RESOLVING THE QUANDARY

It seems that for the first time a Minister has tried to project the plight of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its people by calling spade a spade unlike most of the politicians from Kashmir who try to keep the pot boiling by maintaining the rhetoric that Kashmir is a political issue. The Finance Minister of J&K Dr Haseeb Drabu in unambiguous terms made it clear in his address at an event in the national capital last night that the state of Jammu and Kashmir as well as its people should not be seen as a conflict state or a political problem, but as a society with social issues. He has expressed something that Kashmir centric politicians generally refrain from doing in order to appease a section of society in the Valley and keep their vote banks safe. Drabu has dared to say “They have been barking up the wrong tree for the last 50 or 70 years by talking about the politics of it, that the political situation has never improved.” It is a fact that the present situation in Kashmir has affected not only the entire state of J&K but the nation too is the result of societal problems and issues nurtured by the vested interest politicians who camouflaged the same by calling it a political issue. The present situation is such that not only the politicians but even the people at large across the state have got lost in the ‘forest of symbols’ a phrase quiet rightly coined by the state’s finance minister. Whatever he spoke at the event primarily to attract investors to the state was transparent and absolutely plain speaking so far as the plight of J&K state and its people is concerned. The meticulous analysis of the current situation reveals that people in this state especially in the Valley may be living unhappy lives or even their history may have been torturous, but they run profitable businesses. From this it can be concluded that people have done their bit, but somehow due to certain factors they got into a quandary. This quandary has undoubtedly led this state into a situation whereby it is now unable to catch up with the rest of the nation and the world. Even media that is supposed to create a sane opinion among the masses has failed to play a responsible role in this regard as it broadcasts and telecasts only what people like to hear and unfortunately people have been divided on sectarian lines, courtesy the politicians. It needs to be acknowledged that people in this state are faced with serious social issues right now. Though they are trying their best to find their own space but fail to achieve anything credible due to the leadership failure especially the politicians playing the spoilt game. What could be more worse form of degraded politics than the behaviour of a law maker who has also been speaker of the Assembly earlier raising pro-Pak slogans in the state Assembly presumably thinking that such behaviour has made him hero in his constituency and that his vote bank has become secure. Such politicians need to go for a serious introspection and correction today and then bring a paradigm shift in their strategies. In this regard Drabu has been very honest and sincere in asking the people to introspect over the nature and origins of the situation in the state and how it can be resolved. It needs to be realized by those politicians who are repeatedly insisting on dialogue with Pakistan that we need to talk to ourselves before we talk to others and this must happen at the state as well as at the national well. The people of this state have themselves left something wanting due to which the disgruntled elements in the state’s polity refuse to mend their ways thus ultimately people themselves becoming the worst victims. It is high time that people of Jammu and Kashmir especially in the militancy infested areas and the politicians heed to the valuable observations made by the Finance Minister Drabu and after conducting a serious introspection make concerted efforts to resolve the quandary that has cropped up only due to societal problems.