Srinagar: The fact that none of the four families whose members were killed in a firing incident by the army in Pahnoo village in South Kashmir, have demanded a probe, either a judicial or otherwise has given rise to various questions which the government as well as those who hold some administrative authority in the state need to ponder over.
The parents and relatives of these slain youth have in fact asked the security agencies to prove that these young men were involved in any subversive activities or that they were even remotely involved in some protests or anti-government demonstrations ever.
This sort of feeling has crept in most of the areas in Kashmir Valley with south Kashmir being on the fore front. The reasons are many, but the recent happening in the restive southern part of the Valley details more than what meets the eye.
We were given to understand that the state is after all concerned about the welfare of its people. So much so that the developing world used to designate its governments as welfare state-meaning that for a common man all the safeguards have been put in place to get a redressal mechanism alive and kicking in case he feels that some wrong has been committed.
Over the last two decades, Kashmir has been witnessing a separatist movement which has resulted in killings and destruction. The state has in one way or the other been behind some repressive measures which had made the people to believe that the norms of redressal will get them some respite.
However, as such measures have proven to be half hearted in almost all the cases, the people here have lost their trust in political institutions such as parliaments or the courts. The belief to believe has precipitously declined in a place like Kashmir where most of the decisions by the ruling class have been going against the public sentiment.
More fundamentally, we were told that democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures. But the case seems to be totally different in a troubled place like Kashmir where the writ of the state is running so harsh that the citizens here feel scared. Even the lives of the people are not secure as has been evident over the past two decades now.
The demands or expectations of the people have been let down as more flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a few years ago democracy looked as though it would dominate the world.
But given the exposure to the sort of democracy the third world has exposed its citizenry to, it seems that the governments have to do much more than what they intend to do. This includes letting the system work the way it has been designed to. Otherwise, the damage done will be beyond a repair and even expectation.