By Yasir Altaf Zargar
The clamor of slogans has once again started rising. The mosques are once again resonating with paeans for militants who are being killed on a regular basis. South Kashmir is simmering once again. The streets are turning into a battleground between militants, forces, and the people. A dread of specters is supposed to be continuously haunting Kashmir.
An unprecedented step that has been taken by the administration is that they respond to public and civil rallies with pellets and even at times, with bullets. This is overlaid by intermittent curfews which the administration usually calls “restrictions”. Moreover, the administration also orders bans on mobile telephony and the internet and thereby chokes communication. The valley has been caged and has been turned into a dungeon cell. The administration, in connivance, with the central authority that is responsible for caging the people, who they consider as anti-peace elements, and then lambast them with the draconian acts even violates the rights of people.
Ever since Sabzar has been laid to rest, another spell of violent curfews, stringent restrictions, and state-wide shutdowns are being witnessed. This time, no month-long shutdown calls are being issued, but the killing and arrest spree is itself dragging the shutdown calls to another stage, making the 2017 year look like yet another spell of the uprising. People have adhered and are now ready to become the part of the movement as they think the movement has achieved some heights and it’s time for them to stand united. They are supporting each call by joint leadership and a tide is scudding in the south that the people should become helping hand for rebels as they fight for the natives of Kashmir. Each street has a graffiti in which militants are being praised with lyric poems; Indian forces are being jeered and usually, prayers for the long life of militants are being held across the south of Kashmir. People usually on streets write laudatory praises for the rebels who have achieved martyrdom. The forces are being glared by young boys as they are being considered as the killers of those who had lost their lives since 2000. The graffiti’s bear witness to the dichotomy that India has lost almost every district of Kashmir as of now.
A grim situation has subsequently prevailed from one district to another; thus a fierce situation is hovering across the valley. In an unprecedented situation, we are witnessing a myriad of people, in large numbers, standing near encounter sites in the south to give a window to militants, despite warnings by Indian Army General Bipin Rawat. This is now becoming the daily routine for people in the south, who are becoming helping hand for militants. The rebels enjoy unanimous support thus the young are attracted to the new lines of militancy.
Ever since the PDP came to power, people are lampooning the party for cobbling the coalition with the party which has its ally RSS, the party with a Hindutva ideology. The death of the former Chief Minister Mufti Sayyed has not only broken the back of the ruling party but also has made the new Chief Minister to pass exasperating statements, thus provoking the locals, who are now bracing for a somersault.
Since India and its media channels got much hype across the world, the projection made by them has not only exposed their extremism but also has exposed their bigotry which they are using to defend oppression in Kashmir. The news channels and their anchors have declared war on Kashmir. The panelists from Kashmir in the prime debates are lambasted, thus they are given some hard hitting names that they fall into the category of anti-nationalists and terrorists. It is unfortunate that the TV shows are somehow pretending to have judiciary powers, thus they are hitting with hollow rights which are not even mentioned in the long and written Indian constitution. If the Kashmir conflict would have been the development issue, then the chaos would not have been expanded on every street and village.
Kashmir has fallen into the abyss of chaos and is now slipping away from the constitutional rights of India, thus the accession made by the then Prince seems to be not working in favor of India. The very unfortunate incidents like 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2016 are the big jolt on the face of Indian democracy.
—The author is a Srinagar-based web security analyst. He tweets as @zargaryasir and can be reached at: [email protected]