Protest marches with thundering slogans in favor of those injured or humiliated during week long outrage over manhandling of students at Pulwama college has rocked over all atmosphere in Kashmir. Use of force over protesting students has received a wide spread condemnation from both main opposition political party NC and other political parties of J&K state. In wake of the call from Joint resistance leadership for peaceful protest-demonstrations after Friday prayers, large contingents of police and Para-military Central Reserve Police Force personnel were deployed in restive areas to maintain the calm in the troubled areas. While the authorities barred Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Geelani and other separatist leaders from offering Friday prayers.
Adding fuel to the oil, earlier J&K Cabinet Minister Chaman Prakash Ganga’s outrageous remarks were not isolated utterances but pointed towards a deeper prejudice and malice that has not only been assumed to be politically patronized but also systemically institutionalized by the PDP-BJP alliance and are validated at the cost of our people’s sense of dignity and respect. The anti-youth posturing and policies of the Government has brought the State to the precipice of turmoil and unrest.
New Delhi should rise above ideological politics as statesmanship is the need of the hour and at this juncture New Delhi cannot stereotype Kashmiris and define them within the narrow contours of a repressive nationalism versus anti-national narrative. The political problem in Kashmir is far too complex for such broad stroke definitions and merits an open-ended, well-intentioned political engagement with all stakeholders including the leadership of the Hurriyat Conference. You cannot get rid of a political sentiment by brute force or tunnels. The exertion of force on the youth will only worsen the situation and alienate them more. New Delhi’s failure to acknowledge the issue and understand the nuances of the Kashmir problem is shocking. There need to be concern, awfulness in the minds of people at New Delhi to take serious than actually they visualize it.
The widespread unrest in Kashmir demands an immediate resumption of dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad and also between New Delhi and stakeholders within Kashmir to find a lasting and just solution to the Kashmir Issue. You cannot freeze the political issue while our children are being robbed of their future. Both New Delhi and Islamabad owe us a responsibility to resolve this issue as per the sentiments and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir – first and foremost. A continued failure by the two neighbors to resolve the Kashmir Issue has inflicted unimaginable pain and misery on the people of Kashmir, especially its youth.