Looking for a headline of hope and promise !

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Kashmir refuses to exit from bad headlines. Some are jubilant that Kashmir is in the headlines because of the number of militants killed in the recent weeks – and they don’t lose a breath in attributing it to the J&K becoming UT. The fact of facts is that much before the state J&K was split into two union territories of Ladakh ,and J&K  last  year, there was  fierce militancy. There were equally high-impact anti-militancy  operations in which hundreds of militants were killed year after year.

What has this to do with the new  status is  beyond comprehension. The intensity of  militancy and anti-militancy operations is not determined by the change of constitutional status of  the  place. This might have had political implications, but that changed the nature of the anti-militancy operations  has no relation whatsoever.

This bitter reality haunts Kashmir. There is a need to change  situation on the ground  which could lead to  change in the headlines. Its importance lies in changing the image of the place – the paradise on earth, the image of which has been perforated by guns and grenades – the clichés that refuse to become obsolete.

Kashmiris must have known by  this time after suffering huge tragedies in  which the majority and minority communities have suffered  for decades now, have done  nothing good to them. They have suffered  immensely, and their destiny can change if they foresee their future realistically. The foremost requirement  is that the people  focus on their needs and genuine grievances  and air the same in a manner that makes Delhi to listen to them and respond positively.

The global scenario as it has emerged with the advent and  widening sweep of the pandemic of novel corona virus  is not same what it was before this deadly disease struck. Each nation is struggling to survive the economic distress. Health infrastructure is  collapsing. Within India, the number of positive cases is on constant rise crossing one grim milestone after another. In China, the outbreak has surfaced in Beijing  and the Chinese leadership that is threatening Taiwan, making new security law for Hong Kong and engaged in stand-off with India in Ladakh, Sikkim and Uttarakhand is not in a good shape either. Pakistan is downed by the virus, and the disease is spreading in an uncontrollable manner. It is not an easy situation in the world – that is a milder version of how difficult things are  across the nations.

And, once the most powerful nation in the world – the United States of America –has not only failed on the health front. It was clueless and it continues to be lost where the people’s faith has shaken beyond the worst nightmares that they could have imagined even in the dark era. The racial injustice and the protests after the killing of African –American  George Floyd, who was kneeled to death by a white police officer last month  has re-opened the wounds of division existing in the  American society. Things are worsening.

Against the backdrop of these disturbing scenarios across the world, Kashmir needs to draw its own lessons – the first of which is that it alone can radiate positivity on the land and the people. The darkness in lives is to be lighted by what is good. Kashmir is producing its fruit, sowing season is on  and the wheels of life have started moving gradually . These are the issues to be highlighted that would make the headlines to change and present  an image of  what exactly Kashmir is .

Worst comes to  worst,  corona will stay on until a vaccine is ready. That hope should be a driving force  as the tourists are waiting to come when the things ease. Europe is opening up gradually with new normal. With the economies of all classes having suffered, the would be tourists will  be looking for holidaying destination within the country. Kashmir will have to dust up its image and show to the country and the world that Kashmir is beautiful and people are hospitable. It should not shy away from taking advantage of the central schemes. That’s its right, and once that happens not only the benefits will flow, the headlines will also change to that of hope and promise. These are also the ways to overcome the tough times.