Ten days after the momentous passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, expressed his pride in the undoing of a 70-year wrong within 70 days of the formation of his new government, while addressing the nation on India's 73rd Independence Day, from New Delhi's Red Fort.
"After the formation of the new government, I have been blessed to address yet again from the Red Fort. It has not been even ten weeks yet, we have strengthened all fields and have fulfilled all the dreams of the people with which they voted us in power, without delay. The abrogation of article 370 and article 35A within ten weeks is an important step towards fulfilling Sardar Vallabhai Patel's dream," he said.
Talking about how article 370 and 35A was successfully rejected by the Parliament with thumping majority, he said that this move has given us a new responsibility of fulfilling Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh's dreams.
"Article 370 and 35A - What was the reason for keeping it? It is the identity of this government that we neither delay issues nor do we let it grow. The work which had not happened in the last 70 years, this government accomplished abrogation Article 370 and 35A within 70 days, with 2/3rd majority in both Parliamentary houses. It means that this issue was on everyone's mind, but everyone was wondering who will start it first? The citizens gave me this opportunity," he said.
"We progressed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Every government had done some work. But they could not get favourable result. Fulfilling the wishes of the residents of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh is our responsibility. For this,130 crore Indians must take this responsibility and we have aided in removing all obstacles in this matter," he added.
Talking about the benefits of the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, he said the twin articles strengthened corruption, terrorism, and dynasty rule. He added that now the state's citizens have received their rights, access to the Centre, as Indians all over have supported the move.
"For the last 70 years, this establishment (article 370 and 35A) has strengthened separatism, given birth to terrorism, nurtured dynasty rule and has given stronger roots to corruption and discrimination. To give opportunity and rights to women, Dalit citizens, tribals whether they are Gujjar, Bakarwal, Gaddhi, Sippi, Balti, and others in Jammu Kashmir, this move was necessary. One would be surprised that a legal restriction was put on the sanitation workers (in J&K), crushing their dreams. Today, we have done the work of giving them their freedom," he said.
"When partition happened many refugees settled here. Partition was not their fault. But those who settled in Jammu-Kashmir, they did not get citizenship and human rights. We wish to solve the issues of the 'Pahadi' people in Jammu-Kashmir as well," he added.
"Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir can be an inspiration to the nation for peace and prosperity. They can contribute a lot to India's development. We should all try to give it (J&K) its old glorious days. The new Bill which has been passed will aid in providing opportunities to the citizens of that area. A citizen of Jammu-Kashmir can ask the Delhi government without any hurdles. The entire nation has given their support by words or any other way in the abrogation of article 370 and article 35A," he said.
Slamming the previous governments of nurturing the temporary nature of Articles 370 and 35A, he said Opposition leaders supporting the article are worried about their own political futures and not the nation's future.
"But in the streets of politics, people who weigh (the decision) by the elections, have kept saying something in support of 35A. The nation is asking them, if this article 370 and 35A was so important and was going to change our fates, then for 70 years, inspite of having a huge majority, why did you all not make it permanent, keeping it temporary? If you were so convinced, you would have made it permanent. This means you also knew that what had happened was wrong, but you did not have the courage to undo it. You felt that there will be questions raised on your governance if you do so. But for me, the country's future is everything. Not my political future," he said.
Taking pride in finally integrating India, he said that Indians can now say 'One nation One Constitution'.
"Our forefathers who wrote the Constitution during the time of Independence had to take a lot of tough decisions for the integration of India. But because of article 370 and 35A, there were a lot of hurdles. Today, as I address the nation from the Red Fort, every citizen can proudly say 'One nation One Constitution'," he added.