Hopelessness on 1 year completion of Aug 5 decisions

Raqif Makhdoomi

Whole of Jammu and Kashmir was on August 5, 2019 thrown into a pool of political turbulence, social uncertainty, mental health issues and economic collision by the Government. The former Governor of state of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Mailk saying on 4th of August 2019 ” Everything is fine till today but I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow ” made them think what’s going to happen with them. The same Governor asked the all parties delegation that met SP Malik on 3rd of August a day before he changed his statement that ” I have send them home satisfied and asked them not to pay heed to rumours” . Well this is not only what Governor did but whole the administration was in denial mode. There could have been two reasons to it either they didn’t knew it themselves or they were asked to do it till the 5th August isn’t the date. It is in place to mention here that the economy of the Kashmir had already suffered a major setback with the Hizb Commander loosing his life in an encounter On 9th of July 2016. It took valley not only on the track of economic loss but also the education sector suffering brutally and mental health taking a toll as it created the most horrify scenarios. Likewise 5th of August 2019 was no less to the uncertainty that the vally suffered rather suffering till now. It came all of a sudden and as As the bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Home Minster of India Amit shah the house was in uproar, the bill was not welcomed by many of the opposition leaders, and leaders from Jammu and Kashmir were made silent with thousands of pro Indian political leaders, Activists, lawyers, and pro India political party workers being arrested. And whole of Jammu and Kashmir being transformed into open air prison with communication snapped, all roads sealed and even news channels shut. The irony of the fact here is that the bill tabled in the parliament to revoke Article 370 was to enable right to education and right to information in the Jammu and Kashmir as claimed by the Home Minister. While all the educational institutions and all the communication sources were shut, the internet shut down in Kashmir has been declared “Longest shut down in any democracy ” By The Washington Post and ironically puts this Internet shut down next to china and Myanmar using the term ” Authoritarian regimes” . People of Jammu and Kashmir will complete 365 days of 4G Black out on 5th of August 2020 and there are no signs of it being restored anytime soon as the MHA response in the Supreme court is very well evident to the fact that they are no mood to restore it. The internet shut down in the region has caused huge loss to the business community but it doesn’t wake up authorities from deep slumber. The review meetings held to take decisions on 4G ban don’t generate any hope of restoration and as such meetings are held just to extendi the ban. The people on the day of every review meeting know the outcome and are ready to make memes out of the review meeting order. The points mentioned in the order are laughable. The irony of the fact is Domicile law finds place in the reasons for 4G not being restored.
A huge challenge to the government of India is to restore the faith of people especially of youngsters and political empowerment could be the beginning for the incumbent central government.
The irony does not stop here. Though it was also said that it will uproot the “Terrorism ” from the valley but since the revocation of Article 370 not a single day passes without an encounter and properties being damaged during encounter hit the newspaper headlines. What happened with the revocation of Article 370 ? Did it give BJP any mileage? Did it help BJP hide the economic downfall or did it help India to gain any international appreciation? Nothing as such happened. The then CM of Maharastra held seminar on Artov;r 370 ahead of the elections and he had invited Amit shah to do the rest. He tried the best but eventually the BJP went out to sit in the opposition . The BJP used the same tactics in Karnataka and had a narrow escape while in the previous elections of Karnatka they had good numbers. So it didn’t pay off in this way as well. A report released by The Forum for Human Rights in Jammu & Kashmir is an eye opener. The report released recently and published by The Hindu on 23rd of July Thursday puts forward impact of the revocation of article 370 on the economy as it says “All the former state’s industries suffered severe blows, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs or faced salary cuts; closure of schools and universities gravely impaired education and added to the trauma of children and parents; health care was severely restricted by Curfew and road blocks; the local and the regional media lost whatever little independence they had “, the report is based on the interview of locals, suggested” The report speaks about many other things like constitutional changes that left people thinking and wondering. The number of encounters is unprecedentedly very high. The report on the economic impact has something this to say “Unemployment rate of J&K is almost twice that of national average, at 17.9% in July 2020 as compared to the national average of 9.5%.” “Job losses in the valley were just under half a million at 4,97,000,” it reported. In the report the Forum has demanded the release of all the political detainees under PSA and also demanded the rollback of media policy. The mental health issues have come up during these times after the revocation of article 370 especially amongst the teenagers. They never thought that their identity would be snatched this way. In whole the scenario GOI left no stone unturned to spread hate among the teenagers’, make people angry and let them suffer from mental traumas. The list of arrested includes the youth of valley as well. Be it 2016 or 2019 the youth of valley are worst hit. According to a news report of India today published on October 1 2019 “the data attached to the report filed by juvenile justice Committee of high court in the Supreme Court in response to a PIL as many as 114 children under the age of 18 were picked by police between August 5 and September 23 of 2019. The list of 114 included 9 years old kid. However the report mentions that they were released on the same day of arrest. And no child was taken to any illegal detention. It must be noted the four member JJC didn’t made any comments on the enquiry but ironically reproduced the report filed by DGP Srinagar, who has categorically refuted the assertions and allegations made in the news reports and the PIL “. The news report of News Click published on 31st Dec 2019 in which it quotes the date of APDP and JKCCS.” The fresh report titled ” Annual Human Rights Review 2019″ By APDP and JKCCS revealed that 412 persons in the region have been booked under PSA, often termed as a ” Lawless law” Post August 5. A majority of these persons continue to remain under detention in jails across India, the rights group has claimed.” According to the report those booked under the law are mostly youth, not over and above 35 years of Age. 58.6% of total PSA are in the age group of 18-35 years says the report. Now it has throw up a huge challenge to the government of India to restore the faith of people especially of youngsters and political empowerment could be the beginning for the incumbent central government.
(The author is a freelancer. Views are his own) [email protected]

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