The coffin politics

Tuesday, 20 Dec 2011 at 09:28

Whether a human tragedy is handiwork of unknown gunmen or the uniformed personnel, the government has the prime duty of putting an end to such incidents

Kashmir, in many ways, is a strange place to live in. But, when it comes to human tragedy, the situation turns grim rather more pathetic. In most other parts of the world the human tragedy is mourned, cases investigated and analysed. The remedial measures on the basis of investigations are suggested and implemented.

The main aim of such investigations is that tragedies should not be repeated. In our part of the world the politics creeps in on such occasions. Every now and then, the politicians jump in, issue paper statements, and feel that their job is done. The tragedies remain confined to the close relatives who burn their hearts out and, subsequently, suffer silently for their life.

We have witnessed human tragedies of many folds when killings took place by gunmen on both sides. The common phrase developed during last two decades was that the safed posh (poor man) was sandwiched between wardi posh (uniformed personnel) and the naqab posh (scarf covered). The people lost lives and the politicians played politics blaming one or the other group and trying to reap political harvest. The recent incidents like Nowhatta murder, Nazim Rashid killing in Sopore, death of two young girls in Sopore,  use of extraordinary force to kill one hundred twenty youngsters during 2010 or the Shopian double rape and murder are few recent examples of the tragedies that befell this nation .The  response by the politicians of both sides to these killings  is peculiar.

The whole of valley erupted in violence agitating the case of double rape and murder in Shopian. The valley came to a standstill with every thing including government establishments and private business closing down .The opposition blamed the forces personnel in the first reaction and the government had a knee jerk reaction. ‘The culprits will be brought to book in twenty four hours’ said one cabinet minister. ‘The ladies have drowned in the fast moving water current’ said the chief minister parroting the same language as had been told by the district police chief. The truth never came out and the two political sides forgot and sat with ease as if their response had brought solace to the families of the victims.

Two girls in Sopore were gunned down by unknown persons possibly the militants active in the area. Since the murder was blamed on the militants in the first instance the government establishment ran quicker to issue statements condemning the incident. Immediate response from the chief minister and his colleagues came in the form of shooting derogatory remarks  against the separatist politicians. While as the responsible way would be to dig out the reality and bring the culprits, responsible for the heinous crime, to book. Had separatist politicians condemned the act would it prove of some solace for the helpless family whose dear ones had been snatched away from them is beyond anybody’s thinking.

Brutal response to summer of 2010 incidents continues to haunt the families of those killed but the politics is still being played. The issue is entangled in many legal battles played at various courts.

Nazim Rashid, a local businessman in Sopore, was asked to present himself before the police and reportedly tortured to death by the uniformed men. Before any action could be taken to ascertain the facts leading to his death and subsequently punishing them politics was played. The whole lot of opposition PDP reached the area only to be reprimanded by the people and even attacked with stones. Instead of taking firm action against the uniformed culprits, the chief minister approached his microblog to taunt his political opponents over the response they got from the friends and family of deceased Nazim Rashid. Many months have passed since the murder took place but no final enquiry report is available. “Law taking its own course” looks a mirage.

The recent incident which consumed the precious life of a shopkeeper, reportedly beaten by stone pelting hooligans, evoked sharp political estrangement between ruling class led by chief minister and the separatists. One slammed the other over its meek response against the stone pelting hoodlums and the other group paying in the same coin proves a point to be thought over. The politicians try to enjoy the human tragedy instead of putting in efforts to stop such incidents to recur. The million dollar question is had the separatists condemned the incident with forceful words or angry statements against the stone pelting mobs would it bring any solace to the bereaved family.

The security of life is the primary concern of the people in the valley and to guard the human lives happens to be duty of all concerned. Lives of all are precious and politicians of all hues need to put in their efforts to safeguard these lives. Whether a human tragedy is handiwork of unknown gunmen or the uniformed personnel, the government has the prime duty of putting an end to such incidents. Politicians of all shades can’t be absolved of the responsibility.

Blame game is no solution. Hartal calls won’t invoke solace to the families of the victims.

Coffin politics needs to be stopped!   

The writer can be mailed at