The very fact that the pro-freedom leaders, in particular the veteran leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, are denied access to people and sieged in their houses reflects the relevance of these leaders. Had their “warranty” ended up , had their expiry date made them eunuchs in politics with no muscularity left in them and had their constituency dried up what point is there to keep them in what you say protective custody.
You talk of normalcy. You sing the leitmotif that peace has returned . Tourism flourished and an unprecedent number of tourists have arrived Kashmir. Militancy is all but non-existent. Infiltration has dried up from its very source. Former police Chief, DG Khuda acknowledged that militancy was in its last phase in JK and said only 147 militants were active in Kashmir valley and around 100 in Jammu region. Yet here we have Kashmir the most militarized place on earth. In such a scenario how can “a few voices of dissent”, whom you deride and accuse “anti-social elements”, vitiate the peaceful atmosphere without the support of the people.
Indian political class, Indian media and civil society (baring a few honorable voices like you) are trumpeting that Kashmiris have turned their back towards pro-freedom leadership and that Kashmir narrative is losing its hold on the minds of Kashmir. And Indian magazine even did a cover story titled’ sorry, Kashmir is happy”. Well, if Kashmir is happy with India, if pro-movement voice has drowned in the din of Khoshal Kashmir, if people have reconciled to the fait-accompli (according to Indians) why then there is parallel regime of AFSPA , DAA and PSA?
You are using elections as a vote for Indian democracy, your PM is flaunting the people’s participation in elections as Kashmiris reposing their faith in Indian democracy , you call it vote against Hurayat camp. Good: why then there is gagging of political voice, why you muzzle political dissent. Why curbs are put on freedom of Kashmir? Why still Kashmir is giving the image of militarized zone, a place of ‘morality vacuum’ where criminal justice system is paralyzed in favor of security force trooper or a police man. But where state is doped with vengeance against a common citizen and the same justice system slaps PSA against children and political leadership.
Only Russia matches with this sort of state obsession and in balance: where power intoxicated are protected by state and unarmed citizens are exposed to the protected bullys. Still yours is a ‘largest democracy’ in the world!
Does democracy entail selective approach? Does it inhales only through one nostril, does it look looks through one eye only, listens through one ear? In rest of India this Cleopatra might be captivating distant looks, here it is one-nostril, one- ear, one- eye bearing democracy. Though democracy levels barriers of separate settlements , yet in Kashmir they get raised by the State. Recently 13 July, martyrs Day, was commemorated. It is a day to pay homage to those freedom loving people who sacrificed their lives to unfetter the Nation Kashmir from the autocratic Dogra rule. The question is why only pro-Indian political groups are allowed, and protected security, to take procession and lay wreaths of flower on martyr’s grave? Why political groups of other persuasions, who in your opinion stand irrelevant in present scenario, are not allowed to come out of their houses and commemorate the occasion.
Hartal, we know is the only democratic, most civilized tool of registering ones protest, anger and hate against the state’s high handedness and its system of creating grave yard silence. Well, if over 62% people, as you showcase are with the mainstreamists, let a counter-call come from Abdullahs and Muftees and Azads, even from New Delhi. The test would clinch the debate of political representatives. The ventriloquists speaking of Delhi and those with home-grown constituency will mark the difference. Do take the gauntlet we throw to you.