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YOU ARE INVITED

JAMMU & KASHMIR POST
ARTICLE 370 - ARE PEOPLE BETTER OFF ?

SATURDAY, 11 JUNE  5 PM IST

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 Jitendra Dixit is the West India editor of ABP News. Based in Mumbai, he has been reporting on crime, conflict and politics for over twenty years. He has worked with Aaj Tak and Star News earlier. As a crime journalist, he has reported extensively on the Mumbai underworld.. He was one of India's representatives at a conference organized by the FBI to combat organized-crime syndicates at New York City in 2011. He is the author of "Valley of Red Snow:Kashmir Beyond 370" is the editor of ABP Network and specializes in reporting on conflicts and calamities. He has filed ground reports of every momentous event in the Valley during the past decade.

SYNOPSIS:

On 5th August 2019, Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir a special status, was abrogated and the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories. Some see it as the day Kashmir truly became an “integral part” of India while others paint it as a dark day in the history of independent India. The development immediately led to a heated debate among domestic and international observers - some saw it as an essential and a long due move while others saw it as an indicator of further declining relations between Kashmir and India.

Two years on, the debate continues. Being constantly exposed to two vigorous and contradictory narratives has understandably left people outside Kashmir with a litany of unanswered questions - has it led to more development, enhanced security and political stability for Kashmir? Has it brought more equality for the women of the region? Do Kashmiris now have access to better healthcare and education? And have their economic prospects improved as promised by the government at the time of abrogation? Has the development helped in keeping Pakistan’s hand out of the valley and opened a pathway for peaceful resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits? Do Kashmiris feel more Indian now?

Or does the counter narrative hold water? Why such a paucity of credible news from Kashmir? If the valley is stable as we are told then why the frequent unannounced internet blackouts? In the cloak of suppressing secessionism has the move in fact suppressed democracy? Is the recent spate of civilian killings a direct outcome of the abrogation? Is there a solution to resolve the power tussle and political vacuum? Would restoring statehood bring some stability or more chaos?

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