By Fida Hussain Sodagar
The Government of India(GoI) recently announced a conditional ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan. The truce was proposed to the GoI after all mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir, including the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) pushed for a unilateral ceasefire for the month of Ramadan. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asked the security forces to halt the operations against the militants during the holy month of Ramadan. The decision was hailed by all the political parties.
However, the Centre reserved the right for security forces to retaliate if attacked. The bloody encounters stopped which can be said to be a positive effect of the truce. The ceasefire seemed to work even if not fully. The decision hit the top headlines in both print and electronic media.
But wait. Put a pause on this side of the story. Let us focus on the other side. At least 70 people got brutally injured after the security forces showered the pellets on the devotees after Friday prayers. Some of them blinded. The pellets pierced the fasting devotees and painted the roads with their blood. The floor of the mosque was drenched in the blood. The people were choked by the smoke of tear gas shells. These brutalities became the headlines just after some days of announcement of so called a ceasefire. The Home ministry had boasted that the decision has been taken to help the peace-loving Muslims observe Ramadan in a peaceful environment. But it proved to be the contrary. This completely transformed the definition of the definition of the ceasefire, from peace to violence. No political party condemned as they had hailed the ceasefire decision. There are number of other examples that rendered the ceasefire to a defunct and failed initiative.
The hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people will never be won by hollow ceasefire promises. There is a deep feeling of alienation encrypted in the people. That needs to be eliminated by the serious commitments to bring the peace in the valley. The brutalities will only generate the more alienation and anger. The conflict bruised souls of the people in the valley need to be treated with love and affection. Let the Government sow the seeds of peace and love to bring a halt to the violence in the real sense.
The author is P.G in Mass Communication and Journalism and writes on various issues. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org