Need for a political approach

Published at July 14, 2017 12:02 AM 0Comment(s)2581views


Need for a political approach

Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday that the militancy in Jammu and Kashmir was in its last phase and will soon see its end. Dr Singh is a powerful minister in the Narendra Modi government and his assertion will be based on some concrete information and analysis. During his visit to Srinagar along with Union MoS for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir to take stock of situation in the wake of attack on Amarnath yatris, Dr Singh spoke from the point of strength, which is heavy presence of Army and para military forces in the state in general and Kashmir in particular and that is perhaps the reason he exuded confidence about completely wiping out the militancy. To see an end to violence in order to have space where people can live peacefully will be every common man’s wish here. But it is very important to look at the context and the reasons for how the state was pushed to violence. Notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan plays and has played a role in it but it is also desirable to see how Kashmiris were pushed to violence. When armed rebellion broke out in 1989 it had a context and it was because of continued denial of political rights to people. Even Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to which Dr Singh belongs has off and on blamed its rival Congress for its wrong policies that created a space for militancy in Kashmir. In any conflict situation such as Kashmir militancy takes deep roots and it is ultimately the vested interest in various organs of state as also sections of society that sustain it. However, when governments approach a problem politically then it loses relevance. It has been seen from 2003 to 2007 how the militancy took back seat and an atmosphere for dialogue and reconciliation was created. Though not much tangible was achieved as both India and Pakistan failed to show sincerity in resolving the issue, still people reposed faith in the institution of dialogue. It is important for people in the government to look back and see how militancy returned to Kashmir. Specifically it raised its head in last three years of BJP government in Delhi of which Dr Singh is a part. It is simply the denial of Kashmir being a political problem that has led to this kind of situation. The government in Delhi has only tried to send a strong message that it is the military strength that will “crush the dominant political sentiment” and that is why the civilian population has chosen publicly to rally around the militancy. Unless the genesis of the political conflict is understood nothing will help to improve the situation. Dr Singh’s assertion that militancy is in final stage may be true but that really is not the problem on the ground. It is the public revolt. Government may succeed in killing the militants in figures but it is difficult to kill the idea that emanates from the political context and is covered by it. Rather than only looking at killing the militants the government should adopt the political approach to deal with the crisis because that is the only way to find a permanent solution. Kashmir has shown in the aftermath of killing of yatris that they are not for violence and that must be respected and reciprocated.

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