Will the Frozen Turbulence ever melt?

Karanvir Gupta
69 years since the Instrument of Accession was signed and came into action. Everything was going well barring initial few years of Independence. Then what went wrong where and how the paradise which once used to be the most favored destination of our cinema lost itself to the fundamentalist forces? To who did we lose the cultural thread that connected minds and souls and was a solace to everyone who happened to have visited Kashmir even once in their lifetime? Where did the seat of wisdom and Sufis/sages get lost? Why did all this happen? And how it kept getting worse?
The hunger for power is the most poisonous vice. And this seems to be the reason that engulfed the Kashmir valley. Though I am a strong believer of the idea that, it is always better to start fresh but in case of Kashmir that seems to be not working. Because if at all there are solid attempts to give a fresh beginning, “parties” or “groups” with ulterior motives jump in and instigate the old sentiments – just to keep their houses of power running and the houses of locals burning.
The sad part of this whole narrative can be divided into 3 major categories viz: exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley to give a fundamentalist appeal to the Valley, secondly rampant killings of the Kashmiri Muslims who continued to work for the State and Central forces/bodies and lastly destruction of the cultural heritage of the Kashmir over the last thirty years. All this clubbed together made a solid cause for vested parties to make the locals believe that anti-Islamic forces were in play.
However nobody ever told them that year after year unrest is caused so that economic benefits of tourism cannot reach valley, and there is no cultural exchange happening between hence isolated Kashmiris and other cultures. Very smartly, this happens during the time of Amarnath Yatra so as to give all this a form of religious divide. Nobody talks about the lack of education facilities and development work. Though these factors are used to incite the fury in the locals but the work is prevented from happening because nobody wants the benefits to trickle down to the people of the valley at the bottom of the pyramid. Interestingly, all those who instigate these sentiments (anti-India or separatist) have lavish bungalows, plush lifestyles and children settled abroad and they are behind the barricades of protection provided by State and Central forces (which they tell locals to revolt against). Irony and Ignorance at its best!
Unfortunately the people who wanted the sheikhdom are always busy creating similar problems which they were doing 30 years back and their ploy to keep Kashmir burning continues. All they want is to churn maximum out of Kashmir being of strategic piece of puzzle in the International board game. But I feel bad about the fact that while these games continue being played, the heavenly Kashmir is getting destroyed and people are being ruthlessly subverted.
But all this turbulence that seems to have frozen in the valley ever melt? As a believer of secular and democratic values, I think it is very important to let not fundamentalist values nurture and grow. They will never be able to bring peace or either well-being to the people of Kashmir. On the contrary; liberal education, participation in art and culture, provision of infrastructure facilities and ensuring technology to play a role of great enabler is needed.
While this needs commitment from the ruling and the “non-ruling” parties, it also needs equal amount of commitment from the people too. Kashmir is a beautiful place and I do not believe it deserves such a fate to be caged in the fear of fundamentalist forces which cause the major unrest directly or indirectly. There are so many realms where we all can work together and contribute positively and help build a peaceful and charismatic Kashmir. It is only the warmth of hearts that can melt the turbulence which has been frozen in the brains. All we need to do is come together and stand firm against anti-India forces. Last but not the least ensure that it is the truth that reaches the masses and not the concocted stories suited to the whims of powerful elites.
Caught amidst the shackles of woven stories
No doubts, the turbulence has frozen and taken a pause
Education, Infrastructure and Technology, might help
But surely the turbulence will melt with the warmth of hearts