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By Samreen Tak, Editor-In-Chief Adam Rizvi, The India Observer, TIO, NJ: The 77th Indian Independence Day was celebrated with great fervor across all the states except Kashmir valley which has witnessed political turmoil from past 60 years or so. After abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu Kashmir, things have been constantly changing which is undeniable part of living for people of the valley. Change is happening since then whether good or bad but change is taking place, good or bad that is still debatable. Prior to abrogation, every year Indian Independence Day was seen as Black Day in Kashmir. Internet bans, no traffic on roads used to be the celebration scenes in this part of land.
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Unlike this year, there were no Internet blockades, no arrests, no restrictions but still something very unrealistic things happened. Although Government announced about flag hoisting ceremony to be done by Government employees working in different sectors otherwise they would end up losing their jobs, it was coercive in a way. ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign was introduced to encourage public to participate in flag-hoisting ceremony on Independence Day but this campaign mean altogether a different thing to people of Kashmir.
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This year different youth-led organizations participated in Independence Day events which was never witnessed before. General public although remained aloof from celebrations perhaps because of the threat of past events which used to take place during such events. For smooth running of these different cultural events, extra-ordinary security arrangements were made in different Districts. Educational institutions conducted different events, competitions to mark India’s Independence from British rule. Besides adequate security, drones were continuously being used for surveillance purposes in order to ensure peaceful celebrations across the valley.
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private sector has got affected post abrogation and needs support from Government as well. Building cinemas, public parks, roadways alone could not help in bringing peace and prosperity in valley. For peace and development, first and foremost thing for a Democratic State is to gain the confidence of people, to get involve with common masses then and then we could think of building a happy prosperous Nation. ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ would bear its fruits when people of the land are truly happy and prosperous.
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