There is little that has changed in Kashmir on the third death anniversary of the militant commander Burhan Wani. Renewed militancy that he unleashed not only stays strong but is taking on more radical dimensions. The alienation is at its lowest. What is more, the security centric approach pursued by the NDA government over the past five years has been only reinforced in its second term. Recent talk of a dialogue between separatist groups has turned out to be a hoax with union home minister Amit Shah showing little interest in such an engagement. This too when Hurriyat M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had expressed his willingness to join talks should the centre extend a formal offer. But the home minister has shown he is no mood to do so. This has plunged Kashmir into a state of uncertainty. The existing troubled situation is likely to continue unchanged. And Burhan still looms large in the Valley as some kind of an inspiration for the new militants who continue to join the ranks of Hizbul Mujahideen and the other outfits. But centre still feels the runaway situation can be reigned in by an iron fist approach which has now been extended to separatist political leaders and businessmen.
Will this make any difference? Unlikely. That is if we go by the past record. Separatist politicians and the business men have been arrested in the past too and some of them kept Imprisoned for the longest duration. Ditto for the militancy. As the situation of the past three decades testifies, the killings of the militants have neither deterred more youth from joining the militancy, nor ushered Kashmir back to peace. And nor, if this long duration is any guide, will it in future. Burhan Wani will continue to be succeeded by the likes of Sabzar, Saddam, Naveed Jatt, Zeenat-ul-Islam and by Riyaz Naikoo. The militancy and the states response to it will go on. True, the state tackles the unfolding violence institutionally, so will not tire of it, but this unrelenting state of affairs is taking a massive toll on the people of the state, our new and the future generation. The most rational and effective response to the lingering turmoil is to address the factors which keep it going. But this is something that is and has been last on the minds of the ruling leadership of the country.