October 27, 2019

The State of J & K converted into a Municipality …….Tarigami

SITARAM Yechury and Mohd Yousuf Tarigami had an interaction with some of the press people at the former’s official residence at 36, Canning Lane in New Delhi on October 22.

Sitaram Yechury said, today 80 days have passed since the people of Kashmir have been made incommunicado. Partial services of telephone networks were restored just recently that too only post paid mobile numbers. And the silly part is that these companies are asking to pay the rent for the last two months as well.

Tarigami in his panegyric comments said that the situation is very painful in the Kashmir valley and it can be felt greater by those who have undergone that pain. He warned the central government, that there are going to be serious implications of the steps taken by them. There will be implications for the entire country and shall not be limited just to the valley. He emphasised the alienation of the people is complete yet violence is not the option. He said the attack must be seen as an attack on the fundamental rights of its fellow citizens; today it happened in Kashmir tomorrow it could be any other part of the country because the BJP does not want diverse opinions and the spirit of federation of states in the constitution, it(BJP) wants a unitary system. And, since BJP has the brute majority, it is with this tyranny of the majority, rather than majority of the democracy that they are destroying this nation, he said.

He forewarned that the attacks will have its spill over in other parts of the country as well. He said that even if one may imagine that after abrogation of article 370 , complete integration of the state of Jammu and Kashmir has happened, but then where is the implementation of the fundamental rights in that state. He said is it not the fundamental right of the citizen to have access to freedom and liberty which is so essential in a democracy. Elementary functioning of a democracy demands that it must be accountable to its people. Can we say so of the present dispensation, he quipped?

Condemning the BJP by chanting euphoric slogans that they have integrated the country, he said what kind of integration is this where people are put behind the bars. Parents in the state do not know where their children are kept. The provisions of the constitution do not function in the state. The people do not know the cause of their detention. He said the constitution of India now is not functioning in the state of J & K.

The people are made to suffer badly; there is no internet and the leading newspapers have been turned into ‘just governments’ gazettes’. It is worse than a martial law. At least after martial there is a word called law, in Kashmir there is no law.

Speaking on the prevailing situation he said even after 80 days the life remains paralysed. Schools still remain closed; they are open only on paper, hardly any student turns up. Similarly teachers cannot reach their schools as the mode of public transport is absent. Only private vehicles move, that too very minimal. He said the distress is unprecedented as the whole of Kashmir community has been humiliated. Shops open just for a few hours in the morning and evening.

Speaking on the three major sectors of the economy in the state viz., horticulture, tourism and carpets, he said all of them have been ruined. Most of the apple crop has perished in the fields as the people could not transport it to the market for want of transport and labour facility. Similarly tourists were in fact fled by the central government whence lots of tourists had started the Amarnath Yatra. The scare of terror was instilled by the central government itself, and now the situation is that the hotels are closed and the only tourism they are getting is local! Who are these local tourists? These local tourists are the under detention political leaders and activists who are lodged in some of these hotels in the city of Srinagar and other towns. Thirdly the carpet market bloomed with international sales and for that connectivity was extremely essential. In absence of internet and telecommunications this sector is also badly hit.

Commenting on the silence of the people in the valley after August 5, he said it is to be seen as silence at the graveyard. He affirmly said that people are makers of their own history and for sure this decision of August 5 will be reversed some day.

Intervening on the comments made by Amit Shah that those who oppose Article 370 are actually abetting terrorism; Sitaram said that Tarigami was one of the first leader’s of the valley to have been attacked by the separatists in 1990s. After that there have been multiple armed attacks on him in which some of his family members, Party comrades and security personnel died. And, Tarigami is opposing the abrogation of Article 370, does he become a supporter of the separatists? Sitaram said the Party has already filed a petition challenging the decision of the central government. He said another affidavit will be filed on October 23 by Tarigami explaining the situation in Kashmir and his status. Though the Supreme Court had said that he(Tarigami) is a free man but still he is under de- facto house arrest the moment he enters Kashmir valley.

To a query as to why there are no widespread protests taking place in the valley , Tarigami said, since when one has heard protests taking place in ‘Tihar jail’. He said the state of J & K is virtually a military and police jail now. Speaking on the woes of Kashmiri Pandits(KPs) he said great injustice has been done to them and they must return to the valley. In fact the CPI(M) is the first party that had opposed attacks on them. He further said that KPs and other Muslim political and social workers who have been forced to leave their houses have to come back. But the situation has further worsened with the steps taken by the BJP he said.

He also appealed to other democratic minded people in the country to form solid protests and ensure that the sinister designs of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are defeated.