In the deserts of the heart,
Let the healing fountain start.
In the prison of his days,
Teach the free man how to praise.
The lines quoted above has been taken from the W.H Auden’s famous poem/elegy In memory of W. B Yeats has a great relevance in the context of the unfulfilled aspirations , death , destruction, despair, gloom and injustice the people of Jammu & Kashmir is confronting now since decades. The hollow promises, deception, hunger for power, anti people policies deserted the hearts of general public. Hearts of people have faded but still aspiring for the breeze to heal and rejuvenate them in their real odor, color and taste. Kashmiri people in this so called festival of democracy (election season) feel suffocated, dishearten, gloomy and despair because of the experience of the deception, fake promises, inability to deliver at the hands of the people elected earlier.
People of Jammu & Kashmir is not denying the ballot, but the shame this vote casting exercise brings along its own as a reward is disturbing, disgracing, and undemocratic in nature and spirit. This exercise has been distorted and stigmatized by the politicians and the government by its own. Politicians hoodwinking electorates by certain election gimmicks and delivers nothing in return except corruption and muscle power and the government is labeling it as the verdict of the people for the political cause. This pseudo politics, deliberate vilification and unethical attitudes of the power corridors has snatched the ‘Right to vote’ from the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
In a democratic setup vote casting is the solo opportunity once in six years in the hands of an eligible voter to decide his/her priorities like education, health & hygiene, roads, electricity, employment, justice, peace, transparency and accountability. But the fact is that the people involved in the mainstream politics in the state of Jammu & Kashmir have build and sustained the narrative of boycott in the minds of the eligible voters for their petty gains and cheap politics to secure their win against the peoples will from time to time. People have mandated them to do “X” they did “Y” against the aspirations of the people and disgraced their mandate from time to time. In addition to the above it is imperative to mention here that Kashmir based politicians have always said that we are getting the votes to render the developmental works like build roads, bridges, electricity, drinking water and employment but not for the settlement of the Kashmir issue.
The key of Kashmir problem lies in the hands of resistance leaders. Due to this, whatever Indian Government wants to do in the state of Jammu & Kashmir they do it successfully, without taking the Kashmir centric politicians into confidence and it is the reason that plight of Kashmiri politicians is degrading in the eyes of Indian Government. Its evidence is not hidden to anybody that the outgoing Indian PM Narinder Modi while addressing the huge public gathering in the heart of Srinagar City in summers of 2014 ominously said that he needs no body’s suggestion/assessment regarding the settlement of Kashmir Issue, he is enough worth to tackle the problem solo as he deems fit and calculated.
This vacuum of leadership is the worst obstacle in between the crises and the people of Jammu & Kashmir, which requires the selfless attention of heavy brains to fulfill as soon as possible without any further delay. Youth are aware about all the circumstances and are feeling alienating and suffocating now in the system drastically. This alienation paved the way to the fact that the eligible voters of J&K have learnt that the unwanted people are accumulating the power due to the boycott paradigm popular in the minds of the people and non availability of right choice candidates as alternative besides bringing in the minds of general public that Popular government is the crux of the good governance and accountable institutions at ground level for healing the wounds of the marginal population.
It further adds in the understanding of the democratic setup of India among people that boycotting elections have no impact on the results as if contesting people only get a handful of votes are winners in spite, the majority of population is boycotting the elections. These circumstances compel today’s youth to look for the people who are honest, dedicated and have ability to take decision and give them the concrete shape, so that the graph of miseries and atrocities may witness some decrease. But the people having such caliber and intellectualism are still elusive and or nowhere on the board, hence people of the state will continue feel the heat of the unwanted policies and miseries.
A smart breed of honest, dedicated, selfless breed of leaders is the need of the hour to float the boat smoothly against the currents of undesired waters. The people involved in running the resistance movement should think on this pretext and should float something convincing and catchy instead of boycott. They should move on the other alternatives like take part in the elections directly or support and groom a party which can plead the case of self determination besides deliver a good governance Kashmir’s are longing since long. Remaining stick to the boycott paradigm only allows the secure and safe passage to the unwanted powers to rule as mighty and ugly as they wish. The present government setup is denting the people and adds their miseries ruthlessly. The people who have strong mandate to represent and make decisions in the assembly can reform the institutions for the general good of common masses. To sum up the above deliberations with the worthwhile quote of H.W Longfellow that “when looking for anything lost, begin by looking where you think it is not” has the great relevance in the context of easing out the unleashed cycle of atrocities in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
(Author is Research Scholar)