APRIL 16, 2023
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accomplished Sardar Patel’s unfinished task in Jammu & Kashmir.
Speaking as chief guest at “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” celebration here, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel played a pivotal role in the integration of more than 560 princely states to constitute the post-independence Indian Union. Unfortunately, Patel was not allowed to handle Jammu & Kashmir because the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru thought that he knew J&K better. Later, Nehru also declared a unilateral ceasefire and thus prevented Indian forces from retrieving back the present ‘Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir’(PoJK) from the Pak intruders, he said.
The Minister further said, had Sardar Patel been given a free hand, the history of Indian subcontinent would have been different. PoJK would not have been there, whole of Jammu & Kashmir would have been a part of India and this issue would not have lingered on for so many decades, he said.
The anomaly of Article 370 and 35A, said Dr Jitendra Singh, persisted for more than 70 years and the nation had to wait for Prime Minister Modi to come and do the course correction. Therein lies the significance of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and it is a providential coincidence that the vision of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ was declared by Prime Minister Modi on 31st October, 2015 which happened to be the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that in J&K, in the garb of Article 370, those who were votaries of the Article were actually misusing it to sustain themselves in power. Otherwise, what was the political logic of holding back social reforms like the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 etc. if not to appease certain sections of society for vote bank, he asked.
Talking about the North East of India, Dr Jitendra Singh said that before 2014, North East used to show up in the news for all the wrong reasons mainly encounters, Dharnas, road blockades, poor rail and road connectivity and violence. But all that has dramatically changed. In the last 9 years, Prime Minister Modi has visited the North East more than 60 times which may be more than the total number of visits made by all the previous PMs put together. He added that earlier governments took North East for granted but today the region is a model of ‘Vikas’ for the rest of the country.
The Minister further added that Prime Minister Modi has won the trust of the people of North East by ensuring all round development in the region. Now the youth of North East are in high demand throughout the country for their skill and are excelling in different fields. Business houses are looking upto North East as an attractive destination for investment. For example, a small Northeastern state like Mizoram with a population of hardly 10 lakh has set up Indian’s subcontinent’s first-of-its-kind specialised “Citrus Food Park” with Israel’s collaboration which has been hailed as a “Centre of Excellence”.
Dr Jitendra Singh concluded by saying that the new political culture brought in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi coupled with the tremendous pace in development has broken the mental and physical barriers, and united the country as ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.