Sunday, December 5, 2021
 News Details
He Came,He Saw And He ‘Fumed ‘-HM visits J&K

B L Saraf

Was it one of the inscrutable ways Nature often plays that the moment Home Minister landed in Srinagar the dark and gloomy clouds descended in J &K , with an extreme impact in the Valley, which has been weeping and wailing , on account of the death and destruction brought about by the terrorists and for whose correction the HM had arrived ? Jammu region too didn’t escape the furry .The unprecedented weather conditions brought heap of miseries on the people . Surely , God had employed a metaphor to depict reality of the Kashmir situation , which would otherwise remain concealed by usual pleasantness of the Valle’s October .

As it would be his maiden visit post 5th August 2019 Constitutional developments , the Union Home Minister , Amt Shah , must have conjured up a situation ,likely to be seen in Kashmir , where place would be bubbling with the developmental activities, youth overwhelmed by the surfeit of jobs and the security forces breathing it easy , in barracks ,after having been on the streets , since 1990 . This was the scene woven around the argument vehemently set forth for the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A . Therefore , it must have been a surprise of sorts for him to view the scene revealed in quite opposite . That migrant laborers fleeing the Valley , PM Package employees holed up in cramping camps ,Kashmiri Pandits who had stayed put despite heavy odds in 1990 , terrified planning to move out and dozens of innocent civilians killed by the terrorists , is surely a scenario which no Home Minister would ever like to see. No wonder ,Amit Shah left Security Agencies “ red faced for failing to bring peace in the UT.”

Reportedly , the Home Minister said to the officers “ the main objective of the historic decision of abrogation of Article 370 was to bring peace to Kashmir .He lashed out them for failing to achieve the objective .” He expressed his displeasure on the administration for failing to utilize the funds meant for development .Later on in the day , Shah told youth ,brought to hear him ,“I have come here to make friends with youth in Kashmir and seek your support .I extend hand of friendship .Come forward and strength the democracy .” According to HM the first requirement of development is peace . So, he exhorted youth of J&K to eliminate militancy .

There are number of takeaways from the HM’s interaction with the officers and the youth and his observations on the prevailing security and economic scene .One : is his admission that the “ first requirement of development is peace ” : second “ it is the job of youth to eliminate militancy from the region ” and the 3rd that abrogation of Article 370 has not achieved the desired result .

The knowledgably have been arguing form the day one that , in Kashmir , cart cannot be placed before the horse . Peace is the sine –quo –non for every kind of development in the troubled area .And the peace can’t set in by pouring cash in the turbulent political weather of Kashmir. Cash may act to a point but it cannot provide an impregnable umbrella to protect one from the pouring rain of psychological and political discontent . One who believes that economic deprivation, alone , has lead to the present mayhem in the Valley will be deceiving himself . Economy has never been a cause of terrorism and gun culture in Kashmir . Kashmir’s economy , in comparison ,was doing well despite Article 370 being in place .A bare look at the profile of the young men who have been the progenitors of the deadly campaign and those who took over from them ,subsequently , would reveal that they belonged to the economic and social “ elite “of Kashmir . Most of them had professional degrees and were gainfully employed in the state services and elsewhere . True , latter on with the passage of time many unemployed young joined them for monetary and other considerations .

For the abolitionists , it won’t be a good news that abrogation of Article 370 hasn’t turned round Kashmir on economic or security parameters , as was predicted . Maybe ,now onwards the GOI will look at the real cause of discontent and devise appropriate strategy to deal with the situation and save it from slipping back into the darkest era of 1990s.

For long and now a days with more seriousness , Delhi has labored under the illusion that peace in Kashmir can be bought by the economic policy and that would turn out as a panacea of all that ails J &K – particularly the Valley . Viewed In this background , Shah’s statement that the peace is condition precedent for the development of the UT is an encouraging signal and gives hope that measures to achieve the purpose may be on the anvil . Not detracting from the importance of security measure , something beyond them in the shape of political initiatives is the need of hour . Restoration of statehood and installation of an elected government could be one of such measures .Shah has expressed concern for the plight of the minorities living in Kashmir , which makes it all the more important that regard is held for civil and human rights of individuals in the UT : otherwise it is impossible to protect minority rights and expect the return of KPs to their home land .

The G OI has adopted a multi-pronged approach to Pakistan to deal with pending issues ,like cease fire on LOC , etc .It has extended an invitation to the Pakistan National Security Advisor for a regional meeting on Afghanistan . PM Narrandra Modi may adopt the same approach in Kashmir for reconciliation . The first thing that needs to be done in this regard is to lift curbs on civil right activists , release those detunes and the young who have no terrorist antecedents and allow for genuine political activity . The least his administration can do is not to bank too much on“ the sponsored political activism .” This approach will surly open a way for the youth whom Amit Shah wants to befriend and serve the nation and whose “ support he has sought to eliminate militancy and strengthen the democracy in J&K.” If only a part of it happens the visit to J &K will be a “veni vidi vici ( he came he saw and he conquered ) moment for the Home Minster . Amen !

(The author is former Principal District & Sessions Judge)

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