In my earlier blog of the same title, Dr KS Raghavan, while generally agreeing with the contents and my reply to his initial remarks, inter alia made following additional observations -
“You have your viewpoints which incidentally in line with Amit Shah. I don't contest that. But I don't share your optimism as of today.”
“…There is complete lack of transparency with regard to the prevailing conditions there.”
Due to existing “words limit” in the comment column of the blog, it was not possible to accommodate my view point and reply on the subject there. Hence it has become necessary to continue it as a fresh blog with my following remarks.
- I had not given a prior thought over the analogy of my views but I am neither a fan nor a follower of Amit Shah. However, the fact is he is home minister of this great nation and in that capacity he certainly deserves consideration and recognition that I do.
- I don’t expect Dr Raghavan to agree with my line of thought. Suffice and grateful to learn that he has given time to my blog and considered it worth reading.
- I think every development has a positive and negative aspect and it’s better to focus on optimism rather than pessimism in things. To my view, optimism gives positive vibes, hope and inspiration to see things in right perspective and act accordingly. Conversely, pessimism spreads negative vibes, despair and despondency often hindering forward movement in right direction.
In my opinion, the abrogation of Article 370 was not a sudden and abrupt decision which when taken up in Parliament received more than 2/3rd majority in Rajya Sabha where the ruling dispensation didn’t have simple majority even. Problems like Kashmir are not solved in days, weeks or months; it needs a long term vision, sustained and systematic efforts before any concrete outcomes are known and visible to common man.
A lot of information is indeed available in public domain which can be tapped if a little “time and patience” is given. For illustration, the same ruling dispensation had announced a special package of Rs 800,000 Million for the state as back as in 2015. Such sums are not spent in a month or year; instead, money is spent on multifarious schemes and projects over several years. You could see the link on Times of India
Measures taken by the Government to restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir as on 12 September 2019 can be perused on The Statesman.
Of course, none can help or do anything if some people consciously beg to differ with the government or decide not to see things as they are. However, it may be remembered that if an authorized spokesperson talks in public about the policies, programmes and decisions of the government or status there against, the same could even be contested in a court, if there is untruth or position otherwise. In fact, hearing pleas against the abrogation of Article 370, Supreme Court only recently directed the government to take steps to restore normalcy in the state particularly to healthcare facilities and schools, colleges and other educational institutions and public transport function while simultaneously protecting national interests. Even Apex Court acknowledges that things should not be done at the cost of national interests; hence preventive measures and few restrictions need to be seen from that perspective.
Currently, the government is trying to reach people at Block and Village level as a confidence building measure, strengthening and empowering the local self-governance, and causing awareness among people to bring in the national mainstream. Initiative for the elections of “Block Development Council” is one such measure. Yes, it is a new experiment and we will know of the output and outcome only after many months or even few years. In however minority but there is no dearth of people and politicians of dubious loyalty and integrity and, in my opinion, its better that they are kept away for some time from the public sight. Relative calm in Kashmir during the last 2 months also supports this point.
Do I need to quote incendiary speeches or actions of the leaders of two mainstream parties of Valley in the past to incite sentiments of people rather than assuaging their feelings at trying occasions? Even Sheikh Abdullah, the protagonist of Article 370, was dismissed and jailed by the very Congress (Nehru) Government in August 1953 as an accused of conspiracy against the State espousing the cause of an independent Kashmir with ample proof of his links with Pakistan and own speeches and activities to that affect. He remained imprisoned, interned or exiled till the Congress (Indira Gandhi) again restored him after 22 years with an accord in 1974-75, and he formally rescinded his call for a plebiscite. Unfortunately, his successor(s) too have been very ambivalent in their approach and have fared no better.
Then let us also remember that the state has two other divisions i.e. Jammu and Ladakh, which together constitute about 85% of the land and mostly remain peaceful; of the remaining 15% with dense population in the Valley, only 4-5 districts are mostly troubled and need utmost vigil and restrictions, which are perceived or projected so as if the entire state is in trouble. Transparency and right of expression are buzzwords of democracy, which are so often misused in our country by people with vested interests and malicious agenda. Government is only a representative of people and the people of India cannot leave 85% geographical spread and largely peaceful populace of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir Valley at the mercy of few disruptive forces bent upon to spoil peace and harmony in the region in the garb of transparency and freedom of expression.