New Delhi: After being split into union territories, consequent to abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, Jammu and Kashmir celebrated Independence Day with Governor Satya Pal Malik, who hoisted the tricolour. In attendance was Ajit Doval, the national security advisor.

In his speech, the Governor, as expected, touched upon the topic of the abrogation of the Articles and assured that the identity of Kashmiris was not at stake.

He said, "I want to assure people of Jammu and Kashmir that their identity is neither at stake nor has been tampered with. Indian Constitution allows many regional identities to prosper... Nobody should be bothered that their identity will finish because of the steps taken by the Central government... This step can be used to promote language, culture and identities within the state.”

The Governor also threw light on the decision to abrogate the Articles.

He said, "These changes have removed the hurdles for economic development and prosperity. It is surprising that in all the previous elections, focus of people was not brought on issues of roti, kapda aur makaan (employment, clothing and housing).”


He also lamented the fact that people were led astray in the last seven decades.

He said, "In the last 70 years people were led astray from the main issues of economic development, peace and prosperity. Instead of paying attention to these issues people were misled on issues which are irrelevant to their lives."

Any talks related to Jammu and Kashmir is incomplete without a mention of the exodus of Kashmiri pandits. The Governor touched upon that topic as well.

“I firmly believe that the complete return of Kashmiri migrants to the Valley is possible only with the support and cooperation of all stakeholders including the civil society of the Valley who share a social & cultural bond with the Kashmiri migrants," he added.

Prominent mainstream leaders were conspicuous by their absence as they had been detained as a precautionary measure, as quoted by First Post.