A breeze of revival had started to blow across our conflict ridden valley with the late CMs reconciliation and healing touch policy. Mr Mufti Mohammad Sayeed not only tried to take the valley towards development but also tried his best to bring peace and stability in Kashmir. His golden rule proved that the long standing Kashmir issue could be resolved through peaceful talks rather than violence.
The revival of peace was only possible due to the efficient decision making power of the late CM of the state. Mr Sayeed was the only CM of Kashmir in whose governance the forces didn’t retaliate by firing indiscriminately at the protestors, even though Anantnag saw massive protests after the killing of Zahid Rasool of Batengoo during his rule. Even after entering into an alliance with the BJP, which was highly opposed by Kashmiris, he not only tactfully handled the agenda of alliance but even set a common minimum programme for the tenure of functioning of the government.
On 7th January2016, Kashmir witnessed an irreparable loss. Mr Muftis death not only robbed Kashmir of a great leader but also took away our hope of ever seeing peace prevail in the valley. His death brought the entire valley of Kashmir to a standstill. Several rumors about which party the PDP would choose as their coalition partner and who would be the CM were circulating around. But ultimately, taking the Mufti dynasty forward, it was Ms Mehbooba Mufti who stepped into her fathers shoes.
Unfortunately things took a wrong turn for Mehbooba. Days after assuming office, Kashmir valley witnessed the Handwara blood bath. Trying to explain away the blame for murders committed by the army is the worst thing a political leader can do. It doesnt calm the people down. Instead, it instigated them to seek revenge. Telling a grieving mother that her son died because he picked up a stone to fight the gun will not make her feel better. It will rather work as a knife, opening her wounds further. Kashmir has lost a lot in this struggle of freedom. Years of struggle have rendered no results. It is time to change our strategy. In todays era, all battles are fought at tables rather than in battle fields. Todays generation believes in finding solutions through political dialogue rather than violence. It is time we realised that taking up arms against a country in which we exist as a minority is quite foolish and futile.
Giving up the institution of knowledge to pick up a gun only to get killed months later is an unwise act. The population of Kashmir is divided with respect to their opinions on the freedom struggle. One half of the population believes that violence is the only answer to oppression. But they are forgetting that violence has never yielded any results. We have witnessed time and again how our valley has suffered due to violence.
In the recent Handwara protests, something similar happened. The girl may have given a clean chit to the army under pressure, but the sad truth is five precious lives were lost because people let their emotions rule them. Rather than justifying the armys act, the authorities should instead try to get to the root of the issue. Kashmiris may be an emotional lot but they are definitely not stupid enough to attack an army bunker without concrete cause.
It is time we looked for newer strategies and aimed at continuing our struggle for freedom in such a way that no more precious lives are lost, no family is robbed of its bread earner and no mother has to shed endless tears. Only then will our valley be an actual paradise.
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