A singular tendency among a many sections is to blame Pakistan and separatists for everything that goes wrong – that is true to a large extent. But in the latest episodes of schools being set afire in Kashmir , the dubious role of the mainstream parties is equally reprehensible .
The mainstream parties cannot escape the responsibility of having failed to play their role of standing up to the miscreants and exposing designs of the inimical forces, which got an opportunity to put Kashmir on path of self-destruction.
The ruling PDP and the main opposition National Conference in Kashmir were playing games against each other , offering a direct and indirect support to separatists and all others who were bent upon paralyzing the life in Kashmir . The killing of a militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8 became their icon as much as it was for Pakistan and separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani , Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.
Separatists and Pakistan were looking for something extraordinary to ignite the flames of unrest . The killing provided them a unique “ martyr” of the social media era to fuel the unrest which they had failed in the past because of the dominant economic and social harmony interest of the people when tourist footfalls were unprecedented and Kashmir was being profiled as the best place to visit in the 2016 summer , but no one knew that it would soon turn into a chilling winter.
How did it happen? A live wire situation was being built by separatists and the mainstream (, PDP , included , decrying all the ideas of resettling migrant Kashmiri Hindus who had fled in the wake of the selective persecution in late 1980s and early 1990s., proposal of setting up of a colony for the state subject ex-soldiers , and all swords were out to cut a investment friendly and employment generating industrial policy . In short, it was a resistance to the idea of India, which Islamabad , its amplifiers in separatists, National Conference, Congress, CPI-M and , of course, PDP, thought would get germinated with BJP sharing power in the PDP-BJP government.
The strong wall of resistance to such ideas in the past Mehbooba Mufti had re-chosen BJP as alliance partner after nearly a three-month long wait after the death of her father and sitting Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. .
Today all are blaming unidentified miscreants for the burning of schools and the chaos that has prevailed in the Valley. A big blame game is going on . Separatists who found the merit in the locked schools because the “ real education was a distinction between good and bad”. Geelani felt that the larger goal for ( freedom) was more important than attending class rooms. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti accused the vested interests in “ keeping the children off schools so as to recruit them as stone throwers and wreck their future.” Her predecessor Omar Abdullah was unsparing in his criticism of the Mehbooba Mufti government, never spoke a word against the stone throwers , but when the schools started burning, he declared “ this in unacceptable.” Geelani and Mirwaiz changed their tune. Now those burning schools were “ not part of the movement.”
Kashmir is not new to such reversal in expressions, but the fact remains while there can be some clue that why separatists were saying it and patronizing the miscreants in the name of “ freedom struggle against the “ Indian occupation.”
In hindsight, two things become very clear that the killing of Burhan was made a turning point deliberately . Separatists and Pakistan had the compulsion to own a popular figure on social media who had a special appeal among the youngsters , the mainstream helped them by flip-flopping on the issue.. Chief Minister was willing to “ give Burhan a chance had the forces known that it was he who was among the holed up militants.” She was also making a sort of distinction between the popular militants and others. Omar was quick to tweet that “ Burhan n death would be recruiting more militants than his life.” A host of questions were raised by all others, including some of the ministers , about the circumstances in which Burhan was killed, granting an extra spotlight on Burhan, who was hailed as “ a martyr” and “ young leader of Kashmir” by Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif at UNGA . This thrilled Kashmiris that for the first time a militant’s name was placed on record in the United Nations General Assembly.
The mishandling of the situation on July 8 and 9 , if it was so , could have been reversed had there been political will and the situation would not have reached a point where schools were going up in flames. Mainstream failed Kashmir and Kashmiris more than anyone else .