A downward spiral

Those at the helm of affairs, who issued the colonial and Tagalukian orders of closing National Highway for two days a week for civil vehicular traffic, might be deriving pleasure from the helplessness of people of J&K.

But they do forget the consequences of such inhuman and immoral dictates. It makes one to remind the harsh years from 1989 to around 2009 when the entire population in border areas, especially Kupwara district, was subjected to forced labor; and also engaged in protecting the army camps and the convoy round the clock, on rotation basis.

I like every inhabitant cannot forget a single day when no vehicle from Kargam to Nowgam in my area would be allowed to be kept on road side even for a minute and every house-hold on the road side had to seal the windows facing the road side.

However, after two and a half decades things started improving and I still remember when after our mass agitation Government, also Army, agreed to end the dirty practice and people got some relief. Now banning vehicular traffic on Highway has exposed the tall claims that normalcy has been restored in the troubled state.

Leaving the hardships faced by masses aside, doesn’t New Delhi need to understand and introspect where the things are heading in J&K.

It is strange that while men in uniform are supposed to protect the life, honor and dignity of common masses and give them sense of security, in J&K unfortunately the common masses need to ensure the security of security forces.

No doubt, militancy is a challenge for the security forces and they cannot take risk by taking things easy but banning civil vehicular traffic on so called National Highway carries no justification.

One should not forget the fact that Srinagar Jammu Highway has been always in shambles and has become like a life destroyer. It remains closed almost for six months and the air-fare goes up even by five hundred percent, thus breaking the backbone of economy of state especially that of Kashmir.

Guns can restrict the movement of vehicles but cannot stop people from thinking and feeling discriminated against and alienated. Those implementing orders need not be blamed as they are simply performing the duty Babu’s sitting in cozy rooms ask them to do, but the deep state should not underestimate the power of a common man.

Should it not be matter of grave concern that after 30 years of insurgency now even those who are supposed to be protectors are feeling huge sense of insecurity; and impatience and frustration is quite visible on the faces of Army and CRPF men patrolling the Highway.

Unless state doesn’t understand the fact that nothing can be achieved without taking common man on board, every harsh measure is going to prove counter productive and will increase the anger and alienation further.

It is not the question of proving writ or authority of the state by imposing the ban but by doing so state has made a laughing stock of itself and all those who are being seen as India’s enemies must be clapping in their secret meetings as what so ever repressive measures New Delhi may impose in J&K, it helps only anti-India sentiment.

Kashmiris have seen so much of death, destruction and humiliation that they don’t expect anything called goodwill gesture from the state but it certainly forces even those who are India’s well wishers in Kashmir to conclude that New Delhi is running out of options in J&K.

Unless New Delhi does not recognize the fact that J&K is not a law and order problem but a political issue, It will go on doing strange, harsh and inhuman things in Kashmir, without understanding that every such measure will destroy New Delhi’s interests in J&K.

Let the Indian masses at least understand that if after 30 years of militancy, security forces are not safe on the Highway, what could be the fate of a common man who has to live every second of his life in an atmosphere of uncertainty and is a suspect for both State and Non-State actors.

Should not New Delhi now wake up and stop telling lies to Indians about J&K and sincerely come forward to find an amicable and durable resolution to 70 years long dispute, which has made the entire sub-continent like a hell.