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Rediff.com  » News » 'Lotus Won't Bloom In Kashmir'

'Lotus Won't Bloom In Kashmir'

By SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF
June 21, 2024 16:24 IST
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'The BJP claims they have eight lakh cadres in the Kashmir Valley so why can't they contest elections from Kashmir?'

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra D Modi addresses the 'Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K' event at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar, June 20, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

"The central government made only one mistake while abrogating Article 370. They did not take a single article of the J&K constitution and merged it with the Indian Constitution.

"Had they done it, the people of Kashmir would have felt that the Government of India has taken something from our constitution too while abrogating Article 370," Sanjay Tickoo, president of the Kashmiri Pandits Sangharsh Samiti, tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com.

The concluding segment of a three-part interview:

 

Why has India not been able to win the hearts of Kashmiri Muslims?

Nobody can win the hearts of Kashmiri Muslims by danda (stick). You have to accommodate them. You have to feel their pain. You cannot deny the human rights violation of State actors.

And similarly, the majority of Kashmiri Muslims in Kashmir should not deny the human rights violation by non-State actors. We Kashmiris living in Kashmir are victims of both the State as well as non-State actors.

But I see a very contrary Kashmir Valley to what you are saying. Youngsters are going to coaching classes. Unicorns like Physicswallah have arrived in Kashmir and the youngsters want peace.

Kashmiri Muslims have always studied hard and this is true especially after 1990. They saw how Kashmiri Pandits survived outside the Kashmir Valley only because of their educational qualification.

Taking that cue in every Kashmiri Muslim house, parents force children for education and they spend money on education. Therefore, you see these Allen and Physicswallah in Kashmir.

Secondly, people only see Lal Chowk and Dal Lake where you see tourists and think that is normalcy. Normalcy does not come in that fashion, it comes from the heart.

And let me tell you, Kashmiri Muslims will never ever forget the abrogation of Article 370. They can forget the killings, rapes but they will never ever forget the abrogation of Article 370.

There was nothing in Article 370 but for me too as a Kashmiri, it was a privilege to be a Kashmiri in India because of Article 370. I had my own flag and my own constitution of J&K.

The central government made only one mistake while abrogating Article 370. They did not take a single article of the J&K constitution and merged it with the Indian Constitution.

Had they done it, the people of Kashmir would have felt that the Government of India has taken something from our constitution too while abrogating Article 370.

They did not take anything from us, snatched away everything from us and imposed everything on us.

IMAGE: Kashmiri Pandits offer special prayers during the Navreh festival at the Mata Chakreshwari temple on top of the Hari Parbat fort in Srinagar, April, 2, 2022. Photograph: Umar Ganie for Rediff.com

What must India do to win the hearts of Kashmiris? They have given subsidies for so many years to J&K.

India is giving subsidies to every state in the country. You cannot claim that India will become a number one economy by given 5 kg ration to 80 crore people. You cannot win hearts by the Ujjwala scheme.

You will win my heart only when I feel I am safe in Kashmir and I have been accommodated by the central government.

When India has failed Kashmiri Pandits, how can they win over Kashmiri Muslims?

When Prime Minister Modi came for a rally in Kashmir in March 2024, why were government employees made to attend the rally compulsorily? Why did the BJP fail to get three candidates for parliamentary elections in Kashmir?

The BJP claims they have eight lakh cadres in the Kashmir Valley so why can't they contest elections from Kashmir? I want to know the answer.

The BJP has a reported tie-up with the Apni Party in Kashmir Valley so they did not put up their own candidates.

At the end of the day, the lotus, which is the BJP's election symbol, will not bloom in the Kashmir Valley.

You sound tired of everything that is happening in Kashmir today.

Yes, because nothing is moving on the ground. Politicians are running the business in the Kashmir Valley now. In fact, everyone is doing business in Kashmir. Be it Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmiri Muslims, bureaucrats or name anybody. Everybody is doing business in Kashmir.

And nobody is concerned about the future generation of Kashmiris who will live in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslims are not endorsing the pain of Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Pandits are not endorsing the pain of Kashmiri Muslims. In an ideal world they should have endorsed each other's pain on the international level. This would have given weightage as a Kashmiri.

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SYED FIRDAUS ASHRAF / Rediff.com
 
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