Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
Video Producer: Hera Khan & Sonal Gupta
The two Union Territories, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, came into existence on 31 October 2019. This comes right after the central government, on 5 August, decided to abrogate the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
On this event, The Quint spoke to the locals in J&K to learn what they think about the two Union Territories being formed.
“It threatens our existence,” said the locals, expressing their outrage, “We have been made tall promises, but nothing really happens.”
"“I have always felt that this was a Union Territory. All the orders used to come from the Centre. It is now that it has officially become a Union territory. Even if they revoked Article 370, they shouldn’t have made it a UT.”" - Firdous Qadri, Student "“I don’t think making it a Union Territory would be of any help. Now, even the subject of state is of no value. Anyway, there wasn’t even 10 percent of government jobs available, this will only make it zero. They continue to make promises. Since 1990s, God knows how many promises they have been made. None have been fulfilled.”" - Junaid, Businessman
The locals go on to say that instead of the situation improving as the government had promised, it has only deteriorated over the last three months. Junaid says that his garment business is running in loss for three months now. He adds that he suffered a loss of nearly Rs 7-8 lakh.
Not just businesses, but even students have suffered in the last few months. A retired government employee named Shaheeda shares her grief of having to send her children to different countries for education as children have no future in J&K.
"“We are being tortured. They say they will make this and that for us, but very little happens. We are held hostage. This is ultimately torture.”" - Ghulam Nabi Khan, Street vendor "“If there was actually any development, political leaders would not have been held hostage, children would not have been held hostage, phone lines would not have been blocked for two months. Even now, we can’t access the prepaid system. Even now, we are unaware about what is actually going on. People are really angry. There is a silent protest underway.”" - Haroon Nabi, Local Resident, Srinagar
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