Silencing The Valley?
Spin Doctors Concoct Yarns On Kashmir
In democracies globally, citizens organize peaceful protests in support of their demands and to highlight their grievances. Protest over legitimate collective or individual demands is the essence of democracy. So it is in Kashmir.
After the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, people from various walks of life – especially the poorly paid labour and daily wagers working in various government and semi-government organizations and departments have registered their protest on many occasions. They have thronged into the streets in thousands in Srinagar as well as in Jammu, protesting what they call the lukewarm response of the administration to their demands. On certain occasions, the number of participants in such protests has been in tens of thousands. On every day basis, people in large or small numbers register their protest against the local administrative units on issues immediately concerning them. Mostly people are seen protesting regarding poor road connectivity, poor supply of water and electricity, poor medical facility, etc. At times they have been seen protesting the insufficient availability of ration and eatables. Local newspapers, local news channels and other mediums of communication available to the people report such events on daily basis. Nobody has found these protests to be anything out of the ordinary. To protest regarding their demands is a core right in a democracy. People have the right to highlight and agitate over what they perceive as the failures of the administration.
Why Are Spin Doctors Building The Narrative Of Forced Silence?
Why are the spin doctors of Kashmir constantly selling the narrative to the outer world that people in Kashmir have been silenced post the abrogation of Article 370? Why are they spinning the yarn that freedom of expression has been choked by the state? Every section of the society be it students, government employees or the commoners facing any kind of problem come out in the streets in Kashmir and also in Jammu, seeking redressal of their grievances peacefully. Then why this narrative being spun that voices have been choked?
There is no silencing of political expression either. Political parties have been organizing public meetings where they have been very critical of the administration. Every day, one or the other political party organizes rallies and road shows. People participate in these events in large numbers.
Hilarious: Omar Claims Media Gag Surrounded by Journos, Cameras
Examine the height of hypocrisy. National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah was addressing a workers’ convention at the Dak Bungalow at Khanabal in Anantnag district on December 12. Omar alleged that the media in Kashmir is not allowed to perform their professional duties.
Amazing as it was, Omar said this when he was encircled by about 20 microphones, about 20 cameras and a crowd of journalists from the print and electronic media. Omar said that at the workers rally organized by National Conference at the Dak Bungalow in Anantnag in which thousands of party workers at district level, block level and village level took part with enthusiasm. NC’s major leaders like Altaf Kaloo, Syed Tawqeer Hussain, Advocate Reyaz Ahmad Khan, Sakina Itoo and others participated in the meet. The NC leaders addressed the workers meet spiritedly and made their points. The major speech was delivered by Omar Abdullah. After this rally of robust political participation, the claim of silencing of voices is made.
Spin Doctors Want To See Violence And Blood On Streets
Pak Proxies Cannot Rest If They Do Not Find Daily Stats Of Kashmiri Youth Dead
Wailing Mothers, Crying Families Essential To Satisfy Their Appetite
There is a deliberate attempt by a section of media to peddle lies regarding Kashmir and present it in bad light. No surprise that these media persons are pro Pakistan and owe allegiance to the secessionist camp. What do these media persons seek? That the Administration must allow subversive and anti national elements to create law and order situations? Do they seek that protest rallies must turn into sites of violence and fatalities? Perhaps this indeed is what the spin doctors want. They are so used to manufactured violence in Kashmir that they find peaceful protests abnormal.
This is why we find this constant web of lies being spun around us. That people cannot protest in Kashmir. People cannot agitate in support of their demands. Any protest rally is seen as an agitation only if youth resort to violence and die. These Pakistan proxies constantly want to normalize the bizarre in Kashmir. After the Hyderpora encounter, certain sections of people like lawyers and politicians – though in small numbers – came out to protest against what they termed civilian killings. There were some known faces among these protestors. These individuals are either ideologically inclined towards extremism or have been the benefactors of the violent conflict in Kashmir. These are the lawyers and politicians who participated in the low-intensity protests following the Hyderpora encounter.
