‘Revival Day’: A joke or a farce?

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SRINAGAR: The government of Jammu and Kashmir had designated 7th of September as a ‘Revival Day’ to commemorate the first anniversary of the 2104 floods. This nomenclature suggested that the government had something up its sleeve and that a pleasant surprise awaited Kashmiris on 7th September. 

However, what happened on this day was a complete shutdown and protests against the government’s apathy and inability to fulfill its promise of the much needed and awaited flood rehab package. 

The absence of the relief and rehab package has fed and lent grist to the mill of a range of theories.  

According to the Kashmir observers there is a strong belief among a section of people here that the BJP led government at Centre is punishing the ‘ungrateful’ population. 

“The govt headed by a Hindu Majoritarian Party- the BJP wants to bring Kashmir to its knees economically”, alleged Muntazir Yaseen, Creative Head at the Associated Media. 

Many analysts go a step further and say, economic hardships faced by Kashmiris on account of the floods and the attendant misery is being prolonged deliberately because the GoI wants to chip in with the flood package more desperately needed. The aim, according to these analysts is, is to make Kashmiris feel grateful to the GoI.  

Some argue that the GoI is cash strapped and does not have the requisite amount of monies. and thus the delay. They disapprove of discriminatory theory floated by many. 

“The question is that if the GoI does not have the money, why is it not letting international aid agencies in to help Kashmiris? If Kashmir is not a dispute as per the view of the GoI, how come it becomes a dispute when it comes to international aid?, questions Adil Rehman, a graphic designer from Khanqah-e-Maula, Srinagar.

Whilst there may or may not be merit to these theories and speculations, the fact, however, is that there is growing discontent and desperation on the streets of Srinagar. While the immediate reason for the discontent is economic, Kashmir being Kashmir, it might not take much for this discontent to acquire a political hue and coloring. If the past is any guide, there is a pattern to political conflict , anger and violence in Kashmir. Anger brews in the collective conscious and emotional universe of Kashmiris and then an incident or event  catalyzes broader anger and this then spills onto the streets. Prosaic political or economic grievance undergoes a process of transference and the idiom in which this is articulated is that of alienation from the Indian state and violence. In this sense and against the backdrop of the governments dilly dallying on flood relief and broken promises, Kashmir appears to be set for another violence laden period of uncertainty. The sad inference that can be drawn from this is the powers that be either have not learnt from history or choose not to learn.

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