Where from here?
“Kashmir over writes almost everything that is written about it.” Some time back an academic wrote about Kashmir. What is happening from the past some weeks is a thumping vindication of this impression regarding Kashmir. A spiraling display of public anger that now almost invariably takes the form of stone pelting has taken over the entire valley with frightening proportions. What appeared some months back as sporadic and unconnected incidents have effectively coalesced into a valley wide disaster. The bullet that hits a teenager in South Kashmir tears apart the emotional being of Srinagar, and the boy that falls dead in the streets of Srinagar grieves the population in North Kashmir. This way entire Kashmir is up against a monster of crisis that is devouring life after life. After Srinagar when Sopur, North Kashmir, erupted, the Government started feeling the heat more intensely. Panic struck the power quarters in good measure. Before anything good could come out of the government response to the situation, Islamabad bled profusely. Three teenagers were dropped dead, and that too when they, among other people, had run into a house for their life. This set things on fire afresh. Exactly when it was felt that things were about to get better, they went even worse. Feeling the heat of things Government decided to act tough. Rather than sounding sympathetic towards the people Government decided to speak in a manner that bristled painfully against popular mind. This was something that was vividly incorrect on part of the Government, adding a sinister dimension to the over all handling of crisis. Probably Government had convinced itself that the use of force was the lone way to restore the calm. At that point in time the critical response to the Government actions had reached a crescendo. Everyone was stridently asking for an explanation from the Government. Even some newspapers vociferously advised this Government to step down. The Chief Minister himself underlined the gathering anxiety by openly debunking any such thoughts. Though an immediate public response to such a situation cannot be bit different than this; after all Government is morally responsible for every little harm that is done to its citizens in any action carried by its institutions of law and order, not to speak of a chain of deaths. At that point in time Greater Kashmir in its editorial had raised the question about the options available with this Government. When everything that the Government did had met a striking failure what was left to be tried out.
Nonetheless Government went ahead with its iron hand policy. Curfew was clamped on most parts of the Valley. For a few days there was some degree of calm. When last Friday passed off without any bloody disruption, it was felt that the use of force had finally worked. The next day markets were open and people after a long halt came out of their houses. Keeping in view the Hurriyat call for Islamabad March on Monday this week, Government resorted to imposing curfew and restrictions, not ready to take any chances. During this period CM talked about the political solution to the crisis, called Kashmir. He even met some sections of people in Varmul. Come Tuesday, and the calm proved ruthlessly deceptive. What was written during some days of calm was completely over written by the blood that spilt on Tuesday. Greater Kashmir repeats the question: what are the options ahead. When it has now been explicitly made clear that the problem is political, solution must be offered politically. Looking at Kashmir solely through the prism of security has once again proved counterproductive. Except adding to the already long list of deaths, use of force is absolutely pointless. The State Government, standing by its own assertion that the problem is political, should rethink its strategy and side with people rather than look elsewhere. Kashmir is desperately seeking a political initiative; make Delhi listen. Otherwise we are striking the heads against a dead end.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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