The violence always makes a statement with deaths. What happened on Sunday spoke of so many things all at once. The clashes that left seven people dead and many others injured with burning buses and stone throwing making a visual treat drawing vicarious pleasure at the scenes of blood red Kashmir. The goal of what happened on Sunday could have been anything ranging from the simple enforcement of the poll boycott and throwing a solid challenge to India. All this was done to make it clear to the world that whose writ runs large in Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Valley where violence has become a part of daily life. the violence visits the Valley from every nook and corner. The doctrine of violence that has unveiled itself in many forms and manifestations has brought the things to a verge where there can only be a doom ahead unless the corrective measures are taken in time.
Anger of Kashmiri youth touches new heights when it is fed to him that something is being superimposed on his Kashmiri Muslim identity. Kashmiri is a rebel by nature. He takes things in his stride only to a point. Beyond that the rebel within him surfaces and reacts with a vengeance. Now for over 27 years, Kashmiri rebels have seen that they were going nowhere. They are disenchanted with Delhi, Islamabad, international community, and more so by their own leadership, whether they represent separatist or the mainstream camp.
Emotional and ideology hardened as he is, he jumps into a situation where violence assumes justification and their deaths in the firing by security forces something to be showcased to the world as the gross human rights violations. It is all directed at drawing attention to each and every stone thrown, cause behind it and also to every death and injury to magnify the effect. The underlined idea is to show what Kashmir is undergoing an how the status quo is suffocating the Valley. Some of the people may not agree, but they find themselves fall in line because they have no other option to opt.
With some 7.14 per cent voting and so much of violence is not democracy. Even if some one wins, will he have any legitimacy or moral ground to claim real victory. It is a defeat handed over in the form of victory to the winner, whosoever he is. There are no victors. It is loose and lose situation. This is something that the would be winner should ponder. Whatever be the circumstances, the fact is that the polling was miserably low as a majority of voters stayed away from polling booths. May be it was because they were scared of visiting polling booths where the violence was visiting time and again. Or it was their own choice to stay indoors to avoid being caught in the vortex of poll boycott violence and attendant deaths and injuries.
One point that needs to be understood is that the violence is encouraged and incited by politicians conferring heroism on the stone throwers. But, when the actual violence happens and tragedies pile up, they never own their statements inciting the violence. the whole blame is laid at the doors of others. If the past is any guide, it would happen again this time. It is inherent in the genes of the politicians whose view is just concentrated on their self.
Separatists, as they have done it always, tried to redeem their position by giving a call for a general strike for two days to mourn and protest death of civilians in the firing by security forces. They would insist that their stand has been vindicated by the loss of lives in the line of cause. " The sham elections held under the unacceptable presence of the Indian army were unacceptable to the people of Kashmir." Agreed ! But had there been no violence and the percentage would have stayed as low as it is, then they could have claimed the credit. The violence should not be made a tool to demonstrate the popularity of their cause. Since large scale violence, particularly in Budgam district, was central to the low percentage, they need to revisit their own popularity test.
Again, it may be said that there was not the proper assessment of the situation. The preview was more coloured than factual. It was not the time for the bye-elections. At this point of time Kashmir's wounds of 2016 were still festering. The feelings were bubbling with anger as the youth who had lost their friends and loved ones were s waiting to seek revenge. The administration had not taken control of things as yet. It is in doldrums.
Election Commission of India should have understood the situation instead of rushing with the holding of elections to meet its deadlines. The deadlines are not sacrosanct. The peoples' lives and properties are. Heavens had not fallen when general elections were not held in the state in 1991 because of the adverse situation in the Valley. Text book style democracy has its own pitfalls. The loss of eight lives and the lowest voting percentage have stamped anything but the enthusiasm for democracy in Kashmir.