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    June 2017

Mission Kashmir


 With more and more stone-pelters taking to the streets in Kashmir against the Government, the situation in the Valley is becoming extremely disturbing and alarming. The supposed fight for azadi, the feeling of alienation, the angst against the Central Government, rumours about atrocities, calls for a Jihad or the spread of the ISIS thought process, whatever may be the reason behind the disturbing situation in the Valley, it is very important to comprehend the mind of youth in Kashmir to understand the prevailing scenario in the strife-torn region.
As they say, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. And it seems this is exactly what is happening in the Valley today. The lack of employment opportunities in the Valley has made Kashmiri youth so much vulnerable that any chance that comes their way to earn money is well-appreciated. And it is not a secret that the only industry in the Valley which pays regularly and timely is that of stone-throwing and violence. Also it a well-known fact that finance from Pakistan, routed through the Hurriyat, enables the                                                     promotion of this industry.

Another pertinent aspect of the prevailing situation is the disillusionment of Kashmiri youth who are constantly being feed with rumours of enmity between Hindus and Muslims by anti-social elements and people with vested interests for political gains. The Kashmiri youth have witnessed calls to the prayers of only one religion. Hence, with the BJP, which is seen as a pro-Hindutva party, in an alliance with the State's coalition partner, a fear is being inducted among Kashmiri youth that the current political alliance may change the demography of the Valley.

Our Cover Story in this edition presents the perspective of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on the Kashmir crisis and how it proposes to change the mindset of the people and resolve the issue.
Though the present Central regime under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated various employment and development schemes for Jammu and Kashmir, the Government needs to think of several other strategies to change the scenario in JK.

The “absence of a decisive leadership”in the State is leading to a political vacuum in Srinagar. The situation is encouraging militants and anti-India elements to demonstrate their open defiance of Indian State laws. The alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party has been a virtual non-starter from its inception in 2015 and it is extremely unlikely that the ideological divide between the BJP and the PDP can be bridged by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who, according to political pundits, is an “inefficient and poor strategist”.

It was high time both the Centre and the State Government sat together and bring out an effective strategy to deal with the Kashmir crisis. Or else the gap between the BJP and the PDP may become deeper and New Delhi’s and Srinagar’s ability to deal with the Kashmir situation may get further complicated.


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