The Bold Voice of J&K

As nation fights for flood-hit Kashmir, Hurriyat nowhere to be seen

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New Delhi: The state of Jammu and Kashmir is grappling with the worst floods in the past five/six decades. Preliminary reports place the death toll at two hundred; the actual figure may be much more. Lakhs have remained marooned over many days and thousands have been left homeless. No doubt, the tragedy is of mammoth proportions.

The primary thought goes out to those who have been caught in the throes of this tragedy; their helplessness against the havoc that the disaster has wreaked on their lives. One cannot help but lament their pitiable state as they witnessed their homes being washed away, the loss of their dear ones, their own fight for survival, as the ogres of hunger, cold, disease and ruined lives haunt them.

One wonders where the inestimable Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his gang of so-called separatist leaders have disappeared. Are they not self-proclaimed true voices of Kashmir? Are they not the torch bearers of the Kashmiri struggle and custodians of Kashmiriyat? Why are they silent today? Why are they not out in the streets with their cadre supervising relief work, or at least standing by with those who follow them in their incessant stone pelting?

Surely some of the money that they profess to collect from the people of Kashmir as Zakat (donation) for their cause of “independence” can be diverted for the good of the people under such testing circumstances. It would be great to see Syed Geelani giving even a biscuit to a child. It would be a welcome change from the incessant demands that he makes all the time.

The state administration that holds primary responsibility for dealing with the situation is, by itself, in a state of shock. It has been caught off-guard. Busy in playing out local politics, it has not paid attention to issues such as disaster management. It is the people who are now suffering the brunt of its ineptness.

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