Binoo Joshi

J K News Today Commentary

History will judge Kashmir in the era after August 5 last year when the Central Government removed Article 370 and Article 35 A by two standards, what could have happened, and what didn’t happen.

What could have happened? Kashmir was deeply attached to its special status granted under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. They were talking in terms of do and die to save their special status and special rights under Article 35 A – exclusive access to ownership of land in the state , jobs and scholarships.

Kashmiris’ tendency to take to extreme ways of protests had played out in 2016 after the killing of a militant commander Burhan Wani. The cycle of violence triggered by the emotion driven youngsters, in which elders also joined later, continued for weeks together in which nearly 100 people were killed and many more blinded. That was the intensity of their anger over the killing of a militant commander, and how would they have reacted after losing the special status embedded in their hearts and minds since 1947. It could have been catastrophic.

What didn’t happen? Things stayed quiet. There were few incidents of protests, but they were taken care off by tear smoke. Not even a person died in the police action. The zero casualty was the USP- unique selling proposition – that stood in favour of India. No country, barring one or two, and one of them, of course, was Pakistan, said any thing adverse about Delhi’s action of scrapping of Article 370. From Tehran to Washington, from Dubai to Jeddah, there was only one sentence echoing across that it was India’s internal affair.

Kashmir was saved from all the hallucinations that the trouble-makers, Pakistan wanted to inflict a genocide condition by instigating Kashmiris to take to streets and clash with security forces, mount a campaign of bloodshed and arson to reduce the Valley to a big graveyard.

Main question, however, is that who saved Kashmir against all these threats. The clear answer is National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who stayed put in the Valley immediately after August 5 last year. He monitored the situation not just sitting in the control room but by visiting the places – Shopian and Anantnag and streets of Kashmir. He would be able to tell his part of the story how the things were kept in control and all lives saved in the process. To him, and to India, all Kashmiri lives matter the most .