Despite the rude shocks of low voter turnout registering at barely 1% for the Lok Sabha seat in Srinagar, the Modi government remains clueless and therefore unable to do something about the Kashmir unrest.
On April 9, the Srinagar Lok Sabha byelection was marred by violence where eight persons were killed and scores of others were injured. The second attempt to conduct polling in all 38 polling stations located in central Kashmir’s Budgam district also failed miserably as the voter turnout dipped further to just about 1% (only 476 votes were polled out of 34000 listed voters).
This shows how clueless the government has been in understanding the Kashmir problem. It has not been able to touch the pulse of the voters who do not respond to Modi’s idea of development in the valley. Modi should rather understand their deep agonies, feeling and ambitions to regain trust of the Kashmiris.
But the problem lies in Modi’s approach of abandoning the option of reaching out to Kashmiris. They fear that the central leadership may try to separate Jammu from Kashmir to find a political solution to the problem. Kashmiris also feel that the BJP is only fulfilling its own political agenda of strengthening its party and weakening Article 370,which grants special status to the state.
Thus Modi government has been maintaining a deaf silence since August 2016 on the problem going on in Kashmir ie on the causalities and the sufferings due to pellet guns.
The international community is aware of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and PM Modi should not drag down the national interests in his self-obsession. The latest confirmation of BJP losing trust in Jammu and Kashmir is evident from the lowest voter turnout in the history of the state and the country. Meanwhile, Separatist leaders like Ayed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik have boycotted the elections and have asked people to follow the elections boycott.
Now Modi is in a fix:
- Unable to understand the root cause of the problem
- At this stage it cannot express remorse for the killings and any roll back of the forces deployed as it will hurt its base.
- Modi and BJP is in a dilemma how to engage Kashmiris for the welfare of Jammu and Kashmir and the country.
- Modi should strain his mind and change the approach towards jammu and Kashmir which has brought the country to such a dead end.
It is immaterial for the country whether he keeps awake and occupied on the problems for more than 20 hours a day when Modi is unable to find any solution to the Kashmir unrest since September 2016.