‘Divide between political class and common masses of Kashmir’
The recent concluded General elections in the state of Jammu & Kashmir has presented a grim display all over the state of Jammu & Kashmir, particularly in the valley of Kashmir where eligible registered voters showed least interest to choose their representative for the people’s house for next 5 years. The renowned political analysts both native and non native have identified several reasons or issues responsible for the shabby show of voters turnout in the valley of Kashmir which are: Continuing killing spree (regardless of political belief), banning of Socio-religious and political parties (Jammat-Islami, JKLF), unfolding of certain anarchist orders (Highway ban) and the petitions pending in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India regarding the discontinuation of Article 370 and 35a.
Although, the reasons or issues reckoned above are true but there are numerous other reasons which have kept unnoticed by the analysts that helped the boycott narrative to stamp the deserted view of the polling booths established for the vote casting purpose. The oscillating nature of Kashmir based political parties (switching tongues when in power and out of power), employment crisis (dearth of infrastructure and poor policy making), backdoor appointments in the Government departments (murder of meritocracy), negative portrayal of Kashmir Image (brings identity crisis and halt in tourist flow), halt in the dialogue process between Pakistan and India (prolongs the miseries of common masses), justifying nature of civilian killings (brings despondency in the Indian institutions like judiciary) are also the factors that played an important role in less voter turnout.
Furthermore, a thorough divide between political class and common masses of Kashmir (keeps the ghosts of imperialism alive and kicking in the minds of common masses), demolishing of personal public properties in the daily ensuing encounters (gives rise a fresh breed of homeless and helpless Kashmiri’s which brings a social collapse), considering the elections as a referendum in favor of the Indian state (vilifies the democratic process and snatches the right to vote of people, people feel vote casting brings them stigma instead of glory). These all issues are corollary to the mainstream politics of the state. In simple words, till now the failure of mainstream politics is visible in the realm of Jammu & Kashmir.
The mainstream parties of the state of Jammu & Kashmir have lost their shine in every nook & corner of the valley and at New Delhi also. The rhetoric of mainstream and separatist has faded their semiotics. The recent developments in the valleys political scenario have raised many eyebrows and gives rise to certain new political parties with new political thought. But it is the accepted fact that conflict gives rise to political awakening in the masses at large and correspondence has kept people of valley inspired also. People have rejected their deceptive nature in full swing. Switching parties cannot do the job to save the prestige of Kashmiri identity and end the dynamic cycle of miseries of people. The era of jack-juicing (give & take between New Delhi & Kashmir Based Political Parties) has faded its glory in the realm of Kashmir politics. People want straightforward and clean politics which have the ability to end the conflict peacefully.
It requires a thorough consensus among the so called mainstream ideology, civil society and so called separatist ideology to give rise a sustainable political push which can work as per the wishes of common masses and settle their issues both social, political, economic and psychological in a sophisticated manner. Keeping the boat floating and unnoticed has chances of sinking deep into the wild currents of waters. People have rejected the ballot process and the traditional politics. People await a breed of leaders who can convince New Delhi for free and fair plebiscite as promised to them by India in the United Nations.
Plebiscite is the most democratic way to allow people to decide their future and India, the proclaiming biggest democracy in the world shall not restrict this democratic process to end the seven decade old dispute once for all. One cannot hostage an idea, for life, celebrated in the minds of people regardless of gender and age.
This understandable description of the current political scenario and the shabby show of the voter turnout in valley during the recent concluded general elections must raise alarm bells in New Delhi. The political spectrum currently in vogue in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, regardless of opinion, should come out of the utopia, to start a conclusive brainstorming for the general good of common masses of the state without innovating anymore dilly-dallying tactics. The clock is moving very fast, stopping it could save the humanity, and peace will prevail, justice will float and political reach will deliver besides regaining its glory back.
(Author is a Research Scholar)