By not allowing Million March, Mufti will alienate Kashmiris more
If RSS is allowed to walk in the Jammu region, why is the Hurriyat treated differently in the Valley?
With curbs on the Hurriyat leaders, arrest of hundreds of youth and activists and pulling down Facebook and Twitter pages to foil the proposed Million March called by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Prime Minster Narendra Modi is all set to address the so-called "Kashmiris". Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's mantra the "Battle of Ideas" is falling apart like a pack of cards.
The arrest spree that Kashmir witnessed this week is unprecedented. Frisking and checking of all passers-by has increased. From buildings to security vans, the streets of Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir have been flooded with CCTV cameras to avoid any "untoward" incident. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh had visited Kashmir several times, and this is Narendra Modi's fourth visit to the Valley. But this time, in the words of Mufti, seems to be "historic" in every manner. If reports are to be believed, mobile networks and trains will be suspended. National Highway, the only lifeline to the Kashmir Valley, will be closed for the entire day. Isn't the Modi's visit "historic"? Indeed it is.
Going by what we see, one can expect strict curfew on November 7. The situation has been well described by The Hindu's correspondent Peerzada Ashiq. He wrote on Facebook, "Normalcy has a new definition in Kashmir: Undeclared Curfew and Un-owned harassment."
All these developments in Kashmir come at a time when 69 per cent sane Indians did not vote for the pseudo-Hindu party, namely the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Scores of public intellectuals and leading artistes are up against growing intolerance in India. But Mufti is all praise for Modi, which is strange. Is this a political gimmick by the J&K CM to lure Modi to announce the much awaited flood package and talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat? This way, back home Mufti can sell the relief package as his "achievement" and fool Kashmiris once again.
News reports say the PDP and BJP leaders have directed their party men, including ministers, legislators and parliamentarians, to ensure an impressive gathering at the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium, venue for Modi's rally. One wonders if Modi is going to address Kashmiris or his coalition government to ensure absolutely a hassle-free rally. Reports add that at the rally which Modi addressed at the same venue on December 8 last year, Sajad Lone's party had to ensure participation. This time around, the PDP has been used to arrange the numbers. They all will be projected as poor Kashmiris.
As for the "Million March", one fails to understand that if the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is allowed their marches in the entire Jammu region, why is the government shying away from allowing a march here? The Hurriyat patriarch Geelani had said they would ensure that no untoward accident happens during Million March. At least, the Kashmiris would not have been wielding guns, swords or lathis for their march. The obvious reason for foiling the Million March is the so-called "disturbing peace" of Kashmir. Mufti, who was seen as a ray of hope by the Kashmiris because of his 2003 stint as chief minister, has let them down and miserably failed.
As for the "Battle of Ideas", it is losing sheen with each passing month and exposing Mufti.
Not allowing this Million March will alienate Kashmiris more. The head of law faculty of Central University of Kashmir, Sheikh Showkat Hussain, amply summed up the situation of Kashmir in following words. "When you talk about integration but resort to annihilation, the result can be nothing other than disintegration."