Though the cancellation of the election commission is itself an indication of the disconnection of the mainstream political parties at the grass roots but the central government instead of trying to give political space to dissenting voices spearheading the current phase of street protests is experimenting military measures to restore calm in Kashmir. In a very sorry state of affairs the government while trying to restore calm through military measures in Kashmir has completely failed in providing security to public institutions like banks. So Kashmir is in news because of the multiple failures of the government caused by the mishandling of the situation. The government which has failed to undertake a democratic exercise due to the rising anger of the angered populations is not trying to reach out to the people to dig out the roots of anger but trying to silence through military means the youth hitting streets against intervention of police, paramilitaries and army in the premises of educational institutions. The anger among youth is not new in Kashmir but has been increasing over the period of year’s against the denial of political space to dissenting voices challenging the political status of the state. Both the previous UPA governments and as well as the incumbent BJP government headed by Narendra Modi were shaken by the wave of public protests but neither the previous Manmohan Singh government nor the incumbent Modi government bothered to look at the failures and miscalculated decisions of the successive popular state governments. In the year 2008 the public protests were triggered by a totally miscalculated decisions on allotment of several hundreds of acres of land to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) taken by the then Gh Nabi Azad headed PDP-BJP coalition government. Though Azad government withdrew the decision later but regional and religious animosities generated by one single miscalculated decision had done the damage.
The key to present crisis in Kashmir lies in the political engagement but not in military exercises disconnecting the already disconnected popular government at the grass roots.So demilitarization but not the militarization is the solution.
The angered people reposed faith in the democratic institutions by taking part in 2008 assembly elections which culminated in formation of NC-Congress coalition government under the leadership of Omar Abdullah. In the year 2010 another unrest was triggered by the killing of three civilians in a fake encounter in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district and situation could not be normalized until the then Manmohan Singh government announced a slew of political measures for satisfying the concerns of the dissenting voices. In the year 2014 PDP founder late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed choose to stitch an alliance with rightwing BJP with an assurance that BJP would support his initiatives for political reconciliation and some fresh confidence building measures (CBMs) for closer travel and trade contacts between the divided people of Jammu & Kashmir. To the utter discomfort of PDP leadership Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to take advices on reconciliation with Pakistan Vis-à-vis Kashmir and continued his anti-Pakistan posturing even after the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Amid continuing anger against the denial of engagement with Pakistan the killing of Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani triggered yet another unrest in Kashmir but even after the death of over one hundred civilians both with Pakistan and the separatist leadership. Now military measures necessitated by the disconnection of the mainstream political parties who failed to bring voters to the polling station in Srinagar by elections can’t restore calm in Kashmir. The key to present crisis in Kashmir lies in the political engagement but not in military exercises disconnecting the already disconnected popular government at the grass roots.So demilitarization but not the militarization is the solution.