Kashmir: It is reassuring to see that the fear of the Kashmiri people is giving way to living a more wholesome life with zest and fervour. The government has succeeded in combating terrorism and instilling faith among the people of Jammu and Kashmir. In turn, now people of the Union Territory are resuming their debonair way of life and celebration.

Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Language (JKAACL) and Wakf Intezamia Ziayarat Ashmuqam recently organized a Sufi congregation coinciding with the annual Urs celebration of Baba Zaniudin. The Sufi congregation in Anantnag attracted a large number of devotees at the venue where a 'naat' and 'manqabat mehfil' were organized. The naats were recited and manqabats were sung by popular local voices of South Kashmir.

In another such development, the District Administration of Jammu in association with the District Youth Services and Sports Office organized a three-day (15-17 April) Inter-Panchayat event in three sporting disciplines volleyball, Kabaddi and Tug of War, in which different Panchayats participated actively.

The colours of life are returning in the State after its restructuring. Taking further the cause of celebration in otherwise disturbed State due to frequent acts of terrorism, the Department of Tourism, Kargil organized a colourful programme at Garkone village as part of a series of events under the banner of the second Apricot Blossom Festival (ChuliMendog).

This is primarily attributed to the paradigm shift in the region due to the Indian government's success in containing terrorism and supporting the people of J&K to live a normal life and celebrate their cultural and traditional festivals. Garkone village in Kargil and adjoining villages in the vicinity produce quality apricot in the district and take pride in that.

As summer in India has peaked up one month in advance in April itself, the Indians are thronging in large numbers for holiday in Jammu and Kashmir, which they adore as their "own Switzerland". April 15, marked the day that the Srinagar International Airport witnessed a record 102 flights clocking 15,199 flyers. This marks the recovery from the Covid-19 fear as the government has vaccinated the people of Jammu and Kashmir in large numbers and an improvement in the overall security scenario.

The government has dealt with terrorism in all sincerity and with an iron hand after the abrogation of Article 370. Although the Article gave the State of Jammu and Kashmir a special status, it limited options for the central government to improve law and order and curb terrorism. The Article was also proving an obstacle to development, especially investment for industrialization.

The Kashmiri identity and culture are also getting promoted and events are facilitated to highlight these aspects. During holy Ramzan, Jammu and Kashmir People's Justice Front (JKPJF) organized (April 17) a public seminar on "Ramzan: Festival of Peace," attended by a large number of locals, religious scholars, social activists and political analysts.

The JKPJF Chairman highlighted the importance of Ramzan by explaining how it develops "our mannerisms and moral fortitude, to strengthen our brotherhood". He also discussed the concept of violence and non-violence, adding that "violence breeds hatred".

The winds of change are blowing in Jammu and Kashmir as reflected in the increased participation of people in sports, cultural and traditional events. The efforts of the government are surely paying off.

Meanwhile, the State attracted more than Rs 50,000 crore of investment last year over a broad spectrum of sectors including infrastructure, food processing and pharmaceuticals.