Tanveer Ahmad Khan
Kashmir, once known for its magnificence and splendid mountains, has now become a hotbed of violence. Its perilous journey from a heaven to a battlefield has produced so many wounds in all sections of society. The struggle between India and Pakistan has surpassed all boundaries and national interest has risen well above humanity. In this tussle for power, humanity is the victim.
This has become more poignant following the Pulwama attack. There have been violent protests throughout India including Jammu. Gujjar Nagar of Jammu saw the most outrageous clashes where the two communities Kashmiris and Jammu descendents came face to face with one pelting stones on the other. In Kashmir fear was hovering over the entire community. Scared that army will take revenge and will vent out their frustration on civilians, various communities decided to spend nights in Masjids and left their homes locked for entire night.
The insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir forced many students of valley to move out for the sake of their studies. But, the increased stridency in hyper nationalism under the Narender Modi government has put the life of thousands of Kashmir students studying in mainland India at risk. The increased life threat had led many students to return back to their homes.
Now the deadliest attack in Pulwama has produced a wave of anger among the inhabitants of India , mainly northern India. There were protests all over India demanding a strong action against Kashmiris and Pakistan. There are demands that Kashmiri students should be sent back. And certain places gave deadline to rented Kashmiri students to evacuate the place within 24 hours. With this tense atmosphere and elections ahead, the venal politicians will again exploit the gullibility of general masses. They will again play the chords and will keep the deadlier fight going on as it favors their brand of politics. In spite of repenting on their policy failure and thinking of an alternative, they will continue with the same ideology that has turned vale into a battleground. It is a time not for revenge but introspection. The powers that be in India have to realize the seriousness of issue and should begin the talks with all stakeholders without further aggravating the issue with action-reaction approach. Nothing except the prudent statecraft can resolve the issue which has filled graveyards with young souls.
The author, a Scholar at the Institute of Development Studies, Kolkata can be reached at: email@example.com