More lives lost

Anger of Kashmiri youth touches new heights when it is fed to him that something is being superimposed on his Kashmiri Muslim identity.
More lives lost
File Photo

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.

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