by Ajaz Wani
As the kids in the rest of the country aspire for a decent and joyful life, ours in the Kashmir valley are happy with the stones. That does not mean that they don’t wish to see a great life ahead or they are short of talents rather they are blessed with enormous ones to conquer the world. They too want to be cinema stars, great musicians, dancers, celebrated authors, world renowned physicians and engineers, artists, painters, great leaders ,scientists and sports persons but all these dreams disappear like a wintry fog as the usual life around is worse than the worst. One should not wonder how thousands of young Kashmir’s since 2010 have turned into passionate stone pelters as this did not happen overnight and without any reason rather it all happened gradually in a hopeless world which hardly appeals to their better senses. All those from the prime minister to our lady chief minister who want to see books, cricket bats, and laptops in the hands of these young ones are actually denying them the same because what they could have done has never happened so far.
Intense clashes were reported from across the valley between students and government forces (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Unfortunately, over the years, most of the govt officials and think tanks both at the central and state levels have been suggesting half hearted measure in complete negation of the ground reality. Instead of putting in place a permanent political machinery to get engaged with all the stakeholders of the dispute efforts are on to rob the state of its legal and constitutional peculiarities. Under such circumstances expecting things to turn normal is but a fools dream.
As Kashmir is turning out to be the youngest graveyard and the blind man’s paradise, the policy makers at Nagpur seem to be in no mood to help calm down the situation. The only solutions they offer to the government are those of banning the internet, detaining civilians, putting innumerable, particularly young ones behind the bars on charges of sedition and what not.
Since 1947 till now all that was promised and agreed upon over Kashmir whether in the UNO or at the Tashkent has hardly been taken care of. Even the constitutional autonomy granted to the state through article 370 has been to a large extent eroded and fresh attempts are being made By the BJP lead government to completely abrogate it. When the state herself intends to do all this damage it is natural that seeds of political instability are given a chance to sprout.
Post accession Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed nothing substantial but only brutal denials of truth and step motherly treatment by the central government. The only thing that has been focused and prioritized since then was to conduct elections in the midst of turmoil as a showcase of people’s participation and interest in the larger political framework of the country. The state level political parties like National conference and people’s Democratic Party have only been used as political tools to stay with the people.
So, what has actually happened over time is the brutal invasion of the states particular historical and political character thus leaving behind enough justification for all political agitations and discords within the state. People and political parties have become more assertive in their demands for different concessions from the central government. The voices for Azadi, autonomy and self rule have become more stronger and louder. But the union leadership seems to be in no mode to address them. This in a way complicates the situation further.
The voices for Azadi, autonomy and self rule have become more stronger and louder. But the union leadership seems to be in no mode to address them. This in a way complicates the situation further.
As the government has failed to address the broader political aspirations of the people in the state, an upsurge of large scale mass protests have been reinvented as a way of expressing anger against the state. Roads and streets in the Kashmir valley are now less often travelled by vehicles but more so by the young stone pelters. The atmosphere around has been so boiled over that a minor incident around can unleash terror over the people. Since 2010 till now, we are witnessing abject images of Kashmir where bullet and pelt guns are sending countless to the graveyards and turning many more blind. All those who escape cannot find a better place than prison.
However, as Kashmir is turning out to be the youngest graveyard and the blind man’s paradise, the policy makers at Nagpur seem to be in no mood to help calm down the situation. The only solutions they offer to the government are those of banning the internet, detaining civilians, putting innumerable, particularly young ones behind the bars on charges of sedition and what not. As the story of Kashmir conflict moves, we find no ending to this turbulent phase of violence and misery. Under such helpless circumstances, stones are the only weapons left to make someone listen.