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Failing Kashmir policy

The reports coming of late from Jammu and Kashmir, a continuing headache for India since independence, suggest that the Kashmir policy of the central government, especially of the Modi government, is a complete fiasco. The Narendra Modi-Amit Shah team claimed the decision to repealing Article 370 of the Constitution as well as striping Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood, thus bringing the region under central control, was to end terrorism and extremism and establish peace and normalcy. Although this unprecedented action, while still alleged to be unusual and unconstitutional, has been questioned in the Supreme Court; the court has not yet considered the petitions related to it. It implies that the Modi government has got enough time to prove its claim true. Even so it was at the cost of denying rights to Kashmiris, the entire country did not speak out against the central government's decision hoping it would heal the persistent headache. But what is happening now? Kashmiri Pandits—a Hindu minority in Kashmir—according to media reports, are flocking to Jammu and other parts of the country in droves, dispelling the notion that they are living a quiet life in government-guaranteed jobs after returning to Kashimir following the government's rehabilitation program. On May 12, terrorists stormed a tehsildar's office in Budgam and killed an official named Rahul Bhatt. Soon after, they did away with a Pandit teacher who was brought in from Jammu by the government and appointed in a school there.They also did not spare the Muslim-named TV artiste Amreen Bhatt.

Atrocious killings have resumed even as the government claimed everything was alright despite 25 killings were reported to have committed by terrorists in October 2021; there have been five murders in May alone. This is enough to make Pandits and other minorities insecure out there. That is why the Pandits are leaving, knowing only too well that they will not be peaceful in the valley despite the government's efforts to ensure security in military-occupied Kashmir. As many as 6,000 Pandits returned to the Valley as per the Rs 1,000 crore project announced by then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan singh in 2008 to rehabilitate Pandits who had fled the valley to Jammu and Delhi following the rampant attacks on them in 1990s. The Modi government has brought in 4,000 people and rehabilitated them with all the guarantees and jobs. Beyond the bragging of Kashmir being calm and serene, the situation of terrorism in Kashmir has rendered in balance the future of the minorities in Kashmir, forcing them flee the valley en masse. The central government is trying to gloss over the facts by citing one million tourists and the three months of hotel bookings. Opposition parties and the media have pointed out that it will not work this time.

The question is what to do next. Attempts to impose strictures and rules on a people, disregarding their will and choice, have never been ultimately successful. By shouting out to the world hour after hour that Kashmir is an integral part of India, India's only agenda was to counter Pakistan's claims. There has never been a sincere effort on the part of the Central Governments to recognise the fact that not only Kashmir but Kashmiris too are an integral part of India and to grant them their constitutional rights and to involve them in the democratic process. Instead, inducting their vassals in power out there, the Central governments pursued self-interests using military power. What did Farooq Abdullah to Mehbooba Mufti do? The country has seen the consequences. The BJP's sharing of power with Mehbooba was a huge fiasco. Then the Modi government 'nationalised' Kashmir with an iron fist. Without any effort to correct the mistake of continuing to tell stories with guns over and again, the river of blood will continue to flow in the beautiful Kashmir Valley. There will be no peace for Muslims or Hindus. Pakistan will never miss an opportunity to put India on the defensive and to raise the Kashmir issue in international platforms.

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TAGS:Kashmir issue Targeted-killings 
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