There are yardsticks such as law and order, financial position and socio-political parameters to measure whether the economy of a country is stable. Over the past eight years, the Narendra Modi-led government has achieved stability on all fronts.
In the previous regimes there were disturbances in the country. Terrorist and violent incidents were reported from one part of the country or the other. The North-East as well as the states of Punjab and Kashmir experienced turbulence. Controlling Maoists was not an easy task to accomplish.
After Modi assumed power, peace has prevailed in the country. People of the North-Eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – are leading a peaceful life. Infiltration of extremists into the North-East region was at its peak during the previous regimes. No trace of development could be found there. However, the Modi government took measures mainly to attract people of other regions to the North-East and safeguard their language and culture. It has resolved disputes among the North-Eastern states and taken steps to ensure peace across the region. The government struck an accord with the Bodos – who had been agitating since 1960 to divide Assam — in January 2020. By virtue of the accord, 1,615 secessionists surrendered to the Union government. A large cache of weapons, ammunition was recovered. Because of large-scale communal riots that had taken place during 1997-98, the minorities of Mizoram state had migrated in large numbers to Tripura. To bring the curtains down on the 23-year-old contentious issue, the Union government reached Bru-Reang Accord in January 2020. Over 37,000 refugees were able to find a permanent place. By virtue of the accord reached with the National Liberation Front of Tripura in August 2019, many extremists surrendered to the police along with weapons.
The history of Karbis in Assam is full of violence, kidnaps and extortions. The government struck the Karbi-Anglong Accord on September 4, 1921. Over 1,000 armed guerrillas shunned violence and joined the national mainstream. A historic accord was reached on March 29, 2022, to resolve the Assam-Meghalaya boundary dispute.
To fulfill the demand of the people of the region, the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) is being phased out gradually in the region. In 60% of the area of the region, the AFSPA is not applicable. In several districts of Manipur and Nagaland, the disturbed areas have been de-notified, and AFSA has been withdrawn from there. The AFSPA is still prevalent in only three districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Act was completely withdrawn from Tripura and Meghalaya. Violent incidents involving secessionists have come down by 80%. The deaths of people due to such violence have been eliminated to the extent of 90%.
As part of the Act East policy of the state government, with the objective to turn the North-East into a major economic corridor, measures have been initiated to integrate the region with the South-East Asia. The budgetary allocation to the North-East in 2022-23 was Rs 76,040 crore as against Rs 36,108 crore in 2014-15, registering a whopping 110 per cent increase.
The situation in J and K is also improving. After nearly three decades, students can freely go to schools. Stone pelting incidents of violent mob have come down. Hartaals, dharnas and bandhs are on the wane. Greater Kashmir daily, quoting various successes achieved in 2022 in J and K, noted good-governance, development and tourism development achieved remarkable progress. Doing away with Article 370 of the Constitution helped regulate the administration. Also, agriculture, fruit trade, handicrafts are back on the rails.
Various reforms initiated by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and his transparent and accountable administration have brought a sea-change in the lives of people. The J and K administration has reached agreements with various organisations attracting investments to the tune of Rs 13,600 crore. It allocated lands to industries. A special corporation has been constituted to ensure completion of various projects. The hydro-power projects, which had been set aside for over five decades, are being executed at a fast pace. The number of MBBS seats in the state has almost doubled to 955 from 500. The tallest railway bridge on River Chenab was executed successfully in April 2022. The right to own property by women marrying non-locals has been restored.
The Prime Minister himself launched projects worth Rs 20,000 crore. Baramullah, which once was a terrorist hub, has now become a tourist center. With the delimitation of constituencies in 2022, all is set for the conduct of elections in J and K. The number of youth joining terrorist camps has come down. Smuggling of narcotic drugs across the border from Pakistan into Kashmir has been checked. Youth have clear perspective about the impact of terrorism.
It is heartening to note the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have been staging protests for over two weeks now demanding merger of the region with India. People of PoK feel that merger of the region with the Indian Union would help improve their living standards due to severe shortage of wheat flour in Pakistan, revolt in Baluchistan, clashes on Pak-Afghan border, attacks on Pak Taliban, severe economic crisis, and unemployment.
People want to see stable governance in the country under the leadership of Modi, bidding adieu to anarchic and family rule of the Congress and other regional parties. In this backdrop, the BJP national executive meeting convened in Delhi on January 16 and 17 to give directions to the party rank and file assumes significance. The BJP will win the hearts of people through a positive vote.