Kashmir awaits its Prime Sevak

Today the PDP is being asked questions in its bastions

Kashmir is a tolerant society built on a glorious heritage. That is why the Valley is likely to be pleased that one of its girls took the third place — just behind two girls from Africa, famous for producing world-beating long-distance runners — in the women’s section of the half-marathon last Sunday. Women refused to succumb to sexist bullying and did take part in the international event although a bunch of politically-motivated rowdies sought to disrupt the race, targeting female participants in particular.

The “news” hungry media, especially television, chose to project the troublemaking, not the brave spirit of the local people. But for all the political complexities and the separatist aspirations of some, success has been celebrated — when Kashmiris have come out tops in musical talent hunts, have led the civil services selection list, made the Indian cricket team, or won the Jnanpith, the country’s most celebrated literature award.

Recently there was buzz about a new class of young men — educated and from well-to-do families — joining the militants and posting promotional videos on social networking sites. Naturally, a new phenomenon must be understood and appropriate action taken. But there is no getting away from the fact that in a long time New Delhi has done all too little to talk politics with Kashmir. So, there can be no surprises with an unwholesome development of this kind.

Granted that Prime Minister Modi is no Vajpayee, in whom a wide section of Kashmir had invested faith, the Modi regime has proved disappointing and the Valley has begun saying this openly. It is a year since a flood crippled the Valley but there is not even a trickle of Central assistance. This is being built on by pro-Pakistan elements at a time when Pakistan’s policy towards this country is turning truculent due to regional factors turning in its favour.

It was the expectation of substantial assistance and bold political moves by a new leader, presented in the media as a doer, that a compact with the BJP, although seen with great suspicion on account of its negative reputation regarding Muslims, was struck by the PDP and the saffron party was enabled to acquire governmental authority in J&K for the first time. Today the PDP is being asked questions in its bastions. Politically the situation has turned more complicated and calls for astute handling.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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