Sending a clear message

Kashmir rejects power brokers, endorses idea of India
School students form a circle with Indian tri-colours in Jammu. [Representational Image]
School students form a circle with Indian tri-colours in Jammu. [Representational Image] Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

Overwhelming participation of Kashmiri people in the 76th Independence Day celebrations has sent a clear message to the traditional leaders and politicians they have boarded the wagon of peace, prosperity and development.

By hoisting the tricolor atop their homes to celebrate ‘Azadi Ka Mahotsav’ people of Kashmir exhibited their commitment towards building a “Naya Jammu and Kashmir.”

The tricolor flying high across Kashmir on 76th Independence Day was a befitting reply to leaders like former J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who had predicted if Article 370 is abrogated no one will be left in the Valley to hold the National Flag.

Huge participation of people in ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign made it clear that the common people of Kashmir endorse the idea of India and the so-called leaders, who claimed to be their “Messiahs” were nothing more than actors, who staged dramas for 70-years to remain in power.

They never allowed a common man in Kashmir to develop a personal relationship with the tricolor. They kept him away from the National Flag as well as nationalism.

The leaders, who ruled J&K for seven decades, never made an attempt to inculcate the feeling of nationalism and patriotism in the hearts of people as they knew that once a common Kashmiri becomes aware about his rights and duties their shops will get closed and they would be rendered irrelevant.

While participating in Independence and Republic day celebrations they used to pretend that they are doing it under compulsion but in New Delhi they used to claim that they are the only people who can represent the idea of India in Kashmir.

On the other hand in Kashmir they used to very cleverly publicise the celebrations of the occasions like July 13 as “Martyrs Day” and used to make a beeline at Naqashband Sahib graveyard. They used to ensure that they visit the graveyard and their presence gets wide publicity. By doing so they kept the feeling of separatism and secessionism alive.

The death and birth anniversaries of National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah were observed to make people remember the slogan of plebiscite that was raised by the late leader. In a nutshell politics in Kashmir was all about theatrics. It revolved around hollow slogans and irrelevant issues.

After Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India in 2014 he ensured that the dramas in Kashmir end once in for all.

Soon after taking over the reins of the country PM Modi and his team worked out a comprehensive plan to integrate J&K completely with the Union of India. The contours were worked out during the first five years of PM Modi’s rule.

After BJP returned to power in 2019 with a thumping majority the job to integrate J&K with the Union of India was assigned to Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, who just within a few months finalised the modalities to scrap the Article 370. He put an end to the hegemony of the politicians, who had taken the J&K hostage for 70-years.

The Home Minister was aware that the so-called leaders of Kashmir are nothing more than paper tigers, who had won elections due to boycott politics and they don’t enjoy any support. His calculations were proven correct as no one came out to seek the release of these leaders when they were arrested after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

On 76th Independence Day of India Tiranga flew high across the Union Territory. The people exhibited their love for the country by hoisting the National Flag atop their homes. They participated in the Tiranga rallies and related events that were organized to celebrate Azadi ka Mahotsav.

Three years after the abrogation of Article 370, J&K stands completely integrated with the idea of India. Power brokers and the political artists have lost their addresses. They are making desperate attempts to become relevant.

They are trying to sell “old wine in a new bottle” by telling the people that they will get everything back but the fact of the matter is that no one in J&K wants anything back. People have endorsed the decision of PM Modi led dispensation to end the 70-year old long status-quo.

They have understood that they were misled and misguided by their leaders just for the sake of power. J&K has changed and has changed for the good. The credit for the change goes to PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

(The author is a journalist member of The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Of South Asia and The Secretary General of International Centre for Peace Studies.)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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