The Darbar is returning back to Kashmir. The ritual since the time of last Maharaja has continued unabated. It has helped the two regions of Jammu and Kashmir to alternately benefit from getting easy access to administration.
That is indeed a good thing. This time however, the Mehbooba Mufti led government’s job is cut out. The government has three main challenges to confront. Regain control of the street, safety of Amaranth Yatra and development.
The street agitation spurred by the participation of students is the most pressing challenge. The students rage has added new dimension to the separatists uprising. It has complicated government’s efforts to get a handle on the situation.
So much so, the government has ordered closure of the colleges in several areas. It is a worrying development for sure. Students who need to sweat it out in class rooms and laboratory, are fighting battles in streets. The student’s anger needs to be understood and doused with a right approach. Belligerence will not work.
Students are the future of a nation. We cannot allow the talent of our youth to get distracted by the political situation. Mehbooba is right in asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rescue the situation. If that happens, situation will sure register improvement. The other challenge she faces is the smooth conduct of the upcoming Amaranth Yatra in June. The government must ensure incident free Yatra and Kashmir must stick to its religious tolerance.
The separatists must also lean on the youth to allow smooth completion of the annual ritual. The yatris also need to ensure the degradation the environment is minimum in and around the route to the cave. Amid all the challenges the government faces the developmental works must go on. No developmental works have been carried out since the 2016 unrest. The development of the state needs to be done in an equitable manner.
There are complaints of funds lapsing or being diverted to Jammu from Srinagar. This should not happen no matter what. The Mehbooba led government certainly is up against a serious challenge this year.
Tough times don’t last, tough men do, perhaps Mehbooba can take inspiration from this time tested proverb and stay focused and deliver. With bypolls in Anantnag having been cancelled due to the hostile environment, she can heave a sigh of relief and concentrate on good governance and rise up to the challenge. This is her moment. Or else Kashmir will further slip into an abyss of chaos.