A nation where dissent is celebrated is using all means to convince people in Kashmir valley that the country of which they are an integral part values them and would do everything possible to win their hearts and minds. And the efforts in this regard are also being made. More importantly, everything is happening at the level of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If the reports are to be believed, he is directly looking after the Kashmir affairs.
Being a shrewd politician and an apt administrator, Prime Minister Narendra Modi when to strike and where. All the positive moves are being made on Kashmir but it is also being assured that no one takes the government of India non-seriously. No one begins blackmailing the government and no one dares to dictate terms from across the border. But it seems that the regional political parties are yet to come to terms with who is on the seat of power in New Delhi.
Apart from his recent utterances, National Conference Patron and President Dr. Farooq Abdullah had after winning Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election said that the election was held under the shadow of fear and that it was the ‘bloodiest’. He had even given call for Governor’s rule. Incidentally, he is the same representative of the Abdullah dynasty who was ruling the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) when thousands of people were massacred and thrown out of their own houses in 1980s.
Then Dr Abdullah’s stand on Governor’s rule is clear from the statement he had made in 1991. Not long ago, the same Abdullah also spoke about ‘a prolonged, systemic erosion of faith in Kashmir’. Who is responsible for this process of alienation, if any, is conveniently missed out by this clever politician after ruling the State for three generations. It is beyond doubt that the situation in some districts of the Valley, not in the entire J&K, is not good and demands for attention.
Police officers and their families serving in J&K have to face threats on day-to-day basis. Those serving in the central forces are being targetted and killed. There are certain striking factors that need to be taken into consideration while addressing this issue. Pakistan is mastermind of whatever is happening in Kashmir valley. Both Pakistani Army and the ISI are using all their tactics to lower the morale of the security forces. But that seems to have failed now.
The separatists, open or tacit, supported by the neighbouring country are equally responsible for the violence in Kashmir valley. The new trend of growing radicalisation initiated by the regional leaders of Kashmir valley and nurtured by the next generation has brought a new wave of frenzied mobs on the streets.
Basic rights of gender equality, reservation and decentralisation of governance are missing. Now these separatist voices and their political messiahs are standing for these discriminatory provisions to perpetuate their influence. The ‘intellectual’ class who undermine our armed forces and take pride in standing for separatists in the name of ‘human rights’ is also responsible for manufacturing this alienation. For them only terrorists and separatists are human beings, not the silent majority who has been living under the rein of fear.
Human rights violations in the Pak occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) do not figure in their reference. People of Jammu and Ladakh are nowhere in their discourse on inclusion and justice. They just occupy media and intellectual space by denigrating Bharat and Bharatiya armed forces and fetch funding for their research on alienation. So they are in win-win situation with the separatists, as both continue to thrive on the continuation of the artificial alienation.
The fortunate part is commoners are ready to stand by the armed forces and no longer ready to buy the arguments of pseudo-intellectuals. Time is ripe to do away with this discourse of double standards on J&K to reach to the solution. Where are those 70 per cent who cast their votes in 2014 elections despite the call of boycott from the separatists?
If there is so much of distrust about Bharat, why parents from Jammu and Kashmir are keen to send their kids to the schools and universities run by the government in rest of Bharat? Why do the youth queue up to join armed forces if their struggle is for freedom, as people like Dr Abdullah claim? It is certainly the duty of state government to give voice and space to that silent majority who want to join the path of peace and progress.
For that, having courage and conviction to deliver and take the necessary support from the armed forces and police machinery to deal with the frenzied mob on the streets is a must. Will Mehbooba Mufti and her party take up this challenge or follow the path of flip-flop as Abdullahs did is the critical question in which the future of J&K lies? And will the Jammu and Kashmir BJP listen to their ground workers and take required corrective steps.