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Modi govt policies promoted militancy
The hardline approach began during Cong; but BJP with its brute majority could have thought differently
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Congress vice president, who first criticised the Narendra Modi led BJP government for security lapses leading to the attack on Amarnath pilgrims bus, on Wednesday took to the social media to blame the government for its failures leading to rise in militancy in Kashmir. His remark that the BJP entered into an alliance with the PDP in Jammu-Kashmir for "short term political gain" and it has "cost India massively" is not off the mark. Definitely, the unholy alliance has contributed in a big way to the deepening of the Kashmir conflict and pushed youth to pick up arms. BJP's saffron flag have never found currency in Kashmir Valley. There was massive participation in the 2014 assembly elections and PDP could improve its seat tally considerably owing to its ability to sell the idea of keeping the Hindutva parties out of Jammu and Kashmir. However, after a split and rather complicated verdict with much of Jammu region choosing BJP over other parties in an unprecedented manner, the PDP entered into an alliance with the BJP, hoping to be in a position to push Centre for starting a process of resolving the long pending political dimension of Kashmir conflict. It took three months for both the ideologically different parties to thresh out an Agenda of Alliance that including peace and talks with all sections of society as its major focus. Despite being an alliance partner, the BJP at the Centre has since condescendingly viewed the idea of talks and instead has ham-handedly put into acceleration the strong arm tactics and repression in Kashmir. The PDP's inability to get Centre to ease the tensions by releasing political prisoners got drowned in BJP's war cries both on the borders and inside the Valley. Post Burhan Wani's killing in 2016, over hundred people have been killed in street protests and hundreds injured by bullets and high velocity lead pellets that have also partially or fully blinded over 200 people. All attempts to choke the Valley have pushed many youth to pick up the gun and South Kashmir, PDP's bastion not so long ago, has turned into a hot hub of militancy with many youth who canvassed for the PDP in 2014 also having joined the ranks of militants. Evidentally, the Modi government has no policy on Kashmir and the only existing policy is to rule it through military methods, brutalization and oppression of masses.

However, Rahul Gandhi has no moral authority to criticize the government for its flawed policy on Kashmir, the groundwork of which was prepared by the Congress led UPA regime during its last tenure in power at the Centre. Congress had adopted a slightly diluted form of this hardline policy, punctuating it with cosmetic efforts to woo people and engage with cross-section of masses every now and then. In the collective memory of Kashmir, it is difficult to forget the Congress government that presided over the botch up in Shopian rapes and murder cases in 2009, the 120 killings in 2010 and Afzal Guru execution in 2013 - all three events having contributed vastly to the anger and despair in the Valley. If their vote bank politics in Kashmir stopped them from going ahead with a peace process in Kashmir, the BJP with its far more hardcore Hindutva agenda has learnt to use a deteriorating, choked and demonized Kashmir as a tool to garner votes elsewhere in the country.

There are limits to such a policy of brute military methods for tackling 200-300 odd militants. As Gandhi points out, if it is a belated awakening on his part, this strategy has yielded nothing but bloodshed of innocent lives - Kashmiris or others. Modi government enjoys a brute majority and still has the golden opportunity to transform Kashmir and at the same time learn to sell peace in Kashmir and not hatred and terrorism for electoral gains. It must show some magnamity for the sake of Kashmir, India and perhaps, also for its own stature.

News Updated at : Friday, July 14, 2017
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