Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Jun 2018 14:25:32

THE process of introduction of Governor’s Rule has begun in Jammu and Kashmir in right earnest with a seasoned administrator like Mr. N.N. Vohra taking the first step of putting the J&K legislature in suspended animation. Once the basic objectives of the Governor’s Rule are achieved, and normalcy restored in the State, the legislature would be brought back to life and would assume its original duty. But until that happens, the State will have to bear the brunt of a mix of strict and soft measures on multiple fronts. The most basic need of the hour in Kashmir is restoration of normalcy in security situation. No matter the opinion of Ms. Mehbooba Mufti about muscular security proving useless, the State will have to take the first steps of Governor’s Rule exactly in that area. For, until the last man in Kashmir feels secure,

until the last of the separatists and terrorists are captured or finished, the sense of security that has been so badly missing for decades will not be restored. So, the next six months may see a seemingly overdose of strict measures by the Armed Forces. There is, however, yet another dimension of the security scenario. It concerns the migration of the Pandit community to safer zones across the country. Unless the members of the Pandit community begin to return to their homes, there could be no actual restoration of normalcy in the State. So inseparably linked is that issue with internal security. For, when a whole community feels so insecure in a regime that it runs away to safer pastures in the country just to save lives, the condition is without doubt very bad. This condition needs the most urgent rectification in the next few months.

Even though factually it would preposterous to expect whole Pandit community to return to their homes which they have abandoned to God’s mercy, it is absolutely necessary, too, to work for their return. Once that happens, the Government will have achieved a major success in initial days. However, to achieve these results, the Armed Forces will have to launch a frontal campaign to nail down separatists and terrorists whose succour comes from Pakistan. This task, thus, would take its own toll, but the Government will have to be ready for all the sacrifices. For, history tells us that the separatists and terrorists had ganged up against the Pandit community and hounded them out of their homes. In the process, they had killed men, raped women, and thrown children onto streets. A scared Pandit community then made a conscious but terribly painful decision to start seeking safer places for temporary stay. This situation cannot be allowed to continue in J&K. In Governor’s Rule, concrete and focused efforts will have to be made to ensure return of the devastated members of the Pandit community to their homes all over the State. That will help in early restoration of normalcy in the State. For, when the peaceloving Pandit community was driven out of the State in large numbers, the separatists started having a field day. Stone pelting also stemmed from the change in demographic composition of the larger Kashmiri community.

There is no doubt that Mr. N.N. Vohra is a seasoned administrator and he knows Kashmir too well. Now that he has swung into action, there is every reason to hope that he would act fast and tough against separatism and terrorism and restore a sense of security in the larger Kashmiri community. There may be some political slogan shouting against some of the measures of the Governor. But then, it would be only in fitness of things that the administration learns to ignore senseless and politically-driven criticism while carrying out its avowed agenda. It must be stated again that this is a golden opportunity to start setting things right. Without loss of a single moment, the Governor must now launch his cleansing campaign.