The need of the hour is for the people and the government to join hands in pursuing the sincere and honest effort to its logical and successful conclusion, despite the challenges posed by the equally determined enemy
Recently held Jammu and Kashmir urban local body elections was a success, despite the boycott call given by the Separatists
The advent of Governors Rule in Jammu & Kashmir has brought in its wake significant and positive developments in the social and political domain of the State, especially so in Kashmir. The inability of the Mehbooba Mufti-led Government to live up to the aspirations of the people which, in turn, led to a breakdown of the coalition government, brought in its wake despair and frustration. It is to the credit of the Governor’s office that it has managed to contain the sensitive situation and also take some constructive steps forward to benefit the people of the State. The result is that the confidence of the people has remained intact.
Sri Amarnath Yatra was smoothly conducted under the present administration in J&K
The credit of the smooth conduct of the Shri Amarnath Yatra, immediately after the elected government fell and Governor Rule was imposed, goes solely to the former Governor, Shri NN Vohra. As Chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), he took a personal interest in the minute details and checked all facilities. Such dedication speaks highly of his commitment to the cause of the state. The culmination of the Yatra without an incident of violence or an accident added to the confidence of the people as well as the Union Government and set the pace for incremental steps for ushering peace and normalcy in the State.
The determination with which Governor Malik has gone ahead with the conduct of the Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections has exhibited his intention to create a grassroots political structure in the state regardless of the odds that are piled up against such a move
Political Process had Strengthened
The Union Government, by selecting a career politician, Satya Pal Malik, as a replacement to Shri Vohra indicated its intention to give a boost to the political process in the state. A significant positive in favour of Malik was his vast experience in the field of politics and his links with a large number of political parties which he has leveraged to good effect.
The determination with which Governor Malik has gone ahead with the conduct of the Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections has exhibited his intention to create a grass roots political structure in the state regardless of the odds that are piled up against such a move. The separatists were not expected to participate in the elections. However, their boycott by the mainstream parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC) came as a significant setback. Despite the odds, the elections have been held as per schedule, and soon enough the elected bodies will be functional. It is then that the self-serving politics of the few who own the state to ransom will be exposed.
Now that the elections are firmly in control Governor Satya Pal Malik has launched yet another significant political prong that relates to weaning away the Kashmiri youth from the debilitating influence of the evil foreign forces. In a significant statement, he has identified the youth as the most critical stakeholders in the peace process in J&K and specifically expressed the need to engage with them regularly and effectively. Many eminent intellectuals, civil society personalities and community leaders, including this columnist, have earlier expressed similar sentiments on the urgent need to engage with Kashmiri youth positively and productively.
For how long are the Kashmiri people expected to suffer in the hands of violent forces that are attempting to break down their age-old civilisation? A civilisation stands on the shoulders of its youth, and it is this very category of the society that is being targeted by the evil forces. The indoctrination of youth on to the unacceptable path of terrorism leads to counter-terrorist operations and thus forms a vicious circle that is threatening the very existence of the society. Death of a single male child becomes a collective disaster for at least four families, and it has repercussions for many decades hence. The elimination of the young boys is causing a warped demographic pattern where the women are being called upon to become breadwinners in the families. The suffering is caused has a destabilising effect which is, in turn, leading to a chain reaction of distress and anguish for the whole body politic of the region.
The foreign-sponsored forces working in Kashmir have a very well established propaganda structure in place to dominate the information domain. It can be seen from the manner in which these evil forces have exploited the death of the terrorist Manan Wani
Fighting Against the Breaking India Forces
The foreign-sponsored forces working in Kashmir have a very well established propaganda structure in place to dominate the information domain. It can be seen from the manner in which these evil forces have exploited the death of the terrorist Manan Wani. Immediately after news of his being killed in a counter-terrorist operation came in, the enemy propaganda machinery got active; Kashmir media, suitably egged on by the separatists, started talking about “martyrdom of Manan Wani.” He is also being projected as a “Scholar Militant.” The captive media also attempted to create an aura of a huge spike in the so-called militancy in Kashmir. It is taking great pains to highlight that educated youth from well to do families are now joining the path of terrorism.
The matter has to be seen in perspective! Firstly, it needs to be understood that there is no militancy in J&K; those who pick up the gun are terrorists working for an opposing foreign power and pursuing an anti-national agenda. Secondly, the numbers are minuscule. It may be recalled that about two decades ago, till the beginning of this millennium, more than 10,000 terrorists were operating in J&K. With time this number has been reduced to about 200 terrorists operational only in the Kashmir Valley; of these about 60 per cent are local youth – the likes of Manan Wani. For the security forces, that were successful in eliminating enemies of the State in the count of thousands infiltrated from across a porous border, the present scenario of 200 odd terrorists poses little challenge.
The desire expressed by Governor Satya Pal Malik for positive initiatives wean away the youth from the aforementioned self-destructive path of terrorism should elicit support from all segments of society. The government, however, can only render assistance to such an initiative while the real work on the ground needs to be done by the elders of the community themselves. It is the parents, guardians, teachers, religious personages, political and community leaders who need to initiate the engagement process. They need to advise the government about the action that is required to be taken to strengthen their attempt to defeat the evil foreign forces that are bent upon destroying the Kashmir society for personal gains. Islam is also about teaching our young generation to be alive to face the beautiful hardships of poverty and do Jihad of living their life piously and righteously, despite difficulties of neediness, joblessness and hunger.
The state of J&K is witnessing a forward movement insofar and establishment of democratic norms and bold steps to contain the spectre of terrorism is concerned. There is visible in the government an urgent desire to usher an era of peace and prosperity in the State. It is also apparent that the enemy, with his sophisticated propaganda machinery being already in place, will do everything possible to defeat this forward movement. The need of the hour is for the people and the government to join hands in pursuing this sincere and honest effort to its logical and successful conclusion, despite the challenges posed by the equally determined enemy.
(The writer is a senior analyst, columnist and author)