Valley News Desk

*Non-participation in DDC elections would have certainly damaged interests of common man: Tarigami*

*‘Only development in J&K since last August is that police stations, jails are full’*

Kulgam, Nov 25 (KNO): CPI (M) on Wednesday held a day-long convention at Rest House, Kulgam which was presided over by Muhammad Afzal Parray, District Secretary. The convention was attended by hundreds of workers.

While addressing the convention, CPI (M) leader and former MLA Kulgam Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said that Jammu and Kashmir is going through extremely difficult situation. “The District Development Council (DDC) elections were announced amid uncertainty and without any consultations with political parties. But nevertheless non-participation in DDC elections would have damaged the interests of the common man,” he said.

He added that to vote or not to vote became a topic of discussion for several years in Kashmir. “History and experience sufficiently demonstrates that neither voting nor the boycott changed the political course of Kashmir. However, the boycott of elections virtually leads to disempowerment of people which is the reason that the political parties in J&K decided to participate in these polls though announced abruptly,” he said.

In the absence of any democratic structure in J&K for the last more than two years, people feel powerless and helpless as their basic issues and agonies are increasing day by day. There is a situation where bureaucracy, which is highly insensitive towards the common man’s sufferings, is running the show. This unfortunate situation virtually make people to run from pillar to post to get their issues settled, but without any response from those in authority.

Despite the tall claims of the administration about development, the ground situation is entirely different. There is no adequate electricity, ration stores in several areas are empty, welfare schemes are suffering because of inadequate funds, requirements to face Covid-19 pandemic are not sufficiently taken care of, projects already undertaken are virtually defunct and no new projects have been undertaken.

ASHA’s under NHM, Anganwadi workers and helpers, Mid Day Meal workers, CPWs, MGNREGA employees, contractuals, construction workers, need based, seasonal, casual labours, daily wagers are without wages for months. Unemployment levels are rising in J&K as educated youth struggle with neglect and lack of job-creation policy. Survival of thousands of artisans, who are almost without any work since last August, is at stake. These most distressed people should have been at least given some cash assistance, but there has been no response from the government.

The communication lockdown imposed last August continues, albeit with some relaxations. There is only 2G internet available, which too is snapped at times. This is causing havoc not only in banking, trade, business and healthcare but in the field of education as well. The 2G technology cannot sustain online learning, which is a ready option being used in the rest of the country.

On one hand the BJP government talks about ‘development’ and ‘redresal’, but on the other people are suffering as their lives have been made miserable. Only development in the region since last August is that police stations and jails are full. Draconian laws like UAPA and PSA are being used indiscriminately while harassment of common people at the hands of security agencies is a routine affair. There is also a perception that investigating agencies are being used by the BJP government for partisan purposes.

Whatever happened last year on August 5 has affected every individual of J&K and Ladakh. On that dark day, the interests of J&K were compromised. But we want to ask the BJP what the country gained out of it? Can the BJP leadership explain it to the people of India? The reality is that they are misleading people of the country over this issue. They argue that Parliament scrapped Article 370, but isn’t it a fact that the same Article was granted by the Constituent Assembly which gave the Constitution of India.

The constituent assembly of J&K which had ratified the Article 370 and accession of J&K with India had also provided the people of J&K with its own constitution. The 1952 Delhi Agreement, which consolidated the constitutional relationship between J&K and the rest of the country, recommended that J&K will have its own flag along with the national flag. This also incorporated all the “state subject” laws framed by Dogra rulers in J&K including the state subject law of 1927 and 1932 in the form of Article 35-A.

The reality is that the BJP is more interested in implementing its own agenda rather than the broader agenda of the country as enshrined in the Constitution of India. What was done since last August runs contrary to the basic interests of J&K and the Country. It is being propagated now that the clock can’t go back. But they must not forget that when Emergency was imposed in India in 1975, some people used to say now the clock can’t go back. The reality is that era ended unceremoniously and this too shall pass.

It is the time where people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh should unite and avail every democratic opportunity for a greater cause of preserving the unity and plurality of this historic state known as Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Its fragmentation and reducing its status is unacceptable. We shall raise our voice together for restoring the glory of our history and oppose the highly divisive and authoritarian agenda of BJP vis-à-vis J&K.

Others who spoke on the occasion include Muhammad Afzal Parry, Muhammad Yousuf Lone, Gh Mohiudin Lone, Ramesh Kumar Bhat and Zahoor Ahmad Rather—(KNO)

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