CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Thursday said Kashmiris have suffered immensely and hopelessness has engulfed the whole society which has resulted in massive alienation.There was a need for a bigger political initiative as Kashmir has been crying for it. But unfortunately all these voices have gone unheard as the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech repeated the “beaten track.” Only old phrases were repeated which gives an indication that Government of India is not ready to respond to the emerging situation in Kashmir appropriately.Last year on Independence Day same phrases were used by the Prime Minister in his speech. But one year down the line, there has been no change on the ground. Rather the situation has deteriorated further.It is a well known fact that Kashmir is bleeding and there is immediate need of taking confidence building measures (CBMs). But unfortunately, in PM’s speech no such thing has been mentioned.
The PM in his speech mentioned that the Government of India will embrace all and not by “Goli and Gali” (bullets and abuses).However, on ground the perception among the people remains that only excessive use of force is seen to be the only option.Least Kashmiris were expecting from the Prime Minister was assurances on Article 35-A of the Constitution. People of Jammu and Kashmir cutting across regions, religions and ideologies want Article-35A to remain. But unfortunately Government of India has not done anything yet in the Supreme Court to defend it. The Centre has not filed any counter-affidavit on Article 35A, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court through a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition.Such approach, I am afraid, may only help in strengthening the apprehensions that New Delhi is not serious in protecting the constitutional rights of J&K. This may lead further strengthening the perception which promotes uncertainty and alienation. (PTK)