Binoo Joshi

JK News Today Special Commentary

The people of Kashmir have scored a respund9ng victory as the curtains fell on Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat on Saturday evening , breaking all time record since 1987 Assembly polls , and they have paced way for the much-awaited Assembly polls by September-end . In their largest ever participation in the electoral battle after a gap of so many years , they have reiterated their faith in the power of vote and their love for it after 37 years telling the world given right kind of atmosphere and opportunity they are as eager participants in elections as other parts of the country.
It also has made task of analysts challenging , how the people in the Valley have done what they did in fourth, fifth and sixth phases of the seven-phased general elections in the country. The safest conclusion is that it all was due to the changes that occurred following abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 .The change in the constitutional provision brought down a number of barriers that existed between the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir ( now divided into the two union territories of Ladakh, and J&K) and the rest of the country . As the separate flag and constitution of Jammu and Kashmir were buried deep into bottom of the pit , people realized there was a government at the Centre- the Narendra Modi Government- backed by a national sentient far beyond overwhelming numbers in the Parliament means business , having zero tolerance for the idea of dispute in Kashmir . Its second chapter was people-friendly . as the government of India gave a free-hand to security forces to go all out against terrorists, their ecosystem . This approach was not unilateral . It was a package of benefits for the Valley – it regained the space for normalcy . What is normal in Kashmir is not what the term normalcy denotes elsewhere . It meant that the people were rescued from death, destruction and disruption their lives . Terrorism had destroyed evert bit of their life . That was neutralized by security forces, as that also offered opportunity to Kashmiris to come out of the atmosphere of fear and terror . They ventured out and courted the changes .
The changes , demonstrated through high percentage of voting in Kashmir’s three seats -Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag – have shown that how many milestones they have scaled in the past five years . They looked upwards and discovered that fear has disappeared from stratosphere too. This gave them courage and conviction to chart their course to future . Lok Sabha elections came as an opportunity and they availed it to the fullest . Their contribution to the highest ever turn out in decades is an irrefutable evidence .
It is after seeing such a resounding turn out even the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar was encouraged to say that he will initiate the process to hold Assembly elections in J&K soon . This is a good news for the entire population of J&K. they had been waiting for the elections ever since June 2018 when the last elected government exited , and the Central rule stepped in . The Central rule, howsoever best it might have delivered , it is not a permanent substitute for the elected governments .
And , now it is also a legal binding for the Election Commission of India to hold the Assembly polls. The Supreme Court of India had directed the ECI to hold the polls by September 30th this year . This message has been read loud and clear by the leadership , and they have stated that they would hold the polls by the Supreme Court set deadline .
Today, Kashmir has facilitated the Government of India and Election Commission of India to adhere to the September 30th deadline.