By: P Vaidyanathan Iyer, Adil Akhzer
“There is a permanence to the change in the status of the state and the people post August 5. Silence, humiliation, resentment, anger and protest in the nature of self-imposed curfews has been the reaction so far. It hasn’t manifested in violence. So far,” said an official.
More than 60 days into the lockdown in the Valley, many officials on the ground, both in the civilian and security establishment, have begun to say that the political imperative, from New Delhi, to sustain an “everything-is-normal” narrative is turning out to be challenging — and could even be counterproductive.
Internet and cellphones are still down, the disruption caused by these touches virtually all aspects of life — from seeking health care to connecting with friends and family; schools and colleges are shut; hundreds are in detention; and although yesterday the Governor’s office withdrew the order restricting tourists, hardly any are visiting the Valley. All parties, barring the BJP, Tuesday announced they will not contest the October 24 Block Development Council (BDC) elections which the state announced late last month.
“We used to say that security forces watch the clock while militants have all the time but now it’s the other way around. It seems the Government’s strategy is that it has all the time while residents in Jammu and Kashmir can keep a watch on the clock,” said an officer. “We aren’t sure how effective this tire-them-down approach will be but what we are sure of is that this is not normalcy and all of us need to accept that.”
“Mudda (issue) and masla (problem) are two of the most common words you hear in conversations with people here. Have you heard them since August 5,” asks a top-ranking police officer, “Just because no one mentions these words, does it mean things are normal?”
Courtesy The Indian Express…