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

News Snippets

  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
  • Government thinking of providing higher insurance coverage on bank deposits
  • Mayank Agarwal scores a double century as India take firm grip on the first Test versus Bangladesh
  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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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.