Leave politics aside – Greater Kashmir
The dynamics of electoral politics generate their own demands and cause immense stress on the leaders and parties. That’s understandable. But there is something much beyond the politics that concerns everyone living in the state and the leaders have failed in reaching out to them except on Twitter as if the social media is a panacea for all the ills plaguing the state. Sorry to say, the recent snowfall wreaked havoc in Kashmir – the roads were closed, supplies were inadequate and the patients got stuck in snow. The social media was abuzz with appeals and the leaders from all political parties targeted the government of the day for all the miseries that befell the people.
Surely, the government of the day could not rise up to the occasion as it should have. Even more than a week after the snowfall, many areas are disconnected, they have no electricity, no running water and home supplies have depleted. Kashmir is in a siege – there is no way to get out of the Valley. The national highway is closed. Passengers and vehicles are stranded now for days together. It is hellish.
There is a reason to comprehend that there is little to combat the nature when it turns harsh and the national highway could not be cleared for traffic because of the recurring snowfall, avalanches, and landslides. Agreed ! But what is the justification for the airlines to charge Rs 40,000 on Jammu-Srinagar route. It is criminal. Is this what they call market driven prices. The miseries of the stranded passengers are being used to accrue profits. There can be nothing more shameful than this. All the projects and the inaugurations come to a naught when the people are thrown in such a crisis.
And no one knows that how long Kashmir will have to suffer all this. Those talking of opening the traditional routes are doing more out of their self-motivated politics than the real concern for the people. Unless there is a due application of mind to ascertain whether the routes to the other countries or across the LoC offer hope of 24×7 uninterrupted flow of the things, it is sheer politics and northing else. To refresh their memory, it would be necessary to recall that when devastating quake hit Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistan occupied Kashmir administration had no wherewithal to rescue its own people.Pakistan army was obsessed with rescuing its own soldiers on the LoC and repositioning them. It was the international aid that helped the people, and violent means of opening the routes result in what happened in the aftermath of the August 2008 “ Muzzafarabad chalo” agitation. Ask the traders of Kashmir what is happening to them. It is easy to tweet from the cosy and warm sitting rooms, the reality should be asked from the traders. There is a need for trust. That is missing.
Coming to the basic question that why there was a failure of the system in these times? Surely, the PDP, National Conference and other leaders without waiting for a moment asked the government of the day to explain. Sure the Governor’s administration has much to explain. But the bigger question is that what did these parties do when they were in power. How many power projects were built to generate electricity. The NHPC is an excuse, and so is Indus Water Treaty. Why the water was allowed to go waste when the Indus Water Treaty provides for its utilization by the state within the prescribed limits. There is a talk of Baglihar power project – the signatures of corruption are written all over it. This project had to be run by NHPC for two years on its completion before it was returned to Jammu Kashmir Power Development Corporation, and what happened to Rattle project, why Sawlakote has not taken off till date. There are no answers. Political sloganeering is easy. But how much work has been done on the ground to get the basic infrastructure of health in place. People continue to die. There is a need to ask these questions from the leadership that was obsessed with politics and politics alone. No politics can work without sound economics and will to do the things. And the things were not done and Kashmir continues to suffer. Leaders must answer instead of taking refuge in the cyber world.