Views from Srinagar
Roohul Amin Malik
EARLIER in Kashmir valley, people were not conscious and familiar with the realities happening around them. Even the life was very simple. The youth were not aware of their career goals and opportunities. People were not caring for their futuristic goals. Employment was not a big deal. People were working few months in a year, for their annual livelihoods. Politics was an institution that was settled to few hands. Those handlers were mostly using it for their individualistic purposes.
Apart from those who were handling the political units, nobody was ready to think beyond their paradigms. People have suffered since 1947, from the pseudo politics of opportunist politicians. Who still use the politics as a tool, to create heavens for their generations? Still, there is a hope of change from the political setup. I am not against the politics at all. However, the aim is to highlight the misuse of politics by those miscreants, for their own shadow benefits. However, once in Kashmir people were chanting the slogans of religion with the names of these politicians. They had established such a faith among the people, that there were fights among the common masses on the name and fame of those politicians. Common masses were kept outside the political paradigm.
An imagination was developed among the public that, once a politician is always a politician, no matter what their capabilities are and how much responsible they have been.
How long these ancestral autocracies would rule the common masses, nobody has any idea at all. Through this piece of work, I want to highlight that there is a need of change in the attitudes of politician as well as common masses in the Valley.
That change should be advanced by the young minds of the valley, who could understand the miseries of common people. Who can cooperate and coordinate the youth of valley with motivational goals and opportunities. These young minds should start questioning the current system.
This change may develop the political consciousness and maturity among the politicians regarding the common masses. How long the freedom struggle of Kashmir would go, we can’t generalise that.
But, for that much period of time, people of valley should not be the victims of opportunist state politics. A new generation of young minds have to think on it.
With the beginning of student protests in valley, a new chapter has emerged in the process of mass struggle. These student protests have alarmed the government in such a way that, schools and colleges in the Valley were closed for weeks long. Still, some schools and collages face the pace of that student’s aggression.
Government of India approached the state governor to think, either to enforce the governor’s rule in the state or to go with status quo. No one was aware that, these student protests would highlight the Kashmir issue in such a huge pace.
Even the international media has highly given coverage to these protests. Debates and discussions were held at national as well as international media channels. The government of India was also pressurised by the United Nations to restart dialogue process with the Pakistan on Kashmir Issue.
The local media’s role during the student protests has honestly remained very much appreciable. They have shown the actual ground realities to the world. Recently, the women workers protest in front of Chief Minister at SKICC Bakshi Stadium has also proved that people of the valley have now tired with the artificial solutions to their problems. People want a concrete solution to their miseries.
No doubt, Kashmiris have voted PDP in 2014 Assembly elections, with a hope in their hearts that PDP would be better choice than the NC and Congress. But, those expectations too seemed to be failed now. Situations in Kashmir have worsened much more than before.
Even, the rise in militancy and coercive approach of the police and paramilitary forces has diminished the hopes of change among common masses. The rise of BJP in Jammu Kashmir politics is itself a major challenge to local parties. Is it not that local parties are providing themselves space to the BJP, by not fulfilling the expectations or demands of the common public. I think, the so called politicians should think on it.
The long hartal calls and uncertainty has vanished the future of students. Students, who have been diverted into six months hartal calls by the situations created, can’t compete with the outside states students. We need to rethink on the future of our students also.
No doubt, hartal is a tool to pressurise the government. But, this tool should not vanish the future of our students. People should not judge the movement on a single prospect. Earlier the separatist leaders were using the Pakistan card as a shield, to defend the movement.
[Author is a research scholar at Centre for International Politics, School of International Studies, Central University of Gujarat].email@example.com]