People under siege
AFTER ALL GOVERNMENT HAS A DUTY TO PROTECT THE LIVES OF CITIZENS. WHEN YOU FAIL TO PROTECT, THE WORST CAN HAPPEN. THAT SUMS UP THE STORY WE ARE WITNESSING AT PRESENT. DR. RUMANA MAKHDOOMI COMMENTS ON THE FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE PRESENT CRISIS.
Agreed, when Omar Abdullah was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state, he did not promise Azaadi. He promised good governance and on the sidelines he promised to prevail upon Indian government to recognize the political dimensions of Kashmir issue so that efforts are made to resolve it.
His promise of good governance, accountable administration, and justice to masses lost its sheen when justice could not be delivered to two young women of Shopian who were raped and murdered. The commissions set up to probe the deaths and the investigation agencies, who were called for assistance made a mess of whole affair. Shopian took its toll and sent Kashmir on boil. Shopian is still waiting for justice.
While the wounds of Shopian were still raw Maachil happened, three young men were killed in a fake encounter and protests came about. A protester was killed –leading to another protest. Killings led to protests and protests to more killings. The killings were like products in a fission reaction, one leading to two, two to four and four to more. Today the toll is at thirty; tomorrow it may go to forty. The vicious whirlpool might take many more with it—may be an entire generation or may be an entire nation.
Omar’s reaction was casual, he surprised all with his utterances when he called protests “usual” and added salt to the wounds of Kashmir’s by recounting his childhood memory of “a protest to UN for watching a TV serial”. Protests we agree, are usual in Kashmir, but so are the killings, so are the sufferings, so is the torture and so is the pain. Protests we are told define democracy. So why do you make fun of people, if they choose to protest? Protest in Kashmir is perhaps the only tool to vent one’s anger when we know that commissions do not help and probes do not prove anything.
Violent protests are a problem, yes. But there are ways to handle crowds, there are means to tackle mobs. If anger could be controlled by bullets, curtailed by force, by now after repeated showers of bullets on angry protestors situation in Kashmir should have returned to normal.
The government at the Centre, mind you, knows how to handle mobs, unfortunately those tactics are not applied in Kashmir. When a national shame like Babri Masjid happened, Centre instructed the state of UP to ‘disperse peacefully’ the crowds who had gone on a rampage at Ayodhya. Have protestors in Kashmir done a more serious crime than those at Ayodhya did?
Administration is there to safeguard the rights of its citizens. The government must protect the rights of the people of the state. Has it done that? It has failed to reach out to the people, failed to condole the deaths, failed to console the families, only reiterating its resolve to deal sternly with the people who violate the law. Under what law are our men killed in fake encounters, under what law are our seven- year-olds and nine-year-olds brutally massacred, under what law are our women raped and under what law are our properties damaged? People want an answer. If mobs are to be dealt with sternly, how about others? Why is entire Kashmir under siege? Why don’t people have the freedom to move? And, what about other functionaries of the government? What about hospitals, food supplies, sewage disposal and management, what about education? What is government doing to make its machinery which has come to a standstill-operational if not fully functional?
Youth is a volcano-you will burn yourself if you try to cap it. The anger has a cause. Centre is always in a denial mode when situation pertaining to Kashmir is concerned. They have destabilized elected governments, done excessive interferences and never done anything concrete. The use of excess force in Kashmir increases their credibility as the “Saviours of Nation”.
Kashmir it is said is a political issue and not an administrative issue, but imagine what is the outcome when administrative ineffectiveness adds to the political stalemate? Kashmir has drowned many-Jagmohan, Farooq, Sinha and now who next?
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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