“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that” said noted Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King Jr and today those in power should follow this note of advice to restore peace in Kashmir without any further delay.
Tehelka notes with concern that Kashmir Valley continues to be extremely volatile. However, the only positive one can find is that the separatists have so far achieved little success in gaining control of the unrest and anger against the government.
The Centre should take note that public reaction has been so overwhelmingly spontaneous that markets even in villages in the valley have remained closed for the first time in the past 26 years of unrest.
It is high time that the Centre reaches out to all opposition leaders to seize an initiative to restore peace in the valley so as not allow splinter groups and Pakistan to take advantage of the situation.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already spoken to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah in a bid to reach out to opposition leaders to restore peace in the Valley that continues to burn over the killing of Hizbul poster boy Burhan Wani. The new Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir has been quick to quip, “The central government wants that peace be restored in Jammu and Kashmir as early as possible. We are making all efforts for it.”
Though the Centre need not overreact to Pakistani provocation, it should send a clear message to security forces to exercise restraint because excessive use of force only inflames public anger.
There is an urgent need for a dialogue. Burhan Wani had chosen this path at the age of 15 and had become the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Youngsters used to have his picture on their mobile phones. This is the whole truth that single-handedly Wani had won the hearts of people that the Centre could not do so far in spite of government machinery at its command.
The Centre should make all out efforts to ensure that the youth is saved from falling into the trap of separatist and militant groups. The truth of Kashmir Valley is that there are no demands and no one is sure about what will happen next.
The issue of setting up of ‘Sainik Colony’ and townships for migrant Kashmiri Pandits needs to be handled cautiously keeping in mind the popular public opinion. Incidentally, Tehelka had done a cover story on the issue of Sainik Colony and township for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in its July 15 issue.