End the Alienation!

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Let this Eid be a harbinger of peace, progress and prosperity for the all.

By: Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi

 While we are on the brink of losing our young generations to the violence and bloodshed, it is very much imperative to look at the genesis of the Kashmir conflict and the role, it is playing in shaping the outlook of the populace of the valley. The alienation that has run deep into the minds of the people because of the injustices done to them on one pretext or the other, have snowballed and gave rise to a serious form of distrust and abhorrence against the government, which no words can express and no condemnations would suffice. There is no denying to the fact that the valley of Kashmir has been witness to several gut wrenching incidents which have not only developed a sense of estrangement among the people but also held them firm, to impress upon the authorities, to honour their due rights which they have been robbed off, on the context of maintaining law and order. The volatility has never been that much, so, are its repercussions, which we are observing in the form of continuous protests. The valley of Kashmir has always remained on the edge owing to its uncertain and turbulent conditions which are very difficult to predict and control, in case they flare up, due to any untoward incident. The turmoil of 2016 is a stark reminder of how the whole valley was up in arms against the government forces to justify their stand against the regime. Such was the intensity of the turmoil that the valley came to a standstill with signs of mass destruction and devastation all around. The fervent appeals from the government to restore the calm were ridiculed on every instance. It took almost 6 months to get the things in place which resulted in huge losses both in terms of human fatalities and economic costs, which nearly pushed the people of the valley to an unending saga of pain and distress. What is marring the narrative of the government with regard to safeguarding the interests of the people, is its inability to understand the aspirations of the people which they have been longing for. The people have become victims of the circumstances which are no way in their control. They have been the worst sufferers of the violence which has shaken their foundation and derailed their belief system in the government.

No sort of political intervention has ever been successful in mitigating the tension that has been on the rise in the valley. So many deliberations on different platforms but results still the same. The hue and cry on human rights violation bears no fruit as the proceedings keep on stacking with the ultimate fate of no action against the perpetuators and the victims yearning for justice all through their life. Hartals, curfews and protests have become the norm of the day. Not a day passes without any blood shed or violence, which has taken away the sheen of the valley, as the people continue to suffer for being a part of the disputed territory, with little or no control of theirs’ on it, unfortunately. What was once promised to the people is reverberated again and again in the protests and discussions to make the world community realise the main reason behind their anguish and demand for the referendum. Armed brutality has given rise to a serious form of revulsion which is very much evident while seeing through the prism of a common Kashmiri. The current scenario presents a gloomy picture as the uprising has reached to alarming proportions, with the young generation taking law and order in their own hands to rewrite the destiny of the valley. The valley of Kashmir has become a political battlefield for the mainstream parties as what matters to them is just the power, so, as to rule the roost!! Unfortunately the elected representatives are seldom approachable when they are in power but become easily accessible when they are in opposition. The biggest irony of all the times has been the callous attitude of the authorities towards the misery and apathy of the people they represent and for which they are in the house.

Whatever is happening, it is the common man who has to bear the brunt, for he is at the receiving side and has to submit himself to whatever he is being exposed to. The people of the valley have been the victims ever since the armed rebellion took place which is what has taken a toll on their mental health. The extent of their anguish can’t be gauged, for whatever they have seen all through these years, has changed their persona and made them quite oversensitive. The ugly events which occur day in and day out have made the people of the valley prone to succumb to the pressure and in turn take hasty decisions about their future. The confidence building measures need to be revamped and adjusted as per the need of the time. So far there hasn’t been a progressive development in reducing the sufferings of the people with the laid down initiatives, which necessitates, a timely intervention to re-create and re-establish the touch points so, that the changes become evident. Just like other people, the people from the valley of Kashmir too deserve the same treatment and respect, for they too are human beings and should be dealt likewise. Violence and bloodshed are no solution to any problem. They can only aggravate the sufferings and breed viciousness and ferocity which favours none. There is a need to understand the problem from both sides and so does it necessitates the union of all the stakeholders to jointly devise a plan which could help to find out a way that could steer all of us to peace, progress and development.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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