LG Sinha’s historic move is a big milestone in journey of peace and democracy

Binoo Joshi

JK News Today Commentary

The peaceful eighth Muharram procession Thursday on the streets of Srinagar had its own script – peace was the driving force , and it was rightly hailed as a “ dividend of peace ,” and dream come true for generations.
It needs a dive down to the situation that existed in Kashmir for over three decades , during which these processions were out of question , to know how the change has taken place . It is the demonstrative example of peace established in Kashmir , and alongside it is a clear symbol of building of pillars of democracy – an open society where the freedom of expression is complete except for those who use it for disruptions .
There are at least two generations born since 1980s who have no idea as to how the procession was taken out during the time of their elders when Kashmir lived by its original ethos and unshakeable faith in peace and brotherhood. And, perhaps these two , or may be, three generations , were unaware of the dynamics of the situation which kept Kashmir hanging in fire for three decades. . That also kept them away from their traditions , an unspeakable blow to the idea of coexistence , embedded in Kashmiri culture and social milieu over centuries.
The LG administration of Manoj Sinha has dealt with the issue of the Muharram procession, sacred and a matter of high religious value for Shia community , in the most sensitive manner , in which the community’s aspirations were honoured. This was made possible by his outreach to all the communities , taking everyone on board for peace and peaceful expressions .
That the procession passed off peacefully , and there was a great display of harmony and the administrative alertness all along, and all over , deserves to be read in contrast with the past history of 34 years as also with the emerging mood in the Valley , where peace has revived the spirit of co-existence and the religious rights of all communities .
All sides wanted the things to proceed and pass off without any distortions to the idea of peace and democracy . These two ideas are intrinsic , and also an edifying symbol of pluralism . The spirit of tolerance and brotherhood , displayed during the procession bore a testimony to this.
It was rebuilding of the pillars of an open and democratic society that came to fore. It is the result of the work that has been in progress for the past over three years . This also offers an opportunity to ponder as to what were the things in the past 34 years, when militancy defined the landscape , and the religious processions of this nature and sensitivity had been taken out of the social milieu.. It is not to denigrate the elected government – but the fact is that the political governments “ ruled the state for 24 of these 34 years .This also shows how forces of disruption and negativity can be fought back with right attitude and credible approach.