We are into the second year of the changed status of Jammu & Kashmir. The first year was dominated by security considerations which had a collateral impact on social and economic activity, and the global pandemic which wrecked the tourism industry. The first lieutenant governor of J&K, G.C Murmu, was a former bureaucrat who reportedly worked on streamlining the administrative structures.
He was replaced this week by Manoj Sinha, a BJP politician who was a minister in the first Narendra Modi government. It is likely that Sinha’s brief will include searching for ways to restart the frozen political process. But if this is to be meaningful, the government needs to allow mainstream politicians space to operate. In addition, it will help if there is some kind of roadmap for the return to statehood. Eventually, the way forward is to create pathways to make J&K similar to other states,i.e., the political class decides on policy while the permanent executive implements it.