JAMMU: Three young lives have again perished in Kashmir. Words fail to describe the tragedy, the enormity of which is colossal for the families but cosmetic to all those playing politics over graves.
As usual, the separatists took to venomous verbosity to nail India and Indian forces. Again, as usual the mainstream leaders took out the Xerox copies of condolence and condemnation messages after filling in the blanks and adding names of two boys and a teenage girl to hog headlines. But unusually, the administration did not rush to lodge FIR against the security forces for their ‘crime’ of responding to murderous and contemptuous stone attack when they were on call of their duties. This is perhaps the difference between the Governor’s administration and the one recently headed by Mehbooba Mufti and partnered by the PDP and BJP.
While expressing anguish over the deaths, the Governor could have perhaps chosen this sad occasion for sending a right message to Kashmir youth, instead of talking beaten tracks like restraint, maximum restraint, strict adherence to special operating procedures etc. The separatists or the mainstream leaders are not going to speak the truth so long boiling Kashmir serves their respective agenda. It does not matter to them who are killed; what matters is the number of deaths. More the killings more activated they get and much more flourishes their enterprises.
By ‘specially inviting’ Northern Army Commander after deadly Kulgam incident, the Governor’s emphasis on avoiding incidents of civilian casualties and collateral damage, even in situations of extreme provocation would be misrepresented by unscrupulous separatists including most of the mainstream leaders. They will use such narrative to their advantage by demonising Indian nation. Some of the National Conference leaders have already gone on record appealing to the Governor ‘to stop these killings’ adding ‘the policy of oppression and suppression is no option’. The CPI (M) local representative posed a question, asking, “Is the blood of Kashmiris so cheap and are Kashmiris so expendable? The policy makers need to understand it that nothing can be achieved by excessive use of force”. Did he ever thought it prudent to be amidst youth and draw them towards positive pursuits? The Congress too preferred to indulge in murky waters, saying such killings will lead to further deterioration of situation in Kashmir. The PDP has started playing to galleries after losing the power by saying a shadow of fear is hovering over the grounds. None of these so-called mainstream parties spoke about the enormity of youth indulging in suicidal stone throwing. They won’t do it. When in power they keep milking India and once out of it they go to bleed India by giving it thousand cuts. For Kashmir main stream, demonising India is more convenient than annoying stone throwers.
National Conference is a premier political party, which owes to the people, especially the youth, right counseling. By urging the Governor to stop these killings, they have actually held the Army guilty of using brute force, which is not a fact. Everyone in Kashmir knows the brutality with which the stone-throwers are subjecting the security forces and the army. The video clippings of humiliating, attacking, abusing and bruising the jawans on every square of the Valley are extremely chilling. The Governor’s administration cannot feign ignorance. No force across the world can demonstrate the amount of restrain, Indian armed and security forces are showing in Kashmir. Such horrendous is the proposition of such attacks, not only in terms of the lives of jawans and officers in uniform but causing obstructions in anti-terror operations, that Army chief General Bipin Rawat was compelled to warn on February 16, last year that “those who try to disrupt anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir will be treated as Over Ground Workers of terrorists and can be fired on”. But his message was mocked by all and sundry, the pseudo secularists, activists, separatists and mainstreamists.
The deaths of stone pelters raise a very piquant and pertinent question as to how much the Kashmir mainstream has counseled the youth against indulging in stone-pelting, which entails nothing except death. Being public representatives they are duty bound to reach out the youth and show them the right path. They cannot just absolve their responsibilities by insulating their own sons and daughters from the menace of stone pelting and push the children of lesser gods to devastation. The stone pelting in Kashmir is not restricted to boys only; the girls too have taken to Intifaada without giving a thought to the fact that had this path of destruction been so righteous and virtuous, the sons and grandsons of Syed Ali Shah Geelani or Syed Sallah-ud-Din would not have got lucrative government jobs or the daughter of Shabir Shah topped the CBSE examination, to cite few of the hundreds of examples.
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