Revocation of Article 370 and subsequent constitutional measures have served to dilute the political centrality of the Muslim majority Kashmir Valley. Power, both at a political and a psychological level, has shifted to minorities in the newly created union territories – Hindus of Jammu in J&K and Buddhists of Leh in Ladakh.
The uncertain and interrupted schooling deprives Kashmiri youth proper education and skills. The lack of employment opportunities denies them a future. And the lingering conflict over the region frames their worldview and determines their lives and choices.
An effective fight against Covid-19 needs the administration and the public to work in tandem, not the former trying to do it through thoughtless government decrees that achieve little more than throwing the lives of people upside down.
According to the delimitation, that in normal course was due to be held in 2026, seven new seats are being added to the Assembly, most of which, if not all, are expected to go to Jammu. This has the potential to shift the region’s political centre away from Kashmir Valley to Jammu
Do Kashmiri parties have any chance of mounting an effective resistance against the loss of J&K’s autonomy, one that would force any rethink on the move by the centre. There is no realistic chance of this happening until there is a fundamental shift in the political realities of the country
Kashmir that is emerging from the long siege is eerily calm, creating an impression that the ongoing socio-political engineering may be working. But there’s an egregious amount of coercion that is being deployed to sustain this engineering in the hope that an artificial reality is quickly grafted on to a decades-old history of conflict and bloodshed
Loss of the autonomy has wiped out the space for political concessions that lent meaning to engagement and dialogue among the stake-holders in Kashmir issue: New Delhi and Kashmiri dissident groups, Pakistan and India. It has now become a choice between accepting the new status quo or fighting to change it
What can change the game is if the recruitment versus killings ratio changes in favour of the latter. This would progressively reduce the number of militants in a short period of time. But for now this doesn’t seem to be the case. New recruits are very motivated even if they are poorly trained. If the past is any guide, the militancy has often returned from the dead.
Delhi has crushed Hurriyat. All its leaders have either been hauled off to jail or imprisoned in their houses. There’s little space even for the pro-establishment political parties to carry out their activities. The new militancy is rearing its head against this backdrop.
This state of affairs has inherently hobbled establishment politics in Kashmir, divesting it of any conviction or an ideological steadfastness. Its practitioners can’t be outrightly supportive of the popular sentiment in Kashmir and nor can they stand forcefully for Kashmir’s place within India