February 22, 2020

Kashmir far from return to normalcy

The situation in Kashmir valley is though showing semblance of normalcy but the uneasy calm amid partial restoration of internet services is prevailing across Kashmir for last more than six months. The restoration of political activities focused on discriminating dislikes and sparing likes has come into sharp public criticism from people of all shades and opinions and as such there is no alternative to review for appropriate changes in the central government’s policy on Jammu & Kashmir. Unfortunately the incumbent government is tending to continue the failed experiments of political splits to revive the political process for the purposes of the restoration of full scale normalcy in Jammu & Kashmir. While the government does not bother to give even a thought to a humanistic approach needed to restore peace in Kashmir valley, the Union Home Ministry is engaging itself in a process of reconciliation with the dissidents of two main regional political parties- National Conference (NC) controlled by Abdullahs’ and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) commanded by Muftis’. While handholding of youth requires a humanistic approach , the central government is pushing the youth to the wall as usual by scrapping popular decisions like withdrawal of age relaxation of five years for Jammu & Kashmir youth for the central civil services examination the applications for which have to be submitted by March 3 this year. Ironically the local BJP leadership in Jammu & Kashmir has not shown even lip sympathy with the students protesting against withdrawal of age relaxation of five years in the central civil services examination. The extension of the central pharmacy act after scrapping of special status have though evoked sharp reaction from people of all shades across Jammu & Kashmir but yet again the J&K BJP leadership is silent over the pharmacists hit by the extension of central pharmacy act. Imposing central laws pushing youth to the wall won’t restore calm but trigger fresh law and order disturbances in Kashmir much before the beginning of this year’s tourist season .
It is the constitutional, institutional and administrative responsibility of the government to deal with the current crisis in Kashmir with utmost restraint and a humanistic approach.
Unless and until the central government does not try to get to the bottom of the crisis of public anger generating for last more than six months and concede the demands of youth hit by new measures taken in haste on the recommendation of Jammu & Kashmir government from October 1 this year, neither the revival of political activities nor the restoration of normalcy can take roots in Jammu & Kashmir. Measures to restore the faith of people in the working of the government are key to restoration of normalcy and revival of political activities in Jammu & Kashmir. Since the people of Kashmir are already facing a hostile environment, the administrative and political wisdom does not demand that dissenting political voices are curbed and rather silenced. It is the constitutional, institutional and administrative responsibility of the government to deal with the current crisis in Kashmir with utmost restraint and a humanistic approach.

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