Valley’s struggle to move out of shadows of past

Arun Joshi

Tribune News Service

The Article 370 and Article 35 A are dead and buried. This is a stark reality; it has started dawning on the people of Kashmir, who had developed a special love for these special status provisions of the Indian constitution for Jammu and Kashmir. Now it is a thing of the past. The time has come to move beyond it, a section of Kashmiris has started realising that new pathways to step into the realistic terrain must be looked at.

Many, however, remain irreconcilable to the changes that have hit them hard, to put it mildly.

They have lot many questions as to why did Delhi do what it did. A blankness stares at them. But others are asking different questions, “We were Indians (J&K was integral part of India), why they had to do all this, do we become more Indians now?.” This question by Abid, an ex-serviceman hailing from a village in north Kashmir is being asked by all those who had believed that their destiny was linked to the country , and were severely critical of Pakistan and its ways of bleeding Kashmir.

Abid in his early 40s, who had put in 17 years of service in the army is looking for a job. “The chances ( of getting a job) were remote and these have become more distant now , as there is no avenue available to him. He is trying to make a sense out of the new reality.

The impossibility of reversal of the changes made in the constitutional is known to them.” No one can do it, because it has been done by (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (Home Minister) Amit Shah, and the whole the nation has supported their idea,” Nazir Ahmad from Kupwara, the frontier district in north-western Kashmir, said as he referred to the rapturous celebrations across the country after the constitutional wall was torn apart on August 5.

“It is better if we move in time and embrace the realities,” he said as it appeared to him that there were only two options either to perish in confrontation or recognise the virtue out of what has come to them.

What all have they heard and seen so far has also made them recognise a simpler fact that neither the US nor any other world power can restore them their special status. India will not restore the statehood – J&K has been divided into two union territories – one each for Ladakh, and the rest of Jammu and Kashmir- until the time it wishes to. It is a fait accompli.

“How long will we be living in the past and the glory that was there, things need to be looked in a positive frame,” observed a businessman who has been suffering losses since 2010, laying off his staff, hiring them to retrench them again as floods and disturbances have tempered the Valley since. But such voices are in a minority as of now, but nevertheless these are there wanting to be heard.

RELATED Admn apathy: Flood-affected struggle to get potable water