oppn parties What Next In J&K? The Lockdown Cannot Be Sustained For Long

News Snippets

  • Ban on international flights extended till July 31
  • Reliance launches JioMeet to take on Zoom and other virtual meeting places
  • ICMR says the Covid-19 vaccine made in India, Covaxin, might be launched as early as 15th August
  • The Permanent Court for Arbitration says India is entitled to compensation in the Italian marines' case
  • China says it is "groundless and exaggerated" to claim that it follows expansionist policies
  • In a message to China, PM Modi says the era of "expansionism" is over
  • Prime Minister Modi says India will never bow to any world power
  • Film choreographer Saroj Khan breathes her last
  • China bans access to Indian news websites
  • PM Modi says that as Unlock-02 kicks in and more people resume working, people have to follow the rules even more religiously
  • PM Modi says that all citizens need to be vigilant against people who do not follow the rules in force, like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing
  • PM Modi warns the country that with the onset of the monsoon, more seasonal diseases will strike and citizens have to be more disciplined
  • Hero Cycles to buy the struggling Atlas Cycle group
  • RIL to buy the retail businesses of Future Group
  • Import licensing to be put in place for AC's TV's and other non-essential items
Prime Minister Modi visits Leh and Nimu in Ladakh to take stock of the situation arising out of the LAC stand-off with China and praises the soldiers injured in the Galwan clash
oppn parties
What Next In J&K? The Lockdown Cannot Be Sustained For Long

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Has the government made a mistake by ordering the opening of educational institutions in J&K first? Consider it as a parent, will you allow your child to go to school when the situation is such that you are not able to go to your office or open your shop? No parent will allow his or her child to be exposed to an unpredictable situation which can turn volatile at any moment. The government should have first allowed shops and offices to open. It should have allowed adults to resume their daily routine. They would have allowed their children to attend school only after they were satisfied that there was no danger on the streets as they were going to the office or moving around freely.

Before attempting any critique of the government policy in the aftermath of the reading down of Article 370, two things need to be recognized: first, this is an extraordinary situation not amenable to everyday solutions. Second, the Kashmir valley was already a pot of conflicting emotions and given to violent protests every day, fueled by Pakistan-backed separatists and infiltrators from across the border. Having said this, extraordinary situations demand extraordinary solutions. If the government had the courage to read down Article 370, it must also have the courage to face the protests. A complete lockdown for nearly 15 days (and only God and Modi-Shah know how many days more) is in no one's interest. In fact, every passing day is inflaming passions further. The government must have had a plan on how it will lift restrictions. But what is happening is a cat and mouse game. Restrictions are eased and protests take place. Restrictions are re-imposed. Till when will this game be played?

If the government will continue to place restrictions just as some protests take place, it will never be able to bring normalcy. There were protests earlier too when Article 370 was in force. They were often violent. The government will have to lift restrictions district-wise starting with Srinagar and perhaps wait a week before taking further decisions. In that week, it will have to tackle the situation with compassion. It will have to be firm, but without force if it is possible. Let them pelt stones. Do not reply with bullets. Use other methods. Make preventive arrests. Do whatever is in your Plan A or Plan B or whatever. But bring normalcy, and fast. Otherwise, the reason for removing the special status will not be fulfilled. Kashmir will still be a disturbed place. It will still not be integrated with India.