Democracy not possible in Kashmir if dialogue, dissent not institutionalised, says Amitabh Mattoo

Democracy not possible in Kashmir if dialogue, dissent not institutionalised, says Amitabh Mattoo

SRINAGAR: Former vice-chancellor of Jammu University, Prof Amitabh Mattoo, on Saturday said Kashmiris may not achieve democracy in its “real essence” if dialogue, dissent, diversity, and development of human capital “are not institutionalised at every stage”.
Addressing at lecture ‘My Kashmir’ organised by the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies (UMIKS), here at Kashmir University, Prof Mattoo said democracy in other parts of India found deep roots and got strengthened because factors like dialogue, dissent, diversity, and development of human capital were encouraged and institutionalised at every stage.
“And if these factors are not propagated at grassroots, we may not achieve democracy in its real essence in our state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“Earlier we would celebrate diversity and there was a sense of togetherness in our Valley but that sense of togetherness has been lost over a period of time. If we don`t reconcile and start cherishing those lost ideals again, we shall continue to face problems of one or the other nature,” he said.
As per a statement issued here, Prof Mattoo also deliberated over various issues like ‘grand reconciliation, democracy and peace’.
VC KU, Prof Khurshid Andrabi on the occasion said, “Prof Mattoo has worked for promotion of higher education in our state in general and Kashmir University in particular. I hope more academics and scholars guide our students in their academic and research pursuits.”
Director UMIKS, Prof Gul Mohammad Wani said the Institute is committed to attracting best students from across South Asia.