Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Right Time to Crack

The first phase of poll in the state of J&K is over with a surprise high turnout. People in large numbers came out of the house and cast their votes to elect a government of their choice, defying the boycott calls made by the separatist groups, the Hurriyat supported by the militants. Even the political parties who matter in this electoral fray could not hide their emotions, but cautiously remarked,'the democracy is taking its roots.' Considering the beginning of harsh winter in the valley, the over-all 69 percent vote signifies a massive change in the perception of the people of Kashmir. Though the time is not yet ripe for euphoria, as the next round of polls are forthcoming, but the trend during the eve of first poll indicated that the people were keen to resolve their daily needs. Looking at the people inclined to take part in the poll at some of the militancy-prone areas really gives satisfaction to those who were expecting peace in the region. Bandipura polled 57 percent now against 31 percent in 2002, Surankote also braved in polling 74 percent against forty in 02, Poonch also has its high stake at 75 percent against sixty. However, the real test lies ahead when areas like Srinagar, Baramullah, Anantnag and Kupwara face the polls.

The approach of the militancy toward the Kashmir, since 2006 has invariably shown a downturn. There are many reasons that had forced the militants to recede from the points they were operating during 1999 to 2004. The involvement of the United States in the warfare at the border of Pakistan, the unpleasant exit of diehard President Musharaf, clipping the hard wings of army and ISI due to the reversal in the political arena of Pakistan, put the core issue of Kashmir insignificant. Regular funding to the militant groups are under surveillance, the government is keeping a distance with the militant groups, the officers in the ISI are feeling the heat, and people at large are fed up with the idea of annexing Kashmir into Pakistan.

The environment that has cropped up in Kashmir after such a long period must be cashed in on immediately by the central government. The government has to be defiant and take audacious steps in order to lead the people of the valley and ensure that the people dump the separatist once and for all. At present, the Govt. of India is rich enough to take on the problems with ease, it is only the wish that matters. Arrange a job to each youth of J&K, compulsory education upto senior secondary, provision of health care to all, distribute food initially to the poor and regular free and fair elections in the state. These will cost much less than what we spend on protecting the state by force. Scrap article 370, allow the people from other parts to venture for new businesses, encourage Kashmiris to dwell any part of the country, give encouraging support to the industrialists who dare set up their plants in Kashmir.

Do not bring in America or Obama to settle this problem. Remember, making of LOC into a permanent border is not the solution of Kashmir issue. If we make our house decent, it would only be a neighbour's envy and not its irritation.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Jones Act
Jones Act Counter