The Myth Of Democracy In Kashmir Post 370

article 370

The parliament was roaring with the slogans of the opposition against the abrogation of Article 370, the Home Minster with all his strength screamed “Abrogation of 370 will strengthen the grassroots level Democracy In Jammu and Kashmir”. The Home Minster Spoke About Democracy while the Member of Parliament from Srinagar constituency including Two Former Chief Ministers, Minsters, MLAs, Mainstream political party workers, Journalists, Activists & Advocates were logged in SKICC Or in Jail & all the communications snapped.

People were locked in open-air prison, no one was allowed to speak or protest. Even some news channels were shut. The home Minister justified this unannounced suspension of Fundamental rights as “Preventive Measures ”. They seemed in no way preventive but actions which meant “Fall in Line, or face the consequences”. While the whole world was happy with the launch of 5G people of Kashmir had to struggle with 2G & this was called grassroots democracy. Many Newspapers that didn’t give government narrative were stopped adds, these advertisements are the main source of income, so they had no choice other than to fall in line. All of them have fallen so badly in line that all they do now (most of the newspapers)  is copy paste. They receive it on whatsApp & they paste it on their newspapers. No research, no fact checking just copy and paste.

With time the situation  started to get even more worse, the media policy fully curbed the media & gave government swiping rights to decide what news is fake and what isn’t. The policy was implemented the way no other policy was ever done. Many newspapers who didn’t bow down were asked to vacate  or were forced to vacate the Government accommodation. Many journalists faced charges Under Derogatory UAPA and many are still lying in jail. The government opened centers that provided journalists with internet access, which they used to send news outside Kashmir. Many of the journalists called it harassment , they had to wait in long queues to get a computer so that they send news to their news channels or newspapers they worked for. Imagine how annoying it must have been for them to wait for turn to get internet access when everyone has it in pockets. Well kashmir has always done many things for nation and still being called anti national.

Assembly elections are still a dream, it has been five years since the Article 370 has been abrogated but Government is yet to give any clarification on elections and restoration of Statehood. Everytime they repeat the same sentence “Once the situation on ground improves we will hold the elections and then restore the statehood “. Well they aren’t able to improve the situation on ground while the home minster on 5th of August 2019 kept screaming about situation being normal in Jammu and Kashmir but now they are unclear about the situation. The BJP isn’t sure about it’s win in the region and that’s the main reason why they don’t want to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir. They are just fine to control it through LG.

People of Jammu who were seen dancing to the drum beats are now beating their head after feeling betrayed by the central government. Jammu has suffered much more than the Kashmir. When they were betrayed about the protection of jobs they got to know that they have been played with.

Jammu and Kashmir was not the only state to have special status, North indian states under 371 also have special status but no one speaks about inequality being done to others because of their special status. All the evils were seen in 370. The way 370 prevented outsiders to buy land, the tenancy act also prevents outsiders to buy land in Andhrapradesh but no one claims that it hampers the development of AP but 370 used to do. The main reason to Abrogate Article 370 were the elections that were ahead. No one speaks about Naga accord. The naga accord has a demand of separate flag.

Jammu and Kashmir has suffered and is suffering the way it has never suffered. The mistrust is on the rise and is growing day after day. People have lost all hope in Democratic institutions. And to resort to the trust the Government has to do a hell lot of hard work.

Raqif Makhdoomi is a student of law and a Rights activist.

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