The insurgency is breathing in the Kashmir valley for over a couple of decades, but day-by-day the resentment is getting stronger and the wails have resonated more loudly.
There was an era when a section of society turned towards the arms, while rest were afraid of the death and destruction, militants earned the popular support. Though the earlier crop was not much educated, recently the observation of the killing of P.hd. scholar, medicine and engineering students, has allegedly instigated the recruitment of more educated youth of the valley towards the militancy.
Last summer turned out to be one of the bloodiest seasons in the valley in recent past. Following the killing of an influential militant commander, Burhan Wani, in July 2016, more than 100 civilians lost their lives, over 15,000 civilians and more than 4,000 government forces personnel were injured during a four-month-long lockdown in the valley.
Now, as the stats say, the fear of death is nowhere present among the masses of Kashmir. The present generation of militants come from relatively stable and well-off families, pursuing high education, and relatively, the younger generation has stones in their hands. The female sect has also been successful in resonating their voice against India.
The youth is feeling humiliated, alienated and a second class citizen, and when this feeling drives on the front seat, fear stands un-stirred.
The uprising of militancy in the valley is stronger and larger than ever; it is increasing with every passing night. Kashmir has turned into a land where a mother instructs her rebel son to fight until death rather surrender, a father comes to know about the death of his son roaming around the hospital; the situation is getting worse with no hope of returning to normalcy.
The leaders who used to claim the full hold and support of Kashmiri sentiments are now changing their statements like a chameleon. The major regional mainstream parties like of Abdullah-led National Conference (NC) and Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are losing their ground in the valley. The parliamentary polls are the victims of violence; Srinagar parliamentary elections recorded the lowest voter turnout; Anantnag parliament seat is vacant, and the government of India is failing continuously to hold a ‘standard election’.
Urban local body and Panchayat polls were completely opposed by the population and more than half of the candidates recorded their victory — unopposed. The regional political parties denied contesting the elections, whereas Indian national parties failed to put a boat in the water and couldn’t place a bit in some constituencies. For the first time in the history, since the migration of Kashmiri Pandits, candidates among the community submitted the nomination forms for elections, either under security cover or online and were also declared unopposed winners.
A few years earlier, the voice and resentment for independence were limited to the Kashmir valley, but now, the ‘Kashmir cause’ is gaining grounds in Chenab, Pir Panjal, Jammu as well as Ladakh region. The issue has always ben a darling at a global stage. The big player countries like China, Turkey, Norway, Pakistan, Iran, including the Kashmiris who have settled abroad, are now advocating the issue at global platforms.
The wave and a spark of the revolt reached inside the Indian institutions like Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) and the Indian intellectual minds came out in open to support the resolution through a peaceful reconciliatory process and blamed India simultaneously for the harsh approach towards the population.
Adding to the long list, Shah Faesal, a former bureaucrat and Kashmir’s first Indian Administrative Services (IAS) topper in 2010, has resigned protesting against ‘the unabated killings of civilians’ in Kashmir.
The move got limelight and sections in prime time debates on national television. Considered as a major youth icon and inspiration for millions of Kashmiri youngsters. Mr. Faesal has set another example of increasing resentment against India in Kashmir.
Following Mr. Faesal, more decorated officers are inclining towards resignation, inspiring the quality youth, and diverting the attention of world forum towards Kashmir insurgency, conveying a message of humiliation and brutality of India to rest of the world.
Ideologies may differ among us, but the step and initiative by Mr. Faesal invite every Kashmiri on a common platform, conveying the urgency to stand against the state oppression and making them realize that they are fast losing the firm grip on Kashmir — emotionally and psychologically. India’s grip on the landmass can be firm, applauds to tens of thousands of troops deployed, but they surely have lost every inch of space in the heart of Kashmiris.
India should accept that every uprising, and a revolt, recorded in the history of the world, sooner or later, attained the goals. I will not shy away from stating that Kashmiris are resisting the same way once Indians resisted the British rule, and ultimately, the morning of independence and the sun of freedom rose in India; likewise, Kashmiris are loaded with the intense resistance and hope for freedom.
The author is a Socio-Political activist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org