T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol I Issue X

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

February 2003

I N S I D E


 

Spotlight 

Romeet K WATT

 

Comment     

Balraj Puri

 

Column     

Sunita Vakil                          

View Point      

Romeet K WATT

 

On Track     

Romeet K Watt 

                  

Opinion

Sushil Vakil

 

Analysis

Sawraj Singh

 

State Craft

Romeet K WATT

 

Perspective

T R Jawahar

 

Last Word

Sunita Vakil 

 

                            


 

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C O L U M N

Spring time crawling back in Kashmir

Sunita Vakil


Strange as it may sound today, Kashmir is tottering back to normalcy. One earnestly hopes that the ‘healing touch’ of the state government goes a long way in putting Kashmir on the tract of peace and healing the wounds of a bruised state.

 

It was perhaps for the second time in the history of Kashmir that the true and beautiful essence of undaunted human spirit was at display when Kashmiris came out of their winters of discontent and attended the Republic Day parade in large numbers braving militant threats and insurmountable odds, the first time being when they reinforced their belief in peace by exercising their franchise.

 

If there were any wistful anticipation’s that a change in Kashmir for the better was on the cards, these have been realised to a large extent. Having perceived the light at the end of the tunnel, the people of Kashmir are no longer silent spectators and blind followers of the regressive diktats of the Islamic moralists. Terrorism has long ceased to be a weapon to stifle and subjugate them.

 

There is an urgent case for helping restore peace in the valley. The common man today aspires for his security and prosperity as the realization that nothing is to be gained by pursuing a Jehadi agenda has at last dawned upon him. He would rather like a happy and peaceful present than follow the Chimera of an uncertain future. The paradigm shift in the power equation is too obvious to be missed.

 

The people today are more worried about the shambling state of their economics than fundamentalist caper. They crave for peace and not Jihad. They crave for harmony and not hatred. The events in the recent past when militants tried to spread fear by targeting women and children have made the people of Kashmir see the light and exposed the custodians of Islam as brutal killers.

 

Despite the fact that three girls were brutally murdered by these self styled moral cops for defying the burqa diktat, the people refused to be cowed down and instead of remaining passive spectators protested the attack vehemently. In fact the resentment of the masses was so widespread that the perpetrators of the massacre had no other choice but to apologise and reconfirm that the writ was not to be taken seriously. Likewise , in Poonch, militants had to run for their life from a house in Faislabad when the owners of the house fought the militants bravely and snatched their rifles.

 

This is clear indication that the people are now taking a firm stand against these cowardly attacks and trying to come out of their fear psychosis that has been deeply entrenched in their minds. With the public opinion against them, the fundamentalists are being condemned by Kashmiris for attempting to control their lives, subjugate them and bring them to their knees by cultural policing.

 

Whatever the case, it is clear that the new government in the J & K state has a difficult task ahead of it. The hopes of the people of Kashmir are tied, one way or the other, with the CM of the state Mr. Mufti Sayeed. He has to prove his credentiality as well as deliver his promises of bringing round the militants who have been fighting a futile war for more than a decade.

 

It has to be admitted that his policy of healing touch has produced some good results. He needs to be lauded for working towards ushering a certain degree of peace and development in the state. Mr. Sayeed has earned the goodwill of the people by personally visiting them and showing concern in solving their problems. His people friendly tactics as well as strong administrative skills are proving to be reasonably popular in J & K.

 

Moreover, it can not be denied that the forces of terror can be defeated if the Centre and state confront this menace in tandem instead of putting accusing fingers at each other. The Centre should encourage every effort of the state government to improve the situation in Kashmir. It is mandatory for the Central leadership to have an open mind and not to use Kashmir card for petty political games.

 

Today Kashmiris are panting for peace. They have suffered too much for too long. They are prepared to pay any price for the elusive peace, fed up as they are with a decade long of insurgency. They want to win battles against poverty, and not autonomy. They would give preference to education and prosperity rather than hold an AK-47. It is time that Kashmir is given a much needed chance so that the lost paradise is regained.

  • Author is Special Correspondent for Weekly Kashur Gazette

  • By an exclusive arrangement with Weekly Kashur Gazette, New Delhi

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