07-18-2024     3 رجب 1440

Time to reclaim our voices & future, say young Kashmiris on eve of LS poll

Kashmir Valley making history by holding its first polls in 57 months
Revocation of Art.370 & 35-A enthuses all to come out & vote without fear

May 13, 2024 | ASHOK DIXIT

May 13, 2024 (today) will be a red letter day for Kashmiris from all walks of life, especially the younger generation, as there is palpable excitement and anticipation for voting for their chosen parliamentary representative from Srinagar.
A casual walk through the streets and bye-lanes of J&K’s summer capital reveals optimism and hope among the common man, woman and child that see a huge opportunity and chance for them to bring in the change they want and to wish away the fear of separatist violence, unnecessary and energy-sapping protests, rallies and boycotts that always took the valley two steps back rather than forward.
South African president Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” That puts today’s poll in Srinagar in context – to choose between turmoil and instability on the one hand, and a development-oriented, socio-economically beneficial future on the other.
The Kashmir Valley is on the cusp of history in a manner of speaking, holding its first election after a gap of 57 months. The revocation of Article 370 and 35-A has allowed for the writ of the Centre and the UT to reign supreme, to allow aged and young to rightfully grasp their fundamental right to discuss, speak and vote for change. Gone are the 30-odd years of mayhem, civilian strife, crippling violence and faltering economy.
There is now hope that this year’s LS poll will deliver a much better voter turn-out than 2019. Five years ago, the percentage voter-turnout was an abysmal 14.43, 8.96 and 34.89 for Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla respectively. Bye-polls were last held in 2017 and it was wrecked by violence promoted by self-serving local political parties.
Campaigning ended on Saturday (May 11) and political parties like the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) reached out to voters, but for the latter, there is a question mark hovering over the credibility of the former to deliver on basics. The people know what they want for a brighter tomorrow.
The development-oriented initiatives introduced by the Centre and the UT administration since August 6, 2019 and a peaceful and stable environment suggest that the people of Srinagar may look beyond the dynasts who fanned all the turmoil of the past that dismembered their society.
Today Nearly 17.48 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in Srinagar to choose one among 24 candidates who are in the fray. This will be followed by LS polls in Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajour on May 20 and May 25 respectively.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar civilian administration and Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu & Kashmir, R. R. Swain have been actively monitoring the security preparedness for the May 13 polls.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vidhi Kumar Birdhi said all security arrangement arein place for the polls in Srinagar.
“All security arrangements for pre-poll and poll-day activities are well in place. Inter-district Nakas have been well placed and security placement there accordingly.We are following the ECI (Election Commission of India) guidelines in letter and spirit, ensuring that all security arrangements are fool-proof,”he said.
A massive security blanket has been thrown all around Srinagar. J&K Police and CRPF have been deployed to check vehicles at key points in the city. Similar exercises are taking place in Pulwama and Ganderbal as well. Srinagar’s district magistrate has declared all 929 polling stations and booths in eight assembly segments of Srinagar as no-smoking and no go zones, and issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of IPC. CRPF and J&K Police personnel are on vigil and patrolling the streets. A three-tier security has been put in place for the polls. A unique feature of this year’s LS polls is green and pink queues for youth and women respectively at polling booths. Polling will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Over the past six to seven weeks, DGP Swain has had regular deliberations with officers from the J&K Police, CRPF, Army, ITBP, BSF, SSB and intelligence agencies to put in place security arrangements to ensure that elections pass off without incident.
Special focus areas have been administrative arrangements and coordination between various security forces. The civilian administration has been approached to facilitate healthcare and other essential facilities.
DGP Swain has emphasized the need for all security forces to be committed to the task of safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process.

Time to reclaim our voices & future, say young Kashmiris on eve of LS poll

Kashmir Valley making history by holding its first polls in 57 months
Revocation of Art.370 & 35-A enthuses all to come out & vote without fear

May 13, 2024 | ASHOK DIXIT

May 13, 2024 (today) will be a red letter day for Kashmiris from all walks of life, especially the younger generation, as there is palpable excitement and anticipation for voting for their chosen parliamentary representative from Srinagar.
A casual walk through the streets and bye-lanes of J&K’s summer capital reveals optimism and hope among the common man, woman and child that see a huge opportunity and chance for them to bring in the change they want and to wish away the fear of separatist violence, unnecessary and energy-sapping protests, rallies and boycotts that always took the valley two steps back rather than forward.
South African president Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” That puts today’s poll in Srinagar in context – to choose between turmoil and instability on the one hand, and a development-oriented, socio-economically beneficial future on the other.
The Kashmir Valley is on the cusp of history in a manner of speaking, holding its first election after a gap of 57 months. The revocation of Article 370 and 35-A has allowed for the writ of the Centre and the UT to reign supreme, to allow aged and young to rightfully grasp their fundamental right to discuss, speak and vote for change. Gone are the 30-odd years of mayhem, civilian strife, crippling violence and faltering economy.
There is now hope that this year’s LS poll will deliver a much better voter turn-out than 2019. Five years ago, the percentage voter-turnout was an abysmal 14.43, 8.96 and 34.89 for Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla respectively. Bye-polls were last held in 2017 and it was wrecked by violence promoted by self-serving local political parties.
Campaigning ended on Saturday (May 11) and political parties like the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) reached out to voters, but for the latter, there is a question mark hovering over the credibility of the former to deliver on basics. The people know what they want for a brighter tomorrow.
The development-oriented initiatives introduced by the Centre and the UT administration since August 6, 2019 and a peaceful and stable environment suggest that the people of Srinagar may look beyond the dynasts who fanned all the turmoil of the past that dismembered their society.
Today Nearly 17.48 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in Srinagar to choose one among 24 candidates who are in the fray. This will be followed by LS polls in Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajour on May 20 and May 25 respectively.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar civilian administration and Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu & Kashmir, R. R. Swain have been actively monitoring the security preparedness for the May 13 polls.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vidhi Kumar Birdhi said all security arrangement arein place for the polls in Srinagar.
“All security arrangements for pre-poll and poll-day activities are well in place. Inter-district Nakas have been well placed and security placement there accordingly.We are following the ECI (Election Commission of India) guidelines in letter and spirit, ensuring that all security arrangements are fool-proof,”he said.
A massive security blanket has been thrown all around Srinagar. J&K Police and CRPF have been deployed to check vehicles at key points in the city. Similar exercises are taking place in Pulwama and Ganderbal as well. Srinagar’s district magistrate has declared all 929 polling stations and booths in eight assembly segments of Srinagar as no-smoking and no go zones, and issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of IPC. CRPF and J&K Police personnel are on vigil and patrolling the streets. A three-tier security has been put in place for the polls. A unique feature of this year’s LS polls is green and pink queues for youth and women respectively at polling booths. Polling will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Over the past six to seven weeks, DGP Swain has had regular deliberations with officers from the J&K Police, CRPF, Army, ITBP, BSF, SSB and intelligence agencies to put in place security arrangements to ensure that elections pass off without incident.
Special focus areas have been administrative arrangements and coordination between various security forces. The civilian administration has been approached to facilitate healthcare and other essential facilities.
DGP Swain has emphasized the need for all security forces to be committed to the task of safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process.


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