Youth News

Youth Street News - - Content -

The Cen­tre stands em­bar­rassed in Kash­mir as never be­fore. The Naren­dra Modi led BJP gov­ern­ment, which had been claim­ing from Day 1 that it has states­man-like so­lu­tions to the trou­bled state and which is also a part of a coali­tion gov­ern­ment in J&K, seems to have com­pletely gone way­ward with re­spect to its han­dling of the Kash­mir con­flict.

While its strong arm tac­tics and its safe pas­sage to RSS work­ers to in­fil­trate the state's pol­i­tics had made peo­ple ap­pre­hen­sive that alien­ation will in­crease in the val­ley, the Srinagar by­polls con­firmed it all. The Srinagar par­lia­men­tary con­stituency had fallen va­cant af­ter Lok Sabha MP Tariq Hamid Karra of the rul­ing Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Party re­signed both as a par­lia­men­tar­ian and mem­ber of the

Me­hbooba Mufti led party. The by­elec­tions were sched­uled on 9 April and none other than Na­tional Con­fer­ence pa­tron Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah was on the fray among oth­ers.

Yet on the day of the polling, all that came to light was the mis­trust of peo­ple that has in­creased man­i­fold since the PDP and BJP joined hands in 2015 to form the state gov­ern­ment. The mus­cle-flex­ing ways and un­due in­ter­fer­ence of the Rashtriyaswayam­se­vak­sangh, which is al­leged to have or­gan­ised an arms rally in Jammu among other mis­ad­ven­tures, has com­pletely weaned away peo­ple from repos­ing their faith in the demo­cratic sys­tem.

9 April reg­is­tered a new low in the state's che­quered his­tory of elec­tions with an abysmal 7% peo­ple com­ing out to vote. This was the low­est polling per­cent­age in the val­ley since the 1996 elec­tions that were held af­ter many years of pres­i­dent's rule in J&K amid a spate of mil­i­tancy. While the sep­a­ratists in Kash­mir had pre­vi­ously given calls for elec­tion boy­cott, it rarely worked. Which is why the PDP and in par­tic­u­lar, its ally the BJP, can­not trans­fer blame to the Hur­riyat. It is their fail­ings at pol­icy and gov­er­nance and ex­treme show of in­dif­fer­ence in the face of last year's sum­mer un­rest that claimed the lives of scores of peo­ple, which is re­spon­si­ble for the mess.

In a clas­sic demon­stra­tion of the "empty ves­sels make much noise" syn­drome, the RSS and the BJP, which by the way never missed an op­por­tu­nity in pre­sent­ing them­selves as the "know-it-all" prag­ma­tists of the Kash­mir is­sue, have re­versed the years of ef­forts of the pre­vi­ous UPA gov­ern­ment and its pre­de­ces­sor Atal Be­hari Va­j­payee gov­ern­ment that had worked dili­gently to con­nect the peo­ple in J&K to the main­stream and bring rel­a­tive peace.

On the day of the polling it­self, eight civil­ians were killed by the se­cu­rity forces, which in most cases, al­legedly did not ob­serve the stan­dard op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dures which re­quire them to first lathi charge, then fire tear gas shells, and then re­sort to fire gun­shots at the lower half of the pro­test­ers' bodes. In a shame­ful in­ci­dent, the paramil­i­tary soldiers tied a man, Fa­rooq Ahmed Dar, in their jeep and used him as a hu­man shield in Beer­wah area of Srinagar con­stituency. Clearly, this un­prece­dented spec­ta­cle, cap­tured by lo­cals in their cam­era videos and re­leased on the so­cial me­dia, are re­flec­tive of the hate lan­guage the BJP and the RSS are spread­ing in Kash­mir for elec­toral gain in Jammu. But what was even more pa­thetic, gen­eral G.D. Bak­shi con­doned the Army and hailed its "hu­man shield strat­egy" to evade stone pel­ters as an "out-of-the­box" method.

The civil­ian ap­proval across me­dia, if so­cial me­dia re­ac­tions are any­thing to go by, and the bizarre de­fence of the episode by the prime time news an­chors shame us as a na­tion fur­ther and make us pon­der if the RSS-BJP'S hate pol­i­tics is get­ting the bet­ter of us?

Mean­while, the by­elec­tions in Anant­nag, sched­uled for 12 April, had to be post­poned to 25 May and then can­celled al­to­gether, ow­ing to street protests.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.