The Bold Voice of J&K

A long-acting turmoil

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     Sameer Sagar 

It has been 116 days since Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the so-called poster boy of new militancy, was shot dead in an encounter by the security forces and due to that the shutdown is continued across Kashmir till today. This boy’s killing sparked off a never-seen-before flare up of rage across the entire valley. Because of this many precious lives have lost, numerous people have been injured with thousands of them being treated for eye-injuries caused by the ‘pellet guns’ which was used in order to disperse the stone-throwing mob. In order to curb the situation many initiatives like repeated requests to general public seeking for peace, asking religious leaders to intervene, the all-party delegation, civil society meet, recruitment drives and many more have taken place but nothing seemed to be working, the situation still remains fragile and the future uncertain.
It seems quite clear that the chaos in Kashmir has gained its momentum over and again. Similar sort of unrest had been experienced in 2008, when the state had flared up over the temporary transfer of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board by the Governor of the state. The upheaval was visible in both Jammu and Kashmir. That time the agitation continued for about 62 days costing the lives of nearly 40 people. Then in 2010, there was an unrest over the so called ‘fake encounter’ in the Machail sector in Kupwara in which three men were killed for being “Pakistani infiltrators”. Kashmir yet again remained in trouble for about 90 days costing around 120 precious lives.
In today’s time the aspirations of the youth who is post-90 generation, have changed because the society has evolved and so has the communication system. The current impact of the situation is especially on the youth who have forgotten the sports be it cricket, football or something else but they only want to play
stone-pelting. It is quite worrying that the current situation may affect the development of personality of the youngsters. Not only the physical development but the education sector which is the vital sector has also been affected badly as this year’s session of numerous students has been lost and irretrievable. But, the bigger question here is that are the separatists who had given the calls for bandhs and extended it over and over have an iota of responsibility or even a minuscule concern viz-a-viz the future of Kashmiri students?
Coming down to the political role of the politicians be it from the acting government or from the opposition, everyone has tried hard to convey his/her genuine feelings towards the current scenario. The opposition’s response was that the reason behind the strife is the “pent-up anger” over the BJP-PDP alliance. Ms Mehbooba Mufti had become the chief minister for barely three months when the trouble over Wani’s killing began. As she was yet to recover from the great pains of the death of her father, despite facing all the sturm and drang she began with a shaky start, and while getting full assurance and support from the centre she tried really hard to restore the peace in the valley. Commendably, she even lashed out at the separatists for the orchestration of the current imbroglio. Not to forget, she is the first one who acknowledged and applauded the Jammuites for their love, understanding and the wisdom in this troublesome period.
Meanwhile, the trouble in Kashmir seems to be a wild goose chase, the state and central security setup had not even imagined about the backfire would be so long that it seems endless. Each day our brave and worthy security forces are on the streets to thwart the nefarious designs of troublemakers who are pelting stones and petrol bombs on them. Completely unmindful of their own safety, local people have been seen fighting with armed security personnel, even ransacking as well as torching police posts and bunkers. Now-a-days trends and targets have been changed to snatching of weapons, vandalising government and public properties, attacking and setting ablaze the government offices, schools, ministers residence and vehicles. Not only this, but the troublesome mob have started harming their own general working population by plundering goods of street vendors and setting afire the vehicles so as to create panic in the area. However due to adequate deployment of police at vulnerable spots, the security personnel immediately at each occasion swung into action to normalise the situation.
Lately, the long arm of the law have been making continuous arrests thereby applying PSA on the troublemakers but it is quite worrisome to know there were people including womenfolk and government employees who are relying on government offices, national universities by working and cherishing on governmental remuneration have also been found in the mob and found guilty in propagating and whipping the situation to be stressful and ruthless.
The Prime Minister’s agenda on development is the one of the ways by which the hearts and minds can be won. Infact dialogue and democracy are significant too in order to deal with this situation in a long run. When we talk of dialogue it means only the credible stake holders should be involved who really want situation to be normal. As far as democracy in the world, it should be proved here in the world, it should be proved here in its true sense by development at the grass roots level and welfare schemes so that poor can yield the fruitful results of their progress. I believe the present acting government is fully aware and is committed to do everything possible in order to uplift the common masses.
It is believed that everything has its age and so will this unrest, having gotten tired of all this now, the people have started protesting mildly against the ‘continuous call for strike’ given by separatists realising now that their lives are getting badly affected and are therefore demanding for an end to shutdown. This was noticed when lots of people were seen shopping at Polo View at Residency Road defying the general call for strike given by Hurriyat Conference. In next couple of days the Durbar will move to the winter capital itself, large influx of people including government and secretariat employees will come down to Jammu. Along this I am sure in next few weeks due to the onset of winter season, the members from Hurriyat brigade, JKLF or other pseudo-Kashmiri well wisher group who have managed to take Kashmiri masses for a ride, would be seen making their way to less colder places like Jammu or New Delhi relishing the benefits on tax-payers money leaving behind their brigade of zealots who visualise them to be the main protagonist of the liberation fight. Can I ask these so-called supporters in connection to their cognition which may evoke a question as to why their masters are being so opportunists?
Expressing all this, the pertinent question still remains
How will all this come to an end, will this protest wither and die its own natural death or they (the protesters) will get tired and sit back until next major outbreak?
(The views expressed are as the author and can be reached at [email protected])

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