Skewed “Amnesty”

Skewed “Amnesty”
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In what amounts to almost a general amnesty, the administration has announced that it will withdraw First Information Reports(FIR’s) against “first time” stone pelters. Often times, it is observed that those who indulge in stone pelting are at tender ages- teenagers or adolescents. Filing or registering an FIR against them , when they are transitioning to adulthood , not only scars these victims, but also mars their future(s). The withdrawal of the FIR’s lodged against these young people is a welcome move. But, the whole saga begs the question or even the issue of the many Kashmiris languishing in prisons for political reasons. Public Safety Acts(PSA’s) have been lodged against many people on what amount to flimsy and tenuous grounds and these victims continue to languish in jails. It should be the utmost priority to take remedial action about these political prisoners too and their liberty and freedom should be immediately restored. Returning to the theme of Kashmir’s young against whom FIR’s would be withdrawn, it bears mention here that , in reality, the omissions and commissions, against which they have been charges, are emanations of the conflict in and over Kashmir. This might sound hackneyed and a restatement of the obvious , but is the actual reality. While their life chances stand improved on account of the administration’s decision, but this is no sure shot guarantee of recidivism or relapse. The reasons, to repeat, accrue from the conflict in and over Kashmir which structures the consciousness , psycho-emotional universe(s) and world views of our young people. It is this structuring context that needs to be genuinely and sincerely addressed. Broken down, it means resolving the conflict in and over Kashmir. At the risk of sounding exceptionalist, Kashmir’s youth count amongst the most talented , resourceful and intelligent in the world. But , their opportunity structure is constrained and restricted by the conditions that obtain in Kashmir. Given a level playing field and an expansive opportunity structure that is aligned to the world, our youth have the potential to shine in all domains. But, alas, the conflict stultifies these opportunities. The obvious antidote and remedy to these constraints is the actual resolution of the conflict in and over Kashmir. Let this be the key takeaway from Kashmir and let a conflict resolution grid and paradigm be instituted that redounds to the interests and good of all stakeholders- especially the Gen Next and youth of Kashmir.


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