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In Focus

July, 13

Dichotomy in governance has left J&K in this situation

When the Congress was in power, in alliance with National Conference, it had a real incentive to keep the peace. As they had representatives from the Valley and any uptick in violence would impact them at the hustings. BJP, on the other hand, has no base in the Valley, so it doesn't really need to worry about what happens there. In PDP they have found a willing ally who is eager to grab power. The current alliance in J&K is an example of petty politics, wherein a jingoistic BJP is in alliance with the PDP, who has built their political base by appeasing separatists.

It suits the BJP to keep the valley burning as it gains from other areas including their base in Jammu. As the recent Amarnath Yatra attack and its subsequent weaponisation in Gujarat demonstrates. The BJP cynically uses the security situation in J&K as a bogey for their election campaigns elsewhere.

What is even more worrying is that this round of violence is home-grown. Due to efforts of the Armed Forces, infiltration had come down dramatically. Lt Gen Hooda is on record saying that even home grown terrorists were down to single digits. This is no longer the case. The radicalisation of local youth is driven by lack of opportunity and a sense of alienation (issues identified by almost every analyst on the subject). This is being compounded by reports of attacks against Kashmiris who are spread out in India.

The BJP leaders of yester years understand the complexity of the situation. A media report cited Yashwant Sinha's meeting with the NSA, speaking of the air on indifference the latter had on the issue. Worryingly, if media reports and social media updates are indicative, the more sensible voices from within the BJP are completely being drowned out.

For the last 3 years, instead of Good Governance, the BJP Government in the Centre appears to have brought conflict to India. Be it in J&K, or amongst the farmers, minorities, or Dalits, conflict is the order of the day across the nation. The BJP is either, at best, incapable of addressing the needs of the people or at worst is fermenting this conflict in the country. India needs a Government that has a vision for development, not conflict, for inclusion not divisiveness, for growth not stagnation.

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