Power of development stronger than might of bullets & bombs: PM on Kashmir

‘People want good governance, eager to join mainstream’
Modi lauds ‘B2V Prog’, highest yatra in 4 years
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that people in Kashmir want good governance and are eager to join the national mainstream which proves the dictum that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs and declared that those wishing to spread hatred in the path of development will never succeed in their sinister plans.
In his second edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on All India Radio in Modi 2.0 Government, the Prime Minister was all praise for Jammu and Kashmir’s ‘Back 2 Village’ Programme launched last month saying this was unique opportunity for the people to inter-act with the officers not only in the remote areas but in sensitive districts like Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag (all in South Kashmir) and the border districts, which were sometimes affected by the cross-border firing.
“A new resolve, a new fervor and grand results,” the Prime Minister said referring to ‘Back 2 Village’ Programme and added that the programmes like these and people’s participation or stakeholding indicates that our brothers and sisters in Kashmir want good governance and proves the dictum that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs.
“It is clear that those who wish to spread hatred en route to development and pose hurdles will never succeed in their sinister plans,” Modi said.
Maintaining that the people of Kashmir open heartedly became equal stakeholders in this festival (Back 2 Village Programme), the Prime Minister said the most heartening aspect of the programmes was the fact that it was organized in such remote villages, where even officials had to traverse difficult terrain and climb mountains while walking on foot over a period of day or day and a half.
“These officials also reached the Panchayats on the border which live under the shadow of cross-border firing. Not only this, the officials reached the sensitive villages in the districts of Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag, without any fear,” he said referring to the success of `Back 2 Village Programme’ even in militancy-infested districts of South Kashmir.
Asserting that the people of Kashmir are eager to join the national mainstream, the Prime Minister said their enthusiasm is reflected in the mechanism of this programme.
“For the first time, senior officials reached the villages, directly, even those officials who had never visited a village were available to the villagers at their doorsteps, to judge for themselves to gauge the obstacles in the path of progress and to remove the hurdles. This week long programme encompassing about 4500 Panchayats (in Jammu and Kashmir) witnessed the Government officials briefing the villages about the schemes and programmes implemented by the Government and also inquired where these facilities were available to them or not,” he added.
Modi said some officers were so overwhelmed by the reception they received that they decided to extend their stay up to two days in these villages. “The organizing of Gram Sabhas in these villages wherein the people participated in large numbers and chalked out schemes for themselves is something that is an extremely pleasant experience,” he added.
“How to impart more might to the Panchayats? How to increase their income? And how the facilities rendered by the Panchayats can affect the day to day life, were topics that were discussed and people too interacted in a participatory fashion telling about their problems. Literacy, sex ratio, health hygiene, water, conservation, electricity, water, girl education, senior citizens’ concern etc were some of the topics that were discussed at length (in the Back 2 Village Programme),” the Prime Minister said.
Pointing out that this programme was not a mere Government formality that officials roam around the village and return the base, he said: “Instead of this, the officials spent two days and night at the Panchayats enabling them to spent time in the village, meet almost every denizen of the village and reach across to every establishment. To make this programme even more interesting, many other means were employed. Many sports competitions for kids were organized under the aegis of `Khelo India’. Sports kits, MNREGA job cards and SC/ST certificates were distributed.
“Then there were financial literacy camps and Agriculture and Horticulture Departments set up stalls where knowledge about the Government schemes was disseminated. In this manner, the programme became a festival celebrating development…a festival of people’s participation and a festival of people’s awakening”.
Modi made a special mention of Mohammad Aslam of Shopian district in Kashmir saying few days ago he read very interesting comment on `My Gov’, which came from Aslam.
He quoted the lines of Aslam written on `My Gov’, which read: “I like listening to the programme Mann Ki Baat. I am happy to let you know that I played a positive and active role in organizing the community mobilization progress–Back to Village in my State Jammu and Kashmir. This programme was organized in the month of June. I feel such programmes should be organized every quarter. Simultaneously, there should be a provision for online monitoring too. According to me, this was one of a kind programme where the public directly entered into a dialogue with the Government”.
Modi said: “Brother Mohammad Aslam Ji had sent me a message upon reading which I felt curious to know more about the ‘Back To Village’ Programme and when I got to know it at length, I felt the entire nation should get to know about this programme”.
The Prime Minister also referred to ongoing annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnath Ji in South Kashmir Himalayas noting the yatra has been the highest in past four years. He lauded hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in successful yatra.
“You will be glad to learn that number of the pilgrims in the Amarnath yatra this year has been the highest in the past four years. A total of 3 lakh pilgrims have had darshan of the holy Amarnath Ji shrine from Ist July (when the pilgrimage started) till now,” Modi said and recalled that in 2015, the number of devotees, who performed this pilgrimage over 60 days duration has been crossed in mere 28 days this year.
Lauding the hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir while referring to successful organization of Amarnath Ji yatra, the Prime Minister said: “Those who return after performing this pilgrimage become imbued with the feelings of warmth and kinship displayed by the people of the State. These are portents of booming tourism in the State”.