Sunday, December 28, 2008

J&K Polls - what India reads into them

This whole year has been one of high importance for Kashmir. Rather Jammu and Kashmir. J&K has been in the news for all the wrong reasons all these years. And just as other issues in the country gathered a lot of momentum and edged the Kashmir issue into the sidelines (I am tempted to say that the issue calmed down, but the sporadic militant attacks and incursions by Pakistani terrorists cannot allow us to wish away the Kasmir problem), this year J&K was in the news again.

It all began with the Amarnath Land row, whose chronology can be seen here.

In the middle of all the ruckus surrounding the Amarnath Land Row, this year on the 15th of August, Separatists pulled down the Indian flag, soon after it was hoisted and flouted the Separatist flag amidst cheers by youth who had embraced the 'Separate Kashmir' issue. Till the end, no amicable solution could actually be arrived at.

So, J&K has been in the news for all the wrong reasons all this while, and suddenly, it was election time. Now, separatists had called for a boycott of the polls, and suddenly, as though delivering a slap on the face as happens in almost all Premchand novels, the people who are tired of the continuous tension, and harping of communal divide by partisan politicians, came out to vote, in drones, to get what a government should actually provide. BIJLI, SADAK, PANI, ROZGAAR. Electricity, roads, water and employment. The turnout in the turmoil-struck state was at 62%, showing that people and daily issues count more than ideology. Roads and peace mean more than religion. Employment and the ability to survive the next day means more than political ideology.

This year has seen the victory of democracy. Obama against racial prejudices, in favor of a change from further monotony and J&K voting against Pakistan, against separatists, against personal agenda - in favor of growth and development. Cheers to democracy. Hope the new government delivers.....

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