» News » Gun not an option, Young Guns tell Kashmir youth

Gun not an option, Young Guns tell Kashmir youth

By Renu Mittal
August 06, 2010 01:45 IST

The Centre may be searching for a solution to the rising violence in Jammu and Kashmir, but on Thursday the young politicians of the country came up with an emotional response to the crisis by appealing to the angry youth of the Valley for restraint.

Sources say the unique appeal could be the brainchild of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who has been behind the installation of Omar Abdullah as the chief minister of the state and continues to back him amid criticism from all quarters.

The appeal, signed by around 40 young MPs cutting across party lines, expressed concern over the unfortunate situation in the Valley and attempted to emotionally connect to the youth of Kashmir by arguing that India would be able to achieve its dream of being a super power only if of everyone of us are equal stakeholders in it..

The statement, instead of only expressing anguish over violence, chose to demonstrate a sense of camaraderie and clearly articulated that the Indian youth dream was not different from their Kashmiri brethren.

The statement said, "In this century, when the whole world is looking towards India, and as we look to join the club of developed nations, we believe this dream can only be achieved only if all of us are equal stakeholders in it. Future belongs to our generation. We, the young parliamentarians, belonging to your generation, sincerely hope for a bright shared future for you and for all of us."

What is of great significance is that the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister too is young and was part of this youth club of parliamentarians before moving to Srinagar."

Asking the youth in J&K to exercise restraint, the statement said, "As representatives of the people ourselves, believe that together with a positive frame of mind we can seek resolution only through open communication. History teaches us that any resolution can only be brought about through dialogue and not through violence."

Among the signatories to the statement were Priya Dutt, Sandeep Dikshit, Deepender Hooda, Milind Deora and Jyoti Mirdha of the Congress, Anurag Thakur of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Akhilesh Yadav and Neeraj Shekhar of the Samajwadi Party, Shatabdi Roy of the Trinamool, Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party and Bhavna Gavli of the Shiv Sena.

The 'elders' too are rattled by the turn of events in the state.

While BJP senior leader L K Advani led a party delegation to the prime minister to stress the need for an all-party meeting, the Left has written to Manmohan Singh to explore the option of sending an all-party delegation to Srinagar.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said the trust deficit between the government and the people of Kashmir was very high and hence the all-party delegation would be a better solution.

The prime minister is said to be amenable to the idea of all-party meeting on Kashmir and is also considering sending a team to Srinagar. Omar Abdullah's father and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister  Farooq Abdullah also met the Prime Minister today to discuss the issue. Sources said he cautioned the prime minister against misleading inputs given by the Central agencies who appeared to have blamed Omar and his government.

Sources say the Centre has advised Omar to be more proactive and reach out to the people and political parties in the valley as he is seen to be aloof and a stranger to Kashmir politics. Government sources say his mindset and style of functioning is one of the basic problems which he would need to overcome if he is to be accepted by the people.

Renu Mittal in New Delhi