Kashmir – the road ahead

Recently Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to power there is every possibility about some kind of settlement being reached.

Assertion of the Pakistan Prime Minister triggered sharp reaction from the Congress party and other Opposition parties. Their reaction was dismissed by the BJP as a poll gimmick. 

It seems that Pakistan too has recognized that Narendra Modi is a strong leader and is capable of taking firm decisions.  The BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav during his recent visit to Srinagar said that Modi will have a “golden handshake with all global leaders in 2019” and “after his return to power again, things will change drastically.” (Greater Kashmir—April 13, 2019). 

People of Kashmir are also hoping that things would change for the good and situation would improve. They too are eagerly waiting for elections to get over so that new dispensation is formed in Delhi and someone pays heed towards the hardships being faced by the people in the Valley.      

Many BJP leaders are claiming that situation in Kashmir would improve soon after Modi returns to power. But the Opposition is not ready to buy this argument. All the parties have come together and want to see the end of BJP’s rule. However, for them the things are not falling at place as during the first phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections people were seen voting for BJP and Modi.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the past five years has emerged as a strong leader and the international community too has recognized it. The PM Modi was conferred the highest award by the UAE government recently and Russia also conferred him with state’s highest decoration.

People in Kashmir are watching the developments keenly as they have realised that conflict and confrontation are not taking them anywhere and peace is the only way forward. If BJP returns to power it has to ensure that youth are taken on board and they are provided with the enough opportunities to shape up their careers and build their lives. Some stern measures like imposing the travel ban on highway for two days in a week need to be reversed. And the people who believe in peace should be given a chance to come forward and lead from the front.           

Since the day BJP has pulled out from the Peoples’ Democratic Party led government in Jammu and Kashmir many things have been made amply clear.  The central government has taken a tough stand against the people who speak in one language in New Delhi and another in Jammu and Kashmir. Young faces have come up in politics and are successfully challenging the hegemony of the traditional politicians. These young Turks of Kashmir politics have unnerved the big leaders, who till the recent past used to believe that they have been born to rule.

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah had recently expressed dismay over the new parties and leaders emerging at the political arena of Kashmir. He had accused New Delhi of creating new leaders and parties to divide the votes of traditional parties.  Someone needs to tell Omar that times have changed and Kashmiri people have moved on. They can no longer be fooled by raising “hollow slogans” and giving false assurances. They want results. It’s clear that days of traditional political parties are over and they can no longer call the shots just on the basis of them being the heirs of the leaders, who ruled Jammu and Kashmir in the past.

If  Narendra Modi returns to power and goes ahead with his proposed plan of having a “golden handshake” with all the global leaders it would mean peace and prosperity and the elements who are inimical to peace and talk about 1947 to justify violence would stand isolated. Such elements need to sit back and introspect rather than remaining adamant on their stands. They should see the writing on the wall, which clearly states that world has rejected the violence and there is no space for gun culture left anywhere. Kashmir has to change for better at least for the sake of its younger generation, which has been pushed to the brink and is not sure about its future. Let’s put our act together and work towards building prosperous Kashmir.        

(The writer is a former journalist and member of JK Youth Alliance)