J&K is not just a place, it is the head of India: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | March 7, 2024 | 12:20 IST
Dedicates to nation Holistic Agriculture Development Programme worth about Rs 5000 crores
Dedicates and launches 52 tourism sector projects worth more than Rs 1400 crores under Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Scheme
Dedicates to nation project for ‘Integrated Development of Hazratbal Shrine’ Srinagar
Announces tourist destinations selected under Challenge Based Destination Development Scheme
Launches ‘Dekho Apna Desh People’s Choice 2024’ and ‘Chalo India Global Diaspora Campaign’
Distributes appointment orders to new Government recruits of J&K
“Modi will not leave any stone unturned to repay this debt of affection. I am doing all this hard work to win your hearts and I believe that I am on the right path”
“Power of development, potential of tourism, capabilities of farmers and leadership of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir will pave the way for Viksit Jammu Kashmir”
“Jammu Kashmir is not just a place, Jammu Kashmir is the head of India. And a head held high is a symbol of development and respect. Therefore, Viksit Jammu and Kashmir is the priority of Viksit Bharat”
“Today, Jammu and Kashmir are breaking all tourism records"
“Jammu and Kashmir is a huge brand in itself”
“Today Jammu and Kashmir is touching new heights of development because Jammu and Kashmir is breathing freely today. This freedom from restrictions has come after the abrogation of Article 370”

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Manoj Sinha ji, my cabinet colleague Dr. Jitendra Singh ji, my esteemed parliamentary colleague and the son of this soil, Ghulam Ali ji, and my dear brothers and sisters of Jammu and Kashmir!

Words fail to capture the feeling of being in this paradise on earth, experiencing this unparalleled beauty of nature, breathing this pristine air, and being embraced by the warmth of your love, my Kashmiri brothers and sisters!

Governor Saheb mentioned that people from all over Jammu and Kashmir are gathered outside the stadium, while nearly one lakh individuals from 285 blocks connected through technology. Today, I extend my heartfelt greetings to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. This is the new Jammu and Kashmir that we have eagerly waited for decades. This is the new Jammu and Kashmir that Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee sacrificed his life for. The future of this new Jammu and Kashmir shines bright; this new Jammu & Kashmir holds the confidence to overcome challenges. Your smiling faces are witnessed by the entire nation, and today, 140 crore countrymen feel a sense of relief.


We just listened to the speech by Manoj Sinha ji. He articulated the points with such eloquence and detail regarding the matter of development that perhaps no further speeches are required. However, your overwhelming love and presence here, with lakhs of people joining, fills me with equal joy and gratitude. Modi will spare no effort in repaying this debt of love. On every visit since 2014, I have consistently expressed my commitment to winning your hearts, and day by day, I see progress towards achieving that goal. And I will continue my effort towards winning your heart even in the future. And this is 'Modi's Guarantee'! And as you know, Modi's guarantee means the guarantee of fulfilling the promises.


Not long ago, I visited Jammu, where I launched projects related to infrastructure and education worth Rs 32,000 crores. Today, in a brief period, I have the privilege of being in Srinagar to meet you all. Here, I have the honour of laying foundation stones and inaugurating numerous projects focused on tourism and development. Additionally, schemes related to the agricultural sector have been dedicated to our farmers, and 1000 young individuals have received appointment letters for government jobs. The potential of development, the prospects of tourism, the capabilities of our farmers, and the leadership of the youth in Jammu and Kashmir are all pivotal in building a 'developed Jammu and Kashmir'. Jammu and Kashmir is more than just a geographical area; it represents the 'Head' of Bharat, symbolizing Bharat's dignity. And a head held high signifies progress and honour. Therefore, a developed Jammu and Kashmir is paramount to achieving a developed Bharat.


