The road ahead
Clouds of uncertainty hang thick in the sky
A series of solutions apart, Kashmir is as messy and as unfinished as it has ever been. Before anything else, the powers that be should stop distinguishing between the “mainstream” and “ separatists”. Neither any one is a mainstream, going by its definition. Similarly, there is no separatist. They don’t have even the ideological differences. More often than not, all of them, one way or the other, are of the same make. Another common thing about them is that they are apathetic to miseries of the common man. There is a scandal after scandal emerging out of the leaders who are supposed to be the custodians of the people’s needs and also are supposed to deliver the things in a transparent manner.
There is a unique art at work. There are hundreds of small, medium and large scale projects waiting completion. No one seems to be bothered. Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who loves to be called as a “man of the development “ in Jammu and Kashmir, has regretted on his all (recently more frequent) visits to Jammu and Kashmir, that the works started by him were moving at a snail’s pace. He has his own political ways of doing things. He, not only is trying to undermine his main political rival in the party, Saif-ud-Din Soz, but also targeting the Omar Abdullah government ( without naming it, but the insinuations are too clear to be missed). On his part, Azad showed quite agility in addressing G B Pant hospital where nearly 400 children died in Srinagar. As Health Minister of the country, he was supposed to do. But, is G B Pant hospital the only health care institution in the country. From All India Institute of Medical Sciences to Primary Health Centres ( PHCs) in the country are death traps, where corruption is rampant and no one seems to be questioning the people manning these institutions. But Azad’s way of doing things doesn’t give an excuse to the state government to ignore the development or its failure to distinguish as to why certain projects ( sorry project) is being completed in a record time, while others will probably wait for 22nd century to get completed.
The occasional noises by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq about the lack of water and power supply, which are seen in a positive tone and tenor, are, in fact, to convey a message to Delhi that they too have the capacity to deliver on basic issues confronting the common people in the state. That is where the mainstream and the separatists’ line disappears.
There is a need to accomplish two critical goals: avoiding a potentially devastating return of violence and securing the political space for all the stake holders. So far what we see is the cracking foundations. There is a need to make it possible to imagine new rules of the game. Still, much remains in doubt, notably the scope and direction of change. The State essentially has witnessed a political game of musical chairs, one elite faction swapping places with the other but remaining at loggerheads.Militants are taking advantage of such a vacuum. Socio-economic needs remain unmet. The government must rapidly show tangible progress (security, economic, political) to contain centrifugal forces bent upon deepening uncertainty. The government should, while reaching out to stakeholders and preparing the political environment for inclusive dialogue. That may offer some hope, blame game will not.
Leaders like Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who make it a point to criticize the government on one issue after another, also need to do a thorough self introspection. Has their ideology paid any dividend. The Kashmiri youth is frustrated. It is not just the unemployment, but also something more. The social fabric has been torn apart. A common Kashmiri is asking question to himself, where does he stand today on the 10th day of July 2012. His vision has been clouded. For him, arrival of tourists is not panacea for everything. He has been told time and again that Kashmir issue is not resolved. True, what is expected of him that he should also destroy himself like previous two generations, ranging from the days of those who were asking for Plebiscite to those who have changed the nomenclature to “ Aazadi seekers”. What’s the road map, they ask and there are no answers any where, because first of all it is not clear to them that what exactly the Kashmir issue is.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 10 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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