It is pertinent to recall the Hyderpora encounter in clear light. The incident happened on November 15 in which a foreign terrorist Bilal was killed along with three other persons. Police have claimed that the other persons who got killed with this foreign terrorist were two associates of Bilal. The third was the building owner who was killed in the cross fire.
Why State Action Against Those Wearing Paki Colours Is Important
Emboldens Secessionist Elements To Emerge, Pollutes Minds
State Is Seen As Weak, Ineffective Endangers Life, Property of Other Citizens
On October 24, some people celebrated the victory of Pakistan over India in the T-20 World Cup match. They raised anti-India slogans and even sang the Pakistan national anthem. The victory was celebrated in many parts of Kashmir. But the girls hostel of Government Medical College Srinagar and the boys hostel of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Srinagar took lead in the celebrations. These twin events – the Hyderpora encounter and celebrations following the India-Pakistan match emboldened the secessionist elements to emerge from the debris.
This is the operative part: the emboldening of the secessionist elements to emerge from the debris.
This is precisely why some people who have the feel of the ground suggested that the government must rusticate those girl students who were the leading lights in singing the Pakistani anthem following Pakistan’s victory in the cricket match. This is precisely why it was important that their admissions should be cancelled. Those decrying action against so-called poor and innocent medical students are blind to the ramifications of such protests in a sensitive region like Kashmir. The magnanimity of the state in condoning such “freedom of expression” has been mistaken to be the weakness of the state.
Ramifications Of Condoning “Innocent Provocations”
When the state does not respond to any provocation, people tend to take the state for granted. When the state is taken for granted, a fantastic narrative is spun. The narrative is that the state has no authority and no control. The narrative further claims that the state has lost relevance and credibility. It is separatism that rules the roost. The state has been magnanimous for the last 30 years, when such errors were overlooked. The ground reality is that following the magnanimity of the state, people propagated separatism and extremist politics. Despite this, they continued to enjoy all benefits drawn from the state.
Deep Psychological Impact On Populace
The decision of the state to overlook all transgressions had a deep impact on the collective psyche in Kashmir. The impact has been deep and lasting. The policy of the state to ignore all errors has led to a social impact where everything is taken as a matter of right. Sedition is regarded as a matter of right. Discrediting the state and its institutions is taken as a matter of right. Going against the state and its interests is seen as a matter of right. Even not following the civil laws is seen as a matter of right.
Why The State Must Be Uncompromising On Sovereignty
Without compromising on the freedom of expression of the peace-loving people, the government must be and has to be uncompromising regarding the sovereignty of the state. It is accepted that every citizen has the right to be critical of the government and its institutions. At the same time, it is the utmost responsibility of the state to protect the life and property of its citizens. Hence the state must take stern and appropriate action against those who undermine the state and endanger the lives and property of the citizens. After these twin events of the cricket match and Hyderpora, the extremist elements enjoying the blessings of some politicians and also of a section of the media have been desperately trying to revive the culture of violence. They want to again manufacture violence on streets where youngsters die and families are left crying and wailing. They want to revive the toxic cycle where militancy is romanticized and more and more youth are inspired to join its ranks.
These Pakistan proxies sit in comfortable, luxurious spaces to receive plush funding to decry every single encounter between militants and security forces. As part of a well-designed scheme, mikes and cameras are thrust in the faces of ordinary bystanders who may have witnessed an operation. These bystanders have zero understanding of the profile of the militants who were killed or the way they gunned down innocent civilians. The strategy must flow. Women must be provoked to cast aspersions on the operation in which dreaded militants have been killed. The rogues in the diaspora then come out in full force, uploading the scenes near the encounter site and selling it to the international community as a fake encounter.
This trend must be arrested. It is essential to scuttle the efforts of Pakistan proxies to revive the cycle of violent clashes in Kashmir