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news details
Radicalisation of Valley a cause of worry
Time to act and act fast
3/14/2018 12:32:43 AM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Mar 13: Situation in the Kashmir Valley is deteriorating with each passing day. Process of radicalization has gripped most parts of the Valley, especially in south Kashmir, the stronghold of the ruling PDP.
A report in this regard has said: "In the Valley, one can see young boys and girls give speeches, sing, or recite poems to a beat at their homes and surrounding places. They come across like performers, as if the children have trained to perform in a way to impress their audience. Many of those performances do indeed impress. Some of them involve reciting to a set beat, like a skilled rap performance. One has watched a boy no more than about five or six perform such a recitation, full of radical thrusts in both political and religious terms. One has also seen two and three-year-old children chucking little pebbles at each other in the driveway of a house, imitating the stone-pelting some of them have watched, particularly in certain years".
Kashmir-watchers have started saying that the rise of radicalization could have unpredictable social consequences. "Whatever the future may hold for Kashmir in terms of politics or geopolitics, this sort of radicalization of a generation from its earliest days could have unpredictable social consequences. It could affect cultural norms in fundamental ways. The popularity of militant commander Zakir Musa among Kashmiri youth - and not only in South Kashmir - indicates how far the process of radicalization has already gone".
Musa, it needs to be noted, achieved "rock star status among many teenagers after his audio recording went viral on 12 May, 2017". He had threatened to "slit the throats and string up in Lal Chowk anyone who called the Kashmiri movement a political one" and had also without mincing words referred to such leaders of the freedom movement as the Hurriyat Conference. Later on, Musa separated from that pro-Pakistan group and established himself as the face of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State in Kashmir. Only recently, the J&K Director General of Police, SP Vaid, acknowledged for the first time that "Islamic State has a presence in the Valley".
Experts have said: "The sad reality is that this trend is matched by similar trends in other parts of the world, including India. In a virtual world which collapses physical distances, these various other trends will have an impact in Kashmir too, either by boosting local trends or by provoking a reaction". They have also opined: "There was a trend towards radically Islamist thinking among youth in the 1980s too, but the proportion of youth drawn towards it then was relatively small. Kashmir's traditional ziarat-oriented praxis remained vibrant".
The worst part of the whole situation is the failure of those who masquerade as mainstream leaders but do nothing to arrest the ongoing process of radicalization in Kashmir. As a matter of fact, they too contribute to the process directly or indirectly by adopting a soft approach towards separatists and by making such statements as "Kashmir is a disputed territory" and that the "Indian presence in J&K is illegal".
What transpired during the just-concluded session of the state legislature was just one proof. It witnessed pro-Pakistan slogans and also say many MLAs from Kashmir defending the Rohingyas after the dreaded terror attack on the vital Sunjuwan Army Camp in Jammu.
The need of the time for all in Kashmir is to sit up and devise ways calculated to arrest the process of radicalization failing which the possibility of Kashmir becoming another Syria or Pakistan or Afghanistan just can't be ruled out. If normalcy is to return to Kashmir, all Kashmiri leaders have to shun the path of confrontation and promote in the Valley politics based on democratic and economic issues.
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