The Money Solution?

An economic package of eighty thousand crore was announced.

And a storm of claps followed, most of which were a result of the terror of SLRs in the background while a few were right from the hearts. Hearts – devoid of Kashmiriyat.

People have written and spoken about the whole event, which to me, appears no more than a theatrical drama. A main character on the stage with a written script and a handful of puppets in the background overlooking the audience forced to watch and clap after every pause in speech. If it isn’t a theatrical drama, what else is it?

Since all highs and lows of the play have been discussed everywhere in the region from dining tables to television programmes, what I intend to write here are some questions and with them, some reminders that Mr. Narindra Modi and his worshippers need to recall before taking the name of Kashmir on their tongues.

With thousands of people in jails, house-arrest, curfew and with banned internet and other sources of communication, which ‘Kashmiris’ did Mr. Modi intend to enforce his words on? Or did he think the handful of people signaled to the ground by the guns of CRPF represented the whole of Kashmir?

Why didn’t the BJP government let the public of their ‘atoot ang’ welcome their Prime Minister? Or is Indian democracy limited to the other-than-Kashmir states only and Kashmir must meet with a special prejudice, just like its special status?

If Mr.Modi was so confident of winning over Kashmir by paying such and such amount in the name of economic packages, what was the point of curfew and heavy deployment of army? Like, you ought to let people celebrate on such a ‘festive’ occasion, don’t you?

No, you don’t; when the people reject you and curse every penny you think can buy them.

Just like he has no idea violence and intolerance are deadly for a state and its government, Mr. Modi hasn’t learnt the fact that Kashmiris are the last people to fall for money, from the decades of history .

The packages announced by the Indian PM strengthened my belief that India views Kashmir in none but a materialist perspective. If showering money were the solution, from Mahraja Hari Singh to Manmohan Singh, the pouring of currency notes and the projects of development would have settled the Kashmir issue forever. But dear India, how can the shivering youth reduced to bones in Papa II, the people praying Fatiha at 6,000 mass graves not knowing which one carries their loved one, the hundreds of women unable to overcome the shame of their disgrace, the families of thousands of disappeared souls, orphans, widows, half-widows thousands in numbers not loath every single penny you throw at them as a price for their loss?

With a total of 2,57,680 schools in India lacking toilets, 95% schools lacking infrastructure and at least 78 million people homeless, India should pay attention to the matters that can be greatly helped with 80,000 crore worth packages instead of investing in a case they’ll never win. Seems like, priorities need to be sorted out.

Asma Rasool Peerzada

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