The J&K youth have responded positively as the stone-pelting and street protests in Kashmir have become a history. The recruitment of local boys in militant ranks too has declined.
Guns, drugs versus prosperity
J&K youth rejecting the idea of separatism and choosing careers has perturbed Pakistan, which has been sending guns, drugs and militants into the Himalayan region for the past three decades. India’s neighbour seems unhappy with the J&K youth not showing much inclination towards fighting its proxy war.
The J&K youth seem to have realised that Pakistan is neither their well wisher nor their friend as it has not given them anything except bloodshed, violence and graveyards. On the other hand India since 1947 has not left any stone unturned to turn J&K into a prosperous region. These efforts have gained momentum after J&K’s complete merger with Union of India, two years ago. The people of J&K have understood that Pakistan has nothing to offer except violence and hate.
Entire world has acknowledged that Pakistan is a failed state — a breeding ground for terrorism — while on the other hand India figures in the list of developed countries in the world.
In 1990, Pakistan launched a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir by sending the armed militants into the Valley. Since then it has been trying its best to avenge the defeats it has suffered at the hands of the Indian Army in the conventional wars it has fought with India. For the past three decades the neighbouring country has turned Kashmir into a battlefield. Radicalising local youth and pushing them towards guns and drugs have been the only things which the people sitting across the Line of Control have been pursuing for the 30-long years.
Change after 2014
Till 2014, when Narendra Modi, took over as the Prime Minister of India, the neighbouring country didn’t face any stiff opposition from the political leadership in New Delhi as the former dispensations at the Centre always expressed their willingness to hold a dialogue to resolve all the issues. But after 2014, India’s policy changed and the leadership made it clear that “terror and talks” cannot go together. PM Modi made an honest attempt to end the animosity between the two countries but Pakistan didn’t show any sincerity.
During the past seven years many things have changed in J&K but the past two years have seen significant developments. After August 5, 2019, New Delhi has not shown any inclination towards talking to Pakistan and the traditional Kashmiri leaders.
Instead it has focused on people of Kashmir, especially youth. The mantra has worked as the J&K youth are emerging as role models and are achieving the feats that they had not even imagined just two years before.
Common complaint redressed
Till 2019 a common complaint the youth had was that the government jobs were not being advertised despite posts being vacant in different departments. To address this issue the J&K government in May last year constituted a panel to accelerate the recruitment process in the Union Territory. The committee was assigned with the task to look out for vacancies in various departments and for supervising the recruitment process. In March this year 22,379 posts were identified. In phase-I, the committee found 10,000 class-IV vacancies in various government departments. It also located 12,379 gazetted and non-gazetted vacancies including 533 gazetted and 11,846 non-gazetted vacancies under phase-II of accelerated recruitment drive. And since then the process to fill these post has been going on at a fast pace.
J&K Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta recently chaired a meeting in Jammu to review the recruitment process in the Union Territory and directed the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) and Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC)-premiere recruitment agencies of the government- to complete the exercise by end of the current financial year.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, has promised that in a few years 5 lakh jobs will be created for the youth. The LG stated that the administration led by him has chalked out major development plans like generating 3500 megawatt electricity, introducing reforms through land laws, organising more structured apple farming through high-density plantation, bringing industry reforms through the new industrial policy, attracting Rs 20,000 crore investment and creating 5 lakh jobs.
“J&K is close to my heart because every step for development can affect real change to millions of people, besides transforming lives for the better. The well-being of all the citizens is my first & foremost duty and mission,” Sinha had said.
If one compares India’s “Mission Kashmir” with Pakistan’s idea of Kashmir there is a big difference. India wants to turn J&K into one of the prosperous regions in the world, while Pakistan aims to send it into darkness and uncertainty by creating chaos and confusion. It wants the people of Kashmir to become cannon fodder for its own war, while India wants them to shine like stars and achieve whatever they want. These glaring realities have become clear to the people of Kashmir. They have realised that their future is secure with India and Pakistan is no option.