What has poll participation to do with the demand of freedom and
In June this year one million people were on the roads demanding freedom from
But when people flooded the streets of
For the last five months government took stern measures and didn't allow people to move out or open their mouth. Those who did were booked under preventive detention. It succeeded in containing the people and even conducted, what it says, "successful elections." Now when the State has conducted successful elections, will it ever provide slight room to Kashmiris, and allow them to come out to express themselves on the streets of
Development and voting:
Every person, who was in the polling queue, told the media persons that he was voting for the development and employment. Even on Doordarshan Srinagar, that telecasts the long queues of the people outside the polling stations, everyday people are talking about bad roads, lack of infrastructure and above all, unemployment.
If the argument of people who cast their votes in recently concluded "70-phase" elections be taken at their face value, then it speaks volumes about 60 year rule of the Government of India in
The voter has given the democratic verdict on the claims of the Government of India that it has done nothing in
But the question arises: does that mean Kashmiris would get any benefit following the massive participation in the electoral exercise, as the Government of India would repeat the past assertion that the voting of Kashmiris is the negation of the UN resolution on Kashmir which calls for right to self-determination in
Besides, the State knew how to play the game, and it played it aptly. The government allowed a number of candidates to contest. It is not intriguing why so many candidates were in the fray. The number of the candidates allowed the Government enough room to play its game. It divided the people in rural areas. There were family loyalties as well. Initially, in Bandipora and Sonawari in the first phase relatives and friends and neighbors and beneficiaries came out to the vote. Others followed them. The villagers had apprehension that if "other candidate" of neighboring candidate wins, what would happen to them, and so they came out to vote for "their candidate" for the obvious reasons. It set the trend and the rest is history. Some analysts in
Besides, rightly presuming that there would be less participation in the elections,
There were decisions taken by the State assembly. The autonomy resolution passed by the National Conference government was the biggest ever decision taken by the State assembly after in 1953. The Government of India didn't respond to the political decision of "elected government.' It disdainfully rejected it. Thus conveying in clear terms what the Assembly stands for. So those who argue that the people have cast vote for the development have some weight in their argument.
But he forgets that in
In Pulwama district there was fair voting and people did vote despite the killing of