Let’s open up to progress


Waheed Jeelani

THE abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir marked a historic moment that stirred diverse opinions and emotions across the nation. While proponents lauded it as a significant step towards fostering unity and integration, critics expressed concerns about the implications of demographic change and the settlement of ‘outsiders’ in the region. However, it is essential to challenge this negative mindset and embrace the spirit of inclusivity and diversity that defines our great nation.

Let’s try and delve into the positive aspects of the abrogation, exploring how the involvement of ‘outsiders’ from other Indian states has been instrumental in boosting development and showcasing that we are indeed an inseparable part of India.

The notion of ‘demographic change’ surrounding the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir is a misconceived notion that requires debunking. It is essential to recognise that the settlement of people from diverse backgrounds enriches the cultural tapestry of Kashmir and fosters unity in diversity.

The abrogation has provided an opportunity for cultural exchange, economic growth, and national integration, all of which have contributed to the region’s progress and prosperity. It is crucial to embrace the positive aspects of the abrogation and celebrate the spirit of inclusivity and unity that defines our nation, acknowledging that we are all part of one united India, bound together by our shared aspirations and dreams.

The abrogation of Article 370 has been a transformative step towards fostering inclusive development in Kashmir. By debunking the hoax of demographic change and the reluctance towards the settlement of ‘outsiders’, it becomes evident that the settlement of people from other Indian states is a natural expression of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.

Embracing unity in diversity, the region has witnessed increased economic activities, investments, and job opportunities. The exchange of ideas and experiences among diverse cultures has enriched the social fabric of Kashmir, promoting harmony and inclusivity.

Through this process, Kashmir emerges as a shining example of India’s strength, where the diverse threads of cultures, traditions, and dreams are woven together to form a vibrant tapestry of a united nation.

·     Embracing unity and inclusivity

India is a land of diverse cultures, languages, and traditions, and this diversity is its strength. As citizens of this vibrant nation, it is our privilege to travel and explore different parts of our country, seeking better educational and job opportunities.

Similarly, people from other Indian states also have the right to visit and settle in any part of India, including Kashmir. The abrogation of Article 370 has facilitated this process, creating an environment of unity and inclusivity where all Indian citizens are welcome to explore, contribute, and prosper in any region of our nation.


·     Boosting development through cultural exchange

The involvement of ‘outsiders’ in Kashmir has been a catalyst for cultural exchange, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse traditions and perspectives. This cultural amalgamation has enriched the social fabric of the region, promoting harmony and unity.

As people from various Indian states bring their expertise and experiences to Kashmir, they contribute to the growth of local industries, art, and cuisine. This vibrant exchange of ideas has created a dynamic environment that propels the region’s development and showcases the true essence of our national motto – ‘unity in diversity’.


·     Revitalising local economy and employment opportunities

 The settlement of ‘outsiders’ in Kashmir has revitalised the local economy. Increased economic activities, investments, and job opportunities have emerged as a result of the abrogation.

New businesses have sprung up, creating employment opportunities for both locals and ‘outsiders’. This positive impact on the economy has resulted in improved standards of living and a stronger foundation for a prosperous future.


·     Cultivating a sense of brotherhood

By opening its doors to people from various Indian states, Kashmir has nurtured a profound sense of brotherhood and camaraderie. The interactions between residents and those from other states have fostered empathy, understanding, and mutual respect.

Through shared experiences and collaborations, individuals from diverse backgrounds have forged enduring friendships and bonds that transcend regional and cultural differences. This sense of brotherhood reinforces the essence of being an Indian, united in our aspirations and dreams.

·     Promoting national integration

The abrogation of Article 370 has played a crucial role in promoting national integration. By removing barriers to travel and settlement, it has encouraged Indians from different states to explore and embrace the beauty and heritage of Kashmir. This newfound integration has strengthened the emotional bond that binds us as one nation, further cementing our collective identity as Indians.


·     Preserving Kashmir’s unique identity

Critics of the abrogation often express concerns about the preservation of Kashmir’s unique identity. However, it is crucial to understand that the region’s identity is not threatened by welcoming individuals from other states.

On the contrary, it is enriched through cultural exchange and the celebration of diversity. The harmonious coexistence of different cultures in Kashmir highlights the vibrancy and resilience of its unique identity, making it a shining example of unity amidst diversity.


The abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir has been a transformative step. As we move forward as one nation, it is crucial to cherish and celebrate the positive aspects of it, nurturing the vision of a united and a harmonious India.


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