Today is 12/12/12, a date which will be lost for a century. With the beginning of every new century there comes a decade when dates are written like 01/01/01, 02/02/02…..12/12/12 and are lost for a century. In every part of the world each century is expected to bring hope for its inhabitants, so was the 21st Century. But in Kashmir hope eludes for centuries now.
During the end of 18th Century, the land was longing for a change but it was the time for the advent of Sikh. In the 19th Century, middle of it, occurred Anglo-Sikh which resulted in Maharaja Gulab Singh getting the valley for Rs: 75/- Lakhs along with mountains, trees, animals, rivers, lakes, roads, houses, land and population.
Then a century went like this, till we were wed to a polity that was again a tragedy. And now with the advent of 21st Century, when whole world is celebrating a new space age, the vale is facing worst kind of atrocities. It has turned into a football kicked between two goal posts of India and Pakistan. We don’t know what is store for us, but let us replay the gone by decade:
2001: This year began with the hope of resolution of the issue when a summit was held in New Delhi, from July 14 to July 17, 2001. However, leaders were unable to reach any formal agreement. In the meanwhile, nearly 50 people were killed in ground fighting in Kashmir while the summit was being held. This land heard the words of its then Chief Minister against the legislative assembly attack; “The time has come to wage a war against Pakistan and to bomb the militant training camps there, we are running out of patience.”
2002: This year saw India on the verge of waging a war when following the parliament attack, almost 700,000 Indian Army and paramilitary forces were deployed along the Indo-Pakistani border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan deployed as many as 300,000.
In the same year on, 13 July 2002, around 24 Hindus, in the outskirts of Jammu region were killed but no militant outfit took the responsibility of carrying out the massacre.
2003: This year saw the cease fire between India and Pakistan, however, the land also was cautioned by the words of George Fernandes; “security forces would continue cracking down on militants in Kashmir. As far as terrorist activities of the militants are concerned, there isn't a cease-fire. They will be dealt with as they should be. If there should be any infiltration it will be dealt with in the same manner as it has been”.
2004: This year saw India and Pakistan meeting in Islamabad and promising to resolve the Kashmir issue through talks. The Pakistani President even went to the extent saying he would set aside the UN Resolutions on Kashmir if it helped reach an amicable accord on the half century old Kashmir problem.
2005: This year saw a disastrous earthquake on Oct. 8, 2005, which left the border areas of Kashmir crying even much louder than ever for help. Houses turned into heaps of rubble, and people lost their loved ones.
2006: This year saw the exposing of sex scandal. Big guns were found involved in the scandal but, as it goes in our land, bringing the culprits to justice remains a far cry.
2007: This year once again saw a ray of hope when in a meeting with Congressional leaders in Islamabad on January 27, 2007, Pakistani President said that he and the Prime Minister of India were on the verge of an agreement on Kashmir and this could be signed as early as April that year.
The same year saw the highest casualties of the militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen with 34 top commanders and 307 cadres martyred in gun battles with Indian forces.
2008: This year saw the demonstrations all over the valley against the land transfer. Almost 75 lives were lost. The land transfer decision was revoked and the Chief Minister stepped down from its seat in the middle of this year. The unfortunate land came under the Governor rule.
The Jammu Srinagar national highway was blocked by the radical Hindus from Jammu and a message was given to Kashmir - “You are a dependent people!” People even attempted to cross Loc to reach Muzaffarabad; and the year is regarded as the start of Quit Kashmir Movement – Ragda 1.
2009: This year saw the rape and murder of two ladies, Aasiya and Neelofer, of the destitute land which was unimaginably painful for the people and made them to realize that their females are not safe in their own land.
A native of this destitute was crowned as Chief Minister of the State who took oath as the 11th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
2010: This year, regarded as second Quit Kashmir Movement- Ragda II, saw huge protests and demonstrations all over the valley. Almost 112 lives were lost, among them an 11 year old son of the land. Curfew was imposed and Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed in the valley to control demonstrations.
Also, a shoe was hurled at the Chief Minister in the same year. Now once again, as it always goes, fake assurance was given by the imperialist along with sending a few delegations to show that it is interested to meet the demands of the people. But what came out of it all, I don’t think there is need to comment on that.
2011: This year saw a break in terms of protests and demonstrations. On every nook and corner security forces were deployed and every attempt of protest was crushed to the extent that a person in his room sitting lonely shivered with fear of AFSPA and PSA.
The economy of the destitute got relief wherein the tourism industry saw the highest number of tourists in past 25 years. Still a total of 233 deaths, out of these, 56 civilians including 11 students and six women, 100 were alleged militants, 71 armed forces personnel and six unidentified persons.
2012: Everybody is well aware about the incident this year. The burning down of Dastgeer Sahib Shrine, the house arrests of separatist leaders, the locking of Jjamia Masjid, the LPG crisis; and there is still some time to grapple with food crisis, power crisis, , water crisis, transport crisis, environmental crisis, education crisis, road crisis and ...
This was the decade that is over. Now we will have to wait for another century to get such a decade that has rhythmic dates starting with 01/01/01 to 12/12/12.