There was a time when the laws applied to the rest of the country did not use to be extended to Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly, while welfare schemes for the poor were rolled out nationwide, the benefits often did not reach my brothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir. However, times have changed drastically. Today, initiatives have been launched here in Srinagar that benefit not only the local residents but also the entire nation. Srinagar is spearheading new tourism initiatives, not just for Jammu and Kashmir, but for the whole country. Hence, apart from the people of Jammu and Kashmir, people from over 50 other cities across the country are also connected with us today. So, the nation is connected to Srinagar. Today, six projects have been inaugurated under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme along with its next phase. Under this, 30 projects have been launched for Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. Furthermore, three projects have been initiated under the PRASAD Yojana, alongside an additional 14 projects. Development initiatives at the sacred Hazratbal Dargah have also been completed for the convenience of people. Moreover, the government has identified over 40 locations to be developed as tourist destinations within the next two years. A unique campaign, the 'Dekho Apna Desh People's Choice' campaign has been inaugurated today, wherein people from across the country can go online and nominate places worth visiting. The most popular destinations will be developed further as tourist attractions by the government, with public participation in the decision-making process. Starting today, we are encouraging Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) worldwide to promote tourism in India through the 'Chalo India' campaign. NRIs are urged to invite at least five non-Indian families to visit Bharat. Additionally, under the 'Chalo India' campaign, a website has been launched to motivate people living abroad to visit India. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are set to reap significant benefits from these schemes and campaigns. Furthermore, I am working towards another objective: urging Indian tourists to contribute to the local economy during their travels. I advise tourists to allocate at least 5-10% of their total travel budget to purchasing local products wherever they go. This not only boosts local income and employment but also fosters sustainable tourism. It's not just about visiting; it's about supporting the local economy. I, too, have followed this practice during my visit to Srinagar today. I saw something good and decided to purchase it. This initiative aims to strengthen the local economy.


With the implementation of these schemes, the tourism industry in this region will flourish, creating new employment opportunities. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to my brothers and sisters of Jammu and Kashmir for these development endeavours. Now, I would like to introduce you to a new initiative. This region has long been a favoured destination for film shoots. My next mission is to promote weddings in Bharat. People often spend significant amounts of money to get married abroad. However, I propose the concept of 'Wed in India,' encouraging people to consider hosting their weddings in India. People should grow that desire to hold their weddings in Jammu & Kashmir. By hosting weddings here, families can enjoy lavish celebrations for three to four days, providing livelihood opportunities for locals. I am dedicated to supporting this campaign.

And friends,

When intentions are pure and there is a commitment to achieve goals, results inevitably follow. The world witnessed the successful organization of the G-20 Summit here in Jammu and Kashmir. Previously, there were doubts about Jammu and Kashmir's potential as a tourist destination. However, today, all tourism records are being broken in the region. In 2023 alone, over 2 crore tourists visited. The highest number of pilgrims participated in the Amarnath Yatra in the last decade. Devotees are flocking to Vaishno Devi in unprecedented numbers. Foreign tourist arrivals have also more than doubled compared to previous years. Notably, even prominent personalities and foreign dignitaries are drawn to Kashmir, capturing the beauty of its valleys in videos and reels, which then go viral.


In addition to tourism, agriculture and agricultural products play a significant role in Jammu and Kashmir. The saffron, apples, dry fruits, and cherries of Jammu and Kashmir have established it as a prominent brand. The agricultural development programmes, with an investment of Rs 5,000 crore, will further bolster this sector over the next five years, particularly benefiting horticulture and livestock. During my recent conversation with Sister Hamida, we discussed the potential boost animal husbandry will receive from this initiative, which will also create thousands of new job opportunities. The Government of India has already disbursed approximately Rs 3,000 crore directly into farmers' accounts through the Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. Moreover, efforts to enhance storage capacity in Jammu and Kashmir, including the recent launch of the world's largest storage scheme, will contribute to preserving fruits and vegetables for extended periods. Numerous new warehouses will also be constructed in the region as part of this initiative.


Jammu and Kashmir is rapidly advancing on the path of development. The region will soon have not one but two AIIMS facilities, with AIIMS Jammu already inaugurated and work on AIIMS Kashmir progressing swiftly. Additionally, seven new medical colleges and two major cancer hospitals have been established. Modern educational institutions like IIT and IIM have also been established, and two Vande Bharat trains are now operational in Jammu and Kashmir. Train service from Srinagar to Sangaldan and from Sangaldan to Baramulla has also started. Expanded connectivity has boosted economic activities, and efforts are underway to develop Jammu and Srinagar into smart cities through new infrastructure projects. In the future, Jammu and Kashmir's success story will undoubtedly attract global attention. You might have heard on the radio, I often highlight the achievements of Jammu and Kashmir in my Mann Ki Baat programme, discussing initiatives such as cleanliness campaigns and the region's rich handicrafts and craftsmanship. For instance, I once dedicated a segment of Mann Ki Baat to the intricacies of Nadru or lotus stem. Lotuses are seen everywhere in the lakes here. Notably, the lotus, which is also the symbol of the BJP, holds a significant presence in Jammu and Kashmir, even adorning the logo of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, emphasizing the deep-rooted connection between the region and the lotus.


