Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s two-day visit of Kashmir this week was extraordinary in many senses as the Valley is caught in crosshairs of the baggage left by the now collapsed PDP-BJP government and uncertain future ahead. It is not an easy situation , nor it is going to be.
Rajnath Singh is Home Minister in the Narendra Modi government that is regarded as a symbol of tough line on Jammu and Kashmir against the militants and their sympathizers . Sure enough !.
Two facts stand out for Rajnath Singh As Home Minister, he was the one who announced Ramzan ceasefire on the eve of the pious month of Ramzan on May 16 with the consent of the Prime Minister . While there was no mention of “ ceasefire” in the tweets that Singh made on the day, Prime Minister phrased that as “ Ramzan ceasefire” on June 19 when he visited all the three regions in the State – Ladakh, valley and Jammu – exactly in that order .
Rajnath Singh went a step further on May 26, when he made an unconditional offer of talks to the Hurriyat Conference. The similar offer was made to Pakistan and it was stated that Pakistan should stop export of terrorism from its soil and if it was unable to do so , India , as a neighbouring country, was always available to help Islamabad in rooting out the scourge of terrorism. That is what he repeated during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7 and 8.
What makes this visit outstanding is that the Home Minister this time did not review the security in the strict sense of the phrase- the anti-militancy operations, the number of militants killed , and infiltration from across the border combined with the local recruitment .
The idea was to tackle the issues at roots , which obviously in the context of Jammu and Kashmir, are the corruption and the mis-governance . There were various suggestions in this regard that how the people could be reached out and their grievances addressed. But the past baggage is so heavy that it is near impossible to clear all the mess that has covered the beautiful landscape of the Valley with corruption and tell tale signs of the mis-governance .
There have been changes in the governments and political faces revolving around the two families of Abdullahs and Muftis , but the real change for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir never came for the people. They are suppressed under corruption and lack of real connectivity – that is the people don’t have access to the roads, water, schools, healthcare and other basic necessities, what kind o political connectivity and solution would help resolve matters , if there is no hope .
Home Minister brought home the point that good governance and development alone can mitigate the suffering of the people of Kashmir > They are suffering from the twisted political oppression and corruption than anything else.