November 26, 2020

No dead end to silence of Civil Society groups

Though both mainstream and separatist parties broke their silence immediately after their release from several months of detention from July onwards this year and are gradually reviving their activities across Jammu & Kashmir since August 15 but Kashmir’s top civil society groups are yet to break their silence over the measures taken by central government on August 5 last year and thereafter in Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) and “Concerned Group of Citizens” (CGC) – the two top civil society groups of Kashmir are yet to break silence on both the last year’s August 5 moves over erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state and as well as implementation of post August 5 decisions of the central government including imposition of new citizenship laws in Jammu & Kashmir. Though both the top civil society groups used to show pro-active responses to the central government’s meddling in the affairs of Jammu & Kashmir Government before August 5 last year but they have not uttered even a single word even over a single measure opposed and rejected equivocally by both the mainstream and separatist parties in Jammu & Kashmir. By keeping their activities on suspension mode even after the easing of restrictions on political and non political groups in Kashmir since March this year the two top civil society groups- Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) and “Concerned Group of Citizens” (CGC) have not only disappointed but also shocked the hapless populations of Jammu & Kashmir. Fact remains that both the civil society groups could have atleast shown their responses against apolitical decisions of the central government like the introduction of new languages and drastic changes in the course curriculum by the J&K Board of School Education, but they have choosen to remain silent even over academic and cultural issues concerning the linguistic and cultural identity of the youth in Jammu & Kashmir.

Continuing silence won’t give respite to either the civil society groups but situational compulsion may force them to forge unity for safeguarding the interests of the people anytime in coming months or years. Before it is too late, better for them and think about the revival of their activities for their own interests.      

Not only the two top civil society groups but even the trading bodies are turning a blind eye to several measures taken against the interests of even the trading and business communities in Jammu & Kashmir downgraded from a state to a union territory. Amid this questionable silence of the top civil society groups and trading bodies a new civil society group under the name & style “J&K Civil Society Forum –JK CSF” launched by a former trade union leader Ab Qayoom Wani after his resignation from mainstream political party PDP mustered the courage to hold a sit in against the implementation of new land laws early this month in Jammu & Kashmir. Continuing silence won’t give respite to either the civil society groups but situational compulsion may force them to forge unity for safeguarding the interests of the people anytime in coming months or years. Before it is too late, better for them and think about the revival of their activities for their own interests.

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