What BJP minister from Jammu has said about stone-pelters in Kashmir Valley is somewhat a true reflection of the peoples’ feeling. Though the minister retracted by saying the statement was manipulated to give credence to the fact that there is a lingering feeling among the masses that stone-pelters should be treated differently. The very controversy has revoked strong reactions in Valley by people taking to streets enmasse. Ever since the PDP-BJP coalition took charge there always remained a trust deficit howsoever BJP members have expressed reservations on the government working. Despite all efforts both could not maintain a political semblance required and expected. If the minister has said his heart out it could be same with a man on the streets in Jammu. By meeting out special treatment to these miscreants, the subsequent state governments have not gained anything positively, but have caused more damage to social fabric in both the region. One can be sure even the national leadership of BJP too may not be thinking different but political compulsion of holding the government in Jammu and Kashmir is what is compelling them to toe the line. The basic problem remains that the minors and youths who were lured in the beginning by the separatists organisations with a cash payment for pelting stones, got encouraged and emboldened with the statements of Kashmir centric leadership that they are innocents and there were directions from the government to exercise restraint. Had the evil been checked in the bud, the situation could have not achieved this dimension that even the unpaid minors and youths have enmasse come on road with stones and the psyche is spreading like wild fire to reach the point of no return. Myopic political decisions have always cast dark shadows and some of them have lingered on for decades without changing the tone and texture. Appeasing everyone is no political gain and a vision. Looking back at the recent happenings can anybody assure that normalcy would return to the Valley? The way college students indulged in stone throwing, the way girl students took to the street and in quick reaction government removing the principal of a government college can one surmise that the youth involved in all these incidents are innocent and ignorant and have not at all been motivated by others? The present generation of students in Kashmir Valley has grown in tension and violence which has made them bold to come out on streets in large number a phenomena which was never seen. This is an indication that reign of turmoil in Kashmir has changed hands and it is the young who are driving the violence. Both State and Union Governments would have to think of strong steps to check the slipping situation.
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