It is now around ninety days since Narendra Modi government removed the special status for Jammu & Kashmir and effectively integrated it with the rest of India. This has received overwhelming support in India amongst cross section of people. However, the pledged critics of Modi government, some opposition parties and political parties in Jammu & Kashmir with vested interest and separatists have opposed this strong and positive move of the Government of India.
However, it appears that Modi government still seems to fear the separatists who get support from extremist groups across the border and some state level politicians , who may unleash massive violence if allowed free movement.
It is clear that large number of natives of Jammu and Kashmir are happy about the steps taken by government of India to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with rest of India that could lead to better employment opportunities for youth and progress of the state in multiple directions.
It is always seen all over the world that most of the people want to live in peaceful conditions and only a handful of motivated group create fear and unrest and indulge in violent activities, that drive people indoor. Certainly today in Jammu and Kashmir, the separatists and extremist elements do not enjoy mass support but try to assert themselves by terrorizing the people, setting fire to school buildings and brainwashing the youth to indulge in stone throwing and other undesirable activities.
Some of the state level politicians do seem to fear the terrorists and ensure that they would not antagonize them. In order to protect their political benefits, they make vituperative and provocative observations criticising the Government of India. Modi government seem to fear them also and have restricted their movement.
It is obvious that restrictions on movement in Jammu & Kashmir cannot be imposed for very long time and the situation has to be tackled in an imaginative manner with courage of conviction and by initiating positive and proactive steps to win the confidence of the people.
In this connection, we need to remember that terrorism prevailed in Punjab a few years back by small group of Sikh terrorists who indulged in massive killings and violence creating fear all round.
When the situation appeared to become uncontrollable, the former Indian Prime Minister P.V. Nsarasimha Rao boldly announced election in the state, giving an opportunity for the citizens to assert themselves and exercise their franchise. People responded with enthusiasm and took part in the election. Efforts of the terrorists to disrupt the poll failed and the bluff of the terrorists was exposed and then gradually the terrorist movement faded away. Ever since then, Punjab has been remaining as a peaceful state.
Younger people now would wonder as to how the terrorist movement in Punjab could have happened.
What the Modi government should do now in Jammu & Kashmir is to free the political leaders in the state from forced confinement and order state assembly elections immediately. Certainly, the separatists and extremist groups would not like this and with support of the terrorists based in Pakistan , they would try to disrupt the polls. Let them do whatever they want and let the law take its own course in dealing with them.
Even today, with the strict clamp down on the movement of people, violence and terrorist acts do take place and the army is confronting the terrorists.
By just allowing free movement for the people, the extremist groups and separatists would try to cause greater violence and disrupt peace. But, that cannot happen for too long, as they would get isolated and people would start despising them. Political heat would certainly go up and opposition political parties would try to fish in the troubled water.
In the process of holding the elections, the political temperature and violence my reach a peak level and then with the completion of the elections, the critics and separatists would become weaker and their bluff would be exposed.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a great orator enjoying enormous good will amongst the cross section of people in India. He will be the fit person to lead the proactive campaign for peace in Jammu & Kashmir and he is bound to get people’s support during his political campaign in the election process.
Let Mr. Modi have the courage and order the elections in free conditions immediately though some fear mongering people and section of media may call it as calculated risk.
To restore normal conditions in Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Modi must take this step and there is no reason to over estimate the strength of separatists and some local political leaders.
In any case, by ordering the elections and conducting it, the situation would not deteriorate and cannot become worse than what it is today.
Mr. Modi should derive confidence from the fact that people of Jammu & Kashmir responded very positively during the earlier elections and many youth in Jammu & Kashmir have attended army recruitment programme with great enthusiasm.