The day Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on Kashmir crisis by advocating a path of “democracy and dialogue” to restore peace in the spirit of ‘insaniyat (humanity), jamhuriyat (democracy) and Kashmiriyat’, around 120 civilians were injured as government forces used force to quell protests in various parts of Kashmir even as strict curfew and restrictions enforced a relative calm in the region. Meanwhile, police and paramilitary CRPF personnel have continued indiscriminate use of pellet guns despite widespread concern and condemnation about the casualties caused by them. Moreover, following the Hurriyat protest calendar, women, children and youth have been taking out the protest marches across south Kashmir. While Modi said it was “painful” to see innocent youngsters, who should be holding laptops, books and cricket bats, “handed” stones and appealed to them for maintaining peace and harmony in the “heaven on earth”. Obviously alluding to the voices favouring ‘azadi’ (freedom) for the state, he said people of Jammu and Kashmir had the same freedoms as enjoyed by every Indian. These were Modi’s first comments on the continuing unrest in the valley in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani by government forces on July 8. Modi, who was addressing a public rally here, also asserted that the Mehbooba Mufti government and the New Delhi are working together to solve the state’s difficulties “but some people, who are unable to digest it, are clinging onto the path to destruction”. The Modi led government while on hand admits the “seriousness” of the Kashmir situation, it’s think tank hasn’t moved head to implement their political guru’s, Vajpaiyee’s insaniyat, jamhuriyat and Kashmiriyat formula. “When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister he had adopted the path of insaniyat, jamhuriyat and Kashmiriyat and we walk the same road. I want to tell the brothers and sisters of Kashmir from this great birthplace of Chandra Shekhar Azad that Kashmir has the same strength that has been given to (other parts of) India by our freedom fighters. Kashmir has the same freedom that every Indian feels,” Modi said. There is clear anger on the streets. It is largely directed towards New Delhi in as much as this isn’t about day-to-day governance issues. It is not about development. It is about the wider problem of Jammu and Kashmir and its political dimension, so government of Jammu and Kashmir as well as New Delhi have to come forward and reach out to the people with some emotional packages. What PDP-BJP government need to understand that what they are seeing is actually new, because previous agitations actually had some basis in demands what is their demand, address that first. It doesn’t mean that you would have to grand Azadi. In 2008, the agitation could basically be split in two parts. You had the Amarnath land row – the government withdrew the order, the agitation subsided, former Chief Minister Omar Abdulla maintained in an interview with Scroll.com. He believed that the second part flared out: there was an economic blockade that was established in Jammu. We were told that no supplies would come from the rest of the country, and then the separatists gave the call to Muzaffarabad chalo [Let’s march to Muzaffarabad]. That was badly handled, there were a number of casualties and things went out of control from there. In 2010 again, while the actual violence started with the death of Tufail Mattoo, the agitation actually started on the back of the deaths in Machil in a fake encounter and the demand for justice. The quit Kashmir programme and the [protest] calendar that was issued by Masarat Alam and by Syed Ali Shah Geelani were to demand accountability for those killings in Machil and the withdrawal of the security forces. Today, in 2016, there are no demands that are being made. It is pure and simple anger and reaction to the death of a militant. The state of protest, agitation calendars, deaths of protesters and injuries should end with the logical conclusion of the aspirations of the people of the Kashmir valley.
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