Our government is steadfastly working towards advancing the youth of Jammu and Kashmir in every sphere. From skill development to sports, new opportunities are being created for the youth. Presently, modern sports facilities are being established in every district of Jammu and Kashmir. Multi-purpose indoor sports halls have been constructed in 17 districts. Over the years, Jammu and Kashmir has been the host to numerous national sports tournaments. Now, it is emerging as the winter sports capital of the country – this is the Jammu and Kashmir I envision. Recently, nearly 1000 players from across the country participated in the Khelo India Winter Games.


Today, Jammu and Kashmir is scaling new heights of development, as it breathes freely. This liberation from restrictions followed the abrogation of Article 370. For decades, Congress and its allies misled the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the nation in the name of Article 370 for political gain. Whether Jammu and Kashmir truly benefited from Article 370 or if it merely served the interests of certain political families, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have come to realize the truth – they were misled. Article 370 kept Jammu and Kashmir shackled for the benefit of a select few families. Today, with its revocation, the talent of Jammu and Kashmir's youth is being duly recognized, and they are being presented with new opportunities. Equal rights and opportunities are now accessible to all. Previously disenfranchised groups, such as refugees from Pakistan, Valmiki community members, and sanitation workers, who were denied voting rights for 70 years, now enjoy them. The long-standing demand of the Valmiki community to be included in the SC category has been fulfilled. Additionally, seats have been reserved in the Assembly for Scheduled Tribes. Also, the communities like the 'Paddari tribe', 'Pahari ethnic group', 'Gadda Brahmin', and 'Koli' have been recognized as Scheduled Tribes. Our government has ensured reservation for Other Backward Classes in Panchayats, Municipalities, and Municipal Corporations. 'Parvivarvaadi' (dynastic) parties deprived the people of Jammu and Kashmir of these rights for decades. Today, every section of society is getting its rights back.


Our J&K Bank has suffered greatly from nepotism and corruption in Jammu and Kashmir. Previous governments spared no effort to undermine this bank, filling the posts with their relatives and nephews, which crippled its operations. Mismanagement led to significant losses, putting thousands of crores of rupees at risk – the money of the poor, the hard-earned money of Kashmir's people, including you, my brothers and sisters. To rescue J&K Bank, our government implemented a series of reforms and provided financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore. We also took stringent action against wrongful recruitments in the bank with the Anti-Corruption Bureau investigating thousands of such cases even today. Over the past five years, thousands of youngsters in Jammu and Kashmir have secured bank jobs through transparent processes. Today, due to the government's persistent efforts, J&K Bank has regained strength. The profitability of this once struggling bank, as evidenced by Modi's Guarantee, has now reached Rs 1700 crore. This is your money, rightfully yours, while Modi stands guard like a sentinel. Five years ago, the bank's total business had dwindled to just Rs 1.25 lakh crore. Presently, it has surpassed Rs 2.25 lakh crore, nearly doubling its size. Similarly, five years ago, deposits had declined by Rs 80 thousand crores, now nearly doubling in size to exceed Rs 1.25 lakh crore. The bank's Non-Performing Assets (NPA) ratio, which crossed 11 percent five years ago, has now decreased to below 5 percent. Over the past five years, J&K Bank's share price has surged nearly twelvefold, from Rs 12 to approximately Rs 140. With an honest government committed to public welfare, challenges can be overcome, ensuring the people's well-being.


Jammu and Kashmir has long suffered from dynastic politics since independence. Those displeased with the country's and Jammu and Kashmir's development are resorting to personal attacks against me. They claim Modi has no family, but the nation is giving them a befitting response. Across the country, people are declaring, "I am Modi's family!" I have always regarded Jammu and Kashmir as my family – family resides in the heart and mind. That's why Kashmiris share this sentiment – "I am Modi's family! I am Modi's family!" Modi is leaving his family with the assurance that the development journey of Jammu and Kashmir will continue relentlessly. Jammu and Kashmir will develop more rapidly in the next 5 years.


Ramadan, the month of tranquility and devotion, is set to commence shortly. From the soil of Jammu and Kashmir, I extend heartfelt wishes to the entire nation as we approach this sacred month. May the essence of peace and unity embodied by Ramadan resonate with everyone.

And my friends,

This land has been sanctified by the footsteps of Adi Shankaracharya. Tomorrow marks the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri, and I extend my warmest greetings to you and all our fellow countrymen on this auspicious festival. Once again, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of you for these projects today. It is truly an honour for me to stand among the lakhs of people here in Jammu and Kashmir, receiving your affection and blessings.

Thank you very much!

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