The 17th Century Mughal Emperor Jahangir said about Kashmir: “Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. (If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here; it’s here).” The same Kashmir Valley is bleeding. There is no end in sight to the incidents of violence that have snuffed out thousands of lives, and the number of death is rising with each passing day.
However, the bloodshed that the Valley is witnessing after the killing of 17-year-old militant Burhan Muzaffar Wani has shivered the nation. More than 40 people have lost their lives, 8,000 suffered injuries, and 300 became blind as the security forces used the pellet guns to control the mob that went on the rampage after Burhan’s death.
The PDP-BJP-led government in the state and the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre imposed curfew-like restrictions and banned newspapers, mobile and internet services.
Since 1947, a section of Kashmiris, playing in the hands of trans-border divisive forces, have taken up arms to fight against Indian government. They demand freedom to the state from India. Of course, they may have a number of reasons to justify their action.
It could be disproportionate use of force by the law-enforcing agencies, alleged atrocities on them by security forces, breach of promises by the successive governments or political ill-will to solve their problem. On the other, the enemies of the country, leaving nothing to chance, take every opportunity to incite and support the disgruntled Kashmiris to create violence in the state. But violence is no remedy to any problem. Violence produces violence only. The Kashmir imbroglio is a political problem that needs a political solution.
A healing touch is need of the hour for the bruised heart of Kashmiris. Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had talked of “Insaniyat” (Humanitarian approach) to restore peace in the Valley, which the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not ignore and bring about a permanent solution to the problem. The government should invite all parties to a dialogue and take a decision. It is not justifiable to label all Kashmiris terrorists.
If the feelings of people are suppressed by force, it will backfire with great impact. Kashmir’s fate should not be determined in Nagpur, as the fate of Nagpur or Gujarat cannot be decided in Srinagar. To solve the problems of Kashmir, the government should first know the heart of Kashmiris and then bring a solution acceptable to all. And for that a political will is needed. Let peace be restored in Kashmir; and let it be a heaven on earth, once again.