Kashmiris feel deserted by their representatives, who disappear during disturbances, leaving them to the mercy of god or in the hands of those who have vested interests in prolonging conflicts. Recently, we also heard of certain leaders, pretending to be the representatives of the Union government, issuing pro-active statements, which have contributed to the crises. The imposition of curfews to tackle crises has failed, and youngsters brought up in these years of turmoil have become hostile to the system.
There are no officially recognised student elections in Kashmir and it is hard to blame students for the present conflict. They only reflect the despair, caused by the failure of a consensual discourse among their elders. The hopelessness and frequent human rights disasters cause some students to raise extremist slogans. Till date, schoolchildren are being deprived of their childhood.
The Union government has placed agents in every administrative structure. These people have muddied the waters. Our parties maintain lobbies at the Centre that work for narrow political gains. I propose the installation of a coalition government, tasked with producing a resolution on Kashmiri aspirations.
The Valley’s minorities can play a vital role in the dialogue process. As a non-migrant Kashmiri Pandit, who has lived in downtown Srinagar throughout the troubled times but is dejected by our malfunctioning government, I have two points to make: first, the minorities are safe and enjoy cordial relations with Kashmiri Muslims. The Amarnath Yatra is taking place smoothly and the rest of India need not worry about the yatris. Second is a request to the media to be fair-minded and compassionate while reporting on Kashmir. The Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti interacts with different shades of opinion. We try to keep alive a conversation for the re-emergence of a plural society. We want sanity to prevail in all of Kashmir.”
Sanjay Tickoo is President of the Srinagar-based Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti. The views expressed by the author are personal.