An unending uncertainty in Kashmir

Views from Srinagar

Aaliya Ahmed

KASHMIR and uncertainties, Kashmir and turmoil, Kashmir and crisis, Kashmir and controversies are closely linked and they have become part of our lives. When it seems that a certain crisis is over and we take a sigh of relief, another crisis with more sinister dimensions knocks at our doors.
It is not only the political uncertainties and controversies, but nature has also been harsh and not hassles free for us. Chillai Kalaan the forty day long spell of severe winter has arrived with more freezing nights, giving us chills of past as Kashmir has yet to come out of six month long cycle of protests which started in summers.
Despite hardships and financial crisis, most of us were seen in the markets buying blankets, warm clothes, charcoal and kangris to fight the chilly nights of severe winter here. As it seems we are destined to be in the midst of political crises, the local newspapers with their bold headlines screamed that people of Kashmir will not allow changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir state.
The cat is out of the bag as the BJP leadership of Jammu seems in hurry to fulfill their poll promises which are communal in nature mostly and have a direct bearing on the special status of this state. When recently newspapers confirmed that the domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees were being issued in the Jammu region and already center has released Rs 2000 crore package for their rehabilitation, all swords are out in Kashmir to challenge this move of central and state governments.
Independent MLA Engineer Rashid has a point when he suggested to the central government that West Pakistan refugee’s crisis is a humanitarian issue and they should be rehabilitated and given citizenship of the country in any other state.
He said that the move to rehabilitate them only in Jammu and Kashmir State has a design of the BJP to change the demography of J&K state and was also in violation of state constitution.
Are we again in the midst of huge political crisis and will the political temperatures heat up in this severe winter also? Opposition National Conference was first to jump in this political controversy and has cautioned PDP-BJP government against the ‘conspiracy being hatched by them’ to dilute state subject laws and to weaken the special status of the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
Has BJP succeeded in pressing for its own agenda and not working on the agenda of alliance with its partner PDP in Jammu and Kashmir state?
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has not been able to move an inch to implement any Kashmir centric initiative written in the document of alliance with BJP and this gives lot of ammunition to the opposition parties and to her critics that she has surrendered the interests of Kashmir to BJP.
West Pakistan refugee crisis is not an isolated incident as it was preceded by another legal crisis, the Supreme Court statement that J&K state was not enjoying separate constitutional position and has allowed outside banks to confiscate and hold properties in Jammu and Kashmir if the local residents are their defaulters.
It was natural for the separatist leadership to take over the rest of agitation in this matter also as they have called for state wide protests on Friday against the domicile certificate row of West Pakistan refugees.
They have lashed out at PDP and have blamed them for working on anti-Kashmir agenda in connivance with BJP.
They have described these moves as the part of final plan to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir and reduce the Muslim majority character of Jammu and Kashmir State.
As events are unfolding on these controversial issues, it seems we will have to witness more crises ridden days in future. Our uncertainties around us have only become more visible. We are yet to reach a stage when we will rejoice our lives and come out of political uncertainties permanently.
Many of our thinkers and writers have started dreaming of looking for life in Kashmir like it was before the armed revolt erupted in 1989. Shah Faisal who has been projected as face of fresh change among the youth of Kashmir has recently written on social media, ‘giving tongue to the silent prayers and murmurs in the thousands of hearts of Kashmir’s young children who are yearning for permanent peace and joy in their lives and want to shed the baggage of fear, pain and uncertainties once and for all.’
Amid this internal crisis of fighting by hopes and dreams with the grim realities of Kashmir our young generation is coming under great mental stress.
Life for them so far has fashioned them to be die hard optimists and to dream for a better life but the crisis, pain and sufferings have become revolving door in their lives and their seems no end to it.

—Courtesy: Rising Kashmir
[Writer is Srinagar based English columnist]

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