A divided Kashmir

We are losing on all counts. Time to think

Call it our evolution or a mere coincidence that we seem to be expanding fast politically and militarily at the same time. This growth or expansion is more digital rather than on the ground which we are losing to many betrayals, agreements and alliances since time immemorial.

Our mainstream politics is growing like weed these days. More attractive and lucrative adventure to tread on. May be powerful than the petty chair of officialdom where one is bound to follow the set procedure to move up the ladder. Politics somehow translates into a life time lottery for few, born with lucky stars. So far, we have lucky dynasties.

At the same time there seems no let up in the bloodshed, killings and bulldozing of houses. Our youth are playing with their lives and we are losing our human resource.

The only issue with the mainstream is that it is expanding with the same mantra of political solution of Jammu and Kashmir which to many analysts has become a hot cake to sell among masses. The other side of picture is grim and gloomy. Many young men with the sole objective of dying for their motherland are also fighting for the same resolution of Kashmir.

What is happening in our forests and orchards. Gunfights are a daily affair. After few days of mourning, the family of militant is left to grieve alone or find way how to live without any source of income or support. Not a single voice from Human rights activists to Champions of democracy is raised as everything is equated with the “Terrorism”. That is how the population has learnt to live among all this chaos and mayhem in Kashmir.

Not bad if many people, mostly young and dynamic from different walks of life join politics and pledge to change the face of the dynastic political landscape in Kashmir. And, promise good governance, transparency and jobs on merit to youth. But questions raised need serious thinking, why is it only Muslim part of the state that needs new political leadership and why only Kashmir is witnessing mushroom growth of political parties. Why Jammu is happy with the BJP only and why is Ladakh moving too far away from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Either politics has become a cheap commodity in Kashmir like our life and livelihood or there seems somebody at the remote end of the state with remote control in hand which has a historical tendency to change the channels of their liking.

Many in India accuse Pakistan that the current movement still runs on its remote control because Kashmiri boys have no resources to run on their own but the major shift in Pakistani politics since Gen. Musharaf negates this theory. Surprisingly, it was Pakistan few weeks ago that warned India of Pulwama type attack by militants. This was yet another bitter pill hard to swallow.

Kashmir has virtually turned into a war zone where young local boys have become cannon fodder. Both, mainstream and militancy are growing at the same pace in Kashmir. But the irony is that mainstream is also claiming fighting for the same cause. That is really worrisome, confusing and chaotic. If they believe in Indian constitution, respect electoral system and adhere to Indian laws, they need to show courage to speak truth what they believe instead of hiding behind the resolutions. While going through the agenda of one of the new formations, first reference is made to the resolution of Kashmir issue. Can we ask how it is possible? Exploiting gullibility of people again under the pretext of Kashmir issue tantamount to sin in the same manner as has been done seven decades earlier when people were imposed with the solution beyond their expectations.

Is seven decades of political debauchery not enough?

Have we not tested every leader or every politician so far? They have not been able to safeguard Art 370 or Art 35A which were the only tools they could have at least protected, how audacious of them promising safety and security to common man who has been degraded and de-humanized by aligning with those forces detrimental to the integrity of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

We need to ponder over the situation that we are losing four to five young boys daily.

And, we need to think seriously what type of politics is being played with innocent and gullible people of Kashmir who unfortunately believe every word politicians tell them….

We have become a divided nation with so many groups and sects and policies and ideologies. Unless this divided house come together to find middle ground for Kashmir issue, we are not reaching anywhere. Rather, we are losing everything, language, culture, identity and the sensibility… Most of all we are losing our youth and our future….Think about it seriously…….

These thoughts about politics are based on my experience of brief stint with one of the political parties. My decision of leaving family to journalistic career to comforts of life in London was purely based on my dream of achieving peace, dignity and safety for Kashmir. And, that was the promise made by late Mufti Mohammed Syed to me before I committed to join politics few years back. The dream got shattered very soon from alliance to the continuous snubs that undermined every decision. I left politics and the party after some time and returned to my passion of journalism. My time was brief in politics, yet, the experiences are too bitter to remember. And, too hard to believe mainstream.

Nayeema Ahmad Mahjoor
The writer is an ex editor of BBC and Penguin author.

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