Yatra attack: unanimously condemnable

The Amarnath Yatra attack has provided an opportunity to many television channels who have been screaming at their loudest that people of Kashmir are communal
Yatra attack: unanimously condemnable
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The killing of seven innocent yatris at the hands of unidentified gunmen has consolidated voices in Kashmir against senseless innocent killings. Joint resistance leadership condemned the attack and so have the Hizb and Lashkar. Who has killed these Amarnath yatris in a horrific attack? Is adds to the list of dozens of such incidents in the recent history of Kashmir when the real killers were never identified?

Kashmir civil society for the first time crossed the red line and did a street protest to condemn this attack. All sections of society in Kashmir made it clear to the planners of such crime that enough is enough and there would not be silence over such attacks. Having said that, New Delhi and its media has been asking very awkward and out of sync questions to the panelists from Kashmir in different television debates. Initially they were asking Kashmiris to stand up and speak against such attacks. When Kashmir society stood up and spoke, they started saying this was not enough. Strangely they were repeating only one question where is Kashmiriyat? These questions were being asked even by politicians from right wing party like BJP. Some of them were seen earlier in the television debates justifying Bengal violence by blaming Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee to be responsible for the Hindu reaction because of her Muslim appeasement policy.

The mature and timely response given by political class of Kashmir and Kashmir civil society should basically become an inspiration for the people sitting in Delhi to give a similar response when innocent Kashmiris are being killed on the streets here. After all human being is human being and there is no specialty in any of such killings. The Amarnath Yatra attack has provided an opportunity to those television channels who have been screaming at their loudest that people of Kashmir are communal, should mend their behavior and tender an open apology to the people of India. Even the intelligence feedback from the ground forced union home minister Rajnath Singh to salute Kashmiris for being secular and for keeping alive Kashmiriyat. When the injured yatris were rushed to the district hospital Anantnag they could be saved by the doctors only and dozens of young Kashmiri boys rushed to donate their blood. Some locals came with food and drinking water for the injured yatris and were trying their best to help them in that hour of crisis. But for the media channels Kashmiriyat is dead and perhaps they want civil society of Kashmir to chase the criminals in the darkness of uncertainty where even the government is not sure how the plot was finally executed on the ground.

People of Kashmir have learnt bitter lessons by their tragic experiences. Who can understand the pain of death and destruction better than them? They don't need to be lectured in the areas of humanity and secularism at least. They have never crossed the lakshman Rekha of human values even in worse times. The way Kashmir has reacted to Amarnath yatri attack, it shows that we are here to safeguard our moorings, values and Kashmiriyat. But what about those who lecture while the very idea of India is being attacked and senseless street killings of Muslims and Dalits is becoming a norm.

Civil society of Kashmir has embarked on a very bold path for future. It can become a guiding principle for the future resistance movement which should be away from violence and confusion. But in search of woods we are missing the trees. The root cause of violence, unrest, killings and tragedies is the arrogance of New Delhi not to open talks with all the stake holders to settle the Kashmir dispute. New Delhi is still talking from the seat of power and arrogance as they promised that they will not sit unless they will not liquidate all the militants on ground. Can they bring peace after the encounters will end? Whom they are fooling by such unrealistic bravados? Kashmir can have peace and it can regain its past glory as the tourist destination for all if the dispute is addressed with both internal and external dimensions.      

(The author teaches at Media Education Research Centre, University of Kashmir) 

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