2021: The year of hope with spring ahead || LIVE IMAGE

Every dark channel has a bright opening and every night has a dawn ahead. The snowy winter is always followed eagerly by the spring. Anne Bradstreet exclaimed beautifully, "if we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant". Unluckily for Jammu and Kashmir, the natives here had lost the balance and charm of winter and spring three decades ago in the din of death & destruction, terror & fear, hate and malice, discrimination & displacement.

 The last two years have discovered a new beginning psychologically and politically. The bold events with a little risk opened new vistas for experimentation of loaded fresh formulas, unlike walking the beaten and ragged paths. The usual lollipop methods of the last seven decades in political affairs and management in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir were given a good bye by the government led by the PM Narendra Modi, proactively supported by the MHA Amit Shah. 

The threatening of bloodbath and lawlessness by the family based politicians were multiplied by a big zero on the ground. Results are for all to see post August 2019 developments. The successful conduct and completion of the Zila Parishad elections recently is the net outcome of the well thoughtout political action followed by the psychological impact of a great and historic magnitude. 

The road doesn't end here, infact it begins now. The tourist influx at Gulmarg on the year end is a small ray of hope for all concerned. People in Jammu and Kashmir were brazenly misguided to a mischievous belief that nothing could be possible without succumbing before the prophets of doom who brought bloodshed nearer our homes for the past three to four decades. It was and will remain an astonishing and worrying fact of life as to who and why the state of India was made to negotiate with the separatist, fundamentalist and terrorist elements of Kashmir in the days gone by. 

Then there were a bundle of hay-makers, compartmentalized into various sorts of bunches, who in the name of Kashmir created their own banners to pose and prove that they could be the best intermediaries on the subject. They besides providing the necessary oxygen to the separatist-terrorist mill all along in Jammu and Kashmir made their own fortunes as well. The intermittent foreign jaunts for days and weeks together were an additional bonus of the business in hand. Their connections, loose and sharp both, in the corridors of power let them to flourish all these three decades. Then they also assumed the title of "experts on Kashmir" and many among the common public were made to believe that they were the real savious in the turmoil of Jammu and Kashmir, equally nourished by them, day in and day out.

The change of government at the centre in 2014 closed most of its front doors to all of this type of 'brokers-in-demand' but they made every effort to sneak in through the back doors. The continuation of the government again at the centre in May 2019 with a comfortable majority, followed by the decisive actions of the government regarding Jammu and Kashmir coupled with the parliamentary actions of August 5/6, 2019, closed all gates to these past 'brokers-in-demand' to maneuver, exploit and hyperbole through their designs. The results are well before all of us.

The terror-separatist clique represented by Shabir Shah, Yaseen Malik & Aisha Andrabi likes are behind the bars, the important links regarding money-terror scheming are undergoing the process of the rule of law, the terror structures are being demolished along with their operatives in the UT without any conditions, political support to the death and destruction spree has been minimised to the lowest, the narratives to weaken the nation and the state have lost their currency in the public domain, Syed Geelani is out of Hurriyat with his other counterpart taking full fledged rest in his home, the Huriyat and the other Huriyat likes are in complete hibernation and the grass root democracy through the Panchayat, BDC and DDC elections have also been  initiated successfully.

The sacrifices of our brave security forces, a number of couragous policemen, Surpanches and Panches, and also of the senior political and social activists particularly for the last five years have written very positive aspects of history with their own blood and sweat. It is because of their valiant actions that we see this day with bright rays of hope and expectation. Jammu and Kashmir is hopefully out of the storm that swept it to an unbelievable tumult and disorder. The huge impact of the tumult was that it rendered the oldest legacy holders of Kashmir as refugees in their own country for over more than the last three decades now.

The change in the scenario can't be expected overnight, it requires huge investment of remoarse, introspection, review, goodwill and sincere efforts at all levels. There is no doubt that the previous heads of the State/UT for the last five years played their role with the required finesse but the current LG, Monoj Sinha has a huge mandate and a role to rebuild both, the hopes and the UT afresh. He is a very well experienced politician, administrator, well-read personality, past MP and minister and overall a confident of the Prime Minister Modi. We can bank upon him for the good times ahead.

On an analysis of the DDC election campaign, voting pattern and the election results, it is clear that the equal distribution of seats between both the Jammu and Kashmir regions has played a pivotal role in creating trust and satisfaction among the people of the Union Territory for the first time, politically speaking. There can't be two opinions about the facts of discrimination and bias against the region of Jammu in respect of delimitation earlier which allotted three seats to the Kashmir valley and two seats only to the Jammu region for the parliament in addition to giving 46 Assembly seats to Kashmir and 37 seats to Jammu division. This was and remains a violation of the fundamental rights in terms of equality and equal opportunities irrespective of anything called logic or rationale in regard to the citizens of the erstwhile state.

The Kashmiri Pandit community, which is living as refugees in its own country for the last more than three decades now, has very meager chances to get its representatives elected to the politically important forums. They also need attention and redressal through the Delimitation Commission. Since they are not politically represented unlike all other communities in the UT, they are the perpetual victims of having been refused their share in the government, administration and the other arms and instrumentalities of the state. 

There is no member of the Pandit community in the all important Public Service Commission of the State/UT for the last one decade, there has not been even a single minister from them in the government for the last more than a decade, there is no possibility of being represented,  for the indigenous people of the state, in the Parliament of the nation, neither is there any mechanism to nominate them to the important political positions either at the centre or in the UT.

It is a politically victimised community for no fault of theirs and the ethnic cleansing in 1989-90 has added to and multiplied their woes in this respect. What remained undone was done by the irrelevant practice of M-Forms during the elections all these three decades. It is time that five Assembly seats are reserved for this victim nationalist community which has more than five thousand years of written history in the Kashmir valley by incorporating amendment in the constitution to this effect.

A fervent appeal is made to the Delimitation Commission to exercise its powers to send such a recommendation to the President and the government of India in order to settle the unsettled issue of politically important concern of the Pandit community. It will also help paving way for the resettlement of the community in the valley, eventually, as per their geo-political aspirations in the days to come.

The West Pakistan refugees, sections of Valmiki Samaj and Gorkha community and also other such section of society will also add up to the overall demographic vicissitudes now since they have also voted in the DDC elections for the first time recently. The fact remains that the census of 2011 can't be the only criteria that need to be the basis for the delimitation. Many other factors also require to be taken into consideration by the Commission. 

Then there are the Gujjars and Bakerwals who have been since granted the ST status and should therefore also require reservation of constituencies in both the regions of the UT. The Schedule Caste reservations are also limited to a few constituencies and one region whilst these reservations also need spread and rotation. Such changes, improvements and review by the Delimitation Commission will qualitatively, quantitatively and psychologically cater to the demands of the society for the last more than five decades. 

Jammu and Kashmir, seemingly, is on the road ahead for peace, progress and development in a fresh phase. The year 2021 can be the beginning of the auspicious hope and goodwill. Let the flowers bloom, the spring is ahead.


(Feedback: ashwanikc2012@gmail.com)

Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo,
Senior BJP and Kashmiri Pandit leader, Incharge: Deptt of Political Affairs and Feedback, J&K-BJP, Author & Columnist 


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