Heaven Turned Hell Again
The killing of Hizbul Mujahidin commander Burhan Wani triggered widespread protests in the Kashmir valley against the armed forces and the government. Burhan Wani was that face of terrorism which glamorized his activities by openly challenging authorities through his social media posts. He was just 23 when he killed by the armed forces in an encounter few days ago. Neither the army nor the government estimated the support he received during his funeral and the protests afterwards which have killed more than 30 Kashmiri and injured around 300 people. The situation is tense and government is holding high level meetings to control the situation.
It seems the government and authorities are running away from the reality of the Kashmir issue. The youth which was entering in mainstream society through education till few years back has again turned towards militancy and violence. The current BJP-RSS/PDP government’s conflict of interest in dealing with the issues related to the valley has increased the discontentment in the Kashmiri Youth. The focus which was tilted towards peace talks, disarmament of youth, education in the valley, removal of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Protection Act), etc in last seven or eight years has now shifted towards controversial issues of Article 370, Beef Ban, separate colonies for soldiers and Kashmiri Pandits, Love Jihad, etc in the last two and a half year.
The ruling BJP party also using the Kashmir issue as a tool for political gains during elections in the northern states of UP, Bihar and Punjab which is further worsening the situation. Kashmiri students are targeted in parts of mainland India which is diverting them more towards the separatist’s ideology. The discontentment, the deprivation and the feeling of alienation among the youth found Burhan Wani as the face of challenge to the authorities and they started seeing them as hero whose way looks right to them. His daredevilry of looking in the eyes of the government and the army charmed many young Kashmiris to follow his path. Astonishingly the new breed of militants security forces believed are from Indian origin and even then government failed to track their location through social media handles neither they knew the source of arms available to them.
The solution lies in facing and accepting the reality that Kashmir is a disputed territory part of which is ruled by Pakistan and another part by India. It should also be accepted that longer enforcement of AFSPA in Kashmir like in north-eastern states has an adverse effect on people of these areas. The army atrocities in garb of maintaining order have ruined many families in these areas. The interaction with the youth should be the priority along with the talks between the two nations on the one hand and with the separatists on the other hand. The people in position of power should restrain themselves to talk on this crucial Kashmir issue without prior thinking. The Kashmir right now is burning; putting more oil to the fire with hate speeches will spread the flames of hate to the entire nation. Pray for Kashmir, Pray for India.